Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me, because it’s time for ECW on SyFy!
The show kicks off with a bang as the ECW Champion, Christian, makes his way out to the entrance ramp. The two-time holder of the silver belt is in street clothes tonight as he picks up a microphone and enters the ring. Christian points out that this is the final qualifying week in the ECW Homecoming Tournament. The winner of which will face Christian at the Royal Rumble. Before he can continue, CM Punk appears on the entrance ramp equipped with his Slammy and Luke Gallos.
The Smackdown star is here tonight to face Mark Henry in the tournament. Punk is interrupting because he feels there is nothing Christian can say that is more important than Punk’s words. CM pauses because Christian is smiling as the crowd chants, ?You Suck?. Christian says that tonight he is witnessing something he never wanted to see, CM Punk back on ECW. Punk tells him to get used to it, because he is here to win the Title at the Royal Rumble. Punk says that the ECW Championship is just one in a series of Titles that he will collect to prove that, ?Straight Edge means I?m better than you?. Punk says that he is our savior and will be a role model and leader we all can follow.
Christian asks if the ?Straight Edge way? means looking like you haven?t showered in days. He says that Punk is getting a little bit ahead of himself, he still has to qualify. Christian says that despite Punk running his mouth, he?ll be getting squashed tonight by Mark Henry. Christian recaps for us ? Punk won?t smoke, won?t do drugs, and won?t be facing Christian for the ECW Championship at the Royal Rumble.
Up Next: Shelton Benjamin v. Chavo Guerrero
ECW Homecoming Qualifying Match
Shelton Benjamin v. Chavo Guerrero
The two start things off with a back and forth exchange of punches and arm bars. Chavo breaks this trend by going for the Three Amigos, but Shelton breaks the sequence with a German Suplex. Shelton knocks Chavo to the apron, but Chavo charges back into the ring and kicks hard at Shelton’s leg. Benjamin is on the mat and is met with several kicks to the leg, and then Chavo wrenches the leg against the bottom rope. The hamstring is further targeted by a Chavo stomp. Guerrero goes for the pin, but Shelton kicks out.
Both men get to their feet. Shelton goes for a kick which appears to be blocked, but he continues to spin through and connects. Chavo bounces off the ropes and gets sent high into the air courtesy of a back body drop. Shelton goes for a pin, but Chavo kicks out. Guerrero grabs Shelton’s leg, and locks on a single leg Boston Crab. Shelton is inching his way to the ropes, but Chavo drags him to the middle of the ring. Shelton escapes, but the reprieve is short as Chavo hits him with a huge tilt-a-whirl leg scissors. Chavo heads to the top rope for the frog splash, but Shelton moves out of the way. Guerrero charges and is caught with Pay Dirt.
Winner via Pay Dirt: Shelton Benjamin
Shelton Benjamin advances in the ECW Homecoming Tournament
Video package airs highlighting Tommy Dreamer’s loss to Zack Ryder
Ryder appears on the entrance ramp and says that last week he did something bigger than winning the ECW Championship, he beat Tommy Dreamer. He destroyed the heart and soul of ECW by retiring Hardcore icon. As a result, Zack says that ECW is now all about him, bro.
Video package airs highlighting Bret Hart on RAW last night
Up Next: Ezekiel Jackson v. Vladimir Kozlov
Ezekiel Jackson w/ William Regal v. Vladimir Kozlov
The two go after each other strong at the start. This is a match-up which will be decided by pure strength. Kozlov slams his fist into Jackson’s skull, and then throws Jackson to the outside. Zeke rolls back in, and uses a Russian leg sweep to take down Kozlov. Jackson backs him into the corner and uses the second rope to work on Kozlov’s leg. The referee breaks them up. Kozlov continues to work on the leg of Vlad as he rolls to the outside and repeatedly slams Koz’s leg into the steel post. Jackson comes back into the ring and brutally drops over and over onto Kozlov’s leg.
Vlad kicks him away and tries to rest for a moment on the ropes. Jackson goes right after him and pulls on the leg, which the referee is forced to break up. Vlad is backed into the corner where he is met with Jackson’s knuckles to the face. Jackson locks in a leg bar in the middle of the ring. Kozlov knows that he must do something to break free, and as such uses all of his strength to throw Jackson to the outside.
Jackson re-enters the ring, but Kozlov is ready and hits him with a scoop slam. Kozlov whips Jackson to the corner, and then connects with a slew of shoulder thrusts to the guts. Vlad backs off and takes a moment to look to the crowd. This moment is all Jackson needs in order to connect with a clothesline. Jackson hits a vertical suplex and follows this up with his finisher. That’s all she wrote.
Winner via Rock Bottom/Book End: Ezekiel Jackson
After the match, Regal and Jackson enter the ring to taunt the fallen Russian
In the back Mark Henry is warming up. Tony Atlas comes into the locker room to congratulate him and say hello. Tony asks if he can escort him down to the ring tonight, just like old times. Mark says they did have good times together. Tony Atlas starts his fantastic belly-roaring laugh. Henry pauses, looks at him, and says ? no! Tony Atlas is laughing as we head to commercial.
ECW Homecoming Qualifying Match
Mark Henry v. CM Punk w/ Luke Gallos
Both men in this match-up are former ECW Champions. CM Punk uses his strength to get behind Mark Henry. This does him little good considering the sheer size of the behemoth he is facing. Punk looks to connect with a kick, but Henry throws him to the outside as we head to our final commercial break of the evening.
We come back and both men are on the outside. Henry walks over to Punk, but gets caught with a drop toe hold and crashes into the steel steps head first. Henry rolls back into the ring before the 10 count. Punk stomps on Henry’s face several times, then goes for a cover. Henry kicks out. Punk now lays in with several punches to Mark Henry’s head. CM pulls Henry to his feet and connects with a neckbreaker. Punk goes for the pin, but Henry kicks out.
Punk is frustrated as he punches Henry repeatedly in the skull. Punk goes down to the mat and locks on the Anaconda Vice. Henry is losing oxygen. Punk does not let up as he elbows Henry on the scalp. Punk lets go and tries for a cover, but Mark kicks out. Henry gets to his knees, but Punk nails him with fierce buzzsaw-esque kicks. A final knee to the face sends Henry to the mat. Punk goes for the cover, but no good.
Henry is doing his own version of hulking up as he shrugs off a series of Punk punches. Henry connects with a punch, and then several head butts! The crowd is really in to this right now. Henry sets Punk up in the corner and connects with a small splash. Henry heads to the other side of the ring and charges, but Punk moves out of the way. Punk distracts the referee for a split second. Gallos hits a cheap shot on Mark Henry to send The World’s Strongest Man reeling. Punk follows this up with a kick to the head, and Punk steals the victory.
Winner via Outside Interference: CM Punk
CM Punk advances in the ECW Homecoming Tournament
Next Week: The Finale of the ECW Homecoming Tournament!
The show started off strong tonight with a segment featuring both Christian and CM Punk. I do not get a chance to comment on CM Punk very often as he tours with Smackdown, so let me make up for lost time. I have to say that I really enjoy the heel straight edge gimmick. Punk has worked the role for years and has it down to near perfection. Punk really gets the crowd riled up by proclaiming himself as their savoir. ?Straight Edge means I?m better than you?!
The Shelton/Chavo match was actually pretty good. I really need to give Chavo credit where it is due. It’s easy to hate on him or say that the guy is worthless, but I believe he is a valuable asset to the company. First and foremost, the guy can just plain wrestle. Compound that with years of experience and you have a perfect wrestler for training young guys and working try out matches. Chavo has really come into his own as comedy relief, a value not to be taken for granted. I was very happy to see Chavo have the time to roll out some decent wrestling skills, which he has been restrained from in recent months. My problem with this match-up is that I did not like the ending. Chavo was looking great, even dominating for the majority of the match. Yet, Shelton Benjamin hits one move and the rest is irrelevant. This happened last night on RAW as well with Randy Orton, it works, but I?m not a fan of the style.
Zack Ryder cut a nice quick promo with Rosa Mendes by his side. Those two can be quite hilarious when given the chance. I really liked the way they are using his victory over Tommy Dreamer to generate heat. Tommy gave him a great rub by letting Zack defeat him, and thus retire him from service in the WWE. Ryder’s promo was short, yet hit the key point of having destroyed the heart and soul of ECW. This is a ball that should continue to roll.
The Jackson/Kozlov match was also very well done. On a side note, does anyone know the translation for the Russian at the beginning of Kozlov’s entrance music? These two guys facing off against each other is a throwback to the more ?classic? style of wrestling. As two big men, they really presented themselves as forces that can only be defeated by brute strength. It’s also worth noting the storytelling that was present. Jackson specifically targeted Kozlov’s leg, which was a homage to the role of Regal as a mentor in his life. Nice match.
The CM Punk/Mark Henry match was much better than I anticipated. I?m a fan of both men, and in particular I enjoyed watching Henry reinvent himself on ECW. The backstage segment with Atlas (the most entertaining guy on ECW as far as I?m concerned) was awesome. The match was worked the right way in terms of style. Punk needed to ground Henry, and clearly was not going to be able to lift him. Just when Henry appeared to be out for the count, he started to ?hulk up? which really got the crowd going. Punk ‘stole? the victory thanks to Gallos? interference, a perfect way to generate even more heat.
Next week the Qualifiers from the Homecoming Tournament will all be participating in a battle royal to determine the #1 Contender. The victor will face Christian for the ECW Championship at the Royal Rumble PPV. Who is it going to be?… I honestly don?t know. I could foresee nearly every participant in the match coming out on top, so I?m eagerly awaiting next week’s show.
3 Month Rolling Rankings; ECW Title Win 5, ECW Title Loss 4, ECW Win 3, ECW Loss 2, ECW Appearance 1, PPV Title Win 10, PPV Title Loss 8, PPV Win 6, PPV Loss 4, PPV Appearance 2.
October 13th ? January 4th 2010
1. Christian ? 37 pts. [l.w. 1]
2. William Regal ? 26 [l.w. 3]
3. Yoshi Tatsu ? 24 pts. [l.w. 2]
4. Zach Ryder – 21 pts. [l.w. 4]
5. Ezekiel Jackson – 20 pts. [l.w. 5]
6. Shelton Benjamin – 19 pts. [l.w. 6]
6. Vance Archer ? 19 pts. [l.w. 7]
8. Kozlov ? 15 pts. [l.w. 8]
9. Goldust ? 13 pts. [l.w. 9]
9. Hurricane ? 13 pts. [l.w. 10]
So that’s ECW?. Love it? Hate it? Disagree with everything I said? Just want to chat wrestling? I?m always up for reading your thoughts so send them over to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out my RAW Recap from last night here on WrestleView. Also keep an eye for That’s a Wrap here on WrestleView Thursday. This week’s column presents a special ?Kayfabe Kourt? to decide who won the battle this past Monday night, RAW or iMpact?