Friday, February 24, 2017
In 2005, the WWE brought back ECW for one night as a Pay-Per-View. Due to the great reception and buyrate, the WWE saw money in ECW and decided to bring it back officially. That’s where this show comes into play. This was set to be the official relaunch of the brand. This wasn’t the ECW the fans remembered though as it now featured guys like Big Show and Kurt Angle. The main event of this show would also be contested for the WWE Title. This would be the second of four One Night Stand Pay-per-Views.
Shots of the MOLTEN hot ECW crowd opens things, just like it did the year before. The old ECW music plays and out walks Paul Heyman, who is treated like a god. Heyman cuts a promo about the return of ECW and how a new audience will learn about ECW. That actually never happened. He thanks the fans for making this happens and leaves. Joey Styles is on commentary.
Since the days of the original ECW, Jerry Lawler has ripped into the company. As he comes out, he takes a detour to slap Joey Styles. Styles follows Lawler to the ring and jumps on his back to a massive pop. Lawler shrugs him off and calls for the Piledrivers but Tazz wraps him in the Tazzmission and he taps.
Can’t get a real rating to something like this but it was very effective. The already hot crowd went nuts for it and considering the two guys involved at this time, it shouldn’t have been an actual match. The angle was well done.
Clips are shown from the WWE vs. ECW show earlier in the week. There was a big battle royal between the three brands that ended when Big Show threw Randy Orton out and revealed an ECW shirt. Tazz joins Joey Styles on commentary.
Like Jerry Lawler, Randy Orton is garnering all kinds of heat. Kurt Angle’s remixed theme was pretty garbage. He was quickly accepted by the ECW fans though. Tons of pro Angle and anti-Orton chants in the first few minutes as Angle takes him to school on the mat. The fans go nuts when Angle starts paint brushing the back of Orton’s head. Angle dares Orton to put him in a hold and he gets out. He does it again two more times and is amped up. Finally Orton starts getting in some offense, only for Angle to just take him down in impressive fashion. The fans chant “you can’t wrestle” at Orton just as Angle again counters him. Kurt starts bringing the higher impact offense including some German suplexes. Orton looks for his trademark backbreaker, but Angle again has a counter. He hits the Angle Slam but only gets two. Uncharacteristically, Orton goes up top and hits a high cross body like its 2002 again. Orton hits a big clothesline, but then Angle grans the leg, locks his own legs and makes Orton tap out to the Ankle Lock.
An interesting match here. There weren’t tons of moves but that wasn’t the point. Kurt Angle was here to outclass Randy Orton and give the fans a treat, which is exactly what he did. It really solidified the “wrestling machine” character with the ECW fans and kudos to Orton for doing whatever he could to draw even more heat.
Just as I write that Randy Orton did everything in his power to draw more heat, he asks for three officials to help him out of the arena, making himself look like an even bigger ****.
These guys have had countless matches in different variations over the years. Due to that, they can work at a pretty brisk pace. Super Crazy nails the first big move with a popup facebuster. Tajiri and Guido come in, with Tajiri going for kicks and Guido applying the armbar but Tajiri reaches the ropes. He and Super Crazy do stereo tree of woe dropkick, a staple of their matches. Crazy nails an Asai moonsault onto his opponents but Big Guido gets involved to swing the momentum. The FBI now beat on him but Tajiri doesn’t wait for a hot tag and just comes in to kick the hell out of his opponents. He does end up getting a tag and does dueling tarantulas with his partner. Super Crazy oversells an innovative dropkick from Guido, leaving Tajiri all alone. This leads to a double fisherman buster for the win.
A fun little sprint here. I think it went a bit too long for what they were doing but overall, it worked relatively well. These guys have great chemistry and it helped move things along.
The Big Show’s new music hits to almost no reaction. When he actually appears, he gets a bit more of a pop. Big Guido steps up to him but gets kicked in the balls. Show then beats up everyone, including Tajiri and Super Crazy. The highlight comes when he hits a cobra clutch backbreaker on Mamaluke and flings him like a rag doll.
John “Bradshaw” Layfield has a microphone and shows up on one of the balcony. He cuts a scathing promo on ECW being nothing and the WWE making guys like Rob Van Dam. He basically just announces that he is replacing Tazz on commentary for future Smackdown episodes.
Last year, Rey Mysterio wrestled a very WWE style and got booed for it. That causes him to get booed here, though he seems to have learned his lesson as he is wearing old ECW style gear, including an ECW logo. Sabu has a chair so Rey grabs one during his entrance. As the bell rings though, both men drop the chairs. After some short mat work, they both grab the chairs and have the equivalent of a sword fight with them. They badly telegraph a drop toe hold spot. Rey tries the 619 but fails and Sabu just launches a chair at his skull. Sabu sets up a table between the apron and the guardrail. They don’t use it yet, instead choosing to hit some high spots in the ring including a guillotine leg drop and moonsault. Somehow, Sabu’s Arabian facebuster isn’t enough. Another table is set up outside, where Rey hits the West Coast pop through it. Back inside, they bust out more high spots. Rey misses another West Coast Pop and gets crotched on an open chair before Sabu just MURDERS him with a thrown chair shot. Sabu sets Rey up on the table between the ring and guardrail. He leaps off the chair, onto the top rope and springboards off with a DDT through the table! The crowd loses their minds, but things quickly turn sour as medics come out and this ends in a no contest.
I understand the finish because they booked themselves into a corner. Neither guy could really lose and you couldn’t do a DQ finish here. Even so, that kind of killed the crowd. Up until that point though, this was a so much fun. Rey Mysterio made sure to bring his “A” game for the ECW crowd and delivered. Outside of the finish, this ruled.
The buildup for the next match was pretty great and involved some absolutely stellar microphone work from Mick Foley. He comes out first and gets “you sold out” chants which he combats by saying he sold out Madison Square Garden. He knows how to draw heat, stating he respected ECW when Stephanie McMahon was the “owner”. Edge and Lita join the ring and also cut promos on the fans and their opponents. Tommy Dreamer and Terry Funk come out, accompanied by Beulah McGillicutty. Beulah runs down Lita for being a whore and it becomes a six person tag.
They start by getting on the aprons like this is a normal six man tag. Within minutes, the four men are brawling outside and beating each other with weapons. A trash can is the early choice of weapon but Edge uses a cookie sheet. A ladder is brought in and Edge looks for a spear into it but Dreamer counters with a hip toss onto the steel. Terry Funk climbs the ladder like a madman but it gets tilted backwards. That’s a sick bump for a man of his age. The heels find a plywood board covered in barbed wire under the ring and they basically suplex it onto Dreamer. Tommy’s reaction when they pull it off of him is even worse. They go for it again but Funk trips them and it lands on them, seemingly catching Edge in the face. Foley now gets slammed backward into it, with his hair just getting caught in the wire. Edge helps them get back in control and Lita gives Foley more barbed wire, which he wraps around his arm and strikes Funk with. Funk shouts “GODDAMN, MY EYE, OH GOD” a bunch of times while blood pours down his face. It comes off looking like Funk is legit injured and he’s taken to the back. Tommy is alone to just take a beating now. Mick gets Mr. Socko because he’s all about the WWE right now. He applies the mandible claw on Beulah though Tommy stops that only to get hit again. Edge hits a spear but doesn’t want the cover and targets Beulah again with some sexually charged offense. He doesn’t get to do much tough as a WILD TERRY FUNK appears with a bandage and barbed wire 2x4. The distraction lets Dreamer hit both guys with low blows. Beulah sets the 2x4 on fire for Funk and Foley gets hit with it twice, the second time causing his back to catch fire. He’s then knocked through a barbed wire plywood board, which Edge then knocks Funk through. Inside, Dreamer applies a submission by wrapping Edge’s throat in fucking barbed wire. Lita makes the save and Beulah finally gets her hands on her. Tommy pulls Lita off when she gets the upper hand and drops her with the Spicoli Driver. He does his signature pose with his wife and Edge pulls him down with an Edge-o-Matic, made more brutal by the use of barbed wire. He then spears Beulah and pins her in the missionary position.
Well that was absolutely brutal and barbaric in the very best of ways. It was exactly what it needed to be on this card. The action almost never stopped, Lita and Beulah did their parts, the faces were resilient and the heels were despicable. A complete war.
At the first One Night Stand, Masato Tanaka had a pretty fantastic match against Mike Awesome. This doesn’t have the same impact that match did, nor was it supposed to. Balls gets in his trademark punches before Tanaka dives out onto him. They do some uninspired work back inside before doing into the chair sword fight. Balls absolutely destroys Tanaka with one of the sickest chair shots I’ve ever seen to win.
This was kind of just here as a cool down after the previous match. It looked like they put in some effort but none of what they did outside of the final chair shot really stood out.
Before the main event, Eugene comes out to massive heat. He plays his role well and tries to be nice to the ECW crowd, but they want nothing to do with him. The Sandman interrupts to his terrible cover theme and beats the hell out of Eugene with a cane. This wasn’t very fun.
This was the first of two times that the Money in the Bank as cashed in with the challenger letting the champion know ahead of time. It’s obviously been noted before but the crowd LOATHES John Cena. He throws his shirt to the crowd and they throw it back time after time in what is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen to open a match. When the match finally starts, we get tons of negative chants towards Cena like “Cena swallows” and “you can’t wrestle.” If Cena hits a nice move, the crowd hates it, but when RVD does even the slightest offense, they go nuts. This is the first time I recall hearing the boo/yay chants for a fist fight. As the crowd chants “same old crap”, Cena dives from the top to do something different, which gets a “you still suck” chant. RVD’s first big move is a moonsault off the steel steps. He gets the upper hand after and skateboards a chair into Cena’s face. He’s in control until Cena gets his knees up on the split legged moonsault. RVD bumps for a DDT on a chair like he broke his neck. He also bumps hard for a slingshot into a chair in the corner. RVD eventually rallies and when they mess up a spot, it’s not the typical “you fucked up” chant but “Cena fucked up.” RVD can do no wrong in the eyes of the fans. He sets up a table in the corner and gets put in the STF. RVD reaches the ropes and Cena refuses to beak the hold so the referee pulls him off. Cena, heeling it up here lays out the official. Cena lays out RVD as well with a superplex and steel step shot. WWE official Nick Patrick runs out but only counts a near fall. RVD takes an Attitude Adjustment to the floor before a man in a motorcycle helmet sneaks in and spears Cena through the table. He knocks out Patrick and reveals himself to be Edge. The man that was despised earlier now gets “thank you Edge” chants. RVD enters and looks around, seeing the opening. He nails the Five Star Frog Splash. Out comes Paul Heyman to count the three for one of the loudest pops ever.
Really solid match made better by the incredible atmosphere in the building. This is the one instance where I truly believe the fans might have rioted if Cena retained. Speaking of Cena, he is so damn good in matches where he’s in hostile territory. He stepped his game up and played the right amount of heel throughout this. RVD did his part and it all added up to a really good match and a special moment.
Rob Van Dam goes through the crowd to find his wife and celebrate. The ECW locker room empties into the ring to celebrate with him when he gets back.
Overall: While I don’t think this was better than the inaugural One Night Stand, this was still a very good show. Everything was solid outside of the Mahoney/Tanaka match. The main event is must see, even if it’s only for the atmosphere and the six person tag was a fantastic war. This show has a bit of everything, which is appreciated. My only major issue was that the Eugene and JBL segments dragged and felt out of place. Next time on , I take a long look at !