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ECW One Night Stand 2005 results, live retro blog: Hardcore homecoming


As Jim Ross said recently on his Ross Report podcast, the word “extreme” is a little outdated in 2017. I mean, the cool kids don’t use that word. Wrestling, especially at the mainstream, is hardly extreme (I mean, when the fourth most extreme stipulation on a show is “a championship can change hands on a disqualification”, it’s not really extreme, is it?); hell, even ESPN, the network that created the Extreme Games, dropped the word “Extreme” from it long ago (after one season as it turned out).

Extreme is in wrestling vernacular thanks a little promotion called Extreme Championship Wrestling. Thanks to its hardcore brutality and the dazzling workers who impressed through mat-based combat and lucha libre, ECW would become one of, if not, the most influential promotions of our lifetimes. But it had a limited shelf life thanks to its limited finances, and less than two weeks into 2001, the promotion ran its final show, and would file for bankruptcy three months later.

While WCW at least had a proper burial—I mean, before WWE got their hands on them—ECW didn’t get a final goodbye. Not until four years later. That’s the subject of this edition of the Live Retro Blog: ECW One Night Stand 2005, taking place on June 12, 2005 from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.

On the card, eight-time ECW tag team champions The Dudley Boyz take on a pair of ECW world champions in Tommy Dreamer and the Sandman. Former ECW World Television Champions face off as Chris Benoit takes on Eddie Guerrero. Extreme lucha libre warfare is reborn as Rey Mysterio takes on Psicosis. The Thrillseekers EXPLODE as former tag partners Lance Storm and Chris Jericho face off. And one of the hardest-hitting rivalries in ECW’s final days is reborn as Masato Tanaka takes on Mike Awesome.

Plus, a group of WWE wrestlers have said they’ll partake in the festivities to protest ECW. Will they make good on their promise in front of one of wrestling’s most hostile crowds?

Showtime for this Live Retro Blog is 7pm Eastern Saturday. That’s 6pm Central, 4pm Pacific, 2pm in Hawaii, and 12 midnight in Britannia. As always with these live retro blogs, we’ll be watching the WWE Network version, so if you watch any other version, you’re taking your chances.

Who’s ready to get EXTREME?

I’m Eddie Mac. Let’s get EXTREME!

Ok, before we dive in, a little background.

In 2004, Rob Van Dam talked some shop with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. He had an idea for holding an ECW reunion event, seeing how ECW never really got its proper goodbye and all (I mean, the final original ECW show took place in Arkansas. No, seriously.)

Once McMahon signed off on it (and how could he NOT sign off on it? The Rise and Fall of ECW, released back in November 2004, was one of the best-selling home videos WWE ever released—as someone who owns it, if you can find it, I highly recommend getting it), it was on another ECW original, Tommy Dreamer, to make it all happen. Paul Heyman also helped along the way, contacting ECW alumni including The Sandman, Sabu, Justin Credible, and announcer Joey Styles.

In May, as a way to hype up the event, the ECW alumni appeared on RAW and Smackdown via an invasion angle. While Paul hyped the positives of ECW, a group of anti-ECW crusaders gathered with an intention to disrupt the show. This is for all intents and purposes the only WWE connection visible to the show.

This is an ECW reunion show with ECW parts. Many ECW stars coming out to their old ECW themes (where applicable because, you know, music rights and all), wearing ECW attires, they wrestled in an ECW ring in a building ECW often ran, Ron Buffone was the director (he was the director for all of ECW's TV programming), they had Atlas Security work the event, they used ECW graphics, had ECW referees, had their old ring announcer Bob Artese, and of course they had Joey Styles in the booth. I mean, if you didn't know any better, you'd think you were watching an ECW show, not a WWE production of an ECW show. You gotta admire that kind of attention to detail.

TV-MA (L). The following program is rated TV-MA. What you are about to watch contains explicit language, adult themes, violence, and may not be suitable for viewers under 18. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.

Case and point, the first man through the entrance after we get about 30 seconds of about 2,500 of the most passionate wrestling fans in the world chanting “ECW! ECW! ECW!” is Joey Styles, the longtime voice of the company. He is to this day the only man to call an entire PPV solo. Oh, by the way, you are looking LIVE at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, the original home of Monday Night RAW. No, seriously. Styles is very emotional. Don't believe me? Here's the proof.

An “OH MY GOD!” a minute after he's introduced. Yeah. I got a good feeling about this night. It would have been cool if he called this show solo, but instead, we get ECW alumnus Cactus Jack, aka Michael Francis Foley.

A short version of the old ECW on TNN intro plays. THQ's Destroy All Humans! Presents ECW One Night Stand.

Highlights of Lance Storm and his time in ECW plays as he enters. Across from him is LIONHEART Chris Jericho. The two broke into the business together, and Chris Jericho's first major title in the United States was his brief run as ECW World Television Champion.

Match 1: Lance Storm defeated Chris Jericho at 7:22. Dawn Marie (whom the crowd thinks is a crack whore) provides the distraction, allowing Justin Credible to cane Jericho and Storm to backdoor a victory in what may have been Lance's final match. (FUTURE EDDIE ALERT: It wasn't. But it was his final match at a WWE-produced show.) Lionheart chants post-match.

Styles and Foley discuss the anti-ECW crusaders, who intend to crash the PPV. They apparently aren't on time.

Pitbull #2 Gary Wolfe brings us an “ECW Remembers” package, showing a few people who had performed for ECW but have since passed away, including Rocco Rock, Terry Gordy, Mike Lockwood, The Original Sheik, Mike Lozanski, Pitbull Anthony Durante, Big Dick Dudley and Chris Candido.

Candido chants post-tribute. He's the most recent of the deceased, as he passed away just seven weeks prior.

Match 2: Super Crazy defeated Tajiri and Little Guido in a three-way dance at 6:12. Frantic three-way dance and a ten-count punch in Espanol. And a moonsault from the balcony because obviously.

Early ECW memories package.

Match 3: Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Psicosis in an extreme lucha libre match at 6:22. 619 gets booed, because of course it does.

About 40 minutes in and finally the Smackdown crew arrives... to “FUCK YOU, SMACKDOWN!” chants. Cane Bischoff sign.

More ECW memories.

Here's manager with a brace and longtime poet Joel Gertner, and he's in the Smackdown area. He's promptly humiliated and kicked out. Kurt Angle and JBL cut promos on ECW and its fans. There are two cases of Life Comes At You Fast. I'll get to those later.

Never mind that, here's Rob Van Dam and longtime manager Bill Alfonso. Rob tells the crusaders to quit taking credit because this isn't about you guys. Tonight, they're not here to see you and your likeness when they want to see wrestling, they want to see ECW and they're getting ECW.

RVD's going back to a time when his vocabulary wasn't limited, you know, when he was “Mr. PPV” and “The Whole Fuckin' Show” and the like. Bill even announces to the second how long he was ECW World Television Champion (700 days, 2 hours, 42 seconds if you're wondering). RVD said he went to the boss man (Vince) and asked if he thought of an ECW PPV. He never thought of it, and he said it would be huge. Just get the old ECW guys, ECW production, hell, we don't even need a storyline. Vince loved it and here we are.

But then the knee surgery, and it sucks he can't compete, and it sucks worse than missing Booker T's wedding, the European tour, even Wrestlemania. He would give it all up to wrestle for ECW one more time.



Match 4: Sabu defeated Rhino in 6:30. Arabian Facebuster through the table ends the Rhino. The one-legged RVD played a role in the outcome. Sabu, RVD, and Fonz salute the original Sheik.

Al Snow and Head with more ECW memories.

Over an hour in and the RAW half of the anti-ECW crusaders led by Eric Bischoff and homewrecker Edge finally arrive.

Match 5: Chris Benoit defeated Eddie Guerrero via submission at 10:37. Good match, but it could have been better. A simple Google search can tell you why.

Take two. Here's Joel Gertner, and he finds Eric Bischoff. And he's looking for a job. Eric's all nah and he cuts a promo on ECW, its wrestlers, and their fans.

As Mike Awesome enters, the RAW anti-ECW crusaders turn their back.

Match 6: Mike Awesome defeated Masato Tanaka at 9:52. Joey with an awkward comment in hindsight in the match's early moments: “Awesome with a suicide dive, and it's a shame he didn't take his own life!” (Awesome hung himself in February 2007.) Styles spends a good portion of the match shooting on Awesome.

Styles and Foley thank the fans for buying the ECW DVD (The Rise and Fall of ECW), which in part made this PPV possible.

The old ECW theme hits, bringing out longtime announcer Bob Artese and owner Paul Heyman, who is also choked up, especially with the “THANK YOU PAUL!” chants. Here's what follows, because words cannot simply do it justice.

Matt Freaking Hardy is three words, by the way.

Onto the main event.

Out first are the Dudley Boyz, eight-time ECW tag team champions. They're opposed first by Tommy Dreamer. Though he was ECW champion only once, he is regarded by many as the heart and soul of ECW. He gets choked up as he enters (I mean, this show is as much his baby as it is Rob's). If Tommy's the heart and soul, then his tag team partner is the party. As his entrance is dubbed on the Network version, I present it to you in its original form. Enjoy.

See? Like you'd run through a wall for him after watching that, right?

NEVER MIND THAT SHIT, here comes the Blue World Order. Big Stevie Cool says there's no invasion without the bWo and they say they got three words for you: WE'RE TAKING OVER! Sandman gets a Stevie Kick, and out comes Kid Kash. Then Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney, who take out Hollywood Nova and Da Blue Guy. And it's chaos that spills to the outside before a springboard suicide plancha clears out EVERYBODY!

And that's how we begin the main event.

Match 7: The Dudley Boyz defeat Tommy Dreamer and Sandman in 10:08. Running in during this match: Lance Storm, Justin Credible, Francine, Beulah McGillicutty, Spike Dudley. It's your crazy ass ECW main event, what more do you want? I mean, besides the good guys winning the main event. Oh, Dreamer goes through a flaming table.

Post-match, the Dudleys grab Beulah, and they look to repeat that one incident in... I wanna say 1998? where they gave her the 3D and Beulah disappeared after that... NEVER MIND THAT SHIT, SANDMAN SAVES BEULAH! Sandman wants beer...

/glass breaks

STONE COLD! STONE COLD! STONE COLD! He brings out the ECW guys for big ole beer bash! The WWE guys are none too happy and he says he came to see a fight. Stone Cold says he'll watch the fight from ringside and gives the WWE guys a count from ten to nut up or shut up.

The WWE guys nut up and it's ANARCHY! ANARCHY! ANARCHY! The ECW collective clears the ring (of note, somewhere during this fracas, JBL legit busted Blue Meanie open. Interestingly, it led to a JBL-Blue Meanie match on Smackdown about a month later. Blue Meanie won the match. No, seriously. Life comes at you fast, Bradshaw.). Also, here's Taz, who locks in a Tazzmission on Kurt Angle.

With the anti-ECW crusade down and out, Eric Bischoff is a man alone. Mick Foley grabs Eric, and he gets (in order) a Dudley Death Drop, a Benoit headbutt, a 619 (that gets booed again), and a Stone Cold Stunner. Then the Dudley's grab Bischoff and he's carried out of the Hammerstein Ballroom like a man who's had just a little too much to drink this evening.

The ECWers celebrate, and we are out.

FUTURE EDDIE ALERT. So... about Kurt Angle's Life Comes At You Fast™ moment: a year later when ECW was reborn, the first man picked for the reboot roster was Kurt Angle. Legend has it that Angle didn't want to go to ECW, feeling that would lower him. Or... something. Two months later, Angle was gone from WWE altogether.

With that and the combination of Rob Van Dam being arrested on drug possession shortly after winning the ECW and WWE world title, the clock began ticking on ECW as a brand. It hit zero by the end of the year with the all-time disaster December to Dismember.


One Night Stand 2005 is meant to be viewed as a standalone show, and it was booked as such. Yeah, when you look at it in 2017 eyes, you will cringe more than a couple times (the almost man-on-woman violence, the weapon shots to the head, Joey Styles’ uncomfortable commentary during the Mike Awesome-Masato Tanaka match, Chris Benoit). But get by that, and you have not only the best ECW reunion show ever, you have one of the best PPVs of the 21st century, full stop.

An interesting tidbit: ratings for WWE programming had a brief uptick in the month leading to One Night Stand, but those gains were quickly lost once the ECW crew left. This may have been the reason ECW was brought back as a full-time brand just a year later. One Night Stand turned into a four-plus year marriage both parties regretted almost immediately after the “I do”s.

As for the show, I absolutely recommend it, nostalgia trip and all. 9 out of 10.

FUTURE EDDIE ALERT! Next weekend is Money in the Bank, so no live retro blog obviously. Back in two weeks.

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