July 18, 2010
One Night Stand 2006, June 11, 2006, Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY
Announcers: Joey Styles & Tazz
The next WWE PPV coming up is Money in the Bank, so stretching for a show that ties in to it since Iíve already covered all the previous MITB matches, we have a show where a MITB briefcase was cashed in as the winner from Wrestlemania 22, Rob Van Dam, will challenge John Cena here tonight. Interestingly this was the only time in MITB history that the date and time of the cashing was announced in advance. Obviously now they prefer having it in the back of the fansí minds that it can come at anytime, but this was only the second one and it wasnít fully established yet. So anyways, based on the success of the 2005 One Night Stand, not only was a second one scheduled, but the decision was made to revive the entire ECW promotion with this as the official kickoff show. Of course that ended up failing when they alienated WWE fans by making it a clear C Show that could safely be avoided among the large number of shows they produce each week, and they also alienated ECW fans by quickly turning it into something that bore no resemblance to what they loved beyond the name. But thatís a story for another time so letís get on with this show.
The show starts with Paul Heyman coming out, thanking the fans for demanding the return of ECW. I wonder if he knew that as well as being the rebirth of the name, this was the beginning of the death of the legacy of that very name. He throws it to the intro, and when we come back, Joey Styles welcomes us to the show.
Opening Match: Tazz vs. Jerry ďThe KingĒ Lawler
The Setup: Lawler had always been a vocal critic of, as he called it, Extremely Crappy Wrestling, and got into it again with Tazz when he left Smackdown to become the colour commentator for the new ECW. Lawler also had history with the promotion dating back to 1997 as he turned his criticism into an angle that saw him appear at the ECW Arena and work a PPV match with Tommy Dreamer. These two had also feuded in the WWF in 2000.
The Action: On the way to the ring, Lawler stops at the commentary table and slaps Joey Styles. He then makes his way into the ring, but Joey charges down and jumps on his back. Lawler easily fights him off and sets up the piledriver, but that lets Tazz hook the Tazzmission from behind. Lawler passes out at 0:36.
The Verdict: This crowd loved it, so they got it right. DUD Tazz now joins Joey at the announce table for the rest of the show.
We then get a recap of the WWE vs. ECW special from this past week. Kurt Angle rallied the ECW troops for the big battle royal (I could have sworn that last year he was one of the guys leading the charge against ECW) while Big Show does the same for the WWE guys. It comes down to Angle, Show, and Orton, with Orton tossing Angle to seemingly win it for WWE, but Show then revealed an ECW shirt and completed the swerve by tossing Orton. We then get highlights of the brawl that stemmed from the John Cena/Sabu match.
Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton
The Setup: Orton had been put on the shelf by Angle a few months back so when the now proud ECW star Angle issued an open challenge to anyone from any other organization, Orton returned to accept.
The Action: Orton gets quite the hostile reaction here, while the fans have apparently forgotten last year and gives Angle a very positive reception. Early on, Angle pretty much completely outwrestles Orton as they seem to be building him up as a machine. He even gives Orton some headlocks and effortlessly counters them. Orton takes over when Angle hits the post on a charge, and when Angles makes his comebacks he does so with mat based tactics rather than fire. This builds up to the German suplexes, and then they get into the finishers with Angle hitting the Angle Slam, but it only gets 2. Ankle lock and RKO are countered, so Orton goes up and gets a crossbody that Angle rolls through for 2. RKO is blocked again with Angle then going for the ankle lock but getting cradled for 2. Angle then gets the ankle lock with the leg scissored and Orton has no choice but to tap out at 15:09.
The Verdict: Really good match in what for all intents and purposes is the opener. Angle was clearly being built up as one of the top stars of the new ECW, but drug issues led to his release only a few months later. ***1/2
Little Guido & Tony Mamaluke (w/Big Guido) vs. Super Crazy & Yoshihiro Tajiri
The Setup: Crazy and Tajiri are rivals from the old days, but Tajiri makes a one shot return here tonight to team up with him instead against the FBI.
The Action: Crazy and Mamaluke start off, working on the mat for nearly four minutes before tags get made. Now its picks up as Tajiri lays in the kicks and Crazy gets an Asai moonsault on to the FBI on the floor. Crazy then gets dragged out and beaten up by Big Guido for a bit. Crazy and Tajiri come back and hook a double Tarantula, but Big Guido is in to stop it. They take him out, but get attacked by Guido and Mamaluke with Tajiri taking a double fishermanís buster for the 3 count at 12:24. After the match, Big Show comes out an kills everyone involved to establish that heíll be a force in the weeks to come.
The Verdict: Another pretty good match here carries the show along, although it wasnít special or anything. And it shows the future any of these guys had when they ended up being cannon fodder for Show. **1/2
JBL shows up to cut an anti-ECW promo, gloating about how nothing happened to him over the Blue Meanie incident last year because heís a star and everyone here is a bunch of losers. He then announces that he will be the new colour commentator on Smackdown, replacing the departing Tazz.
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Sabu
The Setup: Rey, who got his first North American break in ECW, turned down an offer from Paul Heyman to jump ship, so Heyman made this match so that he could get the Title over to ECW.
The Action: Rey still tries to suck up to the crowd, in spite of the ďus vs. themĒ attitude thatís been prevalent so far. As for the match, well, itís a Sabu match, which means itís not really a match per se, but more like a collection of spots. Rey tries to keep it on track, but Sabu works in all his stuff like Air Sabu, the Arabian Facebuster, and the Triple Jump Moonsault. Plus he throws in some hard chairshots for good measure. The finish sees Rey standing on a table straddling the rail and apron with Sabu hitting a springboard DDT through it to the floor. The ref calls for the doctor, who calls off the match, which I guess makes it a no contest at 9:09.
The Verdict: Iím not a big fan of the style, but it was okay, and at least nothing was horribly botched. *1/2
Mick Foley, Edge, & Lita vs. Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer, & Beulah
The Setup: The story was that following their awesome hardcore match at Wrestlemania 22, Foley developed a new respect for Edge, and resented the possibility that anyone might try and top them. Paul Heyman would stand for this, so he challenged them to a match on behalf of Dreamer and Funk which we have here tonight. Except that Beulah comes out with Dreamer and Funk and challenges Lita to make it a six person, which she accepts so here he go.
The Action: This was a very brutal match which wastes no time in going for the weapons. Funk climbs a ladder and ends up getting tipped over in a bump he probably didnít need to be taking. Edge and Foley pull out a barbed wire board, which gets used on everyone at some point. Funk ends up so bloodied from the wire that heís taken to the back leaving Dreamer one on two (the women are just standing in the corners waiting to be legally tagged in I suppose), and he takes a beating until Funk comes back all bandaged up to make the save. Heís got a barbed wire 2X4, which gets used now. He then lights it on fire and uses it to knock Foley off the apron and through the barbed wire board on the floor. Funk then gets knocked into it by Edge. Dreamer takes out Edge with Lita saving, which of course leads to the catfight spot that was obviously coming. Dreamer grabs Lita and hits the DVD, but Edge takes him out with the wire and then spears Beulah (complete with humping cover) for the 3 count at 18:44.
The Verdict: If youíre going to do a Hardcore Match, I say do a Hardcore Match, and this was in fact a Hardcore Match. Realistically we probably donít need to see matches like this, but I guess done once in a while it can have tremendous impact. Of course that means that basing an entire promotion around this style is not a recipe for success, and it you donít believe me, then just look at where ECW is now. ****
Balls Mahoney vs. Masato Tanaka
The Setup: Balls was one of the guys signed for the revived promotion while Iím guessing that Tanakaís performance from last year earned him a return trip.
The Action: They had a match, which of course had no chance of following the previous one, but Balls was pretty over. They duel with the chairs which ends with Balls hitting a sick shot to the head for the 3 count at 5:04.
The Verdict: They needed something to go in between the two top matches, and this was fine for that purpose. Ĺ*
Just before the main event we get a segment where Eugene comes out only to get killed by Sandman.
Main Event, WWE Championship Match: John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam
The Setup: As mentioned above, RVD won Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania 22, and declared that he was cashing in here tonight against Cena.
The Action: RVD comes out to the biggest reaction of the night, while Cena gets one of the more hostile reactions youíll ever hear. He canít even give away his t-shirt as they keep throwing it back at him. They start at a pretty slow pace, but the crowd never stops going so itís just fine. I wonder if the fans realize the irony of chanting things like ďsame old shitĒ, ďyou canít wrestleĒ, and ďoverratedĒ at John Cena when their hero is Rob Van Dam. I would guess not. Cena responds to a ďsame old shitĒ chant by dropping a sledge from the top rope to the floor, which I donít remember seeing him use before for another taste of irony. He does get the usual in though, but RVD counters the FU and dumps him. He spends too much time setting up a table though and Cena gets back in and hooks the STFU. RVD makes the ropes, but Cena wonít break because itís Extreme Rules after all, but John Finnegan pulls him off. Another ironic moment sees John Cena try to explain the rules of ECW to John Finnegan, but then he decides to just lay him out instead. He takes RVD out with the steps and gets a 2 count from new ref Nick Patrick. He then dumps RVD to the floor, but then a masked man runs in and spears Cena through the table. He reveals himself to be Edge, who is now over as a babyface, and then leaves. RVD nails Cena with the Frog Splash, but thereís no ref. Paul Heyman then runs out and makes the 3 count himself to give RVD the WWE Title at 20:40. Much celebration ensues with the ECW roster storming the ring and RVD celebrating amongst the fans.
The Verdict: Anywhere else this match would have sucked, but the crowd makes it a spectacle and a huge deal. Take that away and you have a super weak PPV main event, but because of it Iíll go **.
Overall Thoughts: Well, the show gave the relaunch of ECW about as much steam as you could possibly ask for, so in that sense itís a success. Of course what followed was another story entirely as RVDís momentum was cut off by a suspension and subsequent burial following a pot possession arrest, while Kurt Angle had drug issues of his own and was let go shortly after this. The product was quickly watered down until it ended up no longer appealing to the hardcore fans, while WWE fans just saw it like it was, which was a skippable C show. It survived nearly four years before being taken out back and shot, and having watched this show itís kind of amazing that they ended up failing after they got pretty much everything right here. But for this night, they did indeed get pretty much everything right, and the result is Thumbs Up for One Night Stand 2006.