January 7, 2009
Philip DiLiegro

ECW TV Report for January 5, 2010

The show began with Christian, who has unfortunately become a total afterthought on this show of late, in the ring. He mentioned the tournament and that he will have eight potential challengers by the end of the night. They remain exceedingly vague about what the eight men will be competing in next week, though it sounds like a battle royal. He then was interrupted by CM Punk. Christian made a weird metaphor about seeing something last night which he thought he would never see (Bret and Shawn hugging) and now he’s seeing something that he never wanted to ever see – Punk back on ECW. Punk claimed he would win tonight and next week and then take the title at Royal Rumble. He then said that as champion he would mentor all the young superstars of ECW as champion. Christian came back by predicting that Mark Henry would squash Punk tonight. All in all, this was a very ordinary opening segment.

Shelton Benjamin v. Chavo Guerrero
Seeing Shelton come out brings the reflection that once again he puts on a dynamite performance in a ladder match, only to see that mean nothing weeks later. Watch this dynamic play out again after this year’s money-in-the-bank ladder match. The match began with Chavo bullying Shelton into a corner before the referee stepped in. Shelton reversed Chavo into the corner and did much of the same. Shelton missed a charge into the corner off an Irish whip which allowed Chavo to get 2/3 of the Three Amigos. Shelton turned around the waist lock as Chavo went for the third and scored a German suplex for a near fall. Chavo came down with a chop block and they went to a heat segment with Chavo working the left leg of a fallen Benjamin. Chavo hit a senton from the apron and onto the lower body of Shelton, who was prone laying by the ropes. Shelton then made his comeback using a spinning heel kick (planting on the hurt leg, but then selling it after hitting the move). Shelton hit a back body drop but Chavo came back with a takedown off of the bad leg. They did some mat work before Chavo setup Benjamin for the frog splash. Shelton caught Chavo off the top and quickly went for the paydirt for the victory. So Shelton is the seventh man in next week’s tournament finale. This was another step in trying to get Chavo beyond the role as an opening match comedy figure and into a role as an ordinary opening match wrestler.
Shelton d. Chavo.

Zack Ryder, accompanied by Rosa, then did a 35 second promo, saying that after he retired Tommy Dreamer that the ECW show is all about him.

They then went to a detailed rundown of the Bret Hart segments from last night. It’s very telling that the crowd was really hot for the first segment for Shawn and Bret, but that you could see people leaving the arena early for Bret and Vince at the end. Given that Vince has never drawn well on pay-per-view as a wrestler, I think they are booking the wrong match (see Vince v. Austin in Feb 1999, Vince v. HHH in Dec 1999, Vince v. Hogan at WrestleMania 2003 and Vince & Shane v. Shawn & God in April 2007).

Vladimir Kozlov v. Ezekiel Jackson
William Regal was in Jackson’s corner. Kozlov worked a waist lock on the mat to start. Jackson got to his feet only to have Kozlov hit him with a head kick which sent Jackson to the floor (Jackson looked incredibly awkward trying to take this bump). Kozlov tried some more kicks when Jackson returned to the ring but Zeke caught him and took control of the match. They worked very carefully, almost exclusively with Kozlov on the mat and Jackson using the most basic of moves and wrapping the leg of Kozlov around the ring post. Jackson then tried for leg lock but Kozlov kicked him off and onto the floor. After returning back to the ring, Kozlov hit a series of shoulder blocks. Jackon came back with a knee lift and clothesline to reassert the advantage. He finally finished with the uranage. After the match, Regal implored Jackson to continue on the attack which Zeke did by ramming Kozlov into the mat. This was an awful match, predictably.
Jackson d. Kozlov.

Before the main event, Tony Atlas offered to manage Mark Henry again and Henry turned him down.

Mark Henry v. CM Punk
They started with some traditional big man versus small man stuff such as CM Punk being unable to move or takedown Henry and Punk’s punches and kicks having no effect on the big man. Henry eventually got Punk down with a hip toss and then sent the former world champion over the top rope. That was the logical point for the match to head to commercial break. After the break, Henry used a lariat to cause Punk to bump and take another powder to the floor. Henry chased Punk out to the floor where he walked into a drop toe hold into the ring steps. For the first time in the match, Punk held the upper hand. Punk made a bid for a count out victory but Henry rolled in at five. Punk stomped away and used elbow and knee drops with Henry down on the mat. Punk then hit a hanging neckbreaker for a near fall. Punk then used a head-scissor submission on the mat while elbowing Henry on the top of the head. Punk then used round kicks to the body of Henry who was struggling to get to his knees. Punk then missed his patented running knee lift in the corner allowing Henry to follow up with an avalanche. Henry missed a second avalanche and Punk this time was able to connect with a flying knee to the head. Punk couldn’t follow up with the bulldog. Punk distracted the referee as he got to his feet which allowed Luke Gallows to blindside Henry from the floor. Punk was then able to hit a roundhouse kick to the head for the deciding pin (no go to sleep with Henry as the opponent of course).
Punk d. Henry.

So next week it is CM Punk, Shelton Benjamin, Yoshi Tatsu, Ezekiel Jackson, Vance Archer, Evan Bourne, Matt Hardy and Kane competing for the shot at Christian at the Royal Rumble. CM Punk is the best choice for a winner as that is probably the best match and Punk is going in the wrong direction on Smackdown.

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