Full Credit: Phil DiLiegro, F4WOnline.com
Jack Swagger began the show sitting in a chair in the center of the ring. He said what happened to him on Sunday was a travesty and that he wouldn’t leave the ring until he got justice. That immediately prompted two referees to come out and try and persuade him to leave. It’s a small thing but where are these guys when there’s a violent beat down happening? Yet they run out when Swagger threatens to stay in the ring and do nothing. Tiffany then came out and told Swagger to leave the ring and they could discuss in her office. Swagger kept complaining while Tiffany did a terrible impersonation of a high school principal. They went at it until Tiffany said he would never get a title shot again if he didn’t leave the ring, so of course he backed right down. Going up the ramp, Swagger ran into Christian who had the next match and knocked him off the ramp. Who were they trying to get over in this segment, Tiffany or Swagger?
Christian v. Paul Burchill
Christian was selling the leg injury from before the break. Christian held a front face lock and went to an arm drag followed by another. Christian went up to the second rope and was knocked off. Burchill went to work on the outside and fired Christian over the steps. Burchill tried for a couple covers back inside the ring. He went to a half-Boston crab and hit a back suplex. Christian missed a dropkick and Burchill continued on the left leg. Burchill then went to a leg grapevine on the mat. The previously quiet crowd rallied behind Christian as Burchill continued to work the leg. Christian made a comeback with a tornado DDT. After a near fall, Christian hit a reverse DDT for another near fall. Christian tried for a sunset flip off of the second rope and got another near fall. Burchill then slipped out of the kill switch and hit a vertical suplex. Christian kicked out of a near fall and hit his pendulum kick out of the corner. He hit an uppercut off of the second rope and the kill switch for the victory. Afterwards, Josh Matthews interviewed Christian. The champion said that because he never got a finish to his MSG match three weeks ago, he was challenging Tommy Dreamer to a championship match. He made mention to Tommy Dreamer’s contract expiring in three weeks, so that storyline is not dead. He never mentioned where or when but they would announce later that the match would take place on Superstars.
All in all, this was a strong TV match, given the time allotted. They seem to be directing Matt Striker into a strictly pro-heel persona which I am not sure is for the better.
Christian d. Burchill, Pin, 7:37, **½.
Backstage, Tiffany was yelling some more. She said she was considering making the Dreamer-Christian match and that Swagger could take the rest of the night off.
Zack Ryder v. Adam Greene
Greene is a master of Muay Thai, so says Striker. Ryder hit a swinging neckbreaker and went to a neck vise. Ryder hit a high kick prompting Striker (via Vince) to say “I’d like to see Carmelo Anthony pull that one off.” It’s amazing how WWE can be completely in the right in this situation and yet come across so petty and immature. Anyway, Ryder then finished by bracing Greene’s head against his knee and falling back. It’s a fresh finisher if nothing else.
Ryder squash, 2:01 (didn’t think I’d ever be typing that).
They replayed the conclusion of last week’s show where David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd beat down Finlay. Smith cut a brief promo backstage saying he was better than his dad ever was.
Vladimir Kozlov walked out to the top of the stage in his military uniform. He cut a bilingual promo to chants of “what?.” He said the Russian army was the strongest fighting force in the world and he was the strongest force in ECW. Backstage, Gregory Helms announced the match between Christian and Tommy Dreamer will take place on Superstars. Dreamer put over Christian for giving him the shot. He said that this was his last opportunity and will be ECW champion.
Finlay v. David Hart Smith
During the opening collar and elbow lockup, Striker mentioned that Finlay and Davey Boy Smith wrestled on World of Sport, which was the British wrestling program hosted by Kent Walton decades ago. I’m surprised that reference made it to air. Finlay held the early advantage and went out to the floor. Back inside, Smith hit a blow and took the advantage in the corner. Finlay came back with a short clothesline. Finlay worked a top wrist lock on the canvas. Finlay used knee and elbow drops in between holds. Finlay hit a backbreaker out of a reverse DDT and got a near fall. On the outside, Smith hit a power slam which, as Matt Striker reminded us, was his father’s finisher. After a commercial break, Smith held a rest hold. He then hit a backbreaker and a legdrop for a near fall. Smith went back to a rest hold. Finlay powered out by Smith put his down with a clothesline. The match went into a slow malaise as Smith held the advantage. He even used a camel clutch which was surprising since they seem to be reserving that hold for the Big Show. Finlay made a brief comeback before running into a big boot. More holds on the mat. Finlay slipped out of a power slam and rammed Smith into the post. He hit a couple of clotheslines. He hit a senton for a near fall. Finlay hit a back body drop and clotheslined Smith to the floor. Chasing him out, Finlay then fired Kidd into the guardrail. The distraction allowed Natalya to slip Smith her boot which he walloped Finlay with. Smith hit a belly-to-back suplex (Saito suplex, per Matt Striker) for the win.
While there was nothing technically wrong with the match, it went too long and probably did more harm than good. It’s as if they were more concerned with testing Smith out, to see how he could hang with a veteran like Finlay than to have the best match possible. At over 18 minutes, it was the longest match on this show in quite some time. By the way, the New Harts are using a remix of the famous Hart Foundation theme music.
Smith d. Finlay, Pin, 18:06, *½.