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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough
December 9, 2006 by Chris Evans


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I read along with everyone else the news that Paul Heyman had been fired. I was at work last night and read it on the computer. I gasped. I felt bad for the guy. In the end, my emotions were divided into two "extremes" if you'll excuse the pun. The first was intense anger for the WWE and their sabotage of ECW. The second was of profound respect and admiration for Paul Heyman. I will explore both of these in this article.

WWE whored Paul Heyman out. They used him as a name just as much as they used Rob Van Dam, the Sandman, and Tommy Dreamer as names. They knew that ECW wouldn't be "ECW" without these guys, and without keeping Heyman on board as a writer. So, they put ECW on television and then slowly, began shoving these guys in the backdrop and started bringing in new talent - the B-stars of the company, with the exception of CM Punk. It became painfully clear on Sunday night that WWE never believed in ECW. What they believed in was ECW's ability to draw fans. Those bastards are doing exactly what they are doing with Monday Night Raw. Once they suck fans in, they now have permission to put on a sub-par show. Only difference is that RAW has been doing it for 13 years. Why is that" It's because the fans of RAW and ECW are always hoping for things to get better, so they'll watch every week. They hope that slowly, they will gain a strong fan base for the new talent and lose the ECW fans of old, phasing out stars such as Sandman, Stevie Richards CW Anderson and Rob Van Dam. They are slowly giving up on Extreme Rules matches. Bobby Lashley as the ECW champion" We were all duped, folks. We've been fooled and tricked. We've been teased and taken advantage of. Vince McMahon never had plans of giving ECW the attention it deserved. I'll give ECW a year before Vince changes the name - by then, Sandman and Sabu should be gone, too.

I have a profound respect for Paul Heyman for speaking his mind. I have no doubt that Heyman booked the Pay Per View a lot better than it came off. I can imagine Heyman, sitting in the back, biting his nails, rolling his eyes and sighing thinking, "I can't do this anymore." There is no doubt in my mind that Heyman is in love with ECW. He has a passion for those three letters. He was scratching and clawing to keep life in it. Mr. Heyman, I respect you for knowing that it wasn't worth it anymore. Your efforts this time around were in vein, and you cannot blame yourself for that. My hope is to see Paul Heyman appear in TNA as a manager, but I doubt it. Whatever he ends up doing, I hope he is happy knowing that what he is watching on TV every Tuesday is not ECW - it's Smackdown's bastard child.

Paul Heyman is a genius. He revolutionized the wrestling industry in ways that Vince McMahon couldn't - and that scared Vince. That is why Vince wanted control. That is why Vince brought in Lashley and Big Show as champs. Vince knew that if Paul were given a budget and free reign, ECW could have been more popular than RAW and certainly more popular than Smackdown. So, enjoy your release, Mr. Heyman. I, like many others, applaud you and your contributions to this sport. ECW will be missed, but never forgotten. Thank you for your years of hard work, and WWE should be ashamed of themselves for what they did to Paul and the rest of the people involved in his vision.

by Chris Evans


Jesse Lee wrote:
While, I have, as everyone else, jumped to conclusions and was angry beyond belief when I found out what happened to Paul Heyman. However, I do disagree with a few of your opinions in this column. (Mind you, that I respect your opinions nonetheless.) Lance Storm put it best when he called the new ECW a "glorified Velocity." While ECW did have its potential at its rebirth, WWE did, indeed, quickly shove it down to the point where everything's becoming rather ridiculous. More so for the ludicrous ways they pushed down all the ECW Originals (save for RVD and maybe Sabu) to make room for the "New Breed." ECW did used to use veterans as nothing more than stepping stones of its stars, but they did it in such a way that the veterans were able to keep their pride and their reputation. I actually enjoyed Big Show's ECW Title reign and was glad that it was great sendoff for his career. He did what a veteran is supposed to.. got big, got recognizable and strong, then passed the torch to someone else. While I'm not fond of Lashley being ECW champion, I respect Big Show and the last push he received. It seems as though under ECW, Big Show looked more of a star than he's ever been (just like how the original ECW used to do with their stars.) Someone of the "New Breed" aren't really all that bad. Kevin Thorn, Knox, Test, and CM Punk seem to fit the "New Breed" look while RVD, Sandman, and Dreamer include the "Originals" portion. The thing that makes the new ECW so terrible is that they've made it too much WWE.

(Also.. to say that Vince brought it back just to kill it is ignorant. Vince is a business man and business men want to make money. His faults lie in the area that he wants his material to make money, so thus.. he made his vision of ECW... by using the real ECW's name.)
Raul Masen wrote:
I honestly agree with the opinion who you, Chris Evans had made about the new ECW that Vince McMahon has brought back. I also I agree with the many reasons why Paul Heyman was fired. I personally think that Paul Heyman was also fire because of the fact that he had the POWER in ECW and knowing him and his reputation and creativity, that he would've tried his hardest (and even succeeded) in bringing back the style of the classic ECW. Vince has disrespected the one thing that symbolizes ECW and that is the EXTREME wrestling. (Heck, it shouldn't be in the brand name anymore.) I strongly believe that the real, classic ECW fans who event after event have always went to the ECW events in the past, don't even watch "Vince's ECW" anymore by the mere fact that it is Vince's now.(How's that for a new title!) Fans of the WWE are the only one's that watch it with little kids who have no idea how ECW really was back then. I'm not even going to touch the ECW belt because in my opinion, it has been totally disrespected. (I can't imagine what Terry Funk or Tazz, of course ex-ECW champions, are saying and thinking to themselves) Nevertheless, wether ECW succeeds or not, the fact IS that the backbone of ECW, Paul Heyman is gone and ECW will ever again be Extreme.
Brandon Buckner wrote:
I understand hardcore ECW fans feeling like they do about Vince running the franchise like a corporation instead of the independent icon it was 10 years ago. However, lest we all forget about the demise of ECW at the end, wrestlers getting stiffed on paychecks, Heyman looking more like a bastard than God at the time, etc., etc. Wrestling fans are trying to move on, all of us, looking for a brighter tomorrow. So instead of criticizing the decision of Lashley as champ, why not embrace it and hope he leads the brand to the next level of success. Thanks,
Andrew Macdonald (First timer) wrote:
There are some very valid points you have made, and as most readers, I can but accept that this is your opinion. Vince brought back ECW, for a number of reasons,

He had a surplus of stars which he didn't want to lose to rival companies, He thought it would be a good idea to have an other show, to rival Raw as Smackdown doesn't appear to be touching it And lastly and most important, TOO MAKE MONEY. Vince is a business man and in using 3 small but powerful letters, he knew that he would bring in a crowd that could not be brought in my Raw or Smackdown.

In bringing ECW back, the wrestling world was under the illusion it was going to go back to the good old days, but surely any sensible fan would realise that it could never, EVER, be what it was. ECW died when

With regards to Paul Heyman, no one can doubt what he has achieved has been amazing; ECW had a cult following to be admired. It would never get the financial backing available but everyone knew that, that was the way it was going to be. If he has indeed been fired, then let him go, Paul is a throwback to the glory days, which we all hope, but will never see again. So take ECW for what it is; an old show with a new breed too live on. With superstars like Test, RVD, CM Punk, Knox and Lashley. There is something there.

I think Lashley becoming the champ is a good move. He has been moved to ECW to be given a chance to help it grow. Vince sees him as something big, with Batista, Booker T, Benoit, Taker and Mr Kennedy. HE wouldn't get a look in, not for a while yet anyway. So good luck to you Lashley. And indeed ECW.
Dartagan67 wrote:
I hate to say I told you so. I totally agree with this column without a shadow of a doubt. Now you know why Rhyno said what he said about the new ECW on TNA a while back. Also he burned both of the belts(which makes for great TV); but made a statement none the less. Now you why the Dudleys said that you can't resurrect something (ECW) that's already dead. Shane Douglas even quote as saying " ECW will be treated like a red haired stepchild."

All this adds up to the present situation with ECW. First they canceled all ECW house shows. Then brought a whole lot of WWE superstars to get the fans to watch the brand. Telling Joey Styles how to call a match in a WWE style, Having the originals job to the likes of Khali, Terkay, etc. Finally to top it all off; a crappy ECW ppv due to the controlling nature of the Vinnie Mac. Which leads to the dismissal of Paul Heyman; the man whose creator & the heart & soul of ECW!! This is the ultimate slap in the face to the regular ECW fans & to the talents that put ECW on the map back in the day. It's one thing to put another brand; but it's another to just straight up pimp a name that once had it's own legacy!!

I will say this to all the real ECW fans out there; continue to express your opinion!! Let Vinnie Mac know he can't sweep you under the rug & pretend you don't exist. We all been suckered in this thing WWECW!! This is Paul's baby & they took it away from him. Also don't be surprised if RVD & Sabu make their exodus out that farce of a show. When Vince bought ECW that was the beginning of the end; but let him know you won't be ignored!!!
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