LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- With the conclusion of the ECW Homecoming Qualifying Matches, the field is set for next week's Over-the-Top-Rope Challenge. Eight Superstars -- including this week's additions of CM Punk and Shelton Benjamin -- will square off to determine who'll face ECW Champion Christian at Royal Rumble.
CM Punk def. Mark Henry (ECW Homecoming Qualifying Match) (PHOTOS | WATCH)
SmackDown's straightedge savior, CM Punk, who earlier in the night promised Christian he'd be challenging him to become the Straightedge ECW Champion, met fellow former ECW Champion, Mark Henry. The World's Strongest Man seemed to feed off Punk's kick-fueled attack with his offensive domination. But when Punk distracted the WWE official, his associate, Luke Gallows, kicked Henry in the head. Then, Punk capitalized with two more kicks to the head, knocking Henry to the ground and pinning him for the win. Punk moves on in the ECW Homecoming, but will he be the one to challenge Christian for the ECW Title at Royal Rumble?
Shelton Benjamin def. Chavo Guerrero (ECW Homecoming Qualifying Match) (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Former ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero returned this week to compete in the seventh ECW Homecoming Qualifying Matches. But the self-proclaimed Mexican Warrior was bested by one of ECW's brightest, most athletic Superstars, Shelton Benjamin. After hitting Paydirt, The Gold Standard pinned Guerrero for the win, sending him back to Raw without a chance to compete for the ECW Championship.
Benjamin advanced to the ECW Homecoming Over-the-Top-Rope Challenge along with Evan Bourne, Matt Hardy, Yoshi Tatsu, Vance Archer, Ezekiel Jackson and Kane. Three weeks ago, ECW General Manager Tiffany announced the exciting, new concept that will determine who receives the next ECW Championship Match -- the ECW Homecoming. Throughout the last several weeks, the ECW General Manager invited former and current ECW Superstars to compete in The ECW Homecoming. Sixteen Superstars competed one-on-one, and after this week's final two matches, eight will advance to The Homecoming Finale, featuring an Over-the-Top Rope Challenge on next week's edition of ECW on Syfy. The winner of the Challenge will receive an ECW Title Match against Christian at Royal Rumble!
Ezekiel Jackson def. Vladimir Kozlov (PHOTOS | WATCH)
The intense rivalry between former Ruthless Roundtable cohorts Ezekiel Jackson and Vladimir Kozlov came to a brutal culmination this week. The mutual animosity between these two Superstars was apparent throughout their physical singles match, but in the end, Big Zeke proved to be the most dominant. After hitting The Moscow Mauler with a modified Yurinagi for a victory, William Regal entered the ring with Jackson to further punish his former follower, calling him a disgrace. Is this the end of the rift between these former Ruthless Roundtable associates? Will Kozlov seek retribution?
Zack Ryder rings in 2010 (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Just one week after sending the last remaining ECW Original, Tommy Dreamer, packing from the Land of the Extreme, Zack Ryder told the WWE Universe it's a new year, and Tommy Dreamer is "dead and gone."
"I stopped the heart of ECW. I destroyed the soul of ECW," the Long Islander boasted. "I forever changed the course of this show. As far as I'm concerned, ECW is now all about one man: Zack Ryder."
What's next for Ryder in the Land of the Extreme? Who'll step up to face this dominant Superstar on ECW on Syfy?
CM Punk interrupts ECW Champion Christian (PHOTOS | WATCH)
At the beginning of the evening, ECW Champion Christian welcomed the WWE Universe to ECW on Syfy, and kicked off the night with his thoughts on the ECW Homecoming. But before Captain Charisma could further discuss who he thinks he'll face at Royal Rumble, he was interrupted by CM Punk. SmackDown's Second City Saint -- and former ECW Champion -- brought his crusade to the Land of the Extreme Tuesday night, stating his straightedge way of life will save the WWE Universe. He also claimed he's going to win the ECW Homecoming and go on to become the Straightedge ECW Champion at Royal Rumble, a promise Christian quickly refuted.