July 9, 2008
ECW: Tony Atlas makes an impact
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling

Tonight on ECW on Sci-Fi: WWE Hall of Famer Tony Atlas makes a strong impact in the main event, while ECW's New Superstar Initiative continues at the expense of Armando Estrada. Should be a good one!

And we are "LIVE!" from Baton Rouge, La. Mike Adamle and "The Tazz" are our hosts. This show is presented in WWEHD (TV-PG,V).

We are joined by the WWE Tag Team Champions John Morrison and The Miz. What a way to kick off ECW! Adamle immediately claims Morrison and Miz are "too cool for school."

They start out by proclaiming how great they are, punctuating it with a dual "Be jealous." They start complaining about lack of competition and how cool they are but are interrupted by Finlay.

Finlay says no one came to the arena to listen to them run their mouths. Instead, someone needs to shut their mouths and he starts to come to the ring. Of course, Hornswaggle shows up behind them and starts squirting them with a squirt gun. The champs chase Hornswaggle around the ring where Morrison eats a Shillelagh shot to the gut while Miz narrowly escapes. If there was a point to that, I must've missed it.

(Ads)

Match #1 - Finlay (Belfast, Northern Ireland) vs. The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio)

Back from break and this match is already in progress, as Adamle informs us that "ECW Manager" Teddy Long made this match during the break.

Finlay dominates until a brief distraction by Morrison allows Miz to knock Finlay off the apron and onto the floor. Miz follows up on the outside and rams Finlay's shoulder into the ring apron. Back inside, Miz continues to work on the shoulder with a shoulder lock. Even though Finlay escapes, Miz continues to work the shoulder ruthlessly.

Finlay finally starts to gain some momentum but only gets two after a big flurry. Morrison tries to work some magic with the stolen Shillelagh, only to be disposed of by Hornswaggle. Hornswaggle enters the ring, where he's rag-dolled by Miz, but while chasing Hornswaggle, Miz runs right into the Celtic Cross.

Winner via pinfall: Finlay

Theodore Long is backstage with Tiffany, who has an idea before being interrupted by former GM Armando Estrada, who asks for his job back. He says he continually has to jump through hoops. In comes another new ECW superstar, who introduces himself to Estrada with a knock-knock joke. Oh yes. It's true.

(Ads)

Match #2 - Armando Estrada (Havana, Cuba) vs. Braden Walker (Fort Wright, Ky.)

The Tazz says his sources have said good things about Walker.

This will be the second week in a row that Estrada will face a new superstar, as he battled the newly christened "Ricky" Ortiz last week (note name change).

Estrada holds Walker down for much of the early part of the match, keeping the big man grounded through the early going. Estrada charges into a big boot in the corner and Walker goes to the top and hits a flying crossbody for the uno, dos, adios.

Winner via pinfall: Braden Walker

I'm all for new superstars to change things up, but could they at least give us some reason to care about these guys going in?

Backstage, Long runs into WWE Hall of Famer Tony Atlas. Long offers Atlas the chance to be the ring announcer for the main event. Long exits and in comes ECW Champion Mark Henry and they exchange pleasantries before Henry walks away from a departing handshake.

(Ads)

Random Diva is backstage with one of ECW's newest members, Atlas Ortiz. He insists she call him Ricky. Since he won, he is now undefeated. Yep, we got a smart one on our hands here.

Tony Atlas runs into Tommy Dreamer backstage. Dreamer recounts to Colin Delaney how Atlas helped him early out in his career. They exchange heartfelt pleasantries.

(Ads)

Match #3 - Nunzio (Rockland County, NY) vs. Evan Bourne (St. Louis, MO)

Hmmmmm. I wonder who's going to come out on top in this one. They show a pre-taped interview with Bourne, who says he defies the odds because he defies gravity.

Adamle tries to pump up Nunzio by says he was a two-time ECW Champion and a two-time ECW Tag Team Champion. The Tazz quickly puts him in his place about the fact that Nunzio actually had zero ECW title runs.

Nunzio hits a nice backbreaker off the bat, but Bourne fires up with some jumping knees and a jackknife pin, according to The Tazz, for two. Bourne hits a modified suplex that lays out Nunzio perfectly for the Shooting Star Press.

Winner via pinfall: Evan Bourne

Tony Atlas is again backstage and runs into Mark Henry again, who says old timers are all alike -- looking for a payday. Henry says if he's really looking for a payday, Henry will let him carry his bags after the show. Atlas says he'll think about it and walks away.

(Ads)

Match #4 - Mark Henry (Silsbee, Texas) vs. Tommy Dreamer (Yonkers, NY)

For those scoring at home, Dreamer is sporting a Great American Bash T-shirt tonight.

Henry dominates early. He goes to run off the ropes but is held by Delaney. Henry chases him down but is stopped by Tony Atlas. Atlas shockingly turns heel and runs Delaney into the announce table. Dreamer follows up but runs into the World's Strongest Slam. Referee Scott Armstrong calls for the bell, presumably for a double countout?

Well, Atlas announces Henry as the winner while Tazz muses about it being a double countout.

Atlas raises Henry's hand as we go off the air.

Well, I certainly didn't see that one coming, although I guess I should have thinking about what did transpire during the show. I just expected him to help Dreamer win, but I'd say we're looking at a long-term angle here.

Send Matt e-mail about ECW, wrestling, MMA or hockey at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. And if you're interested in mixed martial arts, check out Matt's weekly podcast -- Lights Out Radio. Should be a good one!.


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