WWE Champion CM Punk def. World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus (Non-Title)
This marked the first-ever one-on-one encounter between these two, and although both men were world champions, it was comical for Michael Cole to call it "one of the biggest matches in WWE history." That said, they did give this a big fight feel with the video packages for Punk and Sheamus, the pre-match interviews, and the in-ring introductions. I loved all of that, because it was so different than anything happening on Raw or SmackDown back then. The actual match was excellent and given a ton of time. I expected it to end in a non-finish because WWE heavily wanted to protect them both, so Punk winning following a head shot to the turnbuckle post to Sheamus was a pleasant surprise.
Team CoBro def. Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd in a WWE Tag Team championship No. 1 Contender's Tournament Quarterfinal Match
Team CoBro had to have been one of the dumbest team names I've ever heard for Zack Ryder and Santino Marella. Man, that was brutal. What's interesting is that their tandem didn't last very long, so they likely had a team name solely because WWE was in the middle of a brief tag team renaissance at the time and wanted to make them feel official. Compared to Punk vs. Sheamus, this was a nothing match, though it was fun for what it was. If nothing else, it had some significance with it being a quarterfinal matchup in the WWE Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Tournament.
ECW General Manager Tiffany Interrupted ECW Champion Christian
Following his successful title defense against Yoshi Tatsu the week prior, Christian was viciously attacked by William Regal, Vladimir Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson. Regal and Christian had been feuding for months by this point and Christian wanted to get his hands on Regal so he could put their rivalry to rest once and for all. Regal agreed to the title match but wanted it on "his terms" in his native England the next week on ECW. This was a solid segment that set up the rematch between Christian and Regal and segued nicely into Regal's outing against Goldust.
William Regal def. Goldust
With Regal challenging for the ECW Championship the subsequent week, it was only logical for him to score a win here so he could continue building momentum. No one was expecting an instant classic from Regal and Goldust in 2009, but it was perfectly serviceable for as long as it lasted with both men holding their own and Regal picking up the clean victory as he should have. I appreciated that there was no interference from Kozlov and Jackson.
Sabu def. Tony Mamaluke
Sabu was scheduled to face John Cena that Sunday at the Vengeance pay-per-view, so this was designed to be a quick showcased for him. Despite being a good hand in the ring, Mamaluke was a total nobody and thus he was a fine choice to be squashed by Sabu. This wasn't terribly exciting while it lasted, but at least it got the job done with Sabu going over in decisive fashion.
Big Show Attacked Tommy Dreamer
The bell never rang to make this an official match, but it might as well have. Holy shit, this was hard to watch. Big Show destroying an ECW original in Dreamer on the second ever episode of WWE ECW didn't exactly send the best message about the brand. I'd almost understand it if it was a younger/debuting star in that role, but instead, it was... Big Show. It put over Show as a dominant force, but I don't think it was necessary for it to come at the expense of Dreamer.
Yoshi Tatsu def. Shelton Benjamin
This was Tatsu's official debut on WWE TV as well as Benjamin's first bout back on ECW in over a year. Tatsu was one of the few wrestlers that was introduced on the ECW brand as part of then-general manager Tiffany's New Superstar Initiative and he made an immediate impact by beating Benjamin in his debut. This wasn't much of a match at all, as Benjamin spent most of it mocking Tatsu's Japanese mannerisms, but it was a big win for Tatsu, nonetheless.
Abraham Washington Hosted The Abraham Washington Show with The Bella Twins
Good lord, I vividly remember The Abraham Washington Show and how horrible it was. Props to Washington for attempting to make the most of what he was given, but he was incredibly annoying more often than not and I can't recall a single installment that got anyone over. Hell, look no farther than this segment for proof. Washington interrogated Brie and Nikki the entire time about who was the smarter one of the two as well as who had their first kiss first and nonsense like that. In other words, it was a complete waste of time.
WWE Champion John Cena Called Out Mr. McMahon
One week earlier, CM Punk cut his famous "pipebomb" promo and was immediately "suspended" by the company, effectively calling off his scheduled WWE Championship match with Cena at Money in the Bank. Cena cut a promo here basically demanding McMahon to reinstate Punk so they could have their matchup. It was a logical open to the show that set up McMahon's appearance for later in the night.
Divas Champion Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres def. The Bella Twins
Kelly and Eve were feuding with Nikki and Brie at the time and Kelly wound up facing Brie in a rematch for the Divas Championship at Money in the Bank. Kelly won this match as well as the week prior, so it was nice to see her booked to look strong in her first few weeks as champion, but it did nothing to make the Bellas look like a threat. This was surprisingly better than I thought it would be. It was serviceable and all four ladies held their own.
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