TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 12/22: Complete coverage of Swagger vs. Yoshi, Dreamer's probable final WWE match
Dec 22, 2009 - 10:10:25 PM
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WWE - ECW on SyFy TV Report
December 22, 2009 - Year 4, Week 29 (Week 185 overall)
Taped 12/20 in Orlando, Fla.
By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
The WWE show started with a video package on the ECW Homecoming mini-tournament, focusing on Jack Swagger and Yoshi Tatsu matching up.
After the regular ECW intro aired, ring announcer Savannah brought out Jack Swagger to start the show. Swagger came out on stage and the kids in the arena were shown joining along in the boos. Swagger said the show is finally worth watching again. He said a lot of things have changed since he left, but some things have stayed the same like Christian. He said he's still a chump and Tommy Dreamer is still fat. Swagger then rolled footage of his domination in WWE to reinforce the point about his self-proclaimed greatness. Back in the arena, Swagger smirked and reintroduced himself as the All-American American and future ECW champion. More boos from the audience.
After Swagger wrapped up his promo, Zack Ryder's music hit to bring out Ryder and Rosa Mendes. Ryder's up next in action against Tommy Dreamer, who came out looking to get the crowd in his corner. They rolled footage from two weeks ago when Ryder told Dreamer that it's over for him and he wants to be the guy who ends him. Ring the bell on Dreamer's probable final WWE TV match after asking for his release from the company.
1 -- ZACK RYDER (w/Rosa Mendes) vs. TOMMY DREAMER
Dreamer started with a shoulder tackle, then an arm drag and another one. The announcers talked up Ryder's performance against Kane last week. Meanwhile, Dreamer clotheslined Ryder to the outside and Rosa ran interference, which allowed Ryder to fling Dreamer off the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, Ryder made a cover for a one count. Ryder then followed with a Rough Ryder leg lariat for a two count. The action moved up top and Dreamer executed a superplex. Both men took a breather, then came to their feet and Dreamer went on the offensive. Dreamer executed a powerslam, but Ryder kicked out. Ryder then caught Dreamer with a knee, but Dreamer caught him in mid-air and catapulted Ryder into the corner. Dreamer then hung Ryder upside down in the corner and measured Ryder for the trademark "E-C-W" running basement kick. He suddenly ripped off his ECW t-shirt and chucked it into the crowd. Dreamer then got caught in the ropes and Ryder nailed the Zack Attack for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Ryder in 5:00. Solid TV match for Dreamer if this was indeed his final WWE TV match. Dreamer surprisingly had plenty of offense and got in his signature spots in the match. The story WWE can play up, though, is Ryder having the bragging rights on "retiring" Dreamer. (*1/4)
Tonight: Goldust vs. Vance Archer in an ECW Homecoming match. Still to come: Swagger vs. Yoshi. ... Next Monday plug: Timbaland guest hosts a "historic" Raw with Sheamus vs. John Cena for the WWE Title.
On-stage: Tony Atlas welcomed out Abraham Washington for his talk show. Abe waited out the boos before taking his time introducing himself. Not sure about the bright yellow dress shirt underneath the jacket. He said everyone thinks he's going to come out here and rip Tiger Woods, but he's not going to do so. Yeah, because the joke was old two weeks, but that didn't stop WWE last night on Raw. He added that he supports Tiger. Abe added the joke that there's nothing wrong with playing more than 18 hoes. Abe with a joke that Tiger is on a new diet, but you have to stay on it at least three days before cheating on the diet. He then welcomed out Trent Barreta and Caylen Croft, who jumped onto the couch and sat down.
Abe welcomed them to the show, but had a question on whether they're out of their minds for jumping on his couch. Abe talked up the New Superstar Initiative, then Croft said Miz & Morrison were all right, whatever on Hart Dynasty, and B&C are taking it to the next level. He said you can't compare N64 to Xbox 360. Barreta added they've been best friends since little league and their moms are their biggest friends. Barreta said they're looking forward to the ECW Homecoming next year when they can show up as the Unified tag champs. Atlas said he was a tag champ with Rocky Johnson. Croft cut him off and said he's old and no one cares. Abe suddenly stood up for Atlas, but he pulled the rug out from under Atlas and told "dummy" to take them home. Atlas wrapped the segment and B&C got their shine on the stage to close the segment.
Backstage: Tiffany was texting, then Jack Swagger walked in to revisit good times. Swagger asked how she could possibly still be running this show. She said it's amazing how much easier it is running this show without him around. Suddenly, there was a whoosh and The Hurricane interrupted. Swagger asked him what his superpowers are. Hurricane said his are unlimited and he can do anything...except maybe fix that speech impediment. Hurricane "flew off," Swagger smirked, and Tiffany giggled.
Tribute Video plug: They aired a video package on John Cena "always being front and center" ready to do the "Tribute to the Troops" trip every year. The set-up had a tone of Cena as a "goodie two-shoes," but WWE has obviously moved past the point of trying to get everyone to like Cena and just presenting Cena's character as he comes without apology.
In-ring: Vance Archer came to the ring for a Homecoming match and Josh Mathews described Archer as having "intuitive aptitude to dissect his opposition." Yeah, sure. Goldust then came out to challenge Lance Vance.
2 -- VANCE ARCHER vs. GOLDUST -- ECW Homecoming qualifying match
Archer delivered intense offense early on as Mathews continued with the wordy sentences to describe Archer. Goldust made a comeback at 2:00 and hit his drop-down uppercut before tossing Arch across the ring for a two count. Archer then came back with his flip-over (step one) swinging reverse DDT (step two) for the pin and the win. It's an easy move to counter with proper "scouting" in a storyline context. They cut backstage to a shot of ECW champ Christian watching intently on a monitor.
WINNER: Archer in 3:00. Not much here. Quick match to give Archer a relatively strong win to advance to the Homecoming. (n/a)
Smackdown Rebound: They went back to Smackdown on Friday for a look at Rey Mysterio winning the #1 contender match over Batista much to Batista's anger. Back to the ECW announcers, Mathews and Byron Saxton plugged World champ Undertaker vs. Mysterio on the Christmas edition of Smackdown.
ECW recap: They went back to last week's ECW when Ezekiel Jackson beat Kozlov with William Regal's help to split up the Ruthless Roundtable. As a result, Superstars this week will feature Kozlov vs. Jackson.
Backstage: Christian talked to Yoshi Tatsu as Yoshi was pumping himself up. Swagger interrupted and Christian told him he's embarrassing himself as the same little dork from when he was on ECW before. Swagger told Christian to tell Yoshi he's steam-rolling him tonight, then Christian is his at the Rumble. Swagger smirked at both men, then walked off. "What a jackass," Yoshi said in broken English. Christian confirmed with a nod.
"Marine 2" plug: More filler content, as Josh Mathews suggested folks wait to do their holiday shopping after Christmas for Ted DiBiase's new movie coming out next Tuesday. Roll a trailer on the movie. I don't anticipate this doing well in sales compared to other WWE movies on DVD (direct-to-DVD or DVD releases of theatrical releases) due to the movie not having much of a "personality" to grab viewers. It hasn't been incorporated into WWE storylines to give the movie some life and viewers are just going to tune out this trailer because it looks so much like every other action/military movie trailer ever produced.
Next week: Evan Bourne and Matt Hardy will be in separate ECW Homecoming qualifying matches. Already qualified: Jackson, Kane, Archer, and...
3 -- YOSHI TATSU vs. JACK SWAGGER -- ECW Homecoming qualifying match
Swagger started with amateur holds to ground Yoshi on the mat. He followed with some clubbing forearms to the back, then fed his knee to Yoshi for a quick roll-up attempt for a two count. Yoshi followed with a kick attempt, but Swagger grabbed his leg and rammed him into the corner to inflict punishment. Swagger then applied a hammerlock to work over the elbow. Yoshi fought out, but Swagger knocked him back to the mat and went back to the mat with submission holds. Swagger then teased the gutwrench bomb, but Yoshi slipped out and teased his finisher, but Swagger bailed to the corner. Yoshi stood his ground in a fighting stance as Swagger recovered and caught his breath.
Back from break, Swagger was still in control as the crowd tried to rally up Yoshi with a "Yoshi" chant. Swagger silenced that with a belly-to-back side suplex for a two count before executing a belly-to-belly suplex. Steiner...er...Swagger did push-ups to taunt Yoshi before delivering a clubbing forearm to the back. Swagger then went back to work on the shoulder with another mat hold.
[Q5 -- over-run]
At the top of the hour, Yoshi broke free, but Swagger nailed him in the back and continued to inflict punishment with forearms. Yoshi tried to come back with kicks, but Swagger responded with a kick strike to the mid-section. Swager then missed with a clothesline and Yoshi suddenly had a burst of energy to deliver a bunch of dropkicks that rendered Swagger's back work meaningless. Yoshi then hit a wheelbarrow bulldog drop ala Rey Mysterio for a two count. Yoshi followed with his rolling kick strike attempt, but Swagger ducked. Yoshi then wanted a corner attack and he elbowed Swagger off the top before hitting a spin kick for a two count. Swagger came back with a running Vader Bomb in the corner, but Yoshi grabbed the bottom rope to block a three count. Swagger argued with the ref, then slowly approached Yoshi, who blasted him out of nowhere with the buzzsaw kick for the pin and the win. And everyone dance. Yoshi is going to Homecoming.
WINNER: Yoshi Tatsu in 14:00. Back-to-back nights where Swagger had plenty of offense in long-form matches, but ultimately lost. Going back to Superstars five days ago, that's three losses in five days in long-form matches. As for the match, it had a strong finish, but Yoshi no-selling all of Swagger's back and shoulder work early in the match was frustrating. It felt like a complete waste of seven minutes watching Swagger methodically work the body parts before Yoshi shook it off and he was completely fine. It's one of those frustrating things about long-form WWE matches - the "Batista babyface formula match" - where the early match work doesn't come into play at the end. (**)
Close: The show closed with Yoshi celebrating and a look at the ECW HC qualifiers: Vance, Jackson, Kane, and Yoshi with four spots remaining.
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