Big Show gets extreme
At Head to Head, the ECW wrestlers made a statement, grabbing any and all momentum from their WWE counterparts as the countdown to Sunday’s One Night Stand hit just four short days. The “biggest” news of the night, however, came during the Battle Royal, when the stunned Dayton, Ohio crowd witnessed the defection of the WWE’s largest athlete, Big Show, to ECW.
The unthinkable occurred as the 20-Man Battle Royal reached what looked like its conclusion, with RAW’s Randy Orton and Big Show as the sole survivors, thus giving WWE the victory. Big Show, at the time wearing a traditional red RAW T-shirt, ripped the garment from his massive frame, revealing a second shirt, a shirt that read E-C-W. It didn’t take long for Big Show to make his first impact as an ECW wrestler, as the oversized former WWE Superstar wrapped his enormous hand around Orton’s throat and delivered a Choke Slam from the rafters. As the rowdy ECW and WWE fans looked on, Show scooped up the fallen Legend Killer and tossed him over the top, giving the new ECW a monumental victory over the mighty WWE. (watch the video)
Right from the start, the night belonged to Extreme Championship Wrestling. In a match which set the tone for the rest of the night, Mr. Money in the Bank Rob Van Dam got things started when he defeated SmackDown’s World Champion Rey Mysterio in a match that thrilled the audience, giving everyone in attendance at the Nutter Center exactly what they expected and more. Seemingly turning back the clock to the heyday of ECW, Van Dam took aggression to a whole new level. Using a steel chair as his tag team partner, RVD exposed Mysterio to a hardcore style unfamiliar to many of the WWE Superstars.
Ever the competitor, Mysterio rose to the occasion. An ECW alumnus himself, Mysterio showed the willingness to put his body on the line. At one point Mysterio executed a springboard dive from the top rope, launching himself into both RVD, and the fans that were lucky, or unlucky enough to be in the front row. On this night however, RVD would not be denied. Once back in the ring, RVD regained control and finished the deal with a Five-Star Frog Splash. Back in the locker room, the ECW wrestlers celebrated as Van Dam put himself on the fast track to One Night Stand. (watch the video)
The new face of ECW, Kurt Angle, took to the ring to address the man who accepted his open challenge for One Night Stand, the Legend Killer Randy Orton. The Wrestling Machine described in detail the feeling he experienced when he snapped Orton’s ankle just two months ago. “Two months ago, I snapped his ankle in two, and to be honest with you, I loved every second of it. I loved hearing him squeal like a pig. Of all the times in my career that I’ve broken people’s ankles, this has to be my all-time favorite. And, I’m glad that Randy Orton accepted my challenge for One Night Stand. Orton, this will be your first time ever facing ECW’s Kurt Angle.”
Not willing to be intimidated, Orton came out to the separate WWE ramp to address the newest ECW wrestler. “Kurt, I kinda feel sorry for you man. You went from headlining WrestleMania to ECW. That’s like the equivalent of starring in a Summer blockbuster, and then going to hardcore porn.”
An annoyed Angle interrupted Orton’s tirade, issuing a warning to the young RAW Superstar for One Night Stand. “I don’t think you understand Randy, this is a new Kurt Angle. This is ECW’s Kurt Angle. For the first time in my life, I don’t have to worry about offending Olympic officials, or corporate sponsors, or Vince McMahon himself. All I have to worry about now is kicking ass. For example Orton, this Sunday at One Night Stand, not only am I going to break your ankle, I’m gonna break your arms, I’m gonna break your legs, and you’ll be left crawling out of the Hammerstein Ballroom with a broken freaking neck.”
In a One Night Stand preview, the Innovator of Violence Tommy Dreamer took on the Rated-R Superstar Edge in another match fought under “Extreme Rules.” Dreamer and Edge took advantage of the situation, using a cookie sheet, a street sign, a trash can and a table in an attempt to soften each other up for Sunday’s tag-team confrontation. The match had interference from Lita, Terry Funk and Mick Foley, but in the end, interference from Lita would prove to be the difference. As a distracted Dreamer looked to extract revenge on Edge’s girlfriend, the Rated-R Superstar unleashed a brutal spear on the ECW legend. The impact kept Dreamer down long enough for a pin, and a controversial victory for team WWE. (watch the video)
During the match, hardcore legend Terry Funk abused Mick Foley outside the ring with a series of hard punches to the face. Following the match, a bloodied and bruised Foley addressed the Dayton crowd, unleashing a bitter tirade regarding his former career in Extreme Championship Wrestling. “I loved ECW, but it didn’t love me back. It was like the girl I couldn’t let go of, but the one that makes you sick every time you see her. She wanted too much blood, too much of my heart and too much of my life. So I left, and found fame and fortune in WWE.” Foley continued, alerting fans to what they should expect at One Night Stand. “You’ve seen me thrown off cells, slammed in tacks and put through burning tables. But, none of that compares to the horrors I will unleash on Dreamer and Funk at One Night Stand.” (watch the video)
In a lone bright spot for WWE, Women’s Champion Mickie James was able to survive an extreme beating from ECW’s toughest female, Jazz. After enduring a vicious assault unlike any she has seen recently from the WWE’s Divas, Mickie surprised Jazz with a spike DDT for the win.
Prior to the main event, bitter enemies Jerry Lawler and Tazz engaged in both verbal and physical warfare. First, the commentators exchanged words from their respective positions at the announce tables. But eventually, words were not enough as the two went at it, brawling all over the ringside area. Security was required to restore order, but when the two meet at One Night Stand, there will be no such interference when the rivals settle the score at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
In the evening’s most chaotic match, the suicidal, homicidal, genocidal, death-defying Sabu met WWE Champion John Cena in another “Extreme Rules” match. Cena got off to a fast start, showing the hunger that he better show on Sunday if he expects to walk out of the Hammerstein Ballroom with the Championship around his waist. As the match wore on, the unusual environment seemed to get to Cena. With the rules catered to his style, Sabu launched an offensive assault that included his patented Triple Jump Moonsault, Slingshot Summersault Senton, and Arabian Facebuster. As always, Sabu held nothing back in his all out assault on the RAW Superstar. Late in the match, perhaps overcome by adrenaline, Sabu went to the well one to many times. Cena caught Sabu in mid-air and laid him out with an F-U. The Champ, sensing an opening went for the STFU, but it didn’t last long as the ECW wrestlers and WWE Superstars stormed the ring, forcing the match to be thrown out. As Head to Head went off the air, the dueling rosters once again engaged in all out war.
At One Night Stand, the ECW wrestlers will get to perform on their home turf in front of wrestling’s most rabid fans. What will happen when John Cena walks into hostile territory with his WWE Championship on the line? Will RVD capture the gold and re-name it the ECW World Championship? This Sunday at One Night Stand, the world will find out. If you can’t be at the Hammerstein Ballroom yourself, you can still be a part of history by ordering the event on pay-per-view.
ECW One Night Stand