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TV REPORTS
CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 6/30: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Dreamer & Christian vs. Kozlov & Regal

Jun 30, 2009 - 10:05:48 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor

WWE - ECW on Sci-Fi TV Report
June 30, 2009 - Year 4, Week 4 (Week 160 overall)
Fresno, Calif.


Last week, Dreamer & Christian faced Swagger & Henry in the TV main event. This week, they face Regal & Kozlov. ECW's roster might have been reshuffled but some things remain the same.

In-ring: The show opened with ECW GM Tiffany's theme music playing and Tiffany center ring. She welcomed us to another new era of ECW. More like "we got hosed and have to sell this as a big deal for ECW." Tiffany said the look and feel of the show has changed drastically. She excitedly talked about the New Superstar Initiative in full effect. Talented, new superstars are coming. Tiffany said they have an amazing show.

Cue up Shelton Benjamin's theme music. Shelton came out and looked around to check out his "new digs" on ECW. Out as his opponent from Developmental, Yoshi Tatsu. Shelton just laughed as Yoshi came out to the ring. Theme music was a generic Japanese TV infomercial. Before the match started, Shelton took the mic and slowly introduced himself as Gold Standard. "You pick wrong night to come here." Shelton with a faux Japanese accent here. He threatened to call Godzilla. Yoshi was annoyed. So should everyone else, but the WWE Universe laughed at Shelton's promo.

1 -- SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. YOSHI TATSU

Bell sounded and Shelton went around the ring mock bowing to the crowd to apparently mock the entire Japanese culture. Shelton did a praying mantis pose to mock Yoshi, who continued to be annoyed. Shelton then did a Sumo wrestling warm-up pose while laughing at the whole ordeal. Shelton did a deep bend, then Yoshi blasted Shelton in the face with a roundhouse kick. He covered Shelton for the pin and the win. Yoshi then bowed over Shelton, who slowly tried to put the pieces back together.

WINNER: Yoshi in 2:00 with 0:05 of action. That was quite possibly the worst, dumbest segment I've seen in a while on WWE TV. Well, at least since the Santina stuff. Managed to offend an entire culture right before touring there. I just don't get WWE's booking of Shelton. It's just another step backward moving to ECW. (n/a)

Main event plug: ECW champ Tommy Dreamer & Christian vs. Kozlov & Regal.

Backstage: They showed Abraham Washington walking own the hallway. Straight from developmental, he's bringing a new talk show with the Bella Twins. He was doing The Rock's mannerisms. Had to do a double-take it wasn't Ernest Miller.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Tony Chimel welcomed Abraham Washington making his ECW TV debut. Cue up a "Tonight Show" like theme music and theme on the HDtron. Abraham came to the ring to welcome us to the Abraham Washington show. Crowd booed him. They don't like new acts. He said he wants to speak about a few things in the WWE Universe before he gets to his guests. Washington with some terribly scripted lines. Cue up a "12 Rounds" line about a financial disaster. He said someone who would appreciate that line would be The Miz, unfortunately, he's hurting after losing twice to John Cena. Abraham segued to bringing out the Bella Twins.

[Q2]

Abraham sat down in his plush leather chair and the Bellas sat in the couch adjacent in the ring. Abraham asked them to introduce themselves since you can't tell them apart. Abraham with a "Will Ferrell as James Lipton" line of questioning. Bellas took offense to a question of their hair being fake. This particular line of questioning went on too long. Abraham asked about who came out of the womb first, who got better grades in school, who got the first kiss, who can do the better splits. Oh my gosh, please end this. Nikki and Brie exchanged words and teased a cat fight, then Abraham tried to get in the middle of it to calm them down. Bellas left, though, leaving Abraham on the couch. This was "blow your brains out to end the pain" horrible.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: With no pre-show vignettes or any type of introduction, Sheamus came out from Developmental. Pasty white doesn't begin to explain his look. Already in the ring was Oliver John, who wrestles for the NWA and may or may not be NWA champion. Sheamus took the mic and introduced himself. He said Irish traditions may be dead, but he's here to claim ECW as his own. Now we know why Finlay was moved off ECW.

2 -- SHEAMUS vs. OLIVER JOHN

A graphic flashed on the screen announcing next week with a special time of Thursday at 7:00 p.m. EST. Perhaps WWE is too embarrassed to actually draw attention to when next week's ECW TV is. Sheamus took it to Oliver early on as Matt Striker talked about Sheamus not following tradition of introducing himself to the boys in the back when he arrived. Sheamus cut off a brief comeback with a big bicycle kick. He followed with a Rock Bottom with a backbreaker for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Sheamus in 3:00. Sheamus was fine in his national TV debut, but it would help if WWE actually took the time to give these guys some pre-debut vignettes to introduce them to the audience. (*)

Backstage: Kozlov was warming up backstage. William Regal walked up to him and wanted to make sure he understood the game plan for tonight. Kozlov spoke Russian to explain he understood. Regal sneered. Kozlov shot him the wink and the gun to say he got it.

[Q3]

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Zack Ryder was checking himself out, then some dude walked in to talk to Ryder. He introduced himself as Taylor Reks. We'll just call him T-Rex. Ryder figured out that his opponent on Superstars is T-Rex then cut a promo on the "rookie" that he needs to get his fill of Avocado Rolls to be ready for their match. See, T-Rex is from Southern California and rides the waves like Lauriniatis rides a skateboard, but Ryder is from Long Island and thinks he has the best beaches. So, they're going to have a Beach Blast.

Raw Rebound: They took us back through last night's Raw focused on Batista as special host to set up Randy Orton for a whipping from Mark Henry.

Backstage: Christian was walking down the hallway with the "going to commercial" music, but Tommy Dreamer interrupted to make sure they're cool after Sunday when Dreamer retained the ECW Title. Christian said he's all good, but the problem is that he still wants to be ECW champion. Dreamer said this isn't the right timing. They have a match. He walked off and Christian sneered before following after him.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Kozlov came to the ring in a kickboxing outfit. He briefly smiled to the crowd on stage before stomping to the ring. Striker said Kozlov has had a bit of a smirk on his face because he knows he can do whatever he wants. No, that doesn't make the list of "Why Kozlov is smiling" from a few weeks ago. Regal's music hit. Mathews simply exclaimed: "Yes!" Classic goofy moment in Mathews's broadcasting career. Tommy Dreamer came out with the ECW Title belt around his waist. Christian then came out in the arena that he made his WWE return.

[Q4]

3 -- ECW champion TOMMY DREAMER & CHRISTIAN vs. KOZLOV & WILLIAM REGAL

Christian and Regal started things off with an aggressive exchange of holds. Nice to see some physical action on the show. Dreamer and Kozlov then tagged in and Kozlov pounded Dreamer into the corner before landing body blows. Dreamer landed a kick to the chest before delivering some right hand blows. He hit a cross body block, then pulled the top rope down to send Kozlov to the floor. Christian tagged in, then flew through the ropes with a dropkick. He teased a top rope splash, but Regal ran over to guard Kozlov and prevent a highspot. Cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Regal had Dreamer in a reverse chinlock wearing down the champ. Kozlov then tagged in and landed multiple elbow smashes, mixing in grunts for added effect. Christian took a hot tag at 8:00 and cleaned house on Regal before going to the second rope for a missile dropkick. Christian tried a sunset flip pin, but Regal kicked out. Regal then cut Christian off with a slingshot smash across the top rope focused on the shoulder. Kozlov then tagged in and started focusing on the left shoulder. Regal and Kozlov exchanged tags to work over Christian's shoulder for a while.

[Q5 -- over-run]

Dreamer finally took a hot tag at 13:00 and came in hot on Kozlov with a flying shoulder tackle. Dreamer teased a DDT on Kozlov, but opted for a neckbreaker for a two count. Meanwhile, Regal and Christian battled on the outside with Regal throwing Christian into the ring steps. Regal then tagged himself in and Dreamer flung him into the ring. Dreamer with a small package, but Regal kicked out. Dreamer missed with a corner smash and ate the ringpost. Regal followed with an exploder suplex, but Kozlov blind-tagged in as Regal was setting up a finish. Kozlov then entered the ring and gave Dreamer the Iron Curtain slam for the pin and the win.

Post-match: Regal clapped for Kozlov, who smiled his Kozlov smile. Kozlov saluted himself, then Regal walked over to Kozlov for a handshake. Regal not showing any frustration with Kozlov stealing the pin from him. A minute or two after the finish, Striker apparently got a bug in his ear to remind viewers that Kozlov just pinned the ECW champion. Hint hint. Regal and Kozlov shared another few celebration moments as Regal looked a little too longingly at Kozlov to close the show.

WINNERS: Kozlov & Regal in 15:00. Good, physical match-up. Had some rough moments throughout, but it was nice to see some actual wrestling action on the show. Apparently Regal killed Christian on the outside before the finish, as Christian completely disappeared at the end. Dreamer vs. Kozlov coming soon. Great. So concludes a very rough episode of ECW TV. Lots of growing pains coming up and they didn't even bother to verbally plug next week's show on Thursday night. Too embarrassed to point that out, apparently. (**)

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for an "ECW TV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on ECW TV, email to pwtorch@gmail.com using our Feedback form.


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