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ECW: A new contender? You know it!
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on ECW on Syfy: Following his defeat Sunday, General Manager Tiffany has decreed that William Regal will not be getting another rematch for the ECW Championship. Instead, champion Christian will have a new challenger one that will be determined in a 10-man battle royal in the evening's main event. Should be a good one!

And we are "LIVE!" from Hamilton, Ontario. Josh Mathews and Matt Striker are our hosts. This show is presented in WWEHD (TV-PG,V).

We are greeted by ECW General Manager Tiffany, who makes her way to the ring, stopping along the way to shake hands with some ringside fans. Who does she think she is, Dixie Carter?

She talks for about 15 seconds before being interrupted by William Regal, flanked by Ezekiel Jackson and Kozlov.

Regal starts by telling her she looks lovely this evening and every evening but exceptionally beautiful tonight. He also adds that he thinks she is doing a wonderful job as GM. He said he is compelled to talk to her about what happened at Breaking Point and why Jackson and Kozlov were banned from ringside.

She says she wanted to keep outside interference to a minimum. Regal said he believes her decision was rash and that it is only right that he gets another rematch for the ECW Championship.

She says it's important that new superstars get opportunities at the title and that's why she is denying his request and that there will be a battle royal tonight to determine a new No. 1 contender. And since Regal isn't getting another chance at another shot, he has a match right now. In his suit.

Match #1 - William Regal (Blackpool, England) vs. The Hurricane (Smithfield, N.C.)

(Ads)

Regal is competing in everything but his suit coat. Hurricane throws him over the top rope and Hurricane jumps on top of him and throws him back in the ring. Regal is reeling. Regal comes out of the corner and Hurricane hits a backbody drop. Suplex for Hurricane. Hurricane to the top and he hits a flying crossbody for two. This is all Hurricane. Regal rolls out of the ring and motions that he is taking off but Hurricane quickly hauls him back into the ring. As Hurricane enters the ring, Regal hits his only offensive move of the match, the knee trembler and it puts Hurricane out.

Winner via pinfall: William Regal

Hurricane stares at Regal when he's attacked from behind by Paul Burchill. Burchill comes in and hits a jackhammer and stands over him.

Goldust is backstage giving Yoshi Tatsu English lessons. This is so incredibly wacky. Goldust teaches Tatsu how to ask where the train station is. He does it. Then he tells him to ask for a cup of coffee, only Goldust stutters after coffee, saying it twice. Predictably (and it was so awesome), Tatsu says the phrase complete with stutter. This is rocking my world. This must continue.

Then Zack Ryder interrupts. He asks Tatsu if he can say loser. Goldust tells Tatsu to say loser. Tatsu says "Zack Ryder." Hahaha. Ryder doesn't like this and challenges Tatsu to a match later tonight. Woo woo woo, you know it!

(Ads)

New backstage interviewer whose name I can't remember catches up with Burchill. She asks him about The Hurricane. He says he's a fake and a phony and he's not going to stop until he exposes and eliminates him.

Tony Chimel is almost crying (well, he wasn't, but he should've been) as he welcomes the Bellas to be the guest ring announcers for this match. They really should just go back to modeling hot tubs on The Price is Raw.

Match #2 - Yoshi Tatsu (Tokyo, Japan) vs. Zack Ryder (Long Island, N.Y.)

This is going to be great.

They trade some armdrags and armbreakers early. Then they roll all over the ring. Tatsu goes to the second rope and Ryder knocks him down and takes over. Chinlock by Ryder gets the crowd to chant "Tatsu!" Ryder with a neck crack and then a crossface. Crowd tries to fire up Tatsu again but Ryder retains control until he runs into a big boot in the corner. Tatsu comes out of the corner with a running elbow and hits some kicks and a double running knee in the corner.

Ryder hits a back elbow to keep Tatsu off him but Tatsu comes back with a hurricarana off the top rope for a near fall. Tatsu misses the high kick and Ryder counters with a flying leg lariat for two. Ryder says "that's it!" and lifts Tatsu up but he slips out and connects with the high kick for the win.

Winner via pinfall: Yoshi Tatsu

(Ads)

Match #3 - Battle Royal to Determine No. 1 Contender for the ECW Championship - Shelton Benjamin (Orangeburg, S.C.) vs. Kozlov (Moscow, Russia) vs. Ezekiel Jackson (Harlem, N.Y.) vs. Tommy Dreamer (Yonkers, N.Y.) vs. Goldust (Hollywood, Calif.) vs. Tyler Reks (Laguna Beach, Calif.) vs. Sheamus (Dublin, Ireland) vs. Yoshi Tatsu (Tokyo, Japan) vs. Paul Burchill (Chelsea, England) vs. Zack Ryder (Long Island, N.Y.)

(Ads)

Striker says Sheamus is his favorite, which means he has no shot at winning.

Burchill is the first one out, reaffirming his status in the ECW pecking order. This is such a cluster. Goldust actually gets a chant for beating on Kozlov. Sheamus makes me happy by punching Tyler Reks in the gut. Benjamin, Tatsu and Dreamer gang up on Jackson but he punches his way out of it and beats the crap out of Benjamin in the corner. Now Kozlov's going on a wrecking spree. Jackson throws Benjamin over the top but he skins the cat.

Everyone is down and Jackson and Kozlov run back-first into each other. They stare each other down.

(Ads)

We're back and during the break Reks was slammed out of the ring by Kozlov, who is my new favorite wrestler because of it. Jackson throws Tatsu out of the ring like he's yesterday's garbage. He is now my least favorite wrestler because of it.

Jackson kills Dreamer in the middle of the ring. Then he kills Goldust. He goes to eliminate him but Dreamer makes the save and is running wild on Jackson. Kozlov picks up the scraps of Goldust as the crowd chants for the bizarre one once again.

Seven men left. Ryder is the only one not involved in anything. He tries to cheap shot Benjamin but eats Paydirt then Benjamin eliminates Sheamus. Someone throws Benjamin over the top but he skins the cat again and wraps up Jackson in a head scissors. Dreamer comes over and together they dump Jackson. Sheamus comes back and knocks Benjamin off as he attempts to re-enter the ring.

We're down to Goldust, Ryder, Dreamer and Kozlov. Goldust goes to work on Ryder and tries to eliminate him. He clotheslines Ryder over the top but he lands knees-first on the apron. Goldust charges but Ryder low-bridges him. The crowd boos Goldust's elimination heartily.

Ryder lay on the apron as Kozlov beats up Dreamer. Kozlov charges at Dreamer and gets low-bridged. Ryder then flies across the ring and picks up Dreamer and dumps him.

Winner and NEW No. 1 Contender for the ECW Championship: Zack Ryder

That was a very, very good show. Ryder as the new No. 1 contender is something fresh and will be elevate Ryder. He and Christian had a very good match about a month ago and it will be good to see this develop into a feud. The promos will be awesome.

Matt Bishop can be reached at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. And if you're interested in mixed martial arts, check out Matt's weekly podcast -- Lights Out Radio. Should be a good one!.