Written: June 12, 2005

ECW’s first event in nearly a half of a decade kicked off with a thunderous ovation for the voice of ECW, Joey Styles. Over the next three hours, the ECW fans on hand at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City managed to sustain their level of applause and excitement, and oftentimes, believe it or not, even exceeded it.

Best friends battled in the first match of One Night Stand when “Lionheart” Chris Jericho took on one half of the Impact Players – Lance Storm, with Dawn Marie. Not only are Jericho and Storm best friends, but they also competed together in the past as a tag team. At One Night Stand, however, they were on opposite ends of the ring.

Prior to the event, Storm mentioned to many that his One Night Stand match against Jericho would probably be his last. That said, Storm clearly used every ounce of athleticism in him to go out with a bang. What happened at the end of the physical encounter, however, left many people wondering if that was the way that Lance Storm actually wanted to end his successful career. Rather than the match’s decision coming as a result of one ECW star’s superior efforts, Justin Credible and Jason interfered on Storm’s behalf, hitting Jericho with a kendo stick. The impact was enough to cost Jericho the match. In the end, it was clear that Lance Storm had stolen a win from his best friend.

The Tajiri vs. Little Guido vs. Super Crazy match was so intense that color commentator Mick Foley was forced to let Joey Styles call the match on his own because the three ECW stars were executing moves so innovative that he didn’t know how to call them. At one point, the action spilled out to the crowd. With the entire Full Blooded Italian faction standing on the arena floor, Super Crazy climbed to the second floor balcony and executed a jaw-dropping moonsault. Shortly thereafter, Little Guido was eliminated from the match. After several more minutes of action, Super Crazy finally won the match after hitting a top-rope moonsault onto Tajiri.

Psicosis and Rey Mysterio have competed against each other more than 500 times. This encounter easily went down as one of the most anticipated. Prior to the match, Psicosis removed his mask as a sign of love and mutual respect for the ECW fans. When the bell finally rang, neither man showed any regard for his body. At one point, Mysterio even jumped into the crowd onto a Psicosis. In the end, it was Mysterio picking up the win with the West Coast Pop.

After the Psicosis/Rey Mysterio match, SmackDown! Superstars Kurt Angle and JBL verbally assaulted the ECW fans. Luckily, the return of Rob Van Dam to pay-per-view stopped Angle and JBL. RVD, with Bill Alfonso, interrupted JBL, saying that he was tired of having JBL and his image shoved down his throat every time he wants to watch wrestling.

RVD then continued to shoot from the heart, claiming he was going back to a time when his vocabulary was not limited to simply “whatever” or “cool.” Van Dam said that the time he spent in ECW was the best of his career. In fact, ECW was so important to RVD that not being able to compete at One Night Stand because of injury was worse than missing any overseas WWE event or even WrestleMania. RVD then went into how he planted the seed of One Night Stand into Mr. McMahon’s head. But before he could get into it anymore, Rhyno ran to the ring and Gored an unsuspecting Van Dam.

Immediately after the Gore, the lights at the Hammerstein Ballroom shut off, leaving the arena completely black. When the lights finally came back on, Sabu was standing in the middle of the ring. Rhyno and Sabu then competed in an unscheduled match.

Rhyno, the last ECW World Heavyweight Champion, looked to be in the best shape of his career. Unfortunately for Rhyno, however, his chiseled frame was not enough to stop the three-on-one attack of Sabu, RVD and Alfonso. Van Dam eventually slammed Rhyno with a steel chair, then placed him on top of a table. From there, Sabu, using another steel chair as a weapon, leg dropped Rhyno through the table. That proved to be enough for the pinfall victory.

As expected, Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero put on a wrestling clinic at One Night Stand. Both successful SmackDown! Superstars clearly gave it their all in an attempt to entertain the ECW fans. In the end, however, Guerrero had no choice but to tap out.

In a match just signed for One Night Stand this past Friday, Mike Awesome took on Masato Tanaka. The incredible resilience of the Awesome and Tanaka caused the capacity crowd to shower the competitors with chants of “This match rules.” Highlighted by countless chair shots, broken tables, tornado DDTs and just complete carnage, the match ended when Awesome pinned Tanaka on the floor after delivering an Awesome Bomb through a table from inside the ring to the outside.
After the match, Mick Foley and Joey Styles, who berated Awesome for leaving ECW for WCW years ago, agreed that Awesome had to feel a great sense of redemption after WCW made him look like a fool with the “That 70’s Guy” persona.
Prior to the night’s main event, Paul Heyman took to the ring and thanked the people that made ECW possible. Heyman then focused his attention on the WWE crusaders in attendance, more specifically Eric Bischoff, Edge and JBL. Heyman took great pride in reminding him that he was in the audience at an ECW pay-per-view, not a WCW pay-per-view. He then focused his attention on Edge. Just after mocking the RAW Superstar by telling everybody to hide their wives, Heyman said he had one name for him – “Matt Freaking Hardy.” Finally, Heyman told JBL that the only reason he was WWE Champion for close to one year was because Triple H didn’t want to compete on SmackDown!

One Night Stand’s main event was easily the most violent and bloodiest encounter of the night. But before the match could officially get under way, the bWo and Kid Kash attempted to make their presence felt. When they finally cleared the ring, Bubba Ray and D-Von fought for their professional lives against Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman. All four competitors lost immense amounts of blood thanks to the use of chairs, ladders, tables and even cheese graders.

Believe it or not, the match became even more interesting when the Impact Players, complete with barbed wire, and Francine interfered. Francine promptly kicked Dreamer below the belt. But before any more damage could be done to Dreamer, Beulah ran to the ring and cleared Francine from the match. A bloody Dreamer and Beulah then shared an emotional embrace before executing a double DDT to the Dudleys.

Just when it looked like the Dudleys had no chance of winning, Spike Dudley ran to the ring. Spike did not come alone, though. – he brought lighter fluid. Not long after, Dreamer was powerbombed through a flaming table. Bubba quickly covered Dreamer for the win.

After the match, former ECW star Stone Cold Steve Austin invited the entire ECW locker room into the ring, including Tazz. Stone Cold then invited the WWE crusaders to the ring. An emotional ECW quickly cleaned house of the crusaders. With nobody left to save him, Eric Bischoff then fell victim to a 3D, Diving Headbutt from Benoit, 619 and a Stone Cold Stunner.

By the end of the night, it was clear that, even if for one night only, ECW was alive!