To quote Joel Gertner: Well, well, well. ECW’s One Night Stand was an absolute cracker of an event. Here’s what I thought:
The show kicked off in old-ECW style with shots of the crowd at NYC’s Hamerstein Ballroom going nuts, before an emotional Joey Styles made his way out to the ring. Holding back the tears, he introduced his broadcast colleague for the night, Mick Foley. This was a nice touch, as I wasn’t really expecting Mick to feature on the show at all.
Match One: Lance Storm w/ Dawn Marie versus ‘Lionheart’ Chris Jericho: This was a nice opener to go with and it did not disappoint me, but could have maybe had five more minutes. The work from Storm, in quite possibly his last ever match, was very impressive, especially the dive off the top rope, but Jericho looked sloppy and uninterested.
This has been the problem with the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla for some time. Sure, they are working his commitments with Fozzy into the WWE storylines, but for this I was hoping for a major performance.
The match ended when Justin Credible and the world’s sexiest man (his words not mine) Jason came down and took out Jericho with a Singapore Cane shot to the head, thus reuniting the Impact Players. Winner: Lance Storm.
Match Two: Super Crazy versus Yoshihiro Tajiri w/ The Sinister Minister and Mikey Whipwreck versus Little Guido Maritato w/ The FBI: The first few minutes were great, with some great technical assaults from all men, including the wonderfully called Fujiwara armbar.
The action soon spilled into the crowd, which was still mega hot, with Super Crazy hitting a moonsault off the balcony onto Guido and the FBI. Little Guido was then eliminated after being hit by Mikey’s Whippersnapper finisher.
Down to two and the match seemed to get a bit lost. Super Crazy hit a powerbomb and a moonsault for the victory, in yet another rushed match. I was hoping for something much longer, such as their effort at Anarchy Rulz 99. Winner: Super Crazy.
Match Three: Rey Mysterio versus Psicosis: Now I hate to say this, because I was so looking forward to this so-called ‘extreme lucha libre’ match, but it was a terrible effort.
There was only one entertaining part of the match and that was the massive guillotine leg-drop off the top rope to the guard rail by Psicosis. The match was such a stinker that the ECW fans booed them. Rey was heckled even when hitting the 619 and West Coast Pop. The less said the better about this one. Winner: Rey Mysterio.
After the match the Smackdown! ‘Crusaders’ (didn’t they learn anything from ITV’s Celebrity Wrestling?), led by Kurt Angle came into the arena and made their way up to the balcony. They were met with some, frankly deafening boos and chants.
I agree with this completely. I don’t see why the WWE guys who weren’t in ECW should have been on the show at all. They certainly didn’t draw any of the crowd and probably put some extreme purists off buying the show.
After a VT with Roadkill and Danny Doring aired, RVD and Bill Alfonso came down, interrupting a JBL promo. I’ve never been so glad to see Fonzie. RVD then decided to rip on the WWE creative team and wrestlers saying that they shouldn’t have been there, and decided to remind everyone that he is the Whole F*****g Show.
As he was finishing this, a heavily bandaged and supported RVD was attacked by the man-beast Rhino (and I’m going ECW style here leaving out the ‘y’). This prompted the homicidal, genocidal, suicidal maniac Sabu to come out to rapturous applause.
Match Four: Sabu w/ Rob Van Dam and Bill Alfonso versus Rhino: This was pure ECW brawling and featured RVD helping out as much as his knee could hold. Sabu, despite being broken down and hospitalised for three months of this year, still managed to out perform almost everyone else on the card.
It was a fitting ending that Sabu hit the Arabian skull crusher for the win. A very popular decision. Winner: Sabu.
Eric Bischoff then brought his Raw alumni with him, much to the same reaction as the Smackdown! locker room.
Match Five: Chris Benoit versus Eddie Guerrero: This was a half-hearted effort by two of the most talented men in the world. I was hoping they would go at it hammer and tongs to put on a match of their lives, but the shortness of the match and relative lack of excitement killed it.
Chris Benoit applied a long crossface for the win in yet another let down. Winner: Chris Benoit.
Match Six: Mike Awesome versus Masato Tanka: Now this was brilliant. A match well worthy of its place on the card and as neither man had anything to lose, they went for it big style.
Joey Styles went to town on bad-mouthing Awesome on commentary for his controversial departure to WCW, but luckily Foley told him to concentrate on the match.
Some of the moves were off the hook, especially the ending which saw Tanaka Awesomebombed through a table on the outside and covered after a splash over the top rope. These two did the memory of ECW proud. Winner: Mike Awesome.
Following that corker, who came out but Paul Heyman himself. Dressed in baseball cap and trenchcoat, a teary-eyed Heyman bowed to the adoring crowd who drowned him in chants of ‘Thank you Paul’.
He named a few names such as Todd Gordon to thank them for all their help and work before the most interesting segment of the night. He claimed he was going to take the high road and leave, but he thought he would join RVD in having some words for the WWE.
First focusing his attention on Bischoff he let him off relatively unscathed, but boy, his words for Edge were electrifying in their simplicity. “Matt Freakin’ Hardy”. The crowd loved it. I loved it. Matt Hardy loved it. Edge, the wonderful man he obviously isn’t didn’t seem to care.
Then came JBL. Heyman said he almost forgot about Mr. Shoot Promo himself: “Hey John, on a personal note, since he wants to shoot cowboy, the only reason he was WWE Champion for a year is because Triple H didn’t want to work Tuesdays!” JBL pretended to have a heart attack at the statement, and I very nearly did in joy! He then rounded it off with a EC-F’n W.
And now for the main event: Match Seven: The Dudley Boys versus Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman: Buh Buh Ray (as he was in ECW) and D’von made their way down to respectful applause, before Tommy Dreamer was met with a roof raising reaction. A moments pause was next before the opening bars of Enter Sandman was heard and the crowd went nuts.
Just before the match began, the bWo came down to invade: Big Stevie Cool, the Blue Meanie and Hollwood Nova looked as great as ever in their blue garb, and the segment also sparked the comment of they night of Styles. As Nova was thrown out of the ring he claimed: “That was even more painful than being Simon Dean on TV.” A quality moment.
Added to this, Kid Kash, Balls and Axl Rotten came out continuing this brawl before the match got under way. And it was exciting. Featuring everything from ECW, including Dreamer going through a flaming table, it was great. And LSD even made an appearance in his dungarees and tye-dye t-shirt. Winners: The Dudley Boys.
After the match Steve Austin came down and started the brawl with the WWE guys which was rather disappointing except for Taz choking out Angle. Just as the WWE retreated, Mick Foley brought Eric Bischoff down to the ring, and he received the 3D, Benoit’s Diving headbutt and the 619. One Night Stand went off the air. What a show.
Despite its shortcomings in the match departments, this was a classic. Come on WWE, bring back ECW!