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COMMENT





ECW: Jack Swagger, the new face of Extreme
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


History was made Tuesday night in the Land of Extreme, as 26-year old Jack Swagger became the ECW Champion, getting the help of an exposed turnbuckle to defeat veteran Matt Hardy in an exciting match to claim his first championship in WWE on his very first try.

Tonight's taped extravaganza emanates from Sioux City, Iowa. 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).

Match #1 - DJ Gabriel (England) & Alicia Fox (Ponte Verda, Fla.) vs. Paul & Katie Lea Burchill (Chelsea, England)

This is a mixed tag team match, so Fox and Katie Lea start things out. That doesn't last long, as the men get into the action fairly quick.

Burchill really goes to work on Gabriel with his knees, hitting various knee lifts. Gabriel hits a back suplex for two, but Katie Lea breaks it up, only to be dragged to the outside by Fox. With the distraction, Gabriel heads to the second rope and hits the flying European uppercut for the fall.

Winners via pinfall: DJ Gabriel & Alicia Fox

(Ads)

Former ECW Champion Tommy Dreamer is out to the ring and he's wearing a suit! Crazy!

Dreamer says he's been honored to do what he loves for 19 years, which is to entertain each and every fan. An emotional Dreamer says he is the man he is today because of ECW. He says there comes a point in everyone's life that they have to reflect and dig deep inside themselves. He looks in the mirror and he's not the man he used to be. The competition is bigger, stronger, faster and he doesn't think he has what it takes to compete in ECW anymore. He says his contract expires June 6. That gives him six months to prove to everyone that he can still compete, and the only way he can do that is by becoming ECW Champion before his contract expires. He's been training harder than ever, and if he doesn't become champion, he is leaving ECW. He will be ECW Champion again.

(Ads)

Ricky Ortiz and Tiffany are backstage -- holding hands! They go for a big kiss when Hornswagger comes in, runs around them and starts mocking them. Finlay gives chase.

Match #2 - The Boogeyman (The Bottomless Pit) vs. Sammy Savard (Parts Unknown)

There has to be someone better to give TV time to than Boogey in his weekly Mystery Squash Theatre.

Boogey wins in 60 seconds flat with a pump-handle slam.

Winner via pinfall: The Boogeyman

In a shocking twist, he gets the worms.

Grisham and Striker interview Matt Hardy, who says Jack Swagger has earned his title shot, but Swagger hasn't beat him yet. Swagger may be a lot of things, but one thing he isn't is the ECW Champion.

(Ads)

Match #3 - ECW Championship - (c) Matt Hardy (Cameron, N.C.) vs. Jack Swagger (Perry, Okla.)

Here we go -- probably the biggest title match in the history of the re-born ECW. Tony Chimel is even in the ring for the big time ring introductions.

Swagger takes Hardy down early and gets on his back using his amateur background. Hardy hits a suplex and then mocks Swagger's trademark smile.

(Ads)

We're back and it's still a stalemate. Hardy hits a bulldog for two. He goes to the apron to springboard onto Swagger, but Swagger catches him and knocks him to the floor before he can even get to the ropes. Swagger goes to the outside and begins to work on Hardy's left shoulder, leveraging it against the ring post before pulling him into it.

Back in the ring and Swagger continues his work. He gets Hardy sitting on the second rope and pulls him down onto the back of his head. Swagger hits a big boot which gets a two.

(Ads)

Back again and Swagger is continuing to work on the left arm. Swagger, though, makes a mistake and leaves his head down, allowing Hardy to hit a boot to the face. Hardy tries to go the top, but is stopped dead in his track by Swagger, who heads to the top and hits a big superplex. It hurts Swagger, too, though, and he is late to the cover and only gets two.

Swagger goes right back to work on the left arm. He lifts Hardy onto the top turnbuckle and splits his legs and goes for another superplex. Hardy punches his way out of it and rolls out and hits a powerbomb for two. While he was holding on, Swagger tore the top turnbuckle padding off.

Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate, but Swagger lifts the arm and hits a belly-to-belly suplex, which nets a count of two. Swagger goes for the Swagger Bomb, but Hardy counters with a Russian leg sweep for two. They get back up and Hardy hits the Side Effect for two. He goes for it again, but Swagger counters with a roll-up for two. Swagger hits an armbreaker on Hardy and jumps right over his body and onto the second rope, hitting a Vader Bomb for two.

The moment Hardy kicks out, Swagger transitions into an armbar, which Hardy escapes. Hardy hits a Scorpion Death Drop for two. Swagger charges Hardy in the corner, but eats a back elbow. Hardy goes for the moonsault, but Swagger gets up and gets him in the electric chair. Hardy holds onto the ropes, but Swagger breaks free and throws him forward, face-first into the exposed turnbuckle.

Hardy is half-dead in the corner. Swagger picks him up and hits the Swagger Bomb for the win!

Winner via pinfall AND NEW ECW Champion: Jack Swagger

Do you believe it?

This is what I'm talking about. Does this make Swagger the first undefeated world champion since Goldberg?

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!.