Taped Last Week from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
They had a quick still shot of Killer Kowalski to open the show; regrettably, they never put together an extended video package highlighting his contributions to the sport.
The show began with an edition of the Dirt Sheet. Miz guaranteed victory on Sunday while Morrison protested his exclusion from the match. He’s not alone in that sentiment. They introduced Mark Henry and Tony Atlas and mercifully they were the real deals and not still shots on the Titantron. Atlas made sure to mention that there would no joking tonight. Chavo Guerrero was introduced to music with fart noises; watch those ad rates plummet! Chavo mentioned he wanted to get his title back and Miz ridiculed him because that was like six months ago. That’s so absurd, essentially ridiculing the idea of long-term storytelling and caring about holding the titles. They threw to a video of Miz and Morrison mocking Finlay before the real guy came out. Hornswoggle did as well and kicked Miz in the nuts. Matt Hardy came out and cut on promo on all of the heels. A brawl broke out to conclude the goofy segment. Dreamer and Bourne ran in to help out the babyfaces and set up the main event.
Backstage, Teddy Long confirmed the main event as Chavo, Henry, Miz & Morrison v. Hardy, Finlay, Dreamer & Bourne.
Super Crazy v. Gavin Spears
Spears cut a short promo in the top corner of the screen calling himself the jewel of the ECW new talent initiative. Well, he should at least defeat Crazy tonight, right? Crazy started grabbing a leg lock and a hip toss. Spears countered out of the old ten punches spot on the top rope. He got Crazy down on the mat and held him with a variety of holds and knee drops as the crowd went silent. Eventually, Crazy hit a couple of dropkicks and heel kicks. He then hit a moonsault from the apron to the second rope and onto Spears to win. This booking of Spears where they establish him as a jobber right out of the go is inexplicable particularly when he purportedly showed quite a bit of promise in developmental.
Crazy d. Spears, Pin, 4:22, ¾*.
Ricky Ortiz v. Ryan Braddock
Neither guy went for much early on. Ortiz got the edge and hit a suplex. Braddock took the edge by slamming Ortiz face first coming off of the second rope. Braddock hit a knee drop and worked a rest hold. And then another. Ortiz finally broke out with a dropkick and power slam. He hit a shoulder tackle and the big O for the win. The crowd did not respond at all to anything here aside from the two dozen or so of obviously planted towels in the crowd. The match did have one highlight though as Matt Striker referenced Juan Epstein of Welcome Back, Kotter fame on commentary. Do you remember when Vince and Austin sang the theme song to that show on Raw? Had Striker referenced Horshack, I would give the match four stars.
Ortiz d. Braddock, Pin, 4:42, ¼*.
Todd Grisham, Mickie James and Ken Kennedy were at the RNC in St. Paul. Kennedy claimed he was the only Republican named Kennedy at the GOP convention. Actually, Louisiana Treasurer John N. Kennedy is the state’s Republican candidate for Senate. I know only civics geeks like me know that, but that kind of thing goes against taking your voter registration movement seriously.
Evan Bourne, Tommy Dreamer, Finlay & Matt Hardy v. Chavo Guerrero, Mark Henry, The Miz & John Morrison
They did all of the intros and had a big schmoz as the faces got some early heat on Morrison and Chavo before the match went to a commercial break less than two minutes into the match. Hornswoggle hit a dive from the apron onto Neely. Coming back from break, Finlay slammed Chavo and tagged in Evan Bourne. Chavo hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker letting him tag out. Miz tagged in and fell into a standing moonsault from Bourne. Bourne then went up top but was slammed off the top rope. Mark Henry tagged in and flapjacked Bourne. That was a great bump. Miz tagged back in and landed a legrop. Matt Striker let us know that there are sixteen different mathematical possibilities by which Mark Henry can lose the title on Sunday. Permutations || Factorials = No Buys. Guerrero tagged in and picked up a near fall. The heels got in some double teaming on the floor. Eventually, Bourne connected with a flying headscissors on Chavo to make the hot tag to Dreamer. He hit a bulldog on Chavo for a near fall. Henry eventually cut off Dreamer to lead to another brief heat segment. Hardy got the hot tag and went to work on Chavo. He hit the side effect for a two count. Henry tagged in and slammed Hardy but missed a splash. Bourne tagged in and connected with a shooting star press on Henry to draw the largest pop of the night. He followed with a round kick to Miz. Dreamer came off of the top rope with a big splash on Henry. Finlay followed with a sit down on Henry. The faces then cleared the other heels from the ring as Hardy tagged in. He hit the twist of fate and covered for the win. That was a strong last few minutes there and a good finish to build to Sunday.
Babyfaces d. Heels, Pin, 13:48, ***.
Final Analysis: Because I watched the Republican National Convention tonight, I’m getting this report done a bit late. So I have to omit any further thoughts this week. Thanks.