Escape from Fayetteville
It was a close call in Fayetteville, but when it was all said done, ECW’s Rob Van Dam left the building with his WWE Championship in hand. Challenger John Cena had RVD in the STFU, and it looked as if Van Dam might be forced to tap out, but interference by Edge forced the referee to throw the match out, leaving the gold on Van Dam for another night.
The match, which was actually proposed to Cena by Van Dam himself last night at Vengeance, was a battle of momentum. The Inter-Promotional battle was a back-and-forth affair, with neither being able to put their opponent away.
Early on, Cena, the former WWE Champion, took control when he shoved Van Dam off the top rope and into the ringside barrier. Cena, sensing an opening, went up top for a high risk maneuver of his own, but he paid the price. RVD used one of his trademark martial arts kicks to knock the former Champ off the top, sending him crashing to the arena floor. Seconds later, RVD came crashing down on Cena. Van Dam put his body on the line in executing a daring somersault plancha over the ropes, landing directly on his prone challenger. With Cena temporarily incapacitated, Van Dam looked to take things to the extreme.
Perhaps forgetting the match was on WWE turf, Van Dam reached for his favorite weapon, a steel chair. Upon his entry back into the ring, the referee confiscated the implement, giving Cena the distraction he needed to get back into the match. Cena seized control, leveling Van Dam with a series of powerful clotheslines and takedowns, and then capping it off with a Five Knuckle Shuffle. Sensing an opening, the WWE Superstar hoisted Van Dam on his shoulders and went for the F-U, but it was still too early as Van Dam powered out, narrowly avoiding disaster.
Van Dam was able to go back on the offensive, but it was short lived. Cena blocked RVD’s attempt at Rolling Thunder, and then quickly picked up the Champion and brought him down in the F-U. Then, Cena went for the kill and locked on the STFU. Just when it looked like RVD might tap out, Edge ran to the ring and interfered. The referee had no choice but to rule the bout a no-contest, thus keeping the WWE Championship in ECW hands.
Watch: See what happened on RAW