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   Fri, June 10, 2005



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Countdown to ECW One Night Stand
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff




The time for talk is over.

After months of speculation and build-up, ECW One Night Stand is finally here. The buzz around the wrestling world has been greater than most WWE pay-per-views, and there is a hightened sense of anticipation, especially when it comes to just how much WWE talent will get involved.

Because this is not an ordinary PPV, where feuds have been established, the SLAM! crew is taking a different approach this time 'round. Instead of our roundtable predictions, three of SLAM!'s historians are going to offer a perspective on each of the matches, and how they should unfold on Sunday. Let's get things started.


TAG TEAM GRUDGE MATCH


Sandman/Tommy Dreamer vs. The Dudley Boys

  • Bob Kapur

    Dreamer and Sandman's feud, described in detail on The Rise and Fall of ECW DVD, elevated both of these men to hardcore icon status. Dreamer became the cornerstone of the company until it eventually folded, and even Sandman's misguided venture into WCW couldn't hurt his popularity with ECW fans.

    The Dudleys, on the other hand, may be the most hated team ever. It still amazes me how much the fans despised these two. The only disappointing thing about their return is that it will be virtually impossible for them to play the heel role, which they do so well - the crowd reaction to their return to Raw this week confirmed that.

    As for the match, after the obligatory 5-minute-plus entrance by the Sandman, and (hopefully) a classic Dudley introduction by Joel Gertner, things will get really ugly really fast. Expect a bloody brawling affair full of chairs, canes, (flaming) tables, barbed wire, and maybe even the kitchen sink. I expect this is the match that will feature the inevitable locker-room-clearing brawl between the ECW roster and the WWE invasion force, and will end up in a pier-six brawl in the stands.

    Pick: No winner.


    GRUDGE MATCH


    Lance Storm (with Dawn Marie) vs. Chris Jericho

  • Chris Gramlich

    Another interesting (read: odd) match-up, since Jericho was an ancillary wrestler at best in his very, very brief ECW stay, and actually never faced Storm - a major ECW figure, winning the tag belts three times and forming the Impact Players with Justin Credible. Seeing as RVD, who would have been an excellent counterpoint to Storm, as the two had a string of great matches in ECW, is returning from an injury, a match between those two would have been a better fit for this ECW show.

    However, with Jericho, there is still an incredible amount of history. Storm's first wrestling match was against Jericho (a 15-minute draw in August of 1990), they teamed together in the indies as Sudden Impact, in FMW and in SWM as the Thrillseekers (please, no jokes about Storm's charisma) and even briefly faced each other in the WWE. Despite his charismatic deficiencies throughout his career, Storm's technical abilities were/are beyond question, and with Jericho being Jericho, this reunion of two Hart Brother students could steal the show. Winner: Jericho


    GRUDGE MATCH


    Chris Benoit versus Eddie Guererro

  • Jon Waldman

    Much like Jericho vs. Storm, Benoit and Guererro's history is not ECW-centered. The two did lock horns in Philly on a few occasions (primarily in tag team matches), but their wars are better known from their days in Japan and recent bouts in WWE. Also like the Storm/Jericho encounter, this bout would probably have been better served with Guererro vs. Dean Malenko, who had a memorable 2/3 falls bout (among other standout matches) before moving to WCW. With Malenko retired, however, that match seemed to be put on hold.

    The difference maker in this match is the teased feud between these two from Smackdown this past week. Eddie's character is incredibly strong as a heel right now, so we know who the fans will be booing here. The match screams for a WWE-style clusterfrick, with Guererro possibly bringing in someone (maybe fellow Radical Perry Saturn, who has a neck injury and can't wrestle, and his ECW teammate John Kronus) to beat Benoit down until Malenko comes in to even up the odds. Taking a singles match and developing a tag team of six-man tag match is something ECW did on a few occasions, and it makes a lot of sense here. Winner: Benoit('s team).


    THREE WAY DANCE MATCH


    Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Little Guido vs. Super Crazy

  • Bob Kapur

    These guys had a series of three-way-dances on the company's too-short-lived TNN show, and they never failed to entertain. Despite all of the cringe-worthy chair shots, Super Crazy's suicidal lucha dives, and Tajiri's brutal kicks to the head (or maybe because of them!), watching these three tear it up was always some great fun.

    It will be interesting to see if WWE will let Super Crazy showcase all of his high-flying moves, or if they will ground him like they do with their own cruiserweights. Hopefully, they let him go wild, which should result in one of the better, if not the very best matches of the night. Pick: Tajiri


    EXTREME LUCHADORE MATCH


    Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psychosis

    Chris Gramlich

  • It's interesting that this match is being included as an example of the best ECW had/has to offer, especially considering the number of signature players who don't have matches or aren't even included on the card. (What about Raven?) Neither Mysterio nor Psychosis spent more than a couple months in ECW in the mid-'90s, aside from Psychosis' brief visit towards the end of ECW's run. However, undeniably ECW opened North America's eyes (particularly with the death match from A November To Remember '95, which Mysterio won, by the way) to the potential cruiserweights and Luchadores had, which WCW would notice and exploit throughout the Monday wars, to their advantage, and continued to push them until their demise, with some of ECW's best three-way dances often comprised of such wrestlers.

    If both Rey and Mysterio are healthy, it should be an incredible high-spot filled match, just like back in the day. Winner: Mysterio

    Final Thoughts

  • Chris Gramlich

    Ahhhh, speculation, the most imprecise means of discerning any carbon-based life-form has. While, unquestionably, ECW One Night Stand would be better off without the WWE invasion angle -- an angle they could have built slowly if they are serious about bringing ECW back in one form or another, as appearances suggest -- which hopefully will be confined to a single burly brawl. Vince loves to meddle with ideas not his own, to the point of ruination, so any number of bad ECW vs. WWE match-ups have the potential of being made on the fly.

    However, money bets include Taz(z) returning to Brooklyn bad-ass "Human Suplex Machine" form and destroying someone/everyone, Sabu doing something so incredibly death-defying (and possibly stupid) we'll wonder how he's not dead yet and, hopefully, the Dudleys antagonising the crowd to the point of a near-riot, in a return to abusive, foul-mouthed heel form.


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