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TV REPORTS
CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 9/22: Complete coverage of Christian vs. Zack Ryder

Sep 22, 2009 - 10:10:58 PM
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WWE - ECW on SyFy TV Report
September 22, 2009 - Year 4, Week 16 (Week 172 overall)
Taped in Tulsa, Okla.
By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor


The WWE show started with the usual ECW video package rolling into heavy plugs for ECW champ Christian vs. Zack Ryder for the ECW Title tonight. But, first, we start with a little drumroll...

On-stage: Tony Atlas welcomed us to the Abraham Washington Show. Oh wonderful. He did his annoying intro and Arsenio Hall hand pump. Someone in the crowd had a fog horn to interject noise in-between sentences. Arsenio said his guest tonight is from Ireland and he vows to become ECW champ eventually. Out came Sheamus sporting a slick look with the derby with the dress clothes.

Washington sat down with Sheamus on the couch to say things just got much more whiter up in here. Washington with more "Sheamus is a pale white man" jokes. Sheamus said it's great to be on the set of Sanford and Son. Wow, that's a dated reference. WWE Universe was like "huh?" Sheamus was asked about his feud with Shelton Benjamin. Sheamus said he did all the work in the tag team with Shelton. Atlas interjected his Fat Albert laugh, which agitated Sheamus. Sheamus dropped the derby and looked like a little kid with his hair wiped down across his forehead.

Abraham then brought out Shelton Benjamin for a little confrontation. Washington with another dated joke that this isn't the Jerry Springer show. Washington joked about Shelton's bleach-blonde hair. He asked Shelton if he's going to let Sheamus get away with his threats. Shelton first said he can't believe Washington hasn't been canceled yet. Crowd reacted for the first time. Shelton went back to insulting another man's country by saying Sheamus must not understand team work in Ireland. Sheamus said Shelton must come from a place where he cheats to get ahead. Crowd booed. Shelton then said he found Sheamus's family lineage. Videotron showed photos of Carrot Top, Bozo, Wendy's, and Ronald McDonald. Wow. Just wow. Sheamus then got in Shelton's face and there was waaaaay too much cross talk. Too many loud noises!!! It was like that horrible Mayweather vs. Big Show talking segment before WrestleMania 24 where there was too much noise in a live vs. video promo exchange. Finally, Sheamus attacked Shelton and they brawled over the couch until security intervened to break them up.

Backstage: After a plug of Christian vs. Ryder, they showed Yoshi Tatsu walking backstage for a match. Matt Striker called him one of ECW's newest superstars. So are Tyler Reks, Abraham, and Sheamus since they all debuted on the same show. Lame description of Yoshi. "Most accomplished" or "biggest fan favorite" from the New Talent Initiative would have been more descriptive and provided some relevant info the audience.

[Commercial Break]

[Q2]

In-ring: Paul Burchill and Katie Lea came to the ring for the opening match. Katie back on the show after an absence last week. Announcers talked up Burchill's quest to reveal The Hurricane's split identity, then Yoshi Tatsu came to the ring sporting his Misawa emerald green trunks.

1 -- PAUL BURCHILL (w/Katie Lea Burchill) vs. YOSHI TATSU

Yoshi blocked an early shoulderblock attempt with a big chest block, then he knocked Burchill to the outside and followed with a plancha. Back in the ring, Burchill crotched Yoshi on the top turnbuckle before executing a nice superfisherman's buster suplex. Both men sold the effects before Burchill went back on the attack. Burchill shot Yoshi off the ropes, then executed a Samoan Drop for a two count. New move in the arsenal. Yoshi then made his comeback at 4:00 and nailed a top rope spin kick for a close two count that the crowd thought was three. Burchill waited out Yoshi's sudden burst, then came off the turnbuckle with a double knee smash for a close two count. Burchill, frustrated, thought he had three. He then walked into a big roundhouse kick strike to the head and Yoshi scored the pin and the win.

WINNER: Yoshi in 6:00. Nice little singles match. Yoshi is developing very nicely and connecting with the audience more and more each week. Burchill looked fine and continues to develop his persona in the ring. They're just building and building with Burchill. The loss here doesn't mean much in the long-term. (*3/4)

Announcers: Striker was dancing to Yoshi's wild theme music. That wasn't awkward or anything. Josh Mathews and Striker then recapped last week's battle royal to show Zack Ryder eliminating Tommy Dreamer to win the title shot tonight.

Backstage: New backstage interviewer Angela Fong brought in Zack Ryder to talk about tonight being the biggest night of his career. Ryder said he doesn't squander opportunities and he earned this opportunity. (Hm... WWE is upset someone squandered an opportunity.) Ryder talked confidently about his chances tonight and walked off feeling good about himself.

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Paul Burchill and Katie Lea were running down the hallway, then Burchill stomped off looking to have a word with someone. Gregory Helms then walked into the camera shot to talk to Katie about her match tonight. Katie told him to go away, then Burchill jumped Helms from behind and smashed him into the floor. Burchill told Katie to stay away from him.

In-ring: William Regal led Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson to the ring. Dustin Brady and Brandon Young were already in the ring ready to be eaten. Dustin Brady's actual identity being Dustin Starr.

[Q3]

2 -- EZEKIEL JACKSON & KOZLOV vs. DUSTIN BRADY STARR & BRANDON YOUNG

Jackson and Kozlov were true gentlemen slowly tagging in and out to wear down their over-matched opponents. Dustin was left in the ring to take a beating as Regal's men continued to get in as much offense as possible. Dustin took Jackson's uranage and Jackson scored the pin for the win. Brandon wanted to check on his fallen friend post-match, but Kozlov gave him the Iron Curtain uranage for good measure. Regal's Ruthless Roundtable stood tall to close the match.

WINNERS: Kozlov & Jackson in 2:00. Basic reinforcement of the tag team with their "we're not in a hurry" methodical attack on their opponents. Just fine. (n/a)

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Striker and Mathews plugged the Hell in a Cell PPV line-up.

Backstage: Regal and his men walked up behind Goldust to talk about their match on Thursday night at Superstars. Goldust said he's looking forward to it. Regal said that's funny because he's not. He said he was kidding. Relax, Goldust, it's a joke, just like you. Goldust took offense and got in Regal's face, but Kozlov and Jackson stood up next to Regal. Regal said he'll be watching this joke of an ECW Title match because he's the only one worthy of being ECW champion.

Smackdown Rebound: Look at that, a SD Rebound rather than Raw from last night. They showed Teddy Long explaining the deal where he screwed The Undertaker at Breaking Point. Long had a pre-plan to prevent Taker from becoming World champ. Long said he felt real bad. He wanted to apologize to Taker. They showed Long going into his limo, but Taker was the driver. "Buckle up, Teddy...it's the law." The limo filled with smoke before it slowly drove away and disappeared. ..... Back to the broadcast, Striker said they'll find out what happened to Long on Smackdown this week.

Backstage: They showed ECW champ Christian getting himself ready for the ECW Title defense. He tossed the ECW Title belt over his shoulder and began walking down the hallway with a determined look on his face. I get the feeling Regal involvement is coming here.

[Commercial Break. Another local ad aired for the Smackdown/ECW taping in Houston this December. Punk, Jericho, and Rey were focused on.]

[Q4]

In-ring: ECW champion Christian came out first for the ECW Title defense. Striker said Christian elected to be announced first. Zack Ryder then came out cruising with the top down and listening to the radio. Ryder much more focused in his ring intro. Nice touch creating a big match feel to this. Justin Roberts handled the formal ring intros. Boos for Ryder, of course. Christian with the big cheers and WWE with the strategically-placed camera shots of the interested women and kids.

3 -- ECW champion CHRISTIAN vs. ZACK RYDER -- ECW Title match

Striker drew attention to Ryder getting serious by dropping the headband for the match. Ryder lightly chest-slapped Christian in the corner, then he slowly backed away and Christian pimp-slapped him. Created a lot of noise in the arena. Ryder became infuriated and Christian nearly pinned him in the process. Christian informed him just as much by doing the "this close" finger motion. Ryder then went to work with an attack on Christian to ground him on the mat. Christian shook it off, then knocked Ryder to the floor. He followed with a running splash off the turnbuckle to the floor.

Back in the ring, Christian slowly went to the second rope for a move, but Ryder yanked him down to the mat. Ryder then stomped away on Christian, who sold an injury to the back of his head. Ryder in control going to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Christian elbowed out of a rear waistlock, but Ryder knocked him down and made a cover for a two count. Ryder tried to attack him off the ropes, but Christian nailed a dropkick. The action moved to the apron where Ryder shoved Christian down onto the ring steps on the floor. Back in the ring, Ryder quickly went to a body scissors to work over Christian's now-injured ribs. Christian broke free with successive body shots, but Ryder kneed him in the gut and scored a two count on a pin attempt. Ryder worked over Christian some more, but Christian blocked a second-rope move with a flapjack center ring.

[Q5 -- over-run]

At the top of the hour at 10:00, Christian made a full comeback before a hot crowd. Christian wanted a pendulum kick, but Ryder blocked. Ryder wanted his finisher, but Christian ducked and nailed a fist strike for a two count. He followed with a top rope dropkick and wanted a second, but Ryder ducked underneath. Ryder missed with the Zack Attack, then Christian launched Ryder into the top turnbuckle. Christian followed with a sunset flip powerbomb attempt, but Ryder sat down on Christian for a close two count. Ryder missed in the corner on the follow-up and Christian hit another missile dropkick for a two count. Crowd is fully engaged here.

Both men gasped for air, then Ryder avoided the Killswitch and tried chucking Christian to the floor. Christian ran back into the ring for a dropkick attempt, though, and Ryder ducked. Ryder then hit his running sweeping leg drop for another two count. Ryder, frustrated, almost walked into the Killswitch, but Ryder ducked and went for a pin with his feet on the ropes that Christian kicked out of. Christian then slingshot Ryder into the top turnbuckle and went to the second rope for a flying European Uppercut. Christian then followed right up with the Killswitch and made the pin for the win at the climax of the crowd's involvement in the match.

WINNER: Christian in 13:00 to retain the ECW Title. Excellent TV title match. Both men were a little winded at the end, but you could almost see Christian taking leadership and telling Ryder to gut out the finish. Very nice finish at the peak of the crowd's interest in the match. Ryder was booked to look strong with several close nearfalls on his progression toward being considered a serious act. Christian is the right man on the ECW brand to elevate young talent in these situations. Definitely worth watching tonight's ECW for this match. (***1/2)

Post-match: William Regal's music hit to kill the fun in the arena. Here's Regal's involvement in the proceedings. Regal said now that this farce is done with, he will become #1 contender again. He said it's only a matter of time before he becomes ECW champ. Christian put an end to Regal's promo by knocking the mic out of Regal's hand. He punched him several times on the mat before rolling Regal to the outside. Christian stood tall with the ECW Title belt while Regal slowly backed away to close the show.

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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