December 17, 2008
Philip DiLiegro

ECW TV Report for December 16, 2008
From Baltimore, Maryland

Matt Striker Moment of the Week: Any in a series of digs against the upcoming movie “The Wrestler” including naming the title character. It was surprising to see the film mentioned so directly.

Matt Hardy got a strong reaction upon coming to the ring. The general idea was that he was exceedingly happy that his brother finally became WWE champion. The crowd seemed really hot into the new champion as well, though the ultimate test for that will come a few weeks from now after the novelty wears off. Chavo Guerrero came out, on orders from Vickie Guerrero to take out Matt Hardy. Teddy Long then came out to the top of the ramp and granted Chavo’s wish for an ECW championship match right now. Normally, this is where I would point out that Chavo has no logical reason to suddenly get a title match, but then again neither did Jeff Hardy after countless jobs in title matches. And again, based on this reaction, the crowd couldn’t have cared less that Jeff got the title after so many times previously. Long also made some weight jokes about Vickie that seemed out of place.

ECW Championship: Matt Hardy v. Chavo Guerrero
The two men jockeyed in the corner to begin the contest. Matt got the early advantage after landing a back body drop. Chavo countered out of the twist of fate but was propelled out to the floor. Right before the commercial break, Chavo turned the tide by going to work on the arm of Matt Hardy. Returning, Chavo held an arm bar and leg grapevine at the same time. They did some more posturing on the mat until Matt maneuvered his way out. Hardy connected with a vertical suplex and double ax handle off of the second rope for near falls. Hardy scored with a bulldog for another near fall. Chavo turned it around with a slam off of the top rope. Matt soon came back with a Russian leg sweep and the side effect for another near fall. Chavo began to execute the three amigos but Matt countered number three into the twist of fate for the win.
This was a pretty solid match between two good wrestlers. I particularly liked the finish as countering a suplex into a DDT (or a variant like the twist of fate) is an underused exchange. As a trivia note, that was the finish to the first ever pay-per-view match in company history: Adrian Adonis’ win over Corporal Kirchner at the 1985 Wrestling Classic.
Hardy d. Chavo, Pin, 9:45, **¾.

Finlay v. Gavin Spears
Hornswoggle stole Matt Striker’s coveted Slammy award before the match. Finlay landed a clothesline and body slam early on. He took Spears down the mat and worked him over there. Finlay knocked Spears down and out with a shoulder block. On the outside, Spears chased Hornswoggle which allowed him to set up Finlay for a knee lift. Spears used a rest hold and some token offense on the inside but Finlay promptly came back. He hit another shoulder block and his sit-down. Shortly thereafter, Finlay won clean with the Celtic cross. This was little more than a glorified squash.
Finlay d. Spears, Pin, 3:54, *.

After the commercial, Matt Striker had his Slammy back, so my concerns are allayed. Backstage, DJ Gabriel and Alicia Fox were dancing by the Christmas tree until Santa Mark Henry and Atlas the red-nosed reindeer walked in. Henry did a parody of the Night Before Christmas with the idea being that he was going to destroy Hornswoggle. I believe Henry actually writes poetry in his spare time, so this was quite good.
Elsewhere, Ricky Ortiz gave Tiffany a rally towel for Christmas. CM Punk mocked it saying the gift was even better than a XFL jersey (Ortiz played in the league). Aside from that one-liner, the stuff between Tiffany and Ortiz was awful as usual.

CM Punk, Kofi Kingston & Ricky Ortiz v. Jack Swagger, the Miz & John Morrison
The heels did not even get ring entrances because I suppose that last backstage segment was a must or something. The announcers briefly mentioned that the tag titles changed on a house show Saturday but didn’t push it quite hard enough. Kofi and Morrison had a nice opening sequence. Ortiz tagged in didn’t do much of note and promptly tagged out to Punk after Morrison landed a round kick. Punk went for the charging knee and bulldog combination that he usually saves for later in the match. He went for a go to sleep, but Miz entered and made the save. Punk cleared the ring of both tag team champions and Kofi hit a crossbody off of the top rope to send Swagger to the floor. As the heels regrouped, the match went to commercial. Returning, Punk hit a body slam and jawbreaker on Morrison before yielding to Kofi. They did a cool spot where Kofi hit an arm drag type move out of a victory roll position. Miz again tried to save but was cleared out by Kofi. A dropkick landed onto Morrison as Kofi kept the advantage. Finally, Swagger who had been virtually nonexistent for six or seven minutes here, fired Kofi into the steps. Swagger held the advantage including landing a spinebuster as Kofi leapt for a tag. The announcers began questioning whether Miz was Kelly Kelly’s boyfriend after watching Raw. Wasn’t it made clear that he wasn’t last night? The heat segment began to drag until Kofi hit a huracanrana to make the hot tag to Ortiz. With some generic offense, Ortiz took the advantage and fought off all three heels. Swagger took an excellent bump off of a back body drop. Everything broke loose soon thereafter with Kofi hitting a flying bodypress from the top rope onto Miz on the floor. Punk and Morrison brawled as well. Ortiz went to the top roper but was caught by Swagger coming down. The doctor bomb settled things suddenly thereafter.
Swagger (x), Miz & Morrison d. Punk, Kofi & Ortiz (o), Pin, 10:17, **¼.

ECW Year in Review – By the Numbers: In the first of a two part series, here is my look at the year that was in ECW. What appears here is fairly straightforward: a quantitative look at the best, worst and most prolific performers in ECW over the past year. Please keep in mind that all star ratings are my own opinion and should not be taken as gospel by any means. Only non-squash matches that went at least three minutes are considered.

Best Matches of the Year: All rated ***½.
Jack Swagger d. Tommy Dreamer (11/25)
Evan Bourne d. Chavo Guerrero (10/14)
Punk, Bourne, Kingston & Ortiz d. Miz, Morrison, DiBiase & Rhodes (10/7)
John Morrison d. Evan Bourne (9/9)
Matt Hardy d. Finlay, Morrison & Miz (four-way match) (7/22)

Worst Matches of the Year:
Ricky Ortiz d. Armando Estrada (7/1) (-1.5 stars)
CM Punk d. Big Daddy V (3/11) (-0.5 stars)
Braden Walker d. Armando Estrada (7/8) (0 stars)
Mark Henry drew Tommy Dreamer (7/8) (0 stars)
Mike Knox d. Tommy Dreamer (4/29) (0 stars)

Won-Loss and Star Rating Records of Key Performers:
Shelton Benjamin (3-8, average match 2.0 stars)
Evan Bourne (13-5, average match 2.5 stars)
Tommy Dreamer (7-12-1, average match 1.8 stars)
Finlay (13-7, average match 1.9 stars)
Chavo Guerrero (7-13, average match 2.2 stars)
Matt Hardy (13-3-1, average match 2.6 stars) *highest on show
Mark Henry (7-6-1, average match 1.5 stars)
Kofi Kingston (9-3-1, average match 1.6 stars)
Mike Knox (5-8-1, average match 1.2 stars) *lowest on show
Miz & Morrison (14-16-1, average match 2.3 stars)
CM Punk (15-8, average match 2.0 stars)

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