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TLW: One Night Stand



13 June 2005

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Well, hello. Remember me? The idiot that bored the pants off you every Monday for the best part of 4 years? Like ECW, I'm back - and like ECW, I'm not sticking around. Unlike ECW, I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that.

ECW bowed out and we thought they were dead... he Live Wire died a slow and undignified death. The only thing they have in common? A One Night Stand in 2005. Well, how the HELL could I not write something about what I watched live last night?

OK, dodgy comparison aside, this is a one off so don't get excited, or depressed whatever the case may be. I'm just here to add my voice to what will no doubt be a plethora of online opinion. Don't expect a word for word, blow by blow account of what went down - those days are gone. This is just a quick salute to what will turn out to be the greatest show I will see in 2005, maybe even this decade.

Never mind Paul E. crying when he made his appearance... seeing Paul stand there as the Hammerstein Ballroom chanted "Thank You Paul" - man, I was damn near in tears too.

Was the show perfect? No. But ECW was never perfect either. Was the WWE touch evident in places? Hell yeah, but so WHAT? Vince owns the company now - get over it.

It doesn't matter to me that we had to put up with a JBL promo that sucked; or Bischoff got his smarmy face all over the show, because for just over 2 and a half hours on a warm Sunday night... it was 1999 all over again.

It was ECW... it was blood and guts, it was broken tables, it was chair shots, it was Joey Styles screaming, it was lucha libre, it was... heaven. Most importantly, it WASN'T Triple H boring me. This is the wrestling I knew and loved... this is the one thing that can drag me off my fat ass and inspire me to write something.

Sure, so Raven, Jerry Lynn, Terry Funk, New Jack, Shane Douglas and various others might not have been there, but again - so what? The thing with ECW was that it was always more than the sum of its parts - take a few big names out, someone else would step up. Not many promotions could take the loss of as much talent as ECW did and still come back fighting.

I'm no fan of Mike Awesome after what he did to ECW with his jump to WCW... but put him in a ring with Masato Tanaka and it's STILL magical to watch. Put a towel on the head of Taz and hit War Machine - and it still sends shivers down my spine. Give Paul E. a live mic and the sparks still fly. The Spanish count for Super Crazy and his punches in the corner? Still genius. The chants from the fans? Still the best ever.

I thought that when Benoit and Guerrero hugged in the middle of the ring at WrestleMania XX with the championships that it couldn't get any better; that nothing would ever top that one moment. I was wrong. Last night did. I will go on record and say I have never looked forward to a PPV as much as One Night Stand. I will go on record and say I have never enjoyed a PPV as much as One Night Stand.

I could have lived without the WWE 'crusaders' but for my money, the show handled them beautifully, and the final fight, with ECW standing tall in the ring and Eric Bischoff taking the fall - I was yelling and screaming at the TV at 3:30am and marking out like there was no tomorrow. And for ECW, there may not be... but who cares - we had this One Night Stand.

Put it this way, any show that gets me and other people text messaging each other with "MOTHERLOVER!" (or a variation of it, anyway) at that time of the morning has to be doing something right.

The buzz surrounding this PPV - and Shane Douglas' Hardcore Homecoming - has been incredible. The sales of the 'Rise & Fall' ECW DVD have been out of this world. People fondly remember ECW... people want ECW. Last night... maybe for the last time - we got it. And I loved it.

There won't be a next time... have fun, go mad.

Tony Cottam

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