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ECW One Night Stand 2006 
June 11, 2006

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OnlineOnslaught.com


Sad to report, but no chance in hell do you get my A-game on this recap.
Chalk it up to me waking up today suffering one of the inexplicable and still not-fully-diagnosed Transient Instances of Feeling Like Total Shit, combined with the fact that I know that I have new Deadwood waiting for me on DVR which *might* help to make me smile a little bit.

None of that is to say that I didn't find One Night Stand wholly

enjoyable, though! Cuz I did. Well, maybe not "wholly," but certainly upwards of 85% enjoyable. A surprisingly sucky Tanaka/Balls match and somebody being too cheap to shell out for "Enter Sandman" were about the biggest gaffes of the night.

Everything else either satisfied as best it could or outright rocked my socks off.

It's just that at this late stage of the evening, my gas tank is running on empty, I'm hurting, and this recap is gonna have to suffer for it. It also didn't help that this was the largest PPV gathering we've had since the Royal Rumble, and as tends to be the case, that means Spotlight Hog, The Rick, gets into Storyteller Mode, and doesn't necessarily pay 100% attention to the show, because he's too busy paying attention to entertaining his own audience. I'll have to see this show again even if only to actually listen to the real commentary, which was drowned out three-quarters of the time by our own back-and-forth.

Anyway, here are the abbreviated results of tonight's just-completed One Night Stand pay-per-view (with limited additional editorial commentary tacked on in the customary red italics):

  • Opening Theme/Pyro/Welcome, and we're live in New York City, where Paul Heyman kicks us off by heading to the ring for a quick promo. Nothing of substance, just rah-rah stuff about this not being a One Night Stand, because the All New ECW starts this Tuesday. But the fans were eating it up, and chanting "Thank you, Paul E.," and Paul gave it right back to them by gratuitously thanking all of them for making this comeback possible. Feel the Love.
  • Tazz beat Jerry Lawler by submission in less than 30 seconds. Tazz entered first. Lawler entered second, and dick that he is, he stopped at the commentary desk to slap Joey Styles around for a bit before heading to the ring. As Tazz and Lawler stared down, Joey nutted up and attacked Lawler from behind. Then, just as Lawler was setting Joey up for a piledriver, a bemused Tazz simply locked in the kati hajime, and Lawler was rendered unconscious in 10 seconds. Just that quick. [Hey, it was either this or find some over-book-y type excuse for Lawler to get some offense. I think I'm glad they did it this way.]
  • Tazz joined Joey Styles on commentary, and their chemistry and dialogue seemed to suggest this is the permanent arrangement on Tuesday nights.
  • Kurt Angle beat Randy Orton by tap-out in about 15 minutes. You can tell a lot by crowd chants; whereas later in the night, anti-Cena chants would be focused on Cena, the anti-Orton chants here were actually more "pro-Kurt," as there were more things along the lines of "Fuck him up, Angle, Fuck him Up," and "Break his ankle *clap* *clap* *clapclapclap*""... like I said in the preview: Orton's not as fun to boo, he's just an anonymous victim for Angle to destroy. Opening minutes I remember being sort of cool in a "shoot-y" sort of way, like Kurt was for-real toying with Orton and gently stretching him so that he looked bad. But then they settled in, and Orton got the standard heel offensive (including an attempted chinlock that got a "BOOOOOORING" chant in less than 7 seconds). Standard WWE-style finish with Orton escaping the first anklelock, then Angle avoiding the attempted RKO, and then a second anklelock coming out of nowhere for Kurt to get the tap-out. After the match, Orton tried (and succeeded) to act like a pussy as he demanded to be assisted to the back on his gimpy ankle. [As bad as their last SD! match was, Kurt and Orton had a decent little showing here. But it was still just pure-WWE in terms of flavor and psychology, which is jarring to the senses on what's supposed to be a special and unique show. Angle may be capable of kicking it up into that one more gear, but I'm of the honest opinion that Orton does not possess the ability to have the kind of match that needed to be had under an "ECW" banner. Put this one on as the semi-main event on a SD! only PPV, and it probably gets praised as a ***1/2 outing. Here, though? The only thing even remotely "ECW" about this match were the fans' chants.]
  • The FBI beat Tajiri and Super Crazy in about 10-12 minutes. The FBI had Big Guido with them, but Tajiri and Super Crazy did NOT have Mikey Whipwreck (as had been rumored). Fans were super-hot for Tajiri's return to US TV, and I was right there with them. First taste of kick-ass, genuine, too-much-action-to-call ECW all night, here, with Tajiri's kicks being massively over. Lots of trainwrecky high spots and everything, too. Only flub I can really remember is Super Crazy's Triple Decker Moonsaults not being aligned properly. Everything else, though? Spot on. Finish had Super Crazy get distracted outside the ring with Big Guido, and then Little Guido and Tony Mamaluke cinched Tajiri in for what I think would be best described as a "Double Team Muscle Buster." Very nice finishing hold if they're gonna be a full time tag team. [This is EXACTLY the kind of match that I love, and it's exactly the kind of match that I'm terrified SD! fans won't give a shit about, which will make ECW's TV tapings a disaster if action this good is playing to silence even more pronounced than for Cruiserweight Matches. Really fun match on its own merits -- third best of the night, if you ask me -- and it sizzles even more when the crowd is grooving on it.]
  • After the Match: Big Guido was celebrating his role in the win, when out came ECW's newest acquisition, the Big Show. Show cleaned house, including a new sweet-ass Cobra Clutch Backbreaker that I have a feeling will catch on in short order. Fans seemed to be loving Show's homage to 9-1-1.
  • JBL Interrupts: JBL showed up with a live mic up in the same balcony he occupied at last year's ONS.... generic anti-ECW ranting gave way to specific anti-ECW ranting about the new Sci-Fi timeslot, which gave JBL the chance to mock both the sexless wrestling dorks and the sexless sci-fi dorks. Appropriately, he gets a "boring" chant for this relatively thoughtless and irrelevant attempt at cheap heat. But then he does focus a bit more, and chastises Tazz for leaving network TV for a bunch of miscreants in ECW. And then, I do believe that JBL announced himself as the new color commentator of SD!. Well, one mystery solved, anyway.... fairly worthless little throwaway segment, but by the end, the heat was pretty substantial on JBL, so: mission accomplished, I guess.
  • Rey Mysterio and Sabu went to a No Decision after 15 minutes of action. No words. Should. Have. Sent. A. Real Recapper. Seriously, nothing I say here would do this thing justice. This was a crazy spotfest for people who insist they don't like crazy spotfests. See this match, and try to tell me that both men weren't doing their damnedest do live up to the reputations they earned a decade ago. My guess is: you can't. Match went to a no decision after this fucking insane spot where Sabu hit a triple-jump DDT on Rey, who was standing on a table at ringside. Except the table wasn't braced right, and essentially both guys crashed straight down to the floor without the benefit of the table breaking under them to absorb some of the momentum. Ouch. Just: ouch. [It's not often when you get a no decision like this where part of you honestly believes that it's for the best that neither man continue wrestling. A greedy part of me didn't necessarily LIKE the non-finish, but the vast majority of me let the preceding 15 minutes of amazing action tip the scales in a positive direction.]
  • Mick Foley, Edge, and Lita beat Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, and Beulah McGuillicutty via Edge's pinfall on Beulah in about 20 minutes. Pre-match mic-work by Foley, Edge, and Lita was pretty much nothing new: Foley's pissy towards ECW and their fans, and Edge/Lita are much better at fucking than any of the losers in the audience. Out come Dreamer and Funk, and their secret weapon, Beulah, who gets on the mic, and throws her own take on the Dirty Talk back on Lita, and suggests they just make this into an official six-person match. So it shall be done, Beulah!
    Not much in the way of flow or psychology to this one, making it equally as hard to recap as the Sabu/Rey match. Just a nonstop ramping up of violence starting with the seemingly innocuous sight of Tommy Dreamer chain wrestling, and then graduating all the way up to flaming barbed-wired 2" x 4"'s. It's no doubt a disservice to the four men involved, but any attempt to recount every crazy bump and every insane exposure to sharp or flaming objects would not only hurt my brain, but it would also not sound as amazing in the written word as it looked on the TV screen.
    So for the second time, I simply say: See this match. This and Sabu/Rey were pretty much neck and neck for my match of the night, and between them, I assure you they'll be worth the price of admission or the effort to obtain a non-pricy alternative copy of the show.
    Finish of the match had Foley powdering out first, as Funk returned from a brief siesta (for the good of the match, Funk was "written out" for several minutes, allowing him to rest and recouperate for the big finish) with the aforementioned flaming barbed-wire 2" x 4", and used it on Mick. Foley was actually fire as he took a bump from the ring apron onto a conveniently located Bed of Barbed Wire. Edge, not too much later, sent Funk tumbling onto the same bed of barbed wire. That left just Tommy, Edge and the girls.
    So first we finally got our obligatory catfight, but then we got Edge decimating poor Tommy, focusing -- as is required by law -- on the Most Maligned Scrotum in Sports Entertainment. Poor Tommy. When Beulah finally got a chance to come over and check on her man's privates, it turned out Edge was just lying in wait: the second Beulah got back to her feet, Edge speared her to the mat, and rolled her up, suggesting thrusting along as the ref counted to three. Dick. [Just an awesome, ballsy brawl. You don't want to see this every week, but every now and again, the selfish vampire in me cannot get enough of convincing, bloody, cringe-inducing ass-kickery like this. And what was I doing picking Dreamer and Funk to win? Everybody knows that Tommy goes out of his way to campaign to lose as many important matches as possible.... I'm so STOOPID.]
  • Balls Mahoney vs. Masato Tanaka, via pinfall, in about 5 minutes. I thought this would be good. I was wrong. Or maybe it was just the quality of the two matches that they followed? In either case, it felt like they half-assed it through a brawl, and then Balls delivered one (1) chair shot, and Tanaka got pinned. What happened to Tanaka's supernatural ability to absorb chairshots and ask for another? [Underwhelming and disappointing. Even with a couch full of fans who only vaguely remember Tanaka, they still remembered his "Tanaka'ing Up," and wondered why he didn't do it tonight to give us a slightly bigger finish.]
  • Interlude: Eugene came out and tried to ingratiate himself to ECW fans by talking about how much he loves ECW. He even had poems about it. And if you were wondering if ECW fans are big enough assholes to boo a retarded guy: you got your answer tonight, and it was 'Yes." After about 4 minutes of Eugene getting savaged by fans, the Sandman came out and caned him, and then drank a few beers. Sadly, WWE didn't shell out for "Enter Sandman" (and for some reason, didn't use the Motorhead cover version that they MUST own, since it was on an ECW CD about 7 years ago), and among our crew, that meant that Sandman had exactly zero (0) appeal. The live ECW fans still gave him some love, though. Don't know how long that'll last without his real entrance theme and the patented sing-alongs....
  • Rob Van Dam beat John Cena to win the WWE Title in about 20 minutes. Here, the heat was enormous and visceral on Cena. It started playfully, as Cena tried to throw his shirt to the crowd, and about a half-dozen times in a row, it got thrown back at him. Finally, Cena, just dumped the shirt to the floor and let it be. Then the chants started. "You can't wrestle." "Fuck you, Cena." "Same Old Shit." And so forth. Good times.
    Sort of a disjointed brawl, as I semi-predicted in the PPV Preview. Cena would be a prop for an RVD spot, but then his best offense was pissing off the crowd. There were some cooler spots in here, but the real story was the interaction between Cena and the fans, I think.
    End Game came when Cena locked in the Shitty STF, and RVD got to the ropes, and the ECW Ref asked for a break. But Cena didn't give it to him, probably because he realized that in ECW, it was highly unlikely that he'd get disqualified. But what he didn't realize is that the ECW ref would physically accost him in an attempt to get him to break the hold. So Cena slugged the ref. And out came SD! Ref (and former nWo Ref) Nick Patrick to take over. Uh oh.
    But Patrick would adhere to the spirit of ECW. Including when a mysterious helmet'ed figure (OMG~! The Ghost of Rick Rude~?~!) came out from under the ring and Speared Cena through a table. Then the helmet came off and it was.... 
    Edge? Yep. The #1 Contender on RAW *does* have a vested interest in this match, as it turns out, and for reasons we won't know till tomorrow night, he's thrown his weight behind RVD. Fans don't care so much about the reasons just now, they just give a "Thank you, Edge" chant. Hee.
    RVD got back in the ring and surveyed the situation, and decided Cena looked ripe for a Five Star Frog Splash. He was right. But there was no ref. What to do? Well, you wait a few seconds, and then Paul Heyman sprints out, gives himself Referee Powers, and then Heyman counts to three. New champ. [Like I said: disjointed, and in an empty arena, I'm guessing this wouldn't hold up very well; just like HHH/Cena at WM22 in that regard, really. But in this building, with this crowd? Even if it was disjointed a bit, there were enough big spots and an even bigger finish that it counts as "satisfying."]
  • After the Match: RVD celebrated all over the building -- including with his wife -- while the ECW locker room emptied and celebrated in the ring. Seen during the celebration: Mickey Whipwreck and Bill Alfonso. Where were they during the show? They could have been useful corner men in a couple of the match. Nevertheless: show ends with a fairly lengthy RVD celebration as the announcers make sure we realize that this is the big pay-off to over a decade of RVD being the most-held-down athlete in the history of wrestling.

Definitely a show worth seeing, folks. And with Edge's run-in and the title change, it also makes RAW worth seeing tomorrow night, since you know the WWE Title won't stay in ECW forever. It's just a matter of finding out how they weasel out of it. Good stuff.
More thoughts and whatnot tomorrow. Meantime: Deadwood (and a significantly more comfortable spot on my couch) await me. See you later, kids....


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