One Night Stand 2005: One Of My Favorite Shows Ever

One Night Stand 2005
Date: June 12, 2005
Location: Hammerstein Ballroom, New York City, New York
Attendance: 2,500
Commentators: Joey Styles, Mick Foley

Well you knew I would get to this someday. This is pretty much my most requested show and since it’s my birthday I wanted to do a show that I really like. This was built up as exactly what the title is: a One Night Stand, as in one night only ECW is back. This was an absolute dream come true for ECW fans as WWE owned the names and trademarks and a lot of the contracts and therefore could put on a high quality show. This should be fun. Let’s do it.

To set this up, there is a Raw and Smackdown invasion going on, although no one really cared. Also you have none of the matches advertised that I can remember, which drives home one point: the wrestling here doesn’t matter at all and it’s about these guys having one last run. That’s perfectly fine and to me it made the show a lot better.

To translate: the grades for the match do not reflect the show as a whole. The matches are likely going to be graded low, but it means nothing at all so put zero to no stock into what I’m saying about the technical stuff.

We’re in the Ballroom and the fans are out in freaking force. They pop like a cherry for the theme song and this is going to be awesome. Joey Styles is introduced and he looks freaking pumped. I’ve always loved this song too. He’s legitimately having trouble keeping it together.

This is much more interesting to watch after Hardcore Homecoming as you really get to see both sides of the coin. He drops an OMG and introduces Foley as his commentary partner who comes out to the WWF Cactus Jack music. See them thinking there? That’s nice.

Play that freaking video monkeys!

Lance Storm vs. Chris Jericho

It’s Lionheart here too and we get a dramatic pause joke from Joey. It’s great to hear Joey talk about the old days, which to be fair and honest were more or less crap but for the sake of this it’s fine. Jericho is freaking small here as he looks like he did in WCW which I mean in a good way. It amazes me that these two have been so intertwined throughout the years. Foley throws in that he was the guy that saw Jericho in Japan and got Heyman to bring him to America and ECW in particular.

Dawn Marie is a crack whore apparently. We hear about SMW to really make this great. Apparently Joey and ECW don’t like that the New York Athletic Commission made them use mats. This is something that on paper sounds great and on a rare occasion like this one it works like a charm. With these guys here’s what you do: “Chris, Lance, you have 7 minutes, here’s your ending.” That’s all they need. Joey calls Foley Mickles. Ok then.

We get a big old Chris Candido chant who would have passed away only about a month and a half before this show. To say the crowd is hot is like saying Steve Austin might have had alcohol before. We have an F JOHN CENA chant. Foley: How does the Calgary Crab differ from its Boston cousin?

Joey: It doesn’t it’s just a gimmick. Jason and Justin Credible are here and with Dawn Marie running interference, Justin canes the hec out of Jericho to allow Storm to get the easy pin. Joey complaining about itching from Jason is funny. Lance more or less retired after this.

Rating: B. This was rather fun indeed. These two have good matches just about every time they’re allowed to get in the ring and this was no exception. This is a pairing that it’s hard to get wrong and it worked out just about perfectly. Solid match and a solid ending to Storm’s final match in the mainstream.

Pitbull Gary Wolfe intros a tribute to wrestlers that have passed away. We have Rocco Rock, part of a tag team I never got the appeal of but dang they were popular, Terry Gordy, Mike Lockwood (Crash Holly), Original Sheik (the first brawler that got really famous arguably), Mike Lozansky (old school ECW guy), Anthony Durante (Pitbull #1), Big Dick Dudley and Chris Candido. It’s scary that other than Sheik, I don’t think any of these guys were 40. That’s freaking scary when you think about it.

Let the Candido chants begin. This one I can have a lot of sympathy for as he died due to complications from an injury and not anything he caused to himself.

Tajiri vs. Super Crazy vs. Little Guido

This is under elimination rules. The whole FBI comes out here, as in 5-6 guys with maybe 2 Italians in there. The innuendo joke gets old fast. These were matches that happened a lot back in the day and they were always International Three Way Dances, as in one guy is from each country. Crazy was a guy that I never was sure if I liked him or not. Foley throws out a little known fact that he and Smothers won tag titles in Japan.

This was ECW’s answer to the luchadores that were stolen by WCW. Joey is in his element here with a bunch of move names as Foley says he can’t keep up with Joey so he’s mostly on his own here. SICK dropkick to a seated Guido from Crazy. These guys are moving like insanity out there (can’t say Crazy is moving like crazy out there).

They hit the crowd and Crazy goes to the balcony and hits an AMAZING moonsault into the crowd before going back into the ring and taking the Tarantula. That moonsault really was amazing and Joey chanting DIOS MIO was hilarious. We haven’t had an American wrestler in a match yet.

There’s the FBI in there and since they have the combined IQ of yogurt, Mikey Whipwreck, Tajiri’s tag partner, comes in and hits the Whippersnapper (second rope Stunner which yes he used before Austin) so Tajiri gets the easy pin to get us down to the Japanese Buzzsaw vs. the Crazy Mexican wrestler. After some more Mikey shenanigans, a top rope moonsault ends this for Crazy.

Rating: C+. Other than the dive this was a total mess. It wasn’t terrible at all but compared to the stuff WCW would pull out, this really wasn’t that great. The dive was indeed awesome though and definitely makes the match.

We hit the highlight reel of ECW which has Shane making ECW more or less, the Night the Line Was Crossed, UltraClash III (Paul’s first show as booker), Sandman, Sabu, Dreamer getting caned, the chair throwing incident which was cool, Funk being lit on fire and Foley breaking kayfabe over it, the belt being thrown down, Sandman isn’t blind, the ring collapsing with Public Enemy and that’s it apparently.

The WWE invaders aren’t here yet.

The theme song is Bodies for no apparent reason. The sponsor is called DESTROY ALL HUMANS! That sounds like something that some demon screams.

Psicosis vs. Rey Mysterio

Still no traditional American wrestlers (yes I know Rey is from California but you get the idea). Psicosis doesn’t wear his mask after losing it in WCW, which is about as stupid of an idea as possible (Why let him keep the mask? I mean it’s not like he’s ridiculously popular and a ton of kids are going to buy them or anything so we’re in essence throwing away a gold mine or anything like that) but I digress.

Rey was still the high flier at this point and not a world champion or main event guy yet. The fans chant put the mask on which is amusing. The fans boo the heck out of a sleeper hold from Psicosis. One thing you have to give to the ECW fans: they were never a dead crowd. Ah now that’s more like it: top rope legdrop onto Rey who is on the railing.

Note to self: watch Bash at the Beach where these two lit the company on fire with an epic opening match that stole the whole show. It just happened to have the most shocking heel turn in history and no one else ever mentioned anything else on the show. Naturally they were never pushed but that’s WCW for you. All right NOW we’re getting somewhere as they just dive all over the place. The 619 gets booed out of the building but the West Coast Pop ends it just afterwards.

Rating: B-. This was a slow start but once they got going it worked much better. This was all over the place and it worked about as well as you could ask for it to. The problem with the wrestling here is starting to show: 7 minutes per match simply isn’t enough to really get anything going, but again that’s not the point here.

The Crusaders/Invaders are here. There are too many to list but the main ones are Edge, Christian, Angle and JBL. Oh and Bischoff is with them too. Other than that it’s mainly jobbers. The heat on these guys is INSANE.

Roadkill and Doring talk about nothing and the Smackdown Crusaders interrupt them….somehow.

More highlights from ECW focusing on general carnage. The Monday Nyquil promo will never get old, period. This is more from the glory days and it’s FAR better than the PPV era. You really get the bad times of the company on PPV and that’s a shame really. I mark out still for the whole Dreamer/Raven insanity. There’s Taz vs. Shane which I would argue killed the company as much as any given angle for reasons I go into in far more detail in the regular PPV reviews.

Joel Gertner is in the Crusaders’ area. He gets a freaking ROAR. And JBL literally kicks him out. Angle runs down the ECW fans who chant you suck, so he says their mom taught him how to. The ending is clear here, but it’s going to be sweet. JBL trying to act like a big shot really is funny. However his rant against internet fans is pretty funny.

RVD’s music cuts off JBL’s rant though just as he says no one will ever be that big. He wouldn’t win the world title for a year though. I would have preferred Walk but One of a Kind suits him a little better and is still a great song. This was in the middle of the longest knee injury in recorded history as Van Dam was out for over a year because of it. RVD gets on the mic and more or less shoots for a bit on JBL and wrestling in general about how JBL sucks. Oh he says he’s shooting. Ok then.

Van Dam talks about how he was the biggest thing around at the end of ECW which is absolutely right. Of course Heyman wouldn’t put the belt on him ever when he could have carried ECW another 3-4 months at the least with Van Dam on top. He and Fonzie run through their whole deal and mention the idiotic two year TV Title run he had. Yeah it was stupid. If he’s the biggest guy in the company, why not make him WORLD CHAMPION?

He says he pitched the idea for this show to Vince, saying they didn’t even need a storyline. Van Dam can’t work tonight because of his knee injury and says missing tonight is worse than missing Wrestlemania. I’d buy that actually. Rhyno runs out and beats up Van Dam, bringing on a Sabu chant. And there go the lights. They come back up and that leads us to the following.

Sabu vs. Rhyno

Yep it’s chair time early and Rhyno gets popped with it. I usually hate these things, but even I’m not stupid enough to think they meant nothing at all. Sabu is dominating this for the most part and it’s not as bad as I expected it to be actually. There’s not much to say about this.

The referee takes a gore and here’s Van Dam again. He gets the Chair Surf which is a move I’ve always liked. Yep it’s table time as it’s a Sabu match so there we are. Something that was supposed to be an Arabian SkullCrusher doesn’t work as I think the chair gets away from Sabu but it could have been worse I guess.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t much. Like I said though it could have been far worse though as they had Sabu keep the weapons toned down here so that’s all fine and good. Far from great but these three had to be on the show somewhere.

Snow argues with Head. That might have been the most brilliant gimmick of all time. He sets up some more ECW clips which was more about insane moments which deserve clips of their own.

The Raw Crusaders are here now. Earlier it was just the Smackdown guys so Edge, Christian and Bischoff are just getting here. Oh the ending is going to be sweet.

Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero

This is much more depressing to say the least upon my second viewing of this show. This is most odd but think about it: first match, both Canadians. Second match, all international guys. Third match, both luchadores. Last match, an “Arab” (Yes I know he’s from Michigan) and Rhyno. Now a Canadian vs. a guy more known as a Latino wrestler. That’s most uncommon. Joey says that these two and Foley are the three most successful guys to ever come out of ECW.

Remember that as I’ll reference it later. Let the sucking up by Joey begin. Someone has herpes apparently. The fans are more or less split here. Eddie is bleeding from the nose so make your own drug jokes. The fans start a MASSIVE F U Bischoff chant. You have to remember: Heyman blamed Bischoff for about 90% of ECW’s problems back in the day so he really is hated.

He’s also the guy that said ECW more or less was worthless and stole most of their talent. Do I need to explain what’s going on here? Of course this is solid. Eddie gets put in the Crossface and after a LONG time in it he taps.

Rating: B-. Again, how do you mess this one up? This needed more time to be anything great but this was good as you would expect. It’s a solid match although at the end Eddie just laid there rather than fight the hold which made me shake my head a lot. Give these two 25 minutes and it’s likely an A. The time killed it though.

Ad for Vengeance which had HHH vs. Batista in HIAC. There’s so much wrong with that airing on an ECW show I can’t believe it.

Gertner asks Bischoff for a job which is much funnier than it sounds. Maven is a crusader. Just take me now.

Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka

Awesome is a guy that is HATED by Styles and ECW for jumping ship and trying to throw the belt in the trash on Nitro. Because you know, no one in ECW ever disrespected a belt or anything like that. Joey says that it’s a shame Awesome didn’t take his own life on a suicide dive. That’s true Joey. He took his own life by hanging himself. As for the match, it’s about as intense and stiff as you could ask for.

This was an epic rivalry that went around the world and had them trade the ECW Title. That’s the issue here: Awesome is a traitor to ECW but this match is stealing the show. Let the LOUD chair shots begin. I never liked Tanaka’s no selling of chair shots. Ok we get it: chair shots hurt a lot. Table time and JBL makes fun of it for which I can’t blame him. The jokes about Awesome being wasted in WCW are ridiculously true.

The guy was freaking amazing so we make him the Fat Chick Thrillah and That 70s Guy. And you wonder why they went out of business. The crowd is WAY into this one. Oh look: tables. How original! We get a THIS MATCH RULES chant. And there goes Tanaka over the top rope through a table with a powerbomb. Add in an over the top rope dive onto the concrete and it’s over. Intense as all goodness.

Rating: B+. Yep, the show has been stolen. These two had some WARS back in the day and this one was no exception at all. Very intense fight rather than a match but whatever. Fun to say the least.

Joey thanks the fans for buying the Rise and Fall of ECW. If you’ve never seen that, go watch it. It’s 3 hours long but that will FLY by. Easily the best documentary in WWE history to me.

The ECW theme plays and IT’S PAUL HEYMAN. This more or less is the main event of the show as Heyman has been quiet for over four years about ECW and its death. He gets on his knees and bows to the fans which is a nice touch. He’s breaking up already. Massive Thank You Paul chant. He has the headset and trenchcoat too. Apparently he’s not crying but rather was just smoking a joint with Van Dam.

He thanks some people and the fans. He was going to take the high road and leave, but SCREW THAT. He goes insane and just rants on everything in his head mainly talking about the Crusaders. This was around the time when Edge legitimately stole Lita from Matt Hardy so that’s a hot button issue.

To JBL: the only reason you were WWE Champion for a year was because HHH didn’t want to work Tuesdays. And that my friends is what you call EPIC WIN. We get the classic THIS IS ECW line to end it. That was worth about 10 dollars of the total cost alone.

Ad for The Devil’s Rejects. No clue what that was for.

Dudley Boys vs. Tommy Dreamer/Sandman

Ok, so this is more or less by far and away the most famous and popular part of this show as the match won’t start for about 15 minutes or so. This was the first time the Dudleys had been seen in months on end and they would be gone and in TNA rather soon. Foley sums up a lot very easily: There are guys like me that absolutely love ECW and everything it stood for but at the end of the day consider themselves WWE guys.

Then you have guys like the Dudley Boys that work for WWE but in their hearts are always going to be ECW guys. That sums up this whole show better than anything else could I think. Dreamer gets a pop and a half. You can tell Dreamer is WAY impressed and really in awe of this. The music hits and so begins the most famous entrance in modern wrestling history at least.

Enter Sandman (original, not that Motorhead nonsense) hits and he’s in the crowd. The fans sing the song for his entrance in what is an awesome moment. He’s on his second beer and he’s still on the top floor. Hey he’s at the railing! His entrance is at 3 minutes now. Bubba gets beer spit at him. Tommy and Sandman have beers with CW Anderson and Chris Chetti in the front row before pouring one on two girls’ chest and licking it off, one of which is Elektra.

D-Von dancing to Metallica is funny and the cane gets jacked off. Five and a half minutes now. Hand pounds all around…and there’s the BWO. The reaction from Foley is hilarious. Think Ray from Ghostbusters when he says “It’s the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man”. Just cracks me up every time. Match hasn’t started yet. Stevie looks good here actually. Joey sums up the BWO perfectly: “If any gimmick never deserved to make a dime and made a whole boatload of cash, this is it.

And the best is they couldn’t sue us because it was a parody.” For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, the BWO is the Blue World Order: Big Stevie Cool, Da Blue Guy and Hollywood Nova (Simon Dean). They were a parody of the NWO which wound up being ridiculously popular so they ran with it.

Stevie says they’re taking over and kicks Sandman in the face. Let the brawling begin. Kid Kash is here, having just been fired from TNA, marking I believe the first and only time it was mentioned on WWE programming. He does nothing and here are Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten: the Hardcore Chair Swingin Freaks.

They beat up the BWO so the interfering people are fighting the other interfering people. Nova gets the heck chaired out of him. Joey: that’s more painful than having to be Simon Dean on national TV. Everyone brawls in the aisle and Kash has the referee get on all fours for a HUGE front flip onto all of them. Bubba busts out the trashcans. Remember the match hasn’t started yet. Oh hey there it is, 14 minutes after the Dudleys’ song started. Dreamer has a cheese grated.

The fans chant for Cactus Jack which Foley kind of laughs off. Cheese grater across Dreamer’s head is SICK! Oh he’s busted bad so Bubba rubs it on his face. Joey: Tommy’s skin looks like cabbage in a coleslaw. In case you can’t tell, I freaking love this. Foley calls the grater comical. Sometimes I’d pay to be inside that man’s head. Sandman brings in the ladder. We get probably my all time favorite comedy line in wrestling.

Joey says he was going to compare Dreamer wrestling tonight to Gehrig’s last at bat at Yankee Stadium but Gehrig didn’t whip out a cheese grater and start mutilating people with it. And that my friends is why I love wrestling. It’s so insane that to us it makes sense, but when you compare it to something else, it sounds ridiculous. However, in wrestling, there are three words that make things magical: It Could Happen.

That is why I love wrestling: you never know what you could see. Naturally this is just a wild brawl all over the place. Bubba hits a frog splash on Sandy which has to be better than some forms of execution. D-Von takes the White Russian legsweep and we get a double figure four on the Dudleys but the Impact Players run in. Sandman gets a That’s Incredible on barbed wire and here’s Francine.

Beaulah makes her return for the CATFIGHT CATFIGHT CATFIGHT!!! Dreamer saves her and they have their big reunion with Dreamer’s face covered in blood. The Dudleys get DDTed by the two of them, making me smile. WHERE ELSE BUT IN WRESTLING COULD YOU GET THIS? Beaulah gets two on Bubba and she’s hardcore according to the fans. Joey is told in his headset that he can’t say balls, which he makes fun of of course.

Sandman goes through a table for two. 3D on Dreamer, and it’s the old style, not the crap one now. We have another table and here’s Spike who is seeing COLORS! Yep, the table is on fire and there goes Tommy. In a spot that makes me cringe, Tommy’s head is tilted towards the mat and blood just pools up from his head. That’s a great visual. Bubba actually dives on him for the pin.

Rating: N/A. Can’t give this a fair grade as it wasn’t a match by any definition of the word. Make no mistake about it though: this is the highlight of the show and as much fun as I can remember having watching wrestling perhaps ever.

Post match (oh like you didn’t expect something else to happen) the Dudleys go after Beaulah and get the heck cained out of them. In a spot that always makes me chuckle, Spike comes back again and Sandman turns around and just canes him again before going back to what he was doing. He looked like he was paying a parking meter or something. Sandman looks at Tommy and says someone….someone…SOMEONE GET ME A BEER! Joey: screw the beer, get him some plasma! “Somebody get me a beer!”

CUE GLASS SHATTER!

Yep, Austin (in a XFL jersey of all things) is here. He calls out the whole locker room and says he wants to see a fight. Yep he calls down the crusaders and you know what’s coming. The heat is awesome here. The sight of everyone on their own side of the ring looks great. The crowd chants WE WANT TAZ and guess who shows up. Yep it’s old school Taz, as in the machine Taz. Bischoff is on commentary.

The fight is on and Taz and Angle hit the floor. After a bit of a scuffle, Taz chokes him out. Now the interesting thing is this: in the back of the ring you can see JBL going CRAZY on someone. It would turn out to be Blue Meanie and JBL was legitimately beating him until Tracy Smothers and a few others picked up on it and helped him. This started a legit feud between them with Smothers calling JBL out for a real fight anytime anywhere.

Anyway, other than that of course the ECW guys own the ring and run the WWE guys off. After they leave, Austin gets on the mic (wearing JBL’s hat) and says to Mick Foley to bring Bischoff to the ring. The fans kind of collectively gasp as they know what’s coming. This was a wet dream for them to say the least. The funny part is that he can’t go into the crowd because he’ll get hurt worse out there.

Bischoff takes a 3D, the flying headbutt from Benoit (complete with Austin telling him to kill this son of a gun), a 619 (booed loudly) and a Stunner as the fans are in awe. The Dudleys literally throw Eric out of the building and the party is on. Joey screams ECW LIVES to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. This show just isn’t that good. I mean the wrestling is weak, the stories are non-existent and there is no way I can keep doing this with a straight face. It’s really nothign short of an A+. And if there was a higher grade it would get it. This is one of my favorite shows ever, possibly even number 3 after Summerslam 90 and Mania 17. They wanted one blowout show to end it and they hit it so far out of the park you can’t see where it landed.

This is about as perfect of a show as you’ll ever find and it is amazing. Everything clicked, the crowd is in the levels of Canadian Stampede and nothing was left out other than stuff for ridiculously hardcore fans. The key to it all: they let ECW be ECW, not the WWE version that would come NXT year.

Even if you weren’t an ECW fan like I wasn’t, this is a must see show. It feels like the old stuff and works like a charm. The ending couldn’t be any sweeter and it made everything perfect. Absolutely see this show, no questions asked.

 

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1 comment

  1. Heyo says:

    In retrospect, Heyman tearing Edge a new one over the Matt Hardy incident is ironic, given what would happen to both of them in the future.