Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me, because it’s time for ECW on SyFy!
The show kicks off tonight with Savannah, the ECW ring announcer, bringing out the first two competitors that are competing in tonight’s ECW Homecoming Qualifying Match.
Homecoming Qualifying Match
Matt Hardy v. Finlay
Christian joins the broadcast booth to call this match. Matt and Finlay go right after each other, with Finlay locking in a leg hold on Matt. Hardy reverses this into a front face lock, but Finlay backs him into the corner to break the hold. Hardy attempts to climb to the second rope, but Finlay pulls him down and Matt Hardy falls hard on his knee. The referee considers stopping the match, but Hardy says he will continue.
Finlay starts to lock in leg holds, and Hardy has to use the ropes to break the hold. Finlay proceeds to slam Hardy leg first into the ropes. Hardy manages to get to his feet and slam Finlay to the mat, but Finlay kicks out of the pin attempt. Hardy nails a Side-Effect, but Finlay manages to kick out from that as well. Hardy looks for the Twist of Fate, but Finlay pushes him away. Hardy slams Finlay to the mat and then heads to the top rope. Hardy leaps for the moonsault, but Finlay moves out of the way and Matt crashes hard on his knee. Finlay looks to take advantage, but Hardy pulls him down and hits the Twist of Fate for the win!
Winner via Twisty of Fate: Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy advance in the Homecoming Qualifying Tournament
In the back we see Zack Ryder with Rosa Mendes as they approach Tommy Dreamer. Ryder starts to berate him about being old and washed up, but Dreamer isn?t going to take it tonight! He grabs Ryder and tells him that he has no idea what he has sacrificed to be here. If Ryder can beat him tonight, he?ll leave ECW forever!
Ezekiel Jackson comes down to the ring and he is wearing street clothes. Jackson says that last week, he and William Regal got rid of a traitor. Jackson says that Kozlov was becoming a liability and he needed to be removed. Jackson says that just as it was written in the book of Ezekiel: ?The end has come and it has awakened against you?. Kozlov is not thrilled and charges down to the ring! He enters and throws Jackson to the outside! Both men are fuming as the camera heads to the back.
In the back we see Tommy Dreamer lacing up his boots, and Christian comes in to talk to him. Christian asks if this is really what Dreamer wants to do. Tommy tells him that Christian knows what ECW means to him. Christian says that no matter what happens, the ECW locker room is behind him and appreciate everything that he has done. This is a very emotional Tommy Dreamer that we are seeing tonight.
Homecoming Qualifying Match
Evan Bourne v. Mike Knox
Knox has the clear power advantage, so Bourne is set to use his speed in this match up. Bourne sends Knox out of the ring, and then crashes out after him. Knox picks Bourne up and crushes him into the barricade. The referee begins to count, and Evan barely makes it back into the ring. Knox goes for a cover, but Bourne manages to kick out. Mike Knox locks on a rear headlock as they crowd is fully behind the younger high-flying star. Bourne manages to escape, but gets caught with a punch.
Knox picks him up for a suplex, but Bourne fights free. Evan connects with a knee to the face, but gets caught with a crossbody from Knox! Bourne kicks out of the pin attempt. Evan again connects with a knee and looks to go to the top rope for his Shooting Star! Knox pulls him down and looks to have countered the move. Bourne has not given up yet, as he drills Knox in the face with a hard kick and then looks to the sky. Bourne connects with the Shooting Star Press for the win!
Winner via Shooting Star Press: Evan Bourne
Evan Bourne advances in the Homecoming Qualifying Tournament
In the back Tommy Dreamer is with Tiffany who wishes him good luck in his match!
In the back we see Yoshi Tatsu with Goldust. Yoshi is trying to teach him some Japanese. Hilarity ensues. Caylen Croft & Baretta enter to laugh at the fact that those two hang out together. They say that Japanese for future WWE Tag Team Champions is ?Croft & Baretta? (I doubt it). They also say that they can?t wait to see Dreamer lose tonight and leave the brand. Goldust starts to yell at Croft & Baretta? in Japanese! Seems that he did learn something from Yoshi. Croft and Baretta are left befuddled.
Tommy Dreamer heads to the ring for his match, as we head to commercial
Tommy Dreamer v. Zack Ryder w/ Rosa Mendes
If Dreamer loses he is gone from ECW forever
Dreamer goes straight to work on Ryder, but Zack is not afraid of giving it as well. Both men exchange a series of punches and quick holds. Dreamer whips Zack hard into the turnbuckle and then hits a bulldog. Dreamer goes for the cover, but Zack kicks out. Dreamer whips him into the turnbuckle again, this time Ryder tries to jump up, but Dreamer catches him and sends him to the mat with a power slam. Dreamer goes for the cover, but Ryder kicks out. Zack heads to the outside for a reprieve. Dreamer won?t let him have it, as he heads to the apron and then connects with a somersault! Ryder throws Dreamer head first into the barricade as we head to commercial!
We come back and the punches are constantly going back and forth between each man. It is as though no matter how slams are hit, both men will leap to their feet and keep the action going. Dreamer lays Ryder out with a back slam and goes for the cover, but Ryder kicks out. Dreamer takes to the top rope, but Ryder blocks first by jumping up, and then by countering the crossbody with a leg to Dreamer’s face.
Zack goes for the Zack Attack, but Dreamer counters into a roll-up. The two begin to exchange roll-ups, but neither man gets the pin. Ryder connects with the leg lariat and goes for the pin, but Dreamer kicks out. Ryder gets up on the turnbuckle, and it looks like a moonsault, but Dreamer counters by setting him up in the tree of woe. Dreamer connects with the ?ECW? dropkick! Dreamer picks him up and hits him hard with a back slam. Ryder somehow gets his foot under the bottom rope, much to the crowd’s shock. Ryder heads to the top rope, and Dreamer jumps up after him. Both men fall to the mat, and it seems that Ryder gets the upper hand and hits a crossbody to get the pin!
Winner via Top Rope Crossbody: Zack Ryder
After the match, an emotional Tommy Dreamer has the microphone and thanks everyone who has helped him over the years. He thanks the original ECW crew, wrestlers and fans. He says that if you have passion for what you do, you can make it anywhere. He says that they are supposed to refer to the fans as the WWE Universe, but to him they are his family. He says that in school his kids were asked what their parents do for a living. His daughter said that her daddy ?falls down a lot?, but he also ?gets up?. Dreamer concludes with: ?be good to others, and I will miss each and every one of you. Thank you so much?.
The fans are on their feet chanting ?ECW? and applauding. Dreamer takes his ECW shirt off and lays it down in the middle of the ring. He goes to ringside where his wife and children are seating. Dreamer picks both of his daughters up and heads to the back. At the top of the ramp he takes a moment to pause for his daughters to wave. Dreamer sets them down for one last taunt and then kisses them both on the cheek and picks them up to head to the back as the show goes off the air.
Thank you Tommy Dreamer. I was never your biggest fan, I never really marked out for you, and I really never even 100% could recognize your theme music. But I respect you, and what you have done for this business. Your influence, especially with helping out the younger wrestlers will be felt for years to come in this business. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
It was kind of weird to see Ezekiel Jackson in the ring wearing street clothes. I could not help but think how intimidated I would be if I saw him in public, or God forbid, in a dark alley. I think he and Kozlov can now have the much teased feud they have been pushing the past couple months. Looks intriguing at the least.
Two out of three of tonight’s matches did not contain ECW wrestlers, BUT that was not a terrible thing per se. They were necessary in order to move forward with the Homecoming Tournament. Originally, I thought that the old guys would all be facing newer ECW guys, but this way seems to be working. I actually do not have a personal favorite yet, but next week the field will be narrowed and we will know the competitors. I have to say that this tournament is a fantastic way to fill the 7 week gap in between PPVs. Plus, the Title match is happening on the Royal Rumble so it ensures ECW a PPV slot!
I would like to take a moment to wish everyone a fantastic New Year. It has been an absolute pleasure to write and correspond with all of you here at WrestleView in 2009, and I know that 2010 will only bring more joy. God bless, everyone.
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.
September 29th ? December 29th 2009
1. Christian ? 44 pts. [l.w. 1]
2. Yoshi Tatsu ? 30 pts. [l.w. 2]
3. William Regal ? 28 [l.w. 3]
4. Zach Ryder – 26 pts. [l.w. 4]
5. Ezekiel Jackson – 22 pts. [l.w. 5]
6. Shelton Benjamin – 20 pts. [l.w. 6]
7. Vance Archer ? 19 pts. [l.w. 7]
8. Kozlov ? 18 pts. [l.w. 8]
9. Goldust ? 17 pts. [l.w. 9]
10. Hurricane ? 15 pts. [l.w. 10]
Check out the ?ECW Year in Review? column on WrestleView
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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.