New year, new challengers
NEW ORLEANS -- ECW Champion Matt Hardy was put to the test tonight against the World's Strongest Man Mark Henry. But next week, the champion must face the undefeated Jack Swagger for the ECW Championship.
ECW Champion Matt Hardy def. Mark Henry (Non-title match) (WATCH | PHOTOS)
Mark Henry came into the match with revenge on his mind after failing to get a win over the ECW Champion last week, due to interference from Jack Swagger. The intense rivalry between Hardy and the World's Strongest Man showed no signs of slowing in 2009. In the end, Hardy got the better of Henry once again, defeating the nearly 400-pounder with a Twist of Fate.
Jack Swagger def. Finlay (PHOTOS)
In a grueling contest, No. 1 contender Jack Swagger took on the veteran Finlay, in their first one-on-one encounter ever. Using his power, agility and aggressiveness, the 256-pound Swagger was able to wear Finlay down. In the end, the young Superstar made a bold statement by finishing off the Belfast Brawler with a gutwrench powerbomb to pick up the pinfall.
ECW Champion Matt Hardy vs. Jack Swagger announced
Shortly after Swagger's win over Finlay, he reminded ECW General Manager Theodore Long of his series of impressive wins over recent weeks. After Swagger rattled off his accomplishments, Long announced the youngster would finally have his big opportunity. Next week, it will be Jack Swagger vs. ECW Champion Matt Hardy for the ECW Title. The cocky Swagger then predicted that he would be the new champion, as well as the new face of the ECW franchise.
Katie Lea Burchill def. Alicia Fox (WATCH | PHOTOS)
In her first-ever singles match in WWE, Alicia took on Katie Lea, who made her first in-ring appearance on ECW. Fox had DJ Gabriel in her corner, while Burchill had her brother, Paul, in her corner for support. Both Divas looked sharp, and it could have been anyone's night to claim a victory. However, in the end, it was Katie Lea who was able to overpower Fox, and slam her lower back into a waiting knee to pick up the pinfall.
Last week in her blog on WWE Universe, Katie Lea said one of her goals for 2009 was to "beat up Little Miss Saturday Night Fever." Although Katie Lea succeeded on this night, Fox will surely be looking for an opportunity to display her ring prowess again.
Boogeyman def. local competitor (PHOTOS)
In a macabre mauling, Boogeyman crushed a local athlete who probably wished he never set foot in the ring against the ghoulish Superstar. After the match, the hapless challenger received Boogeyman's signature humiliating finisher -- a slimy mouthful of worms.