Rasslin Roundtable: ECW One Night Stand

Welcome to the Inside Pulse Rasslin Roundtable for ECW One Night Stand 2006! Participating this month along with myself are IP Owner Widro, Wrestling Co-Editor Jeremy Botter, Culture & Games Editor Alex Lucard and All-Star Wrestling Writers GRUT, David Brashear, Vinny Truncellito, Danny Wallace, Steve Murray and Bambi Weavil. Let’s get to it!

Singles Match
Masato Tanaka vs. Balls Mahoney

Widro: Should be brutal.

Winner – Tanaka

Matthew Michaels: Sure, this match hasn’t been “officially” announced, but it was on a t-shirt on WWE’s shopping site, so let’s talk about it, shall we? I can’t put my money on anyone named “Balls,” although seeing him at the WWE vs. ECW Head-to-Head special last Wednesday, I wouldn’t want to bet against him either. Thinking back, though, Tanaka stole the show in his match vs. Mike Awesome at last year’s One Night Stand, so no matter who wins, my guess is this will be a solid early-card match-up.

Winner – Tanaka

Jeremy Botter: Tanaka is a bumping machine, as evidenced in his thousands of matches with Mike Awesome in the old ECW. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a match where I said “man, that Masato Tanaka is such an awesome worker” but there have been many matches where I’ve said “man, that Masato Tanaka sure takes a lot of chairshots.” By that reasoning, I’m going to have to say that Tanaka will eat a lot of metal chair and perhaps get powerbombed from the inside of the ring through a table to the floor outside. As far as I know, Tanaka isn’t signed to a long-term contract, so they’ll go with the guy they have under contract in this one.

Winner – Balls Mahoney

GRUT: Should be a good one. Masato stole the show last year alongside Mike Awesome. If Masato is sticking around, he’ll win. Since he’s not, this’ll be Balls’ coming out party.

Winner – Balls

Alex Lucard: I gotta admit when MM just told me about this match the first thought I had was “Oh god, no.” I love Tanaka but he works best when he is getting the living piss beat out of him. I can’t see Balls filling the Mike Awesome type role here. Balls works best in tag matches, but Axl’s no-show earlier this week probably means he’s going to have to try and make a solo career for himself. That said, he have a pernennial jobber in Balls taking on an ex ECW world champion. Not really brain surgery as to who wins.

Winner – Tanaka

David Brashear: This is just going to be an ECW fight – no wrestling about it. Still, this has the potential to be really entertaining. When it comes to brawling, Tanaka’s one of the best. This is going to be a good match to restore ECW’s reputation for all-out brawling. I just wish that they could have gotten Mike Awesome back for another match against Tanaka. I never get tired of watching those two beat each other into oblivion.

Winner – Masato Tanaka

Vinny Truncellito: With no build up at all, I find it difficult to predict the outcome. The WWE vs. ECW matches have storyline build, so you can sort of see how things may unfold.

Winner – I don’t know. Tanaka, I guess.

Danny Wallace: I’ve got to go with Masato Tanaka, just because he’s awesome. Besides, Balls is mainly a tag team wrestler, so having him go over Masato wouldn’t be very smart, especially if Masato is coming aboard full-time.

Winner – Masato Tanaka

Steve Murray: I predict chairs-a-gogo. Tanaka’s match with Awesome last year was pretty… umm, awesome — and Mahoney will hit his spots and keep it entertaining.

Winner – Masato Tanaka

Bambi Weavil: The saddest thing about the ECW PPV this year is the absolute lack of talking about the “undercard” or anyone who is not RVD, Sabu, Tazz, Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk and Kurt Angle. I have no idea if these two have either faced off before, but I’m interested to see how their styles ‘clash’ – however both are two tough son-of-a-bitches. For wrestling ability, I have to give it to Tanaka because I consider Balls more of a brawler.

Winner – Tanaka

Tag-Team Match
FBI vs. Tajiri & Super Crazy

Widro: FBI takes the win while Crazy and Tajiri split, setting up a match for Tuesday.

Winners – FBI

Matthew Michaels: By all accounts, Tajiri is only coming in for “one night,” so it seems to me this is a perfect chance to re-establish FBI as a legitimate tag team, rather than the joke it’s been in all of its WWE forms… That being said, I see shenanigans here, perhaps with Tajiri turning heel on Super Crazy — who seems to be all but gone from Smackdown after his fellow Mexicool, Psicosis, didn’t have his back during a beat-down by Khali last Friday — and maybe even teaming up with new WWE signee Akio (Jimmy Yang) and sticking around for at least a few weeks. Who knows?

Winner – FBI

Jeremy Botter: Oooh, Tajiri makes his grand return. Too bad it won’t really matter all that much, as I hear Guido is in line for a big push within the new shoot-style confines of ECW.

Winners – The FBI

GRUT: Hopefully they won’t keep this one short.

Winners – FBI

Alex Lucard: I’m a bit mystified as to why it’s not the FBI vs Psicosis and Super Crazy. After all, the Mexicools have been teaming on Smackdown and both are ECW Alumni. Tajiri/Guido/Super Crazy had some amazing three-way dances in the twilight years of the original ECW. As well during the days of Cyrus and “The Network” Tajiri and Super Crazy were on opposite sides until Tajiri’s face turn. I expect Tajiri to turn on Super Crazy here as 1) FBI is the only tag team ECW currently has right now and 2) Tajiri is here for one night only unlike a lot of the others. Better to put over the faces you’ll be seeing every week until Tajiri decides to come back full time…if he ever does.

Winners – FBI

David Brashear: Since Super Crazy’s coming back, I’d say that this marks the end of the Mexicools. Hopefully we’ll see Psicosis make the jump as well. Gotta go with the FBI here – they’re both better known as “traditional” ECW guys (since Crazy and Tajiri have both had WWE runs). After saying that, I can’t wait to see what happens when Super Crazy’s allowed to go like he used to.

Winners – FBI

Vinny Truncellito: Same observation as above.

Winners – Tajiri and Crazy

Danny Wallace: Why Tajiri and Super Crazy? Why not Super Crazy and Psychosis? Meh.. anyway, should be a great match if they’re given 20 minutes or so. And we need to get Tracy Smothers back as well, or else Everybody Dies!

Winners – Tajiri and Super Crazy

Steve Murray: I’m curious to see how many balcony dives/moonflips/sentons come out of it.

Winners – Tajiri & Super Crazy

Bambi Weavil: I don’t have a lot to say about this match – they are actually getting Tajiri back for this? Again, a clash in styles, high-paced impact of Tajiri and Super Crazy trumps the FBI who are more so characters than wrestlers.

Winners – Tajiri and Super Crazy

Tazz’ Return to the Ring
Tazz (ECW) vs. Jerry Lawler (RAW)

Widro: Tazz chokes out Lawler in a short match. Should have great crowd heat.

Winner – Tazz

Matthew Michaels: Too bad Lawler’s the “heel” here, as I wouldn’t have minded seeing footage of Tazz’ feud with The King from years ago as part of this build-up… That being said, let’s face it: this one’s probably gonna start off the night and hardly be a contest.

Winner – Tazz

Jeremy Botter: These two have done a fine job of building tension for this match, but it’s not even going to be a match. It’ll be a “confrontation” that isn’t all that different than what you saw on the USA special. In fact, the only real differences will be that it takes place inside the ring and it will end with Tazz choking out Lawler.

Winner – Tazz

GRUT: Expect a riot if Jerry wins, but he won’t, so no riot.

Winner – Taz

Alex Lucard: I really enjoyed the Lawler vs Tommy Dreamer match from the second ever ECW PPV. A lot of people forget that lawler was an AWA and WCCW heavyweight champion and was an amazing hardcore wrestler with classic matches against guys like Eddie Gilbert and Kerry Von Eric. Lawler showed he could still go instead of being relegated to comedy relief like on RAW, and I have a feeling he could do the same again here. However this is ECW. And his opponent is Taz. Something tells me this is going to be either a very short squash with Tazz getting the choke out very quickly or the big sleeper hit of the night as two wrestlers, who at their peak were the best in the business, try to have one last great match. Either way, TAZ gets the win.

Winner – TAZ

David Brashear: This is going to be another interesting one, but for different reasons. Tazz has been behind a broadcast booth for years, and last year it was very obvious that he’s not in the peak condition he used to be. Add in his bad neck, and it’ll be very interesting to see what he still has left in the tank. After saying that, let me add that it’s great to see Lawler’s anti-ECW crusade starting back up again.

Winner – Tazz

Vinny Truncellito: I think this could be a boost for ECW without hurting Lawler’s legend one bit. Plus, given each man’s age, size, experience, aggressiveness, and skills, Tazz should kill Lawler. Just keep the candy jar away from JR, and everything points towards a katahajime for The King.

Winner – Taz(z)

Danny Wallace: Pretty pointless having Lawler go over, so look for Tazz to choke that royal bitch out. I’m also LOVING the Styles/Tazz combo for the ECW announce team.

Winner – Tazz

Steve Murray: The match itself won’t last more then 30 seconds. Mr. Lawler, enjoy the choke-out.

Winner – Tazz

Bambi Weavil: This should have interesting heat considering the history of Jerry Lawler hating ECW. It’ll be nice to see Tazz wrestle again if that’s the case, but it will probably just be a confrontational punk-out. The fact that Lawler can talk has always been his best asset and though many will disagree with me, Lawler knows what draws heat and what doesn’t when he’s not talking about puppies and women. They did a great job creating intensity on Wednesday and I feel they are indeed an important part of the PPV.

Winner – Tazz because I can’t imagine him losing at his home.

Angle Challenge
Kurt Angle (ECW) vs. Randy Orton (RAW)

Widro: There is no way Angle loses his first match as ECW’s Kurt Angle.

Winner – Angle

Matthew Michaels: So, as things stand, there are five WWE vs. ECW matches on this card, with ECW and WWE going 2-2-1 at the Head-to-Head special (the “1” being the ND schmozz (I don’t buy an “ECW Rules” match ending in DQ) to end the show), and one of the matches at One Night Stand having an obvious finish (Tazz vs. Lawler). I can’t see both world titles moving over to ECW from WWE, so in order to keep ECW with the edge (something they absolutely need) coming out of this PPV, I can’t imagine them letting anyone but Angle come out on top here. Oh, and then there’s that little fact that they’re building the “new” aspects of ECW around Kurt, and Randy was just suspended for 60 days and doesn’t really deserve a win…

Winner – ECW’s Kurt Angle

Jeremy Botter: So we’re going to see the ECW KURT ANGLE debut in this match, and if he does the gimmick I’m thinking he’s going to do, Randy Orton probably won’t get a lot of offense in during this match. I think Orton is probably still owed a few squashes for his behavior a few months back, even though WWE would never say anything remotely like that. Angle crushes Orton decisively, and WWE won’t ever mention it on Raw, but at least it’ll give Angle some momentum that he needs to be the guy that carries ECW for awhile.

Winner – Kurt Angle

GRUT: This is so hardcore ECW. Sandman gets involved and helps Randy, leading to Kurt Angle’s first feud.

Winner – Orton

Alex Lucard: Not much here. Angle is being poised as Shane Douglas/Mike Awesome/Taz/Sandman all in one. RVD may have the title match, but it’s damn obvious Angle’s the main event for the new ECW. Orton is coming off a suspension and if he loses they can always say “Came back from the ankle injury too early.” If Angle loses, it’s too much steam sucked out of ECW before it begins. Sadly Vince has been known to make these kinds of stupid booking decisions before (See Taz/HHH when both were world champions of ECW/WWF respectively). Still, Orton should in no way shape or form walk out of ECW ONS2 with a win.

Winner – Kurt Angle

David Brashear: So Randy finally made it back after his suspension. One thing to say about that – the WWE are hurting for top guys right now, but I think that Smackdown could use him much more than Raw can. Despite all that, no way he beats Angle on ECW home turf.

Winner – Kurt Angle

Vinny Truncellito: Angle’s being pushed as almost the embodiment of the new ECW. No way he’ll lose here. You also have to figure Randy gets to eat a clean loss to help atone for his sins.

Winner – The Wrestling Machine

Danny Wallace: Hmm… Choices, choices.

Winner – Kurt Angle

Steve Murray: The match I am looking the most forward to. The ECW crowd is going to hate the overpushed pretty-boy with women problems almost as much as Cena. (I can’t wait to see what chants they pull out for Orton.) And, with Angle being My Most Favoritest Wrestler Alive, the fact that he’s moving to this “shoot style” has me looking forward to watching him go in the ring for the next several years.

Winner – Your Olympic Hero who doesn’t take shit

Bambi Weavil: Everyone should know my open displeasure that Kurt Angle’s open challenge is Randy Orton instead of a ‘long ago forgotten face’ or a person who could match Angle in the ring at all. Randy Orton is neither in my eyes and their feud could have waited until after the PPV. That being said, I just hope Kurt Angle punishes him in the ring because it’s his smug attitude that has gotten him in trouble in the first place.

Winner – Step up the intensity for this one, it’s all Kurt Angle.

ECW vs. WWE Tag Match
Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer (ECW) vs. Edge & Mick Foley (RAW)

Widro: This match has been built well, and some people forget that at the event, Funk and Dreamer will be over like gangbusters.

Winners – Funk/Dreamer

Matthew Michaels: Rumor has it that Beulah will be at ringside, so one thing that we can assuredly predict is a catfight spot between her and Lita, and hopefully a pantyshot and nip-slip… What, I’m a man, I have needs! What are some of those other needs, you ask? Blood in this match — check. Sweat in this match — check. And oh, a little bit of logic — is that even possible? Part of me thinks that Edge can’t take a loss here because he is in line to face the WWE Champ at Vengeance. That same part of me knows that Foley can’t keep losing if WWE fans are going to keep looking at him as a superstar. Personally, I’d like to see Funk get the pin over Foley here, but I’m thinking the obvious thing happens and that’s Foley turning on Edge and Lita, having played them for fools all-along, and helping Dreamer get the pinfall factory Edge pinning Funk, adding a victory over yet another hardcore legend to his resume.

Winner – Edge and Foley

Jeremy Botter: I’ve got a funny feeling that Mick Foley is going to do something absolutely retarded in this match. Actually, three of the four guys in this match will probably end up doing something insane, and there’s a very good chance that at least two of them will end up in the hospital. But please, for the love of Finlay, don’t let Terry Funk do a moonsault from the balcony. He’s one hundred years old, and there’s absolutely no reason for that dude to be in the ring, much less jumping from 15 feet up onto knees that are so far past shot that even a complete replacement surgery probably wouldn’t help. Foley turns on Edge to abort this heel run and allow Dreamer and Funk to go over.

Winners – Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer

GRUT: Edge and Foley must get their comeupance for becoming friends.

Winner – Funk and Dreamer

Alex Lucard: I love Tommy Dreamer, but has he ever won on PPV? I can only think of two wins in all of the ECW PPV era. The first was against Lawler in the first WWF/ECW match, and the second was the Dreamer/CW Anderson I quit match that attempted to recapture the magic of Magnum TA/Tully Blanchard. Part of me wants to say Dreamer can’t lose a match where the pride of ECW is on the line. But long time fans will remember RVD/Dreamer where RVD was in his “sellout to Vince” gimmick mode and he creamed Dreamer pretty good.

Then we have to look at Edge. He’s an ex world champion and will be a perennial #1 contender from here on out, even though no one will take him seriously as a world champ. Losing here would hurt Adam Copeland far more than anyone else. The character of Edge gets nothing but bragging rights if he wins, but takes a severe fall in the eyes of the mark if he loses.

Mick Foley is the third aspect to look at. Mick hasn’t won a match in forever. He’s jobbed to Edge, Orton, Evolution (when teaming with the Rock) and so on. The only match I can remember him winning in years is against Carlito. This creates too schools of thought. The first is “He needs a win plus he’s who all the WWE fans know as the Icon of hardcore.” The second is “Foley is only hardcore because of the WWE marketing blitz and the Undertaker murdering him back at KOTR 1998 and thus needs to lose to the heart and soul of ECW in Tommy Dreamer and the most hardcore American born wrestler with the possible exception of the late great Terry Gordy.”

Finally it’s Terry Funk. Not much can be said here except that Funk goes on record preferring to job, much like Dreamer.

So the match really boils down to who needs to win here. Foley doesn’t. Funk doesn’t. Dreamer doesn’t. Edge DOES. So one would think that that means Foley and Edge go over, right? WRONG. Simply put, for ECW zealots, this is the big match of the card. Fuck Cena/RVD and the hype around that. This is that match that will literally make or break the new ECW with the long time fans who showed disdain for the big two. A win for Edge and Foley says “ECW is our bitch” and that like Orton going over angle will effectively kill ECW before it begins.

Winners – Dreamer and Funk

David Brashear: This is going to be a good one. Foley, Funk, and Dreamer are all hardcore icons, and Edge has held his own surprisingly well with Foley in their matches together. Like I mentioned above where Tanaka/Balls restores the ECW legacy of violence, this is going to be the match that restores Tommy Dreamer as the “heart” of the promotion.

Winners – Tommy Dreamer & Terry Funk

Vinny Truncellito: Just watching The Funker move around the ring is making MY knees hurt! I think the co-holders of the WWE Hardcore Championship will take this one.

Winners – Foley and Edge

Danny Wallace: Those hard shots Terry Funk took at Foley were awesome. You could see he was trying to bust Foley’s eyebrow open, and eventually it worked a treat. If they work as stiff as that in this match, then were in for something great. I’m picking Funk & Dreamer to win, via a nicely timed Foley face turn on Edge.

Winners – Funk & Dreamer

Steve Murray: The crowd in the Hammerstein will be the first so far to react properly to Funk & Dreamer, which will take everybody’s game up a notch. All four guys bleed, Tommy takes a weapons shot to the groin, at least two things get lit on fire and broken into small pieces. Should be fun.

Winners – Funk & Dreamer

Bambi Weavil: This match will be bloody, brutal, intense and gross. I think we can’t rule out the possibility of Lita turning on Edge to join ECW during this match for the simple reason she swings the cane better than Sandman and WWE forgets to remind the audience that she was once ECW. I hope Funk will be used in a limited capacity because I worry about his conditioning and health in the ring since he’s having a hard time even walking to the ring. If there is a delegated match of surprises, it would be this match. A good time for Francine to make a appearance, as well as Justin Credible and Jazz, I just really hope they talked Dawn Marie and Lance Storm into returning – Dawn Marie was screwed over.

Winners – Edge and Foley – to keep this going for the television shows.

World Heavyweight Championship
Champion Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Sabu

Widro: Rey has been a jobber, but I would be shocked to see the Big Gold Belt go to Sabu here.

Winner – Rey

Matthew Michaels: Since Cena vs. RVD is definitely going on last, and there’s no WAY ECW is coming out of this PPV with two title wins (is there?), I can’t see Sabu being victorious here unless WWE totally wants to ruin fan expectations for the Main Event. Plus, by putting the World Heavyweight Title on ECW, Smackdown will be even further decimated, Batista won’t be able to “get his title back” upon return, and Cena would probably be forced to work BOTH brands, neither of which has any real depth of heel challengers. In fact, if I was fantasy-booking, I’d likely put Sabu vs. Rey on last and go with that scenario, but I’m not so I can’t… They aren’t booking Rey as a heel here (Heyman and Tazz have gone out of their way to say how much they like Rey, even though he didn’t decide to jump ship to ECW), and the fans wouldn’t kill him if he leaves with gold still around his waist, so I’ll have to go with…

Winner – Rey Mysterio, Jr.

Jeremy Botter: Matthew says he wants Sabu win here, but he’s not. The company is not going to put the main belt on Sabu, because nobody I know will tune in to ECW on Tuesdays to see Sabu. He doesn’t draw ratings, he doesn’t really draw heat, and there are at least two other viable alternatives to putting the belt on him at this point: Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam. It’ll be a good match, and Sabu might screw up a spot or five.

Winner – Rey Mysterio

GRUT: You know, World Champion Sabu makes sense. Have a tournament, get the belt on Booker T, sets up Batista’s return, etc. Plus, it will dampen the shock of the winner of the next match.

Winner – Sabu

Alex Lucard: What a great match on paper, eh? It would be even better if this was 1996 instead of 2006. In any other circumstance I’d say Sabu without blinking, but the Smackdown title is at stake. Rey just jobbed out to RVD on Weds and he’s been jobbing more than any champion I’ve seen in a long time. Rey needs the win here. Sabu doesn’t. Sabu is Sabu after all. He could lose to Barry Horowitz or the f*cking Ding Dongs and he would be over and accepted as a world champion contendor. Good match but Rey gets the “upset” because god knows the only time a champion ever lost this much was Ric Flair in the horsemen days against Lex Luger.

Winner – Rey Mysterio

David Brashear: This match would have blown the roof off any building ten years ago. However, it’s been a rough decade for Sabu, and Rey’s slowing down as well. They can still both go, though, so the match does look promising. I’d love to give the match to Sabu, but expect to see Rey keep the title.

Winner – Rey Mysterio

Vinny Truncellito: Now this is where things get tricky. As much as they’re shoving down our throats the idea that RVD will defeat Cena and pull a Franchise on the bling-belt, that probably means it’s not going to happen. So then where does that leave this match? The big gold belt in the bingo hall? I doubt it, but these two matches are the ones that might truly set the tone for the SciFi chapter in ECW’s history.

Winner – Double DQ or Double Countout

Danny Wallace: I really hope Sabu doesn’t f*ck up during the match. That’s my main concern. Other than that, we should get a fun little match, where Rey might actually WIN. Shocking I know.

Winner – Rey Mysterio

Steve Murray: A spotfest between two guys born for spotfests. Sabu looked really, really good on Wednesday night – so those fears are allayed. And I guarantee that Rey has been itching to break out of the “WWE Main Event style” for months. Plus, he’ll be happy to beat his second opponent since winning the World title.

Winner – Rey Mysterio

Bambi Weavil: This has potential to be the show-stealer of the night. I’m eager to see this match because Rey was formerly of ECW and both have similar styles with no regard for their bodies. What would be interesting booking is if both WWE titles went to ECW, former ECW tag team partners winning both respected big “prizes,” leaving fans wondering how WWE would have no flagship heavyweight titles for their first time in their history and end the show just like that so when RAW and Smackdown opened, they would feel they had no direction, no leader, no hope. Perfect way to bring in D-X. However, it’s not likely that WWE will be so bold.

Winner – Rey, though I would like to see WWE take a chance on Sabu holding such a major title, he’s earned it over the years he’s given the sport.

WWE Championship
Champion John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam

Widro: There are a lot of ways they could go here, I could see them doing a screwjob, but I think more likely RVD wins the title and drops it back or has controversy surrounding it on Monday and/or Tuesday.

Winner – RVD

Matthew Michaels: …on the OTHER hand, if the bell rings and Cena’s still WWE Champion, the crowd WILL RIOT (and WWE knows this, otherwise it wouldn’t have been worked into Cena’s (excellent) interview on the Wednesday special). Will Vince let RVD bring the ECW Title away from RAW? Not a chance. That’s why I see RVD winning here and sending the crowd home happy, and then Vince using a Cena rematch clause or some other “technicality” to take the belt off of RVD on the 6/12 RAW; a contractual stipulation that forces RVD to defend the belt vs. Edge to take the belt off of him at Vengeance; or something I’m for some reason not thinking of. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy, since the two scenarios WWE has here are either give its belt and all of its history to an upstart promotion or leave that promotion with no title to build around. Note: Now that I’ve made my predictions, let me state for the record what I’d like to see happen, and that’s Sabu beating Rey for the World Title, and then RVD about to beat Cena, when Sabu turns HEEL on him and costs him the victory. It ends the show with an angle that sets up the debut show on SciFi perfectly, gives ECW a World Title to base the promotion around, and establishes a heel for babyface hero Rob Van Dam to chase with the fans completely behind him… Let’s hope my prediction is wrong, as I root for WWE and ECW Creative to be reading this — steal my ideas, I won’t tell!

Winner – Rob Van Dam

Jeremy Botter: Oh man, this match is the main reason I’m even getting this PPV on Sunday. John Cena in front of an ECW crowd? The heat is gonna be off the frigging CHARTS, folks. I don’t have enough confidence in the ability of either man in this match to say that this will be a passable affair, but it should have tons of heat. Look for a screwy finish that will allow Heyman to create his own ECW World Title while Cena holds on and takes the belt back to Raw.

Wiener – John Cena

GRUT: Cena wins. RVD shakes his hand. The ring fills with trash and chairs.

Winner – Cena

Alex Lucard: Main event. ECW doesn’t have DQs, so someone has to win unless it’s a no contest. I would have chosen that as the end if they hadn’t done that with Cena and Sabu on Weds. If Cena wins, the E will be thanking god that they held this PPV in NY instead of Philadelphia where no doubt, Cena would be shot, sodomized by a rake and then strung up from a streetlight with a sign saying “Mitch Williams’ biggest fan” allowing even non wrestling fans in the City of Brotherly Love to use his carcass as a creepy pinata. And if you don’t know who Mitch Williams is, just ask a hometown Phillies fan and count the profanity. They’ve got a long memory there kids. RVD needs to win here. Nay, he will. The question is how will he win without taking the TRUE WWF/E title to ECW? They can’t do a sports Entertainment Finish as again, the typical ECW fan will crap themselves with rage and then hurtle the fecal matter into the ring. Cena has to job and job cleanly to Van Dam and the next night RVD loses it on RAW via massive screwjob or stripped of the belt. It’s the match to watch to see not IF RVD wins but HOW and the aftermath of him losing the belt.

Winner – Rob Van Dam

David Brashear: RVD has to win this one. Pure and simple. If he doesn’t, then there could very well be a riot in that building. Even when he does, however, I don’t expect the WWE title to stay in ECW. I could very easily see him throw the title down just like Shane Douglas years ago and instead take the old ECW world title.

Winner – Rob Van Dam

Vinny Truncellito: As I said in my Mysterio/Sabu prediction, they’re practically guaranteeing a victory for RVD. Perhaps he does win the match, but I don’t know if Cena will lose the title here. It might have been a nice throwback to Shane Douglas with the NWA title belt, if they hadn’t forced the issue over and over again.

Winner – RVD, but Cena doesn’t lose the title

Danny Wallace: If the ECW brand wasn’t starting up again, then I’d have picked RVD to beat Cena, but seeing as how it is, I’m on the safe bet of The Wigger Man getting the win. Not cleanly though. Some shenanigans from Edge or somebody will lead to RVD getting pinned.

Winner – John Cena

Steve Murray: Okay, there is no chance – none, zip, nada – that RVD is walking out of there with the WWE title. I don’t think they’d pull something lame like “Vince pays off the ref to DQ Van Dam,” so a DQ win for RVD seems nearly-impossible (since this is ECW Rules and all). So, as a result of some blatant cheating (probably on the part of Vince himself), we get the finish that will damn near start a riot, and will bring an absolute *flood* of vicious and hateful show reviews (even though everybody will ignore that it is the proper finish).

Winner – John Cena

Bambi Weavil: This will be the most heated match of the night in terms of fan reaction and anticipation to how WWE handles this. RVD is far and above Cena in wrestling ability, it’s his home turf, and Cena’s at a complete disadvantage because there is no doubt ECW fans will boo him out of the building. This is the time to let Cena drop the belt and not make him the underdog-beat-all-odds champ again. It was enough that he’s beaten Triple H, it’s time to freshen things up a bit.

Winner – RVD, or ECW fans will be pissed off as hell unless there is a DAMN GOOD PAY-OFF.

Wildcard Question: Will any RAW or Smackdown wrestlers (aside from those already listed on ECW.com) “jump to ECW” at this PPV, who, and how?

Widro: T think JBL will show up, possibly to help Sabu or Foley/Edge, not sure if he’ll turn. I think matt hardy could turn to ECW too.

Matthew Michaels: That really is the big “wildcard” for tonight, isn’t it? I mean, we don’t even know how Big Show or Sandman will be involved in the event — will they help Sabu or RVD win a belt — let along what possible defections may occur. Will Mick Foley or Lita “realize their ECW roots” as implied by Tommy Dreamer on ECW.com and turn on Edge? Will Matt Hardy somehow factor into that match while joining Heyman & Co.? I think we’ll see a couple of people jump to ECW from RAW or Smackdown — the New Pitbulls and the old Basham Brothers are the first names to jump out at me as “not being used as well as they could be” in WWE, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Benoit make a surprise appearance either.

Jeremy Botter: Somebody will, because they need a few more bodies to fill up the house show cards. My money is on a tag team, most likely someone like Noble/Kash. That seems even more likely now that WWE has trademarked the name Pitbulls for the tag team.

GRUT: Absolutely. I would love, love, LOVE to see Eugene ditch his retard gimmick, say the WWE forced it on him, and Nick Dinsmore was going to a place where he could be Mr. Wrestling again.

Alex Lucard: I’d like to say that there will be a couple old school guys showing up. Psicosis would be my big pick to go ECW. He’d flourish there. Also, maybe Matt Hardy. Other than that Smackdown’s roster is tiny enough, and RAW doesn’t have any real ECW types that I could see fitting in.

David Brashear: There’s a long list of guys I think would benefit from the jump. I do expect to see some of them just show up and either be shown shaking hands with Heyman or interfere somewhere along the line. Of course, there could also be some of the famed ECW unannounced matches. Hey, Sandman’s not doing anything yet. From Raw I could see Haas (if he’s not fired for the screwup that injured Lilian Garcia), Danny Basham (likely back as the Damaja), and Johnny Parisi (hey, Johnny Swinger had a run in ECW). From Smackdown I’ll call Benoit (when he returns from his burnout), Matt Hardy (whose career could definitely use the boost), Kid Kash (who’s been proven to be ECW to the core), and Psicosis (hopefully coming along to support Super Crazy).

Vinny Truncellito: At least one will, and that could be the “out” the bookers need to keep both titles in WWE. As for who, it’s hard to say. Hell, if BIG SHOW can go to ECW, anyone’s eligible!

Danny Wallace: I’d cream my trousers if Cena jumped to ECW. But that’s very doubtful, unfortunately. Imagine the heat. Anyway, I’d like to see Gregory Helms jump to EC-DUB, but not necessarily at the PPV. So to answer your question of the wild card variety, no.

Steve Murray: I think so, yes. Now, as for who? Well, considering that absolutely no one saw Angle or TBS coming, it feels almost silly to try this one. But, what the hell, I’ll go with… Umaga. No, no, just kidding: Matt Hardy.

Bambi Weavil: The Big Show on Wednesday was a nice surprise and I don’t remember seeing anyone calling it to happen. Smackdown can’t afford to lose anyone else because now they are barely a brand. Carlito would be a strong possibility because it’s not like they are doing anything productive with him on RAW.