Moving on to the PPV itself, I thought tonight was a great show, with three main event-caliber matches that delivered the goods. The match of the night in my opinion was Undertaker vs Edge, which should come as no surprise. These guys have had some fantastic matches over the past few months, and tonight culminated in their finest, a tables, ladders and chairs classic.
One Night Stand 2008 opened with Jeff Hardy vs Umaga in a Falls Count Anywhere match. This was a solid opener with a weak finish. The match saw both guys battle all over the arena, which was fun, albeit a bit slow. An innovative spot with Hardy sliding down a railing to hit a hard clothesline looked great, and both guys ended up fighting to the parking lot outside. The finish saw Hardy hit a Swanton Bomb on Umaga off an HD truck for the pin. I have to admit I really don’t like high spots that incorporate guys leaping onto an obvious mat, because the element of damage is severely reduced and the camera angle is always awful. This was especially bad. We saw Hardy leap into nothing, as the entire shot was blocked by equipment, and it took the crew so long to remove the mat that we didn’t even get a camera shot of the actual pinfall! I know Hardy is a proverbial “daredevil,” but jumping onto a 4 foot high air mattress does not prove it. Out of a possible 9 stars, I will give this match 5 stars.
We follow our opener with ECW’s 5 Man Singapore Cane Match Featuring CM Punk, John Morrison, Chavo Guerrero, Big Show and Tommy Dreamer. This was a really fast, action-packed matchup. The early goings of the bout saw a 4 on 1 beat down of The Big Show by the other 4 competitors, and a really nice ring steps spot busted open the big man mid-way into the contest. All told this was a really fun match and my only complaint is that once again Tommy Dreamer was on the receiving end of most of the damage and of course took the pin from The Big Show. I’m not looking forward to another big man match between Show and Kane, but that doesn’t change the fact that this was a good Singapore cane match. 6 Stars.
Next up is John Cena vs JBL in a First Blood Match. This was the best singles match these two have had since their famous “I Quit” match a few years back when they were both wrestling on the Smackdown roster. This was a very hard-hitting, back and forth contest that gave both talents enough time to showcase their ground-and-pound abilities. I’ve always said that guys like Cena and JBL can work well together if in the right circumstances, and an extreme environment seems to get the job done. Similar to the Hardy/Umaga bout, however, I again did not care too much for the finish here. I thought the idea of using the STFU to choke out JBL until he bled was theoretically great, but it wasn’t executed well. JBL was obviously using stage blood as it poured from his mouth before Cena even locked the hold in. If you’re going to use a finish like this, make sure it can be pulled off properly, otherwise it just looks silly. 7 Stars.
Who says the Divas are just pretty faces in bikinis? Here’s a message to all the TNA Knockouts: I hope you were all watching tonight, because there were no pillows or bras or panties in this next bout, only great action. I am talking, of course, about Beth Phoenix vs Melina in an “I Quit” Match. Beth Phoenix is a tremendous athlete, and although this match wasn’t necessarily “extreme,” it was a very intense wrestling match. Melina is vicious, Phoenix is powerful, and the two had a competitive match that saw Phoenix make Melina submit with a surfboard style choke. I’d really like to see this program continue. 6.5 Stars.
After an awkward segment that proved Mike Adamle’s bowel movements stink and that John Cena is still not very funny, it’s time for the first of our three featured bouts of the evening, Shawn Michaels vs Batista in a Stretcher Match. This was another intense bout, with an unexpected finish. Both guys looked great here, trading power moves and attempts to secure the other on the stretcher, but in the end Batista’s strength was too much for HBK to battle against, and the Animal ended up “hurting” the heartbreak kid as promised. What I especially liked here was Chris Jericho’s involvement in the contest. Although it appeared as if he was there to “rally” HBK to a victory over Batista, he was indirectly prolonging the match, which he knew would allow the big man to hit Michaels with more offense. Namely, a second Batista Bomb and a nasty looking spinebuster onto the the steel steps. With Batista potentially taking some time off in the near future, I would really like to see Michaels and Y2J continue their apparent rivalry. 7 Stars.
Our first of two title matches is up next, with Randy Orton challenging Triple H for the WWE Championship in a Last Man Standing Match. To be fair, I cannot rate this match because I am going to assume it was cut short due to Orton’s injury. I could clearly see Orton speaking to the ref after his fall, which seemed to cue HHH to go right into the finish. If this was an angle, then I can assure you I would say this match was a real let down, but accidents happen in this business and the match itself cannot be faulted for this one. I will say that prior to the bump these two were having a solid match, and I was saddened to see it end the way it did. As of this writing I know Orton was taken to the hospital following his match, but I know nothing else. Again, I hope it’s nothing serious.
This brings us to our main event of the evening, The Undertaker vs Edge for the vacated World Heavyweight Championship in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match. This was a phenomenal match. All of the extreme wrestling you would expect from these guys in this type of environment and a finish that I really did not expect. Highlights included Taker destroying all of La Familia, including dumping Ryder and Hawkins through tables, Chokeslamming Edge onto a ladder setup on the ring apron, Powerbombing Edge off of a ladder and through two tables setup on top of one another, and an amazing finish that saw Edge tip the deadman off the ladder to the outside where a “table for four” was waiting for him and the match came to an end. All in all, a great main event that capped off a fun PPV. 10 Stars.
Despite a few gimmicky finishes and an unfortunate injury that halted what was sure to be a great WWE Title match, I thought this was a unique PPV that showcased a “one night only” version of WWE that helped to break-up the redundancy of the monthly PPV’s. Overall, I give One Night Stand 2008 7 out of 9 Stars.
-Sean Merriman whacks Chavo hard with the Singapore cane: fun stuff.
-Dreamer with the Texas Cloverleaf? Malenko was smiling somewhere in the back. So was I!
-John Cena asked Mickie James if she knows what a rearno choke is and she said no, yet she knows what a head scissors is? Strange. And who wants to make a bet Cena actually has no idea what a rearno choke is? Anyone?
-Great to hear the crowd applaud for Orton after recognizing the guy had a legit injury. Even better watching Orton react to them as if he didn’t care. This kid’s as good as they get in my opinion.
-I want some Mamajuana. Not because I need it, but because “I want it.” Adamle is bad at his job AND creepy! Hooray!
That’s all folks, thanks for reading and be sure to send all feedback to WZNick@hotmail.com
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