On the final RAW before One Night Stand, and just two days before the WWE vs. ECW Head to Head special, the ECW Superstars showed up to Pittsburgh in full force. Paul Heyman and Rob Van Dam led a group of ECW legends in a brutal beating of WWE Champion John Cena. Also, a pair of ECW challenges for One Night Stand were finally answered when Kurt Angle’s open challenge was accepted by WWE’s Randy Orton, and Jerry Lawler accepted Tazz’s offer for a one-on-one grudge match.
Less than a week before One Night Stand, the huge WWE Championship match between ECW’s Rob Van Dam and RAW’s John Cena was finally made official. The eager competitors sat down to sign the contract, and exchange last-minute pleasantries as they prepare to face off in the most anticipated match of One Night Stand. RVD warned Cena about the unique environment he will encounter when he walks into the Hammerstein Ballroom. “I hope you’re prepared for this fight, and for the hardcore action that brings out the best in me. And I hope you’re ready for an extremely judgmental crowd that can’t wait to boo you right out the door. The Chain Gang won’t be at One Night Stand.”
Not to be discouraged, Cena gave Van Dam a warning of his own. “RVD, just because I gotta go to your house, and play by your rules, don’t think that I’m just gonna lay down for you. I have fought, and I have bled to keep this gold. To keep this Championship, I have stepped into a cage with pitbulls. I fear nothing and regret less. RVD, at One Night Stand, you’ll be looking at a soldier who is locked on, dialed in, and ready to strike.”
Unable to wait until Wednesday night’s USA special, Paul Heyman told Cena he wanted to give him an early taste of ECW. With that, ECW legends Terry Funk, Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and Balls Mahoney made their way through the crowd and into the RAW ring. What followed next was Cena’s initiation into the world of Extreme Championship Wrestling. A hardcore beating highlighted by Sandman’s cane, and the arrival of ECW icon Sabu served to soften up John Cena for two of the biggest matches of his career. A suicidal Atomic Arabian Facebuster off the top turnbuckle through a table left Cena laying face down on the mat. Things could have gotten much worse for Cena if not for a group of WWE Superstars storming the ring to protect their RAW teammate (Watch).
On Wednesday, Cena will get a chance for revenge towards Sabu on a level playing field. But, on Sunday, things will be much different when he steps onto hostile ground at the Hammerstein Ballroom. How will Cena respond when he is forced to defend his WWE Championship in the most intense of environments? One thing is for certain, if he’s not prepared, we will see a new WWE Champion crowned, and according to RVD, we will witness the christening of a new ECW Championship.
In other One Night Stand news, Kurt Angle's open challenge was answered in dramatic fashion. Coming out to address his hometown Pittsburgh fans, Angle was interrupted by Mick Foley, Edge and Lita. Edge launched a verbal assault on Angle, claiming that the move to ECW was the end of his career. Angle disagreed, saying he was going to change the face of ECW forever. From there, the Wrestling Machine let his actions do the talking. He took out Foley with an Angle Slam, and locked Edge in the Ankle Lock. With Angle’s attention focused elsewhere, WWE Superstar Randy Orton hit the ring and delivered a thunderous RKO (Watch).
Moments later, Orton told Todd Grisham on WWE.com Unlimited that he was accepting Angle’s open challenge. “You think I forgot that Kurt Angle broke my ankle? It took me 60 days to come here and get my payback. If you think this is it, stay tuned, because Kurt Angle, I accept your challenge for One Night Stand.”
Last week on SmackDown, Tazz dared Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler to step in the ring with him at One Night Stand. “Lawler, you show up to One Night Stand, and with god as my witness, I will choke you out. I guarantee it.”
Monday night on RAW, Lawler responded to the offer. “Tazz, for the last 10 years, we’ve heard you talk about how bad you are. The truth is, the only thing bad about you is your announcing… You say you have one match left in you. Well Tazz, I accept your challenge, and I promise you that One Night Stand will be your last stand.”
ECW One Night Stand