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COMMENT





ECW: Getting ready to Rumble
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on ECW on Sci-Fi: Tuesday night was not only Barack Obama's first night in office, but it was also Jack Swagger's first night of television as ECW Champion. What would go down between Swagger and former champion Matt Hardy as they prepare to rematch at the Royal Rumble? Should be a good one!

And we are TAPED! from Chicago, Ill. 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).

In the ring, Todd Grisham welcomes the former ECW Champion, Matt Hardy, to the ring. They talk about Jeff Hardy's incident on Smackdown. Matt says he went into shock and is suffering from first degree burns. Switching gears, Hardy says Jack Swagger is probably better than he thought he was one. After a few more words, the new ECW Champion makes his way to the ring with the all-too large belt over his shoulder.

Swagger says Sunday at the Rumble, it's just a formality. He's the face of the franchise and if he thinks he's taking the title from him, "your brother won't be the only one going down in flames." Hardy doesn't like this and attacks Swagger, sending him out of the ring. He then follows up and attacks him some more on the ground when the reduced officiating staff comes and pulls Hardy back. With the refs restraining Hardy, Swagger comes in and cheap shots the former champion.

(Ads)

Match #1 - Ricky Ortiz (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) vs. Adam Evans (Weighing in at 190 pounds)

Ortiz hits a painful-looking backbreaker in the early going. He nails a back suplex and follows that up with a big shoulderblock. He drags Evans into the centre of the ring and hits The Big O for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Ricky Ortiz

Tommy Dreamer is in General Manager Theodore Long's office. Paul Burchill interrupts. They trade remarks. Burchill demands a rematch with DJ Gabriel. Long says no, but he'll give him a match with a man of his choosing, and they start steppin' to ringside because their match is next.

(Ads)

Match #2 - Paul Burchill (Chelsea, England) vs. The Boogeyman (The Bottomless Pit)

Burchill gets out to a fast start, but is backed off by the referee. A "Boogeyman" chant fires up, if you can believe that. Burchill works a headlock. He comes off but runs into two clotheslines. Boogey hits two big splashes. He goes for the pump-handle slam, but Katie Lea breaks it up for the DQ.

Winner via disqualification: The Boogeyman

After the match, Boogey knocks Paul to the outside, leaving Boogey alone in the ring with Katie Lea. She escapes to the outside, but Boogey brings her back in. He gets the worms, but Paul pulls her to safety before the worming.

(Ads)

Match #3 - Fatal Four Way - John Morrison (Los Angeles, Calif.) vs. The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio) vs. Mark Henry (Silsbee, Texas) vs. Finlay (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

It's a complete mis-mash early on. Morrison, Miz and Finlay are all hurting.

(Ads)

We're back and Henry press slams Finlay as Morrison and Miz look on. Henry drops Finlay and the tag champs attack and go to work on Henry and finally get him down. But Henry dispatches of them and Finlay comes back in dives at Finlay from the second rope. Finlay brings in the Shelleigah and hits Henry in the knee with it twice and hits a DDT, but Morrison and Miz break it up.

With Henry on the outside, Morrison and Miz double team Finlay. Henry eventually says "forget this" and peaces out. While this is happening, Finlay takes control and Hornswaggle hits a Tadpole Splash on Morrison and Finlay hits the atomic butt drop on Miz. Finlay follows that up with the Celtic Cross. He goes for the pin, but Morrison comes flying in, hits him and pins his own tag team partner for the win.

Winner via pinfall: John Morrison

Sadly, this was mostly a nothing show. I'd expect to see Swagger and Hardy opening the show Sunday, so hopefully they burn down the house again.

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!.