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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Is ECW Strong Enough To Survive"
May 9, 2006 by Jon Loton


ECW was one of the most innovative, inspirational legendary wrestling promotions that ever lived. They revolutionised the face of professional wrestling and if it was not for TNN they would most likely be around today.

ECW was more than bloodshed. They had great wrestlers, gimmicks and an atmosphere that was unmatched by any other promotion. ECW chants are still heard to this very day by fans all over the world. ECW is still alive and well in the hearts of many fans.

ECW was the breeding ground for WWE a lot would argue. The wrestlers that were born in ECW such as Stone Cold, Mick Foley, The Dudleys' to name a few of a long list have gone on and had there day in the WWE and have called it a day.

When WWE gave ECW a one of PPV ECW One Night Stand, it was a huge success. This success was way more than any could have expected. The matches were out standing and it showed a lot of fans who were not custom with ECW why this promotion in many eyes was the real no.2 wrestling company even though it did not show up in the ratings of the ECW era and how ECW revolutionised the sport of professional wrestling for the better.

Now WWE wants to fully resurrect ECW. At first thought many of you like myself are excited by the fact ECW is being reborn however have WWE thought this through properly"

Like most by now we have heard the rumours of ECW vs. WWE and are very intrigued by the idea however as time goes on this will wear out. Once the angle is gone and the dust has settled what will become of ECW.

A lot of ECW talent have retired such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Terry Funk, Tazz or are on long term TNA deals such as The Dudleys' and Raven. Tragically some of them are dead such as Eddie Guerrero, Chris Candido, Crash Holly to name a few, god rests their souls.

Here is a list of ECW talent who would be able to draw a crowd as a main eventer in the eyes of Vince McMahon and are available on a full time basis that would be there from the beginning.

RVD
Chris Benoit
Rey Mysterio
The Sandman
Sabu

Others such as Austin, Foley, and Funk would only draw crowds on a part time basis.

Other such as Tommy Dreamer, the FBI and the BWO in my view are mediocre crowd drawers. They will not be strong enough to carry ECW once the WWE vs. ECW angle has died down. Also the WWE will suffer as a result they will be loosing former ECW stars from there SmackDown! and RAW brands who join ECW. Even though WWE is well known for giving young superstars a push there is still an argument for a lack of experienced talent once ECW vs. WWE is over if they decide to keep ECW alive.

At the moment SmackDown! struggles in the ratings. If they take away Benoit and Mysterio who will be left to guide SmackDown! and make it stronger. In my view the likes of JBL and Booker T won't be enough, especially as Batista and Angle are injury prone. Others such as Undertaker and Randy Orton may not be part of the SmackDown! brand much longer. Will a draft lottery sort this problem out or will younger superstars be given a push" If a draft lottery is used to help rectify this problem what effects will it have on the RAW brand" If younger superstars are given a push will they cope with the pressures of carrying their brand on there shoulders or will it be HBK all over again" Could ECW distract WWE from the main goal of remaining the number one wrestling company" These questions will be answered in due time.

Some final points include if ECW is born again and it failed what would happen to the unlucky stars. If they come from CZW or ROH would they be welcome back" If there young enough and have enough potential will WWE give them development contracts to go to OVW or DSW" If not these superstars will be gone and back to there regular jobs.

I feel the once a year PPV is enough when paying respect to ECW and all those who were a part of the legendary promotion. I feel that if ECW was reborn it would be an insult to the history of everything they have achieved. I feel Paul Heyman , Tommy Dreamer and RVD have to wake up and realise ECW has had there time, it is now time for WWE and TNA to continue to lead the world of professional wrestling the way it was meant to be. I would love to see ECW be made a success of but in my view it will become a bigger project than expected and the weight put on creative teams and employees of WWE private lives could be damaged meaning WWE would suffer even more. Please do not bring back ECW back let ECW live the way it is supposed to and that is as a one of event paying homage to those who helped change the face of professional wrestling just like in other sports such as football, boxing and baseball. ECW is a legend a hall of famer but hall of famers and legends who have retired do not play full time. As I conclude my case I leave you with one question. If ECW was reborn would a new revolution in sports entertainment be created" In my opinion no, what's yours"

by Jon Loton ..


Mattratt1 wrote:
My thoughts exactly! I greed with everything you said. I hope Vince does the right thing. Wrestling needs this to work. I would sign wrestlers from ROH and CZW and see what you like there is some great talent in my area Philly and South Jerzey. Give someguys like the American Dragon a shot or The Briscoes or Sick Nick Mondo just to name a few. I hope this gets over with WWE fans. ECW was the best fed!!! Everyone rlse was trying to copy. WWE "attitude era" yea right. But it make the WWE better.
Carl wrote:
I strongly believe that ECW has unfinished business in the sport of professional wrestling. Lets face it, ECW was screwed over by TNN and in the end when they kicked off, they didn't get on another network in time. Like you said and along with a lot of others' point of views, it was the No. 2 brand. I mean it wasn't hard at all for both WWE and WCW to reform the ECW concepts into their own because of there national platform.

I believe if ECW is going to be resurrected, they will be stronger than ever before. Nowadays you can see violent content on regular TV shows or even explicit content on TV so who says they couldn't make it on national TV" I think a new revolution in professional wrestling(not sports entertainment) will be born. TNA has already took it a couple steps further, so why not keep the business moving faster just like it has since the late 90's"

Paul E. Heyman is the godfather of professional wrestling. Sometimes people don't realize this but when a business goes down, they rebuild it finnancially by working for somebody else or wait for the perfect time to come back. As for the "unlucky stars," they had nowhere else to go but work for local territories or overseas. As for recruiting new talent, Paul E. will make them stars by letting them be themselves just like the old days in ECW because thats how Paul is when it comes to running his own show.

Lets not forget, WCW(the anti-christ) is not around anymore. Think of how much money they spent trying to put ECW out of business, and look at how WWE was and is supporting that brand" at least with the anti-christ isn't around to steal talent, that was one BIG downfall.

The list of talent that would draw a crowd as main eventers is inevidable, every promotion has its own veterians for the young guys to look up to and have them prepared for there rise of fame in ECW. You gotta have a bit of everything: hardcore, technical, lucha lebre, everything that they started with. either way, i think its a great idea, it'll be oppertunity for ECW to be succesful. ECW! ECW! ECW!
Dan Semke wrote:
Can ECW reclaim the glory it once held in the sport of Professional Wrestling" Some would say no, but the millions of fans around the world, yes, I said millions, would beg to differ. ECW was a company run by Paul Heyman, from his home in New York, when you think about it, for being a company run from a man's home, it faired pretty well against WWE and WCW. Back to 2006, the fans have become fickle, torn between WWE and TNA, neither company is doing any better than the other many have claimed, ECW could very well be what the doctor ordered. Heyman's vision, his dream, never retired, it never died, financial set backs occurred, hence WWE's acquisition of ECW and all the company's assets. The thought of ECW coming back to life never once left Paul Heyman's mind, nor did it leave the minds of the fans and the wrestler's responsible for ECW's success. Rob Van Dam and Paul Heyman came up with a sort of ECW recognition show, and they brought it to Vince McMahon's attention. After careful consideration, Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman, thought long and hard about ECW returning, which is what spawned ECW One Night Stand 2005. With the overwhelming success that came from the one time pay per view, Vince and Paul began to brainstorm, and a second pay per view had been decided upon. Jon Loton previously made mention of many ECW alumni having retired from the business, or some had passed away, does leave the company vulnerable so to speak. But would Paul Heyman; a man who spent his life's worth to keep his dream alive, fighting in a ratings war against WCW and WWE; have it any other way" Absolutely not. WWE is notorious for hiring and firing young up and coming stars every day, which can be a blessing in disguise. Talent is not hard to come by these days, finding somewhere to fit them in, however, is the problem, and Paul Heyman is smart enough to know this. With all those voids in ECW's legacy, what better way to bring the company back to life, than to do what Paulie did all those years ago, taking SOME established stars, combining them with younger, less established stars, bringing forth the most controversial, innovative, smash mouth style the world of wrestling had ever known. In my honest opinion, I think the question should be, is TNA ready for Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman teaming together to bring ECW back to life" Paul Heyman has been known to push the envelope for years, combine that with Vince McMahon's wallet and resources, and ECW very well could be the death of TNA, and Vince McMahon's continuous reign. ECW comeback" I say bring it on!
Robbie E. wrote:
I think your right about ECW not being able to survive when they bring it back. If WWE give up there big stars (E.g: Rob Van Dam, Rey Mysterio and Chris Benoit) then the only stars they have are old or haven't got a big future in the WWE (RAW is Shawn Michaels, Triple H and John Cena whilst SmackDown has Randy Orton, The Undertaker and Kurt Angle). The WWE would have to merge brands to bring out a better WWE and then half of the young talent would leave, there would be no room for half of the announcers and force them out and it would be a whole mess. So they should keep ECW a Pay-per-view for one ay a year (Possibly 2) and keep WWE the way it is. ECW would ruin the WWE.
Ken wrote:
I personally think a new ECW could work but it would be very difficult. Not difficult in the sense of putting the pieces in place. But difficult in imagining the WWE letting them be booked at least 70% independently by Paul and his team. The reason I say this is because Paul Heyman has been booking OVW wonderfully. All of my plusses for a new ECW are in a perfect wrestling world context that's about what can make money (which we are definitely not in). But a new ECW could be great for that talent that is very good but doesn't fit the WWE style but they are too good to let go of. Talent like Shelton Benjamin for example could be used in a new ECW. We are limiting an ECW re-launch by only mentioning people that are associated with ECW's past. They could start a truly new revolution by offering what TNA promised (and in my opinion are failing) to offer. You could use the old names from ECW to bring in the traditional fans and bring in talent from OVW and wrestlers such as London and Kendrick etc. There are guys in OVW right now that could fit into a new ECW today. CM Punk could be huge in a new ECW. I think they should keep the shows running primarily in ECW territory to keep the costs down. Put them back in the "Bingo Hall" again. I hope they run with it because I desperately want something different. I've given up on TNA and I can't fully get into ROH. I wasn't a huge ECW fan but I was a huge fan of some of there talent. But since we're in a WWE wrestling world I don't expect much out of it. It will come with a SHOUT and go away with a whimper.

P.S. TNA Give Samoa Joe the *$%@ ball and get out of his way!!
Lucas H-H wrote:
I personnaly think that ECW should be kind of a faction. What I mean is that ECW should not have some shows all by themselves but instead should have some people IN WWE being in the show and being know has the ECW team. This could makes some crazy matches betwean Team RAW, Team SD and ECW... And maybe if that makes a really huge impact, it will be possible to form a weekly show for ECW...
Ralph wrote:
I for one think ECW should be brought back...I saw somthing somone else wrote about WCW not being around anymore to buy out ECW greats Like Raven, Sandman (HAK) LOL. and even Mike Awesome. Which was a good point. Bischoff knew that ECW would crush WCW if they ever got the ball rollong. And it would have...I mean lets face it...How many Dub C Dub (WCW) chants to you hear every time an amazing moze is pulled off Like Rob VanDamme catching somone with a vandamanator" None at all. That is one of many reasons ECW should be brought back...I'm not knocking WWE here but this must be said for everybody to see...What the hell happened to Nova" How could they take a guy like him and dress him up in a purple suit and have him sell protien pills and call himself Simon Dean" C'mon...Nova was amazing and one of the most creative wrestlers in the last 10 years. That guy has came up with moves that well never be pulled off in a WWE ring as long as I live...And Tajiri" They just let him go without a fight" Nunzio ( Little Guido), Super Crazy, Phycosis, and Most Importantly TAZ. Here is a guy that should have been world champ. And Instead gets a mic and sits next to Michael cole and calls smackdown... The list goes on and on. the WWE has so much talent that they are doing nothing with. So why not let them go back to ECW. I hate to see such talent go to waste. Bringing back ECW may cause the downfall of TNA, but I'm at least guys like AJ Styles, Chris Sabin and Christopher Daniels will still have a job...Now Jeff jarrett is a whole different story. But come on, who would miss him" All TNA is trying to do is be a G-rated ECW. Nothing more. I for one would like to see TNA do down to the see the Rise if ECW...

Who's With Me" ECW...ECW...ECW!!!
John Nelson wrote:
I think that as long as WWE uses what ECW did in the past to be a success it could work, ECW needs to focus on real wrestling, fast moving matches, audience involvement, big brawls and promos that are concise and to the point. The occasional hard bumps would be good too. Try to have as much real wrestling in it as you can and not to depend on sticks and chairs entirely, once or twice a night is good but not every match, and as far as the "heavy stuff" goes like barb wire rope matches and Taipai death matches, keep that stuff for a once in a while event of for a PPV. Done too often it will lose it's luster and could drive new fans away too soon.

The look of the show should be kept simple too. I'm not saying to make it look as wretched and smelly as the stuffy bingo hall did, but give it a nice spartan look. No big light effects, no HUGE Titantron, but a minitron would be good and keep effects down to a minimum.

Who says that the big stars now like Benoit would have to go to ECW" I see the point in having a headlineing wrestler but it could be a chance to put some fresh talent on the ECW roster who can wrestle or if you did move enough guys over to ECW from WWE, how about give guys who got the shaft like Murdoch and Cade or even Viscera and Val Venis to get another shot on WWE TV" It could also be a way to push newer guys like Striker and Great Khali. I like HBK just fine but we aren't going to get much in the way of new memories and moments from other stars if WWE keeps depending on him since WWE didn't know how to utilize their entire roster properly.

As far as bringing in other talent, maybe with enough negotiations, maybe Brock Lesnar could be pulled back, pushed gradually he could win some fans back after being a big baby. Dawn Marie come September could be a diva for ECW and could be a way to mend some fences from the complaint she filed against WWE for canning her last year. I don't think things are drastic enough that you would want to bring Bill Goldberg or Hogan back on WWE TV. Hogan maybe for aonther one shot, but not Billy.

Oh, and as far as ECW is concerned, lets keep Steph away from it okay" We don't need to see necropheilia stories and such and dispicable stories like Kurt wanting to have sex with Booker T's wife. Stories should be kept simple. Even something like Judge Jeff Jones making Mike Awesome paranoid about online fans, thus needed him as a manager worked alright. Oh back to the point of this paragraph, no Stephanie McMahon involved with creative decisions. Let Paul and Tommy do that. In fact lets not see Vince too much either. Let Vince keep an eye on the money and ratings and leave creativeness to the guys who know what they're doing. I think with these things in mind, ECW has a shot.

I hope it has a chance.
Colin White (England) wrote:
I've noticed a few people say that they think that ECW would finish off TNA. I hope not. I think that TNA has managed to claw back some of the respect for wrestling and given a lot of great young stars the chance to prove what they can do.

I desperately want ECW back and I want it to succeed. Although it is obviously an attempt by Vince to dispose of TNA, I feel it could revitalise wrestling for the real fans.

What people seem to forget is that Vince could have prevented TNA in the same wa he could have prevented the huge success of WCW (NWO era). If he had the sense to know when he had hold of someone special on his roster instead of using them to put over big stars who are already over, or simply fire them if he and his team of soap opera writers can't dream anything up for them, then TNA would never have happened.

Can you imagine TNA without Raven, The Dudleys, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Jeff Jarrett, BG James, Ron Killings etc" He had all of these and most significant TNA stars under contract at one time or another and universally screwed up their characters and hid their talent.

Now I'm not trying to say that I want Vince to fail. I just want Heyman to succeed and I believe that he can if (and only if) Vince lets him have his toy back. If Vince butts in or even has final say ECW will fail and the memories will be soiled forever. If Paul E has complete control I believe that ECW will be bigger and better than ever. Paul will bring in new talent and create legends and make us all love Dreamer, Sandman, RVD and Sabu all over again.

Good luck Paul. You deserve this chance.
Fred Dice Casden wrote:
As someone who's gone to 25 ECW events at Viking Hall from 1997 to 2000, who's met Shane Douglas, Raven, Francine & The Blue Meanie, I can safely say, brining Back ECW is not going to be a good think for the WWE, Sports Entertainment, or Professional Wrestling on many levels. For the only postive that will come from this, (That being guys like Sandman and Terry Funk getting one final run of glory), there's too many negatives that's going to occur. The WWE already has a bloated roster of talent that they can't seem to use on Raw, Smackdown and their two internet shows Heat & Velocity, and instead of landing a thrid show on television to show case people they already got, they are giving it to people past their prime and to people who didn't even have a prime. It's painfully obvious the only reason ECW is brining brought back is because Vince McMahon can make money off of it and directly kill the only comeption the WWE has. Let's face it, Vince McMahon wants to control the world of p ro wrestling, and if he wants too, he'll create 10 different brands under the WWE umbrella, he's already got Raw, Smackdown, Deep South Wrestling, Ohio Valley Wrestling and now as I like to call it WW-E-CW. And let's look at what negative effect this is going to have on Combat Zone Wrestling, IWA, Ring of Honor, TNA and every other wrestling promotion in the United States. The WWE is going to use ECW as an excuse to lock up talent for years and water them down, and make them into jokes Examples include, Alexis Laree, Nova, Kid Kash, Super Crazy, Psicosis, James Maritado, Paul London, Brian Kendrick and just about every stuck in DSW and OVW as well as the undercard of Raw and Smackdown. How can anyone who love proffesional wrestling say ECW being brought back by the WWE is a good thing, when that damn company can't even sell out a 16,000+ seat arena in Kentucky any more. You can say "Oh it has Paul Heyman and Tommy Dreamer running things", and you forget that they are going to be pu t with writers from Smackdown and have Vince McMahon AND Stephanie McMahon looking at everything they do. The same people that want ECW back are same morons that want to see the D-X reunions, that wanted the nWo in the WWE, and that loves being brainwashed. And as a die hard ECW fan... that loved each and every moment I saw of that company... I say let it stay in the past with all the other wrestling promotions that died. Let it rot in our minds as the enjoyable experience it was that shouldn't be paraded out because Vince McMahon wants to make even more money. If the WWE wants another brand, how about they get the two big ones they have to work first
James wrote:
Well for the ones who are downing WCW, I think you are way wrong. I grew up going to those WCW events in Columbus, Georgia. They us great televised shows. Vince would send the WWE every once in a while to Columbus, but it was just a house show. The first time Vince ever gave us a televised show was early this year and it was smack down. Smack down is on its way back in September. Why can't we have a RAW or a ppv. Columbus Georgia was a stepping for a lot of wrestlers in the past. So I think WCW should be reborn because it sounds better then WWE. Vince can be very successful with 3 companies. Why buy WCW if he is not going to do anything with it because right now ECW sucks. I believe that all three would survive because there are many talented wrestlers. Why should worry about who gets the ratings. He is getting the money. So what's the big deal.
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