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Falls Count Anywhere EXTRA!


What's that spell?
Welcome to Falls Count Anywhere! My name is Chris. E-C-W! E-C-W!

ECW One Night Stand
There are things that are amazing when they happen but don’t manage to survive in the popular memory. Matches like Austin/Michaels vs. Owen/Bulldog on RAW or even that 2004 Ladder Match, they’re not brought up today at all. The ECW One Night Stand isn’t one of those events. In fact, I think we’ll be talking about it for twenty years or more.

Nostalgia acts have sold of late, so the timing was right, but the levels that Vince McMahon was willing to go to were incredible. They spent actual money bringing in real talent. Masato Tanaka don’t come cheap, as an example. They gave the ECW folks a lot of leader to play with and they came up huge. This was the perfect example of how to do the right thing when promoting nostalgia, and how to make amends for the past.

The show was a collection of emotions and they played all over the faces of the guys. Joey Styles was announced and when he hit the ring, you could tell that he was fighting back tears. It’s been four and a half years and he’s announcing again. Paul Heyman was openly in tears when he started his shoot promo. RVD got misty. From what I’ve heard, after the show, Dreamer stayed in the ring a long time and just broke down. The fans were hot and managed to live up to my memories of ECW from late night TV and Revere’s Wonderland Dog Track shows. This was the most emotional wrestling show I’ve ever seen.

We started off with Chris Jericho vs. Lance Storm. Jericho was announced as Lionheart Chris Jericho, his gimmick up until he became Y2J. Lance Storm had been saying that this was his last match, and he put on a good show. They had a few missteps, but they worked the type of match I’d expect from these guys. The opening, with mirror spots and fast take-down work, was just about perfect. They did a lot of great wrestling and pulled some big spots, like Jericho Dropkicking the back of Lance’s head when he went for a flying back elbow off the rope.

There was a ‘We miss Candito’ chant in the middle. The match moved on, thankfully without Lance’s classic weak chairshots, until Justin Credible, who was Aldo Montoya in WWF before becoming an ECW guy, and Jason came out, hit Jericho with a kendo stick and gave Lance the win over Jericho. Nice way to send him out. Dawn Marie came out with Lance Storm and you could tell that she was pregnant. Still, she was one hot pregnant broad.

This show was ON FIRE!
They have Pitbull Gary Wolfe introduce the segment about the fallen ECW brothers. They showed Big Dick Dudley, Pitbull Anthony Duarte, The Sheik (for Sabu and RVD), a guy I never heard of, Mike Lockwood (Crash Holly and also Erin O’Grady when he was in ECW), Flyboy Rocco Rock, Terry Bam-bam Gordy and Candito. It was a nice tribute for the guys who passed after ECW folded.

The three-way match between Super Crazy, Tajiri and Little Guido wasn’t great, but it had a big spot, and it let us see The Sinister Minister, Mikey Whipwreck, and The FBI one last time. The match had it’s up and downs, was too short and Super Crazy and Tajiri missed a couple of spots. Little Guido was a great choice for the third as he and Tajiri did some nice spots with Guido going for an armbar. Super Crazy took Guido into the crowd and then ascended the first balcony and did a moonsault off of it onto the FBI and Guido. Wow! I know he’d done that spot on a couple of ECW PPVs, but this one was sweet! Guido was eliminated and it ended up with Super Crazy and Tajiri. These two had a great feud in 1999 and 2000, but they seemed confused and it sorta fell apart. Super Crazy did the Three Moonsaults to get the win.

Keep the mask!
In a shocker, Rey Misterio (spelt like they did back in his ECW days) had a weak match with Psicosis. Psicosis came to the ring in his mask, then took it off. They should have had him wrestle in it, which would have been more authentic. The two of them had a WWE-style match, with Psicosis working like a big man. The crowd actually booed Rey when he did the 619. Psicosis did get a big spot when he did a Guillotine Leg Drop from the Top Rope onto Rey, who was on the guard rail. Rey did his dive out over into the crowd. This was a weak match and I’ve seen folks list it as the worst of the night. Still, we got to see the Psicosis bump out of the corner, which I always loved, and no one takes a rana from Rey as well as Psicosis.

The SmackDown! crew come down and get the kind of heat Tommy Rich and Austin Idol had when they shaved Lawler’s hair. It was dangerous heat. They guys came in and the crowd just gave it to them hard. I know a lot of ECW folks thought that this was a bad thing, but JBL was perfect in his role as the Anti-ECW heel. Plus, they gave a lot of room for the guys to shoot on.

Joel Gertner came out and JBL kicked him around a bit before he could get going. I really wish they would have let him do the announcing on the Dudley’s Match. This led to JBL and Angle getting mic time and running down ECW and their fans. This led to RVD coming out and saying all sorts of crap about the way he’s been handled in the WWE. He said he was told to lose his vocabulary and they dropped his catch phrase ‘RVD 420 means I just smoked you ass’. He said that ECW knew how to do RVD and that those guys had no business there. Rhyno then came in and gored RVD and worked over his hurt knee before the lights went out and Sabu came into the ring.

The two of them had a really good little ECW style match. Sabu looked good considering he spent 90 days in the hospital only a few months ago. He hit a lot of his great spots, including his triple jump plancha onto Rhyno in the entryway. There were ‘you got fired’ chants hurled at Rhyno. This was the type of match the crowd wanted to see and it ended with Sabu getting the pin after RVD and Bill Alphonso came in, gave Rhyno the skateboard chairshot in the corner and set him up for Sabu to hit the Arabian Skull Crusher off the top through a table. Fun match and Rhyno worked very hard, perhaps trying to get his job back.

In the single greatest transition interview of all time, Al Snow had a little chant with Head saying that it was her fault that the SmackDown! guys found out about the show and came to interrupt the PPV. I really wanted to see Al wrestle, but no. He then introduced more clips.

The RAW guys arrived and Joey Styles said that he was glad he didn’t bring his wife because Edge was there and he’s a wife stealer. That sorta said to me that Styles was actually on a bit of a leash at points, because that feeds right into the Edge/Kane storyline and not really the Matt Hardy one, though it’s obvious the meaning is there for the taking.

No matter how you spell him,
he comes up quality!
Eddy Guerrero (the ECW spelling) and Chris Benoit had a good WWE style match, though in the beginning, the crowd was so into chanting against Edge and Bischoff that they missed the match. The guys worked as their WWE characters, but still had a good match. At one point, when it was obvious that the crowd wasn’t into it, Eddy took a break and walked outside. The guys traded Superplexes and Eddy’s nose got busted. This pulled the fans back in and they had a fine match ending with Benoit getting the crossface for the win. The SmackDown! guys gave this a big ovation.

Gertner came back and kissed up to Bisch in hopes of getting a job. Bischoff did a beer spit-take that lacked the subtlety of the ones that I’ve been perfecting, but he got a good spray. He then threw his beer on Joel. This was funny.

In the announcing moment of the night, and in my opinion the best shoot segment of the whole show, Joey Styles just buried Mike Awesome for leaving ECW when he was champ because Eric Bischoff offered him $250,000 up front on a million buck contract to jump and he almost threw down the ECW on Nitro except they got a court order that he couldn’t. There was so much bile in his voice that you could tell he was being straight and also that he blamed Awesome for the fall of ECW.

That’s not a minority opinion, by the way.

Mick tried to play nice and mentioned that Awesome was a great wrestler and a star until he was criminally misused in WCW as The 70s Guy. No one mentioned that the guy can’t even walk down the street without blowing out his knee.

The match between Masato Tanaka and Mike Awesome was the highlight of the show. I’m one of the few who was really looking forward to this one because these two had some wars back in the day. This was a garbage wrestling match in the style of FMW in Japan. These two did some matches like these in ECW, but mostly this was a Japanese type spotfest.

Basically, the gist was you could do anything to Masato and he’d come back. Tanaka actually didn’t get too much offense, though he took two powerbombs through tables. The first one, where Awesome was on the apron, landed him wrong, almost completely on his neck. The second one went perfect and was from inside the ring to the outside. Awesome followed this up with a slingshot over the top onto Tanaka who was still laying in the pile of the broken table. Tanaka did get a few spots in, like a great swinging DDT onto the pieces of a broken table. Awesome also did a jumping back demon bomb onto the same remnants.

After the slingshot onto Tanaka, the ref counted three on the outside and that was the match. Great stuff. A brilliant match that purists will hate but it did establish Awesome as a major bad ass. JBL watched it and seemed to appreciate it.

And Mike Awesome had to limp back to the dressing room.

Paul Heyman comes out and cries. It’s so obvious that it meant so much for him to have his night and when he finally got the mic he said “I’m not crying, my eyes are red because I just split a joint with RVD.” He then ripped one of the greatest shoot promos in the history of the business. He wailed on Bischoff for a while, mentioning that it must kill him to see that they are having an ECW reunion and not a WCW reunion. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing one of those. He then turned to Edge, who he said was a wife stealer and then said he had two words for him: Matt Freakin’ Hardy. This got a big pop. Heyman then said that the only reason JBL was champ for a year was that HHH didn’t want to work Tuesdays. Ouch. The guys played these off, but it was a great and stinging promo.

The main event was really where they gave the fans what they wanted. The Dudleys came first, complete with old skool tie-dye, though no Sign Guy. They got into the ring when they announced Tommy Dreamer, who came in with a look of pure delight on his face. Enter Sandman then kicked up and The Sandman was on the balcony, hangin’ with the fan.

In one of the funnier moments, a fan standing next to The Sandman grabbed the cane and hit himself in the head a whole bunch of times. Sandman didn’t seem happy with that, but that’s what happens when you’re in the crowd. He made his way down and the entire crowd was singing along, something I don’t even remember when ECW was hot.

When he got to ringside, he joined Dreamer after drinking a beer and dumped a beer over a woman who I think was his wife and licked some of it off and then went over to a blonde Eleckra and poured some on her chest and they licked some of it off. I wonder how Beaulah felt about that. They also show CW Anderson, who the WWE has started to show an interest in, and Chris Chetti.

Right as the match was going to start, the bWo showed up! Big Stevie Cool, Hollywood Nova and The Blue Guy. Sadly, only Stevie got to talk. This led to Stevie giving Sandman a StevieKick! Kid Kash came in and did a plancha! This led to Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney coming out with their chairs. They cleaned house, and give chairshots to Nova, which led Joey Styles to note “that’s what you get for playing Simon Dean, Nova.”

They were eventually run off and the match started. They used a cheese grater. They brawled. They used tables. This was a good brawl, kinda like the Cena vs. JBL match, but more traditional. After a while, Dreamer and Sandman put the Dudley in stereo figure fours, and the Impact Players, Credible and Storm, came out with a barbed wire globe-thingee. Justin gave Sandman That’s Incredible on the sphere of wire. Wow.

Francine came out and gave Dreamer a low blow, which brought out Beaulah! CAT FIGHT! CAT FIGHT! CAT FIIIIIIIGHT!!!!! Only Joey Styles can make that call right. They rolled around and Credible went to nail Beaulah, but she ducked and he hit Storm instead. This brought in Dreamer, who was bleeding bad to give him a giant hug. They then gave stereo DDTs. It’s nice to see a family doing things together.

After a lot more brawling and craziness, the Dudleys hit the 3D through a table, and then get another table. Spike Dudley, with his old gimmick, came out and gave the guys lighter fluid. They set up a table, put it on fire and powerbomb Dreamer through it. Unlike Japan, Dreamer didn’t catch fire himself and looked OK after. This allowed the Dudleys to get the pin.

After that, Sandman was standing over Dreamer and started calling for a beer. Mike Florez said that he was obviously calling out Stone Cold, and indeed as if summoned, Stone Cold, who was in ECW for a few months and did the greatest promos in the history of the sport while he was there, entered the ring to a tremendous response. He called down the entire ECW locker room (with exceptions like RVD, Sabu, and a few others, and also included CW and Chetti) and then WWE guys, who made their way down and Bischoff joined the announce table. This led to a brawl that the ECW guys won. JBL went after The Blue Meanie and potatoed him with real punches, busting him open. There’s been heat between the two for a while.

Eventually they ran them from the ring and Stone Cold called for Mick to drag Bischoff to the ring. Mick paused at the top of the ramp while the WWE guys were leaving, which was weird. Mick delivered Eric to the ring where Austin had Rey give him the 619, Benoit the Flying Headbutt, and The Dudleys the 3D. This was the ultimate finish, as they finally beat the guy who put them out of business. Austin then gave Eric the Stunner after referencing the fact that he joined ECW after Eric fired him over the phone.

I can’t say how great a PPV this was. Easily the best in a couple of years. Probably as good as WrestleMania XX. I loved it and it was like watching my wrestling past come back to life. There’s word that this may be a huge success, with at least one insider saying ‘We’ve never got this sort of load for Wrestlemanias’ and the WWE’s site couldn’t handle the number of requests. It’s looking like they may try and launch something out of this, or at least give a few guys jobs.

And I’m ultimately happy.

Talk about today's column in the forums!

Chris Garcia

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