-After a quick recap of the very short match and post-match angle with Matt & Jeff Hardy and Mark Henry & Tony Atlas on Sunday night at SummerSlam, the ECW opening aired. Todd Grisham introduced the show. Matt Striker called it a huge night, one of the biggest ECW broadcasts ever.
1 — MIZ & JOHN MORRISON & CHAVO GUERRERO (w/Bam Neely) vs. EVAN BOURNE & SUPER CRAZY & TOMMY DREAMER
Grisham touted three former ECW Champions involved in this match. Crazy opened with some nice moves against Morrison. Striker compared Miz & Morrison to the Graham Brothers and Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard. Bourne tagged in and gave Miz a huracanrana off the top rope. Miz tagged in Chavo as Neely distracted Bourne. When Striker said Morrison calls himself the Medicine Man of Manipulation, Grisham asked how many names one can call himself. Dreamer got a hot tag at 4:00 and cleaned house on Miz and Morrison. He gave Miz an always less than graceful bulldog followed by a powerslam for a near fall. Chaos broke out. All three heels leaped at Dreamer one after another and each ended up backdropped to the floor. Crazy then leaped and flipped onto the heels. Bourne followed with a back flip off the top rope onto the heels. Striker asked if it gets any better than that. A big “ECW, ECW” chant broke out. Dreamer threw Miz into the ring, but as Dreamer followed, Morrison grabbed his leg. Miz gave him a neckbreaker and scored the pin.
WINNER: Miz & Morrison & Chavo in 5:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2 — Good action bell to bell with some spectacular highspots.
-They showed Ricky Ortiz excitedly heading toward the entrance tunnel.
-The announcers again plugged the Hardy-Henry rematch. Grisham also plugged tickets going on sale Saturday for Cyber Sunday in Phoenix, Ariz.
2 — RICKY ORTIZ vs. GAVIN SPEARS
Striker said Ortiz is calling his fans the Rick ‘n’ Rollers. Striker noticed some rally towels in the crowd. An inset promo aired with Spears who said he’s the crown jewel (not the gold standard) in ECW’s new talent initiative. He said he doesn’t need gimmicks or rally towels to get noticed because he has something Ortiz doesn’t have – talent. Striker said he was emailing back and forth with Gavin trying to learn something about him. He said he’s a former blackjack dealer and hockey player and enjoyed watching Rick Martel and Rick Rude. These little promos for new guys give a match with an unknown more meaning, borrowing a bit from how UFC creates interest in matches among its fans with unknown or little known fighters. Striker introduced Aaron Davis as a new referee for ECW. Spears put Ortiz in a cobra clutch. Ortiz escaped and elbowed Spears in the head. Striker said he likes to see young superstars in their infancy because some of them will become big stars and we can say we saw them when. It’s how John Cena started. Ortiz rallied. He played to the crowd, made a big O with his hands, and gave him a running splash, inspired perhaps by the immobile One Man Gang? Talk about a lame finisher. I hope that’s intentional and part of his character. Decent match otherwise.
WINNER: Ortiz in 3:00.
-They showed Henry doing barbell curls backstage. Giant barbells. I always wonder what kind of beasts those are for when I’m grabbing from the (way) other side of the rack at the gym. That answers it.
-The Power of the WWE Universe: For the second straight week, more people watched Raw last night than Monday Night Football.
-Finlay came out with Hornswoggle and played to the crowd. Grisham said Finlay was challenged here, whereas usually Finlay is the aggressor. Finlay he tells anyone who will listen that he’s gone soft just because he enjoys dancing a little and bringing kids into the ring. He said Knox says that makes him a target. He said last week he challenged him to enter the ring, but he walked away. He said he’s giving him another chance this week, and he didn’t bring his shillelagh so he has no excuse. Knox walked out to music that sounded like a drunk band using instruments found in a junkyard. Knox said Finlay is proving his point that he’s afraid of him. He said he can’t handle the pressure of knowing he can take him out at anytime. Finlay he’s 100 feet away running his mouth, so come to the ring and prove himself. Knox obliged, but stopped short at ringside. Knox said, “I’m going to do this when I decide to do, not because you’re begging me to put you out of your misery.” Hornswoggle was shown sneaking under the ring. Finlay told him he had one week to make his move before he’d make his. He charged at Knox at ringside and rammed him into the security railing. They rolled off of the ramp onto the concrete floor. They were pulled apart by Seve Keirn, Mike Rotunda, and a couple referees.
-They showed Hardy warming up backstage by running in place.
-Striker and Grisham were shown at ringside. Grisham said, “After all of the great, amazing moments that SummerSlam provided us, there was one disturbing incident that none of us will soon forget.” Striker said he’s rarely at a loss for words, but what they’re about to air is “extremely unnerving.” Obviously they’re talking about Edge being slammed through the ring and set on fire, right? Nope. That falls in the category, apparently, of “great, amazing moments.” Instead they threw to a clip of the Shawn Michaels and Rebecca incident with Chris Jericho. A woman getting accidentally hit is more disturbing than Edge being burned alive apparently. Grisham and Striker responded solemnly about what they just watched, really overplaying this angle. Grisham said WWE’s website is reporting Rebecca has a fractured jaw. Striker said what happened goes beyond sports entertainment. He said everyone wishes Rebecca a speedy recovery. Gosh, this post-angle reaction to that angle is ruining it. It’s just so heavy and sappy and overdone. You’d think she had some terrible disease and Jericho walked out and spit on her and broke both of her legs right in front of everyone while laughing maniacally. Or burned her alive. All he did was swing at Michaels and miss and hit her in the face. I mean, tough. Next time she should ask her husband not to duck when a punch is headed toward them.
-Another recap aired of the Hardy-Henry match at SummerSlam. Striker announced Knox vs. Finlay was signed for next week’s ECW show.
3 — MARK HENRY (w/Tony Atlas) vs. MATT HARDY – ECW Title match
The match began with 11 minutes left in the hour. Grisham again called it one of the bigger matches in ECW TV history. Hardy went for another early Twist of Fate. Henry easily fended it off. Henry overpowered Hardy a minute in and dominated, clotheslining him over the top rope to the floor at 3:00.
Henry’s methodical beatdown continued after the break. Henry twisted on Hardy’s head mid-ring as Atlas cheered him on at ringside. Hardy escaped and went for a Twist of Fate. Henry elbowed Hardy and remained on offense. Atlas took a cheap shot at Hardy as Henry argued with the ref at 9:00.
A crawler on the screen plugged that an uninterrupted version of this show will be available at ECW.com tomorrow afternoon after 4 p.m. Henry made an overconfident cover and Hardy kicked out. Hardy slipped of Henry’s grip and then upkicked him in the gut. Henry fired back with a clothesline at 12:00. Henry pressed and dropped Hardy mid-ring behind him. Henry laughed maniacally. Henry went for the Ortiz/OMG running splash, but Hardy moved. Both were slow to get up. Hardy got up first and went on the attack. Hardy caught a charging Henry with a boot, then came off the second rope with a bulldog for a believable, dramatic near fall. Hardy climbed to the top rope and flew off with a crossbody block for another two count. Hardy signalled for the Twist of Fate. Henry shoved him off and then picked him up. Hardy escaped and the Twist of Fate. Grisham ruined the drama of a possible win for Hardy by declaring, “Ladies and gentleman, you are about to witness history.” Of course that meant there’d be no pin here. (McMahon orders his announcers to always do that, so it’s not the fault of the announcers.) Hardy covered him right near the ropes. Atlas walked in and yanked Hardy off of Henry. That wasn’t a DQ tonight, but it was last night. Striker explained that the ref didn’t see past Henry this time. Hardy went for a moonsault. Henry lifted his knees. Henry then powerslammed Hardy for the win.
WINNER: Henry in 15:00.