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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Joey Styles Shoots: ECW Doomed"
May 5, 2006 by Chris Palmer


By now, most of us have either heard about or seen the shoot promo Joey Styles cut on the May 1, 2006 edition of RAW. Whether you agree with the basis of the ideas in it or not, it had to be one of the most emotionally charged promos of the last few years in wrestling, namely WWE, which has suffered from a lack of excitement over that same time frame.

Now, for those of you who didn't know, word came out that Styles wrote the promo himself, and was approved to do it by WWE creative...which makes this part I'm going to cite quite a bit baffling.

Towards the end of the promo, Styles said that he was not only sick of "sports entertainment," but also sick of the fans that bought into it (which naturally got a negative reaction from the crowd).

Call me crazy, but something struck me as odd about it. We know that WWE is redoing ECW soon. We know that Styles is more likely than not going to be the play-by-play man for this version of ECW, as he was before the company's folding. For him to cut a promo like that and to basically turn himself heel on the fans made me ask this one question as I watched it:

"What does this mean for the ECW re-launch""

More importantly, how much faith does WWE really have in it"

Now, as I acknowledged before, the promo was written by Styles himself. But in hearing it, I'm starting to think that neither he nor WWE really has any faith in the ECW re-launch. When the re-launch commences with the former ECW wrestlers that WWE currently has under contract (and those they will eventually gain during the time in which they'll prep for the launch), will the WWE fans embrace this, or just treat it like the InVasion angle rehashed"

Notice I didn't include the fan-base that the ECW product still has after all this time, because I believe that they'd be give-ins to return. But for those of us who are fans of wrestling of all types, shapes, and forms are the ones I'm a little concerned about.

Myself, I'd watch.

As for other fans who'll tune in...I'm not sure how many of them would honestly buy ECW as legitimate upon re-launch.

Yes, I know most of us here would. But I'm talking about the Joe Wrestling Fan who doesn't know about OWW or these news sites- the one who's just content to watch Raw and SmackDown every week and not really want to get to into it as much as we do. Those are the fans that I believe WWE would try to target in an angle such as this...and it's those fans that I don't think would embrace ECW as a real entity.

Me personally, I hope the new ECW succeeds. But did Styles' promo do more harm than good" Only time will tell, and I'm sure we all hope for the best.

by Chris Palmer ..


gaara2k5 wrote:
The Shoot promo Joey Styles gave was actualy brilliant. By the saying that he is sick of the fans that bought into Sport Entertainment is because he is sick of the WWE fans not the ECW fans. Earlyer in the promo he stated that WWE is sports entertainment and that the "wrestlers" were Superstars. It is all being set up to make styles say that ECW has real wrestling and not sport entertainment and that ECW had real wrestlers and not superstars. And so make him still a non heel commentator.
Bryan wrote:
What makes you think Joey and the WWE think it is doomed" It is reported in a few places that ECW is arriving as a heel entity.

Now, you said 'What does this mean for the ECW re-launch"'

It means that the WWE is pulling out a few tricks from their cobweb-filled hat and trying something new. Most people out here in InternetLand think ECW is going to fail due to the fact that WWE is running it and not ECW. Who knows, maybe it will kick some serious a$$ and maybe it won't. Maybe it will fall faster than Mr. McMahon's pants during a 'Kiss My a$$ Club' Segment. Maybe it will faster rise faster then Brock Lesnar's short career. Who knows.

What I DO KNOW is that if you are a true hardcore ECW fan then you will tune in and you will watch to see what happens with ECW every time a new ECW Webisode is aired. But, for ECW to truly be relived and to truly survive, WWE needs to book a good network and put ECW in a good slot so people won't miss out on ECW like everyone did when they went to TNN. They need to publicize the comeback of ECW and get it out there so no one will be staring at the TV Guide itching their skulls wondering 'Uh Der, when is ECW on"' Know what I'm saying"
TheMadness2009 wrote:
I know what you mean im a huge WWE fan and I watch Raw and Smackdown! on a regular basis and I love hearing about wrestlers coming from OVW now and then but I am completely against TNA I know everyone there is very athletic but TNA just doesnt appeal to me at all, Now when the Rise and Fall of ECW came out I bought it right away because ive always been interested about ECW and once I watched it I loved it the passion of the wrestlers and everything about it for how poor the company was, I for one am ready for ECW's return and think it will be great and of course it wont be like old ECW because of how things are changing but I think (hope) fans will be atracted to it
Louis.J.Royer wrote:
To be honest I have to agree with Joey Styles. There are too many people buying into the whole "sports entertainment" crap.

There are too many people who only watch Raw and Smackdown, and maybe catch TNA every now and then. They don't know anything about independent organizations or what real WRESTLING is all about. They only know the soap-opera they watch every weak. And I'm sure they love what WWE calls a hardcore match. For those who've never seen wrestling outside of the WWE, they just don't know the meaning of HARDCORE. So I think Joey was right. And hopefully the fans of real wrestling will agree with me. I also want ECW to be a success. We need to have a Wrestling promotion with less talk and a lot more action.
W. Chow wrote:
Hey Chris, I am guessing you don't know ECW that well. Man, you are so wrong. How can you possibly say Joey Styles promo will harm ECW. Joey Styles is ECW. If ECW was financially secured back then, they would be no WWE and all ECW. ECW is about wrestling and I'll know they won't be no GOD or May 19th angles. I predict ratings for ECW will be better than Smackdown and close to Raw.
Ian Carey wrote:
I'm not quite sure why you think the Joey Styles promo could hurt ECW. As to why he turned on the WWE fans: ECW can't seem like the minor leagues to the WWE, its got to be "it's own thing" like it was before- creating a worked bad blood between the two companies is essential to the angle. Taking into consideration the money the WWE has invested in contracts for the new ECW its impossible to think that the WWE has little faith in the relaunch.
Corey G. wrote:
ECW is going to bring in the wrestling fans and wrestling geeks who watch both "brands", who keep up with TNA, who really do go to indy shows and enjoy what pro wrestling is all about - thrills, spills, and guys who have lost their minds and risk it all for the sake of the fans and equally as important, the whole dam show. It is going to bring in the people who have been upset with WWE for quite some time now, but who nodded in agreement when Joey Styles said what he did. There is quite a contingency of these people out there, and that is who Styles was reaching out to. It's as if he was saying, "Hold on just a few more months, we're going to start doing things right around here." Of course, this will only hold true if it's booked by the right people. Lastly, it seems bold to predict that ratings for ECW will reach those of Smackdown and Raw when ECW isn't even going to be on television. '
Andrew Hill wrote:
When I saw Joey Styles's worked shoot on Raw, I was struck with the same mixed feelings as the author. It was a clear promotional tactic, but the twist of turning Styles heel towards the end left me scratching my head a bit. Yet upon further reflection, it did make sense to me as it pertains to the WWE, ECW, and actual reality.

It seems to me that the WWE is obviously setting up the next "One Night Stand" PPV to be another regurgitation of the ECW vs. WWE storyline. This disappoints me somewhat. When I watched the 2005 ECW PPV, I enjoyed seeing the ECW wrestlers back in their element, but cringed at the sight of WWE's interference... not because I bought into the storyline, mind you, but because it was an ever-present reminder of who owned whom. I thought back to the ECW live events I attended and what great times those were. And the sight of the WWE wrestlers and the ridiculous inter-promotional storyline felt like the final nail in the coffin. I know that this is the only way we can view ECW now, but it feels like visiting a loved one at a hospital who lies in a coma, never to awaken. I can understand why some people feel more comfortable pulling the plug and getting on with their lives.

And as it pertains to reality, I think Styles has every reason to resent WWE's devout legions of fans. Why was WWE able to defeat ECW in the first place" Money. And where did all that money come from" Is Vince growing it in his backyard" Well, maybe, but that's for the feds to the investigate. The majority of it came out of pockets of scores of people across the globe who shelled it out willingly for a chance to be part of Vince's empire of sex, sleaze, and pleasing the lowest common denominator... the empire of "sports entertainment".

I don't know if Styles actually does hold any grudges, but we have to be realisitic. Many of us here are clawing our eyes out at the "Kiss My Ass Club" and various other WWE gimmicks listed in the OWW Hall of Shame. And most certainly, if the money stopped flowing into Vince's office tomorrow, replaced with a note that read, "Cut the crap. Bring back wrestling," it would probably stop. But as long as enough people are willing to take the maggot-infested scraps that fall from Vince's table that he calls "entertainment", there's not much we can do. I have nothing against WWE fans personally, but I think that Joe Styles, worked shoot or not, was 100% accurate.

And you know what" After his shoot, I took his advice. I turned off my TV, and have not watched the WWE since. I'm not sure if I will in the near future. Thank you Joey for showing me the err of my ways.
Dave Harlan wrote:
I watched that episode of RAW on the day Joey Styles walked out the arena and I commend him on doing so. If the WWE are going to disrespect Joey by snubbing him at Wrestlemania 22 and the next pay-per-view Backlash, then I'm glad he did what he did. Also isn't it nice for Joey to slap the taste out of King's mouth after all the years that he called ECW crap"

I personally love ECW. I remember about 6 years ago that I was on a high horse about wrestling being fake. I wanted to watch wrestling where people got hurt and got hurt bad. Then my friend told me all about ECW and the content therein. My eyes lit up at the sound and images of carnage in the ring. I gave in and got the Blood Sport DVD a week ago and I enjoyed and cringed at the resurrection of barbaric times!

Joey Styles will be dear to my heart and I am glad that he had the stones to tell Vinny Mac and the rest of those posers of the WWE to stick it where the sun don't shine.

Great one night stand idea...ECW Battle Royal! Bring in on Foley!
Ralph wrote:
First off, I agree with every word that Joey Styles said. Everything he said was right on point about everything from Mail Cheerleaders to booking GOD in a tag team match...C'mon Vince, did you actually think that would go over good with the fans" Cuz i thought it was horrible... We all know that wrestling is scripted, but why is commantary scripted" Can't Good Ol' JR and The King think of what to say Like Joey Styles did when he called the action by himself for years" And the nerve they had had to say he needs to show a bit more excitement. Well ever since ECW was bought out, I haven't seen any reason for a commentator to show excitement...I mean what was he supposed to get excited over" maybe Shelton;s mama nearly having a heart attack" Or perhaps The whole Live Sex celebration angle" I'm sorry,but if i wanna see somone having sex, I'll put on the spice channel.. As for excitment i think Newjack jumping 30 feet and landing on top of somone laying on a table is somthing to say Holy S*** about... But I suppose for those few people that would rather watch 2 girls hit each other with pillows or having God wrestle in a tag match on , then I guess WWE is the Brand to watch...As for me, I'd rather watch action not acting...I miss ECW and am sorry that I didn't watch it from day one. Lucky enough, I got to see it from Taz become champ to the very end of ECW. For the first time in 5 years, I am actually excited with wrestling again. And it's not because of guys like Eugene or Snitsky. It's because of the fact that EC Dub is comming back..Paul Haymen is the best promoter i have ever seen and he of all people can make it happen. WCW, a company that at one time had more funding then WWF and ECW together wasn't enough to stop Paul haymen I know it will do better then before just due to the fact that now many people know what it is all about...I don't wanna see WWE fall, but I do wanna see that crap called TNA loose all it's talent to ECW and WWE and go down just like WCW. That was just my oponion...and maybe the oponion of many others...

and PS...Bring back those Damn Dudley's and get rid of teams like Gemini and the Heart Throbs...
Jacquista Taylor wrote:
I think the Joey Styles shoot was what a way to get the ECW fans revved and ready. I think the shoot showed heart and passion. But, I also think that with Vince pulling the strings ECW is doomed. ECW is known as the little company that could. Vince is basically attempting to be his own rival. He's tried it before with new WCW. Let's face it competition is what makes companies strong and strive to be the best. Running a race against yourself you can be sure of 2 things you are gonna win and you are gonna loose. In this angel WWE is celebrating only to look around and see that they're was never a competition. Yeah, we'll watch Raw and Smackdown because it's the only product going right now and because we like to know what will happen next. But, more and more we are realizing that nothing is happening and if something does pop off we can always watch a preview show or catch the end of the show and be just as satisfied. I watched ECW a little bit and it was a pretty good product. It was like TNA is today. I'll watch hoping that I'll see someone familiar to me. And in the process, I might get to see something different and new. Not necessarily exciting, but it will do. I love seeing the wrestlers that helped make the business help try to revive it. Also, I don't think the Dudley's should return and work for Vince. That's just what they would be doing in returning to ECW. This is not Paul's ECW this is Vince's ECW.
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