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ECW: Hardy new #1 contender
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on ECW on Sci-Fi: "The World's Strongest Champion" needs a new contender for his ECW Championship. That will be determined tonight as Matt Hardy, Finlay, John Morrison and Finlay meet in a fatal four-way to find out who goes to SummerSlam. Should be a good one!

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

ECW General Manager Theodore Long is in the ring with what looks like a brand new ECW title. This one says "World Wrestling Entertainment ECW Champion" and is silver. If you're a fan of MMA, it kind of looks like any of the PRIDE Fighting Championships titles -- just not as classy. Long brings out the ECW Champion Mark Henry to get the new title.

Tony Atlas says they are proud to receive the title in the city where ECW began. Atlas says this is a new ECW. He says the old people will be swept under the rug and the people who evolve will be rewarded. With that, he brings out Colin Delaney, who turned on Tommy Dreamer at Sunday's Great American Bash.

Delaney says he turned on Dreamer because he was getting his butt kicked night-in and night-out. He achieved his dream of becoming a WWE superstar and became a laughingstock. He calls Dreamer a washed-up loser. Delaney says he's on-board with Henry and Atlas and will do everything for them, including carrying their bags. Long interrupts and books Delaney against Dreamer and, because this is Philly, it will start right now. Get us a referee!

Match #1 - Colin Delaney (Rochester, N.Y.) vs. Tommy Dreamer (Yonkers, N.Y.)

(Ads)

The referee rings the bell and Dreamer backs Delaney into a corner. Delaney tries to escape the ring but Dreamer catches him and slaps him to a loud chant of "ECW!"

Dreamer puts Delaney up in the Tree of Woe and hits the running dropkick. With Delaney begging off, Dreamer hits the DDT for the three count. When was the last time Dreamer won a match on TV?

Winner via pinfall: Tommy Dreamer

Morrison and Miz are backstage talking about how Sunday will be known as "Black Sunday" for their loss without even being pinned. They then go on to wish each good luck in the fatal four way tonight.

(Ads)

Chavo Guerrero and Bam Neely are sauntering their way down to the ring. Guerrero will join Adamle and The Tazz on commentary for the following match.

Match #2 - Evan Bourne (St. Louis, MO.) vs. James Curtis (Rockford, Ill.)

Perennial ECW jobber James Curtis is back!

Bourne tries for an armbar but Curtis gets to the ropes. Bourne is just working Curtis over, but a slight mistake opens things up for Curtis for some punches and kicks. Curtis hits a back suplex for two. Curtis works a chin lock but Bourne gets out. Bourne hits some high kicks and a leaping back kick to the face for two. And just like that, Bourne lines Curtis up for the Shooting Star Press and that's all she wrote.

Winner via pinfall: Evan "Air" Bourne

After the match, Neely and Guerrero surround Bourne, but he ducks Neely and scrambles out of the ring and up the ramp. They're just not quick enough!

(Ads)

Ricky Ortiz is backstage with Tiffany. Long comes in and says his hair was like Ricky's back in 1976, playa. Ortiz says he's been working on catchphrases, T-shirt ideas and a nickname (The Latin Assassin). Long says he's been here three weeks and has had one match. Ortiz reminds us he is undefeated. With that, Long books him in a match for next week.

And now a video package for ... Mike Knox.

Matt Hardy is backstage talking about his opportunity in the fatal four-way match tonight. He, of course, says he's going to SummerSlam.

(Ads)

Match #3 - Fatal Four-Way No. 1 Contender Match - The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio) vs. Finlay (Belfast, Northern Ireland) vs. John Morrison (Los Angeles, Calif.) vs. Matt Hardy (Cameron, N.C.)

To describe this match as anything but complete and total chaos would be an understatement. All four men are all over each other, going for quick pins and the like. Nobody can gain an edge.

(Ads)

With Finlay outside, Morrison goes for a baseball slide but de-commits just in time to avoid being stuck in the ring apron. Finlay and Morrison eventually end up in the crowd, where Morrison throws what I'm sure was a tasty beverage in Finlay's face, which gets all over the camera. Miz comes out to help Morrison and they double team Finlay. Miz slingshots Finlay right into a Morrison fist. Morrison then hits an elbow off the top of the railing.

They go back in the ring and double team Hardy to much success. Morrison tells Miz to go check on Finlay and then small packages Hardy for a two count. They get in each other's face until Hardy rolls up Morrison for two. Hardy ducks and Morrison nails Miz with the jumping kick.

From there, it is complete choas. Hardy hits a Side Effect for a two count, but Finlay comes in and hits the Celtic Cross on Hardy, but it's broken up. Finlay hits a missile dropkick on Morrison, but the cover is broken up by Miz. From there, Hardy and Miz go at it and Hardy hits a bulldog/clothesline combo on Miz and Morrison. Finlay then butt slams Hardy and Morrison to no avail and goes for the Celtic Cross on Miz but is countered. Hornswaggle then distracts the referee, allowing Finlay to plaster Miz with the Shillelagh. But before he can capitalize, Morrison hits a jumping kick on Finlay. Morrison springboards into the ring, but Hardy kicks him in the gut and hits the Twist of Fate for the win!

Winner via pinfall: Matt Hardy

Phew.

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!.