November 19, 2008
Philip DiLiegro

ECW TV Report for November 18, 2008
Taped 11/17 from Atlanta, GA

The Miz & John Morrison began the program with an interview designed to hype this weekend’s Survivor Series. The Miz and Morrison argued briefly that they should be captains. They then put over JBL as a former world champion and a guy who is making money in this economy. From reading up a bit on his wife’s prognostications, I somehow doubt that. They then threw a weight joke. They referenced MVP and made fun of his losing streak but put over his long run as US champion. They spoke of Kane (who got a noticeable face pop) and made fun of See No Evil and Kane’s gimmick. They moved over to their opponents. They made some height jokes about Khali and Mysterio. They then mentioned how Cryme Tyme was totally buried last night. Not really, but they were sure buried last night. What they really said was that Cryme Tyme would lose and then go backstage and steal everyone’s stuff. Lastly, they mentioned that they hoped that Shawn Michaels would the last surviving member of his team. They see him as a stepping stone to build their careers to become the greatest two superstars in WWE history. All in all, this was a pretty good promo. I I do wish they would do these type of interviews with the entire team. For one, I who watch each of the WWE’s three main shows have a difficult enough time keeping up with the permutations for Sunday. So reinforcing the member of the team would help. It also would get the entire team concept, which makes this pay-per-view unique, over more.

DJ Gabriel v. Sal Rinauro
Gabriel came out dancing with Alicia Fox. Matt Striker did mention Fox’s role as a wedding planner. Gabriel is British-born wrestler Steve Lewington, Striker compared him to WCW alum Alex Wright. Gabriel got the job guy down with a leg sweep and danced a bit before hitting an elbow drop. He connected with a suplex off of an arm ringer. Gabriel used an uppercut in the ring and a flying European uppercut from the second turnbuckle to win his debut. He and Fox danced to end the segment. The finish was botched a bit as Gabriel went up the first time but Rinauro was too close to him, so they had to transition into the spot again. I really did not get much of a feel for Gabriel either way with this match. The crowd was dead for this match which only speaks to the need to build up new talent a bit before debuting them on television.
Gabriel squash, 1:38.

Jack Swagger came out for an amateur wrestling challenge against Tommy Dreamer. The match ends with a pin (a one count in amateur) or by points after five minutes. Swagger got a quick takedown for two points. And another takedown followed though Dreamer escaped as Swagger let him out. Swagger continued t dominate and the crowd continued to yawn. The referee called for a restart on the ground which led Dreamer to cheap shot Swagger (and not a minute too soon).

I have no idea why they built up this feud by having Swagger beat Dreamer twice, so I suspect there will be no interest in next week’s extreme rules match. This segment certainly didn’t add any excitement. Truthfully, I was hoping to see Daniel Puder as the opponent here.

They replayed the John Cena vignette from last night’s Raw.

Backstage, Swagger walked in on Ricky Ortiz and Tiffany flirting, looking for Teddy Long. Tiffany mentioned they weren’t watching what just happened which goes a long way to get the angle over. Swagger and Ortiz exchanged some lame trash talk before Teddy Long came in and made the extreme rules match for next week.

Todd Grisham and Matt Striker ran down most of the Survivor Series card from the announcer’s table. There was no mention of the possibility of Jeff Hardy entering the Smackdown title match. He then threw it to Matt Striker at ringside to discuss the Orton-Batista ten man elimination match with the use of his chalkboard.

Matt Hardy, Finlay & Kofi Kingston v Mark Henry, William Regal & Cody Rhodes
Finlay and Regal started out and did not do much of note until Regal tagged out to Rhodes. Finlay took the edge and walked Rhodes over to the corner. He tagged in Matt Hardy, working on a legit bed leg. Hardy landed a couple of elbow drops and a body slam before going over to hit Henry on the apron. All six men hit the ring and the match went to a quick commercial break. Returning from break, Rhodes took control over Kingston and tagged in Regal. Matt Striker made a reference to the power of the punch which was a brass knuckles gimmick Regal used about six years ago. Kofi turned it around and made a tag to Finlay. The two veterans exchanged stiff shots before Regal got Finlay down to the mat. Regal caught a boot going for a charge in the corner. Finlay went up top but was shoved out to the floor. Coming back in, Regal worked over Finlay in the corner. Matt Striker explains to us that Regal changed his name from Steve Regal to William Regal upon learning that he was a distant, distant relative of William the Conqueror. I love his commentary. All along I was thinking it was WWE removing the inevitable, enormous confusion of having two Steves in the same promotion (the other being Steve Austin). Anyway, Rhodes kept up the heat segment with a body slam and a knee drop. Mark Henry tagged in to a pretty strong heel pop. He went to a trapezius muscle hold. Regal tagged in and landed a knee drop for a two count. Regal worked a full nelson for a bit. Finlay went for a sunset flip but Regal landed a head butt to break out. Regal connected with a suplex which forced Hardy to come in and make a save. Finlay came back with a clothesline on Rhodes leading to the hot tag to Kofi Kingston. Kofi hit a body press off of the top rope, a single leg dropkick and flying clothesline on Rhodes. He connected with his double legdrop prompting Regal to save Rhodes. Mark Henry tagged in, no sold some kicks, and caught Kofi coming off of the middle rope with the world’s strongest slam. That led to the deciding pin. The main event was a bit disappointing perhaps owing to how physically limited Matt Hardy was. It’s also striking how much less Kofi has meant since moving over to Raw. He was slowly gaining some momentum on ECW when he was consistently winning matches, but on Raw he has been largely lost in the shuffle ever since those ridiculous matches he had with Chris Jericho. Specifically, I refer to where he was “put over” Jericho by winning via disqualification when Jericho held the tights. Making him tag team champion has not meant a thing either. On another note, Matt Hardy worked three separate matches last night including a dark match against Mark Henry. Why they would ask an injured wrestler to do that under any circumstances, let alone six days before a pay-per-view where he will be asked to carry much of the match makes no sense.
Henry(x), Regal & Rhodes d. Hardy, Finlay & Kofi(o), Pin, 12:32, **¼.

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