Yep… the list of Luke is back!
I’ve been struggling to find matches recently because I want to include contests that had a significant impact on my viewing of wrestling. I hate when people compile lists of their favourite matches that include the classic Hogan Vs Andre, Savage Vs Steamboat, Warrior Vs Hogan etc. To me, it is not personal, those matches are the greatest of all time and I doubt they like them either. I am searching for matches that I can watch over and over again. I want my list to be different.
Alas, I think I have found my fifth match on the list. So here it is! This is John Cena Vs RVD for the WWE Championship at ECW One Night Stand 2006.
In 2006 things started to change. Joey Styles had joined the Raw announce team, Rob Van Dam won Money in the Bank, and Edge and Foley delivered a bloody brawl at WrestleMania 22 which was the first match on my list, read it right here: https://lukehutchblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/my-favorite-matches-1-edge-vs-mick-foley/). It was almost like a rebirth of hardcore wrestling slightly similiar to ECW. Hmmmmm.
The hidden clues then became reality! ECW was returning back to TV in the summer of 2006. This would provide an alternative to the classic, family friendly version of WWE.
This would lead a big build up to the once a year PPV known as One Night Stand, hosted by ECW in the infamous Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
Stars from both brands who make be drafted to ECW like Kurt Angle, Big Show and Super Crazy. As well as retiring ECW originals like Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, Sabu, and RVD himself. However, RVD cashed in his MitB contract a month prior to his chosen title match.
ECW delivered a project unlike anything else I had ever witnessed. At age twelve I had never heard a crowd so loud, crazy and intimidating in all my years of watching sports entertainment. It was unreal and the WWE guys had it rough. Rey Mysterio, a star everyone admired after his underdog win at WrestleMania 22 was portrayed like a girl on her first day of school. Edge showed a disgusting display towards Dreamer’s wife, Beulah, by pinning her in a very inappropriate way. I loved it but made me see these athletes in a different light. It felt like when I would watch South Park at age ten without my mum’s word, naughty and had me on edge throughout.
The leader of Hustle, Loyalty & Respect was not welcomed into the Ballroom. There was not a fan in the audience for John. The most memorable part of the match was when Cena threw his trademark shirt into the audience, only to have it hurled back at him by the ECW fans. They wanted to see Cena beaten up.
The showdown was heavily physical and would go around the entire arena. John would deliver his signature moves that did not win over anyone, while RVD was aggresive yet seemingly comfortable being on his home turf. It made me see RVD as a man who could grapple with the main event workers.
The ending of this match was incredible. Cena would vent his frustration out on an ECW referee, only to bring out a SmackDown referee that would then be taken out by The Whole F’N Show. So no referees in sight. All of the sudden, a mysterious figure wearing a motorcycle helmet appears from under the ring. The man would hurl Cena with a Spear though a table in the corner. The figure would then reveal his identity to be The Rated R Superstar, Edge.
Edge would leave a broken Cena lying the middle of the ring. Leaving RVD confused, he then proceeded to climb the top rope to drop a Five Star Frog Splash onto Cena.
With no referee, Paul Heyman would run out and count the pin to crown the new WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam.
One amazing match that would cement a legacy for ECW. RVD would kick off the first ECW episode with the reveal of the rehashed ECW title.
The rebirth of ECW was full of promise even though it did not turn out to be the most fantastic of ideas. Although it did shine on new talent like Jack Swagger, John Morrison, and most famously CM Punk.
That is #5. Will keep you posted on my sixth instalment. Thanks for reading!