February 25, 2009
Philip DiLiegro

ECW TV Report
Taped 2/23 from Nashville

DJ Gabriel v. Mark Henry
Grisham buries Gabriel right off the bat by asking Striker if he “has any chance against Mark Henry.” If Gabriel is presented as a hopeless underdog against a midcard guy like Henry, why should I or anyone care about him as a babyface? Henry hit a hip toss to start and then no sold a bunch of stuff. Henry hit a headbutt and went to a choke. Henry continued with the methodical offense. He missed an avalanche which led to Gabriel getting in some token offense. Even a dropkick and a double axe handle off of the second rope could not drop Henry. Then he got caught coming off of the top rope and fell victim to the world’s strongest slam.
This was a total squash and completely killed any credibility Gabriel might have had. If they want to show off Henry (which is fine), have him do it against a jobber, not against someone who the audience may have wanted to get behind.
Henry d. Gabriel, squash, 3:00

Tyson Kidd v. Matt Boyce
Matt Striker dubs Boyce the “third lost Mulkey brother” which is funny to even someone like me who has no firsthand recollections of the Mulkeys. Kidd started with some mat work until Boyce landed a sunset flip for two. Kidd came back with two sharp kicks. Kidd then did some pounding on the mat and went to a headscissors. Kidd hit a spinning heel kick and a springboard elbow drop for his third straight squash win. Here’s hoping that he doesn’t get squashed by Mark Henry or Jack Swagger within a couple of weeks.
Kidd squash, 2:19.

Tommy Dreamer v. Paul Burchill
Dreamer hit a hip toss and a side Russian leg sweep before firing Burchill out to the floor. Back in, Dreamer hit a hanging neckbreaker but missed an elbow drop which allowed Burchill to turn the tide. Burchill did some work in the corner and put Dreamer down with a short clothesline for a near fall. Burchill missed a charge in the corner and Dreamer came back with a swinging neckbreaker and elbow drop. Burchill tried a move from the second rope which Dreamer sidestepped. He then maneuvered into a slingshot which put Burchill in the tree of woe. Tommy went for a baseball slide but Katie Lea pulled her brother out of the way. Then, Boogey Man grabbed Katie Lea by the ankles and tried to drag her under the ring. Burchill was of course distracted leading to Dreamer hitting a DDT for the win. They appear to be building to the first serious feud for the Boogey Man which could be interesting, in a perverse way. On another note, it’s refreshing to see Dreamer finally win a match as he should be pushed to some extent if he really is calling it a career in three months.
Dreamer d. Burchill, Pin, 3:36, *½.

They aired a promo for next week’s show which advertised an appearance from Kane.

ECW Championship: Jack Swagger v. Christian
Tony Chimmel did the old-school style introductions after both men made their way to the ring and the entrance music had stopped. Matt Striker said Swagger was 6’6’’ which is absurd even for pro wrestling hyperbole. Swagger hit a waist lock slam and held the advantage on the mat. Swagger hit another body slam. Christian came back with a spinning heel kick for a near fall. Swagger went for a big avalanche in the corner but Christian moved out of the way. After Swagger was sent out to the floor, Christian hit a plancha on top of him from the inside middle turnbuckle to lead into the first commercial break. Swagger apparently retook the advantage during the break and hit a shoulder block to send Christian from the apron to the floor. Christian battled back for a minute but soon collided into the steel steps. Christian barely beat the count back into the ring and was slammed once there. Swagger then moved from a wrist lock into an arm bar. Christian and Swagger exchanged counters. Swagger hit a shoulder breaker and rammed Christian into the corner as the match moved into a second commercial break. Coming back, Swagger hit a move similar to the Knox out. He held a front face lock for a bit before Christian came back with a missile dropkick off of the second rope. He hit a drop toe hold and choked Swagger for a bit. He then went for his flying headbutt but missed it off of the top rope. Swagger came back with a cradle suplex (Perfect plex) for a near fall. Christian and Swagger each then slipped out of a couple holds before Christian scored with a reverse DDT for a long two count. Swagger came back with a uranage from the belly-to-belly position for another near fall. He tried to follow up with a Vader bomb for a near fall, but Christian blocked with his knees. Christian hit a sunset flip from the second rope for another near fall. Christian then did land the flying headbutt for another near fall; this is turning into an excellent match. Christian then connected with a DDT for another near fall. He had to hesitate before covering still selling from the earlier heat segment. Swagger reversed an Irish whip into the corner and tried for the doctor bomb thereafter which Christian escaped. Christian then could not lock in the unprettier because of the earlier shoulder injury allowing Swagger to successfully connect with his finisher. That led to the deciding pinfall.
Even with nearly seven minutes of this match cut out because of commercials, this was still a very enjoyable television main event. Frankly, it was one of the best matches on TV so far this year. For those who do not watch ECW regularly, I would take some time to check this match out.
Swagger d. Christian, Pin, 20:25, ***¾.

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