|Available at Amazon.com|
Once a year WWE decides to step outside the boundaries a little bit and make things a tad more interesting. There is no longer a hardcore division or title. Mankind aka Mick Foley no longer wrestles on a constant basis so his wild and unique tactics aren’t seen often anymore. ECW is no longer the land of no disqualification matches, but its own brand that is a breeding ground for new and upcoming stars. But it’s this one night out of the year when the WWE decides to take things…to the…extreme!
On June 1, 2008 from the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, California, World Wrestling Entertainment got the superstars of Raw, SmackDown, and ECW for some hardcore matches. The fourth annual One Night Stand (kind of an oxymoron isn’t it?) would prove to be a night of bumps, bruises, breaks, and bye-byes. Four years ago it was seen as a night when the ways of the original ECW could be showcased in matches that were nothing but extreme rules. It proved to be rather popular with the fans and now sticks around, but has a new meaning. No longer does it point back to the original ECW, but is the one and only night when all the matches on a card are fought under extreme rules.
There were some big things on the line this night as two championship matches, a Singapore cane match for a title shot, the first ever women’s “I Quit” match, and the possible end of the Undertaker’s career were all set to go down. Randy Orton and Triple had plenty of scores to settle and now they were going to step out of their natural element and have it come down to the one man who could remain standing. Former partners Beth Phoenix and Melina had grown a huge set of differences and would look to make one another submit. And the Undertaker and Edge’s feud would reach new heights on both their continued quests for the now vacant World Heavyweight Title. Edge would have the advantage this night as the master of TLC matches and with the Undertaker having the most to lose.
**Warning: There are SPOILERS in this review!**
~ Falls Count Anywhere Match: Jeff Hardy Vs. Umaga – It’s come to be known that Umaga and Jeff Hardy are willing to put their bodies on the line no matter what the situation may be. So therefore it seemed only appropriate that they take part in this “falls count anywhere” match. A lot of brawling takes this match out of the ring in a hurry and all throughout various parts of the arena. I always love when parts of the set are used as weapons. Lots of big spots for plenty of oohs and aahs and a final blow that took a while to set up, but did the job. Not too bad for an opened, but nothing we haven’t seen before really.
~ Mick Foley Explains The Rules Of The Stretcher Match
~ Singapore Cane Match: Big Show Vs. CM Punk Vs. Tommy Dreamer Vs. John Morrison Vs. Chavo Guerrero – Ok, there are five participants and four canes hung on poles in each corner of the ring. You get up and grab it; then you can use it. Winner of this match gets a shot at the ECW Heavyweight Title. Most of the guys in this match have never been in this type of match so on might think that Dreamer would have the advantage here. But how much experience do you really need to swing a damn cane? Speaking of Tommy; he looks weird in white pants.
This really isn’t a bad match and it is full of good whacks with the canes making for some loud noises and serious looking welts. That’s virtually the intention of all the matches this evening to be honest with you. Show is just huge compared to everyone else in the match and that really plays to his advantage even though there are swinging sticks involved. What I don’t get is that there are four canes on four poles right? It’s devised that way so that one guy can be without right? Then answer me the question of why there’s a whole container of Singapore canes at ringside? Anyway, it does the job and is a fun match.
Side note: San Diego Charger Shawne Merriman is in the crowd and gets a shot from Chavo with a cane. He gets retaliation though by drilling Chavo with a cane and then doing his “Lights Out” sack dance. Awesome!
~ Todd Grisham Interviews Mr. McMahon
~ First Blood Match: John Cena Vs. JBL – Simple enough here folks; the first one to bleed loses. I didn’t like these two against one another way back when they were battling at WrestleMania 21. I don’t think they mesh well together in the ring as it is, and then you go and add one of the most boring stipulations in creation. It wouldn’t be that bad if they decided to use some weapons or something, but they barely do. And then when all is said and done here…JBL bleeds from the mouth due to the STFU? Oh My God! (eyeroll)
~ Randy Orton Wishes Batista Luck Before His Match
~ “I Quit” Match: Melina Vs. Beth Phoenix – More simplicity for you folks as the loser is the first one to say they quit. This doesn’t really scream “extreme” to me, but what can you do? Phoenix is just straight up awesome and could have had the spotlight here by showing her power in a true extreme match, but they put her in a submission match. Makes no sense. And Melina still doesn’t thrill me in the ring or in looks. This match gets boring and very fast because it just got old watching crappy submission move after crappy submission move be applied. The ending was brutal looking though as Phoenix just crumpled Melina up into a reversed fetal position. Sheesh!
~ Mike Adamle Interrupts John Cena And Mickie James
~ Stretcher Match: Shawn Michaels Vs. Batista – Here we go, a little more to explain. There is a line drawn on the ground down near the entranceway and to win the match, you’ve got to get your opponent on the stretcher and wheel them over the line. This feud stems from Michaels retiring Ric Flair at WrestleMania 24 which angered his good friend Batista. Batista thinks that HBK could have simply let Flair win and allow the Nature Boy to continue his career. I still could care less about Batista no matter if he’s a heel or face.
Both men just decide to beat the hell out of one another here because it is what’s needed to incapacitate the other long enough to wheel them down the aisle. The match just never seemed to get going very well which made it…I don’t know, just kind of odd. I’ve seen better matches out of Batista so I know he can show more here, but it appeared as if even HBK couldn’t carry him to anything good. Maybe it’s because this is a glorified submission match since you need to wear down your opponent constantly. Meh.
~ Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship: Triple H (c) Vs. Randy Orton – In order to win this match, a wrestler must make his opponent stay down for a count of ten. Oh look, another glorified submission match. Orton and Triple H can put on a pretty good show together and it was going decent here until the abrupt and sudden ending. Triple H threw Orton over the top rope at one point and he landed very awkwardly on the floor. Five seconds later, Trips gets out the traditional sledgehammer and bing-bada-boom, the match is over. There was going to be some more brutality and possibly some blood here if Orton hadn’t been legitimately injured.
~ TLC Match for the Vacant World Heavyweight Championship: Undertaker Vs. Edge – Here is a ladder match that allows the participants to use chairs and tables as well. Undertaker must win the vacant title here or must leave the WWE forever. Bit more drama going on here since these two have been battling for months and there is a lot at stake here. I like Taker and Edge in the ring together as they have a really good chemistry against one another and also know how to tell a really good story outside the ring as well.
This match had all the requirements in line to be violent as hell and it produced. It isn’t called a TLC match for no reason so both men make sure to put everything to good use. Watch this match to see why I still enjoy seeing Undertaker in the ring. The man has been wrestling for almost two decades and you know his body has to be beat up badly, but he takes a huge fall through four tables which is sick for anyone to do. By far this is the best match of the entire night and was worth the wait.
The event is shown in 1.33:1 Full Screen format and looks gorgeous as usual. WWE has really done a lot of work in recent months to make sure there is no pixilation during the pyro or any time at all.
The event is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and it sounds great as the WWE has been doing for a while now. No problems with hearing the commentary, entrance themes, pyro, whacks, grunts, and everything else.
4 Historical Undertaker Moments – This is a nice look back at four pivotal moments in the Dead Man’s storied career including: Survivor Series 1990 (his debut), King Of The Ring 1998 (destroying Mankind in the Hell In The Cell match), Royal Rumble 2007 (winning the Rumble by outlasting another icon, HBK), and WrestleMania 23 (defeating Batista for his fifth world title and keeping the streak alive). These were nice and all, but together they maybe total about four minutes.
Trailers – Behind Enemy Lines: Columbia, WrestleMania XXIV, and The Rock: The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment
Well, for the first time all year the WWE has failed to deliver. So far the PPVs have been truly awesome with only a crappy match here and there, but One Night Stand had more then its share. For a night of hardcore, only three matches really portrayed what would be considered “extreme rules.” Submission matches and all those that are similar to it don’t make sense on a PPV modeled after the famed ECW. Besides Taker/Edge and the Singapore cane match, I doubt there’s anything I’d ever want to watch again. Triple H and Orton were headed for a pretty decent brawl, but then an injury cut it very short. Nothing much appealed to me here and the special features didn’t help either. Those are getting worse and worse with each DVD release from WWE. I’d like even a recap or video package detailing the feuds each match is set upon. It’s not like it’d be more work because they’re already usually shown on Raw or SmackDown. WWE was batting a thousand before One Night Stand, but I guess all good things must come to an end. Let’s hope they get back on the right track next month. Let’s also hope One Night Stand gets an overhaul next year and they realize that more hardcore matches are the key to a night dedicated to…hardcore!
WWE Home Video presents WWE One Night Stand 2008. Featuring: Randy Orton, Triple H, Undertaker, Edge, Beth Phoenix, Melina, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, JBL, CM Punk, Tommy Dreamer, and many more. Running time: 180 minutes. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: July 1, 2008. Available at Amazon.com