On the Card: Ruthless Aggression #19 One Night Stand – June 3, 2007
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 3, 2007, One Night Stand 2007 aired. It was a WWE PPV, as WWE had dropped Brand-named PPVs after No Way Out in February. Unlike the other One Night Stand PPVs, which were ECW PPVs, this one was tri-branded and had Raw, Smackdown and ECW matches on the card. 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 few 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.
WWE One Night Stand 2007
Back to the taglines. Good job, Fed. I’m proud of you. The poster is Bobbly Lashley looking ticked off, with red and white lights on him, like he’s doing a poop.
The promo package tells us that the only rules tonight are the extreme rules… which means gimmicked matches. Oh that’s nice. We have a Falls Count Anywhere match between Cena and Khali, Vince and Bobby in a Street Fight match, Batista and Edge in a cage match. How many of those people were in ECW? Nooooone. Fantastic. There’s also a ladder match, a tables match, a stretcher match, a lumberjack match and a pudding match on the cards. This super-gimmicked event was changed to Extreme Rules later, but it still sucks. Quit forcing good wrestlers into shit matches. No one cares about a cage match because you do one once every three weeks. Chill out with the fuckin’ cages.
Raw, ECW and Smackdown present WWE’s One Night Stand and we are welcomed into the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida by our announce team, Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler for Raw, Joey Styles and Tazz for ECW and Cunt JBL and Moustache Maggle Cole for Smackdown. They spit out one liners and pre-written nonsense as 7,000 fans cheer along with the 186,000 at home (a massive drop from the 304,000 from One Night Stand 2006). It’s not in the ECW arena, we have no ECW fans here, this may as well have been called WWE Super Best Show ’07.
(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match that featured Santino Marella and Chris Masters. That seems fair.)
Mid ring, the announcer introduces the rules of the first match: A stretcher match where you need to put your opponent on a stretcher and roll them over the finish line.
Old Randers Orton has his music playing as he strolls to the ring, hits the legend killer pose and cuts to a promo featuring Randy and RVD. Rob was ticked off that Orton would treat Shawn Michaels so badly at the last PPV, Judgment Day. We see a twisted, slow motion replay of Randy RKOing RVD a lot. Orton looks at the stretcher. Yep, it’s a stretcher.
Farty pyro and the whole fucking show comes down, Rob Van Dam. I just realised that the tron is covered in chairs and tables and ladders and all sorts of shit.
Stretcher Match: Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam.
I’ve changed up the titles of the matches. Putting champion first or in order of appearance.
Randy and Robbie stare at each other for a bit. It’s very sexy. The crowd chant for RVD because Orton is a bit of a prick. Rob stabs Randy in the chest and goes for his “Rob! Van! Dam!” spot but boots Randy before he can finish. JR reminds us – as RVD boots Randy in the face – that neither men care for pinfalls or submissions in this match. They care only for the stretcher. Lovely ten punch and then monkey flip from RVD. Crowd chant some more. Randy is taking a pummelling in the opening minutes of this matchup. Let’s see how this works out. RVD attempts a run into the corner, Randy stops him but gets a wee kick in the head for his efforts. Another Irish Whip, another reversal and another kick to the jaw.
Randy misses a punch and gets a punch to the jaw. Randy gets a lucky shot in and Van Dam sells it like death. RVD acts like has no idea what the hell is happening and Randy attempts an RKO but gets a boot in the face. RVD goes to the top rope, misses and falls off. Is it real? Is it Kayfabe? We do not know. Randy takes over, though, and lifts Rob up, giving him a bit of a beating and a standing dropkick to the face. Great shot. This is the opening match and the pace is super slow. Not impressive, lads, I expect better. JR and King put RVD over but it isn’t helping. Rob sells every move from Randy. Orton tries to roll Rob out but he holds onto the bottom rope, denying it.
The ref checks on RVD, but Orton wastes no time in hitting a lovely suplex, rolling Van Dam out of the ring, onto the stretcher… and off the stretcher. Van Dam does a pair of jumping punches against Orton, suddenly is back to normal and throws Randy into the ringpost. Van Dam is setting up the stretcher and rolls Randy onto it. He then goes to the apron as Jerry goes, “Rob! Just roll him across the finish line!” and hits a stupid spinning dropkick. It looks dumb.
In the ring, RVD gains some steam, attempts to hit Rolling Thunder, is lifted up by Orton into a great powerslam, probably the best of the match so far. Orton is attempting to suplex Van Dam to the outside, but gets a dropkick to his face instead. Van Dam sets up the stretcher and drags Randy over to it, bopping Orton on the head for good measure. Van Dam then goes into the ring – causing Jerry to scream, “Oh! Come on, Rob!” – and hits a lovely suicide senton over the top rope. Randy escapes, however, and RVD’s legs crack off the stretcher. Very painful looking. Randy lifts up Van Dam, pops him onto the stretcher and begins to push it up towards the finish line. RVD sits up, fights back, kicks Randy in the head, dropping him onto the stretcher. All it takes is a tiny push and RVD wins.
Rob Van Dam has defeated Randy Orton by pushing him over the finish line in 14:31.
Awful opener and it’s all RVD’s fault. He was just terrible. There was no consistency or build-up in his movements. Either he was faking it – in which case he should have telegraphed that to the audience – or he didn’t care less about the match looking good, he just wanted it over and done with as soon as possible. That’s fine. Don’t take fifteen minutes to have a bad match when you can have one in five.
Ohhh, Rob’s gonna get it.
Randy is up – obviously both men have forgotten the art of selling – and as the ref announces that RVD has won, Randy hits him from behind. JR quips, “that’s not unusual for Orton to attack people from behind.” Randy goes to the apron and boots RVD in the head – “A brain-rattling kick!” Rob stares ahead. Randy lifts him up, hangs him over the guardrail, dangles him and hits a murderous DDT. One fan shouts, “Holy shit!” on his own. The ref tells Randy to leave but he stares on. Cheeky monkey. EMTs arrive with… another stretcher. JR attempts to piece this together as best he can. Replays of RVD winning the match and Randy’s repercussions.
Cut to the back where Vince is, “shinin’ up [the ECW belt] reeeal nice.” Vince puts together that it is Lashley’s last stand at One Night Stand. He gets real with Shane and says that he feels that something bad might happen to him. Shane is worried that it’s about the match tonight but reminds Vince that both Shane and Umaga will be there.
Back in the ring, the announcer tells us the rules of a tables match. We know the rules. He tells us that the tables are stored below the ring. Thank you.
Shitty cover of Metallica’s Enter Sandman as he arrives through the crowd. He busts himself wide open, walks over the guardrail, opens another beer and a shitty cover of Alice in Chains’ Man in the Box plays as Tommy Dreamer arrives… with a weird titantron video telling us the competitor’s names. So it just says Elijah Burke when he arrives. Hah.
CM Punk rocks out, joining the ECW Originals, despite the fact that he’s never been in the original ECW.
The New Breed appear all at once, walking out to the ring together. Once again, Elijah and Punk square off. Both ECW lads wearing full clothes because God forbid they have muscles.
Tables Match: The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and CM Punk vs. The New Breed (Elijah Burke, Matt Striker and Marcus Cor Von).
This is a tables match, it’s at an Extreme Rules event and yet Dreamer and Cor Von start off. Why aren’t Sandman and Punk setting up a table? There is no pinfall or submission needed. Just set up a table, walk in, lift the lightest of the lads and toss them outside. What are they going to do? Disqualify you? It’s a tables match!
Elijah Burke jumps in, gets a bulldog from Burke, gives him a flapjack and Sandman hits a hip toss. That man can’t wrestle. Punk is in, rocking Striker with a Bulldog. Punk lifts Striker up for the Bossman Slam as Dreamer hits the elbow. Punk and Dreamer do the Dudleys “Get the tables!” spot and there’s a suicide dive. Sandman uses his Singapore cane without disqualification and there’s a schmoz. Crowd chant for tables. Striker gets a double suplex… but Marcus moves the table before it can happen. Both Burke and Cor Van double team Punk and celebrate for some time. Striker is told to set up the table and he does mid-ring. Both Dreamer and Sandman are down for the count and Striker sets up the table in the corner. Sandman and Dreamer pop in to “save” CM Punk. Sandman goes up for a ten count and is thrown off the turnbuckle. He lands badly. Dreamer hits a lovely spinebuster. Marcus hits Punk with a powerbomb… and misses the table. It was right behind you, bro. Just throw him into it. Marcus sets up Punk carefully on the table and as he goes top rope, Sandman hits him with the cane. Dreamer hits Burke with a piledriver, sets him on the table and Punk superplexes Striker off the top rope.
CM Punk has just put both Matt Striker and Elijah Burke through a table, thus winning the match in 7:18.
Terrible start, but then it was never going to be a good match. They should have put the weaker wrestlers – Dreamer and Sandman – on the outside and focussed on Punk. If they had changed the rules – no weapons but the tables – then the heels could have sneakily beat on Dreamer and Sandman every time they got up. Five minutes of a beat down on Punk where he occasionally escapes until the New Breed get cocky, set up the table and get fucked by the garbage wrestlers. This was shit at the start, decent at the end.
How is Sandman still working?
The “ECW” team cheer at this short match at an old ECW event. Sandman looks happy to be done with it. I don’t know why he’s still working for anyone. He’s very bad.
Cut to the back and Edgy McEdge is lacing his boots when Randal Orton arrives to remind him that they were once friends. He threatens Edge by saying that if Edge beats Batista and Randy gets traded to Smackdown then he’s next. Edge threatens him back. Heel-on-heel action here.
JR says that the locker room isn’t big enough to hold both their egos.
Justin Roberts reminds us of the rules of the ladder match and OH CHRIST THE FUCKING CHAMPS ARE OUT FIRST. Fuck you, Fed. Fat Matt and Mental Jeff Hardy rock down to the ring, clapping hands and being gentlemen. Jeff has a stupid beard.
The World’s Greatest Tag Team – Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas – are out next, taking their time coming to the ring and wearing sunglasses inside like jerkfaces. JR reminds us that – once again – no pinfalls or submissions are necessary to win this. JR doesn’t know how high the belts will be hung.
Ladder Match for the World Tag Team Championship: The Hardys (Matt and Jeff) (c) vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas).
Big “Hardys!” chant as the Hardys gives a lovely double suplex to Haas and leg drop/elbow drop to Shelton. Haas fights back with a double clothesline. All four men get ladders, stare at each other for a while and the Hardys toss them away, dropkick the challengers and set ladders in the turnbuckle to toss Haas into. Then they throw more ladders at him and then Shelton Benjamin to do a lovely Poetry in Motion, tossing the ladders – and Haas – onto Shelton. Jeff tries to climb up but is taken down by Charlie Haas. Both Hardys are on the floor as the crowd chant their name. Matt gives Charlie a lovely electric chair drop from the ladder and both Hardys climb the ladder, pausing for the spot where Shelton tosses a ladder at the ladder and knocks them both off the ladder.
The spotfest continues as Shelton and Charlier do a very weak and unorthodox slingshot into a ladder in the corner. The crowd boo. A polite (but unimpressed) applause would have been better. Hardys stop the World’s Greatest Tag Team from climbing the ladder and they get punished for it. Matt has a ladder pressed against him and then dropkicked. Haas and Benjamin set up the same catapult that hurt Joey Mercury a while ago at Armageddon 2006. Luckily, there does not seem to be a botch here as Shelton is hip tossed onto the ladder and the business end is kept away from Charlie Haas’ face. They do the same to Charlie Haas and just miss the same thing happening to the Hardys. Double clothesline and everyone other than Haas is outside. The Hardys go and get themselves some king-size ladders from outside the ring. Haas (backne and all) is tossed onto a ladder and Matt attempts to suplex Shelton from the inside to the ouside. He is denied this, but seconds later, Matt tosses Shelton out anyways. JR is listing off the injuries sustained as Matt sets Shelton on the ladder lain from the apron to the guardrail. Jeef attempts a Swanton, is denied by Haas who super-belly-to-belly suplexes him into the ring. Matt rocks in, hits the Side Effect, sets up a ladder mid-ring, climbing and reaching for the tag team belts but the World’s Greatest Tag Team knock him off.
Outside, Roidy Hass is attempting to set up a ladder contraption and inside Shelton hits Jeff with a lovely T-Bone suplex. Shelton climbs a ladder mid-ring, blesses himself, jumps out and… hits Matt with his dick, I suppose. JR sells it as his elbow, but it was not his elbow, it was his dick. Haas is up the ladder, miles away from the actual championship and Jeff is up the other side, superplexing Charlie Haas off the ladder, by Christ. “Hardy!” chant rises as Jeff moves the ladder and climbs it super quick, but, predictably, stops at the end. Shelton Benjamin leaps from the apron, fixes a botch mid-spin and still manages to knock Jeff off the ladder. Fair play. Matt tries to toss Shelton off the ladder but Shelton, once again, misses his ropes and Matt has to hit the Twist of Fate to get the heat back.
Two ladders in the ring, Matt is at the top of one, Shelton atop t’other. Their partners climb, both teams at the top of the ladder, Hardys are pushed off and they bounce back to toss the World’s Greatest Tag Team off. Jeff hits a superfluous Swanton and Matt climbs the ladder to get the belts.
Matt Hardy has just collected the Tag Team Belts from atop the ring in 17:17.
Spotty McSpotfest over here with the spots. Quite good match, one where there is no story, no real selling and just ingenious ways of using the ladders. Most of the spots were new, some weren’t, some didn’t work and none were really highlight reel material, but a good match had by all.
Do you think the Hardys like painkillers?
JR stumbles through a quote attempts. “The Hardys have proved that they are no match in a ladder match.” Replays of the life-shortening stunts in the match. Shelton, at one point, lands on a ladder and is lucky that his ankle didn’t pass through a rung and break.
On the Card will return on June 10 2017 with the second part of One Night Stand 2007.