ECW on Sci-Fi: October 14, 2008
by Samoa Rowe
-They are airing from Las Vegas, Nevada. Our hosts for the evening are Matt Striker and Todd Grisham.
-Mark Henry and Tony Atlas make their way to the ring. Atlas talks about the beating Henry gave Matt Hardy last week, when he tried to save Jamie Noble from a prolonged beat-down. They are demanding a shot at the ECW title. Atlas is quickly interrupted by GM Theodore Long. Long reminds them that Henry came up short against Hardy at No Mercy. Long announces for Cyber Sunday that Hardy will defend the ECW title against Mark Henry or two other men, with the fans deciding via text votes. The other two contenders will be determined in qualifying matches tonight. Evan Bourne comes out for his match, and fakes Henry out with a handshake offer. Well, that was certainly bold. Henry storms off without further incident.
Cyber Sunday qualifying match:
Evan Bourne vs. Chavo Guerrero
They tie up and exchange holds, lobbying for position. Evan bounces off the mat and arm drags Chavo, sending him to ringside for a breather. Chavo takes Bourne down and goes after the head. Guerrero moves to the arm, and Bourne flips around to escape. Evan goes after the arm himself. Chavo uppercuts and follows up with aggressive smashes. Bourne counters Chavo and sends him to ringside. Bourne dives over the toss rope, wiping Chavo out! And we head to a commercial.
After the break, the action is back in the ring. Chavo counters a standing moonsault. During the break, Chavo countered Bourne’s flying knee assault into a leg submission. As we speak, Bourne fights off Chavo’s arm attack. Evan tries to quicken the pace, but runs into a rolling Liger kick from Chavo. Cover by Guerrero gets 2. Chavo continues to stomp and kick. Evan fights back with stiff kicks to Chavo’s leg and midsection. Roll-up by Evan gets 2.9! That was a nice near fall. Bourne corners Guerrero and plants him on the top rope. Chavo blocks top rope rana and Bourne bounces to the mat in nasty fashion! Cover by Chavo gets 2.5! Chavo locks on a single leg Boston crab. Evan kicks to freedom. Three amigos by Guerrero, but Evan blocks the final suplex. Chavo goes top rope, and Bourne leaps up and head scissors him to the mat! Bourne goes high risk and nails the shooting star press for the win at 9:41 (shown)! Awesome television match, full of big bumps and high drama, ***½!
Winner: Evan Bourne
-After the match, Mark Henry returns and destroys Evan Bourne.
-Backstage, Tiffany is dressing up like a show-girl for Theodore Long’s entertainment. She claims to have the perfect costume for Long, and it’s an Elvis Presley get-up. They are interrupted by Jack Swagger, who wants to know why he hasn’t gotten to face Matt Hardy yet. Long explains that in ECW, you have to work your way to the top (unless you’re on another brand and win the ECW title, then it just takes a few minutes). Tommy Dreamer joins them and asks for an ECW title shot after Cyber Sunday. Long will consider it, which upsets Swagger. After all, this isn’t 1996. Swagger accuses Dreamer of bastardizing his legacy.
Cyber Sunday qualifying match:
John Morrison (with The Miz) vs. Finlay (with Hornswoggle)
They lock up and shove for position. Shoulder block by Finlay gets a quick cover. Morrison goes for a quick win, but Finlay goes after the leg. Morrison counters into an armbar. Finlay counters into a leg lock. Morrison locks the chin to counter. Finlay manages to go back to work on the leg. This has been a nifty countering sequence. Morrison kicks to escape, but Finlay retains control of the leg. Morrison gets into the corner to break it up and takes advantage with some hard kicks. Cover by Morrison gets 2. Morrison blasts Finlay in the face with a kick and goes to work on the arm. “Johnny Nitro” chant from the crowd. Finlay escapes, but is distracted by The Miz. Finlay tosses Morrison over the ropes onto The Miz. Finlay claims there is something in his eye, distracting the referee from seeing Hornswoggle dive through the ropes and wiping out Morrison and Miz. Miz chases Hornswoggle under the ring. We head to a break.
After the commercial, Morrison has control and is working the arm. During the break, Finlay caught Morrison in the apron, but Morrison fought back with an impressive Pele kick from the floor. More hard kicks from John Morrison and back to the arm lock. Finlay escapes, but immediately eats a clothesline. Morrison gets a series of one counts. Morrison goes back to an arm lock, as a few fans become impatient with all the submission holds. Finlay explodes out and both men are down momentarily. Finlay attempts a backslide pin and gets 2. Series of clotheslines by Finlay and some hard corner work. Finlay plants Morrison and gets a near fall. Backbreaker and Neckbreaker by Morrison gets a cover for 2.5. Hornswoggle crawls onto the apron and plays dead. Morrison is distracted, by Mike Knox shows up and steals the shillelagh. This distraction almost costs Finlay the match, as Morrison regains the upper hand. Morrison uncovers a turnbuckle. Cryme Tyme appears out of nowhere and hands Finlay the shillelagh, who nails Morrison in the head and gets the win at 12:38 (shown)! Solid match that became pretty silly towards the end, **½.
-After the match, Cryme Tyme celebrates with Finlay and Hornswoggle. Finlay randomly takes them both out with the shillelagh. That was unnecessary. Finlay probably wishes he hadn’t done that, as Mark Henry attacks him on his way out, destroying him just like he did earlier with Bourne.
Final Thoughts: You know something, I really like the ECW roster right now. They are working really hard and taking a lot of pride in their matches, and it shows. I would say that Bourne and Morrison are definitely going to be better performers for working with Chavo and Finlay, and they put on two quality television matches. This was a quality episode from a wrestling stand-point and a storytelling one as well.