For Your Consideration One Night (of lower) Stand(ards)

Welcome to week 12. Yep, 3 months of “For Your Consideration” and see how time flies. As always, I like to thank everyone who takes the time to e-mail or post a comment on the forum and as always I look forward to getting feedback from you, the loyal reader.

First off, I want to say something that is about as universal as it gets. You need to go see “Knocked Up”. Now. Seriously. I don’t care if you’re at work or you have school, you have my permission to ditch it and go to the movie. This movie was pretty damn hilarious, and if you’re a Jew, get ready for some new quotes for your Facebook page. Moving the polar opposite direction, I was shocked at how unfunny the MTV Movie Awards were. Well maybe not shocked. For years I’ve watched MTV cannibalize its own goodwill and turn their network into a haven for subpar programming by pandering to the largest crowd of disinterest teenagers (and that’s not even including Sunday Night Heat). Now, despite the fact that I know that MTV is a joke, I still tuned into the awards show thinking that it might be slightly funny. After all, this is the show that gave us the “Welcome Back Kotter” meets “Pulp Fiction” spoof, not to mention William Shatner performing spoken word and the Ramones singing the nominees for best song. No, this year wasn’t funny, and even worse it exposed some supposedly funny people, showing us just how much they need their scripts. Yeah, Jack was pretty messed up when he accepted his award and yeah it’s always fun to see Mike Myers, but overall this was just a whole lot of bad. Why did I DVR this crap? For you, the reader. I watched it as a safety precaution so you don’t have to. Hell, even Sarah Silverman wasn’t mean enough. She had Paris Hilton mere inches from the stage, yet the insults weren’t enough to send the heiress running for the door in tears. Of course, I DVRed the damn show because Sunday night was the penultimate “Sopranos” and the season finale of “Entourage”. I am going to miss “The Sopranos” because it was hands down one of the best television shows ever, and HBO has got to be praying that one of their new programs steps up and produces half as much buzz as Tony did.

Now, Sunday night also had One Night Stand. You know, that PPV that used to be an ECW exclusive show that bathed in the waters of nostalgia while a bunch of jacked up New York fans told Vince what they thought of the current product. This year, instead of an electric crowd and spot-fest matches, we got the third lukewarm PPV in like a month. I didn’t watch the PPV on Sunday due to the fact that my wallet and conscience wouldn’t let me waste the money, so I managed to procure a copy of it on Monday. Before I get to that, I want to show off the exciting new links

Links

Yeah, I know, thrilling. Anyway, for the first time ever here at “For Your Consideration”, I’ve got some links. Now, there aren’t a ton for the first week since I’m pretty new at it, so here’s a smattering of what’s going on:

One Night Stand Coverage: If you missed the PPV or you just feel like reliving the “excitement”, check out the always stellar show recaps.

Modest Response: I linked to part one, but there are 2 parts and they’re a great compilation of what you missed. Hopefully, one of you skillful readers will compile these matches into a big torrent so that those of us who missed some of them can catch them all. Plus, the more I read A Modest Response, the more excited I get for the first ROH PPV and I can’t wait until they come to Florida for Wrestlemania weekend (you bet your ass I’ll be there).

Alternate Reality: Vinny’s got a great article about the recent cuts by the WWE. Hmm, sounds familiar. Oh yeah, I wrote a similar article about this two weeks ago. Hey, there’s enough room on the bandwagon for calling out Vince on some stupid moves and I’m glad that Vin is there to call the WWE on their bullshit like I did.

One Night Stand Roundtable: I know what you’re thinking, why is this last? Shouldn’t the Roundtable go before the recap? Yeah, probably, but it is also the thrust of today’s column. You see, the Roundtable has some very strict rules about how you have to post your picks and I guess I f*cked up and my picks again failed to make a Roundtable. So, in the interest of fairness, I am going to (again) present my picks a day late and a dollar short, but with post-show analysis to show just how wrong I was.

For Your Consideration One Night (of lower) Stand(ards)

First, I’ll give you my pre-match picks, with some damn fine analysis of the current situation involving the match and then I’ll give you my post-show thoughts. I swear it’ll be worth it.

ECW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Street Fight
ECW Champion Vince McMahon vs. Bobby Lashley
Before the show, I said
Nothing like a fresh, exiting match between two electrifying performers competing for a coveted prize, right? This is the 47th meeting between Lashley and some form of the Vince/Shane/Umaga triumvirate, and I don’t think I’ve cared about a singe match these guys have had. Just think, one year ago we were given Cena/RVD, which was highly anticipated because it was going before a hot ECW New York crowd and everyone knew that the response was going to be the highlight of the show. Now, with the show originating from Jacksonville (not to mention no longer being an ECW show), the fun of One Night Stand is gone. You really can’t have smart fans in attendance because chances are these are Jaguar fans, and being a smart Jaguar fan is an oxymoron. Oh yeah, there’s a match to talk about also. Vince/Lashley exists for a number of legitimate reasons, so it’s hard to get too upset with it. First off, since Lashley is hurt, it would be difficult for him to carry the title when he can’t even work. A face champion that doesn’t compete helps no one. A cowardly heel champion that doesn’t compete, however, is a heat seeker because fans will pay to see him get his comeuppance. Vince holding the belt helped to hide Lashley’s injuries, so it served the first purpose. Second, Vince as champion allowed the fans to at least try to rally behind Bobby Lashley. Since Lashley is still THE GUY THAT MUST GET OVER, Vince will do anything (including sacrifice his well-being by going in there with a guy that is still a little green) to make him the champion of the people. Even though it will probably fail, it’s still nice to see that Vince cares about something. Lastly, Vince versus Lashley allowed the rest of ECW to try and grow a little. Big Bully Gene was given more time to squash Heat fodder so that he can seem like a more legit heel for Bobby to decimate. Punk and Burke were allowed to grow their feud with the absence of gold to distract them. Sabu was given time to get shown the door. Now, with Snitsky ready to get flattened by Lashley in the near future and with Punk/Burke going along smoothly, it’s time for Bobby Lashley to reintegrate into ECW programming as the champ again. Vince served his purpose well and became the definition of an efficient transitional champion (even though he’s just transitioning from Lashley to Lashley). Now, with the draft looming, ECW needs Lashley as champ to combat whatever heel gets sent to Tuesday nights.
Winner: Bobby Lashley (who hopefully will never be allowed to do another interview again)

After the Show
Well, Shane has again proven that he is willing to damn near kill himself to get someone over. He went through an announce table and tried a VanTerminator? Seriously, Shane, we need you healthy. If you’re broken and beaten, Stephanie’s going to take over. Aside from Shane’s daredevil tactics (which I’m worried are starting to get old), the match was your normal Lashley snoozer. I thought for sure when he blew the dive onto Umaga that he was done for good, but somehow Bobby proved that you cannot tell the difference between an injured Lashley and a 100% Lashley. Glad he’s got the belt back I guess, but I still think it would have been cooler to just have Vince act as the cowardly heel and just vacate the belt and hold a tournament. Ah, but how could that get Bobby Lashley over?

WWE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Falls Count Anywhere
WWE Champion John Cena vs. The Great Khali
Before the show
I said last month in my column that Khali is going to be champion. It just makes sense. He’s this superhuman looking being that-to a nonfan-looks impressive. I still like the image of Vince on the Today show with Khali just standing there with the belt. It makes wrestling seem like the circus that Vince wants it to be because Khali can be a mainstream draw. He could be the next Andre (except less talented and less charismatic), and Vince won’t squander the chance to test the waters. Khali winning in this type of match won’t really hurt Cena. Cena made him “tap” last month. This match is Falls Count Anywhere, so there are plenty of convenient outs for John. If Khali drops Cena with a sick bump (ECW fans would roll in their grave if Cena gets the “Holy shit” chant) then no one could fault Cena for losing the match. Plus, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, with Khali as champ, the WWE would need someone to come in and slay the giant. Someone who would have to act like Conan the Barbarian. Someone who I don’t know should be coming back this summer, perhaps? It’s all about the Game.
Winner: The Great Khali WWE Champion Khali ugh

After
Yep, John Cena is still the WWE champion. Still. I thought for sure that Vince would do a stupid move and give Khali the title, but instead he let John win with what might have been a sick bump had we seen it from the proper angle. Either way, they built up Cena’s inability to FU Khali for so long that it felt like a satisfying payoff to a feud that no one wanted to see.

WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Steel Cage Match
World Champion Edge vs. Dave Batista
Before the match
Poor Dave. Poor, poor Dave. He gets injured as champ, rehabs for months, comes back on a wave of excitement and then gets his ass whooped by Booker T. In one fight, he loses his spot in the company and his reputation on the Net. Then, hoping that the marks won’t remember, he tries to coast back onto television with a depleted in-ring style and a bad haircut. That doesn’t work. Now, with the title hanging limply on his shoulder, lame duck champion Batista gets sacrificed to the Undertaker’s winning streak. In fact, I think that was Dave’s first big loss since turning face. With his popularity waning, he got pinned clean in the middle of the ring. Not only that, he never got his heat back. So, after being humiliated by the stories of him getting beaten by Booker T, the stories about him and several divas backstage, the stories about Vince losing faith in him and the stories that he just can’t cut it anymore, Batista decides to get refocused. Suddenly, reports say that he’s a model citizen. He’s trying again in the ring. He’s getting back to being the Batista that the fans got behind at Wrestlemania 21. Oh wait, Taker’s injured. Not only that, but instead of just giving Batista the belt, they’re giving it to Edge. Oh wait, not only is Edge going to be champion, but now the WWE feels that it’s time to give him an extended run with the title. Dave Batista: Victim of Circumstance. The steel cage stip obviously helps make the loss a little better. The fluke roll-up that Edge won with at Judgment Day was because of a bad knee. Said bad knee would make it hard for Batista to climb up a cage. Therefore, like a fact pattern worthy of a Weekly Reader, it can be deduced that Dave won’t be able to climb out of a cage with a bad knee. Dave looks strong, Edge keeps his belt and the draft lottery helps determine where the hell this is all going.
Winner: Edge

After
Didn’t we do this finish like a hundred times? I feel like I’ve seen this safe finish done 20 times alone this year. Come up with something new. Well, now that Batista’s lost 5 straight times against a champion, where do we go from here? Do they do the teased Orton/Edge feud? No. They couldn’t. You know, I hate to be a cynic (who am I kidding, I love it!) but maybe, just maybe they’ll draft Triple H to Smackdown just so he can still get his program against Edge. Yeah Edge, you thought moving to Friday nights would save you from jobbing to Hunter? Think again, Canadian.

WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Ladder Match
World Tag Team Champions The Hardys vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team
Before
I feel like a broken record here. I’ve said for months that the Hardys shouldn’t be a team anymore. I still think that the Hardys shouldn’t be a team anymore. I actually agree with Vince on this point. They are a fine “attraction”. They get a nice pop and wrestle crowd-pleasingly unspectacular matches. Separating Matt and Jeff would allow Matt Hardy to blossom (or at least try to blossom) on Smackdown while Jeff can do his shtick on RAW. They both will still get their pops. Jeff will still look bored in the ring as he wrestles Carlito for the 1,000th time while Matt can feud with MVPorter for the US Title. It’s a win-win. Haas and Benjamin are a talented team that deserve a chance to look legitimate again. Maybe the sportsmanship angle with Cade & Murdoch was supposed to be the “saw it coming from a mile away” swerve, but maybe the WWE found a new face team that could compete with Haas/Benjamin once the Hardys are gone. That would be awesome. Either way, Shelton in a ladder match is going to be awesome. He should have been in Money in the Bank. In fact, I don’t think Benjamin and Jeff Hardy have been in a ladder match together before, so look for someone to die with a big spot. While I hope that Haas/Benjamin can win the gold, move on to feud with Cade & Murdoch and let the Hardys separate, I doubt that the WWE would do anything that could improve the product. With that
Winner: Matt and Jeff Hardy again

After
There were some cool spots, but the nagging feeling struck me again that it just doesn’t make sense to go for the cool spot when you could win the match. I bitched about Jeff Hardy in MITB not going for the suitcase and instead diving onto Edge. I bitched because these guys are supposed to at least fake this thing being real. When Shelton Benjamin forsook the tag titles and instead dove onto Matt Hardy, I immediately was reminded that someone in the back forgot that these matches are supposed to be about winning and losing and not just a spot-fest. Oh yeah, and the Hardys are still champs. Give me a break.

NON-TITLE MATCH
Pudding Match
Women’s Champion Melina vs. Candice Michelle
Before
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, now that Candice Michelle can wrestle a somewhat coherent match, let’s give her a title shot! What? It’s non-title? Oh, well at least she can try out her new skills against another competent woman. What? It’s pudding wrestling? I don’t know what kind of drugs Creative is on, but I wouldn’t mind a sample. Hopefully Candice wins the match to set up a title match, wins the belt and allows Mickie to turn heel and chase for the gold. I love heel Mickie, sue me.
Winner: Candice Michelle

After
Brutal. I’m all for Maria getting doused with pudding and all, but this was just a mess (no pun intended). Moving on.

SIX-MAN TAG
Tables Match
CM Punk & Sandman & Tommy Dreamer vs. Elijah Burke & Marcus Cor Von & Matt Striker
Before
The match between Punk and Burke on ECW this past Tuesday was better then it deserved to be. Elijah Burke used some innovate moves and he and Punk showed something unique in a WWE ring, enthusiasm. They looked like they were having a blast out there and I thought it was better then Judgment Day. I almost felt like this was a throwback to the old Triple H/Rock matches when they were feuding over the IC title. You know, two guys fired up about the chance to make it big that-despite mistakes-still tried their hardest to put on a good match. If Burke and Punk are this generation’s Hunter and Rocky then the WWE should be okay. The era of squandered opportunities will hopefully die with Orton. Maybe Edge and his years of hard work and quality matches will be the new standard for how to get over. Oh yeah, the match. Well, since Punk lost this past week, logic dictates that he should get the win. Burke lost last month, so he shouldn’t take the loss. Cor Von looks like he might finally get a push (since he pinned Punk a few weeks back and delivered that nice pounce this past week), so he can’t take the loss. Stiker always loses, and if he is going to have any credibility with the Majors Brother, he’s can’t take the loss. So, since none of the New Breed can get put through the table and since Punk can’t get put through the table, that lease the ECW Originals. They’re fun for Vince to kick around. Tommy looked pretty good in there with Orton, so maybe his reward will be that he won’t get driven through a table. By process of elimination, all that’s left is the Sandman. Poor Sandman.
Winner: New Breed

After
Not a bad match. Nothing to write home about, but not a bad match. The finish looked pretty painful, which is key in a tables match. Everything was pretty passable, though I still doubt the logic of squashing the New Breed, unless the purpose is to give Cor Von a push and let the rest of the NB just drift away quietly.

ECW LEGEND VS. THE LEGEND KILLER
Stretcher Match
Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam
Before
My column this past week was all about Rob Van Dam. At the time, it looked like RVD was going to put Snitsky over again in a match, which sent me over the edge. Now, it looks like he’s going to put over Orton. Like I suggested in my column, Van Dam’s final big match should have been used to put over Punk, who has been pretty much a model citizen and probably the future of ECW. Instead, he’s putting over Orton, who’s due for his burial punishment as soon as it becomes convenient for the WWE to do so. Yep, RVD will put a guy over that is in line to get buried anyway. Keeping with the theme of the night, Van Dam will lose and not look terrible because he has a “concussion”. This is just ridiculous.
Winner: Randy Orton

After
To quote Tony Schiavone, “What a swerve!”. Oh Vince, you got us. You trickster. Ha ha, I feel like I got played. Man, you you’re good. On the plus side, there were flashes of the old Rob Van Dam in this match and even though it was his last time in a WWE ring, he still put on a hell of a show. Not only that, but he showed that he could tell a story. Now the story was pretty damn retarded, but it was a story nonetheless.

LUMBERJACK MATCH
Before
Kane vs. Mark Henry
Why? Just why? This should be Porter/Benoit again. Those matches haven’t been terrible. This this will be terrible. Poor Kane, by the way. He’s going to put over Henry after putting over Umaga and putting over Khali. He’s the JTTM (jobber to the monsters). The Lumberjack Match keeps again with the theme of losing strong, since Regal and Taylor will be outside looking for revenge. Hopefully this will be short.
Winner: Henry

After
As I watched Chris Benoit come down as a lumberjack, I wept. I wept because I realized that the WWE saw more worth in putting on this abomination then they did in giving us a Benoit match. Hell, they could have done Benoit/Flair versus Carlto/Porter. They could have done ANYTHING instead of a slow, plodding match that ended in a bear hug.

Overall the PPV was full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. No title switches. No big angles. No great matches. This was about as by-the-numbers as it gets, which is sad considering the past two One Night Stands were anything but ordinary. When fans look back at wasted opportunities, One Night Stand should stick out in their minds. ECW fans thrive on nostalgia and they will pretty much buy anything you wave in front of their faces as long as it’s not watered down WWE crap. ECW fans wouldn’t mind seeing Tommy Dreamer versus the Sandman. ECW fans wouldn’t mind endless video packages showing the good old days. Hell, give them one good shoot promo like Paul E gave and they’ll mark out like Matt Hardy fans at middle school. One Night Stand should have been the easiest PPV to deliver, and instead we got a dull and lifeless show that will be as forgettable as Backlash and Judgment Day.

Next week, the WWE will try to balance the rosters and you better believe I’ll be here to analyze it. CM Punk, burn your draft card.

This has been for your consideration.

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