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COMMENT





ECW: Young talents take centre stage
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on ECW on Sci-Fi: It's huge six-man tag team action with some of the brightest young talent in WWE, as World Tag Team Champions John Morrison and The Miz team up with Jack Swagger to face CM Punk, Kofi Kingston and Ricky Ortiz. Should be a good one!

And we are "LIVE!" from Baltimore, Md. 2008 Slammy Award Winners for "Announce Team of the Year" Todd Grisham and Matt Striker are our hosts. This show is presented in WWEHD (TV-PG,V).

ECW Champion Matt Hardy is out to the ring and he's here to speak.

He says these past few days have been the best of his life after his brother Jeff won the WWE Championship at Armageddon on Sunday. He says on Smackdown on Friday, there will be a huge celebration. Before he can get any further, he is interrupted by former ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero.

Chavo says things are about to change and Vickie Guerrero has sent him to take care of him because of his last name -- Hardy. He says there's no question Edge will take care of Jeff and later tonight, he's going to take the ECW Championship and put it around his waist. He says it's all been approved when he is interrupted himself by ECW General Manager Theodore Long in an elf suit.

Long says he and Hardy have agreed to give Guerrero an ECW Championship shot, but it won't happen later tonight, it'll happen now.

Match #1 - ECW Championship - (c) Matt Hardy (Cameron, N.C.) vs. Chavo Guerrero (El Paso, Texas)

Like Vladimir Kozlov did Sunday, Guerrero goes to work on the left arm with a keylock.

(Ads)

We're back and Guerrero is still in control. He works an armbar which Hardy slams his way out of. Hardy's arm is dangling at the side. He goes to the second rope and hits the elbow to the back of the neck for two. He hits a bulldog out of the corner for another two. Hardy goes up the corner, but Chavo catches up to him and Hardy hits a super Russian legsweep from the second turnbuckle.

They exchange punches and Hardy hits the Side Effect for two. He calls for the Twist of Fate, but Guerrero pushes him off and counters with the Three Amigos, but before he can elevate Hardy for the third, Hardy escapes and hits the Twist of Fate.

Winner via pinfall and STILL ECW Champion: Matt Hardy

(Ads)

Match #2 - Finlay (Belfast, Northern Ireland) vs. Gavin Spears (Niagara Falls, Ontario)

Before the match, Hornswaggle jumps on the announce table, puts his hat on Striker, empties a bottle of water on him and steals the Slammy and runs around the ring with it.

Spears lures Finlay out of the ring by chasing Hornswaggle and hits him with a knee to the gut and rams him into the ring post.

Back in the ring, Spears works a chinlock with a knee to the back. This doesn't last long, though, as Finlay fires up and hits the Celtic Cross for the fall.

Winner via pinfall: Finlay

(Ads)

We go backstage with DJ Gabriel and Alicia Fox, who are dancing to a Christmas carol in front of a tree when they are interrupted by Santa and his Rudolph. Oh wait, it's Mark Henry and Tony Atlas. Henry scares them away (they dance their way off screen). This is truly hilarious. You need to get a screen grab of this if you didn't see it. Atlas is in his usual sleeveless dress shirt and tie but this time he is wearing a big red nose and antlers. If I liked TNA, I'd be chanting "this is awesome" right now.

Henry cuts not a promo, but his version of The Night Before Christmas, and it's actually a pretty good one. I mean, I was enjoying it on the ludicrous outfits alone, but they did a good job writing this one.

This transitions to an office where CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Ricky Ortiz and Tiffany are standing around talking. Tiffany thanks them for returning to ECW for the match tonight. They say they are glad to be back in their old stomping grounds. Ortiz has an early Christmas present for Tiffany -- a Ricky O Rally Towel, which is ruthlessly mocked by Punk (he says he'll get the Oh My God Slammy Moment of next year for getting "a beautiful young woman a rally towel for Christmas," which is also better than a car or an XFL jersey). Oh, the hilarity never ends on ECW. I love it.

(Ads)

Match #3 - John Morrison (Los Angeles, Calif.), The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio) & Jack Swagger (Perry, Okla.) vs. Kofi Kingston (Jamaica), Ricky Ortiz (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) & CM Punk (Chicago, Ill.)

We come back from commercial and the heels are already in the ring. That's not a good sign.

It doesn't take long to break down, as Punk dropkicks Morrison and Miz off the apron to the floor, Kingston hits a crossbody on Swagger and then Ortiz deposits him on the floor with a clothesline.

(Ads)

Kingston has Morrison mounted in the corner, but Swagger pushes him off onto the steel steps. Morrison pursues to the outside and brings him into the ring and brings in Miz, who is selling the neck injury from Raw when he was beat up by Kane.

Miz is quickly out, bringing in Swagger, who works a chinlock on Kingston. Kingston tries to leap for his corner, but Swagger catches him slams him. But Swagger gets too cocky, allowing Kingston to reach Ortiz. Ortiz goes to the top and hits a missile dropkick, but the cover is broken up by Morrison at two. Punk flies in to take out Morrison, Before he can springboard onto Morrison, Miz pulls him out of the ring. Then Kingston comes flying in.

Ortiz heads back to the top, but it's too far and he's brought down with a big boot and Swagger hits the Swagger Bomb for the win.

Winners via pinfall: Jack Swagger, John Morrison & The Miz

Man, it is really a shame that match only gets about 10 minutes (less was actually on TV thanks to the ads) when last week's main event was a 15-minute stall fest. Oh well.

E-mail Matt 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!.