Sunday, June 11, 2006

ECW One Night Stand

I decided to order One Night Stand, which is the first WWE PPV I have ordered in ages. I’ve attended a few, but I mainly buy the DVDs of the good shows now to save money and since they come out so quickly. I figured I should order the show since I’m covering the ECW TV and this looked to be good. I’m glad I ordered the show, which was a lot fun.

Paul Heyman’s opening promo was great. He made me believe this thing is going to work a lot more than I thought before he started.

Taz beat Jerry Lawler. It was nice to see the return of Taz’s ECW War Machine theme. In his current condition it’s hard to buy him as a bad-ass shooter, so it’s good this was quick.

Kurt Angle beat Randy Orton. Angle looked really good here. The crowd’s universal applause for Angle was surprising. Granted he is a great wrester, but he was never ECW. More on that theme later. Angle as kick ass wrestling machine works great, and makes it easier on him.

FBI beat Super Crazy and Tajiri. Taz dissing Michael Cole here was great. As was Tajiri and Crazy doing the hustle dance. Big Show getting applause after clearing the ring of all these guys was odd. The company seemed to expect worse, because they booked him like a heel. The crowd cheering him is a great sign for WWE, because the ECW’s crowd historical intelligence and skepticism wasn’t really present on this show. They were vicious to people they didn’t like, but they pretty much just took their cues on that from WWE booking. Frankly, they struck me as vulgar sheep more than anything.

JBL came out for a promo, which was another great one. He got in the best line of the night after “you suck dick” chants. He said, “There isn’t a woman out here and you’re chanting about a male organ. Now tell me who’s a fruit booty!” He referenced the Blue Meanie incident last year and really made better points than the ECW announcers and fans.

Rey Mysterio NC Sabu. Sabu looks like he has aged 10 years since TNA, and that was weeks ago. Rey got a worse reaction than Big Show, because, well, Vince McMahon told the crowd so. The finish was awful, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind too much. They certainly placed it right, because they wouldn’t have bought this if it came after the Dreamer/Funk-Edge/Foley match.

Edge, Mick Foley and Lita beat Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk and Beulah. Mick Foley’s Alliance chants and praise of Stephanie McMahon before the match was hilarious. Beulah looked old, which was weird. She didn’t look bad by any means, but I always think of her as she looked circa 1996. I didn’t like this match. It reminded me of the worst of ECW rather than the best, with the wrestlers just brutalizing themselves before a bloodthirsty crowd that chanted among other things “we want fire.” It was awful to see these wrestlers just kill themselves with barbed wire boards, bats and the like. The finish, however, was perfect, with Edge spearing Beulah and pinning her. Edge is one of the best talents WWE currently has.

Balls Mahoney beat Masato Tanaka. Not much to the match, but it was fine. The announcers should have sold the story of Tanaka’s head being made of granite so Balls winning with “only” one chair shot would have been a shock.

Eugene getting destroyed by the Sandman was a fine way to use Sandman, but I like my idea of Eugene dumping his gimmick a lot better.

Rob Van Dam “beat” John Cena. John Cena may have been the MVP of the entire show, with him becoming a heel increasingly throughout the match. His facials were great, and the crowd hated him. He got the Jimmy Rave toilet paper, the “same old shit” chant, and more. It wasn’t a great match, or even a good match, and RVD didn’t show much, but Cena made this fun. The finish was another knock against the crowd. After the most obvious of disputed finishes, the crowd just celebrated and pretended the whole thing wouldn’t be overturned. They could have flashed, “This result will not stand. Vince McMahon will overturn the decision tomorrow” over the ring and the crowd still would have cheered like 2,000 blind mice. There was a big celebration afterwards.


Anonymous Phil said...

This is sent what I sent Dave verbatim when he solicits feedback for the show. Keep in mind I was not a big ECW fan when it was at its prime.

Thumbs down.
Best match: Angle v. Orton
Worst match: FBI v. Super Crazy & Tajiri (I don't consider short matches as being eligible for worst match honors. How can you begrudge two workers for having a * match if only given less than five minutes?)

Perhaps I should have anticpiated disliking this show: watching four men do serious harm to each other does not entertain me nor does it qualify as quality wrestling. The tag match was sloppy at times and just flat out ugly at others. I can appreciate how it may entertain some and I do appreciate the efforts of the combatants but it's not for me. Nor did I get any kick out of the crowd who demonstrated ignorance at times (insanely vulgar language and the "you can't wrestle" chants show a different kind of ignorance). I've always repsectfully disagreed with Dave and others who attribute the success or failure of a show to the crowd. A strong crowd cannot make up for poor booking and inferior wrestling, nor can a poor crowd take away from a strong match of well-built up event.
I purchased this show on the strength of last year's edition hoping for a repeat performance; in the end, my heart won out over my head. But the head is seldom wrong and the pessimist in me was right: poor, unprofessional (in the sense of a high number of blown spots and sloppiness) work performed by well-intentioned yet past-their-prime and/or undertalented individuals.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd: I was at The Ballroom for ONS II. The crowd was hot from the get-go.

Going into the show, I was hesitant to believe in the revived ECW. If it's to be successful, it cannot come across as a wilder, more violent WWE. It has to be what ECW stood for.

As the show went on, I began to feel better about ECW. While not last year's ONS--and, really, it couldn't be last year's show. This year was about re-introducing ECW to the wresling world--it was a good self-contained show. With Heyman having the book and WWE's funds, it won't take long for ECW to surpass Raw and Smackdown.

Denis Gorman

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The finish was another knock against the crowd. After the most obvious of disputed finishes, the crowd just celebrated and pretended the whole thing wouldn’t be overturned. They could have flashed, “This result will not stand. Vince McMahon will overturn the decision tomorrow” over the ring and the crowd still would have cheered like 2,000 blind mice.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops. I meant to post more than the quote above. But I guess it speaks for itself, as at least in this case the vulgar sheep were smarter than Mr. Vassar. ;-)

4:58 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

They all but said Cena was completely screwed on TV. The basic ruling was that the finish was BS, but anything goes in ECW so it's fine. Celebrating a garbage finish designed to keep from truly putting over the "new ECW champion" is what it is, regardless of whether they stripped him on Raw or they have him lose the belt back to Cena in 2 weeks.

7:22 PM  

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