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ECW: Finlay leaves Swagger laying
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on ECW on Sci-Fi: Matt Hardy did the unthinkable Sunday night, attacking his brother Jeff and costing him the WWE Championship in his match with Edge. On the other end is ECW Champion Jack Swagger, who defeated Hardy to retain his title on Sunday. Tonight will be his championship celebration. Should be a good one!

And we are TAPED! from Cleveland, Ohio. 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 General Manager Theodore Long heads to the ring and he's got a microphone. He sends us to the TitanTron for a video recap of the Royal Rumble, ending with Matt Hardy's betrayal of his brother Jeff. Long says Hardy has asked for his release from ECW and has asked to be part of Smackdown. Long says that he's approved it and good luck. He says The Boogeyman will be in action tonight (way to hook the show, Teddy!) but before he can go any further, our ECW Champion Jack Swagger makes his way to the ring.

He says tonight, there will be the official championship celebration for him. Long has no words.

After a few moments of celebration, good ol' Boogey's music cranks up and he comes out from under the ring. Swagger heads back up the ramp.

(Ads)

Match #1 - The Boogeyman (The Bottomless Pit) vs. Ricky Ortiz (Paradise Valley, Ariz.)

Ortiz has a mic and says Boogey doesn't have to eat worms to get the fans behind him, he just needs a Ricky O Rally Towel. Instead of agreeing, Boogey just hits him and knocks him outside. Ortiz backs up the ramp and, uh, Boogey's music just starts and the lights go out.

Uhhh, OK?

Swagger is backstage with Long and he says someone has stolen his ECW Championship. He set it down for five seconds and it was gone. Long refers him to Tiffany if she's available.

(Ads)

Match #1 - Paul Burchill (Chelsea, England) vs. Finlay (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

Finlay is in complete control early, working punches, kicks and the like until Burchill gains the upper hand. He works a chin lock and sends Finlay back down.

Then Hornswaggle comes out from under the ring and starts chasing Katie Lea around. Burchill doesn't like this and grabs him as he heads back under the ring. Finlay recovers and hits a baseball slide, bangs his head against the announce table and throws him back in the ring. Finlay hits three clotheslines and the atomic butt drop, but Burchill quickly kicks out. Finlay hits a backdrop and the Celtic Cross for the fall..

Winner via pinfall: Finlay

Ortiz is backstage talking with Tiffany about his encounter with Boogey when Swagger busts in and makes Tiffany go help him search for the title.

(Ads)

Mark Henry and Tony Atlas are walking when Swagger stops them and asks if they've seen the title. Henry gets salty to the question and barks at him. Swagger does nothing.

(Ads)

Match #2 - Mark Henry (Silsbee, Texas) vs. Tommy Dreamer (Yonkers, N.Y.)

The fans cook up an ECW chant for Dreamer.

Dreamer goes for a roll-up, but Henry just sits on his arm. Henry works on the arm. A lot. Henry goes for an eblow drop, but Dreamer moves. He hits the ropes and lands a dropkick. He hits Henry with a big boot in the corner and a flying clothesline. Dreamer goes to work on Henry's left knee with two dropkicks. He sets Henry up in the corner and hits the running dropkick. He goes to the second rope but Henry catches him this time and hits the World's Strongest Slam and that's all she wrote.

Winner via pinfall: Mark Henry

Backstage, Long says he can't believe Swagger's title has been lost. They will go the ring and get it back.

(Ads)

Swagger, Long and Tiffany are in the ring.

Long says he feels more like a third grade teacher than a general manager. He demands that the person who stole Swagger's title return it immediately. If they don't, they'll face disciplinary action.

Swagger grabs the mic and says this is lame and he is the face of the franchise. He wants his title back right now. Finlay's music hits and he heads to the ring.

Finlay says he thinks he knows who has it. He looks under the ring and drags out Hornswaggle, who has the belt aorund his shoulder. Hornswaggle taps the belt and says "mine, mine, mine!" Striker says the belt is bigger than he is.

Swagger tells Finlay to tell his little ogre to never put his little grubby paws on his title again and adds, "the only thing worse than your chances at beating me for the title are your abilities as a father."

Eventually, Hornswaggle gives it back and Swagger takes it and shoves him down. This sets off Finlay, who hits Swagger and hits him with the title. Finlay hands the title to Long and leaves the ring.

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, where a preview of Saturday's big UFC 94: St-Pierre vs. Penn II show will be posted later in the week. Should be a good one!.