We’re in Nashville (birthplace of Big Kev) and Christian gets his first ECW Title shot tonight against Jack Swagger, which he earned by being Christian.
I’m not one for superstitions but this is how this episode starts.
We get the first dramatic video package in a long time for the Jack Swagger vs. Matt Hardy title match as the first big match in a long time on this show.
We’re in New Orleans for the first ECW on Sci-Fi of 2009 and here’s a kid busting a move to the hard pipes of Finlay’s theme.
12/23/08 is the annual Best Of show that’s all recap and video packages so I’m fucking that off and skipping to the last show of 2008 instead.
Jeff Hardy finally won the big one at Armageddon during the best singles run of his career so brother Matt is out here to talk about happy they’re both champions at the same time. He doesn’t mention Kozlov so I guess that one-week feud is over. Chavo Guerrero interrupts as Vickie wants revenge for a Hardy taking Edge’s belt so Teddy Long walks out dressed as an elf to make this match officially serious.
We start with Tommy Dreamer talking about how much ECW means to him and how he’s put fifteen years of his life into this and all the other things he tells the cashier at Wallmart he sees wearing a John Cena shirt underneath their work gear. Out of nowhere, Kozlov (of all people) gives Dreamer the Iron Curtain and challenges Matt Hardy tonight. He leaves via the crowd so Jack Swagger saunters out to give Dreamer the Doctor Bomb because he’s the ALL AMERICAN AMERICAN.
We’re in Washington, DC and Swagger finally has his chest pounds!
We’re in Atlanta, GA (baddest Atlanta in the whole USA) and John Morrison and The Miz are here to brag as we see footage of The Miz pinning HBK last night on Raw. I do not remember that happening but I’m sure message boards looked like Kristallnacht the day after.
We’re in the ”United Kingdom” according to the graphic but I can confirm it’s the Manchester MEN Arena because I was at this show! Think it was my first live WWE show, naturally I went by myself because it was a wrestling show in 2008 and I nearly got into a fight with a bored dad who took exception to my vintage WCW shirt and got his son to call me a loser. He was right, but fuck him anyway.
We’re in Orlando, Florida and we start with Cargo Pants Matt Hardy.
”In memory of SD Jones” starts the show and in a touching tribute Teddy Long appears dressed as Ron Burgundy.
We’re in Laredo, Texas for a shorter-than-normal episode because of reasons.
We’re in Las Vegas, NV and we start with an even-sweatier-than-usual Mark Henry. We get clips from last week of Henry’s destruction of Jamie Noble and Matt Hardy. Tony Atlas demands a title shot for Henners but Teddy disagrees and makes Henry one of the choices at Cyber Sunday for a title match. Henry stares down Teddy until Air Bourne’s original (superior) theme interrupts things. Bourne offers Henry a hand-shake but retracts it while grinning to show his alliance with The Riott Squad and guaranteeing he’s going to get his wig split.
We’re in Skoplane, WA (home of Chuck Jones & David Lynch so it sounds like a lovely place). Matt Hardy retained at No Mercy last week so our main event is announced as…an eight man tag guest-starring Kofi Kingston and CM Punk. And absolutely nothing is made of the fact the former World Heavyweight Champion is returning to ECW, Striker simply hypes the ”young, upcoming talent” and try to pretend Punk’s Worst Run As Heavyweight Champion Since Tim Sylvia didn’t happen.
We’re in Green Bay, WI and Teddy Long starts the show by sadly letting Tiffany introduce ECW Champion and The World’s Strongest Challenger Mark Henry to the ring. Henry reminds Matt he has a tough week ahead of him as he’s in the Triple Threat Brand Champion match on Smackdown with Jericho and HHH. If you haven’t seen that match, take a guess how it ends and you’ll be right.
But first: Unforgiven!
Matt Hardy vs. The Miz vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Mark Henry vs. Finlay (ECW Title Scramble Match)
We’re in Pittsburgh and we start with The Dirt Sheet. John Morrison brags about beating Stephen Hawking at 44 consecutive games of Pachisi. It gets no reaction so Miz says hello and gets booed. He mentions Unforgiven is taking place in his hometown of Ohio and gets even more boos. I don’t know much about American cities but I know that Ohio is up there with Detroit for ”name somewhere that’s going to get booed.”
We’re in Wilkes-Barre and Tiffany introduces the show to…introduce Teddy Long. Long announces that they will be following in the steps of Raw & Smackdown and the ECW Title match at Unforgiven will now be a Scramble Match. Hilariously, Teddy tells us he isn’t going to try to explain the rules but encourages us to check out WWE dot com instead. Given Teddy’s track record with describing things more complicated than ”get pinned, lose” that’s for the best. Here you go Tedders: