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CALDWELL'S WWE ONE NIGHT STAND REPORT 6/1: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live PPV

Jun 1, 2008 - 9:50:13 PM

By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist

June 1, 2008
San Diego, Calif.
By James Caldwell, Torch columnist

They opened with a video package on there being a time for rules, moderation, and restraint. Tonight is not that night. The problem with the internal logic of this PPV is that someone could conceivably shoot someone to win a match. But, that's neither here nor there.

Announcers: Jim Ross welcomed us to the PPV. Lillian Garcia then announced the opening match with Falls Count Anywhere. Jeff Hardy bounced out while Ross talked about the key of the match being the "anywhere" part. Very interesting set with CAT construction trucks lining the stage with a freeway construction scoreboard listing the matches.

1 -- JEFF HARDY vs. UMAGA -- Falls Count Anywhere

Umaga nailed his big swinging sidewalk slam a minute into the match. Very interesting to note that Ross called it the Black Hole Slam for the first time. Abyss is still in the insane asylum, so I suppose that's all right. Match spilled to the outside and to the floor seating where Abyss rammed Hardy into the side of a hockey board. Hardy then picked up an orange construction cone and hit Abyss, but Abyss fired right back with a kick to the face. Hardy came back with a few blasts from a fire extinguisher that sent Umaga stumbling into the backstage area. All we need is the Hardcore Title to complete this.

Hardy then surfed down a stair railing into a clothesline for a nearfall. That was unique. Suddenly, screams from women were heard as the men made it to the merch table on the first level. Umaga walked by the ATM as they left the building to the parking garage area. Construction trucks became involved as they neared one of the giant WWE 18-wheeler trucks. Hardy then started climbing Shawn Michaels's face on the back of one of the trucks. He kicked Umaga off the truck into some padding on the floor. Hardy found his way on top of the 18-wheeler where he came off the truck with a Swanton Bomb. After they cleared away the stunt padding off camera, the referee counted Hardy with a pin on the asphalt.

WINNER: Hardy in 10:00. Fun opening match. Hardy channeling Mark Briscoe for a crazy dive was a bit excessive, but at least it led to the finish and it wasn't a mid-match transition spot. The ending being sold as Hardy landing on the asphalt was eye-rolling, but the audience will overlook that because it was an entertaining gimmick match WWE doesn't do often. (*1/2)

Video from earlier today: Mick Foley walked us through the "rules" of a Stretcher match.

Ringside: Cole said the text messaging deal for tonight is who will win Michaels vs. Batista. ... They showed Shawne Merriman of the San Diego Chargers ringside. ... Mike Adamle and Tazz talked about ECW's Signapore Cane match coming up next before a video aired on the TV leading to the five-man #1 Contender match.

In-ring: C.M. Punk came out first for the ECW #1 Contender match after they showed the Singapore canes hanging above the corner ringposts. Adamle said Punk has been on a downturn since winning Money in the Bank, which Tazz disagreed with. Wow, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with something Adamle said. He then said he expects Punk to get back on track tonight. Chavo Guerrero came out with Bam before Tommy Dreamer walked out sporting tight white spandex fire pants. Morrison, then Big Show rounded out the field.

2 -- C.M. PUNK vs. CHAVO GUERRERO (w/Bam Neely) vs. TOMMY DREAMER vs. JOHN MORRISON vs. BIG SHOW -- ECW Title #1 contender match -- Singapore cane match

Big Show squashed folks early on before he missed with an elbow smash. The other four men then ganged up on Show before they all grabbed a Singapore Cane from one of the four corners. Everyone took turns smashing Show in the back with a cane before Punk and Dreamer dumped Show to the floor. They did a spot where Chavo accidentally smashed Merriman with a Singapore Cane on the front row and Merriman fell to the floor. Punk then catapulted Chavo into the guardrail and Merriman asked for a Cane. He cracked Chavo in the face with the Cane, then he did his jackhammer post-sack dance that popped the crowd.

Back in the ring, Punk tried the G2S on Dreamer, but Dreamer countered into a Sharpshooter. Morrison cracked Dreamer over the back to break up the hold, then the camera showed Show sporting a nasty cut over his eyes. Stop the match! Stop the match! Oh wait, this isn't EXC. Sorry. They set up a crazy four-man spot in the ring while Show recovered on the floor. He looked very mad as he walked around ringside and found a Cane to blast Bam and Miz, who appeared out of nowhere. Show then blasted Morrison with Cane shots before he bought a trash can full of Canes into the ring. Adamle said he spanked Punk with a Cane like a schoolboy. Dreamer tried to get himself some, but Show delivered a huge chokeslam in center ring. Show surveyed the crowd, then wiped blood off his forehead into his eyes.

Show with a big smile as he slowly picked up a Cane and slowly stalked Dreamer in the corner. He then cracked Dreamer over the head with a Cane shot and put a foot on the chest for the easy pin and the win. Afterward, they cut backstage to show ECW champion Kane laughing maniacally at the thought of facing Show.

WINNER: Big Show in 8:00. No surprise on the match outcome. Heck of a visual with Show covered in blood and blasting folks. Merriman's involvement should get some local chatter, and it certainly picked up the energy of the live crowd. This was entertaining, but taking a step back, I'm hoping the guys in the ring took every precaution to keep the match safe around the head area considering the Singapore Cane shots aren't like being hit by a pillow. (**)

Backstage: Grisham brought in Vince McMahon to discuss the $1.0 million announcement. McMahon said everyone is excited about the prospect of him giving away his own personal money each week on Raw. He said he's giving it a name: McMahon's Million Dollar Mania. Grisham asked how people can get their hands on the money. McMahon said he'll explain on Raw tomorrow night, but WWE employees are not eligible to collect. Grisham dejectedly walked off, then Ron Simmons walked into the shot and McMahon read "DAMN" on his t-shirt before Simmons verbally expressed it.

In-ring: JBL walked out first for the First Blood match against Cena. Top-heavy card, but this makes two consecutive PPVs with Cena in the first hour on the undercard. It's good to rotate guys up and down the card, but Cena needs to be protected as a significant player on the money shows. Cena walked out to a huge pop before the boos took over when his music stopped.

3 -- JOHN CENA vs. JBL -- First Blood match

The bell sounded and JBL ripped off the top turnbuckle of his corner. Cena did likewise to his corner turnbuckle. JBL then dominated the first portion of the match with his brawling-style offense. He located a steel chair at 5:00 and tried to smash Cena's head into the ringpost, but Cena ducked just in time. JBL stumbled backward to the timekeeper's area and grabbed a house mic to smash into Cena's forehead. Back in the ring, JBL landed another mic shot before demanding his torch back. Cena ducked a third mic shot and made his traditional comeback. JBL blocked an FU, though, and both men spilled to the floor. When a blow into the ringpost on Cena didn't produce blood, JBL tried to use the ring steps, but Cena ducked to avoid Big Show's fate. Crowd rallied behind Cena, who blocked a DDT into the ring steps.

Cena tried a chair shot at 11:00, but JBL took his knees out and rammed Cena head-first into the exposed turnbuckle. No blood, though. JBL then went for his warm-up towel and pulled out a chain. He smashed Cena in the ribs with the chain before measuring Cena for a shot to the face, but Cena countered into an FU. Cena coughed in pain while the crowd waited for the finish. JBL kicked Cena in the head, which sent Cena flying backward into the ropes where he was tied up in between the top and middle ropes. JBL then pulled out a bull whip to put the finishing touches on Cena, but JBL did the classic heel mistake from the movies of not finishing off his prey while he had him. Cena kicked JBL in the balls when JBL got too close, then Cena ran out of the ropes and put JBL in the STFU with the chain wrapped around JBL's throat. JBL did the Taker choke-out spot where he coughed up the red substance representing blood. Ref called for the bell, giving Cena the win. After recovering, Cena walked over to Shawne Merriman and gave him a quick hug before standing tall in the ring.

WINNER: Cena in 15:00. I'm not a fan of the First Blood match, as there's too much referee involvement in this type of gimmick match that kills the heat after a big move. Cena gets a good win, though, and JBL continues to meander on the Raw mid-card. (**)

Backstage: They showed Batista sitting in his locker room in deep thought. Randy Orton then interrupted and told Batista to give Shawn Michaels what he deserves. Batista didn't say anything. Orton then talked up their potential taking out Hunter and Michaels tonight. Batista wanted to know what he's getting at. Orton talked about the Draft Lottery, with there being potential for them to end up on the same brand to run the show better than DX ever did. Batista simply stared into his eyes without saying anything before walking away.

In-ring: Beth Phoenix walked out first for the I Quit match. Melina then walked out and one of the paparazzi photographers tripped over himself walking backward to snap photos of Melina. Melina patted him on the head as he sheepishly recovered to a crouching position. Once Melina entered the ring, Beth tried not to bust up laughing looking at her. We're off to an inauspicious start tonight.

4 -- BETH PHOENIX vs. MELINA -- I Quit match

Beth dominated early on, then Melina came back with a Muta Lock, but Beth moved the hold to the ropes for a rope break after refusing to tap out. Ross with the line of the night that Beth is as reluctant to say "I quit" as Lawler is to say "I do." Six minutes in, Beth continued to rip apart Melina without picking up the necessary submission. Melina came back with a single-arm DDT focusing on the shoulder before Melina slapped on a Fujiwara armbar. Melina then rolled it into a cross arm-breaker, but Beth showed off her strength by taking Melina into mid-air from the arm-breaker position into a big powerbomb. Beth then put Melina in a seated chicken wing that bent Melina's sternum outward into a very uncomfortable position. Melina eventually gave up, giving Beth the win.

WINNER: Beth Phoenix in 10:00. Popcorn match live and bathroom break for the viewers at home. Second-half was good, with the result of Beth being able to show off her power offense to maybe establish a more credible persona. Still lacking some charisma, but she makes up for it with that Awesome Kong-like dominating aura. (*1/2)

Backstage: Cena was in the trainer's room talking to the doctor when Mickie James interrupted. Cena asked for some private time as Mickie suggested they work on some submission moves later tonight. Oh my. Suddenly there was a flushing sound and out walked Mike Adamle. LOL. Adamle was so excited to see them, and he said he has some plans they might be interested in. He said he's looking to head down to Tijuana after the show with a Gladiator buddy. Cena paused and pointed out Adamle's supposed to be on the PPV. Adamle said he only had one match to call, and when nature calls, you have to listen. He then pulled out a bottle of Mamajuana from his pocket and handed it to Cena for tonight. Adamle excitedly walked off, then Cena and Mickie flirted about practicing the rear naked choke or maybe a head scissors later on. Summary: Adamle is a great man and Mickie's sudden transition from innocently talking to Cena to being an easy flirt is way too soon in the program.

Elsewhere backstage: They showed Edge warming himself up in preparation for the TLC match.

Video package: They showed the history of Shawn Michaels vs. Batista, with Chris Jericho's involvement as the third wheel.

5 -- SHAWN MICHAELS vs. BATISTA -- Stretcher match

Batista quickly clotheslined Michaels over the top rope onto the stretcher positioned ringside. Michaels held his head in pain before whipping Batista into the ring steps. Batista caught Michaels running off the apron, but Michaels locked in a neck submission wrapping his legs around Batista's head. Batista escaped the stretcher, then he reversed a whip into the ringpost and started taking Michaels apart. Foley said it's tough watching Batista take apart the best wrestler of his generation. Somewhere, Triple H just cringed.

The action returned to the ring where Michaels teased Sweet Chin Music, but Batista cut him off with a spear. Fans booed Batista a little, then Batista tried a Batistabomb, but Michaels slipped out to his feet and nailed the superkick. Nice spot. Batista found himself on the stretcher ringside following the superkick, but Michaels was too exhausted to capitalize. Alas, Batista simply fell off the stretcher to the floor at 10:00. Batista then used the stretcher as a weapon to smash Michaels beneath the chin and then once in the gut. They returned to the ring where Batista nailed a spear and delivered a Batistabomb to more cheers than boos. Batista dragged Michaels across the ring and pulled him onto the stretcher.

Suddenly, Chris Jericho showed up and talked trash in Michaels's face while Batista put his hands on his hips. Actually, Jericho was shouting encouragement that he's better than this. Referees finally escorted Jericho to the back while Batista dragged Michaels into the ring. Batista stood over Michaels, who slowly pulled himself up at Batista's feet. He tried an empty superkick, but he didn't have the strength to execute it. The fans laughed, then Batista picked up Michaels and put a twist on Michaels's words to Ric Flair at WrestleMania before giving him a second Batistabomb. Batista then wheeled Michaels up the entrance ramp on the stretcher, but Jericho stopped the stretcher. Batista with hands on hips as Michaels simply fell off the stretcher and collapsed to the floor.

Jericho shouted more encouragement as Batista walked back the entrance ramp and picked up ring steps. He then gave Michaels a spinebuster on the ring steps. Batista put him back on the stretcher and wheeled Michaels across the finish line at the top of the entrance ramp to pick up the win.

WINNER: Batista in 17:00. Heavy on theatrics to continue the TV storyline, which made for a perfectly-fine gimmick match. As I expected, Michaels did a job without really doing a job, as losing a match where you're shoved across a taped line isn't like taking a clean pin inside the ring. Michaels was presented as a pathetic individual at the end, so it will be interesting to see how/if Michaels gets his heat back on TV tomorrow night. (***)

Video package: They focused on the Triple H vs. Randy Orton feud to set up their Last Man Standing match. ... In-ring: Randy Orton walked out first for the WWE Title match. Ross said the only time in the last 45 years that the WWE Title has changed hands in LMS was last fall when Orton beat Hunter. He equated Orton to Big Brown from the horse racing industry. Well, let's hope the hoof specialist has checked out Orton for this match. Triple H then did his methodical entrance before staring down Orton.

6 -- WWE champion TRIPLE H vs. RANDY ORTON -- WWE Title match -- Last Man Standing match

Lillian Garcia handled the formal ring intros, then the bell sounded and the wrestlers circled each other before Orton dumped Hunter to the floor. Hunter cleared the Raw announce table, but Orton gave him the elevated spike DDT off the table to the padded floor. Back in the ring, Orton pulled out an extension chord and choked the life out of Hunter. He tried the RKO, but Hunter clear dumped him over the top rope to the floor. Orton had no chance to break his fall and it just looked plain nasty. Orton told the ref he's injured, then Hunter picked up a sledgehammer and slowly stalked Orton. He smashed Orton in the side of the head and Orton just braced himself while his knees buckled. Orton remained KO'ed on the floor and the referee reached a ten count as Orton stirred a little while still clutching his shoulder. Medics quickly stormed ringside to check on Orton while Hunter looked down with reserved satisfaction in-character, but with some concern beneath the surface.

WINNER: Triple H in 14:00 to retain the WWE Title. That was one nasty fall for Orton, who just had no chance to brace for that fall. Not a smart spot that was probably thrown off a little by Orton not catching his feet on the top rope to slow down his fall to the floor. (**)

After a video package aired on the Night of Champions PPV in a few weeks, they went back to ringside where Randy Orton made his feet while holding his left shoulder in obvious pain. Ross called a broken collarbone while Lawler talked about Orton's left shoulder being completely out of socket. Fans gave a sympathetic reaction for Orton, who quickly thought of the business and went into heel character-mode by screaming and cursing at the fans.

Video package: They recapped the ongoing feud between Undertaker and Edge, culminating with Taker's career being on the line with the World Title also at stake. ... In-ring: They focused on the blank World Hvt. Title belt suspended above the ring, which Foley drew attention to. Edge then walked out first breathing heavy and shooting blank stares every which way. Taker's music hit, and Edge looked straight ahead with anticipation. Taker did his slow entrance while the announcers asked whether that will be the last time ever to experience Taker's entrance. Foley said he's tried to wrap his head around this for a few days, but it's not making sense. Cole recapped Foley's history of the Boiler Room brawl, Hell in a Cell, and other various matches against Taker.

7 -- THE UNDERTAKER vs. EDGE -- World Heavyweight Title match -- Tables, Ladders, and Chairs

After Justin Roberts handled the formal ring intros, Taker stared straight ahead at Edge without blinking before smashing him in the face with a big boot. They went to the floor where Taker set up a double stack of four tables. Edge then sent him face-first him into the ring steps before scampering up the ladder in the ring for a close call on grabbing the belt. Cole and Foley talked about Taker being completely gone from WWE if he loses, with no chance of re-entering through the Draft. At 7:00, they battled on a ladder in center ring before each man was knocked off the ladder face-first into a separate ladder propped up in a corner.

At 10:00, Taker went for the patented leg drop across the ring apron, but Edge lifted up a chair and Taker landed flush on the edge of the chair. Taker with an animalistic grunt of pain as he clutched his leg. Edge then gave him a low blow and cracked a chair over the side of Taker's head when Taker stood up. After another chair shot, Edge put Taker on a table and flew off the announce desk for a big splash through the table. Back in the ring, Edge delivered a hard spear before focusing on the knee with repeat L and C smashes. Edge nailed repeated chair shots to the head before Taker surprised him by sitting up and nailing a low blow. Taker then chokeslammed Edge over the top rope onto the ladder propped up in between the ring apron and guardrail.

Taker started to climb the ladder at 17:00, but Hawkins and Ryder jumped Taker. They set up Taker for a double table spot, but Taker fought them off and chokeslammed each one through separate tables on the floor. Huge spots. In the interim, Edge recovered to his feet and speared Taker off the apron into the guardrail on the floor. Taker grasped the knee Edge had been working on while Edge started to climb the ladder in the ring. He recovered and grappled Edge on the ladder before giving him a Last Ride powerbomb through the double stack Hawkins and Ryder tried to put Taker through earlier. Crowd popped huge for that.

Taker then tried climbing the ladder at 21:00, but Chavo and Bam Neely jumped Taker this time. They went for a Conchairto on Taker, but he ducked and creamed Bam with a clean chair shot to the head. Chavo got his hands up to block a chair shot to the head. Taker was the last man standing with carnage everywhere. Taker started to climb the ladder one more time, but Edge shoved him off the ladder through the double stack of four tables that Taker set up 20 minutes ago on the floor. Crowd popped, then went into a hush. Meanwhile, Edge set up the ladder in center ring and began climbing. Taker was KO'ed as Edge slowly climbed before reaching up and grabbing the World Hvt. Title.

Afterward, Edge fell to the mat and slowly crawled out of the ring. He crawled past Taker before joining his goons on the stage. They all recovered in pain together while staring down at Taker's fallen body. Vickie Guerrero then walked out and hugged Edge. Fireworks shot off while Vickie embraced la familia. Announcers talked about the end of Taker's career and the sense of loss from seeing the end of Taker's career.

After Edge's music stopped, the camera focused on Taker clearing away the tables with a visible gash on his forearm. Crowd was hushed with a few cheers until Taker sat up. Announcers went silent for this whole scene. Taker then reached his knees in dramatic fashion before hobbling to his feet. Taker pulled his hair back and stared straight ahead before limping down the entrance ramp. The lights went out in the building before a spotlight followed him to the back. Cole said his career is over, but his legacy will live forever. Taker looked back to the crowd showing a tinge of emotion before giving a slight nod and walking off into the sunset (in this case, the darkness) to close the PPV.

WINNER: Edge in 24:00 to capture the World Heavyweight Title. Well, there's a lot to say about this. One is that the right man is champion. Two is that on a show with so many high-risk spots and health-compromising moments, this was just icing on the cake with the repeat chair shots to the head. Three is that the dramatics of the match was very well done, which wasn't a surprise considering the excellent chemistry between these two men over the past few months. Four is that the post-match was so convincing as Taker's final match because Taker is a no-nonsense guy who maybe doesn't need a dramatic Ric Flair-like send-off to call it a career. I doubt this was the end, but they sure did sell it like the end. (***1/2)

We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for a "WWE PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

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He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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