The Professional 3 12.08.13: ECW One Night Stand 2005 Emotional Moments
Posted by Jon Harder on 12.08.2013
Finding a way to relate frustration over the Unified title program, 411's Jon Harder discusses how the current product lacks emotion and how ECW One Night Stand 2005 had all of it...
WELCOME EVERYONE to another edition of the Professional 3 on 411mania.com! I'm Jon Harder and another week down in the world of pro wrestling! We are one week closer to TLC and the unification of the World Titles in WWE. Although that is incredibly important to the lineage to the world of pro wrestling, it feels very reminiscent of 2001 and the incredible rush job of that. I want to think positive about wrestling right now, and I hope this week brings back some memories of something a little more extreme and respectful of the legitimate history of pro wrestling.
Before we go any further, please check out this week's Hardway Podcast on TheJonHarder.com with AJ Evers. You might remember AJ from being on a clip from Sportsnation of him being dropped on his head from Beyond Wrestling, or quite possibly from Inter Species Wrestling as an alternative type person from Craigslist. Regardless, AJ is a fun dude who loves pro wrestling and is very respectful about this business. Follow AJ on Twitter at @AJEversIndy.
Also this week, I officially announced the start of the "Pennies for Norm" campaign. As you guys know, my father passed away on November 10 of this year. I knew once he passed away, I had to do something to help my grieving process. So I decided to get in contact with the Colon Cancer Alliance and decide to do something special. I want to raise money to not only spread awareness of colon cancer, but to help find a cure for this dreadful disease. Pennies For Norm will do that. I am looking to collect pennies (as well as nickels, dimes, and quarters for prosperity's sake) to support this cause. There is so much more information, but to help spread the word and support this cause, please share this link and open people's minds to this cause! http://bit.ly/PenniesForNorm. #PenniesForNorm
Finally, follow me on Twitter at @TheJonHarder. You know the deal. I just love followers.
Now, onto this week's piece. After watching this week's Raw, I got very bothered. Personally, my feelings regarding the unification championship match are this: WrestleMania 30 is the perfect place for MAXIMUM money made off this storyline. In truth, you can go utilize the "Where It All Begins...AGAIN" tagline from WrestleMania XX and just rake it in the money for title for title. Yes, it is totally understandable that the champion vs. champion match has been over-utilized over the past ten years and that people just might not care about it as strong as if they protected the titles better. However, if you had 4 months of build to this major match at the mega money-drawing event of the year, WrestleMania, people would be absolutely CLAMORING for this match. Instead, we have what we have, and I'm ripping my hair out due to the little nuances that drive me nuts about wrestling.
Frustrated, I needed to put something on that would put a smile on my face. As you read last week, save for Total Divas for some STRANGE reason, I hate reality television. Combined with the awful spin that the news media has on news programming, I refused to watch anything on my 500 channels. I decided to dig into my DVD annals. Searching through, I had several DVDS on my mind. Whether it was the Last Dragon with Taimak, the first season of How I Met Your Mother, or even Casino, nothing was appeasing my mind. Suddenly, I saw the DVD that really put a grin upon my mug. Eyeing it, I remembered a fond pay-per-view experience I had with it. I knew I had to watch it. I put on ECW One Night Stand 2005 from the Hammerstein Ballroom.
As you read in a previous Professional 3, I talked about my passion for ECW and coincidentally, a phenomenal set of TV tapings from the first ever shows in Hammerstein. I know ECW is so over-discussed with the internet nowadays, but there was just something about it that brings the joy out of wrestling. My personal opinion was the stories that were told through the performer's bodies, characters, and promos were absolutely full of emotion and passion, something that is missing with the world of wrestling in this generation. It's heartbreaking, but that emotion just isn't as prevalent as it once was in this industry. ECW had IT. That is one statement that you can't deny.
Watching that reunion pay-per-view really brought back memories. I remember on June 12, 2005 watching it with my friends in Mike Brody's apartment in Sayreville, NJ. A bunch of wrestling nerds of our worst day, Ed and Tom Scanlon, Vince "the Prince" Danduone, the legendary Pito, Brody, and I psyched ourselves up to watch this incredible event. Loaded with Domino's Pizza, we were absolutely enthralled with this show. From the opener with Lance Storm and Chris Jericho, to the main event schmozz with Tommy Dreamer and the Sandman against the Dudley Boyz, the show brought the very best of an ECW reunion out in front of the entire world. At that point, all of us wanted to do something with wrestling. It might have taken a few years, but the passion was there: we were incredibly emotional about pro wrestling.
After watching the entire show from beginning to end (and leaving me only able to garner a few hours sleep for work the next morning), I went to bed with a smile on my face. That show put me in a solid mood. It gave me some good memories to remember and thoughts about my friends who helped pave the way for me getting involved with this business. I knew at that point, I had a column for this week.
ECW One Night Stand might not have been the only ECW reunion show that weekend, but it was the better one in this writer's opinion. It had the better wrestling, it still holds up to this day, and it was the better overall show. Granted, the only negative from the show was the JBL and Blue Meanie incident, which was totally uncalled for, but the show is still one of the all-time greats from the first decade of the 21st Century. Paul Heyman deserves a lot of credit for writing an excellent show and portraying it to the wrestling fan base as it needed to be.
This week's P3 will be on the three lasting moments of ECW: ONS 2005. Out of all the classic memories from that event, there were three incredibly emotional ones that stick out to me. They were three incredible moments that I will never forget as long as I live within this ONE show. I hope I am able to portray this strongly to you guys this week. Without further hesitation...
THE PROFESSIONAL 3: ECW One Night Stand 2005 Emotional Moments
1) JOEY STYLES' STANDING OVATION
If there was anyone that deserved this ovation, it was Joey Styles. Coming into ECW as an intern straight from Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 1993, Joey slowly became an innovator in the eyes of aspiring commentators in the world of wrestling. A modern day Gordon Solie by calling the matches solo, Joey took things to an entirely different level, leading the Extreme Revolution with his voice for the vast majority of ECW called matches. Joey remains as the first man in wrestling history to call an entire pay-per-view on his own, starting with ECW Barely Legal in April of 1997. Until the doors closed in 2001, Joey remained the voice of ECW.
So on June 12, 2005 in the Hammerstein Ballroom, Joey Styles was able to kick start the show, like he always did for ECW television and pay-per-views. However, unlike those other times, he received a standing ovation and a "JOEY" chant. Well deserved, as Joey was one of the guys able to carry ECW on his heart sleeve through his passion and soul for the product. This still gives me goosebumps watching Joey hold back tears from the heartfelt ovation the ECW faithful gave him.
2) MIKE AWESOME AND MASATO TANAKA TURN BACK THE CLOCK
In 1998 on ECW TV, Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka took their wars (yes, full-blown wars) from the world of Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling in Japan and brought them the US. These battles were downright violent and still hold true, in my mind, as one of the most violent feuds ever portrayed on US televised. These men shared chair shots, tables, brutal strikes, and even ECW championship reigns together for the better part of 2 years. Although Awesome left in April 2000 under controversial circumstances, this rivalry still holds the test of time in die-hard wrestling fans' psyches. We never thought we'd see something like it again...
Until June 12, 2005. Tanaka, who had really plied his trade in Zero-One once ECW closed, and Awesome, who was the first WCW wrestler to win a WWF championship during the Invasion (JON HARDER DID YOU KNOW FACT: The WWF Hardcore championship the day after the 2001 King of the Ring pay-per-view in Madison Square Garden) before his release in 2003, made for the first time in years in front of a packed Hammerstein Ballroom. They stole the show! From chair shots to powerbombs to tables to everything in between, Awesome and Tanaka had a downright brawl at One Night Stand and completely left it all out there. Performances like that are few and far between. It was the last match Awesome and Tanaka had on a major level in the US. It will NEVER be forgotten.
I will not lie. On the DVD release for One Night Stand, the Sandman entrance was great, but it wasn't the same as the live pay-per-view experience. When "Enter Sandman" hit on that particular show live, the fans erupted. At Mike Brody's house on pay-per-view, we erupted. You never hear REAL music at WWE shows, and when you hear "Enter Sandman" by Metallica on a live WWE pay-per-view, you knew it was a special show.
The Sandman and "Enter Sandman" went together like peanut butter and jelly. It made for an electrifying entrance in the hallowed halls of the ECW Arena and the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. Bottom line, this one magical moment with this theme song made it ALL worth it in the end. This MADE One Night Stand for this crew.
I absolutely adore this show from the opening segment to the closing wars. These three moments are incredibly emotional for me. ECW One Night Stand was awe-inspiring and just one of those shows that left memories for me to hold onto. I got to watch it with my friends and it made me smile then. I watched it last Monday and it made me smile then as well. Bottom line: making us wait for a payoff makes me emotionally invested in a program.
"ECW One Night Stand...back by popular demand!" - Joel Gertner