TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 11/11: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of WWE's Sci-Fi show featuring Hardy vs. Finlay
Nov 11, 2008 - 9:00:30 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
ECW on Sci-Fi TV Report
November 11, 2008 - Year 3, Week 23 (Week 127 overall)
Taped in Manchester, U.K.
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
The show started with a tribute to Veteran's Day to promote an enduring peace. Glory Glory Hallelujah played in the background.
Transition into the ECW opening with lots of pyro, then John Morrison's music hit. Matt Striker called him seductive, controversial, and the head master of hedonism. Ah, it's been a long seven days since hearing the sweet sounds of Striker describing "entertainment." The Miz then came out as his tag partner, followed by Jack Swagger to some new "Rage Against the Machine" type theme music. Out as the opposition, Cryme Tyme and Tommy Dreamer. JTG had some 3D-movie/Koko B. Ware sunglasses on tonight.
1 -- CRYME TYME (JTG & SHAD GASPAR) & TOMMY DREAMER vs. THE MIZ & JOHN MORRISON & JACK SWAGGER
After Swagger bailed from Dreamer, Striker went for Al Franken right off the bat, saying you don't send a funny man to do a serious job. JTG then dropped the "Timbs to the chin," as Striker called it, by landing a dropkick to Swagger's jaw. I'm glad I bailed on Timberland stock a few months ago before the price dropped like a rock. In any event, Shad dumped Swagger to the floor, then Shad clotheslined Miz and Morrison to the floor. Crowd pumped. Babyfaces in control. Shad then press-slammed JTG over the top rope onto Swagger. Dreamer followed with a cannonball dive onto JoMizzy on the floor to cap the first-half of the match before grabbing a break.
Back from break, the heels were shockingly in control. Striker went back to the politics on saying the voters got something right with Prop 8 in California. JTG finally escaped Morrison's grasp at 9:00 to make the hot tag to Dreamer, who cleaned house. Dreamer landed a bulldog on Miz, then took Morrison down with a pumphandle overhead slam for a two count. The action broke down, then Dreamer walked into the Moonlight Driver corkscrew neckbreaker after attempting a DDT. Morrison with the cover for the win.
WINNERS: Miz & Morrison & Swagger in 10:00. Nice way to get Miz & Morrison back in the game after the DX loss last Monday night. Good action to open the show. (*1/2)
Announcers: Grisham and Striker brought in ECW champion Matt Hardy for a promo from backstage. Hardy warned Finlay that he's in for the fight of his life tonight. He said he hopes Finlay brings all the tricks in his bag to the match tonight because when it's all said and done, he will still be ECW champion. At least he indirectly referenced Hornswoggle's constant interference and made a strong babyface comment that he can handle everything Finlay has to offer.
Video package: Time for a repeat of the John Cena Rough Cut video package from Raw. ... Striker and Grisham then broke down the Survivor Series card, including Jericho vs. Cena for the World Title.
In-ring: Somebody's about to get their wig split, which means Mark Henry is on his way to the ring. Oliver Biney was already in the ring for a squash.
2 -- MARK HENRY (w/Tony Atlas) vs. OLIVER BINEY
The local product, Oliver, took a beating before succumbing to the World's Strongest Slam in center ring for the easy pin. After a replay of the squash, Grisham found himself in the ring to chat with Henry. Henry didn't care to offer an opinion on who's winning Hardy vs. Finlay tonight. Henry then giggled in Grisham's direction before leaving the ring in a huff.
WINNER: Henry in 1:00. Nice, effective squash, followed by a great "what did you just say?" look from Henry toward Grisham. (n/a)
Tale of the Tape: Hardy and Finlay both check in right about 6'2" and 235 lbs. ... A video package aired on the Eddie Guerrero DVD that came out today. Stay tuned for our 25 day coverage of this DVD that will be announced on the site tomorrow.
25 minutes before the top of the hour, Finlay and Hornswoggle came to the ring for the ECW Title match. Here we go. Strong reception for the Irishman Finlay in the U.K. Matt Hardy then came out to an equally strong reaction to defend the gold. We're getting the formal ring intros tonight, with Tony Chimel setting the stage. Polite response to Finlay and a bit of a mix for Hardy.
3 -- ECW champion MATT HARDY vs. FINLAY (w/Hornswoggle) -- ECW Title match
Great start to this with a collar and elbow tie-up, followed by an exchange of headlocks. Striker set the stage by saying the last European to hold a major World's title was Austria's Otto Wanz holding the AWA Title in 1982. Of note, Wanz held the belt from Aug. 29, 1982 to Oct. 9, 1982 in between Hulk Hogan and Nick Bockwinkel reigns. Hardy then heeled on Finlay by tossing Finlay over the top rope to the floor. Under the old NWA-WCW rules, we have a quick DQ. Finlay then sent Hornswoggle scurrying under the ring while he regrouped. Time for a break.
Back from break, Hardy was working over Finlay before nailing a bulldog for a nearfall. Suddenly, Hornswoggle hopped up on the apron. He tried to avoid the distraction, then Finlay rammed Hardy into the ringpost causing Hornswoggle to fall off the apron. Hornswoggle sold a right knee injury, then Finlay checked on his "son" before returning to a beating on Hardy. The action spilled back to the outside where Finlay landed a short-arm clothesline near where Horny was recovering. At 11:00, Hardy shoved Finlay off the ring steps, sending Finlay crashing into the guardrail. Finlay came right back with another short-arm clothesline, then they grabbed another break with both men fighting on the floor.
They returned from break with Finlay pinning Hardy...okay...not really. But, that would be something if a pinfall occurred during the long commercial break to make this seem more realistic. In any event, Hornswoggle waved off the trainers during the break. Hardy then came back on Finlay with the side effect for a close call to a chorus of boos. Hardy with another side effect for another two count. Hardy wanted a third, but Finlay escaped into a roll-up for a two count. He then nailed the rolling gut buster (Grisham called it the Celtic Cross), but Hardy kicked out in two. Hardy then went up top for a moonsault and he connected for a close two count.
At 20:00, Finlay and Hardy knocked heads and Finlay fell on top of Hardy, but Hardy put his foot on the bottom rope to break the count. Finlay then slowly picked up Hardy, who suddenly surprised Finlay with the Twist of Fate in center ring. Hardy made the cover and scored the pin for the win. Afterward, Hardy celebrated and Striker called it a Match of the Year candidate in his opinion. Finlay then stood up and shook Hardy's hand before giving him a bow. Hardy celebrated one more time before they embraced with a hug to close the show.
WINNER: Hardy in 21:00 to retain the ECW Title. The two long commercial breaks in the middle of the match knocked it down slightly, but this was still a very good ECW Title match. Finlay, as the veteran hand in the ring, kept a great pace for the match, while Hardy played his role effectively as the confident champion in the challenger's near-hometown turf. Very smart match with good commentary from Grisham and Striker to boot. (***1/4)
We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for an "ECW Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on ECW TV, click here.
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