July 1, 2009
Philip DiLiegro

ECW TV Report for June 30, 2009
From Fresno, California

Tiffany started the show with a brief promo, mentioning that while they lost some great superstars, they also gained some great ones, too. And the new superstar initiative is still in full effect.

Shelton Benjamin v. Yoshi Tatsu
I’m guessing someone in creative is a fan of Super Mario Bros. and heard Tatsumi Fujinami’s name in passing somewhere. Tatsu is Naofumi Yamamoto, formerly of FCW where he did wrestle under the name Yoshi Tatsu. He was playing a smiling babyface, through and through. Before the match, Shelton got on the microphone and made some generic Japanese-sounding noises. He then bowed to his opponent and to the corners. Matt Striker: “This is just ignorant.” Did you hear that creative? Shelton then did the crane kick stance from the Karate Kid, which I must admit was a bit humorous. He then did a sumo stance and bowed to his opponent when Tatsu hit him with a round kick to the head. That led to the abrupt cover and win. I’m not sure how well ECW is going to treat Shelton this time around. This would be the kind of thing you would do with a low-midcard act like Santino Marella, not a guy who thought to be arguably the top heel on the show with Swagger and Henry gone.
Tatsu d. Shelton, Pin.

Up next was another debut as Abraham Washington had a talk show with the Bella Twins. He looks like Dwayne Johnson. Before he brought out his guests, he put over the Bash and made a lame Paris Hilton joke. The crowd tried to drown the lame monologue out with “what?” chants. He called 12 Rounds (on DVD today, by the way) a financial disaster and then reminded us that John Cena beat the Miz twice this week. He then brought out the Bella Twins. He invited his guests to sit down by saying that his name isn’t O.J. Simpson; wow, what is with the tasteless humor tonight? Washington tried some sarcasm and said that the ladies were considered by SI to be the sexiest twins in sports and were the number one search on Yahoo once. This is going way too long as Washington is nowhere near good enough to cover for the Bellas. He then asked who was the first to kiss, do more than kiss, who was the better athlete, etc. The girls bickered and no one cared as the segment ended. This was a terrible segment as Washington needed a good talker to play against and they didn’t provide him with that.

Sheamus v. Oliver John
This is officially the developmental show now. Sheamus is the former Sheamus O’Shaunessy from FCW by way of the Emerald Isle. He cut a promo in Gaelic before switching to English. He hit a side headlock take over and went to a choke. He hit a clothesline and went to a chinlock. John teased a comeback before Sheamus scored with a chicken kick. He then finished with an uranage into a backbreaker which looked pretty good (on a man of his opponent’s size anyway). This was a pretty good debut all things considered.
Sheamus squash, 2:26.

William Regal tried to talk strategy with Vladimir Kozlov backstage.

Tyler Rex debuted backstage by introducing himself to Zach Ryder. They’re wrestling on Superstars this week. Reks was putting over surfing in southern California before Ryder said the best surfing was on Long Island, you know it.

They replayed last night’s main Raw angles. Despite all of the wacky turns, the guest GM, the big trade, the false starts with several midcarders, the abrupt Mark Henry push, and the constant changing of direction, the show still ended with John Cena and Triple H on top.

Backstage, Christian was vowing to win the ECW championship while Dreamer was more concerned about the main event tonight.

Christian & Tommy Dreamer v. Vladimir Kozlov & William Regal
Matt Striker was putting Regal over like crazy before the match. Regal and Christian began the contest. Matt Striker mentioned Regal wrestled for a while as Steven Regal before he realized there couldn’t be two Steves in the WWF. Or because he came to find out that he was a descendant of William the Conqueror, whichever you choose to believe. Christian hit an elbow off of the second rope for a near fall. Kozlov tagged in and basically no sold some of Christian’s punches before hitting a shoulder tackle. He held a backbreaker submission before Christian slipped out and tagged in Dreamer. Kozlov went to work on him in the corner. Tommy came back with a knee lift and crossbody. He then low-bridged Kozlov to the floor. Christian hit a baseball slide as the match went to break. After the break, Regal held a chin lock on the mat and then Kozlov came in with a series of elbows for a two count. Regal then came back in and allowed Dreamer to make the tag. Christian did some good stuff including a missile dropkick for a two count. He then hit a sunset flip off of the second rope. Regal came back with and tagged out. Kozlov did some work on the shoulder of Christian for a bit. Regal tagged in and followed suit. Kozlov came back in with a head butt and a belly-to-belly suplex. Regal tagged back in and drew a loud “Regal sucks” chant. Christian and Regal collided and we had a double tag. Dreamer hit a clothesline off of the second rope and got a near fall. Tommy then hit a neckbreaker for a near fall. On the outside, Regal threw Christian into the steps and tagged himself in as Kozlov gained the advantage back. Regal then hit an awful-looking exploder suplex as he could barely get Dreamer to go up with him. Kozlov then blind-tagged himself into the match. Kozlov then hit his finisher for the win. They teased that there may be dissention between Kozlov and Regal after the bell.
For what it’s worth, Kozlov didn’t look all that terrible here compared to what we have seen before. They actually had him take bumps which you never see him take (missile dropkicks, crossbody, etc.). The match still slowed down a lot when he was in there and his selling was very erratic.
Kozlov(x) & Regal d. Christian & Dreamer(o), Pin, 13:07, **.

Next week, ECW airs at 7/6 central on Sci-Fi in the United States.

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