Phil DiLiegro's ECW TV report for August 26th



ECW TV Report for August 26, 2008

Taped yesterday from Wilkes-Barre, PA 

      To obviously canned heat, Teddy Long announced another scramble match, this time for the ECW championship, at Unforgiven. Long said: “I’m not going to go into all of the rules (it’s only a one hour show), but go to WWE.com.” Doesn’t that one sentence kind of prove all of the skeptics right? Long also announced that each of the four matches tonight is a qualifying match. 

Matt Hardy v. John Morrison

      Morrison got the better of some grappling early on to set up a springboard maneuver. Hardy caught him coming off the ropes with a clothesline and sent Morrison to the floor in an ugly spill. Morrison took over out of nowhere in the ring with a side Russian leg sweep but missed a split-legged corkscrew moonsault. Hardy landed a clothesline in the corner but Morrison countered out of a bulldog attempt as the match went to break. Coming back, Morrison held a chin lock. A backbreaker and another side Russian leg sweep picked up a near fall. Hardy twice eluded the corkscrew neckbreaker but walked into a short clothesline. Another chin lock led into Hardy’s comeback. Hardy picked up near falls on a bulldog and double axe handle off the second rope. He tried for the twist of fate but Morrison spun into a backslide. The referee caught Morrison with his feet on the rope to prevent the win. Morrison tried for another springboard but Hardy caught him on the ropes and went for a Razor’s edge. Morrison slipped out and landed the springboard roundhouse for a long two count. They then did a double clothesline spot. Back standing, Hardy came up with the twist of fate for the win. This was a strong opening match.

Hardy d. Morrison, Pin, 12:30 ***.

      Backstage, Mark Henry complained to Teddy Long about being in the scramble and having to defend against four other men. Tony Atlas said “that’s right” about seven times as Henry made his point.  

Evan Bourne v. The Miz

      Bourne hit a quick sunset flip from a go behind for a near fall. Grisham claimed Bourne had never been pinned since arriving which is not true as Mike Knox pinned him in his third singles match. He also lost his first singles match via countout to Shelton Benjamin. Anyway, Bourne hit a short powerslam, shades of Buzz Sawyer said Matt Striker, and rolled over into a two count. Both men then exchanged near falls on the mat. They slowed down for a minute before Bourne hit a sloppy huracanrana and a standing drop kick. He went for a flying headscissors but was thrown by Miz to the floor. Back inside, Miz got a near fall off of a guillotine legdrop from the middle rope. He landed a front suplex. Bourne came back with a series of kicks for another near fall. A standing moonsault got him another near fall. He set up Miz for superplex by hitting a flying knee from canvas onto Miz on the second rope. But Miz dodged when Bourne went for a huracanrana, so Bourne bounced on the top rope and onto the apron. Miz followed that with the reality check for the win. The match had more stalling and fewer high spots than usual for a Bourne match, so it wasn’t quite as good.

Miz d. Bourne, Pin, 7:03, **¼.  

Tommy Dreamer v. Chavo Guerrero

      Dreamer hit a body slam and went into an arm bar. Chavo took the edge on the mat and worked an abdominal stretch. Dreamer caught Chavo coming off of the second rope and then followed with a back body drop and bulldog. Dreamer came close off of a powerslam. Dreamer hit the baseball slide when Chavo was in the tree of woe. Bam Neely provided a distraction allowing Chavo to hot shot Dreamer on the top rope, ala Randy Savage. He followed with the frog splash to win.

Chavo d. Dreamer, Pin, 3:37, *¼.

      They went to Josh Matthews, Candice Michelle and Batista at the Democratic National Convention. That just reminded me that I almost missed the Hillary Clinton speech.  

      Before the main event, we had the full-screen graphic detailing all of the rules for the scramble matches.

Finlay v. Mike Knox

Matt Striker dropped Tony St. Clair’s name early on. Not much happened for the first two minutes until Knox got the advantage on the outside as the match went to a quick break. Returning from break, Finlay was holding an arm bar. Finlay kept working the arm on the mat and ramming it into the apron. Knox caught Finlay on the outside with a powerslam on the floor to begin the heat segment. Knox fired Finlay back in, worked a chin lock before getting a near fall off of a clothesline. After another chinlock, Finlay made his comeback after Hornswoggle distracted Knox. He hit a series of clotheslines and sent Knox to the floor. Knox did counter back with a big boot for a two count. Knox went to grab the shillelagh from Finlay who received it from Hornswoggle. The ref intervened and as he disposed of that shillelagh, Hornswoggle threw a second one into the ring. Finlay used that to put Knox down for the three count. This was a bit of a letdown to end a pretty solid show on.

Finlay b. Knox, Pin, 12:21, *.  

Final Analysis: I’ll use this portion this week to ask several questions about WWE booking that troubled me during this show.

1) Why does Matt Hardy, who has defeated the champion twice in a row, need to qualify to get in the scramble?

2) On top of that, why would he have to face the toughest possible opponent of the four qualifiers?

3) Why would you choose both Chavo Guerrero and the Miz over John Morrison as participants in the scramble match?

4) Longer-term, does WWE realize that they may have a future top heel in Morrison?

5) Why is Taryn Terrell gainfully employed by this company?

6) Doesn’t the fact that the audience has to go to WWE.com to “educate themselves”, as Striker put it, tell you something about the scramble stipulation?

7) Does, as Matt Striker claims, “everyone know about Mil Mascaras?”

8) Doesn’t it degrade the ECW championship scramble when Finlay loses a qualifier for the Smackdown match, but gets another chance here?

9) It has never been explained what happens if someone gets counted out or disqualified at Unforgiven. You cannot win or lose the interim championship that way, but it’s not clear what actually does happen. Is it a no holds barred match? If so, what’s stopping Finlay from using the shillelagh to clean house and pin someone to win the match.

10) Tonight’s show featured just four regular singles matches, with no gimmicks or extra men. Is it just a coincidence that this was a pretty good show?  

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