ECW One Night Stand 2005 – Review

Is WWE’s acquisition, attempted revival and ultimate failure to bring back ECW just as big an own goal as what they did with WCW? Quite possibly. But there was a very brief time when the deceased former underground turned ultra-cool brand of the rebellion, that ultimately became a sort of developmental territory for the likes of Monday Nitro and Raw… Extreme Championship Wrestling really was a company that changed the wrestling business. Sadly a combination of financial… shall we just say ‘miss-management’… and the cherry picking of the promotions top stars by World Champion Wrestling and the WWF meant that Paul Heyman’s greatest gift to the business of Pro-Wrestling died a very sad death. And yes WWE ECW sucked ASS… but for one night, we got as close to the original ECW as we will ever get. It ended up as an emotional night for many, and one Paul Heyman has described as one of his career highlights. I know I say this a lot but I absolutely implore you, before you read this blog, please go out of your way to watch this show. And now, here is my review of the one night WWE got the revival of ECW spot on. Here is my review of the One Night Stand show from 2005. Enjoy!


We open with a panoramic shot of the crowd in the legendary Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, which plays hosts to our festivities. It takes seven seconds for the crowd to burst into the famous “E-C-DUB” chants. There are crowd signs everywhere, and plenty of OG ECW shirts from those in the audience. Already it appears members of the core audience of the old promotion are out in force for this reunion show. A play of the ECW theme song is greeted with a huge cheer, and an even bigger one greets the arrival and walk to the ring of the voice of ECW, the legendary (I feel like I might use that word a lot during this blog, or words to that effect) Joey Styles. An amazing ovation from the crowd brought Styles almost to tears, and how mad is it this guy used to call ECW pretty much solo, something you just wouldn’t see in 2020. I must say I absolutely love the set up they have for this show in the arena; it’s a ballroom so there’s fans on the floor and in the upper decks too, but it’s more like a bowl and less like an arena or a stadium so the atmosphere is tremendous. A passionate audience will help that too of course, and it’s evident in the opening minute I’ve been watching this show that’s what we have for this one. After soaking in the crowd noise and chanting for him Styles opens up the show saying “OH MY GOD (his signature phrase, which gets a big pop)! … Hello everyone, and welcome to ECW One Night Stand”. Joey then welcomes out his broadcast colleague for the show MICK FOLEY! Foley of course is another former ECW star under his Cactus Jack gimmick, and naturally gets a huge ovation from the crowd as he comes out with his Cactus Jack shirt on and music playing him out.

We then get the old school ECW opening title sequence play. Or if not the original one that was very much made to look and come across as if it was. It then transitioned into the more modern ECW theme of ‘Bodies’ by Drowning Pool.

Lance Storm with Dawn Marie defeated ‘Lionheart’ Chris Jericho

Storm got a huge ovation, as I think everyone on this show may well do. After he came to the ring they cut in footage of his time in ECW as tag champion alongside Justin Credible. I hope this is something they do all show, as it was cool to see clips from ECW of old alongside the live stuff. Jericho went by ‘Lion Heart’ (which he also had on the back of his jacket he wore to the ring) as that was his guise during his days in ECW, despite him being a star in WWE at the time of this show. So little callbacks like that I like a lot. Storm and Jericho broke into the business together so this is a cool match up between two former ECW stars who actually also had their first match against one another. The two quickly shook hands before they locked up and exchanged as series of takedowns, counters, then a monkey flip by Storm landing on his feet and he then got an armdrag takedown, Jericho got one too and then they stood across from eachother for the stalemate as the crowd’s applause rained down. Jericho took Storm down after with a waist lock, before what Joey Styles called ‘a professional wrestling style bow and arrow’ was put on Storm by Jericho. The… lively… ECW crowd chanted “SHE’S A CRACKWHORE” presumably at Dawn Marie… After Storm powered out of a brief pin attempt by Jericho he then took Lion heart into the corner, ramming his head into the turnbuckle before hitting a hard chop, before Storm jumped back over Jericho after he was whipped into the other corner, with Jericho then hitting a nice dropkick off the middle turnbuckle. Jericho then came off the ropes and hit a baseball slide to send Storm to the outside. Joey Styles on commentary pointed out that Storm was lucky the New York State Athletic Commission made ECW have protective mats on the floor outside the ring, as ECW usually do not, and again it’s the little details of this show I already love. Jericho tried to dive onto Storm from the apron, but instead he moved him into the steel barricade. Lance then took advantage stomping away at a wounded Jericho back in the ring, himself then coming off the ropes and he hit a beautiful dropkick of his own, which was so good it good applause from the crowd on the floor seats visible on camera. This got Storm his first nearfall of the match just after. Storm then hit a great-looking delayed vertical suplex, but Jericho kicked out of the pin at two. Storm wasted no time in putting the rest hold in, but Jericho powered up and elbowed Storm, striking him again before Lance put him back in the corner and hit another big chop, and after Jericho sent Lance into the other corner he immediately jumped up onto the top rope, but came down right into a mid-air dropkick to his back from Jericho. A tremendous spot that the crowd loved. Jericho sent Storm down after three times in a row with clotheslines, slams and then a kick to the back of Lance’s head doing the job. Storm tried the German Suplex, but Jericho stopped it, and they exchanged the advantage and attempted suplexes until Jericho caught Lance with a roll up pin attempt for a nearfall. At this point the crowd chanted the name of Chris Candido, another former ECW star who had sadly died less than a couple of months before this show took place. Storm in this time reversed the pin for a nearfall of his own, before Jericho hit suplex he didn’t release and got a nearfall from it. He followed up with a couple of hard knees to the head of Storm, and he tried to slam him down only to be sent against the ropes and hit with another dropkick this time to his back by Storm. Storm tried for a cradle Piledriver but Jericho got out, then Storm his a textbook Superkick and got a close nearfall from that. Lance placed Jericho on the top rope, but after a quick exchange it was Jericho who slammed Storm down, and Lion heart then hit a flying elbow strike to send Storm down… but Lance kicked out of the pin at two. Jericho kicked and chopped Storm, and after both came off the ropes Storm slid underneath Jericho and somehow locked in a single leg ‘Calgary’ crab submission which was beautifully set up. Jericho though rolled out of it and looked to try for his own Walls Of Jericho, but he instead catapulted Lance into the corner, then hit a running bulldog, then went for the Lionsault to end it but Storm got his knees up… although to the awe of the crowd Jericho seemed to see this coming in time and himself went to put the Walls Of Jericho in, which he did get. Just as this happened though Dawn Marie got onto the apron and this distracted the referee, just as Lance was tapping away… and as this was going on both Jason Knight (another former ECW star) and Justin Credible tried to get involved but Jericho beat both them away, and then rolled over Storm as he came at him for a nearfall pin… but Storm kicked out in time and kicked Jericho towards the ropes, and this was where Credible (behind the refs back) hit Jericho right in the face with a huge kendo stick shot that the crowd went mad for. And this allowed for Lance Storm to get the 1,2,3. Crowd loved this match and so did I. I’d have happily watched more, but they went in, had a solid and very fun to watch professional wrestling match. Great stuff, great wrestling and we got our Extreme stuff in their too. A great opener. Storm and the rest of the ‘Impact Players’ posed in the ring before making their way to the back, and Jericho later got a standing ovation from the crowd for his efforts.

***3/4 

Styles and Foley then briefly spoke about, and we indeed saw the empty seats on a balcony above. This is where a selection of both Raw and SmackDown superstars will be sitting later in the show. They were invited to attend by ECW’s head honcho Paul Heyman. The idea is the WWE guys look down on ECW, so expect fireworks when they show up later…

We had ‘The Pitbull’ Gary Wolfe (another ex ECW guy) briefly say from backstage that tonight has already gone to the extreme, but he lead us into a package looking at ECW stars of the past sadly not around to see this show. The ‘ECW remembers’ package that followed showed: Rocco Rock of Public Enemy, Terry Gordy, Mike Lockwood (aka Crash Holly in WWF), The Original Sheik who was one of the all-time great heels of the business and also the Uncle of Sabu, Mike Lozansky, Pitbull Anthony Durante, Big Dick Dudley and the aforementioned Chris Candido. This was a really well done video. May they all Rest In Peace.

Super Crazy defeated Little Guido with Big Guido, JT Smith, Tony Mamaluke and Tracy Smothers and Yoshihiro Tajiri with Mikey Whipwreck and The Sinister Minister 

Tajiri came out first with Whipwreck and ‘The Sinister Minister’ who I know more as Father James Mitchell in TNA (famous former manager of Abyss). Little Guido of the F.B.I (Full Blooded Italians) was known as Nunzio in WWE. As you can imagine by the people involved, this three way dance match went a million miles an hour in-ring wise. A three way dance by the way means it’s basically an elimination match and not just one fall. There’s six people on the outside so if this is a completely clean match I’ll be astounded. Little Guido got the action underway rushing at Super Crazy, with Tajiri then kicking and hammering away at Little Guido from behind. Then with Guido out the way Super Crazy pikced up Tajiri off the ropes and slammed him down with a tilt-the-world backbreaker. Then he tried to throw Tajiri against the ropes but the Japanese Buzzsaw somersaulted off the ring ropes and hit a reverse flying elbow to send Super Crazy down. Tajiri then kicked and chopped at Little Guido, then Guido was thrown against the ropes but then spun Tajiri down and into a form of armbar, but Super Crazy then came in and stomped on Guido, before hitting a standing moonsault. Crazy got a waist lock on Guido who elbowed him away, then tried to hook his leg but was kicked away, then Guido tried a sunset flip pin but Crazy rolled out of it and hit a standing dropkick right to Little Guido’s head which looked awesome. Tajiri then got hit with one himself after Super Crazy did a roll into it. Crazy then hit a baseball slide to Tajiri who was taking a breather on the outside, then as he was back in the ring Tony Mamaluke pulled him down from the outside, and Little Guido then went up to the second rope and hit a leg drop to the back of Super Crazy’s neck. Guido went after him but ended up himself getting launched into the steel barricade. Super Crazy in fact went into the crowd after Little Guido, and after Super Crazy knocked him down he then went and climbed the stairs on a nearby balcony fans were stood watching on from…  Super Crazy then balanced on the barrier as a nearby security guard held the fans back, and then SUPER CRAZY HIT A MOONSAULT OFF THE BALCONY ONTO LITTLE GUIDO BELOW!!! It was a heck of  a visual spot that the crowd went absolutely wild for and rightfully so! Crazy in fact fell onto Guido and a number of fans who were nearby so it was very authentic-looking. Super Crazy then flipped over the barricade and wildly went back into the ring. Tajiri then tried to flip over the ropes and pin Super Crazy, but Crazy held onto the ropes to stop him and then was turned round the other way, so Tajiri had his famous ring ropes-assisted submission the ‘Tarantula’… then Crazy after this chopped away at Tajiri and punched at him in the corner, as the crowd counted along with the number of punches, in Spanish. Class. Tajiri reversed a whip into the corner then got a kick to the face, before the FBI then pulled Super Crazy down and yanked him against the steel ring post, and beat on him on the outside, and this led Big Guido to take Tajiri in the ring as Little Guido went up top… Big Guido had Tajiri set for a powerbomb but Tajiri was in the perfect spot to spit the Green Mist right into the eyes of Little Guido! The Sinister Minister ran in the ring and chop blocked the leg of Big Guido, and Tajiri caught the big man with a kick to the head, and then hit another kick to Tracy Smothers as Mikey Whipwreck came in and striked away at Little Guido before he hit the ‘Whipper Snapper’ (a rope stunner), and Tajiri pinned and eliminated Little Guido. After a brief staredown Crazy kicked Tajiri in the chest, and shortly after Super Crazy came from the outside of the apron, off the ring ropes inside the ring and hit a moonsault to Tajiri, but only got a nearfall. Super Crazy straight after tried for a powerbomb but got reversed into a ddt, which also got a 2 count. Tajiri kicked away and didn’t seem too happy as the crowd loudly chanted for ‘SU-PER CRA-ZY’, Tajiri hit more strikes as Crazy reversed a vertical suplex attempt and then slammed Tajiri down from a fireman’s carry, and then hit a moonsault off the bottom rope, then off the second (both of which perfectly executed), and he then tried for another right after from the top, but Whipwreck shoved him down. Tajiri tried the Buzzsaw kick in the ring after, but Crazy dodges it and then hit a couple of hard strikes, then a big powerbomb (the crowd chanted ‘YOU FUCKED UP’ at this point but I’m not sure what at to be honest), and then Super Crazy went up top and hit the moonsault off the top for the 1,2,3 and the win. Some match that. Again I’d have happily seen it go longer, but in the time they were out there for they went a million miles an hour and it was all good, fun stuff.

***1/4 

They showed a video of some old ECW moments. Christ… this stuff wouldn’t even be remotely possible today, all sorts of weapon spots and usages, crowds getting in the ring, chairs getting launched in from the outside, all sorts, certainly was EXTREME!

Rey Mysterio defeated Psicosis 

Psicosis came out wearing his Lucha mask with the long hair attached, but took it off once in the ring. Commentary put this over as a big deal of him showing respect to the fans and to ECW, and Foley stated this was the first time this has been done by Psicosis in North America, but Styles corrected saying it was the first time he’d worn the mask to the ring and then took it off as a show of love and respect to the fans. This was dubbed an ‘Extreme Lucha match’. These two had a feud of the year in 1995 in ECW. After locking up they exchanged wrist holds with each man rolling out of it before they grasped hands and eventually Psicosis hit an arm drag out of the corner and the two had a stalemate stand off. After locking hands again Rey found himself balancing by his knees on Psicosis’ shoulders and then he rolled down for a nearfall pin attempt with the victory roll. Another stalemate. After a side-headlock by Psicosis Rey eventually came off the ropes and springboarded onto Psicosis to take him down, but Psicosis rolled over and picked Rey up, and then slammed him down face first into the ring floor. Psicosis then stomped on Rey, dropped an elbow and then hard irish-whipped Rey from one corner to another, this got a nearfall. Rey then springboarded off the ropes to takedown Psicosis for a nearfall. Mick Foley noted on commentary that some of the audience were chanting that this was ‘boring’, and put across that Irish whips and the sort was not the sort of thing they wanted to see from Psicosis. After Rey came off the ropes Psicosis caught him with a sleeper hold, which only further angered the crowd. Psicosis again threw Rey into the corner as Joey Styles said on commentary how maybe the reason Psicosis isn’t doing his more typical lucha-style is he doesn’t believe he can out-quicken Rey anymore. Psicosis got another nearfall after throwing Rey to the ring floor again, and then threw Mysterio out of the ring. He went after Rey some more on the outside, dropping a strike off the apron then launching him into the barricade. Psicosis then went to the top rope, and with Mysterio hanging over the steel barricade he hit a tremendous leg drop. NOW the crowd were into Psicosis. He then got Rey back in the ring, but only got a 2 count as Mysterio got a leg on the rope. Psicosis chopped Mysterio in the corner, but then whipped him into the other corner before Rey kipped up over him then Psicosis shoved Rey backwards into the corner turnbuckle, and he went for a running dropkick but Mysterio moved out the way in time. After hitting a strike and running the ropes a couple of times Rey hit a facebuster type move and got a nearfall of his own. Psicosis went flying at Rey in the corner but again Mysterio dodged it and Psicosis went shoulder first into the ring post and to the outside, and into the front row even over the barricade. Rey Mysterio responded by going to the top rope himself, and leaping onto Psicosis into the crowd with a seated senton. Crowd went wild for that. Eventually back in the ring Rey hit the springboard dropkick to set Psicosis into position for the 619, which he hit, and then the West Coast Pop for the 123. A fun match but it wasn’t as Lucha as I or I think these fans wanted it to be. Good fun mind but I can’t help feeling a little shirt changed.

**3/4  

The SmackDown superstars who had come to invade their way into the show made their way to their seats. Among them were Kurt Angle and JBL (both of whom took great glee in showing off their ticket to the nearby fans), Orlando Jordan, (the crowd chanted ‘YOU SUCK DICK’ as JBL walked up some stairs), The Bashams, Carlito (we had ‘FUCK YOU SMACKDOWN’ chants).

Joey Styles said on commentary that he longer wanted to look at these guys and said to ‘roll anything’, then they went into a package of old ECW stuff. Just a load of ECW stuff and extreme highlights basically. All good stuff.

We had ECW alumni Joel, who got a big pop, appear with a mic in the balcony bit where the SmackDown stars were. JBL pushed him away and over. Big timed him fully and came across as a bully. Angle told him to get his ass out of here, and said ECW fans were the lowest form of scum walking God’s green earth. He said the people SUCK, and when the fans told him he sucked dick he said “Your Mother taught me how”.  He added the last ECW event he was at he left half way through because it sucked, that it wasn’t wrestling it was humiliation and that ‘you people are morons’. As the crowd loudly chanted in union for him to ‘SHUT THE FUCK UP’ he said they (the WWE guys) would make sure every ECW star who stepped in that ring tonight would get their ass kicked, and there wasn’t a damn thing anyone could do about it. Then before JBL could even talk the crowd loudly called him an ASSHOLE. JBL then said that Madison Square Garden was one block away, and that if you put his name on the marquee it sells out, ECW can barely sell up a bingo hall. And that them being there reminds them how bad their world is, and when they sit on their internet (in between their porn sites at their mummy’s house) – I’m paraphrasing but he said all of this by the way – and they exchange emails with their buddies saying that they were Hardcore, and we love ECW (loud shut the fuck up chants), that they love ECW because they could be ECW. He then pointed out a couple of fat members of the audience and said they could go to the ring and mutilate their body and that was ECW. And that JBL being here reminds them that he is above that and that he is a wrestling god. JBL said nobody in that ring will ever make it to his level, and that the only chance this Pay Per View succeeds is because he is here. He was then the victim of a perfectly timed interruption…

The music of Rob Van Dam played. RVD as arguably the most successful ECW guy in WWE that there has been (and who one year later at this show WON the WWE Championship), could well argue he was at JBL’s ‘level’ in my opinion. Huge ovation for RVD of course, who came out with a knee brace on and alongside Bill Alfonso (a former manager in ECW). This whole event was actually RVD’s idea in fact, or at least he made the suggestion to Vince McMahon. JBL tried to talk down RVD as he came out, but he conveniently had some mic issues… RVD asked Alfonso if he remembered this (pointing at the ECW fans and atmosphere)? RVD then spoke to the SmackDown stars that it sucked bad enough they were in this building that they’ve got absolutely nothing to do with, and to ‘shut your mouth, this has nothing to do with you, tonight is gonna be one of the biggest Pay Per Views all year and that’s exactly because these people, just like me, just like Fonzy, are sick and tired of having to have you and your likeness shoved down our throats everytime they wanna watch wrestling, tonight we give them what they wanna see, ECW.’. After a series of ‘E-C-DUB’ chants RVD went on ‘you deserve zero credit for tonight’s success, the office might be blind to it, but these people are gonna let you know… that’s right, I don’t have any ‘creative geniuses’ writing my script tonight folks, so I’m gonna be shooting from the heart, and I’m gonna take you back, to a time before RVD’s vocabulary was limited to ‘whatever’ and ‘cool’, remember that Fonzy?, remember when RVD had vocabulary, when I had a voice, you remember when these people would chant my initials from the opening of the show, through intermissions all the way through to the main event, remember that? (loud RVD chants right on queue of course)… talk about the pressure, no sweat, I didn’t sweat it, you know why? Because I was going to have the opportunity to come out and actually use my abilities and my skills to make sure that everybody watching went home happy. As long as I got the chance to do my part that’s all that mattered, you know why? RVD pointed the mic at Alfonso, who took the mic and RVD then went into it (whilst doing his signature points) ‘I’m the whole, FUCKIN, show’. RVD carried on ‘Mr Pay Per View, Mr Monday Night’ and then he asked Fonzy if he remembers what RVD 420 means? And both mean said into the mic ‘I just smoked your ass’ which I thought was a great line. He then asked Alfonso how long he held that World Television title for to which he said it was 1 year, 11 months, 18 days, 2 hours and 42 seconds DADDY! Van Dam said ‘are you kidding me? That was the best time of my career, yeah I said that, that is how you showcase RVD, I know, I know, I understand, I feel the love (More RVD chants at this point), I understand the respect, and that is why we are here tonight, that’s why I, went to the boss man and said Vince have you ever thought about doing an ECW pay per view? He said ‘well actually (RVD deepened his voice a little to do his Vince speak which was great) I hadn’t thought of that’, I said that it would be huge, you gotta do it, all of us ECW guys that were there back in the day they shared that energy with the ECW fans, let us go out there the way that we wanna be seen, balls out, we’re your toughest guys, we don’t want any of use getting hurt, we don’t even need a storyline, just one night only, you don’t even have to turn the lights on for the whole building because we weren’t about that, let us show you what we were all about. Yeah, and then he liked it, he liked my idea, and the dream became a reality and the date was set, June 12th, One Night Stand, ECW, I can’t frigging wait… (E-C-DUB chants). RVD then spoke about how he had to then get knee surgery, and he wouldn’t be able to wrestle on the show tonight to which the crowd booed. He said his torn ACL and torn Meniscus meant he wouldn’t be cleared to wrestle on this Pay Per View, and he said it sucked worse than anything for him. He even said it was way worse than missing the overseas tour, Booker T’s wedding and Wrestle-frigging-Mania, and that he’d gladly pass all that up to be here because this was what he was all about, RVD is ECW…

Then out of knowhere Alfonso told RVD to turn around… and who should be there but the final ever ECW World Champion Rhyno! He hit a huge GORE on RVD, and then attacked the injured leg with a series of stomps… (the crowd with their chants kinda spoiled what was next, but cool that they would get what they chanted for). As Rhyno took off RVD’s knee brace… the lights went out… huge pop from the crowd as when they came back on SABU was in the ring… and as the two ECW legends starred off, a referee came in and we had a match be made!

Sabu defeated Rhyno   

Sabu dived at Rhyno as the bell rung but he moved out the way. The two locked up soon enough, although Rhyno took charge taking Sabu down with a shoulder block, and then got an overhead belly to belly suplex before he kicked away at the back of Sabu’s head. Rhyno whipped Sabu into the corner and elbowed him away after, then got to the middle rope, but seemingly out of nowhere Sabu whipped out a steel chair and smashed it at Rhyno to the delight of the crowd. Sabu then used the chair as a boost and came off the ropes and used the chair he had set up to springboard off and hit a huge dive onto Rhyno on the outside at the entrance aisle. Sabu threw Rhyno into the barricade then hit him with the chair, then set Rhyno on a table but Rhyno hit Sabu off the apron before. Rhyno got Sabu back in the ring and hit shoulders in the corner, then hit a huge running kick as Sabu was rested against the ropes, this eventually got Rhyno a nearfall. Rhyno slammed Sabu, then went to the top, although Sabu went after him and hit strikes, then took him down with a Hurracinrana off the top, then came off the ropes for the back elbow, but Sabu only got a 2 from the pin. Alfonso, who was still on the outside, then threw Sabu a chair, which he then set up a flew off to hit a forearm, causing Rhyno to then fall throat first onto the set up chair. Sabu then got a leg drop off the chair for a 2. As Sabu tried to come off the ropes again Rhyno tripped him and Sabu went head first into the chair. Rhyno took the chair and dropped Sabu onto it, and again got a nearfall. Rhyno dropped Sabu backwards head-first into the top turnbuckle pad, then he went to the corner looking for the GORE, but he accidentally hit it on the poor ref of the match! Rhyno then hit a piledriver to Sabu, and then RVD and Alfonso (with a chair) came in, RVD limped across and caught the chair from Alfonso, and then he threw the chair at Rhyno’s face! With Rhyno in the corner RVD took the chair and double dropkicked the chair into Rhyno (injured leg and all). Alfonso then slid the table into the ring, which RVD set up, Sabu went up top as RVD put Rhyno in position, Sabu caught a chair threw to him, and then Sabu came off the top and leg dropped Rhyno threw the table, taking the chair with him for extra impact. To a chorus of EC-DUB chants Sabu then pulled himself across Rhyno and got the pin. This was exactly what these people wanted from a Sabu match, crazy hardcore spots and a big finish. Good stuff.

***

Al Snow (and HEAD) spoke to camera from backstage. He spoke to HEAD, I’m not quite sure what about, but he seemed to be blaming HEAD for inviting the ‘SmackDown Assholes’ to the show, which Al claimed was for the fans etc. He told HEAD they would talk about it when they got back to the room, right now he just wanted to reminisce about some more ECW Memories. Another ECW highlights package aired after.

The Raw superstars arrived to their balcony seats. Led by Eric Bischoff (who exchanged ‘fuck you’s’ with some nearby audience members) and Jonathan Coachman, with them were the likes of Edge, Christian, Tyson Tomko, William Regal, Gene Snitsky, Renee Dupree, Maven. Mick Foley and Joey Styles on commentary called Bischoff the anti-christ of ECW, and Foley added that nobody had ever spent more money in the past trying to screw over ECW.

Eddie Guerrero in singles action 

You’re welcome to go and watch this match back if you so please. It was great.

****

The camera panned back up to Bischoff and co. Joel was up there again, Bischoff took exception to Joel’s question ‘on behalf of ECW’, the question was ‘can I please have a job’… Eric gave him his drink to hold as Coach laughed hysterically, then he said HELL NO he wouldn’t hire him. He cut a promo on poor Joel, saying he was the General Manger of the best sports entertainment show on the planet, Monday Night Raw. Adding that he didn’t wanna see any of ‘you scabs’ at any Raw events after what he had seen tonight, because they didn’t have the class. He said ECW sucks.

Mike Awesome defeated Masato Tanaka

I’ve never been a Mike Awesome fan, but he got a big reaction here. The Raw guys then turned their back on the show now. This was… well… it really has to be seen to be believed…

Apparently Awesome didn’t actually end his opponent’s life in this match…

***1/4

Styles and Foley talked directly to camera about this show tonight. Joey said about how much fun he and everyone was having tonight, and that even if it was just tonight he thanked the fans for making the night possible.

Next is one of the all time great promos…

PAUL HEYMAN came out, and when I say he got a big ovation you need to think Austin attitude era level of noise. Heyman was so emotional coming to the ring, it was beautiful to see. He got in the ring and bowed to each side of the venue. Chants of ‘thank you Paul’. Heyman said his eyes were only red as he was in the back smoking a joint with Van Dam (pop), he then thanked Todd Gordon for giving him the chance to be creative and to book for ‘you crazy bastards’. He then thanked two guys sat front row (Ron Buffone and Charlie Bruzzese) for sticking with them and sitting in the tv studio and running their tv show for years. He said the fans were some of the craziest bastards he had ever met in his life and he loved everyone one of them. He said he was going to take the high road and just say thank you and leave, “BUT I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY TO YOU” as he turned and pointed up to the WWE guys in the balcony… and THEN (here we go)… he said he had waited a long time to say this to you ERIC BISCHOFF (who he and Coach had their backs turned), he said in case he didn’t notice it’s not Paul Heyman with his tail between his legs going to a WCW pay per view, you are in our house BITCH (Eric then gave Paul the finger). Heyman then stepped up to the middle rope of the near corner turnbuckle and said “hide your wives, it’s EDGE (you screwed Matt chants)… well Edge, I no one with a written promo has the balls to say this to you, but I have two words for you… MATT FREAKING HARDY!’. Edge spits his drink out, big pop from the crowd. Awesome stuff. Heyman looks like he’s done… before… “I almost forgot about you (big smile) Mr shoot promo (talking directly to JBL)… since you wanna shoot cowboy… the only reason you were WWE Champion for a year, WAS BECAUSE TRIPLE H DIDN’T WANNA WORK TUESDAYS!!!’. HUGE pop for one of the best put downs I’ve ever heard in wrestling. He finishes with the classic… ‘this aint WCW, this aint Monday night Raw, this aint SmackDown, this aint even WWE, THIS, IS E-C-FUCKING-W!’, he then gives the double birds to the Raw and SmackDown stars before making his exit. Truly one of the all time best promos from a master of the microphone.

The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) defeated Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman

Huge pop for the Dudleys. And again for Dreamer, who was actually co-promoter of this show apparently (and might I see what a fine job he did in helping put it together)… but then, and to my great sadness the original version isn’t on the WWE network due to copyright over the song, and I’m about to make a very big statement… but… The Sandman then made what I believe to be THE single greatest entrance in the history of Professional Wrestling. Here is the original, and if for whatever reason this video wont work for you I absolute demand you g out of your way to find it. Make sure it is the original with the ‘Enter Sandman’ Metallica song too.

A thing of true beauty, gets me every-time. After the first bumps all round to begin the match, the music of the bWo played… and out came Blue Meanie, Stevie Richards and Nova. As they came out Joey Styles was losing his mind laughing, and then said “If any gimmick never deserved to make a dime and made a boatload of cash, this is it! And the best part is that they (WCW) couldn’t sue us, ’cause it’s a parody!” Richards cut a promo after in the ring talking about invading and crusading, and that they couldn’t have a hardcore invasion without the bWo! Richards then said they had three words for ya “We’re taking over”! Stevie then kicked Sandman, then Dreamer, before Bubba and D-Von attacked him and a huge brawl ensued. Then… the music of KID KASH played and out he came! THEN… Axl Rotten and BALLS MAHONEY came out with Balls and the bWo brawling (the crowd taking great delight in chanting ‘BALLS, BALLS, BALLS’)… As the brawl went on Kid Kash hit a huge dive from in the ring and over the ropes to everyone on the outside (more ECDUB chants). Bubba then got a trashcan into the ring, as the bWo and Balls&Rotten brawled up the entrance aisle, then Bubba got smashed with the trashcan lid by Tommy Dreamer as the bell FINALLY rung. D-Von and Sandman fought outside as Dreamer took a cheese grated to Bubba’s head in the ring, as you do… or at least he tried before Bubba caught him with a backdrop suplex. As Bubba smashed Dreamer with some form of sign that was in the trashcan, we had a great commentary line as the crowd chanted ‘CACTUS JACK’, Styles asked Foley what they were chanting… ‘some hardcore hero’ Foley said… Bubba got the grater then and raked at the already bleeding head of Dreamer. Bubba wiped Dreamer’s blood over his own face, then came off the middle rope looking for a back splash but Dreamer moved. D-Von helped Bubba hit a double team neckbreaker after, Sandman used a ladder to smash the Dudleys, then Dreamer wore it on his neck and swung round hitting both Dudleys with it. Dreamer used the grater on the busted open Bubba, then Sandman hit a drop toe hold on D-Von onto a trashcan, as Dreamer blasted Bubba into the steel barricade on the outside. Sandman got a nearfall on D-Von, Dreamer smashed Bubba with another sign of sorts, Sandman put the ladder on D-Von as Bubba hung Dreamer onto the barricade, Sandman then came off the top and hit a senton onto D-Von, as Bubba then came in and smashed a chair at The Sandman’s head (you keeping up with this?!). The Dudleys then put Sandman on the ladder, as Bubba came off the middle rope and hit a big splash onto Sandman who was held down by D-Von, which got the Dudleys a nearfall. D-Von hit Bubba with the Singapore cane after Sandman moved, and he then hit a white russian leg sweep to take down D-Von. Dreamer and Sandman then dragged the Dudleys and both used a figure 4 leg lock, at which point both Lance Storm and Justin Credible came in and beat on Dreamer and The Sandman… Credible had what was described as a ‘barbed wire sphere’ and then he picked up Sandman and slammed Sandman on it! Dreamer was picked up by the Impact Players when Francine (who herself has ECW history with Dreamer) came in and she low blowed Dreamer, Beulah McGillicutty (another former Dreamer ECW valet, and his IRL wife) then came in and her and Francine had a cat fight. Credible pulled Beulah off, and Storm went to go at her but she moved and he hit Credible instead. Beulah punted Storm in the balls, and then Dreamer threw him over the ropes and out the ring. With Dreamer, and his blood drenched face, in the ring he looked across at his wife with a big smile and they hugged, and then as The Dudleys tried a sneak attack both Dreamer and Beulah hit ddt’s, and BOTH made pin covers and the ref counted BOTH, but both were kicked out of. As the crowd chanted “she’s hardcore”, back in the ring The Sandman got a chair and put it between D-Von Dudley’s legs, then held his legs open so that Dreamer could then smash a sign into the chair for added impact. D-Von sold it huge and was bouncing all over the ring which was hilarious, and as Joey Styles said the amazing line of ‘MY GOD HE JUST CRUSHED A MAN’S BALLS’ Bubba hit the cane across Dreamer’s back, then to The Sandman’s head! Bubba then said “FUCK THIS” as clear as can be (on the WWE network by the way), and of course he then got… A TABLE! Another cane shot to Sandman, the Dudleys set up a table, powerbombed Sandman through it, but he kicked out at two (D-von bleeding now too). Dreamer smashed Bubba with the cane and then to D-Von, then The Dudleys hit the 3D to Dreamer. The Bubba got another table… then Bubba signalled to the back and out came SPIKE DUDLEY! D-Von took down Sandman, as Spike had with him LIGHTER FLUID… bubba then sprayed it over the table… as did D-von, the… well they lit the table ON FIRE!!!! Then… well they powerbombed Tommy Dreamer through it!!!! HUGE pop and HOLY SHIT chants, and Bubba covered him for the win. Now THAT was HARDCORE! Sandman saved Beulah from The Dudleys after the match, hitting them all with the cane, then as Sandman went over to see Tommy instead of calling for a doctor he said ‘somebody get me a beer’. Just tremendous.

***3/4

After this was when things really got wild. Sandman asked for a beer right? So who came out… STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN!!! Former ECW star and universally loved, he got a great reception. It was cool as well that THE WWE guy was not only a former ECW star, but was adored by this loyal ECW crowd and as Foley said on commentary Steve was proud of his ECW past. Austin looked over at Sandman, asking if he wanted a beer? ‘Sandman I’ve seen you drunk son you don’t need a beer, you need a case of beer, wherever Stone Cold Steve Austin goes I always got a beer but I aint only just serving you a beer’. Austin then asked everyone in the back flying those ECW colours to come out and join the beer bash. And so all the ECW stars from the show so far all came out, much to the displeasure of the Raw and SmackDown stars looked down on them. Austin said he was ready to drink some beer with them, but he came out here to see a damn fight! He then talked to the WWE stars on the balcony above and challenged them… . Austin then demanded a beer before they all came down and got himself a chair and a beer to watch the fight unfold. Austin taunted them some more and said as they wouldn’t come down he would count backwards from 10 and then he would walk up there and slap the piss out of each and every one of them. He counted, and then as he got to about 4 they started to come down “ah you lucky bastards” Austin said… to which the WWE stars did just that, they came all into the ring. One side we had ECW and the other Raw&SmackDown… , then (as if this crowd couldn’t be more delighted) they chanted for and then got… TAZ! Taz came out just as Coach grabbed a mic at the commentary desk… (Bischoff was now sat next to Foley as well). After some back and forth a huge brawl ensued (go out of your way to look up why the Blue Meanie of all people was busted open hardway during the melee… and it’ll just reinforce everything you think of a certain SmackDown loudmouth…)… Taz and Angle fought up the entrance aisle, and Taz had the Tazmission in and choked him out. Eric and Styles and Foley and Coach talked trash back and forth on commentary, and as the brawl went on Austin got on the mic again… just as ECW appeared to have cleared the ring of the WWE stars. Austin got in the ring and told WWE they just got their ass whupped, he asked where the beers were at… then told everyone to hold on a minute… He told the ECW stars he thinks they got everybody’s ass whupped except for Eric Bischoff… he then asked Mick Foley, being the hardcore legend, if he would see fit to grab Eric and escort him to the ring. Foley then did just that… as the Raw and SmackDown stars retreated. Once Foley had brought Eric to the ring, Austin played leader and in turn called for Eric to receive and indeed got: a 3D from The Dudleys, a flying headbutt from another former ECW star, a 619 from Rey Mysterio… Austin then asked a downed Bischoff “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?”… to which Bischoff replies “F*** ECW”… Big boos from the crowd to this… then he got dragged up and got a Stunner for his troubles. Then they played Austin’s music and the beer bash was underway. The Duleys took Bischoff out to the back (in fact the cameras followed them until they did infact throw Eric onto the back of a truck), as the ECW stars drank beer in the ring. Austin posed with his beers in the corner on the turnbuckle as ‘Bodies’ played and the ECW stars drank beer and celebrated with the fans. Styles on commentary thanked fans around the world who cried out for the return of ECW, having just prior said this had been the greatest night of his professional career. In an iconic image to close the show, The Sandman and Stone Cold Steve Austin both stood at the top of the entrance ramp, as Austin help up Sandman’s arm in the air.


Now I’ve watched this show and properly gone through it, and in my time I’ve seen some amazing wrestling shows; New Japan have had a few (the Dominion when Omega won the title, and the last few Wrestle Kingdoms are right up there), NXT TakeOver New York and New Orleans, AEW’S first Double or Nothing, WWE have had some great shows also (some of which I will be covering in the next few months). But if you’re looking for fun, emotion, and great in-ring stuff then this show is hard to top. It had it all. Of course if you’re not into the more violent side of the wrestling then you wont love it so much, but even that wasn’t every match. I loved this show so much. There is a reason it’s revered by wrestling fans. The last proper night of ECW was one for the ages… if only WWE had quit whilst they were ahead… of course 12 months later they did it again, this time with much more of a WWE influence on the card, which meant the show didn’t get as well a reception from the ECW loyalists… but it did bring the ultimate of a ECW legend RVD winning the WWE title. So maybe One Night Stand 2005 should have been it… but I’d have done the 2006 show and changed it; had (like 2005) an ECW heavy card, and kept the main event with RVD winning the title. THEN I’d have put ECW to bed… but they didn’t… Nevertheless ECW One Night Stand 2005 remains one of the all time great wrestling shows.

Josh. 

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