The ECW One Night Stand event in 2005 was really supposed to be a one night only kind of show, which is why they gave it that name. They were going to do it because it had been four years since ECW died and the brand had such a great connection with the audience. The Rise and Fall of ECW DVD sold really well and guys like Rob Van Dam pushed for it, so Vince McMahon decided to give it the green light.
In the build up to the event, they promised us a show that would be authentic towards what ECW was and that’s what we got. It was Paul Heyman calling the shots. Vince McMahon likely had some say (at least a little bit), but it definitely felt like a real ECW show.
The show did 325,000 buys on PPV. It’s not some all time great buyrate number, but it was good enough that WWE did another ECW One Night Stand event one year later. They also re-launched the ECW brand after that 2006 show, which may not have been a great move in hindsight.
I wrote this review live in 2005. In 2016, I re-posted it and added comments in orange font. Most of those comments will be after the matches and key segments.
ECW One Night Stand
Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, New York
The crowd in the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City is very loud as expected. What an awesome atmosphere. We open with a choked-up Joey Styles in the center of the ring. After a hearty "OH MY GOD!" Joey welcomes the fans to ECW One Night Stand. He introduces us to his broadcast colleague for the night, Mick Foley.
The classic ECW opening theme song and video package aired.
Our announcers for the evening are Joey Styles and Mick Foley.
Chris Jericho vs. Lance Storm w/Dawn Marie
Storm has Dawn Marie with him. Jericho is billed as the Lionheart. The announcers talked about how this might be Storm’s last match, but that wasn’t true.
They mat wrestle at the start, then come up to a draw position as the crowd chants loudly for their efforts. Jericho charges in, Jericho avoids it and hits a nice dropkick to the mush, then a baseball slide takes Storm to the floor. Jericho jumps at him, but Storm moves out of the way and Jericho hits the guard rail. Great dropkick by Storm gets two. Delayed suplex by Storms gets two. Into the turnbuckle, Storm with some chops. Whip into the corner, Storm jumps to the top feet first, comes off and Jericho dropkicks him in the back. First "Holy Shit" chant on the night. Arm drag and an enziguri for Jericho, they counter and Jericho gets two, then Storm gets two with a rollout. Bridging tiger suplex (hooking the arms) for two. Cradle piledriver countered out by Jericho, then Storm comes back with a superkick for a great two count. To the top, superplex countered and Jericho hits a back elbow off the top for two. Whip in, Storm trips him up and hits his Single Leg Crab. Jericho rolls through, goes for the Walls, slingshot into the turnbuckle and a facebuster. Lionsault countered with knees by Storm, Walls of Jericho. Storm taps. Jason Knight and Justin Credible come in, Jericho drills them out. He rolls up Storm, he kicks out, Credible cracks Jericho with a Singapore cane and Storm covers for the three count at 7:22.
Winner by pinfall: Lance Storm
Analysis: **3/4 Good way to start off the evening. It was pretty solid for being under ten minutes. Storm looked to be in good shape despite not having a match in a while. Nice ode to history with the Impact Players reuniting for that bit. Jericho leaves to a "Lionheart" chant.
(They had a long history together since they got into the business at the same time over a decade before this and were a tag team called the Thrillseekers. It was a smart way to start off the show because the crowd was very familiar with both guys. Nice cameo spot by Justin Credible to help his former partner Storm. At this point, Storm was more of a trainer for WWE and not wrestling that often.)
The announcers talked about the impending invasion of the Raw and Smackdown superstars (the heels) that said they would be there.
Backstage, the Pitbull Gary Wolfe said he wanted us to remember some ECW alumni who have passed away. They show a video montage featuring Rocco Rock, Terry Gordy, Mike "Crash Holly" Lockwood, The Original Shiek, Mike Lozansky, Pitbull Anthony Durante, and Chris Candido.
(Sadly, there are more names that could be added to that list over a decade later. I thought this was a nice tribute for those that have left us.)
Tajiri is the first guy out. He's accompanied by Sinister Minister and Mikey Whipwreck. Guido is accompanied by JT Smith, Big Guido, Tony Mamaluke and Tracey Smothers aka the FBI. Then Super Crazy comes out on his own. Rules of this are it is elimination style. You get pinned and the other two guys continue on.
Tajiri vs. Super Crazy vs. Little "Nunzio" Guido
Guido goes after Crazy, then Tajiri does and he tosses Guido. Crazy with a backbreaker on Tajiri. Crazy has short hair now. Tajiri with a back elbow, then a chop and Guido counters into an armbreaker, but Crazy breaks it up and hits a standing moonsault. Guido trips him up, flips and Crazy with a seated dropkick. Another dropkick, this time to Tajiri and a baseball slide to the floor. He charges in, but Mamaluke trips him and Guido hits the legdrop off the ropes. To the floor, Guido gets whipped over the railing to the floor. Crazy climbs up to the balcony and comes off with a sick moonsault onto Guido and the FBI. Tajiri comes back, hits the Tarantula in the ropes. Tajiri whips in, Crazy gets tripped up by the FBI. Big Guido picks Tajiri up and he mists Guido. Smothers in, eats a kick. Whipwreck with his slam move off the top (my feed cut out for that second) and Guido is eliminated.
Crazy vs. Tajiri now and Crazy gets a springboard moonsault for two. Powerbomb by Crazy countered into a spinning DDT for two. Crazy with a reverse Samoan drop, then hits two moonsaults on Tajiri. Goes for another, Whipwreck knocks him off the ropes. Tajiri kick is avoided, then Crazy with a big powerbomb. To the top again, Crazy with the moonsault for the win at 6:12.
Winner by pinfall: Super Crazy
Analysis: **1/2 That was such a fast paced match that they crammed into six minutes. I couldn't keep up with all of it. There was so much stuff going on. That moonsault off the balcony was freakin' awesome.
(There were so many Tajiri and Super Crazy matches over the years. They had incredible chemistry together. Guido was always solid as well. What sucked about this match is that they weren’t given more time to tell a story. It just felt rushed at times and they could have built up the finish better. The moonsault off the balcony was a memorable moment.)
They show a video package showcasing some memorable ECW angles. They show Shane Douglas at the birth of ECW, Dreamer paying his dues, the chairs getting thrown in the ring, Funk with the branding iron and other such fun memories. Then back to the crowd, who are chanting for ECW. Then they show the empty seats in the balcony saying WWE reps would be showing up. Nobody there yet.
(It’s important to remind fans of what made ECW great. This video did an excellent job of that.)
Psychosis vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Oh yeah, this is gonna rule. Psycho takes off his mask after he gets in the ring. Styles said he gave it to the fans as a show of love.
Styles said they've wrestled over 500 times over the years. They mat wrestle early on, Psycho with an arm drag out of the corner as they have a stalemate. Lockup, Mysterio on his shoulders and he rolls through with a victory roll for two. Another nice applause. Rey goes for a splash off the ropes, Psycho catches him and plants him face first into the mat. Psycho whips him into the turnbuckle very hard, then gets a two count. Mysterio comes off with a moonsault press for two. Crowd chanted "put the mask on" to Psychosis. They booed during a Psycho sleeper. He whips Rey down for two. To the floor, Psychosis whips him into the railing and suplexes him onto it. With Rey draped over the railing, Psychosis hits a legdrop off the top onto Rey's back, sending him down. That gets two. What a move, called the Psycho Guillotine. Amazing. With Rey planted in the turnbuckle, Psycho charges with a dropkick to the face and Rey moves, causing Psycho to go neck first into the mat. Into the ropes, Rey comes back with a face slam. Psycho charges, Rey moves and Psychosis goes shoulder first into the post. With Psycho in the first row, Mysterio comes off with a senton off the top. Holy crap. Dropkick to the back, then a 619 gets some boos. West Coast Pop scores the pin at 6:22.
Winner by pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Analysis: **1/2 Fun match for the time given. It was not a four plus star match like they could have had if they got 15 minutes, but very good for under ten minutes. That was an interesting reaction for the finish, but I think it’s because the 619 is something that Rey did in WWE and not in ECW.
(It was disappointing considering what they could do, but again it was hurt by the lack of time. Their matches in WCW were a lot better than this one. Both of them became known in ECW and that’s what led to both of them going to WCW for more money.)
The anti-ECW people, led by Kurt Angle and JBL, come in through the crowd to their seats in the balcony. They were holding their tickets to show that they paid for their seats. It was the Smackdown people with the crowd chanting "Fuck You Smackdown." Foley noted they can’t repeat that chant.
(This was a smart angle to involve WWE performers. They were the heels that were easy to boo and it allowed WWE to promote the event on Raw and Smackdown.)
More video highlights from the past including "Superstar" Steve Austin, Jerry Lawler's brief run, Benoit breaking Sabu's neck with the backdrop, Tommy Dreamer piledriving Beulah and Dreamer beating Raven. Then we see some Taz moments as he makes Shane Douglas tap out for the title.
(I remember Dreamer hitting that piledriver on Beulah being such a huge deal back then. It is now too. He ended up marrying her. Wrestling is a weird business. The Taz title win over Douglas was a great angle. That’s how you build a star.)
Back live, they go up to the balcony as Joel Gertner interviews the SD invaders. Angle grabs the mic from him, then JBL shoves him down and kicks him out of their balcony. Angle tells Gertner to get out. Angle calls ECW fans the lowest form of scum walking the earth, saying they suck and they chant "you suck dick" at Angle, then he says their mother taught him how. Angle talks about how he walked out on ECW before, calling the people morons. Angle says nobody will stop them from their mission, so they can kiss his ass. There’s an “asshole” chant as JBL is about to talk. JBL says if his name is on the MSG marquee then it sells out. That's a stretch. JBL makes fun of the fans and they start a "shut the fuck up" chant. This crowd rules. JBL says he is above that, he's better than them and he's a wrestling god. Nobody in the ring will make it to his level and that pisses the fans off.
(The heat for Angle and JBL here was off the charts. I love the atmosphere that was there during this show. It’s rare to see fans this passionate.)
Rob Van Dam walks out with Bill Alfonso. RVD has a knee brace on his left leg because he was still suffering from his ACL injury. JBL yells at him during his entrance, but he doesn't listen and JBL's microphone is off. Huge "RVD" chants.
RVD stares up at the SD guys, saying this show has nothing to do with WWE. Tonight will be a big PPV because they are sick and tired of people like JBL being shoved down their throats when they watch wrestling. Another ECW chant. RVD says JBL deserves no credit for the success of this show. RVD says "no creative geniuses" are writing his script tonight. He's going to take us back to a time when his vocab was more than "cool," a nice shot at WWE's writing team. He remembers when fans chanted his name the whole show. He's always been proud that he's been able to make people happy by using his skills. He says he's the "Whole F'N Show." Mr. Pay Per View. Mr. Monday Night. RVD 4:20 means I just smoked your ass. He asks RVD how long he defended the TV title, it was a year and eleven months, including the seconds of it. He says it was the best time of his career, saying that's how you showcase RVD. Another shot at WWE. He says that's why he went to Vince to do a PPV. He said it would be huge if they did it. He said they don't even need a storyline, just one night only. He said to Vince, let us show you what we're about. Vince liked his idea, so the dream became a reality. Another ECW chant as RVD gets emotional. RVD says he's hurt with a torn ACL and a torn meniscus and missing this is worse than missing WrestleMania, the tour of Japan, Booker's wedding and other things. Out of nowhere, Rhyno comes in and gores RVD. He takes off the knee brace.
The lights go out, here's Sabu. Looks like we got a new match. RVD got out of the ring.
Analysis: RVD's promo was fantastic. Great job by him with genuine emotion.
(I agree with what I wrote in 2005. That was one of the best RVD promos ever. He wasn’t known for being a great talker, but he showed what he could do here. It’s a shame he was hurt and not able to wrestle here, yet they managed to implement him in the show in a positive way.)
Rhyno vs. Sabu
Sabu comes out on fire, chair to the head of Rhyno sends him. The crowd chanted "you got fired" at Rhyno. Sabu with a springboard dive out onto Rhyno up the aisle. Chair on the outside, moonsault attempt doesn't work and Rhyno gets control in the ring. I missed about a minute, Rhyno scored a nearfall. Bodyslam by Rhyno, then he goes to the top for some reason, Sabu with a hurricanrana off the top, then a leg lariat off the ropes. Bill Alfonso whips him a chair. Sabu charges with a leg lariat off the chair, then a legdrop off the chair for two. Charges in, Rhyno trips him up and Sabu goes headfirst into the steel chair. Rhyno picks him up on his shoulders and drops him face first onto the chair, almost like an F5. Powerbomb position, then he drops Sabu face first into the top rope. Gore attempt, Sabu pulls the ref in front and he eats the Gore. Piledriver by Rhyno. RVD comes in, whips the chair in Rhyno's face. RVD whips the chair in Rhyno's face and hits the dropkick on Rhyno in the corner. RVD pulls out a table for Sabu, then puts Rhyno on it. With Rhyno face first on the table, Sabu comes off the top rope and hits a double legdrop with the chair under his leg as Rhyno goes through the table. It's the Arabian Skull Crusher. Wow. That move rocks. That gets the pinfall at 6:30.
Winner by pinfall: Sabu
The Sabu/RVD reunion is pretty damn cool to see as Joey Styles mentions the impact the Original Shiek had on them as Sabu's uncle and RVD's trainer.
Analysis: **1/4 Fun match with the crowd loving all of it. They ended up turning it into something of a handicap match with RVD getting involved, but it fit the storyline. The ending was excellent.
(That was pretty cool. I enjoyed it a lot more this time around than I did back then because it’s been a while since I’ve seen a Sabu match like that. Yes, it’s pretty bad watching guys taking bumps on the head and chair shots the way they did, but it was entertaining.)
Backstage, Al Snow is with Head as he reminisces about the past saying this is about ECW, not some Smackdown assholes.
There was another video package about ECW history including some other very famous moments that made ECW so interesting to so many of us. There was such a huge ovation when Sabu showed up as the guy to stop Taz’ “path of rage” as Styles called it all those years ago.
(They didn’t bleep it when Al said “assholes” for the record.)
The anti-ECW people from Raw come in next. Eric Bischoff, who was the GM of Raw, leads them with Edge following. Styles makes a joke about not bringing his wife because Edge has a history of that. Styles and Foley jointly rip on Bischoff more, talking about some of his attempts of the past where he tried to kill ECW. "Oh look, there's Coach. Now I'm scared." Joey rules. The Raw heels were seated in the balcony next to the Smackdown heels.
(That line by Joey about Coach was pretty funny.)
Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero
Benoit is out first. Styles says this match will be as good a match as you will see from any wrestlers at any time. For those wondering, all WWE performers are getting their WWE ring music. Styles mentioned Heyman wanted to promote this in ECW, but they never had it in ECW. He said Heyman knew they'd be world champions in the future and he was right.
They lock up, stalemate in the corner. Early on after seeing Edge they chant "You Fucked Lita" at him. "She's got herpes" chant by the crowd at the direction of Edge, referencing Lita. This crowd is enthusiastic. Guerrero bails to the floor after he can't get the advantage. He comes back, kick to the gut, chops followed by punches to the back. Guerrero with a back elbow, then they exchanged killer jobs as Guerrero goes to the eye rake, then the boot stomp on the face. Guerrero with a stiff chinlock as the crowd chants "Let's Go Benoit" then "Let's Go Eddie" immediately after. I love this crowd. Benoit fights back with a nice back suplex as Guerrero has a cut on his nose. Eddie with chops in the corner, then a Snapmare gets two as he goes for another hold on the mat using his hands under Benoit's nose. I should add that I like Mick Foley a lot as an announcer. Then during the hold the crowd chants "Fuck You Bischoff" at Eric. Guerrero brings him up, Benoit charges, Eddie bails and Benoit goes flying through the ropes to the floor. Eddie with a chair to the back. Six minutes in now, so maybe it'll get more time than the others, which is good.
Now on the ring apron, Eddie goes up with him and hits a really stiff superplex off the top. To the top, Guerrero misses the Frog Splash as Benoit rolls out of the way. Benoit chops the hell out of him, Eddie fights back with chops of his own and Benoit clotheslines him down, then hits a bridging Northern Lights suplex for two. Benoit to the top with Eddie and he hits his own superplex as Styles says "payback is a bitch." That gets two. One German suplex for Benoit, then another and a third one that he releases his hands on. Signal for the headbutt, to the top and the headbutt hits on the shoulder for the two count. They fight a bit, Guerrero with a nearfall attempt on a rollup gets two. They fight some more, Benoit counters a pinfall attempt with a Crossface on Guerrero's right arm. Eddie doesn't move out of the hold at all, tapping out and giving Benoit the win at 10:37.
Winner by submission: Chris Benoit
The anti-ECW guys up top applaud Benoit, specifically the Smackdown ones who are happy that Benoit is on their show. They do a staredown to end it.
Analysis: ***1/2 Best match so far. Lots of good stuff from these two as you'd expect. Like with most of the matches, I would have loved another 5-10 minutes, but I understand why they don't since they have so many other things to do on the show.
(At the time, they were two of my favorite performers. Eddie is still an all time favorite of mine. With Benoit it’s not the same now as it was then for obvious reasons. They had better matches against eachother, but this was still an excellent technical wrestling match. The standards for them were so high that even a 3.5* match feels disappointing. It was a bit difficult to watch just because of how their lives ended. Eddie died about five months after this. Benoit died two years later after the horrific double murder-suicide he committed on his wife, son and himself.)
Up in the balcony, Joel Gertner tries to interview Eric Bischoff. He looks like he's going to stand up to him, then he asks for a job. Bischoff says hell no he won't hire him. Bischoff rips on the fans, the ECW brand and so on. Just like he does on Raw weekly.
(Once again the heat was outstanding for this entire show and Bischoff loved playing into that.)
Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka
During the entrances of the wrestlers, the Raw superstars turn their back to the wrestlers in the ring. For those who don't know, this is a famous rivalry from ECW's past. They had some great matches about six years ago, especially. Styles mentions Awesome pissed him off when he left ECW for WCW by taking more money. Pretty funny and I think Joey was speaking from the heart there.
Awesome tosses him to the floor, then he comes off with a suicide dive over the top rope. Styles says he wishes he hit his head. Ha. Charge in, Tanaka with a backdrop. Then a chair shot to the head, whip into the rail, Awesome with a boot and a clothesline sends him down. Awesome gets a ringside table, then sets it up on the floor off. Tanaka charges in at him, Awesome takes advantage and hits a running powerbomb off the apron through the table that was propped up on the floor. That's called an Awesome Bomb OH MY GOD from Joey, well deserved. In the ring, Awesome hits his top rope Awesome Splash for just two. Powerbomb attempt, Tanaka fights out, but Awesome ends up hitting a really stiff powerbomb on him. Chair dual as Awesome misses, Tanaka misses, and Awesome hits him hard three times. Tanaka is still up. Tanaka is freaking nuts. Off the middle rope, Diamond Dust from Tanaka and he sets up the steel chairs on the ground, then hits a tornado DDT on the chairs for just two. With Awesome on the ground, he puts a chair on his face and catches him with a chair shot on the face.
To the top, Tanaka comes down with a chair onto Awesome's face, crashing him hard with it. That only gets two. Elbow by Tanaka misses, German Suplex by Awesome, then a spear and now to the top again. Top rope chair shot from Awesome. The WWE guys in the balcony are laughing at the "idiocy" of these guys. Styles jokes about Awesome's horrible "fat chick thriller" gimmick in WCW. Awesome slowly brings a table in, sets it up and goes for a superplex, but Tanaka counters it into a Tornado DDT through a table. Holy shit. Wow. They go up top again and Awesome hits an Awesome Bomb off the top rope with his back to the middle part of the ring as Tanaka kicks out at two! My God. Crowd is giving them a standing ovation. Now Awesome is setting up a table on the floor and goes for another Awesome Bomb over the top. Tanaka counters, but Awesome catches him, throws him over the top through the table on the floor with a powerbomb and then dives through onto him for the pinfall on the floor. Wow. The crowd chanted "This Match Rules" towards the end. They were right. It went 9:52.
Winner by pinfall: Mike Awesome
Analysis: **** This was the match of the night. Wow. I can't believe it was only ten minutes. Seemed longer than that. There was no slow part in this match. It was fast paced from the start to the finish. I enjoyed it very much. These guys were amazing here.
(The stuff they did here was excellent for any era of wrestling. I remember their ECW matches in 1999 that were really eye opening and they got more time than this match, but a lot of what they did here is what they did in those matches too. The standing ovation was well deserved. I was fortunate enough to meet Tanaka a couple of years ago and he didn’t speak great English, but he said people always talked to him about the matches with Awesome. It was one of the best feuds in ECW history even if they weren’t known as the most popular ECW guys. They just had incredible chemistry and an ability to bring out the best in eachother. Sadly, Awesome committed suicide a few years after this.)
The announcers Styles and Foley thanked the fans for their support. Styles mentioned the success of the Rise and Fall of ECW DVD was a big reason this show happened, so he thanked the fans for getting that.
(That DVD was awesome and I remember it being a huge seller. It really did open WWE’s eyes in terms of doing this show as well as what happened a year later.)
Here comes the man ran ECW, the great Paul Heyman. Huge ovation for him as the crowd chants "thank you Paul" at Heyman. Then they chant "ECW" as Heyman looks to be in tears almost. He said his eyes aren't red from crying, they are red from smoking a joint with RVD. He thanks Tod Gordon for giving him a chance. He thanks the dude that made the TV show, then thanked the fans for being the craziest bastards he has met and he said he loved them. Another "Paul E." chant by the fans. He turns to the WWE guys, saying he has something to say to them. Heyman spoke to Bischoff. He says it's not Paul Heyman going to a WCW PPV…"you are in our house, bitch.” Bischoff gave him a middle finger salute. Heyman: “Oh wait a minute, hide your wives, it's Edge." "You Screwed Matt" chants start from the crowd. Heyman says he knows nobody with a written promo has the balls to say this to Edge, but he has two words for Edge: MATT FREAKING HARDY. Great job by Edge spitting out a beer at the perfect time. Then Edge shows his fingers saying that was three words. Heyman turned his attention to JBL. Heyman looked up to JBL: "Since you want to shoot, cowboy, the only reason you were WWE champion for a year is because Triple H didn't want to work Tuesday." JBL mocked being upset by it. Heyman says this isn't WCW, Raw, Smackdown or WWE, "this, my friends, is EC-Fucking-W." That ruled. They did bleep the F-bomb at least on the Network version. The HHH comment was pretty damn shocking, I have to say, but kudos to Heyman for saying it.
(One of my favorite promos ever. Yes, I said ever. It’s an all time classic rant by Heyman. While it’s a promo on a wrestling show that was obviously done to push storylines in some ways, there was definitely a lot of truth to what he said here. Call it a shoot promo if you want. The best promos a lot of the time are the ones that have some truth in them and this one had a lot of truth. It also helped put over some of WWE’s biggest heels, so it was effective that way too. The comment about Triple H was loved by fans online because there was a lot of truth to it. Heyman’s energy was off the charts.)
A commercial aired for some film called The Devils Rejects, a Rob Zombie film.
(This was edited out of the network version I’m watching now.)
Almost 10pm now, so the main event is about to start.
Dudleys come out. The Duds are wearing the tye dyed shirts that are from their ECW days. Dreamer comes out next down the aisle although it's not the full version of Man In the Box because there's no lyrics. Enter Sandman starts up next as Sandman starts drinking up the balcony opposite the WWE troops. He walks through the people to make his way down. The crowd sings every word of the song as usual. He stands on the guard rail drinking another beer. This is the kind of moment that really makes you think this was a great idea. You don't see anything like this in WWE, especially Sandman pouring a beer on some women at ringside, drinking some booze off of their bosoms. Sandman signals to the WWE troops to come down. I really miss that entrance. Nothing like that.
(On the WWE Network version of the show, it’s not Enter Sandman. WWE doesn’t want to pay Metallica the rights to it. It makes this scene less authentic, but it’s still a cool moment.)
The four men show respect at the start of the match. Styles says this is Dreamer's last hurrah. Just before they are about to start, the Blue World Order comes out. It's Stevie Richards, Nova (aka Simon Dean) and the Blue Meanie. It's a parody of the nWo for those that don't know. "BWO" chant starts up. Richards: "Three simple words for us, we're taking over." Richards with a Stevie Kick on Dreamer. Then the Duds beat on him. Kid Kash runs out, they throw him out of the ring. Now Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney come out. They brawl with the bWo as the crowd does the usual chants for them, chanting "Balls" for every punch he throws. Chair to Nova in the back, then the head. The Dudleys take care of Rotten and Mahoney. Everybody's fighting in the aisle as Kid Kash leaps off the ref's back, off the top ropes and hits a somersault plancha on all the guys in the aisle. That was cool.
(Nice cameo spot for some ECW midcarders that weren’t in matches on the show. It was fun. Sadly, both Balls and Axl passed away this year.)
The bell finally rings! It took like ten minutes to get started.
The Dudley Boyz vs. Sandman & Tommy Dreamer
Dreamer decks Bubba as D'Von fights with Sandman on the floor, Bubba with a cookie sheet to the head. "Dreamer should keep his office job" says Styles. Cheese grater to the face by Bubba, grating Dreamer's face and cutting him open massive. Wow. That's a sick cut. Senton by Bubba misses as Dreamer moves out of the way. Reverse 3D on Dreamer, Sandman in with a ladder to hit both Dudleys. Dreamer with the ladder on his shoulders, spinning around and drilling the Dudleys with it. Now Dreamer with the cheese grater to Bubba's skull. Ouch. In ring, Sandman with a drop toe hold on D'Von on the trash can. He scores two. Foley goes: "I don't mean to laugh, but I love this stuff." Dreamer cracks Bubba on the floor with a cookie sheet, Sandman sets up D'Von under the ladder and hits a rolling senton off the top. Bubba's in with a STIFF chairshot to Sandman's head. "Holy Shit" chant from the crowd. Sandman lays on the table as D'Von holds him and Bubba hits a frog splash onto him from there for just two. D'Von hits Bubba with the cane, then Sandman with a cane assisted legsweep. Double figure fours by Dreamer and Sandman. Here comes Lance Storm and Justin Credible.
Credible has barbed wire, and hits the That's Incredible tombstone piledriver on the barb wire. Here comes Francine. She kicks Dreamer in the nuts. Here's Beulah, Dreamer's real life wife. CATFIGHT! Classic. Impact Players go to double team, Beulah kicks Credible low. Dreamer hugs her. They hit a dual DDT, each of one getting a Dudley although Bubba did drop early on it. With a chair on D'Von's nuts, D'Von used a street sign on the chair to crack him in the nuts. Bubba with a kendo stick to the heads of his opponents, then another one to Dreamer. Bubba gets his own table now. D'Von with a powerbomb on Sandman through a table. Dreamer cleans house now with sticks, D'Von whips him into the ropes and they hit the Dudley Death Drop (3D), but no cover. Bubba gets a table. He signals to the back as Spike Dudley comes out in his old ECW gear as an "LSD" chant starts up. He's got lighter fluid and matches. They light it up and Bubba hits Dreamer with a stiff powerbomb through the flaming table for the pinfall win at 10:52.
Winners by pinfall: The Dudley Boyz
Analysis: **3/4 It was a violent match that saw four ECW originals go all out to entertain us with a classic hardcore brawl. They were all faces for the match, but they managed to tell a great story with the physical style of wrestling they did. It was a memorable and fun match that honored ECW history very well.
Post match, the Dudleys went to attack Beulah, but Sandman saved her with kendo stick shots on the Dudleys. Sandman asked for some beer.
(This was vintage ECW here. I’m sorry for using a Michael Cole overused term, but it applies in this instance. The crowd was into everything as they used all kinds of weapons and hit signature spots that the crowd loved. This was also the last appearance for the Dudley Boyz at a WWE event for ten years. Dreamer was working in the WWE office at this point although he did wrestle more frequently when WWE revived the ECW brand. Sandman had a bit of a WWE run when ECW came back too, but it wasn’t that great.)
The glass breaks and "Stone Cold" STEVE AUSTIN is here! He tells Sandman he's not just going to give him a beer, but everybody involved with ECW. Austin said they’re going to have a beer bash. All the ECW troops come out. On Al Snow, Joey goes: "Al Snow got head tonight. And I’m married, so it doesn't happen often anymore." All the ECW guys that were on the show and plenty that were not on the show are in there as well. What's funny is that Austin is supporting ECW yet he's wearing an XFL jersey. Styles mentioned it.
Austin says before he gets beer, he wants to see a fight. He wants to see these WWE guys come into the ring to see if they can whip the ECW ass. Austin's going to sit down to see what happens, drink a beer and told them that they are cowards because Heyman ran them down and they did nothing. Austin told Angle to pull that finger out of his ass and fight. Austin says he's going to count backwards from ten and if they don't come down he's going to go up there to slap the piss out of every one of them. As he counted, they started to come down to the ring.
Austin's out of the ring, the ECW side is on the left, the WWE side is on the right and as the crowd chants "We Want Taz" here he comes. Bischoff joins the announce table, meanwhile. Taz with one Z, as Styles says. That's how I'm putting it, Joey. Styles rules as he rips the hell out of Bischoff at the announce table saying he’s the worst play by play man that Styles has ever heard.
It's brawl city now as Angle and Tazz go at it on the floor. The ECW/WWE fight is going on in the ring. Taz gets the Tazmission on Angle out on the floor. The others continue to brawl in the ring. It's hard to do any sort of play by play on this because it's mostly ECW guys beating on WWE guys, sending them out of the ring. The ECW guys are now all alone. Styles is great at yelling at Bischoff.
(During the brawl, JBL unloaded on the Blue Meanie with some hard punches that bloodied Meanie. You could see JBL going after him right away. There was apparently some sort of issue with Meanie saying comments about JBL that JBL didn’t like, so JBL destroyed him with a barrage of punches. It was a big story after the show, but over the years they mended fences and everything is cool. I’m just saying that at the time it was a huge talking point after the show.)
The heels from Raw and Smackdown were forced out of the ring, so the ECW guys were left alone with Austin there holding a microphone.
Austin, with JBL's hat on, tells Mick Foley to bring Eric Bischoff to the ring as the WWE crusade guys leave the ringside area and walk into the back as Foley forces Bischoff into the ring. Dudleys hit the 3D on Bischoff. Austin tells Benoit to do a flying headbutt. Austin tells Rey to do a 619, but the crowd doesn't like that move because it's too WWE, I guess. Styles said this was beautiful.
Austin: "Eric, can you hear me? This is Austin calling Eric. I thought maybe I would take this time to conduct a post-show interview. Your thoughts on the evening?" Bischoff says: "Fuck ECW" with the Fuck bleeped. They pick him up and Austin hit the Stone Cold Stunner on him. Styles called this the greatest night of his professional career and he wished this moment would last forever.
(That bit with Bischoff saying “fuck ECW” and then eating a Stunner for it was pretty funny. Well done.)
Austin calls for some beer as they celebrate. Meanwhile, the Dudleys carry Bischoff all the way out of the building, literally carrying him into the parking lot. All the ECW guys celebrate in the ring with Austin, Sandman and everybody else drinking a beer.
Styles to end the show: "Thank you to all the ECW fans around the world who cried out for the return of ECW. Without you, there would be no us. Thank you. Thank you very much. I can't believe what I'm seeing. ECW LIVES!"
Austin and Sandman had their hands raised on the ramp as the show came to a close.
This event has a run time of 2 hours, 33 minutes on WWE Network.
Show Rating (out of 10): 8.5
I'm not going to compare this show to WWE ones because it was not like that. It was never like that. What this show was, was a genuine ECW show that really epitomized what ECW was about in a way that I don't think any of us expected it to be under the WWE banner.
There were so many highlights. Every match on the show had something that I really liked because it brought me back to my first memories of ECW. Memories I had after hearing so much about this great promotion and ordering tapes with my buddy so we can watch this great stuff that we heard so many good things about.
Paul Heyman's speech was phenomenal. Straight from the heart. Same with RVD. I'm sure if you only know him from WWE then you'd be shocked by what he said, but I'm hoping you enjoyed it anyway. For every wrestler that put their body on the line tonight, that gave it their all to put on a show, I say thank you. You did great. Forget about what star rating I gave your match or what I may have said. You guys ruled. There was nothing "bad" on this show. Nothing that I'd rip hard. No way. This WAS ECW. And I hope this is STILL ECW because I would love for this brand to continue in some form whether it's one or two PPVs a year or maybe some late night TV slot down the road.
This was a great PPV. Not in the WWE sense necessarily because it wasn't a traditional show. It was great in terms of representing what ECW was about. Anybody that watched ECW in the past was hopefully pleased by what they saw here because this was a good representation. It wasn't perfect. There were some other ECW names like Shane Douglas and Terry Funk who weren't there for obvious reasons, but it was still a great show. It was worth the PPV purchase and I'm telling you that it's worth the DVD purchase in the future too. If you didn't see it, think about getting the replay or getting your hands on a copy because this was a fun show.
To quote Paul Heyman: "This, my friends, is E-C-Fucking-W."
(I think I said it all in the final thoughts. It’s one of the most enjoyable PPVs in history and a unique event as well. A special night for sure.)
Best Match: Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka (**** out of 5)
Worst Match: Rhyno vs. Sabu (**1/4)
1. Paul Heyman - I know the show is not about him, but I have to give it to him due to the speech and putting the event together.
2. Mike Awesome
3. Masato Tanaka
4. Chris Benoit
5. Eddie Guerrero
Next up: Vengeance 2005. I remember two awesome matches on that show.
Thanks for reading.
John Canton – email@example.com