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Um, heh heh heh.  I don’t know quite how to tell you this, folks, but as a tribute to the TRUE ECW of yesteryear, the damn Recapitation blade broke down five seconds into this piece.  So while it’s getting patched up, we’ve got a little bit of time to kill.  Just as well, because there are a few people I need to mention and something I need to get off my chest.

First is my pal Michael K. Johnson II.  Mike was the first “internet wrestling buddy” I made back in 1995, and to this day, the guy is cooler than the proverbial other side of the pillow.  For a growing legion of online wrestling fans, Mike was something of a goodwill ambassador for ECW.  He was always friendly, insightful, accessible, and never grew tired of my hundreds of inquiries asking him to explain the Dudley gimmick.  In addition to contributing research to ECW’s own batch of DVD releases, Mike has written for The Wrestling Lariat, 1wrestling.com, and he’s still going strong over at www.pwinsider.com.  Mike was right there in the front row for tonight’s PPV, and nobody deserved it more.

Next up is another pal and best-selling author (damn, that feels good to type) Scott Williams.  Scott co-wrote “More Than Just Hardcore” with Terry Funk.  It came out this year and it’s all about the amazing career of the Funker.  If you haven’t already, go buy this book NOW-LIKE.  I picked up my copy from www.highspots.com, which I highly recommend for both price and service.  Anyway, Scott recently inked a deal to write a book about ECW.  Between E-C-Dub and Scott’s writing, this one is already a winner.

Finally, there’s the guy who is probably my best pal in the world, online or off.  His name is Sean, and he wrote a pretty damn good review about One Night Stand, which you can read over HERE.

Now then, in the last-second build to this show, who thought it was a good idea to have the ECW set vow that they would “go down in a blaze of glory?”  You know, as opposed to “go out with a bang?”  ADMITTING that you know you’re going to get your ass kicked by the WWE isn’t exactly hardcore/extreme.  Anyway, I’m being told that the blade has been fixed and there’s no more room for any more singles in Kimona’s g-string, so it’s time to drop the sever lever on ECW One Night Stand!

WWE production of a live “ECW” PPV

Hammerstein Ballroom in NY


An emotional Joey Styles came out to open the show.  Mick Foley was introduced as co-host/color commentator, but they wisely cut away to the open before Mick could say anything.  First good move of the night.  The opening feature was slick and very well done.  This is already PPV of the year.


1) Lance Storm (w/ Pregnant Dawn Marie) pinned Chris Jericho at 7:23.  [Kerry]

As a tribute to his “old school” ECW roots, Jericho came out in his “Lionheart” tights and persona.  Of course, Lionheart came out to Y2J’s music, but that’s not terribly important.  Trivbit: Jericho was Foley’s second-to-last opponent in ECW.  The night before his famous farewell match against Mikey Whipwreck, Foley put over Jericho at a NY show.  It was Foley’s last loss in ECW.

One ECW staple that seems to have been forgotten by most everyone was how they used to do the intros AFTER both guys were in the ring (a la Japan).  Anyway, Joey ran down the history of the former Thrillseekers, and talked about how Lance was later part of The Impact Players with Justin Credible, one of ECW’s last great champion tag teams.  For some reason, they ignored Lance’s “feuding partners” championship team with Chris Candido.  You remember, they used to fight over everything, including whose theme music played for their intro.  Fans reminded Joey by promptly chanting, “Chris Candido.”  Both Joey and Foley mentioned that this may be Lance’s farewell match.

This was one hell of a good match between two longtime buds.  Fast-paced and crisp as hell, but way too short.  Jericho caught Lance coming off the top with a dropkick to the back of the head, earning the first “holy shit” chant of the night.  Eight minutes into the show, we’ve got our first “crack whore” chant of the night.  My head tells me it was directed at PDM, but my heart chooses to believe it was aimed at Foley, who was already yammering about himself to a nauseating degree at this point.  Fans also chanted “Fuck John Cena,” which is a little tougher to pin on Foley, but I’ll find a way.  Lance slapped on his old WCW finisher, a half-crab which Joey called a “Calgary crab.”  I actually preferred the WCW name (“Canadian Maple Leaf”).  Finish saw the first surprise run-in of the night, when Lance’s Impact Partner, Justin Credible (w/ Jason) ran-in.  Jericho ran him off, but JC managed to give Jericho a cane shot from ringside to set up Lance’s pin.  The Players, Jason, and PDM all posed together for a big nostalgia pop.

Trivbit: The last time the song “Bodies” was used for a PPV was SummerSlam 01.  That show opened with Lance losing the IC Title to Edge in a keeper.  So now it’s official: When it comes to “Bodies” PPVs, Lance Storm is the greatest curtain-jerker wrestler of all time.

Back at the broadcast table, Joey talked about “the elephant in the room that no one wants to mention.”  Who, Stephanie?  Oh, he meant the WWE Crusaders.  Oh yeah.  That.

Gary “Pitbull” Wolfe, a.k.a. Pitbull #1, a.k.a. The Pit Bull, a.k.a. – You know what?  Screw you, buddy.  The Rock doesn’t have that many nicknames and his merchandise sells.  Anyway, Gary threw to a memorial feature honoring the former ECW wrestlers who have since passed away.  They showed Rocco Rock, Terry Gordy, Mike Lockwood (a.k.a. Crash Holly), Mike Lozansky, Pitbull #2, Big Dick Dudley, and Chris Candido.  This was one of the most talked about parts of the show, due to notable omissions such as Rick Rude, Brian Pillman, Road Warrior Hawk, Louie Spicolli, and Eddie Gilbert.  While you could say that the first four were just passing through, leaving out Gilbert was inexcusable.  It was “Hot Stuff” and Tod Gordon who laid down the foundation of Eastern Championship Wrestling upon which Paul Heyman built Extreme Championship Wrestling.  It’s since been theorized that this tribute was supposed to be for the guys who died AFTER ECW went out of business in 2001.  If so, they should have made that clearer.  And come on, including Club Snubbed would have tacked on maybe another 10 seconds to the show.  Then again, maybe their VHS tape just ran out of record time.  After all, the greatest indy promotion of all time is still an indy promotion.

2) Super Crazy won an “International” three-way-dance over Yoshihiro Tajiri (w/ Mikey Whipwreck & “Sinister Minister” Jim Mitchell) and Little Guido (w/ fellow FBI members “Italian Stallion” J.T. Smith, “Main Man” Tracey Smothers, Tony Mamaluke & Big Guido) at 6:14.  [David]

Crap, no Tommy Rich, who was hilarious as the FBI’s “Don” (complete with Photoshopped Italian flag featuring a likeness of his own smiling mug as the centerpiece).  Crazy saulted off a balcony at one point, in the first psycho highspot of the night.  Oh, that’s just fucking great.  Now New Jack can bitch about another guy stealing his stuff.  Just what the industry needs.  Tons of outside interference culminated with Mikey sneaking in to give Guido a Whippersnapper (stunner off the ropes), which set up Tajiri’s pin at 4:09.  With Guido eliminated, that left the buzzsaw with the insane luchadore.  Crazy hit two-thirds of his triple-decker moonsault spot when Tajiri recovered for a brief face-off.  Someone got lost and the lads stalemated for a second.  The crowd picked up on this, resulting in the first “You fucked up” chant of the night.  Crazy put it to bed with a powerbomb that set up his final moonsault for the pin.  You’re going to notice a theme here, as this was good, but too short, and nowhere near the quality of past Tajiri-Crazy classics.  Considering how those two made each other  back in 1999 (in the U.S., anyway), this was something of a letdown.

The first “ECW Memories” feature aired.  These were very nice video packages, featuring memorable moments from the promotion’s storied seven-year history.  (I don’t count 1993.  Except for the angle where they ripped Angel’s top off.  But that’s it.)

Joey pointed out an empty balcony section, saying that Eric Bischoff and the Crusaders bought it out for purposes of invasion.  Yeah, that’s how you stick it to a company that you’re trying to destroy!  Buy a section of high-priced PPV seats in their balcony!  Though frankly, that IS consistent with “ATM Eric’s” business practices back when he was running WCW.

For those of you keeping score at home, we’re now 30 minutes into the show, and they’ve already burned through two of the six matches advertised.

3) Rey Mysterio (sic) pinned Psicosis at 6:23.  [Mike]

Psi came out in his famous horny mask, but discarded it during his intro.  Sweet jerking Jesus, is Foley taking a dump all over this show.  Straight out of the gate, Mick said that this was the first time Psi “unmasked in North America.”  Bullshit, he lost a mask vs. hair match to Billy Kidman on a 1999 Nitro.  Anyone who knows anything about Psi knows this fact.  Sure, it was a career low, but it was an infamous part of the guy’s history.  Like Bischoff firing Austin “over the phone, no less.”  Or even Rock’s debut babyface push earning chants of “Rocky sucks.”

Foley followed up that little gem by screwing up the Senior-Junior lineage between Reys.  Bullshit II, but Joey corrected him.  Mick responded to that by pouting, “most of these people never would have known (otherwise) until you had to open your mouth.”  That is the definitive line by and about Mick Foley, and it’s the new smoking gun when it comes to the questionable-at-best credibility Foley has exhibited ever since he pinched out the hardbound hogwash that was “Foley Is Good.”  I’m sure in the weeks to follow, we’ll see Foley and his misguided supporters try to spin-doctor his performance from tonight.  Foley might even go as far as to suggest he was doing a goofy comedy character who screwed up stuff for a laff.  Sorry, Mick, but the WWE already has someone doing that “worked shoot” gimmick these days.  And Maria is a hell of a lot easier on the eyes than you.

Notice how I haven’t talked about the match yet?  That’s because I was too busy wondering what the hell Foley was thinking with his unprofessional antics behind the headset, and for that matter, what the hell Vince was thinking by putting it on him in the first place.  You see, Foley was SO horrible I couldn’t even enjoy the match.  He killed it for me.  That’s how awful he truly was.  Take it from someone who has actually done a little PBP/color; the single most disrespectful thing you can do as an announcer is to take the focus off the guys in the ring.

I later watched the match again with the sound off.  To be fair, even without Foley, it was the single worst Rey-Psi match ever.  Rey was working hurt and tonight’s Psicosis bore no resemblance to any previous Psicosis, living or dead.  The fans took a big hot Mick on a sleeperhold spot, as well as Rey’s 619.  Still though, there was a sprinkling of highspots and at least the guys tried.  Too bad their color commentator couldn’t have been bothered.  Then again, this could have been Tyson Tomko vs. Stevie Richards, and the wrestlers still would have deserved better than the lazy “effort” put forth by the hardcore legend.

Kurt Angle, JBL, and the Cabinet finally showed up.  They were welcomed by chants of “You suck dick” and “Fuck you, Smackdown.”  What irony.  Smackdown’s color commentator is a man who not only exudes “ECW” like few others, but was one of the four most significant wrestlers in ECW history (Funk, Sabu, and Douglas being the other three).  Yet this “ECW” PPV’s color man is a has-been suck who would have been flame-broiled by Joey had he announced in such a manner for WWF or WCW back in the day.

Joey begged for the truck to throw to “something.  Anything!”  Just when fandom was ready to pop for the long-awaited return of the final ECW Tag champions, Danny Doring & Roadkill, their backstage promo was interrupted as we cut back to CrusaderGate.

The second “ECW Memories” package aired in all its extreme glory.  These things were worth the price of admission alone.

Joel Gertner appeared, trying to interview the Smackdown contingent.  JBL ran him off with a boot to the ass, leading to anti-ECW promos from both Angle and JBL.  JBL called the Hammerstein Ballroom a “bingo hall.”  (Fun fact: It ain’t one.)  This led to…

Rob Van Dam’s music interrupted to a HUGE pop.  RVD (w/ Bill Alfonso in tow) cut a woot (worked shoot) promo on ECW, WWE, the boys, the office, and all points in between.  It’s already been universally hailed as a career best for “Mr. Monday/Thursday Night PPV,” and rightly so.  Best line was when RVD reflected upon “a time before RVD’s vocabulary was limited to ‘whatever’ and ‘cool.’”  Ironically, Rob and Fonzie reminded the world that “RVD 4:20 means ‘I just smoked your ass!’”  It was ironic because the “RVD 4:20” thing was one of many take-offs on the famous “Austin 3:16” angle at KOTR 96.  “Austin 3:16,” of course, was Steve Austin’s breakout promo, and tonight was RVD’s breakout promo.”  To wrap it up, Rhino hit the ring for a gore-in on RVD.  The lights went out, and the fans knew what was coming.  This led to…

4) Sabu (w/ RVD & Fonzie) pinned Rhino in an impromptu match at 6:30.  [Kerry]

Fans chanted, “You got fired” at Rhino.  Yeah, like Sabu never did.  I dunno, if I were Rhino, I just would have tried to just hang around with the WWE guys backstage, and pretend like nothing ever happened.  Joey talked about the famous barbed-wire match where ‘Bu’s bicep was turned into shredded wheat.  Joey said Sabu finished the match, stopping just short of the fact that not only did he finish the match, but he WON the damn thing, and took the ECW World Title from his opponent, Terry Funk, in the process (Born To Be Wired, 8/9/97).  In a SICK spot, Rhino tripped a triple-jump attempt, giving ‘Bu a mush full of chair.  Rhino followed that up with a TKO onto the chair.

There was a very un-ECW moment when Rhino bumped referee John “Pee Wee” Moore.  Only the most inside of insiders know that Sabu and Pee Wee are legit good friends.  The rest of the fans are burned out on WWE crap like ref bumps.  What with his wounded leg, RVD could only muster one spot.  As Joey put it, RVD “skateboarded” a chair into Rhino, who was sitting in time out.  Hell’s bells, WWE head of talent relations John Laurinatis ain’t gonna like that one bit.  He’s spent the better part of the last 16 years trying to live down his shameful skateboarding past as a Dynamic Dude.  Awesome finish saw Sabu give Rhino an “Arabian skullcrusher” through a table for the pin.

Rhino was the final ECW World champion and TV champion, so in a way, this kinda makes Sabu the uncrowned double-champion.  Kinda.  It wasn’t perfect, but man, was this classic Sabu.  This match was something of a miracle considering that Sabu was on a full-fledged deathwatch at this time last year.  Say what you will, but Sabu really was the man who made wrestling exciting again in the 90s and no single wrestler had more of an influence on the industry as a whole.  Without Sabu, there would never have been an ECW, nor the table spots that are now a staple of the whole business.  Sabu was the most electrifying wrestler I’ve ever seen live.  As fans, we owe him an extreme debt of gratitude.  Now go read a big piece goofing on him over HERE.

Al Snow & Head introduced the third batch of “ECW Memories.”  Snow didn’t have “EMPLEH” scrawled across his forehead like back in the day, but he made up for that by decrying that “bunch of Smackdown assholes.”  At least he’s finally teaching his “Tough Enough” kids the truth about the WWE.  Then again, that didn’t exactly turn out well for Lance.

Eric Bischoff led his Raw Crusaders to their seats.  Okay, Vince has carried out some pretty messed-up ideas for Bisch over the last few years, but now he’s made him an usher?  Bischoff is the industry’s only POMNW (Prisoner of Monday Night War).

5) Chris Benoit beat Eddie Guerrero by submission at 10:37.  [Mike]

Joey proudly crowed that this match was “for all the detractors” who said ECW was just a garbage promotion.  What, third from the top?  Fans were busy chanting “Lita’s got herpes” and “You screwed Matt” at Edge, then moved on to “Fuck you, Bischoff.”  As for this match, it was a HUGE letdown and the worst I’ve ever seen from these two together.  You see, Eddie was unhappy that he was booked to tap out clean, so he sandbagged it, turning in a performance you’d expect from Ed Leslie, not Eddie Guerrero.  Eddie dishonored not only the Guerrero family, but the fans, and most of all, Benoit himself.  Benoit really wanted to produce a gem for the live audience, but his opponent sabotaged that idea.  Eddie didn’t put any real effort into working this match, so I don’t see why I should bother putting any real effort into reviewing it.

A commercial aired for Vengeance and its Paul In A Cell main event.  It’s gonna be soooooo sweet when Veng’s buyrate gets crushed by ECW’s.  How sweet?  Well, let’s just say it’s a good thing that half of ECW’s fanbase already has diabetes.

Back for more, Gertner tried to interview Eric Bischoff.  Gertner teased getting tough on Easy-E, but instead begged him for a job and tried giving Bischoff his resume, headshots and a videotape of himself.  Just like a jogger with large bazooms, I saw this coming from two blocks away.  And just like when the jogging bazooms finally get here, I pop anyway.  Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with being predictable.  Bischoff proceeded to make with the promo, doing the third “I hate ECW” cover of the night.

6) Mike Awesome pinned Masato Tanaka at 9:51.  [FRITZ]

Tanaka has been a hardcore favorite the world over for years, thanks to his never-say-die indestructibility and his perky 36C breasts.  From late 1999 to early 2000, Awesome was pushed by ECW as their most physically impressive champion ever.  From mid 2000 to present, Awesome was pushed by ECW as a turncoat piece of Mick for jumping to WCW for $1,250,000 when he was still ECW champion.  Speaking of Mick, he and Joey had something of a role reversal for this match.  Joey was ripping Awesome every which way and then some, while Mick was actually talking about the match in spots.

Speaking of the match, it blew the roof off the Ballroom, then tore down the rest of it.  Awesome bomb off the apron through a table, followed by an Awesome splash for a nearfall.  Mike’s trademark spots are called “Awesome (whatever)” to an annoying degree.  A tornado stunner didn’t look good, but the lads redeemed with a tornado DDT on a stack of chairs.  Tanaka followed that up with a SICK flying one-man-conchairto off the top for another nearfall.  Awesome recovered and hit an Awesome spear (told ya) onto the chair pile.  Tanaka turned a superplex attempt into a brutal tornado DDT off the top onto the chairs for another two.  Fans were totally into the nearfalls.  Not to be outdone, Awesome jumped off the top backwards for an Awesome bomb onto the remains of a table for the last nearfall.  Fans chanted, “This match rules.”

Finally, Awesome gave Tanaka one last running Awesome bomb over the top through another ground-level table.  Christ, the U.S. only needed to bomb Japan twice to end WWII.  Awesome used a pescado dive to the outside, making the pin on the floor.  Weird, ECW matches didn’t really do falls-count-anywhere stuff too often.  Joey slyly talked about ECW’s use of talent vs. WCW’s (and even WWE’s) over the years, but for my money, tonight’s biggest “fuck you” to Bischoff was simply showcasing Mike Awesome correctly.  And for that matter, Sabu, Sandman, Jericho, and Storm.  This was one of the best hardcore matches you’ll ever see, and the fans were white-hot through it all.

Paul Heyman came out for a promo.  He had nothing to say, and this wasn’t noteworthy in any way.  Just kidding, this totally made the show.  Fans chanted, “Thank you, Paul.”  Clearly touched, Heyman teared up, then broke up the crowd by saying, “I’m not crying.  My eyes are red because I was in the back smoking a joint with Van Dam.”  Paul said his thank yous and ripped on Bischoff, Edge, and JBL with some of the most quotable zingers of the last four years.  Bischoff sarcastically waved goodbye to Paul.  For what it’s worth, Paul was telling people that this show would be his last night in the business.  Mind you, by “what it’s worth,” I mean the total of a shitload of people paying $34.95.  Oh yeah, we’ll see the psycho-yuppie-turned-mad-scientist again.  But for a moment, it crossed my mind that Paul would say farewell to his fans via “suicide by 911.”  That is, a chokeslam sendoff similar to how Jim Cornette closed SMW.  (All the wrestlers joined forces to beat down James E., who was stretchered out of his company to end their final show.)

Up next was a commercial for Rob Zombie’s new film, “The Devil’s Rejects.”  I love Zombie’s music, but after seeing his old film, I have no desire to see his new one.  “House Of 1,000 Corpses” sucked so hard, it sucked up all the suck from all other sucky movies in 2003, creating a collective suck so all-encompassing, it put black holes to shame.

As they came back, the fans were amusing themselves by chanting “faggot,” presumably at Bischoff.

They started the intros for the main event competitors.  The scene with everyone singing Sandman to the ring was something to behold.  I always did love that intro.  Who needs pyro?  Better yet, it was the original Metallica version.  Thank God no one told HHH that his precious Motorhead butchered the song in a cover.  Sandy, Dreamer, and the Duds did the mutual respect thing, but before the match could officially start, the bWo interrupted.  Bischoff legitimately seemed pissed at this, as it probably just dawned on him that the goofy bWo outlived his nWo.  Kid Kash did a run-in and phantom-bumped out of the ring.  Okay, that was pointless.  Axl Rotten & Balls Mahoney came out and ran off the boys in blue, chairing the hell out of poor Nova.  Why risk concussing the only guy of the lot who currently has a career?  Kash went bowling, vaulting off a ref’s back onto the heap outside.  When the smoke cleared, the match finally started.

7) The Dudley Boyz beat Tommy Dreamer & The Sandman at 10:15.  [Kerry]

WWE fans checking out ECW for the first time tonight had to be confused as hell seeing Tommy and Sandman as teammates after the clips of Sandy viciously caning the skin off Tommy some years back.  Then again, WWE fans have seen a buttload of Dawn Marie vs. Torrie Wilson matches where announcers haven’t acknowledged the fact that Dawn murdered Torrie’s father, so it probably wasn’t that big a deal.  Though, surprise of surprises, in talking about himself, Foley did mention the legit history between Foley and Sandy.  Basically, Foley didn’t want to work with Sandy when he was full-on drunk, so Sandy called Foley a “pussy” in Torch Talk interview.  As you’ve read, I’m not the biggest Foley fan anymore, but that line might just be the single stupidest comment ever made by any wrestler at any time.  Speaking of Foley, he also made a point of burying Buh Buh by calling him “a cheap Cactus Jack knockoff” more than once.  Foley tried to make it one of his self-deprecating jokes by later referring to himself as “a cheap Terry Funk knockoff,” but like Mick’s attempted dive at Wrestlemania 16, it just didn’t fly.  ‘Sides, when Funk was the color man for WCW Worldwide back in 1990, he wasn’t anywhere NEAR as horrible as Foley was tonight.

TD juiced less than a minute in.  Fans chanted, “Buh-Buh-Buh-Buh,” harkening back to BRD’s days as a stutterer.  The Duds hit their back suplex/neckbreaker on Dreamer.  They really need to officially start calling that the “D3” or something.  Sandman used his cane to literally pull off my favorite ECW-named move, the “White Russian legsweep.”  The Dream-Men did a double figure-four spot on the Duds, which led to The Impact Players doing a run-in.  JC brought in a ball of barbed wire, and gave Sandy his “That’s Incredible” piledriver on it.  Well, sorta.  “That’s Incredible” was originally a spinning tombstone, but somewhere down the line, he lost the spin, so “That’s Incredible” became a straight tombstone that was more like “That’s Average.”

The Players held Dreamer for Francine, who did a jiggle-in and kicked Tommy low.  Naturally, this brought out Beulah for the catfight spot.  Actually, the word “natural” should never be applied to any woman in ECW.  Disappointingly, Joey didn’t mention that the last time we saw Beulah on ECW TV, the Dudleys broke her neck and ended her career.  Then again, that would have brought a cloud over the opening ceremonies, where Dreamer gave respek knuckles to the guys who crippled his girlfriend.  Anyway, the Dreamer Family hugged to a monster pop, then gave a double-DDT to the Duds.  Okay, so Buh Buh DDT’ed himself.  It’s still nice to see a couple stay together for five seconds on a wrestling show without turning on each other.

The Duds recovered quickly enough, bombing Sandy through a table and giving the 3D to TD.  Little Spike Dudley came out so fans could chant “LSD.”  Spike helped his inbred bros set fire to a table.  One powerbomb later, Buh Buh pinned Tommy’s extra-crispy ass.  The Duds grabbed Beulah, but Sandy made the save.  Oh, sure.  NOW they mention Beulah’s broken neck, after my fanboy spleen of indignant minutia has been vented.  As a tribute to all things ECW, this match a pretty damn good one, plus just being entertaining as hell.

As Sandman tended to Tommy’s carcass, he screamed, “Hellllllllp!  Hellllllllp!  I need a beer!!”  Comedy GOLD.  So who answered the call?  Steve Austin, of course.  So perfect.  So well done.  So why the hell didn’t I see it coming?  In the most surreal moment of the night, Austin came out wearing a Las Vegas Outlaws t-shirt.  You know, from the XFL.  The hell?  It’s not like there haven’t been a hundred different Stone Cold tees churned out over the years.  This did cause some eyebrow-raising on my part, if only because the last time a guy walked out on an ECW PPV with an unusual t-shirt, it turned out that it was a direct result of New Jack beating the holy hell out of Junkyard Dog backstage.  Curiouser and curiouser…

Austin brought out the ECW locker room and formally challenged the Crusaders to come down for a donnybrook.  On 6/12/05 at 10:22pm, ECW fans officially stopped being cool by partaking in the “What” chant.  The toughest S.O.B. vowed to drink beer and watch everyone else fight from ringside.  The hell?  Anyway, ECW ran off WWE despite JBL’s plan of taking out ECW’s biggest threat, The Blue Meanie.  Taz was the last man to join the party, as his music got the expected HUGE reaction.  Rhino gored Angle off the apron to the floor, where he met the Tazmission.  It’s no coincidence that Angle was drafted to Raw the next night.  ECW reunion notwithstanding, how many times has a promotion’s top guy been schooled by a retired color commentator?

During this, Bischoff joined the broadcast table to soak up some classic insults from Joey.  Austin commanded Foley to help Bischoff to the ring, and Mick obeyed.  For taking Foley off-headset for the night, Steve Austin is now the patron saint of my household.  Bischoff ate some finishers from the ECWWE guys, including the 3D, diving headbutt, and 619.  Austin conducted a “post-show interview” with Bischoff’s lifeless husk, and I was SO FUCKING PISSED that they dropped the ball by not having Austin say, “Hey Eric, this is Steve Austin.  I’m finally returning your phone call.  Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, but I was a little busy headlining Wrestlemania with my black trunks and black boots while you were going out of business altogether.”  Maybe next year.

Bischoff defiantly replied, “Fuck ECW,” earning him a stunner.  Impressively, Austin held onto his beer while snapping off the move.  The Duds carried Bischoff to a flatbed truck outside the building and the ECW guys celebrated with a well-earned toast.  In a great parting scene, Austin and Sandman celebrated as Joey screamed, “ECW LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

PPV MVP: RVD.  This show was his idea, and not a half bad one at that.  With his career-best promo, RVD had the crowd eating off his burnt fingertips.  The fact that he couldn’t actually wrestle was something of an afterthought, though he did convey his frustration with being injured quite effectively.  They seriously need to push RVD as “Mr. ECW,” if only to lead up to the next PPV.  Hey, why not?  They had Owen Hart promote the damn Slammys for a year of his career.  But seriously folks, the WWE’s ceiling of glass is no match for RVD’s balls of brass.  No matter how many times the clueless WWE tries to bury RVD, the fans still love him and the boys still respect him for saying the things they can’t.  It’s no coincidence that he got the biggest pop from the most vocal wrestling fans in the world.  Honorable mention to Joey Styles.

PPV LVP: Fat Fraud Foley (TM www.olcalwayswins.com ).  Fuck Mick Foley.  What a self-felating worthless shitbag.    Bad enough that he was talking about himself more often than not, but he also spouted inaccurate bullshit (see Rey-Psi match) and buried guys altogether (see Dudleys match).  If anything, this was the PPV of the year DESPITE him stinking up the airwaves.  It made me respect Joey Styles all the more for doing a great job of carrying 300 lbs of dead weight for two and a half hours.  Anyone who can defend FFF after tonight has no cred whatsoever.  Dishonorable mention to Eddie Guerrero.

Overall over-analysis:  The matches were too short, and in a couple cases, the selling wasn’t there.  Some matches were below expectations, and some guys were just outright shells of their former selves (cough*Psicosis*cough).  The glory days of E-C-Dub were great, but we’re all older, including the wrestlers.  However, Foley notwithstanding, this was easily the best PPV the industry has seen since WWF Canadian Stampede in 1997.

The only ECW alumni I really missed were Terry Funk, Shane Douglas, Raven, and Kimona.  Funk had some harsh words for Vince McMahon in the weeks leading up to this show.  I’m certainly not going to second guess any business decisions made by the Funker, but the fact of the matter is that he missed out on something special tonight.

I’ve picked nits in my day, but the few detractors whining about this show are a bunch of little bitches who want attention.  They just don’t get it.  Sure, like many other ECW shows, the matches probably aren't going to hold up five years after the fact.  That's not the point.  The point is that I was glued to my seat and this PPV was more fun to watch than any other I can remember.  For the first time since I was a kid, I actually wished I was there live.  Every now and then, something comes along that electrifies you in such a way that words can’t possibly do it justice.  Suffice to say, it reminds you why you’re a wrestling fan.  And that’s what happened on June 12, 2005.

This Observer’s Thumb…………..is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY up.


Harry Simon is a trivia-fueled wisenheimer who has been writing about pro wrestling off and on for 16 years and counting. Harry has written trivia pieces for both the Wrestling Observer and Live Audio Wrestling websites, and contributed a ton of research to his fellow Las Vegan Mike Tenay in preparation for the first NWA TNA PPV in 2002. Harry has also done play-by-play, color commentary, and ring announcing for indy promotions. Harry invented the Von Erich Match Rating System, which you can learn about HERE.
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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).