TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 10/20: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Chris Jericho making a cameo
Oct 20, 2009 - 10:10:00 PM
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October 20, 2009 - Year 4, Week 20 (Week 176 overall)
Taped in Columbia, S.C.
By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
The WWE show started with Abraham Washington standing backstage with Tony Atlas over his shoulder. Abraham said he is the host of the show. He said Raw isn't the only show that can be hosted by a talented black man. Suddenly, someone flashed across the screen. The music stopped. Chris Jericho was on the show. Whoa, Jericho on ECW. Jericho wants to know where the GM office is. Abraham directed him over there, but wanted to get him on the Ham show sometime. Jericho smirked and said he's sure Abraham would. He walked off. Abraham didn't recognize the rejection. "Hehaaa, I think that's a no," Atlas said.
Of note, if you checked WWE's website throughout the day leading up to the show, you wouldn't even know ECW has a show tonight. No hyped matches or even a "hey, watch ECW tonight" advertisement. Even the dedicated ECW TV page on WWE's website has nothing on the show. Anyways, on with the regular ECW TV intro. ECW announcer Josh Mathews welcomed us to WWE Universe where WWE is trying to find which brand is supreme on Sunday. And it's not ECW.
In-ring: Yoshi Tatsu came out for an announced ECW Title qualifying match. Zack Ryder was out next. Apparently this is one-on-one. William Regal not in the picture. ECW champ Christian nowhere to be found yet. Let's get the bell.
1 -- YOSHI TATSU vs. ZACK RYDER -- #1 contender match
Yoshi scored an early nearfall in the match as the crowd chanted his name. Yoshi, of note, was sporting red trunks representing the colors of Japan rather than the emerald green representing NOAH. Ryder knocked Yoshi to the floor and kicked him in the gut a few times before bringing the attack back into the ring. Matt Striker interjected that Ryder went back to the gym during the week to prepare for a faster, quick Yoshi. From a kayfabe perspective, according to what Striker said, if Ryder knew he had a match this week against Yoshi, then why didn't WWE advertise this match - or any match - ahead of time? Odd lack of promotion for tonight's show. Yoshi made a comeback at 4:00 with fast kicks before nailing an enziguiri kick from the corner for a two count. Yoshi called for the end and went up, but Ryder blocked and teased a superplex. Suddenly, both men fell awkwardly off the top turnbuckle down to the floor below. Both men down going to break. [Commercial Break] Back from break, they exchanged control until Yoshi scored a surprise pin on Ryder to win the match and become #1 contender. So, it will be teacher vs. student for the title at a time to be determined.
WINNER: Yoshi in 10:00 to become #1 contender. Solid match. Ryder didn't lose too much in the defeat, as Yoshi is hot right now and being built up as a future ECW brand star. Ryder just needs a definitive program after the PPV to keep his own personal momentum after being interjected into ECW the main event situation. (**)
Backstage: Rosa Mendes introduced herself to ECW GM Tiffany, then Jericho barged in. Jericho wanted to scout talent for Bragging Rights. Tiffany told him to get lost and not invade her show. Jericho sneered and walked off.
[Commercial Break. They had a semi-cool Smackdown vs. Raw video game commercial featuring Kelly Kelly and John Cena set in a kitchen leading to clips from the game. Unique commercial.]
Backstage: William Regal was talking to Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson - more like complaining about Yoshi winning a #1 contender shot before him. Chris Jericho walked in to compare suit threads. Perhaps Jericho is familiar with reading the Emperor's New Clothes to his children. He complained about the ECW GM not allowing him to scout for talent for Bragging Rights. He said he would take Regal's men over Cryme Tyme any day of the week. ECW GM Tiffany interrupted to interrupt the collusion. She told Jericho to get lost. Jericho said he's sick of her attitude. Do you know who I am? Jericho said he can go on any show and do whatever he wants to do since he's Unified tag champ. Tiffany paused and said Jericho is right. Since he's here already, he's not just going to watch the action, but be part of the action. And he'll be up against the best ECW has to offer, ECW champion Christian. Whoa, Jericho vs. Christian on free TV with no build-up. I'm not complaining about the bonus match, but you can't just give that away without pre-match hype.
In-ring: Sheamus came to the ring for a match-up. Already in the ring was T.J. Perkins a/k/a Puma. They're billing him as J.T. Quinn. No sign of Marty Jannetty to run him off tonight.
2 -- SHEAMUS vs. J.T. QUINN
Wow, Striker actually referred to Perkins as Puma after the opening bell. Striker earned some brownie points there. Sheamus had Perkins pinned twice, but he pulled off a pin to rile up the audience. Suddenly, Shelton Benjamin stormed the ring in street clothes to begin a brawl. Benjamin smashed Sheamus to the outside. Striker referenced Shelton in his home state tonight. Shelton, energized, blasted Sheamus with a German suplex and Sheamus bailed to the outside as Shelton told him to get back in the ring and get some.
WINNER: Perkins/Quinn/Puma via DQ in 2:00. Awesome attack by Shelton, who showed uncharacteristic fire. Well done to continue this feud with massive potential. (n/a)
Video package: They recapped the history of John Cena vs. Randy Orton with the video package that aired on Raw last night. Announcers then broke down the PPV line-up for Sunday.
Backstage: They cut to a shot of ECW champ Christian warming up. He picked up his ECW Title belt as his music played in the background. Match is not up next despite the plug...
In-ring: Paul Burchill came to the ring in street clothes along with Katie Lea. ECW announcers narrated clips from last week when Burchill finally beat The Hurricane last week. Burchill said Gregory Helms has been perpetuating a fraud on WWE fans for years. Meanwhile, he has been pushed aside despite being a good, sound athlete who stands for family values. Burchill said American fans are apparently so desperate for a hero that they will cheer a "tart in his underoos who rescues cats from trees." Burchill thanked himself for exposing and eliminating the fraud known as The Hurricane. He demanded Gregory Helms come down to the ring to unmask in front of all the fans and admit Burchill is the better man.
Hurricane's theme music played and Hurricane walked out with his head lowered in shame. Sounds like something straight out of a comic book. Hurricane continued to lower his head on the way into the ring. Burchill said he should be hanging his head because he should feel guilty about his lies. Burchill told Hurricane to take off the mask and set himself free. Hurricane removed the mask and handed it over to Burchill. The person then raised his head and it wasn't Helms. Hurricane's music hit again, then Burchill kicked the fraud in the stomach and dumped him to the floor. Suddenly, Hurricane Helms stormed the ring from behind and attacked Burchill with a stick from behind. Well, that was an honorable babyface move attacking Burchill from behind. Burchill then bailed to the floor to retreat from Hurricane Helms, who told him to come get some back in the ring. The feud continues.
Up next: Christian vs. Jericho. Just a thought: Abraham Washington hasn't been much of a guest host tonight.
In-ring: Chris Jericho's music hit coming out of the break. No sign of Jericho. After a few anxious seconds thinking we were getting a bait & switch like last night on Raw, Jericho emerged with the tag belts ready to wrestle. Striker referenced Jericho as the first-ever Unified champion of the modern era. He stood in the ring surveying the crowd as Striker talked about how special it is to have Jericho on ECW tonight. Christian's music hit and he came out on stage showing off the ECW Title belt. Battle of the spray tans tonight. Striker wondered if Christian has Yoshi Tatsu in the back of his mind after Yoshi's victory earlier. As Christian finished his ring intro, Striker thankfully talked up their history going back to their last match-up six years ago. Sure has been a long time. And yet no pre-match hype? WWE is up against the New York Yankees in the playoffs tonight and they didn't hype this match, which could compete for viewers. So odd.
3 -- ECW champion CHRISTIAN vs. Unified tag champion CHRIS JERICHO -- non-title match
Bell sounded and Jericho bailed to the floor to make Christian sweat a little. Striker said both men are the longest-reigning champions in WWE after their respective title victories at Night of Champions in July. And Striker is wrong with that statement. Michelle McCool has been Women's champion since The Bash in June. Jericho was on the offensive and took a while trying to set up the Lionsault, so Christian smashed him to the outside. Jericho followed with a baseball slide kick through the ropes to KO Jericho on the floor. Christian in control going to break.
Back from break, Jericho was in control. Striker referenced "Lionheart" Chris Jericho and talked about the things Jericho, Dean Malenko, and Eddie Guerrero on Nitro that got people talking back in the 1990s. Striker is just in heaven tonight talking about his wrestling fandom. Jericho did some damage to Christian on the floor, then cupped his ear to the crowd as they booed and cat-called him. Back in the ring, Christian went to work on Christian, who came back with a hard slap to the ear that sounded pretty good via the acoustic enhancement trick from Christian. Jericho shook it off, then stood on Christian's back and choked Christian across the bottom rope. Jericho went to a reverse chinlock as the crowd rallied behind Christian approaching the top of the hour.
[Q5 -- over-run]
Jericho cupped his ear to the crowd again as he surveyed the damage on Christian. He then went for the Lionsault, but Christian moved. Ref Charles Robinson delivered time cues to both men as they recovered to their feet and the wrestlers started building to the finish. Christian wanted the Killswitch, but Jericho ducked only to take a drop toe hold into the bottom rope. Christian then did his move that Jericho stole earlier in the match by standing on the back to choke Jericho across the middle rope. Christian with an ill-advised top rope move, but Jericho countered with the Walls of Jericho. Christian escaped, though, and rolled up Jericho for a two count. Jericho then hit a step-up enziguiri kick for a two count. Striker said he loves this stuff. Jericho wanted a bulldog, but Christian hit his fallaway reverse DDT for a two count. Christian wanted the Killswitch, but Jericho ducked down and tried the Walls. Christian blocked, so Jericho catapulted him into the corner.
Christian then flipped over Jericho with a sunset flip attempt that Jericho countered into the Walls of Jericho. Young male college students in the crowd on the front few rows were hot wanting Christian to tap out. Christian teased a tap out, but he reached the bottom rope for a break. Christian then ducked a charging tackle against the ropes and Christian nailed the Killswitch. Christian slowly rolled over Jericho and made the cover for the pin and the win. Arena was hot for the finish as the wrestlers reached the climax with the crowd ready for the finish at the right moment. That's the art form right there.
WINNER: Christian in 15:00. Excellent TV match. Didn't quite kick into the next gear until 12:00, but the final three minutes were great. They didn't even have to resort to the multiple super-close, well-timed nearfalls ala the Jericho-Rey Mysterio series of matches to get the crowd hot for the finish. Just two pros going at it. If the time comes for Christian to move to another brand, he'll have this "one up" on Jericho to play up to begin a feud. Nice to see Jericho put over Christian clean to close the show. Well done all around. (***1/2)
Post-match: Announcers plugged Christian vs. Yoshi for the ECW Title next week. Should be good.
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