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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Online World of Wrestling Fan Jam 06/2006
Short Columns by Obsessed Fans


ECW: Then & Now

by John Hill

My name is John Hill and I've been watching wrestling since I was eight years old. I'm 13 now. Back then, I remember watching a couple of episodes of ECW, and I remember the wrestling, the weapons, and the blood. It was the best wrestling I'd ever seen. When it stopped airing (I started watching a couple of episodes before it stopped) I was pretty upset. Then I went back to watching WWE because that was the only thing that was on. For five years I watched the storylines and "toned-down gore", and it slowly chipped away my memory of ECW. Then they had the Pay Per View "One Night Stand". When I saw ECW "One Night Stand", my first thought was that it was going to be amazing. Then when I saw it, it seemed like a photo album of ECW, but something wasn't right. JBL, Bischoff, and the rest of that squad tried to take attention away from The Sandman, Psicosis, Dreamer, Benoit, Sabu, etc. Then Stone Cold showed up. I then turned off the television immediately. I was disgusted. WWE was trying to emulate the impossible.

A year later they had another "One Night Stand". I didn't bother ordering it. Then they were going to have ECW: THE NEW BREED UNLEASHED! This made me mad. I don't consider myself a hardcore ECW fan. The most I've seen of it was five episodes and three recap DVDs. But when I saw the new ECW programming, it just seemed like tainted water. If ECW was Pepsi and WWE was Coke, it would be like: Presenting Coke's new product: Pepsi! It's even better then the old Pepsi. The new ECW is basically OVW and Deep South getting their wrestlers on television. I really hope the New ECW ends in a couple of months. Not because I don't like it, I just think it's an insult to the hardcore fans of it.


Undertaker: Too Much Vacation Time?

by John B.

Has it occurred to anyone but me that the Undertaker has way too many vacation times? It is almost like he only shows up on pay-per-view's and never SmackDown! If anyone beats up The Undertaker, it is almost certain he'll take a vacation time.

Undertaker is a great superstar, no denying it, but lately you never see him on SmackDown! Why is that? Because he takes so many vacations. Let's look at The Undertaker's last SmackDown! match, shall we. Today is June 19, last SmackDown! match with him in it was April 7! Why is that? Because the Great Khali beat the Undertaker up and he had to get a vacation.

If you compare the Undertaker to a guy like Rey Mysterio, the biggest difference is that Rey goes out there and fights every single week. No matter injury or problem, Rey goes out there and fights. Undertaker on the other hand is the exact opposite, he may even take a vacation for no reason.

Let's see some of the vacations Undertaker has had: got buried alive by Kane, he took a vacation for nearly four months before returning. Beat Randy Orton at WrestleMania 21, took a vacation for a month after that. Had a casket lit on fire with him inside, vacation for a month. Beat Orton at Armageddon, did not come back till the Royal Rumble. On April 7, Undertaker got beat up by The Great Khali, did not come back till Judgment Day on May 21.

I think by now you realize how many vacations Undertaker has had. This is my first OWW article so please send me feedback if you want to. Thanks for reading


Founding Father of Intensity

by Kevin Johnson

If you ask me, logic proves that the Superfly himself was indeed the founding father of ring intensity - not the Ultimate Warrior. What the Ultimate Warrior- who keeps claiming to be the Founding Father of Ring Intensity on his website - has obviously failed to realize is that Jimmy Snuka did indeed define ring intensity by jumping off a steel cage and nailing Backlund halfway in 1982 and before he - the Ultimate Warrior - began to build his ring intensity by shaking the ring ropes with power. It's now after this that Snuka built ring intensity with the fans on whether or not he would succeed in future splashes after his huge impact from atop the steel cage on June 28, 1982 injured him, and also could have killed him too. Snuka continued to perform for the people despite injuries and even became a solid babyface by the end of November 1982, and even built more intensity on whether or not he would succeed in splashing his opponents from just the top rope after flashing the "I love you" sign to the fans from here-on-out. But the peak of Snuka's intensity came on October 17, 1983 when he flashed the I love you sign to the fans and completely splashed Don Muraco from atop the steel cage and proved he could do the impossible. Snuka's splashes from just the top rope were even physically more powerful than any of the Ultimate Warrior's basic power splashes as well. For this reason alone, I believe that it was Superfly - NOT Warrior - is the Founding Father of Intensity.



Hell in a Cell vs. Elimination Chamber

by Cody Rochel

Hell in a Cell - a hellacious structure that has boasted some of the most memorable matches in WWE history; the Elimination Chamber - a six-man elimination match inside an unforgiving steel cage. Both of these demonic structures have punished the human body in bloody ways. They both can shatter a person's soul, but which is the dominant dungeon of hell?

Hell in a Cell debuted at Bad Blood in 1997. It was The Undertaker against Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship. It was also the debut of Kane. During the match, HBK and The Phenom busted open their heads and pushed their bodies to the limit. HBK even fell through a table from the side of the cell. Kane eventually showed up and gave a Tombstone Piledriver to his brother The Undertaker, allowing Shawn Michaels to nab the victory with a weak pin.

There have been other memorable Hell in a Cell matches. The one that stands out the most is The Undertaker against Mankind at King of the Ring in 1998. There were bone - crushing moments in that match that made everyone stand on his or her feet. There was also that six - man Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon in 2000. Triple H, The Rock, Stone Cold, The Undertaker, Rikishi, and the WWE Champ Kurt Angle beat the hell out of each other and in the end Angle snagged a pinfall and retained his title.

The Elimination Chamber debuted at Survivor Series in 2002. It involved Kane, Booker T, Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, and the World Heavyweight Champion Triple H. All the superstars put each other through hell by shedding blood and shattering glass. In the end, Shawn Michaels eliminated the last guy, Triple H, with Sweet Chin Music to capture the first ever EC victory and the World Heavyweight Championship. Only a few more Elimination Chambers have taken place since then. I look forward to seeing more of them in the near future.

Both structures have punished even the best of wrestlers in ways they could never imagine. Both structures will continue to punish wrestlers in the future. Which structure reigns as the top cage of carnage? I personally prefer the Hell in a Cell match, but that's just my opinion. Which one truly reigns as the devil's playground?


The Future of Wrestling -- by Russell McKinley

Many say that professional wrestling is coming out of a slow, transitional period. With RAW, ECW, TNA, and SmackDown, it would appear to be an exciting time for wrestling fans. I believe that right now, something is happening that could very well give us a glimpse of the future of professional wrestling/sports entertainment. This is why Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman can and probably will rule the wrestling world for a long time to come.

Vince McMahon created WrestleMania. He gave us: Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant, The Rock vs Stone Cold, Kane vs the Undertaker, and Foley's Hell in a Cell. He gave us Survivor Series, the Royal Rumble, Monday Night RAW, HBK, and the Hitman. He was the first to take Pro Wrestling national, and then, global. He was the first to end the prehistoric, outdated territory system. McMahon has created so many superstars and faces, while making himself the biggest heel of them all. He won the Monday Night Wars and created the Brand Wars for a permanent rivalry. Vince McMahon is a genius.

Paul Heyman gave us ECW. He revolutionized the sport when we were watching clowns in WWE and Ric Flair vs Sting for the 400th time in WCW. ECW introduced, to American wrestling eyes: luchadores, cruiserweights, hardcore wrestling, flaming tables, adult storylines, adult humor, and adult violence. ECW gave us Rey Mysterio, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, RVD, Mick Foley, Tazz, SuperCrazy, Sabu, Sandman, Dreamer, the Dudleyz, and many people that I am sadly and disrespectfully leaving out. Paul Heyman is a genius.

Paul Heyman is one of, if not, the best innovative minds in wrestling. Vince McMahon is the best businessman in the history of pro wrestling. These two entrepreneurs are potentially unstoppable. WWE is creating an umbrella of brands for different types of fans and this can be a scary thing to other promotions.



ECW: Does It Need Popularity? -- by Mike Timko

First off all, this is my first article for OWW. I've been a wrestling fan ever since I can remember, and I'm now 21-years-old. I've always seemed to like the more underrated guys like Bad News Brown, The Brooklyn Brawler, and the tag team, Demolition.

Perhaps that's what attracts me to ECW, the fact that it isn't all that mainstream. After all, the biggest ECW crowd at the Hammerstein Ballroom would be virtually no crowd at a WWE event. ECW has always had a cult-like following. It never wanted to be as big as WWE or WCW. Let's face it, some people don't understand how ECW stayed around as long as it did. In the WWE, you have guys with collegiate wrestling backgrounds. The WWE has the most ridiculous story lines, which is what keeps the company fresh and popular. Vince McMahon has a "Kiss My Ass Club" for crying out loud. The tag team champions in the WWE are male cheerleaders. These are ridiculous story lines, and it works for the WWE.

ECW never had male cheerleaders. ECW never had the story lines that the WWE or WCW had. ECW wanted to separate itself from the WWE and WCW as much as possible. That's why it never appealed to such a wide audience. ECW wanted to be intimate. They wanted the fans to be more interactive. If you go to a WWE event, you might be lucky to even see the superstars clearly. If you go to an ECW event, you can bring your own folding chair, and Tommy Dreamer may use it. You might be holding up the Sandman when he comes out and jumps on the barrier. You could throw plastic heads into the ring after an Al Snow match.

Where I'm going with this is, we all know Vince McMahon now owns ECW. Personally, I hope he doesn't try to turn ECW into the WWE. I hope he realizes that ECW is best kept as an under-the-rug business. The day we see 30,000 fans at an ECW event, that will be the end of the company. You can put more money into a brand, and not have it be as popular as the WWE. You can pay the wrestlers more, and not have it be as popular as the WWE. ECW doesn't need to be like the WWE. People like myself, we like things that aren't mainstream. We like death metal and b-horror movies. We don't like pop culture. ECW doesn't need to go global. Justin Credible doesn't need to be a name that's known all over the world. I think popularity is something ECW needs to avoid for its own good. We already have the WWE. We don't need another one. WWE appeals to a large audience that wants to be entertained in one way, and ECW appeals to a smaller audience that wants to be entertained in another way. I think that's the way Vince needs to keep it. Two different brands for two totally different demographics.


Where Have All My Heroes Gone? -- by Tesco Nunez

Where have all my heroes gone? I remember a time when you could turn on any wrestling program (Be it WWF, WCW or ECW) and have an abundance of praise worthy talent to choose from. Wrestlers put on amazing shows and really put forth genuine effort to make you believe that everything they did was real. Whether you loved a character or hated him, at least you felt something.

In today's world of "Sports Entertainment" I have trouble identifying with or believing in any of the characters. Sure, Carlito is an amazing athlete, but he isn't menacing enough to be frightened of, nor is he cool enough to root for. I don't like John Cena, but I don't hate him either. He just isn't interesting. And who the hell is The Boogie man? He's no Undertaker and he's damn sure no Papa Shango. Even my all time favorite wrestler Shawn Michaels has started to bore me. At the age of 41 HBK is in great shape, and still puts on really good matches, but his character is lacking the attitude of the old "Show Stoppa".

Understandably, it's hard to be a good Face without a convincing Heel counterpart. It was easy to love Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, because you hated their opponents. Take a look back at "Macho King" Randy Savage. He was so devious and underhanded that you couldn't help but hate him. Guys like Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels (back in the day) would simply show up proclaiming themselves as champion. How can you not appreciate that kind of audacity? Ted DiBiase went as far as buying the belt. Other exceptional Heel characters include Triple H, "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, The Iron Sheik, Bret Hart, and Jake "The Snake" Roberts.

In conclusion, I want to make it clear that I'm not a know it all. I'm just a mark who misses the days when I had heroes I could believe in and villains I could despise.



Can DX Come Back For Good?
-- by Jonathan McDonald

If you are a true WWE fan, you have of course heard of Degeneration X. DX is possibly the single greatest faction that has ever been in wrestling, besides the Four Horsemen. As many of you know, DX is planning a comeback sometime in June I've heard, and many of you have, but there is still one HUGE question, who will be in it? There is no doubt that Triple H and Shawn Michaels will be in, because if you have watched RAW lately, and PPV's, you have noticed the several famous crotch chops from both men, and with the current storyline making Triple H face, and disputing with Mr. McMahon, and Shawn has had trouble with Vince for a very long time now, it seems to me like they will come together in the near future. So who else? I have read many other articles stating DX will have only a tag team and a woman to go with HHH and HBK, but you never know. Actually I do agree with the tag team part, but who would it be? Well looking over the current RAW and SmackDown rosters, and I have come up with some possible solutions. A good addition could be maybe Shelton Benjamin and Johnny Nitro hooking up since Nitro just debuted, and of course Melina would be there, so that I guess would take the woman part, but you never know, or as many of you have heard, WWE has actually been in talks with Road Dogg and Billy Gunn in TNA to possibly bring them back, but that is never certain with the history of HHH and those two guys. But along with a tag team, I would think they would need one more guy, maybe possibly as a body guard type role, so maybe Bobby Lashley could come over from SmackDown, because they are really trying to push him. But the truth of the matter is, no one knows. It is true though, that DX is coming back, it is just a matter of time now.



Can The Truth Be Handled? - by Chris K. Shelton

What's going on OWW readers, hope your experience on this site has been a good one, mine sure has.

Now in the past 3 years TNA has made a huge impact in the face of pro-wrestling. TNA has gone from turning unknown wrestlers into superstars and resurrecting the careers of forgotten veterans. Since TNA has been on the scene there has been one creative, athletic and innovative superstar that has stood out to me more than anyone else. His name is Ron "The Truth" Killings.

Truth has been on the scene for a little bit over eight years, making his debut in 1997. He has been known under many different names such as K-Kwik, K-Krush, K. Malik Shebazz and currently The Truth. As a youngster The Truth's family struggled to make ends meet. This was caused by low paying jobs and sometimes his parents were not always employed. This drove Truth's father to sell drugs, and sometimes Truth would help his father. While assisting him he became heavily influenced by hip hop and break dancing. As he went to high school he became very good at track and football. He was offered scholarships but he turned them down to pursue a music career. Truth dropped out of school at the age of 16. He wanted to pursue his music career so he felt he had to sell drugs to save up for a demo. As time went on he saved enough to make his demo, but to put his finishing touches on the album he had to make one more deal. Wouldn't you know it; he got arrested on that deal thanks to a friend of his. Thirteen months after being sent to prison he was sent to a halfway house determined to stop selling drugs and live a decent life. There is where he met Jackie Crockett, an employee of the NWA. She was trying to convince Truth to become a wrestler. He later contacted her, and he was trained.

The Truth came to TNA and technically became the second NWA Champion to be crowned who was African-American. He was obviously one of the best breakout stars who helped put TNA on the map. His charisma, in ring skills, and the determination to be different pushed him straight to the top. He also had the opportunity to capture the NWA Championship for a second time and also became a tag team champion. If TNA were to crown him with the X-Division championship he would be the second Triple Crown Champion, following AJ Styles.

Now I have been one of his fans for many years and I have enjoyed watching him dazzle fans. But now I think that it's time for a change in The Truth character. I think he needs a heel turn because Truth currently doesn't do promos (well not good ones at least), and as a heel he would be given a chance to give those promos like he really can. He can really give good promos in a good situation. I also think that he should have his own Best Of DVD. He has been there since the beginning and I think its crap that he doesn't have one yet. He's one of TNA's best athletes. He's going to be in the main event at Slammiversary and this would be a great opportunity for him to become champ again. During his time as champ, lots of people never got see him and this would give Truth a great chance to show his skills in front of others. He certainly would make a better champion than Christian Cage. That man just sucks. I think Truth is probably one of the best athletes in TNA but he still hasn't been getting the proper respect that he deserves. His time has just begun and he's the future of wrestling. I honestly think that the Truth has the potential to put TNA on the map big time, like The Rock did with WWE.The Truth has so much energy and he is so talented. It's also time to see other African American men holding a major heavyweight title.


Angle Goes Extreme - by Sean Riley

Last night on RAW we found out Kurt Angle is going to ECW to help out Paul Heyman build the second coming of his promotion. Personally, I think it's a great move.

Kurt Angle is perfect for the job. He's someone you can build a great feud around. He's proven himself worthy as a top heel, which more than likely he'll be used as. He's a great champion, and he can probably make someone like Sabu the next coming of Bret Hart. Many people think Angle was moved to ECW to limit his schedule as a full-time wrestler as the injures are starting to take an toll on his body. This isn't the case however. Angle is going be the promotion's top star as ECW is going world-wide. I am going miss seeing him on SmackDown because I was dying to see Batista vs. Angle for the title at SummerSlam. I'm way too excited to see Kurt Angle suplex someone through a table and using various weapons and such on his opponents. I'm way too excited to see his run in ECW. Kurt Angle equals ratings and that's what he's going bring from a business perspective. Bottom line is this, Kurt Angle is now an ECW Superstar and he is going take ECW to the next level.


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