An Original goodbye

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December 29, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Land of the Extreme bid a fond farewell to the last remaining ECW Original Tuesday night, as Tommy Dreamer said goodbye to the WWE Universe and ECW on Syfy.

Zack Ryder def. Tommy Dreamer (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Tired of listening to taunts from Zack Ryder, Tommy Dreamer vowed that if he couldn't defeat Ryder Tuesday night, he'd leave ECW forever, a strong statement from a Superstar who joined ECW in 1993. (WATCH) With all of his heart, soul and strength, Dreamer -- a former two-time ECW Champion -- fought the cocky youngster from Long Island, N.Y., but ultimately lost the night his career was on the line.

After a DDT from Dreamer, Ryder snuck his leg under the rope, stopping WWE Official Scott Armstrong's three-count. Ryder was lucky to find himself in the right place at the right time. Moments later, Ryder countered Dreamer's back suplex and pinned him, sealing the ECW Original's fate.

Dreamer's initial shock turned into emotion as he addressed the WWE Universe, recalling his first time in the Izod Center years ago, watching his second-ever WWE event -- featuring a live Piper's Pit -- with his best friend and his father. (WATCH)

"This has been my dream since I was 9 years old and I think it totally proves if you have passion for what you do, you can make it anywhere. And I made it in ECW and I made it in WWE," he said.

Dreamer went on to thank the old and the new ECW, and told the WWE Universe they are his family -- a family he'll miss.

"Thank you so much. I love you all so much," he said, shedding a few tears.

With the loss, Dreamer -- the final ECW Original on the WWE roster -- left Tuesday nights, leaving his prized ECW T-shirt in the ring. Amid "E-C-Dub" chants from the WWE Universe, Dreamer paused to hug his wife at ringside and carried his daughters up the ramp as he said goodbye to the Land of the Extreme one final time.

Evan Bourne def. Mike Knox (ECW Homecoming Qualifying Match) (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Raw's aerial assault artist who first made a name for himself on ECW on Syfy returned to wow the Land of the Extreme. With an awe-inspiring Shooting Star Press, Evan "Air" Bourne sealed an ECW Homecoming Qualifying Match victory over SmackDown's master of human dissection, the menacing Mike Knox.

Evan Bourne joins Matt Hardy, Yoshi Tatsu, Vance Archer, Ezekiel Jackson and Kane in the ECW Homecoming Over-the-Top Rope Challenge. Two weeks ago, ECW General Manager Tiffany announced an exciting, new concept that will determine who receives the next ECW Championship Match. Over four weeks, the ECW General Manager will invite former ECW Superstars to compete with current ECW Superstars in The ECW Homecoming. Sixteen Superstars compete one-on-one, and eight will advance to The Homecoming Finale, featuring an Over-the-Top Rope Challenge on the Jan. 12 edition of ECW on Syfy. The winner of the Challenge will receive an ECW Title Match against Christian at Royal Rumble!

Only two spots remain in the Over-the-Top Rope Challenge. Next week former ECW Champions Chavo Guerrero, Mark Henry and CM Punk will return to the Land of the Extreme to compete in ECW Homecoming Qualifying Matches. Which Superstars will earn their chance to compete for the ECW Title?

Matt Hardy def. Finlay (ECW Homecoming Qualifying Match) (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Former ECW Champion Matt Hardy returned to the Land of the Extreme Tuesday night to take on fellow SmackDown Superstar, Finlay, in the first of two ECW Homecoming Qualifying Matches. As ECW Champion Christian joined the announce team to size up his possible Royal Rumble competition, Hardy made his ECW homecoming a memorable one. Despite tweaking his knee during the match, high risk-taking Hardy recovered for long enough to hit a Twist of Fate on The Fighting Irishman for the victory.

Ruthless confrontation (PHOTOS | WATCH)
Tuesday night, Ezekiel Jackson addressed the WWE Universe, explaining that he and William Regal abolished Vladimir Kozlov from The Ruthless Roundtable because he stood in their way of achieving a specific goal -- dominating ECW. But The Moscow Mauler interrupted Big Zeke's speech, attacking him in the ECW ring. As the rivalry between Jackson and Kozlov intensifies, who will prove to be the most dominant force? And how will Regal factor into this?

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