PTBN’s Excellent WWE Network Adventure: ECW One Night Stand 2006

As many of you are aware, WWE Network is pretty packed with all sorts of content. And as you may also know, we here at Place to Be Nation love long term, in depth projects. So, as part of this initiative, members of the PTBN Staff are choosing programs that coincide with this week in history and after watching each program, they will share their thoughts, notes and recommendations with our readers. So, settle in and enjoy this epic ride through wrestling history!

Show: ECW One Night Stand 2006

Best Segment:

Dave Hall: Paul Heyman’s welcome. This event did not need to rely on many segments, and the small segments were very frustrating (see later on), however Paul Heyman proved again why he is one of the best on the microphone ever. From pumping his product to putting over his talent to putting himself over, Heyman was funny and intense all at the same time. A really enjoyable opening little segment.

Calum McDougall: Tazz vs Jerry Lawler was a great way to start the reboot of ECW, with an all-time legend from the original ECW making light work of the King who has always been outspoken against the Land of Extreme. This was quintessential WWE vs ECW match up and kicks off the show with a definitive win for ECW.

Jacob Williams: Mick Foley has developed a bit of a reputation in recent years for being a bit too self serious in his appearances, so it was fun to see him showing his trademark cheesy sense of humor in his pre-match promo. From his praise of the Stephanie and bragging about selling out (Madison Square Garden, that is!), his prodding of the bloodthirsty ECW faithful for cheap heat was very entertaining.

Steve Riddle: To me, it’s a toss up between two promos and one is the opening promo by Paul as he was beaming with pride about ECW being back, and you could tell that he was hoping to see the brand return to the prominence it once had. The other highlight was JBL’s awesome promo as he runs down the ECW brand, even bringing up what happened last year when he roughed up the Blue Meanie. He also takes time to mention that he is taking Tazz’s spot on Smackdown in the commentary team, and Tazz gets a great jab in that JBL and Michael Cole will be the blind leading the blind. I also couldn’t help but chuckle when JBL called the fans out on their “You Suck Dick” chant and asked who’s the fruit booty now.

Best Match:

Dave Hall: The FBI vs. Tajiri & Super Crazy: While not the most high-profile match, all four guys worked their asses off to try and steal the show, and in my opinion they managed to have the best in-ring match. Super Crazy and Little Guido/Nunzio seemed to thrive with having been shed of the “comedy shackles”, and they were outstanding. The match was fast-paced, intense, momentum shifting and really enjoyable. It surprised me that it was this good.

Calum McDougall: My favorite match on this show has always been Dreamer/Funk/Beulah vs. Edge/Foley/Lita. From the pre-match promos to the brutality and carnage that happened between the bell. It was absolutely superb and it was everything you could hope for in an ECW rules match. You get Funk being his crazy old man best, Dreamer and Foley doing what they excel at, and to cap it off you get Edge finish the match in the most Edge way possible. Outstanding from all involved.

Jacob Williams: The intergender tag match was just a violent, absurd spectacle that fit perfectly on this type of show with its perfect mix of sports entertainment nonsense and ECW insanity. They pushed the violence enough to pull me into the match without quite going completely over the edge (no pun intended). Funk charging back to the ring bandaged was an awesome moment, as his eye cut looked legit and scary. The shot of him crying “My eyeeeeeeee!” while blood pours onto the mat is still burned in my brain. Everyone played their role well, and in a match they could have easily could have broken down and lost momentum, they kept it moving forward by connecting all the wild moments. It was exhausting in the best possible way. Credit to all involved for making this somehow work.

Steve Riddle: As great as the six-person tag was, my pick for match of the night was easily Cena vs. RVD for the WWE Championship. This was a huge moment for RVD and for the revival of ECW as he cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase here, and the crowd is ready to gut Cena when he comes out and of course we have the great sequence of Cena trying to toss the shirt into the crowd only for them to repeatedly toss it back. I of course would be remiss by not mentioning the iconic “If Cena Wins, We Riot” sign, and I wonder if many were hoping Cena would win just to see if the fans would riot. The match is tremendous as both guys had great chemistry and Cena got to a point where he was almost trolling the fans and loving it, and he really carried the match as RVD did seem to be coasting a bit which seems weird given this was pretty much a gift for him. I will never not chuckle hearing the fans thank Edge when he puts Cena through the table even though a few minutes ago, they were dying to see Edge bloodied in the six-person tag. While the ending was a bit bizarre with Paul counting the three, it was a great moment for RVD to finally see him reach the brass ring and clearly be positioned as the top dog on ECW.C

Most Cringeworthy Moment:

Dave Hall: Chairs Shots and Kendo Sticks: Looking back on this event, in light of the recent changes to wrestling (and other sports) around concussions and head injuries, was very difficult. The chair shots direct to the head in both the Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer vs. Edge & Mick Foley match, as well as the very stiff chair shots in the Balls Mahoney vs. Masato Tanaka match, were very difficult to watch. The ones in the second match seemed especially unnecessary. Throw on top of that the unprotected Singapore Cane shots on Eugene from Sandman, which were vicious, and I found it a little difficult to wonder why this was ever allowed to occur on a wrestling card. Thankfully it was not in every match

Calum McDougall: I don’t mind the violence at all in the six-man, it’s my favorite match on the show because of the carnage as I’ve said, but I wince any time there’s fire involved. So much can go wrong and its stupidly dangerous, and then you see that Foley’s clothes were on fire before he goes into the barbed wire board. I don’t care how much you plan or how many precautions you take, fire is too much for me. Mick Foley’s pre-match promo was absolute comedy gold, which Tazz couldn’t even help but laugh at. Stephanie McMahon is the ultimate cheap heat in front of an ECW crowd. #LongLiveTheAlliance

Jacob Williams: Plenty of candidates for this category. You almost have to separate it into “bad taste” cringe and “concern for the wellbeing of the wrestlers” cringe. Luckily, the Eugene caning segment has a little from column A and a little from column B. The entire premise of the Eugene character and how he’s portrayed can be off-putting, so seeing him brutally caned was uncomfortable.

Steve Riddle: There were a couple of choices here with one seeing 60-something year old Terry Funk doing the things he was doing, and it was a bit sad seeing it and also sent chills down my spine. The other main choice was seeing Sandman beat the piss out of Eugene with the Singapore cane which makes you cringe a bit. We could also be here all day talking about the vicious shots these guys were taking as 2006 was the peak of garbage wrestling in the WWE.

Funniest Line/Moment: 

Dave Hall: The crowd’s response when John Cena threw his t-shirt into the crowd is still hilarious to see, even when you know it is coming. The t-Shirt was thrown back to the ring on at least five or six occasions, and you can see fans spitting on it before throwing it back. It was funny the first time, and funny this time.

Calum McDougall: Mick Foley’s pre-match promo was absolute comedy gold, which Tazz couldn’t even help but laugh at. The Stephanie McMahon is the ultimate cheap heat in front of an ECW crowd. #LongLiveTheAlliance

Jacob Williams: This show had more one liners than a evening with D’Amato, so this was a tough choice. I think I cracked most for Foley shouting out the Invasion, but I’ll give an honorable mention to Tazz saying that the ECW fans were startled by pyro because they weren’t use to seeing it.

Steve Riddle: Mick Foley was the MVP of this night as he busted out two great lines, first swerving the fans saying that he sold out by admitting that he sold out Madison Square Garden. But that is topped when he puts over the greatest owner in ECW history, Stephanie McMahon which was so awesome. Long Live the Alliance, Long Live the Alliance!!!C

Highlights:

Dave Hall: This card was full of highlights. Rob Van Dam’s title win over John Cena was a fantastic crowning moment. It was just a shame he ruined it just a week or so later. Sabu and Rey Mysterio put on a great match (apart from the terrible finish), in which Rey learned from his mistakes the previous year and won over the crowd. The tag team match mentioned earlier was exceptional, and Angle and Orton had a great battle. There was great work by Orton and Cena in response to the crowd, and Funk, Dreamer, Edge and Foley put on an ECW classic hardcore match. But in the end it was the crowd that really stole the show. They were amazing. I had forgotten how hot they were throughout the night, with their chants dominating both the commentary and action at times. The crowd made the main event a truly memorable experience

Calum McDougall: Randy Orton coming out to Burn in My Light was a highlight right out of the gate, I’ve always preferred that theme to Voices and Legend Killer Orton from this time was awesome. JBL’s anti-ECW rant was excellent; he was on top form at this time too. But overall the crowd was hot from start to finish, and it built to a frenzy for the WWE Title match. Much like the War Games we did a few weeks back, that had that big fight feel that is difficult to come by these days, and the soccer-like crowd who you thought would actually riot if Cena won were a huge part of that. I’ve got to give a shout out to Cena playing the guy behind enemy lines heel role to perfection on this night.

Jacob Williams: As expected, the crowd was seismic throughout the night , which most benefited the main event. It reminded me of a rabid home playoff crowd, and the WWE guys were trying to survive. Tazz and Styles did a great job on commentary of being lighthearted and fun without taking away from the big moments and angles. Cena really elevated his performance in the moment and fed off the crowd, really playing the role of a situational heel perfectly for this show. King and Tazz was a nice quick way to fire up the crowd. Orton and Angle each played their roles perfectly to put on a great match. Orton demanding two refs help him to the back was killer heel work. Throughout the entire show, the wrestlers matched what worked for this unique event, and it gave the whole show an organic, refreshing feel.B

Steve Riddle: Paul’s opening promo was tremendous as usual and he was at his peak during this run; It was cool to see back-to-back shows at the Hammerstein Ballroom; Perfectly fine having Tazz squash Lawler to finally shut him up and it was cool seeing Joey get involved as well; Funny how one year ago Angle was tearing up ECW as part of the WWE Invaders, and now one year later he comes here as ECW’s new stud and the crowd embraces him; Angle/Orton was a solid match and on any other night might have been the best match on the card; As good as the tag match was, it would’ve been cool to see one more Three-Way Dance with Guido, Tajiri, and Crazy; The double Tarantula spot was really cool; Rey/Sabu is a pretty cool matchup on paper and they put on a pretty great match; I loved Rey with the big robe as he almost had a Rocky Balboa-like vibe going; Lita and Edge were at their sleaze best on this night; It was pretty cool seeing Beulah get involved even though she didn’t do anything for most of the match; That 6-person tag was so violent and kudos to everyone going all out even though it was a bit uncomfortable seeing Funk at his age doing this stuff; Only Edge could make his pin on Beulah look legit; The crowd was incredible all night and they hit the complete crescendo during the main event between Cena and RVD

Lowlights:

Dave Hall: Not too many. Tazz vs Lawler was so short, it felt very irrelevant. Balls Mahoney and Masato Tanaka’s match was a big let down. I was also a little disappointed in the commentary. Joey Styles and Tazz seemed a little lacklustre, and while they tried hard, they just didn’t have the chemistry to truly rise to the occasion. But the end of the Sabu vs. Rey Mysterio match was truly aweful. The “medic”’, who was never seen before, or after, ended the match with both men “hurt”, and then the very next match we see total brutality and bleeding, and this moron is nowhere to be seen. Rey and Sabu had worked hard, and Rey had even softened the crowd towards him, and then the ending is just horrible

Calum McDougall: “The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it will be contested under Extreme Rules”… the first sign that this wouldn’t be as faithful a representation of the original ECW as everyone might have thought. I hated the finish to the Sabu/Mysterio match that followed, the match was really starting to hit full throttle and it just abruptly finished after a spot that’s no worse than any have taken before, especially Sabu! Other than that, the chair shots in the Balls Mahoney/Masato Tanaka match were unnecessary and difficult to watch. I don’t mind chair shots normally, but given the knowledge of concussions we have now, I was praying them to let up a bit.

Jacob Williams: There was no reason for Tanaka to have his skull crushed by a chair, especially for a filler match. I get that they were in a tough spot for a finish for Rey and Sabu, but the stoppage really didn’t feel earned for an ECW show, and that was compounded by 60+ year old Terry Funk refusing to quit after having his eye sliced up. I might get caned by ECW fans for this, but I didn’t feel RVD rose to the occasion the way Cena did in the main event. The finish was sketchy too, with one too many steps to get RVD the win, deflating the crowd just a bit for the big moment. Obviously it was still a great match, but part of me thinks it could have been more of an all-timer given the crowd and atmosphere.

Steve Riddle: Lawler couldn’t be bothered to get a legit crown as the one he had looked like the cheapest thing ever; Pyro does not belong in ECW; The F.B.I. is nothing without Big Sal E. Graziano; It’s too bad Angle and Show were such a mess in their personal lives at this point because they were getting booked so strong at this point; As great as the match was, the ending to Rey/Sabu was so bad as Rey could’ve used a clean win and Sabu didn’t need to win; Tanaka/Mahoney felt like a complete throwaway match and seeing Tanaka take a nasty chair shot felt totally out of place; Poor Nick Dinsmore, he had so much potential and now he’s reading poems about ECW only to get caned by Sandman; I thought that Styles and Tazz would have better chemistry than they did though maybe it will grow over time once the TV show started.C

Wild Card Baby!

Dave Hall: If you didn’t know already, this is Vince’s show: While the show really captured the essence of ECW and tried to prepare the new audience for the “relaunch”, Vince had to remind us on several occasions that WWE talent is better than the ECW originals. Big Show came out to destroy everyone in the tag team match, JBL abuses the fans and ECW, and no one comes out to deal with him, Edge gets to denigrate Beulah. Only Sandman got to stand tall, and that was because Eugene was still a low level character. The only “ECW”guys that got to stand tall were those who had made a name for themselves in WWE for several years (Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam). I felt it detracted from the event at times.

Calum McDougall: Gone So Soon?: A special shout out goes to Super Crazy, Tajiri, Terry Funk, Beulah and Masato Tanaka who were all extremely prominent and kept strong through the whole show, but who would never show up on ECW on Sci-Fi following this night. Funk and Beulah aside, they could’ve really done with talent of the level of the other guys. Super Crazy was even a contracted wrestler but was left to be fodder on Raw and Heat when he could’ve done something good on ECW.

Jacob Williams: ECW Deep Cut: At one point Styles references an infamous match between Beulah and Bill Alfonso where Alfonso had to have a transfusion due to blood lost. If you haven’t seen it like me, check it out.

Steve Riddle: Surprise Doppelganger Appearance: During JBL’s promo in the balcony, if you look behind him there is a fan wearing a Rey Mysterio mask and with the facial hair, I could’ve sworn that was the real Rey Mysterio.C

Final Thoughts:

Dave Hall: This card was outstanding from start to finish. The opener was there to put Tazz over, the tag match was awesome, both title matches were great, and the hardcore tag match was amazing. The only match that was a bot of a letdown was the Balls Mahoney vs. Masato Tanaka match, and it was not offensive. To me this cannot get full marks due to the horrible finish of the Sabu vs. Rey match, and the way Big Show and JBL were allowed to do what they did. But overall this was great, with a truly perfect main event. 9/10

Calum McDougall: My first thought when I turned the show on was how hot and excited the crowd was that ECW was back. Unfortunately, after such a high to begin the only way was down, and boy did it go down. But one this night, the ECW brand was back with a bang! 9/10

Jacob Williams: A fun, entertaining show with nothing truly terrible and a killer crowd that would probably be more of a classic if the two big championship matches would have delivered just a bit more. 8/10

Steve Riddle: Overall, this was a really fun show with a completely different atmosphere compared to last year. One Night Stand 2005 was more of an epilogue to the original ECW while this year’s show was the kickoff to the revival of ECW. It is kind of sad knowing what would happen to ECW in the coming months and how it became something completely different than what it was supposed to be, but that doesn’t take away how awesome this show was. There were a lot of great moments on this show and seeing RVD win the WWE Title was one of the year’s best moments, and there was not a lot to complain about aside from Mahoney/Tanaka being completely useless. While this show didn’t quite reach the same status that One Night Stand 2005 did, this was still a great show and one of the highlights of 2006. 9/10

Author: Place to Be Nation Staff

Place to Be Nation Staff pieces feature any number of our contributors who are multifaceted when it comes to Pop Culture expertise.