Big Show gives WWE an extreme shock
By Ed Williams III
June 7, 2006
Earlier in the week, Paul Heyman told WWE.com that WWE vs. ECW Head to Head would be the biggest night in the history of ECW. And boy was he right…literally. After Randy Orton eliminated an unsuspecting Kurt Angle in the WWE vs. ECW Battle Royal, it appeared as though he and Big Show emerged victorious for WWE. But just as Orton was starting to celebrate, Big Show shocked the raucous crowd at the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio when he ripped off his RAW shirt to reveal a brand new ECW shirt. ECW just added the largest athlete in the world to their brand, and picked up a world of momentum heading into One Night Stand this Sunday.
Before the Battle Royal, Big Show appeared to be trying to rally his then-fellow WWE troops. He told them, “ECW has no idea what they’re going to get.” And he was right. The last ECW wrestler eliminated in the Battle Royal, Kurt Angle, had to pick his jaw up off the floor after he realized Big Show was the newest member of ECW. But Big Show wasn’t done making an impact just yet.
In the main event, WWE Champion John Cena went one on one against Sabu in a non-title, Extreme Rules Match. After enduring massive amounts of punishment from the homicidal, suicidal, genocidal Sabu, The Champ was able to catch his adversary in the FU. He looked to finish him off with his patented STFU, but before Sabu could tap, Big Show stormed the ring and broke things up. Almost instantaneously, the ring filled with WWE and ECW stars as the ring was transformed into a makeshift war zone, whipping the Nutter Center crowd into a frenzy. The battle seemed to extend into the stands as WWE and ECW fans were having their own war of words with each other. Cena was able to survive his first dose of hardcore Wednesday night at Head to Head, but the pressure will only continue to mount heading into One Night Stand. Perhaps Cena put it best himself in a backstage interview with Todd Grisham.
“For the first time ever, the WWE Championship will be on the line at an ECW pay-per-view,” said Cena in the interview. “The Championship has been held by the likes of Bruno Sammartino, the Immortal Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin. If Rob Van Dam wins, then the Championship will be gone and it will be christened the ECW Championship. I’ll be the biggest goat in sports-entertainment history.”
The WWE Champion wasn’t the only champ in action Wednesday night. World Champion Rey Mysterio had a non-title match of his own, and his opponent was Mr. Money in the Bank Rob Van Dam. At One Night Stand, Mysterio will defend the gold against Sabu. Rey Mysterio has said that his World Championship reign has been like a dream ride, but over the last month and change, he has been putting his body through an absolute hell. Since April 28, Mysterio has had to face Kurt Angle twice, was overpowered by Mark Henry, was demolished by The Great Khali, was brutalized by the Big Red Monster Kane, successfully defended his championship against JBL twice, and in addition to having to face RVD at Head to Head, Mysterio also knew that the bruising Finlay awaited on Friday at SmackDown. Yet through it all, Mysterio has never complained once, and has fought every battle like a man. And Wednesday night was no different. Mysterio matched high-flying maneuvers with Van Dam early on, and he even used the hardcore style to his advantage as he connected with a bulldog onto a chair. But when he tried to use the chair with a leg drop, RVD was able to get out of the way and hit the Five Star Frogsplash to pick up the win. If Rob Van Dam can do the same thing at One Night Stand on Sunday, then the WWE Championship will have a new home in ECW. And on the flipside, if Rey is pinned again on Sunday, then Sabu would become the new World Champion. After One Night Stand, ECW could potentially be the home of both the WWE and World Championships.
While ECW has been known for many things throughout its existence, it’s probably best known for its hardcore action. And no match will be more hardcore at One Night Stand than when Mick Foley & Edge take on Tommy Dreamer & Terry Funk. This one has gotten extremely personal, and fans got a taste of what to expect Wednesday night when Edge went one on one against Dreamer in an Extreme Rules Match. Edge did his best to hang with the Innovator of Violence, but while on the turnbuckles, Dreamer was able to backdrop Edge off the top rope and then delivered a Dreamer Driver through the table. Before Dreamer could score the pin, Lita came into the ring and blasted Dreamer repeatedly with a cane. Dreamer endured the shots and hoisted Lita up for a powerbomb, but before he could execute the maneuver, Edge came from out of nowhere with a spear for the win. Meanwhile, Foley and Funk brawled on the outside, and it appeared as though the Funker got the best of the exchange, busting Foley open with a series of vicious rights and lefts.
Moments later Foley sat in the ring by himself and shared some thoughts on why he has spoken out so vehemently against ECW.
“You think I loved ECW? I loved ECW, but they didn’t love me back. She was like the girl I couldn’t let go of, but the one that makes me sick upon seeing her. She wanted too much blood, too much of my heart, too much of my life, so I left and I found fame and fortune in WWE,” said an emotional Foley. “Edge and I are prepared to take the beatings of our lives, and I will do that to exercise the sick, twisted whore that is ECW. I want her out of my life. You’ve seen me thrown off cells, slammed into tacks, put through burning tables. It is nothing compared to the horrors I will unleash on Dreamer and Funk at ECW (One Night Stand). You stepped on my soul. You took everything I worked for and through it all away. When I walk into the Hammerstein Ballroom as a WWE Legend, you Terry Funk and you Tommy Dreamer will learn about loss…Have a nice day.”
While Funk and Dreamer represent two of ECW’s biggest legends, one of the faces of ECW will also be in action at One Night Stand – Kurt Angle. But just as Angle shocked the world when he was revealed as the newest member of ECW, his One Night Stand opponent, Randy Orton, also had some big news. Last year Orton was drafted, from RAW to SmackDown. But his SmackDown contract has expired, and Orton signed on to become the newest member of RAW. But before Orton goes back to RAW to try and make an impact, he has revenge on his mind for Sunday against Angle.
“You broke my ankle two months ago,” the Legend Killer said to Angle Wednesday night. “If you hadn’t done that, I would be World Champion right now. I spent two months wondering how I was going to pay back Kurt Angle, and now two months later, here I am with my chance. This Sunday, I’m going to use everything I have to beat you within an inch of your damn life, and all of the excitement of ECW will go down the tubes. It is my destiny to bring ECW to its knees. Not only am I going to beat you, but I am going to single-handedly kill the legend of ECW.”
But the war of words and physicality wasn’t confined to the squared circle. In fact, some of the most heated verbal exchanges came from the broadcast booths. Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler represented WWE and Joey Styles, who quit his RAW announce job six weeks ago, and SmackDown announcer and ECW alumnus Tazz represented ECW. Tazz, defending his former brand’s honor, will going one on one against Lawler at One Night Stand. And it was just a matter of time before their verbal jabs and insults would escalate into a brawl. The two couldn’t wait for One Night Stand, and the two exchanged punches in an all-out brawl around the announce area. The two had to be separated by several officials, but there will be no one to separate them at One Night Stand. Will Tazz be able to fulfill his promise and choke The King out, or will Lawler prove that ECW stands for extremely crappy wrestling?
With the announcers getting in on the action, the Divas certainly didn’t want to be left out. Women’s Champion Mickie James got her first taste of hardcore when she went one on one with ECW’s Jazz. Although Jazz made her name in ECW first, she’s also a two-time Women’s Champion in WWE. She showed off why she is widely considered one of the toughest women wrestlers alive with her hardcore style, but Mickie was able to catch her with a jumping DDT for the win.
Rob Van Dam def. Rey Mysterio (c) via pinfall (non-title)
Mickie James (c) def. Jazz via pinfall (non title)
20 man interpromotional battle royal: Winner: Big Show for ECW
Edge def. Tommy Dreamer via pinfall and interference
WWE Champion John Cena vs. Sabu- No Contest