Taped earlier tonight from Philadelphia
Teddy Long introduced a new ECW championship belt to Mark Henry. The new belt is a silver belt with a silver and black plate, it’s actually quite sharp. Tony Atlas mentioned that Philly was the home of the original ECW and tonight is a new beginning for ECW. Atlas did a pretty good job of putting over Henry and introduced Colin Delaney, unlike Atlas and Henry, received very little reaction except for the “What?” chant. Why did he do it? He blames Dreamer for losing every night and looks at Henry as the future. Suffice to say, this did not work as well as Chris Jericho’s promo last night. Teddy Long then made a match on the spot between Dreamer and Delaney.
Tommy Dreamer v. Colin Delaney
Normally, you would build to something like this, but there’s just no way to get heat on this match. Colin tried to run but Dreamer caught him. He landed a beale throw but Colin caught him with a dropkick and a legdrop. Tommy came back with a pair of clotheslines and set up the tree of woe. Dreamer landed a pump-handle suplex and a DDT to win. The match had more heat than usual because of the city and it accomplished what it needed to.
Dreamer d. Delaney, Pin, 2:44, *.
The Miz and John Morrison cut a strong promo together, each putting over the other as a threat to win tonight. They mentioned that they lost Sunday but it wasn’t their fault since they were not pinned. I’ll have more on that one and the general handling of championships in my final thoughts.
Evan Bourne v. James Curtis
Considering how poorly he did when he was a regular job guy, I’m surprised to see Curtis back. Chavo Guerrero was on commentary for the match with Bam Neely at his side. Chavo blamed last week’s loss on the wedding and taking Bourne lightly. In a nice touch, Chavo mentioned putting out Rey Mysterio for a year with an injury. Bourne worked an arm bar to start. Bourne did a flip out of a snap mare attempt, dropkick and huracanrana for a two count. Bourne missed a monkey flip out of the corner and Curtis went on the offense. He used a back suplex and a chin lock until Bourne got out. Bourne slipped out of the back suplex and came back with a series of kicks. Another huracanrana and dropkick set up the shooting star press for the win. Chavo and Neely tried to jump Bourne but he was too quick. Decent enough semi-squash. By the way, Tazz is beginning to work in “Air Bourne” as a nickname.
Bourne d. Curtis, Pin, 4:33, squash.
Ricky Ortiz was talking with college graduate Tiffany and claiming he parties with John Elway (Hall of Fame quarterback). Ortiz pitched to Long the nickname “Latin assassin” and his undefeated record. He seemed to be leaning heel here. Teddy Long made a match against an unnamed opponent for next week. I cannot wait.
They aired a Mike Knox video package. Why?
Matt Hardy mentioned his loss on Sunday, explaining it as one door closing and another opening. He guaranteed victory tonight to conclude a mediocre promo.
Finlay v. Matt Hardy v. The Miz v. John Morrison
The winner gets Mark Henry at SummerSlam. Miz tried for a roll up on Morrison right at the bell. Hardy and Finlay saved and cleared the heels from the ring. Finlay took the edge and then they paired off as the heels returned to the ring. Hardy worked over Morrison while Finlay went to work on Miz. Finlay’s moves, especially simple things like an elbow drop, really stand out. Both of the faces tried quick covers going for the win, but came up short as the match went to a break. Coming back from break, Finlay and Morrison exchanged pinfalls on the mat. All four guys exchanged a bunch of cradles and roll ups looking for a pinfall. After Hardy and Miz collided, Finlay tried to pin both but failed. Inexplicably, Finlay and Morrison started brawling in the crowd. Miz came out and the former champions worked a double team on the outside. They even did their patented double team move from the barricade. The heels then took it to Matt Hardy inside the ring. When it came time to pin Hardy, the champions feuded leading to a Hardy near fall. Morrison then nailed his own partner with a springboard roundhouse, leading to another chance at Hardy. Finlay came back in and hit a Celtic cross on Hardy, but Morrison saved. Finlay cleaned house on both heels, scoring a missile dropkick for the second rope. Miz made the save on that one as Hardy returned to the fray. He hit a bulldog on Morrison while also hitting a clothesline on Miz. Finlay made the save on a pin attempt. Later, Hardy tried to steal a pin on Finlay after a Morrison shining wizard but Miz saved. A Hornswoggle distraction led to Miz getting taken out with the shillelagh followed by Finlay getting cleaned out from behind. Morrison tried a springboard move on Hardy but fell into a twist of fate that won the match. Mark Henry came down for the post-match staredown. That was an excellent, exciting final few minutes.
Hardy d. Finlay, Miz & Morrison, Pin, 15:29, ***½.
Final Thoughts: In lieu of any major opinions this week, I’ll break out the bullet points.
* I really disliked the WWE’s handling of its championships on Sunday Consider the winners of championships on Sunday: the Edge geeks (notably dumb booking), Shelton Benjamin, Michelle McCool, CM Punk and Triple H. In every case, the best performer did not leave with the title. In order for championships to mean something, the fans have to believe that the champion is deserving and above all of his/her potential contenders. Clearly, that is not happening currently in WWE.
* Furthermore, they have taken a team in Miz and Morrison that is clearly superior to every other team they have and job them out three times in a row. Last week’s loss to the Hardys would have been understandable had it led to a program, between the two teams. But that’s not happening and when two guys win a non-title match and do not even care if they do not get a title match, it buries the title. Sunday’s loss was inexplicable in that they lost to a vastly bunch of teams And tonight did them no favors as they had a numerical advantage and still could not win. Any of these losses in isolation is OK, it’s the three in a row that troubles me. The decision to give Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase a larger push than a team which has a consistent ability to have good matches and get over is foolish.
* I’ve been critical of Chris Jericho since his return to WWE. I accurately predicted that his babyface reign would fail to meet expectations as Jericho never was a top level guy and a serious draw before, so there was no reason to think he would be so now. That being said, I thought his promo last night was the best promo since they actually let Ric Flair speak prior to WrestleMania. He was cogent, clear and enthralling all at once and made very clear what his motivations were.
* Is anyone else pleasantly surprised with what WWE has done with Evan Bourne so far? I was expecting an Ultimo Dragon type squander with him. Save for the loss to Mike Knox, they’ve booked him pretty well.