December 10, 2008
Philip DiLiegro

ECW TV Report for December 9, 2008
From Bridgeport, CT

Matt Striker’s Line of the Night: “ECW’s version of the Jumping Bomb Angels: Kung Funaki and Jimmy Wang Yang.”

Tommy Dreamer began the program in the ring. He started to talk about his history with ECW until Vladimir Kozlov jumped him. Kozlov grabbed the microphone, called Matt Hardy a coward and challenged him to a match. He hit Dreamer with a choke slam and said that the fallen Dreamer was Hardy’s future. Jack Swagger came out to the ring and hit Dreamer with a gutwrench powerbomb. After replaying Miz & Morrison winning the Slammy award for best tag team, the show went to a commercial break.

Kung Funaki & Jimmy Wang Yang v. The Miz & John Morrison
Before the match, Matt Striker and Todd Grisham posed with their Slammy award. Striker also let us know that Funaki is well-known throughout Japan for his kung fu prowess. Miz was mocking Funaki and left himself open for a side kick. Yang came in and worked the shoulder for a bit. He connected with a huracanrana and a drop kick. Morrison tagged in and fared no better than Miz, receiving a standing moonsault. Funaki tagged in and connected off the top rope. Morrison missed a round kick, setting him up for two of Funaki’s kicks. Morrison went out to the floor and, as Funaki prepared to leap onto him, Miz hot shot Funaki on the top rope. After a commercial, Miz held a rest hold for a bit before Funaki escaped with chops and a sunset flip. Miz retook the advantage, hitting his charging clothesline in the corner and getting a near fall. The heels hit the double team number where Morrison lands on an opponent laying on Miz’s knees. A shining wizard led to a near fall. Morrison held a chin lock, choking with Funaki’s gi. Yang eventually got the hot tag and came in with a clothesline and leg sweep. He hit a monkey flip which Morrison took a tremendous bump off of. Yang landed a spinning heel kick on Miz to send him out to the floor. Morrison tried for the moonlight drive from behind but Yang countered out. Yang missed a moonsault off of the top rope but landed on his feet. Morrison then landed a springboard heel kick to get the win.
This was predictably a very strong opening match. It did a nice job of reestablishing Miz and Morrison as the best tag team in the company. Even though they do not hold either of the two tag team titles, they are probably the most pushed team. They definitely are the best team. The match also afforded Yang and Funaki the rare opportunity to show off their talents for more than two minutes on television.
Miz & Morrison d. Funaki & Yang, 12:25, ***.

Backstage, Tony Atlas came in the dressing room with Mark Henry wearing the dopiest American style tights you can imagine (his old gimmick was Mr. USA which had more to do with bodybuilding than a Jim Duggan-style gimmick). On the plus side, he looked in very good shape for a 64 year old man. Henry belittled Atlas’ outfit and asked why his bag was in the wrong place. This whole segment strongly teased that Atlas will be going face against Henry. Yikes. They then reaired Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair winning match of the year from last night’s Raw. Shouldn’t they focus on the Raw segments that actually built toward the pay-per-view?

At Armageddon, Matt Hardy will wrestle Vladimir Kozlov. There was no mention on the graphic of this being a championship match, so I do not like Hardy’s chances.

Boogey Man v. Scott Reed
Boogey Man hit a powerslam and clothesline to start. He hit a Stinger splash and two-handed spinebuster for the win. After the match, Reed had to eat the worms (at least he actually did unlike that tool from Jackass). There was no heat for any of this.
Boogey Man squash, 0:57.

Backstage, Finlay told Hornswoggle to follow his lead in the ring tonight. Hornswoggle was all gung ho to wrestle. They replayed Stephanie McMahon awarding Chris Jericho the superstar of the year award. Did you notice that every other award presenter was show walking to the podium but with Stephanie they just cut to her standing behind the podium?

Finlay & Hornswoggle v. Mark Henry & Tony Atlas
Matt Striker equated Finlay and Hornwoggle with the title character from the film Rudy which was a cool allusion. Even cooler was Matt Striker referencing Atlas gorilla pressing Hulk Hogan. Atlas and Finlay began with a big stall before Atlas took a bump off a shoulder block. Finlay hit a sit down and Hornswoggle hit a tadpole splash onto Finlay. Henry then ran in and cleaned out Finlay. Henry teased a Vader bomb off of the second rope onto the little guy but Finlay pulled him out of the way. After the commercial, Henry held the advantage on Finlay after a power slam. Atlas made a couple of quick tags in, hit a simple move but ran into trouble shortly thereafter. He quickly tagged out to Mark Henry. Henry caught Finlay coming off the second rope and hit a big boot for a two count. Henry held a chinlock but Finlay countered out of it with a jawbreaker. Finlay landed some leg kicks and then connected with a DDT for a two count. Henry then eluded a charge and sent Finlay to the floor with a shoulder tackle. He then grabbed Hornswoggle and slammed him in the ring. Henry went for a big splash but Finlay shoved Hornswoggle out of the way and took the move himself. Henry then finished with the world’s strongest slam. The show ended abruptly thereafter. They told the necessary story with this match, but I have to wonder why they needed to book the match to go over fourteen minutes? Given the obvious limitations of the match, a shorter duration would have been much better and would have accomplished the same thing.
Henry (x) & Atlas d. Finlay (o) & Hornswoggle, Pin, 14:30, *.

Next week, in addition to the report, I will have a brief piece covering the year in review for the ECW brand.
Feedback is welcome at philfortyfour@yahoo.com .

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