What began as a one-off ECW show has become an official WWE pay-per-view, with "extreme rules" prevailing for the whole night. If you like gimmick matches, this will be like pornography for you. If you like good wrestling, however...well, let's just check out the matches.
Stretcher match: Randy Orton vs. Rob van Dam. As irritating as RVD's somewhat ostentatious acrobatics can be, when they're used well - as they are here - they can make for a fairly entertaining match. My only serious problems with this one is the over-reliance on dazed stumbling-around as a delaying tactic and the kind of goofy ending. All in all, this was just fine.
Tables match: Sandman, Tommy Dreamer & CM Punk vs. Elijah Burke, Matt Stryker & Marcus Cor Von. It's tough to say too much about this, as it was pretty much at a fever pitch of violence and mayhem for the whole time. But there are worse things in the world, and this even delivered some of that circa 1995 ECW magic for a few minutes. Fun match.
Ladder match: Hardy Boyz vs. Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. Someone really needs to invent a new way to do ladder matches. The Shawn Michaels / Razor Ramon classics from the early 1990s still feel fresh and innovative and felt genuinely dangerous, as do the wild stuntfests involving the Hardys, Dudley Boys and Edge & Christian from the early 2000s. In the last few years, though, ladder matches tend to put me to sleep with the same moves, pacing and "action." Sadly, the match here doesn't really break the mold. The whole affair stretches the limits of wrestling physics and lost me by getting way too "Rube Goldberg." I just think they ought to retire the concept for a few years.
Lumberjack match: Kane vs. Mark Henry. Not only is this a somewhat dull and slow match, but the main gimmick - the lumberjacks - don't even really figure in to the story of the match too much, as they're all too frightened of the two wrestlers to get very close to them. It doesn't help that there's a very long and undramatic bear hug sequence - hardly Tito Santana jumping off the top of the cage, I'd say.
Street fight: Vince McMahon vs. Bobby Lashley. As I've said before, I really wish that all the McMahons would simply retire from active competition, but here we are. Let's just say that I was pretty tired of this feud, and I was glad to see it end here.
Pudding match: Candice Michelle vs. Melina. This was about what you'd expect. I have nothing against gratuitous T&A in principle, but kind of stinks that none of the violent, exciting female wrestling of the type found in Japan has ever been given a chance in the US.
Steel cage match: Batista vs. Edge. This was better than their match the previous month in the Judgment Day 2007 show, but that may have had more to do with the unique cage setting here and the different aspects that can bring to a match. This was a nice, hard-hitting and thoroughly typical cage match. Perfectly fine, but nothing terribly memorable.
Falls count anywhere: The Great Khali vs. John Cena. This, by contrast, was not as good as their great meeting at Judgment Day, as the into-the-crowd brawling and general garbage-y nature of the match revealed some of the weaknesses of their work together. Khali in particular looked kind of weak here. Still, it had a nice story to it (Cena tries like heck for the FU as Khali whales on him mercilessly), so it was conceptually sound if nothing else (for what its worth).
All WWE shows are shot on video, and the image quality relfects that. This looks good overall, without a lot of artifacing or pixelation, but it will never look as good as a film image. But that's par for the course for sports (or even "sports entertainment") events. One Night Stand, like most other WWE releases, is presented in the 1.33:1 full-frame ratio.
This disc sounds great, the Dolby 5.1 reproducing the roar of the crowd, the strikes, the impact on the ring and the commentary track with great gusto. A Spanish-language track is availible as well.
Extras include separate Post-Match Interviews with John Cena, Mark Henry and Edge, as well as one bonud match: Rob van Dam vs. Randy Orton from the May 28, 2007 episode of RAW.
I'd suggest that you and your rowdy friends just rent this. The good matches aren't really anything you need to see, and the bad matches are just plain dull. The two main events are good enough to give this one a mild recommendation, but I can't muster much more than that. Check out Wrestlemania 23 or Judgment Day for some truly fabulous 2007 WWE shows.