The first thing to remember when you place this disc into your DVD player is that this is WWE One Night Stand, not ECW One Night Stand.
- Rob Van Dam v Randy Orton (Stretcher Match)
- Mr. McMahon discusses his upcoming match with Shane
- CM Punk, Tommy Dreamer & Sandman v Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von & Matt Striker (6-Man Tables Match)
- Edge is confronted by Randy Orton
- The Hardys © v The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Ladder Match for the World Tag Team Championship)
- Khali claims that he will be the next WWE Champion
- Kane v Mark Henry (Lumberjack Match)
- Fight in trainers room
- Mr. McMahon © v Bobby Lashley (Street Fight for the ECW World Championship)
- Todd Grisham interviews Maria about the upcoming Pudding Bowl match
- Candice Michelle v Melina (Pudding Bowl Match)
- Edge © v Batista (Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship)
- John Cena © v The Great Khali (Falls Count Anywhere Match for the WWE Championship)
- Post match interview with Cena
- Post match interview with Mark Henry
- Post match interview with Edge
- Rob Van Dam v Rady Orton (from the May 28th 2007 edition of RAW)
In 2005, there was an almost unheard of buzz at the prospect of ECW, a promotion that had died more than four years earlier, would get a one-off (hence the name) reunion show on Pay-Per-View. A lot of this buzz was from the old-school fans of the Philadelphia-based promotion who were happy that they were getting a fitting chance to say thank you, and goodbye, to the wrestling company so close to their hearts… but some of it was a fear that WWE (more specifically, Vince McMahon) would not understand the reasons that made ECW what it was.
The weeks leading up to the show, where RAW and Smackdown had “Extreme Rules” matches did nothing to quell the fears of the worried (although a Singapore Cane-assisted Crippler Crossface in the match between Benoit and Tajiri was sweet), but when the show came around and that familiar music heralded the start of the PPV, there was hope that things would go well.
By the end of the night, we had witnessed many great matches (such as Mike Awesome v Masato Tanaka, Rhino v Sabu and the main event that pitted The Dudleyz v Tommy Dreamer & Sandman (complete with authentic Metallica entrance) in a picture-perfect ECW brawl), two fantastic shoot-promos from RVD and Paul Heyman and the sight of Eric Bischoff being beaten down by a cadre of former ECW alumni (but only those under contract to WWE). It was the perfect send-off, and did one of the highest buy-rates that year.
The problem was that Vince made money, so there was no way it was going to be, as the title suggested, a one night deal. The following year, we had the second One Night Stand PPV, which had less to do with ECW’s legacy and more to do with the launch of the ECW revival under the WWE banner.
This show had less of an ECW feel, but still produced some great matches across the board, with the main-event contest between Rob Van Dam (cashing in his Money in the Bank case) winning the WWE Title from John Cena in front of one of the most vocal and hostile (at least for John Cena) crowds I’ve personally witnessed. The sign that said “If Cena wins, we riot” seemed to be more of a promise than a witty line to get on TV.
All of this brings us to the DVD of 2007’s edition.
Now, I mentioned earlier that this was WWE’s ONS, not just ECW. The reason for this is a simple one; December to Dismember had aired the previous, um, December (an event I feel will be mentioned a lot when explaining why certain things have come about) and was the worst PPV that the company ever produced … some say intentionally so (due to the bad booking and promotion for the event).
The direct result was that plans were put forth to stop all single-brand shows as Vince felt that ECW wouldn’t sell on its own. It should be noted, however, that Vince also believes that the fans at the 2005 and 2006 editions (as well as the ECW television shows broadcast from the Hammerstein Ballroom) only chanted ECW because watching WWE television had trained them to do so.
With that in mind, just how good was the One Night Stand 2007?
With every match being some kind of gimmicked contest, this was a little different from the normal WWE PPV, and gave it a (somewhat diluted) extreme flavour. The opening vignette did a great job (as most WWE produced segments of this nature do) of making the matches seem worth seeing, and highlighting the inherent dangers to found in matches of these “extremes”.
After the introductions from the announcing duos, it seems fitting that the first bout features the man who epitomises ECW, an ECW original and a former ECW Champion, Rob Van Dam, taking on Randy Orton in a Stretcher Match. As Orton makes his way to the ring, we cut to a recap of why this match is taking place; Orton (who was in the midst of his head-punting phase) taking RVD out and leaving him with a concussion.
Once the recap ends, Van Dam’s music kicks in and the fans come alive for one of the most popular wrestlers in the history of both WWE and ECW.
The bout starts with RVD, showing a rare instance of being pissed-off, doing his thumb-taunt (as the WHOLE arena chants along) only to stop before the “D” and landing a kick to his opponents head.
The match is a fantastic opener (which is no surprise considering the two men involved and the emotion surrounding the contest) with some fantastic exchanges and sequences. It was rumoured, but not confirmed until afterwards that this would be Rob’s last match for WWE. Both men also deserve credit for their selling throughout the contest. The finish, and what occurred afterwards, all made sense… which is an underrated commodity among wrestling bookers these days.
This is followed by a short backstage skit where Vince McMahon, the ECW Champion, is polishing his title and saying that he is going to win his match against Bobby “I took my ball and went home” Lashley. This segment was also where the groundwork for Vince’s limo blowing up was laid.
I wish WWE would have shelled out for “Enter Sandman” (although I understand why they didn’t), because it’s probably the top example of an entrance being the best thing about a wrestler. Having been there live for his entrance (including having lager poured down my throat by the man himself), Sandman loses so much of his character without the well-known theme.
Sandman is joined by another former ECW Champion, Tommy Dreamer, and a future ECW Champion in CM Punk, to take on the New Breed of Elijah Burke (under-used), Marcus Cor Von (a missed opportunity) and Matt Striker (who is wearing a magic-eye puzzle instead of his trunks) in a 6-man Tables Match.
All six men had moments to shine, especially Cor Von and Burke (who would have made a phenomenal team had they stayed together), with everyone getting to show off some of their better manoeuvres.
There were plenty of tables around the ring, but with it being a one-fall (table?) match, there was little in the way of splintered wood; but the finish itself more than made up for it.
Following a backstage segment (Randy Orton cutting a great promo on his former Rated-RKO partner Edge) it’s now time for the first title match of the night; Jeff & Matt Hardy v Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas in the match that made The Hardys famous: a ladder match.
Haas and Benjamin, to me, had the potential to be one of the best tag-teams in WWE history, but for some reason it never happened. When they were associated with Kurt Angle back in 2003, they were astonishingly good, but having split up and got together numerous times (to less and less success) over the years, TWGTT had become nothing more than just another team. To give you an example of how far the two men have fallen, Shelton is now most famous for being able to jump really high (and it looks like Kofi Kingston will steal that from him), while Charlie Haas has been reduced to a jobber who goes under the ring to put on a mask in the middle of his matches.
This is your typical tag-team ladder match with spots galore (including the seemingly contractually-obliged Jeff’s Really Tall Ladder … and a sweet Haas release-German Suplex on Jeff from the top rope) and enough “oooh” moments to keep most spot-monkey fans happy. It’s easily the best match Haas & Benjamin had during their last run as a unit… but that’s not really saying much.
“Jonshinam, hishfhjakl, bufbanna aooifhfhkm, ahfhahs! AHJFKOSADJLKFASJKLF JOHNCENA!!!!”
After the above promo from The Great Khali, we’re at the halfway point in the show; Kane v Mark Henry in one of the most boring Lumberjack matches in history. In fact, it was more interesting to watch now and see how things have changed for the twelve lumberjacks themselves.
Balls Mahoney (ECW midcard) = now invisible
Chavo Guerrero (cruiserweight) = current ECW Champion
The Miz (babyface that nobody liked) = heel, and one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions
Johnny Nitro = now called John Morrison and the other half of the WWE Tag Team Champions
Stevie Richards = no real change
Kevin Thorne (vampire) = found a cure for vampirism, changed his attire and then vanished
Carlito = no real change
Val Venis (just there to make up the numbers) = still as underused as Elijah Burke
Santino Marella (generic babyface IC Champ) = the greatest comedy heel on the roster (perhaps ever)
Chris Benoit (best pure wrestler on the roster) = deceased and forgotten due to him murdering his wife and son
Kenny Dykstra (who?) = who?
Chris Masters (Masterlock master) = unemployed wellness failure
This match, boring as it is, highlights how important JBL was (and still should be) to the commentary team. He was a master when it came to putting people over (face or heel) without compromising his own heelishness. This is also the match were Michael Cole compared Mark Henry’s arms to, um, limbs.
Backstage, the two teams from the ladder match are having their injuries treated by the on-site trainers, and, luckily for us, decide to have a brawl there and then.
Up next is the culmination of the Vince McMahon/Bobby Lashley feud, as the ECW Champion puts his title on the line against the man directly responsible for him having his head shaved bald. A hype package recaps the feud and the hilarious reaction from the chairman as his son, Shane, accepts the Street Fight challenge on his behalf.
I don’t think I’ve seen a Vince McMahon match that I haven’t enjoyed, and this was no different. Of course, the stipulation allows a lot of shortcuts to be taken, but credit to a man the age, status and wealth of Vince McMahon for even having the balls to get in the ring in the first place.
The bout was billed as a one-on-one contest, but as soon as Vince appeared in the aisle flanked by Umaga and Shane, everyone knew that it was a glorified handicap match.
Things didn’t look good when Lashley messed up the first spot of the match (he was meant to leap over the top rope and take out Umaga on the floor, but he held onto the rope on the way out and dropped straight down), but credit where its due, all four men recovered nicely to have a fun brawl.
The finish was great, with Shane and Umaga bouncing for Bobby as if their lives depended on it. A series of chairshots to Vince (after Shane had been belly-to-belly suplexed over the ropes to the floor) led into a Dominator powerslam for a very close false finish, but the heels get the momentum back and Shane even lands his “Leap of Faith” elbow through the announcers table.
After Umaga lands the Samoan Bum-to-the-face, Shane misses a Van Terminator (actually, Bobby Lashley moved and the Samoan took the blow) and then takes a massive spear that wipes him out. All that’s left from there is for Vince to take the spear as well and we have a new ECW Champion.
Bobby Lashley had the potential to do great things going by the crowd reaction to his victory and post-match spear on Mr. McMahon. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury and some personal issues drove Bobby to quit his job with WWE amid a mountain of speculation.
Possibly the worst part of all is that he hasn’t been missed, so his decision to walk out may backfire on him in a major way.
The seeds for Santino’s transformation were sown in the next segment, as Maria fawns over the Marella’s Italian accent. Todd Grisham asks for Maria’s opinion on the Pudding Bowl match and then Candice comes in to ask for a lucky kiss from the IC Champion… only to be kissed by the future Playboy centrefold to the, um, joy of the males in attendance (Ron Simmons included).
All you need to know about the Women’s title match is that it featured Melina (sexy and sultry) v Candice Michelle (good looking if the light shines the right way) in a big bowl of chocolate pudding. You won’t enjoy it for the technical wrestling, but we do have two women with great bodies writhing around in gloop and getting wet, so there’s still a lot to enjoy.
Cage match time is next, as Edge defends his World Title against Batista within the confines of the mesh structure in the second bout of their decent feud over the title (the first was at the previous event; Judgment Day).
The pre-match hype video (showing the MitB cash-in that gave Edge his third World title and then how Batista earned his spot in the contest) plays and then it’s over to Tony Chimel for the introductions. The champion is out first to a chorus of boos (Edge is one of the best at getting the fans to hate him) and then Batista comes out to tremendous pop amid his OTT pyro.
I don’t know if it was because of Undertaker or not, but Batista was on a roll of good-to-great matches after their compelling bout at Wrestlemania 23, and this was no exception. Edge played the weasel-like heel perfectly too, running and trying to escape at every opportunity rather than pin his opponent.
The finish of the contest was your typical post-2000 cage match finish; both men attempting an escape and one man reaching the floor a split-second before the other (this was even used in Batista’s previous cage match with Taker).
I know I sound like a broken record, but JBL should have been offered everything available to keep him at the commentary table because, in this match, he lives up to his self-proclaimed god status.
The show closes with a match that many, many people were dreading; John Cena v The Great Khali. These two had met twice before and shared a win each. At Judgement Day, Cena made the giant tap to the STFU (although Khali’s leg was under the ropes) and at SNME, Khali got his win back via pinfall in a glorified squash match.
So we now have the rubber match, and, in keeping with the night, is to be fought under Falls Count Anywhere rules.
Cena performed miracles in getting a watchable contest out of Khali (who I like in squash situations, but he struggles, like the Ultimate Warrior, in longer contests unless he’s being carried by a superior worker).
This match used every shortcut available to it, and was a modest success. The finish was a serious sight to behold (Cena hitting an FU on Khali from on top of a crane to the floor) and the match was a fitting end to the mini-feud between the two.
There are four extras on the DVD, but don’t get too excited” three of them are interviews that last less than a minute.
The first is with John Cena as he explains his relief at getting through his match with Khali (no jokes please) and why he kisses the dog-tags around his neck before his matches.
Following on from that is Mark Henry (with a surprising lack of sweat), who acknowledges that Kane wasn’t a pushover, but that he is “The Silverback”.
Next up is a bloody-faced Edge, who (very intensely) tells us that he deserved his win and that he is our World Heavyweight Champion.
The last extra is a match between Randy Orton and Rob Van Dam from the May 28th RAW. The contest is the reason for the PPV contest as RVD asked for the bout due to his “disgust” at Orton’s actions at Judgment Day with HBK (RKOing and then punting him in the head, almost ending Shawn’s career after giving him a concussion in an earlier backstage assault).
The match is a decent addition to the DVD contents and is your typical television match until the finish. Randy lands his (recently added) rope-assisted elevated DDT, Van Dam sells the blow (and concussion) perfectly as he tries to get to his feet only for Orton to zone in on the injured head.
The fans feel a little uncomfortable as Orton stalks his prey and then punts him right in the head (which became the most over, hated and devastating move in all of the WWE). The ref stops the match as RVD is unable to continue, but Randy doesn’t care for such trivialities and drags Rob upright for no reason other than so he can drop him again with a gorgeous RKO.
Rob Van Dam was stretchered out of the arena, which is why we had the stipulation added to their PPV encounter.
One Night Stand 2007 is a show that was better than the sum of its parts. Some of the matches exceeded expectations (Khali/Cena, Tables Match, etc) while others lived up to the hype. The Women’s Title match was a bit of fluff, but I can live with that, as you need to have something light on the show to compliment all the serious feuds.
Some feuds were settled at the PPV (RVD/Orton, Cena/Khali, Vince/Umaga over the ECW Title) and others continued to grow (ECW v New Breed and Edge/Batista).
Is WWE One Night Stand 2007 worth the money? I’d say yes, but it’s not a PPV that will last the test of time. With each match having a gimmick stipulation, this is more of a niche show than WWE usually put out, and as such won’t appeal to everyone. 2007 was a great year for WWE Pay-Per-View events, and this one can sit proudly among them.
With all that said though, I’d still rather have an old-school ECW event air in its place.
Points: 7.5 / 10