June 1, 2008
One Night Stand WWE's best this year
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling
In what was originally an ECW reunion show, One Night Stand is now a night of gimmick matches with wrestlers from all three brands. On the surface, it sounds exciting and, to be honest, Sunday night’s show was chock-full of excitement and intensity.
The Undertaker and Edge have battled for the World Heavyweight title for more than a year and tonight’s Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match for the vacant belt got off to a quick start with ‘Taker taking the early advantage. Bear in mind, too, that if Undertaker loses, he’s apparently done with WWE.
Undertaker lands Old School early on and goes for a ladder, only to have Edge kick it back into him. Edge sets up one table on top of another and turns into a ladder shot from Undertaker. More action on the floor has Undertaker knocked down after setting up two more tables and Edge then brings another ladder into the ring. ‘Taker gets back in and pulls Edge down. Undertaker goes for Snake Eyes, but Edge escapes and pushes Undertaker into a ladder that was set-up in the corner. Edge then gets the same done to him moments later. Undertaker climbs the ladder, gets challenged by Edge and both go down in a heap.
Undertaker gets up first and lands Snake Eyes on Edge onto a ladder. A big boot into the same ladder lands Edge on the floor, where he takes two chair shots across his back. As ‘Taker goes for his leg drop on the apron, Edge brings up a chair and hits Undertaker in the knee. Edge wedges a ladder between the ring and ring barrier and low blows ‘Taker going for a Last Ride. Two chair shots to the head put Undertaker down. Edge puts Undertaker on a table and frog splashes him through the wood from the SmackDown! Announce table.
Edge goes back inside and sets up the ladder. ‘Taker pushes Edge down, but Edge lands on his feet and spears the Dead Man. Even so, the crowd at the San Diego Sports Arena is a tad on the quiet side. Undertaker’s right leg is between a ladder and Edge hits four chair shots in a version of the Con-chair-to. Undertaker tries to get up and gets two more chairs to the skull. Edge gets another chair for the original Con-chair-to only for ‘Taker to kick him away. Edge eats a chokeslam on the ladder between the ring and barrier and is motionless on the floor.
Undertaker starts to scale the ladder, but gets Pearl Harbored by Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder. ‘Taker fights back and sends both through tables on the floor with chokeslams. Edge gets up, spears Undertaker off the apron and sets up one table on top of another in the ring. As Edge climbs the ladder, Undertaker gets back up and nails a huge Last Ride through both tables. Undertaker tries to go back up the ladder only to get jumped by Bam Neely and Chavo Guerrero. Bam and Chavo both miss chair shots and taste steel of their own.
Undertaker almost gets to the top of the ladder, but Edge is up and pushes him over the top and through four tables. Edge is to his feet, climbs the ladder and grabs the title.
Winner and new World Heavyweight champion: Edge
Match Rating: 8/10
The Undertaker is done with WWE. Yeah, and Nick Hogan is a safe driver.
Vickie Guerrero comes down and celebrates in the aisle with La Familia amid a shower of fireworks. Michael Cole and Mick Foley end the show by saying we have “possibly” seen the last of the Undertaker. The show ends with ‘Taker writhing on the floor, but eventually getting up under his own power and staggering and limping up the aisle. Cole then says his career is dead, but his legacy lives forever. Undertaker turns to the crowd, nods his head and goes to the back.
This match solidified One Night Stand as WWE's top pay-per-view showing in 2008. Yes, for real.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Night Of Champions on June 29.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler start the event and we get right to the ring as Lillian Garcia has the opening introductions.
Match #1: Falls Count Anywhere – Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga
Hardy hits the Whisper In The Wind a minute in and Umaga answers with a black hole slam. Hardy ducks a charge and Umaga winds up on the floor, where Hardy gets a near-fall. Umaga then pitches Hardy into the crowd and they battle by the entranceway where Hardy tattoos the Samoan Bulldozer with an orange construction barrel and then after not knowing how to use it, sprays Umaga with a fire extinguisher.
The two battle backstage and Hardy rides down a railing to clothesline Umaga for another near-fall. Next up is a visit to the souvenir stand area and ATM machine and ultimately outside where the San Diego sun is at its peak.
Hardy rallies to run Umaga’s head into the back of an 18-wheeler. The match heads to another truck, where Hardy kicks Umaga to the concrete. He then climbs to the top of the truck and lands a Swanton Bomb for the three count. Of course, garbage cans conveniently hid our view of this.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Match Rating: 7/10
A solid start to the show for sure. Foley and Cole take the screen and we get Foley explaining the Stretcher Match concept. San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman is in the house as Mike Adamle and “the Tazz” hype the Singapore Cane Match.
The ring crew is setting up the poles with the Singapore Canes, leading us to the next bout.
Match #2: Singapore Cane Match – CM Punk vs. Chavo Guerrero (with Bam Neely) vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. John Morrison vs. The Big Show
As expected, Show dominates right from the get-go. Show misses an elbow on Dreamer and then all four grab canes from high atop the corner poles and work over Show before then going after one another. This match still doesn’t seem right without The Sandman. Dreamer hits a pumphandle suplex on Morrison with the cane in a nice spot. Punk and Chavo go to the floor and Chavo blasts Merriman with the cane. Merriman then gets Punk’s weapon and clocks Chavo.
The Miz attacks Show on the floor and as Show goes to clobber Miz with the steps, Morrison cuts Show’s legs out from under him. The steps catch Show in the face and we have our first juice of the evening, folks. Back inside, Dreamer counters Go To Sleep from Punk in a Texas cloverleaf. All four are down after a superplex on Chavo from Punk (assisted by a Morrison powerbomb) hits Dreamer on the way down. Show goes spastic on Miz and Neely on the floor with the bamboo and then puts the garbage can full of Singapore Canes in the ring and beats the tar out of everyone.
Dreamer stands up to Show, but gets a chokeslam for his efforts. A head shot from a cane later and Show pins Dreamer with one foot to be the No. 1 contender to Kane’s ECW title. The two will now meet at Night of Champions in four weeks and Kane is shown watching a monitor backstage.
Winner and No. 1 contender for ECW title: The Big Show
Match Rating: 6/10
Todd Grisham is in the back with Mr. McMahon and Vince yammers on and on about his $1 million giveaway on Raw. He calls this situation “McMahon’s Million Dollar Mania.” Vince then tells Grisham all WWE employees are exempt from winning the cash and out comes Ron Simmons for a “Damn!”
Match #3: First Blood Match – John Cena vs. John “Bradshaw” Layfield
At the bell, JBL and Cena each take a pad off a top turnbuckle. JBL tosses Cena to the floor (rather, Cena had to jump over the top) and the match starts to slow. The crowd seems to be behind Bradshaw and against Cena. On the floor, JBL assaults Cena’s head continuously, but no blood. JBL finds a chair, but misses a chairshot with Cena’s head against the post. A shot with the mic finds its mark, though.
JBL takes Cena back in the ring and hits him again with the mic. Cena retaliates with his shoulderblocks and Five Knuckle Shuffle. Bradshaw counters a FU attempt by dropping Cena across the top rope. Cena gets thrown into the post, but still no juice. JBL throws the steps at Cena and Cena sidesteps. JBL tries to DDT Cena on the steps and ends up going back-first on the steps. Cena then uses the mic on Bradshaw and rubs his face on the steps.
Cena brings a chair in the ring, gets tripped by JBL and then run into an exposed buckle – still no blood. Bradshaw misses a Clothesline From Hell and gets bulldogged onto the chair and still no blood. JBL gets a chain wrapped inside his towel and hits Cena in the gut. He then misses a roundhouse and Cena connects with the FU. JBL kicks Cena into the ropes and grabs a bullwhip. Cena low-blows JBL and locks on the STFU with the chain and JBL’s blood spewing from his mouth spells the end of the match. How extreme.
Winner: John Cena
Match Rating: 6/10
Batista is sitting backstage and Randy Orton wishes him luck. Orton tells Dave about the Draft in a couple weeks and says they could be leaders of the same show and be better than DX ever was. Batista stares him down and walks away.
Match #4: “I Quit” Match – Beth Phoenix vs. Melina
Beth drills the post and Melina targets the injured arm and shoulder. Melina cinches in a Fujiwara armbar and then a cross armbreaker. Still no quit from the Glamazon. Beth picks up Melina and counters into a running powerbomb. A move that contorts Melina literally in half gets Melina to finally quit. Ouch. Seriously.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Match Rating: 6/10
Cena is in the WWE doctor’s office and gets interrupted by Mickie James and Adamle, with the latter inviting the two to Tijuana. Cena and Mickie decline and before he leaves, Adamle gives a bottle of Mamajuana to Cena and he and Mickie discuss giving each other a rear naked choke and a head scissors.
Edge is readying himself backstage.
The AT & T Mobile Vote has Shawn Michaels winning the Stretcher Match over Batista, 59% to 41%. That rivalry is then recapped and the match is next.
Match #5: Stretcher Match – Shawn Michaels vs. Batista
Batista clotheslines HBK to the floor and flings him into the stretcher. Michaels pushes Batista into the post, lands an enziguiri and pushes the stretcher into a seated Batista twice. HBK tries to place Batista on the stretcher, but Batista powers out on two occasions before whipping Michaels into the post.
In the ring, Batista goes over Michaels’ back before tasting the post after missing a charge. HBK hits a flying forearm, nips up and hits the top-rope elbowdrop, but damages his back in the process. Michaels tunes up the band and runs into a Batista clothesline. Michaels gets out of a Batista Bomb attempt and superkicks Batista onto a stretcher.
As Michaels goes to wheel the stretcher to the finish line, Batista grabs the ring skirt and falls off the stretcher. HBK pushes the gurney into Batista twice, until Batista blocks the third attempt and shoves it into Michaels’ face. A spear and Batista Bomb inside the ring renders HBK almost out and he gets rolled onto a stretcher.
Chris Jericho runs out and attempts to rile HBK, who rolls back in the ring after Y2J gets escorted to the back. Michaels tries Sweet Chin Music, but falls limp. Batista drills a second Batista Bomb after telling Michaels he’s not sorry and he doesn’t love him (a la Michaels to Ric Flair at WrestleMania 24). Back on the stretcher, Batista is rolling the gurney to the finish line and out comes Jericho again as Batista stalls again. HBK rolls off the stretcher and eats a spinebuster on the steps in the aisle. Batista then puts Michaels back on the stretcher and pushes Michaels across the line.
Match Rating: 7/10
The endless Triple H-Orton feud is shown and the WWE championship match is up next.
Match #6: Last Man Standing Match for WWE Championship – Triple H vs. Randy Orton
Orton pitches HHH to the floor 10 seconds into the match only to feel the steps himself. The champ dominates the next few minutes and hurls Orton into the post twice. Orton rallies with his sweet dropkick and the count is on. Orton charges HHH against the ropes and over the top goes the challenger.
Triple H takes the monitors off the ECW announce table and pounds away on Orton on top of the table. The challenger gets out of a Pedigree try and DDTs HHH on the floor with the champ’s feet on the table. Triple H gets up at the count of nine. Orton goes for an RKO on the exposed floor, but tastes the post. Orton’s up at the count of six.
Orton kicks away at HHH in the ring and drops a knee on his chest. Orton throws the steps into the ring and hammers the champ right between the eyes. HHH is up at nine again as Orton gets an extension cord from under the ring to choke out Triple H.
The champ gets up one more time and tosses Orton over the top (very awkwardly, too) to counter an RKO. Orton tells the ref he’s hurt his collarbone (I believe it!) and HHH stops the count for more punishment.
HHH goes under the ring for the sledgehammer and brains Orton with it on the floor. Orton doesn’t move and this short match is over as Triple H retains. Only a 12-minute title match?
Winner and still WWE champion: Triple H
Match Rating: 5/10
Orton gets tended to at ringside as The Game and his belt head to the back. Orton gets up under his own power and fuming, nearly gets into a confrontation with a fan on the way backstage. This injury seems legit.
Match #7: TLC Match for World Heavyweight Championship – The Undertaker vs. Edge
Winner and new World Heavyweight champion: Edge
OVERALL SHOW RATING: A very solid and respectable 7/10
Matt Mackinder has been with SLAM! Wrestling since 2006 and covered the 2007 One Night Stand debacle and the forgettable 2006 December To Dismember gong show. Email Matt at email@example.com.