ECW TV report by Phil DiLiegro

ECW TV Report for January 6, 2010
      The show began with Christian, who has unfortunately become a
total afterthought on this show of late, in the ring. He mentioned the
tournament and that he will have eight potential challengers by the
end of the night. They remain exceedingly vague about what the eight
men will be competing in next week, though it sounds like a battle
royal. He then was interrupted by CM Punk. Christian made a weird
metaphor about seeing something last night which he thought he would
never see (Bret and Shawn hugging) and now he’s seeing something that
he never wanted to ever see – Punk back on ECW. Punk claimed he would
win tonight and next week and then take the title at Royal Rumble. He
then said that as champion he would mentor all the young superstars of
ECW as champion. Christian came back by predicting that Mark Henry
would squash Punk tonight. All in all, this was a very ordinary
opening segment.
Shelton Benjamin v. Chavo Guerrero
      Seeing Shelton come out brings the reflection that once again he
puts on a dynamite performance in a ladder match, only to see that
mean nothing weeks later. Watch this dynamic play out again after this
year’s money-in-the-bank ladder match. The match began with Chavo
bullying Shelton into a corner before the referee stepped in. Shelton
reversed Chavo into the corner and did much of the same. Shelton
missed a charge into the corner off an Irish whip which allowed Chavo
to get 2/3 of the Three Amigos. Shelton turned around the waist lock
as Chavo went for the third and scored a German suplex for a near
fall. Chavo came down with a chop block and they went to a heat
segment with Chavo working the left leg of a fallen Benjamin. Chavo
hit a senton from the apron and onto the lower body of Shelton, who
was prone laying by the ropes. Shelton then made his comeback using a
spinning heel kick (planting on the hurt leg, but then selling it
after hitting the move). Shelton hit a back body drop but Chavo came
back with a takedown off of the bad leg. They did some mat work before
Chavo setup Benjamin for the frog splash. Shelton caught Chavo off the
top and quickly went for the paydirt for the victory. So Shelton is
the seventh man in next week’s tournament finale. This was another
step in trying to get Chavo beyond the role as an opening match comedy
figure and into a role as an ordinary opening match wrestler.
Shelton d. Chavo.
      Zack Ryder, accompanied by Rosa, then did a 35 second promo,
saying that after he retired Tommy Dreamer that the ECW show is all
about him.
      They then went to a detailed rundown of the Bret Hart segments
from last night. It’s very telling that the crowd was really hot for
the first segment for Shawn and Bret, but that you could see people
leaving the arena early for Bret and Vince at the end. Given that
Vince has never drawn well on pay-per-view as a wrestler, I think they
are booking the wrong match (see Vince v. Austin in Feb 1999, Vince v.
HHH in Dec 1999, Vince v. Hogan at WrestleMania 2003 and Vince & Shane
v. Shawn & God in April 2007).
Vladimir Kozlov v. Ezekiel Jackson
      William Regal was in Jackson’s corner. Kozlov worked a waist
lock on the mat to start. Jackson got to his feet only to have Kozlov
hit him with a head kick which sent Jackson to the floor (Jackson
looked incredibly awkward trying to take this bump). Kozlov tried some
more kicks when Jackson returned to the ring but Zeke caught him and
took control of the match. They worked very carefully, almost
exclusively with Kozlov on the mat and Jackson using the most basic of
moves and wrapping the leg of Kozlov around the ring post. Jackson
then tried for leg lock but Kozlov kicked him off and onto the floor.
After returning back to the ring, Kozlov hit a series of shoulder
blocks. Jackon came back with a knee lift and clothesline to reassert
the advantage. He finally finished with the uranage. After the match,
Regal implored Jackson to continue  on the attack which Zeke did by
ramming Kozlov into the mat. This was an awful match, predictably.
Jackson d. Kozlov.
      Before the main event, Tony Atlas offered to manage Mark Henry
again and Henry turned him down.
Mark Henry v. CM Punk
      They started with some traditional big man versus small man
stuff such as CM Punk being unable to move or takedown Henry and
Punk’s punches and kicks having no effect on the big man. Henry
eventually got Punk down with a hip toss and then sent the former
world champion over the top rope. That was the logical point for the
match to head to commercial break. After the break, Henry used a
lariat to cause Punk to bump and take another powder to the floor.
Henry chased Punk out to the floor where he walked into a drop toe
hold into the ring steps. For the first time in the match, Punk held
the upper hand. Punk made a bid for a count out victory but Henry
rolled in at five. Punk stomped away and used elbow and knee drops
with Henry down on the mat. Punk then hit a hanging neckbreaker for a
near fall. Punk then used a head-scissor submission on the mat while
elbowing Henry on the top of the head. Punk then used round kicks to
the body of Henry who was struggling to get to his knees. Punk then
missed his patented running knee lift in the corner allowing Henry to
follow up with an avalanche. Henry missed a second avalanche and Punk
this time was able to connect with a flying knee to the head. Punk
couldn’t follow up with the bulldog. Punk distracted the referee as he
got to his feet which allowed Luke Gallows to blindside Henry from the
floor. Punk was then able to hit a roundhouse kick to the head for the
deciding pin (no go to sleep with Henry as the opponent of course).
Punk d. Henry.
      So next week it is CM Punk, Shelton Benjamin, Yoshi Tatsu,
Ezekiel Jackson, Vance Archer, Evan Bourne, Matt Hardy and Kane
competing for the shot at Christian at the Royal Rumble. CM Punk is
the best choice for a winner as that is probably the best match and
Punk is going in the wrong direction on Smackdown.

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