Ruthless Aggression #3: ECW One Night Stand – June 11, 2006
The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.
Ten years ago, on June 11, 2006, the PPV ECW One Night Stand aired. It was an ECW PPV, obviously, and was meant to capitalise on the popularity of Extreme/Eastern Championship Wrestling from the early nineties to early 2000s. Honestly, ECW represented some dark side of wrestling for me. When I started watching wrestling, it was so cartoony that I never really realised that the guys could be fighting for real so it came as no news to me that it was scripted. ECW, however, was something primal, barbaric even. It seemed like those men wished each other harm. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.
ECW One Night Stand 2006
Still no tagline this time around, owing to the fact that the Fed still thought only Raw was worth it. Still, the poster is pretty boss. We see old Rob Van Dam there jumping off a ladder like a ninja, briefcase in hand. Business ninja.
Show opens with the crowd in the Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, screaming an, “ECW! ECW!” chant. Music hits and out comes Paul E. Dangerously AKA Paul Heyman. He’s got the suit on underneath the trenchcoat, hat on top, ponytail hanging out the back. ?The crowd are loving it and Paul is swaggering about the place, bowing to the fans in the balcony and waving at everyone else.
Paul E. cuts a promo scathing ECW hardcore vs. WWE superstars. He spits on the mic, too. Pretty yucky, Paul. Paul then goes on to say that they have a global audience now and that they will show that audience where it all started. Bit silly to say that, seeing as ECW started in 1992 and closed in 2001, fourteen and five years previous to the PPV, respectively. Still, a nice line. He gets a, “thank you, Paul E.” chant. Big pop for the fact that they’re on PPV and on Sci-Fi for the ECW television show. That was another shitshow and that’s besides the point. Paul tells the crowd that the only reason they are there is because of the fans. He then thanks each and every one, individually.
Close up shot on the “If Cena Wins, We Riot” sign. Oh come on, Cena isn’t all that bad, guys. He can be hardcore, too.
Paul E. does the old, “This is better than Monday Night RAW, this is better than Friday Night Smackdown. Welcome to the rebirth of ECW!” routine and we cut to some dodgy CGI and 90’s reverb. Kind of makes you miss ECW, I suppose, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The song for this evening is “Bodies” by Drowning Pool, which is amazing.
Hammerstein Ballroom, New York. 2, 460 fans cram into the room to shout and throw things. Small numbers, better crowd, but it is clear that no one at the Fed could care less about this PPV. Joey Styles is on the announcer’s mic. No Spanish announcers, no Star Spangled Banner, this is low-budget as all hell and can either be the best thing ever or a shitshow.
I appreciate Styles’ skill on the mic. The ability to call a match on your own is remarkable and makes it feel like a real sporting event as opposed to a scripted professional wrestling match. The lack of colour commentator means that storylines and motivation don’t go over as easily, but that is a small price to pay. Let’s see how long before his nasal tone drains me.
Tazz! It’s Tazz! Out he comes, covered in smoke, swaggering down to the ring. His name is spelled with both Z’s but a closeup on a fan’s sight shows the original “Taz” spelling. His original music, “Survive if I let you,” plays, which isn’t as threatening as his WWF theme with the heart beating. He’s wearing a towel on his head and looks like hell. He’s not wearing any ring gear at all, stands in the corner, frowns and crosses his arms.
Jerry comes out, heeling it up like a motherfucker. His comedy heel tactics will not go over here. The crowd tell him that he sucks dick. He then goes over and slaps Joey Styles in the most worked announcer attack ever. Something happens during the announcement and the mic goes quiet.
Tazz def. Jerry “the King” Lawler via submission in 35 seconds.
Joey is in the ring as soon as the bell rings and jumps on Jerry’s back. He is knocked off and Jerry goes for the piledriver. Tazz grapples Jerry from behind, applies the Tazzmission and my favourite spot hits as the ref raises Jerry’s hand and drops it once… twice… thrice? That’s it? Match over? Oh fuck.
Oh, we are off to a great fucking start.
I’m sorry, I was looking away. What happened?
What was the purpose here? To put ECW over by handing Tazz a simple win? This is the ECW crowd! Don’t give them a thirty-five second match! The pop wasn’t even a pop, it was a confused grunt. Pish.
Cut to Joey who is making a big deal of checking his jaw. It’s fine though and, unfortunately, he continues to talk. He introduces the WWE vs. ECW extravaganza where the Raw, Smackdown and ECW battle royale ended with Randy Orton and The Big Show being the only who guys left. Big Show removed his Raw shirt to reveal that he, like Bruce Willis in the 6th Sense (spoiler alert) was with ECW all along. Then, just like Bruce Willis, he throws Randy Orton out of the ring and lifts Kurt Angle into the air.
Cut to Cena vs. Sabu. Sabu scares me. Cena is willing when Big Show pops in again and fucks it up for everyone.
Wait! Tazz is back at the commentary desk. Out comes Randy Orton. My God, he looks fantastic. I’m not a huge Orton fan, but this is my favourite Randy moment. He’s walking down the aisle and this kid leans out and gives him a punch on the arm. Randy stops, spins around, realises that the kid is about twelve, has a few words and as he’s walking away, mutters, “punk motherfucker,” to himself. The kid’s dad is so proud. Like, super proud of his son.
Now, Randy is not an amazing wrestler, though his RKO process is stuff of legend. He is killing it with his slow walk down to the ring, however. The crowd hate him. He is everything ECW is not. He strolls into the ring, hits his Legend Killer pose and then flirts with the crowd for a while. Fair play to him.
Tazz and Joey keep saying that Randy Orton looks out of place. Of course he does. Man has no scars on his face. He pops up on the turnbuckle and gets his pyro. Not one person in the audience is happy about seeing him. He’s really pantomiming his way through the intro.
Kurt gets his introduction before his music hits, which is probably just to remind the crowd that now Kurt is an ECW guy, just like The Big Show, despite the fact that neither of them worked in ECW before now. Angle comes out, his gumshield in. He gets a huge pop and a massive round of applause for being Kurt Angle. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kurt. Christ, if his music came on during an anti-American angle of any kind (like Rusev dissing the yanks), I would shit my pants.
Nice “Fuck ‘em up, Angle, fuck ‘em up!” chant gets started and the bell rings
Kurt Angle def. Randy Orton via submission in 15:07.
Randy circles Angle in an attempt to get away from the Olympic champion and catch him unawares. Considering the fact that Angle can’t turn his damn neck, I’m surprised that Orton isn’t able to sidestep him. Kayfabe or no kayfabe, though, this is Kurt fucking Angle. If you’ve read his book, you know that the man is hella serious about wrestling. Not professional wrestling, actual honest-to-God wrasslin’.
Randy tolls out of the ring and gets super booed for it. Test of strength and Angle goes for Orton’s leg, going for the ankle lock. Orton crawls out of the ring to get away from Angle. “Angle’s gonna kill you!” chant rises. A “Fuck you, Orton,” chant is created shortly thereafter. Angle gets Orton is a headlock, he escapes, Irish whips Angle and gets another headlock. Randy escapes again. The crowd call him a pussy.
Angle lifts Orton for a suplex and slaps him about the head for a while. Bear in mind that Angle was in the Olympics only ten years before this match. He’s still got it. Angle points to his neck, telling Randy, “come get it, first one is free.” Randy goes for the headlock and is knocked back. He goes again and again and is backdropped for his effort. Angle roars for a bit and the crowd chant, “ECW! ECW!”
Angle goes to shoulder barge Orton in the corner but Randy moves at the last second. Orton takes over for a while and the already slow pace crawls to a stop before Angle lifts Orton up and slams him back down. Orton knocks him down with an elbow and gets a two count. The crowd chant, “Go fuck Cena!” and Orton is clearly pissed. Crowd tell Orton, “You can’t wrestle!”
Angle gets on top of Orton and there are a few two-counts. The crowd start mixing chants for a while. Orton gets Angle in a headlock and the crowd get bored. All in all, the match has been very technical and not very exciting. The fans just want to see Randy get his fuck kicked in. Angle teases German suplexes twice before finally hitting Orton with one and getting an, “ECW! ECW!” chant for his effort. Both men are up and at ‘em and Angle hits Orton with three German suplexes in a row before attempting the Angle Slam. Orton hits Angle with a great dropkick but the crowd say, “Fuck you, Orton.”
Angle explodes up and hits the Angle Slam but it only gets a two count. He goes for the ankle lock but Randy escapes and hits him with a brutal neckbreaker. Only gets a two-count though. Randy does his weird snake crawl, looking for the RKO. He goes for it, is rejected and goes to the top rope. Randy Orton has no top rope moves. Why is he going to the top rope? To be belly-to-belly suplexed by Angle of course! Angle and Orton scramble at the top of the turnbuckle and Orton hits him with a crossbody before hitting a clothesline and going for another RKO. Again, it is rejected and Angle goes for the ankle lock. Orton has nowhere to go and taps out.
An okay match, actually. The start was technical and the rest was professional, so a nice clean cut between the two styles. For my sins, I like both these guys; Orton because he’s a great heel and Angle because he’s Kurt fucking Angle.
Actually, I might have watched ECW if it was more like this and less light tubes being ground into people’s eyes.
Angle celebrates for a while and he is so over, which is really weird considering that he’s never professionally wrestled anywhere but in the Fed. Tazz tells Angle to go back to Raw where he belongs. Randy wants two men to come out to help him be carried back to the locker room. The crowd call him a pussy and he waves at them, saying, “my fans! They’re my fans!”
What a total bastard.
Shot of New York and the FBI’s music hits. Big Guido is huge and is a legit 6 foot 9. He does, however, have a face like a handbag. Tazz takes the time to tell us which one is Little Guido (red), which one is Marmaluke (green) and which one is Big Guido (tall fucker). Big pop as Super Crazy and Tajiri come out. Both are looking great. Tazz loves Tajiri’s style and the crowd chant “Welcome back” to him.
The Full Blooded Italians [FBI] (Little Guido Maritato and Tony Marmaluke) w/ Big Guido def. Yoshihiro Tajiri and Super Crazy via pinfall in 12:24.
Bell goes and we have Crazy and Marmaluke arm toss each other. Tazz and Styles make Italian jokes like pricks. Tazz is from Brooklyn and is Sicilian, fair enough, but he doesn’t do any of this shit around the other wrestlers. You never hear him talking about Kurt Angle and dropping some recipes for pasta or whatever. Tajiri jumps in and gets a pop for it. He looks bored otherwise. Crazy and Marmaluke do some sweet chain wrestling. Styles and Tazz talk about how long it is to fly to Japan. The crowd chant either, “Nacho Libre!” or “Macho Libre!” and Tazz lets on that it’s advertising.
Crazy hits a fucking great Bob Backlund backdrop on Marmalike and then a super-high X-Factor. Tajiri and Little Guido come in. The crowd start chanting, “ECW! ECW!” Tajiri goes for the tiltawhirl backbreaker but Little Guido reverses into an armbar. This is a great match and Tajiri makes it better by spitting at Maraluke from the centre of the ring. He gets Little Guido into a tree of woe. Maramluke comes in and Crazy dropkicks him before getting Marmaluke into a tree of woe on the opposite turnbuckle. Stereo baseball slides and a two-count as Tajiri gives Little Guido the most disrespectful of all tea-bagged pins.
Crazy kicks ass for a while and hits the sweetest pair of moonsaults – one from Bret’s rope and the other to the outside from the apron. Big Guido starts beating on him and a cover by Little Guido is broken up by Tajiri. Marmaluke is Irish whipped into the ropes and when Crazy lifts him up, he holds onto the leg, dropping Marmaluke facefirst onto the mat. It looks super dangerous. Loads of submissions follow.
Tajiri dropkicks Little Guido’s knee and kicks Marmaluke in the face to save Crazy from the pin. Joey says that one of the boys is 5 foot 7 and has size 12 feet. “God Bless his wife. Walking with a limp.”
Tajiri has a great bunch of moves on Guido followed by a spinning hell kick and close pin. Tajiri gets Marmaluke in some mental spinning head scissors submission before springboarding off the ropes and hitting them both. Great superkick by Tajiri. Double Irish whip, do-se-do followed by a stereo Tarantula. Big Guido comes in and is beat on by Tajiri and Crazy. The FBI do a double clothesline on their opponents. Crazy is kicked into the crowd and the FBI double fisherman Tajiri for the pin in 12:24.
Fucking great match. Spotfest, but a good spotfest. God love these men.
No psychology and I don’t know these men but I want to see more.
Then the fucking Big Show comes out. The crowd are not unhappy about this, but Big Guido and the Big Show square off and both teams attempt to attack him. He dodges a Crazy lariat, bag breakers Marmaluke and throws him about like a ragdoll. Music hits and he leaves again. What was the point again?
Cut to Joey Styles and Tazz bigging up the two big matches when Cunt JBL appears. He’s on the balcony and he’s not in his wrestling gear. The crowd tell him that he sucks dick, which he does because he is a cunt. He says that he sees no women in the audience and that the audience are thus fruits. He then boasts about busting the Blue Meanie up in the previous year’s One Night Stand 2005.
Straight-up shoot fact: JBL and Blue Meanie had a big of heat, mostly because JBL is a backstage bully and hazes new guys and being stiff in the ring. Some of the stories are funny, some are great justice and some of them are just cruel. Kurt Angle’s autobiography “It’s True, It’s True” details a match on Sunday Night Heat where the APA beat seven shades of shite out of Public Enemy. If you watch the match, it is short, brutal and to the point. The Blue Meanie situation was different. Meanie was saying things about JBL on the internet, apparently in character, and the Texan took offence to it and opened some stitches on his head. There is a reason I call him Cunt JBL and that is because he is a cunt.
The crowd shout, “Booooring!” and he boasts about being a bully and that nothing happened to him for being this way. The audience tell him to shut the fuck up. JBL bigs up Vince and JBL threatens Tazz. JBL calls the audience geeks and they call him an asshole. He says, “You paid to see me. I didn’t pay to see you,” and Tazz says, “He wasn’t even advertised!” JBL says he is the voice of Smackdown, the “A” show, which is bullshit. JBL tells the audience to kiss his ass and that the show sucks.
Our ring announcer Stephen DeAngelis announces that the next match will be contested under Extreme Rules!
Music hits and out comes Sabu. The crowd pops for him. He is so badly scarred, he looks like hell but also looks fantastic. He’s like an anime character. Then comes Rey. Big pyro, no pop. He hugs kids and babyfaces it up. Rey was actually in ECW for a while, so he should have a bigger pop for that, but then it is revealed that he had turned down an offer for ECW from our man Paul Heyman.
Lights come up and the introductions begin. Both men have chairs. Homicidal, suicidal, genocidal Sabu gets a pop. Rey gets boos and looks upset about it. “Fuck ‘em up, Sabu, fuck ‘em up!” chant rises. The ref gets both men to drop their chairs and rings the bell.
Extreme Rules Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Sabu. Match ended in no contest in 9:10.
Tazz pronounces coffee as “cawfeee”. Sabu goes for Rey’s knee and, amazingly, it doesn’t blow out. Rey looks so smooth and perfect next to Sabu. Duelling chairs to start off with and Sabu flips Rey in the air, sets up a chair and goes for Air Sabu but Rey falls forward and misses the chair shot. Rey then hits Sabu with a hurricanrana off the chair. Sabu denies him a 619 and cracks him in the face with a chair. It sounds brutal. Sabu sets up the table on the apron over to the ring edge. Sabu rolls into the ring, sets up the chair and goes to jump but Rey moves. Sabu takes an awful looking drop to the floor. Rey wastes no time in moonsaulting for the two-count.
Rey cracks Sabu a punch and gets caught between the top two ropes. Sabu does a great leg drop off the top rope to Rey’s neck but no pin. He then does another leg drop while holding a chair, moving the chair below his arse to get some sort of chair leg drop combo. No dice so the maniac runs out, sets up a ladder and is swiftly kicked on it by Rey. Mysterio then jumps from the top rope, hitting Sabu in the face with his balls. Sabu looks hurt, is twisting and stretching his arm as the ref throws up the X. Rey holds his balls and slides back into the ring.
It’s Rey’s turn to hit the leg drop on Sabu. He Irish whips the maniac into the corner and goes for another jump-off-the-chair spot but Sabu jumps. Rey tries to reverse into a moonsault but Sabu moves off and springboards off the ropes for a butt-bump of his own. The crowd chants for Sabu, as if he is the only man in the match. He then does a great moonsault and goes for the leg-drop-chair-shot (the Atomic Arabian Face Buster, according to the announcers) but misses. Mysterio sits Sabu in the chair and goes to hit him again but Sabu misses for the second ball-shot of the match. Sabu just throws the chair at Rey with a huge crack. Sabu sets Rey up on the table and jumps at him, DDTing him in the air through the fucking table. Lads come out to see them, both men are in huge amounts of pain and a lad in a necktie stops the match in 9:10.
Absolutely brutal. Very scary match. Rey and Sabu do not have the best safety record because they’re both mental.
Christ of almighty, is this ECW? I might actually like it.
Crowd call bullshit, the bloody bastards. Both men are apparently getting taken to the hospital. Sabu is rolling everywhere, unable to stand, seemingly. He gets applause though.
On the Card will return on June 18th with the second and final part of ECW One Night Stand 2006.