Taped in Spokane, Wash.
Report by Dominick Mayer, PWTorch.com Contributor
Title sequence. Striker is back, I missed him at No Mercy. More than I was expecting to, frankly.
Finlay and Hornswoggle come out for a tag team contest. Tommy Dreamer comes out as his partner. Striker then runs down the backstory between Dreamer and Jack Swagger. I forgot about that, actually. I’ve missed two of the past four broadcasts due to some unfortunate circumstances, so yeah. Mike Knox comes out for the heel team, and Swagger rounds things off.
1 — FINLAY (w/Hornswoggle) & TOMMY DREAMER vs. MIKE KNOX & JACK SWAGGER
Finlay’s holding a shileleagh before the match even starts. Really? Anyway, Finlay starts things off with Knox and goes on the offensive early. Dreamer gets tagged in, and they hit a double vertical suplex on Knox. Knox’s beard is growing exponentially each week, I swear. Dreamer tries to take Knox off his feet, but Swagger gets a shot in. Dreamer knocks Swagger to the floor, but then follows him after a boot by Knox.
Mike Knox with The Post Commercial Chinlock on Dreamer, followed by a big vertical suplex for two. Swagger gets tagged in, and they hit some tandem offense. I have to say, Swagger is growing on me, little by little. That smile is aggravating, but you know what? It’s making me notice him, hate him and talk about him, which are all the true markers of a good heel in the making, so I can live with it. Finlay gets the hot tag and knocks Swagger off the apron. Finlay takes it to Knox, even hitting a dropkick off the second rope. However, before Finlay could pin, Swagger breaks it up. Grisham started yelling about how it could be over as Swagger was running over. They have to be more consistent with stuff like that; if it’s obvious it’s not over, don’t try and play it up like it is. Meanwhile, the usual diversion with Finlay and Hornswoggle occurs, ending with Knox getting floored by the shileleaigh for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Finlay and Dreamer in 9:00. I personally think the heels should’ve taken this one, but no big deal. Swagger could be a good opponent for a face champion, down the road. For that matter, Knox is almost to that point, as he’s improved quite a bit during this latest push.
Backstage, Teddy Long is fawning over Tiffany’s devil costume for Halloween. Jamie Noble, continuing to prove the brand split means nothing, comes in to hit on her while saying he’s dressed as the greatest wrestler of all time. Tiffany thinks he’s dressed as Shawn Michaels. Okay, that’s funny. Mark Henry barges in, and holy crap does he make Noble look like a baby by comparison. He demands Matt Hardy, and Teddy says that he had a chance. Noble agrees with this, and then says that Henry shouldn’t disrespect him like that. Henry says if he can’t have Hardy for dinner, he’ll have Noble as an appetizer. I personally think he means that in the most literal way possible, because seriously, the size difference is staggering. Anyway, Noble challenges Henry tonight. Teddy asks him if he’s sure, and Noble says yes.
A promo airs touting the upcoming return of Boogeyman. They made him look a lot cooler than he really was. For what it’s worth, new viewers will have something to get excited about based upon this video.
Grisham and Striker run down Santino’s possible opponents for Cyber Sunday. Please let it be Honky Tonk Man. That would be the perfect way to bring everything full circle. Plus, it’ll repair some of that ill will between him and WWE.
Mark Henry actually comes out before Jamie Noble. Interesting. I feel like I know where this is headed, but I hope I’m wrong. Striker compares Noble to Dean Malenko, which I’ve actually said before. Glad someone else sees it.
2 — MARK HENRY (w/Tony Atlas) vs. JAMIE NOBLE
Noble tries some mat wrestling, which we all know is a mistake. From there, Noble gets thrown around. However, there’s something about Noble that makes me want to watch even a squash like this. I really hope they pursue his feud on Raw, because I want to see Noble fill the underdog role. Personally, I think they should have him feud with Santino; that could be absolutely hysterical. Jamie finally mounts some offense, but that doesn’t last long. There’s actually a small “Jamie” chant going on in the crowd. Noble goes for a flying body block, which gets turned into the World’s Strongest Slam for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Mark Henry in 4:00. For a squash, Noble was allowed to look good. Meanwhile, Henry gets a nice rebound from his No Mercy loss to keep himself looking dominant.
After the match, Noble gets a second WSS. As he hits a third, Matt Hardy comes out in street clothes and takes it to Henry. He gets a Twist of Fate on Tony Atlas, but gets a WSS from Henry, and then a big splash. Interesting that they’re still pushing Henry. To me, it feels like this feud is really starting to run too long, even if I do like Henry as a monster heel. Another splash from Henry, and we go to commercial break.
Raw Rebound: The Jericho-Batista-Cyber Sunday angle. You know it’s going to be Austin, even if WWE probably wants it to be Michaels.
Rhodes and Bourne start things off. Honestly, I’m aggravated by how many people in this match aren’t on ECW most of the time; the only people actually on the roster are Bourne, Ortiz, Miz and Morrison, and really, Ortiz is the only one who actually wrestles on ECW full-time. That just proves that the draft is meaningless, and I would go so far as to say that when the big draft special happens next year, that might be reflected in the ratings. A lot of face isolation on Morrison early on. He’s sent to the floor after taking a flurry of offense, and off to commercial we go.
Bourne hit a standing moonsault during the break, but got attacked by Manu, and is now getting worked over by the heels. The crowd pops for Bourne’s comeback, and goes noticeably dead as soon as DiBiase takes over. The Priceless Generation is just not getting over right now, even with cheap heat. The issue is, they keep cutting the same promo every week. It’s like a little kid who tells you the same joke over and over because it’s funny; it was good the first time, but after a while, it loses all value. Grisham, for some reason, calls Bourne “Evan Flow.” Like the Pearl Jam song? Yeah, I’ll be here all week. That’d be a cool name for a second finisher if he ever gets one, though. Striker with the line of the night: “Rhodes is Cialis-like with his three-day effectiveness.” That was laugh-out-load funny. As Bourne continues to be held back, the crowd starts to chant big for Punk. Bourne gets the hot tag to Punk, who goes right after Morrison. The action breaks down soon enough when Miz gets involved. Ortiz takes out Rhodes and Miz after going over the top, and Kofi follows. Punk looks for the G2S on Morrison, but Manu and DiBiase get involved, and Morrison hits Punk with the Moonlight Drive for the win.
WINNERS: Morrison, Miz, Rhodes and DiBiase in 12:00. Passable eight-man tag match, but nothing memorable. The heels get the win, which is good given that all four need a bit of a rub right now, but at the expense of Punk and Kofi, who need one just as badly. The show ends right at 9, with no overrun.