topcenter

WRESTLING COLUMNS

ECW: The Great ECW Fraud
May 23, 2005 by Ketheach O'Daillaigh


If you are one of those people who simply can't wait for ECW's One Night Stand, then you are most likely channelling the spirit of Andre Poisson. Poisson, for those of you who don't know, was the man who bought the Eiffel Tower in 1925 from famous con-man Victor Lustig. This was the beginning of a wave of conmon selling something to rich idiots without actually having anything of it to sell. The most famous of these conmen, Arthur Ferguson, decided that America was the land of opportunity after spending many happy years conning American tourists into buying Buckingham Palace (a bargain at 2000), Big Ben and Nelson's Column. He moved to America and later became the first man to sell the White House. What has this got to do with wrestling" Well in 2005 Vince McMahon is trying the same line with ECW fans. I'm not sure exactly what will turn up at One Night Stand, but I know it won't be ECW.

First of all, how can you have an ECW pay per viewwithout the biggest star" Raven was ECW. And ECW was Raven. I could almost bet Malcolm Glazier's hell bound soul that I'm going to get creamed for that last statement. But any of you people who disagree with that statement really need to look at the history of ECW. I don't mean that crap that the WWE tried to flog a few months ago that gave hour long in depth analysis to the guys on their current roster that where in ECW for five minutes and never made it past midcard. The real history of the company as you lived through it. ECW was ok. Then Taz and Raven happened. Now ECW is huge. Now Raven leaves, and a lot of guys follow him, but RVD, Dreamer and Justin Credible fill the void, with Taz holding them over. Taz leaves, Raven comes back but leaves soon again and it's bye bye ECW. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but as I said, I lived through the ECW phase and that's what happened. For instance, most wrestling insiders were betting against ECW even having a third pay per view if Raven left. The man is pure entertainment gold, and anything that brandishes the name of ECW and doesn't have at least a third of it dedicated to Raven is nothing more than a cheap knock-off.

Will Taz wrestle" He would almost have to since Raven's not there. Taz hasn't been in a ring seriously for a long time now, and no-one really even knows if he is in any condition to fight. Now he can't just jump back into the ring and expect everything to just fall into place. Don't get me wrong, I love Taz as much as the next fan, but can he still be the main man in ECW after all this time. Having Taz fighting down the card or not fighting at all demeans the value of having an ECW reunion at all.

On top of all this there is no RVD. Apparently Rob Van Dam will be there to commentate on the event, but having RVD commentating on wrestling is a bit like watching Jim Ross wrestling, you now that it just isn't right. If they were going to do this thing at all, and I think it's clear by now I rather they wouldn't, they should have made sure that they had the big names available and healthy first. As I said before this ECW thing hit problems the moment that Raven wouldn't turn up, but the least that they could have done was make sure to get the people who might get ECW fans to forget about the absence of their favourite son turn up. But at least Paul Heyman is running the show, right"

Well, actually no. Heyman is going to be at the show, but it seems that for all intents and purposes the booking for the show will be done by the current creative team. Now the wheels may have come off with Raven, but this is the point at which the car hits the tree. An ECW event at which Paul Heyman has no creative control, run by a McMahon. I really am at a loss to explain this one. What exactly do the McMahon family know about ECW" And considering that the current WWE team manage to make an unholy mess of their own pay per views, why do they get to work on this one" How do you not give Paul Heyman the chance to run the show, with the knowledge that fans will go nuts for some of that Heyman style action" I mean, if he can actually pull it off, he might be able to help out either RAW or SmackDown! once it's all finished. More importantly, what exactly will Heyman be doing on the show"

What about the characters" In ECW, Taz was an intense, no nonsense, suplex machine. But in the WWE, he's the wise-cracking, suit-wearing funny man of SmackDown! Will the McMahon's be willing to throw out character development for the sake of ECW" Will Nova come back, or will it be Simon Dean" Do we get Rhyno the WWE jobber, or Rhyno the ECW wrecking ball" The same could be said for Stevie Richards, Tommy Dreamer and Lance Storm. And if ECW Taz and Nova return, what happens after that" Do they just go back as if nothing had happened" Or giving the failure of the Simon Dean character, will Nova hang around"

And now Eric Bischoff is apparently turning up with RAW wrestlers. Funnily enough I actually can't remember Bischoff being in ECW. So that means that a group of WWE wrestlers who are pretending to be ECW wrestlers are going to be confronted by another group of WWE wrestlers working for the former WCW President who is now a WWE talent on an ECW pay per view which isn't actually an ECW pay per view because ECW is owned by WWE, and the reason for their grudge is a war between ECW and WCW which was over seven years ago and who are now both owned by the WWE, another of their enemies. Not to mention the fact that a large number of the ECW talent also worked for WCW.

As for this being some last hurrah for ECW fans, I really don't think so. Those fans loved ECW precisely because it was a small independent company punching well above its weight. This is no such thing, it's a cynical company trying to bleed even more money from its fans by latching onto the fond memories that people have of a plucky underdog who took the shame out of being an adult wrestling fan. Terry Funk once claimed that the reason that ECW done so well was that the big two had forgotten about wrestling in their endless pursuit of the quick buck. Now ECW is just a tool for one of those companies to milk hard working fans for even more money. And since I've been a United fan for twenty-five years now, I know a thing or two about watching greedy owners take your love of something great and squeeze the average fan for everything they're worth. How many of those fans who were with ECW through the good times and bad can really afford to pay the hugely expensive ticket prices that the WWE are charging" How many of them will sacrifice, scrimp and save just so they can be there anyway" If the WWE want a night of ECW, how about charging fans what ECW charged them for tickets" What about the WWE wrestlers who don't fit in" Angle attended one ECW show, but I bet he'll still end up on the show somehow. What about Triple H, Batista, Cena and all the other big name stars who will want to have some of that ECW magic dust to rub off on them" Will they be happy sitting on the sidelines for the night" I have this horrible feeling that Bischoff's invasion will end up as just an excuse for the WWE to put over its non ECW stars by having them destroy the ECW stars. Triple H for certain will be there, his ego simply will not allow him to sit this one out.

I know people loved ECW, it was great for wrestling and steered it in a new direction, but is there anything that they can do that can really shock us in this day and age" And is it worth getting a watered down ECW just to have an ECW at all" It's like when Chelsea turned up at Old Trafford a few weeks ago to be confronted by the chants of: "you're not Chelsea anymore" by United fans. As I said at the start, I'm not sure what will turn up at the Manhattan Centre on the 12th June, but it won't really be ECW. Its memory should be left untarnished for the fans that built it and the wrestlers who embodied it. And the McMahon's should be locked up for fraud.

by Ketheach O'Daillaigh ..


John Knott wrote:
Thankyou. This is turning out to be just another version of invasion when Big Vinces ego is better than giving fans what they want. A you say it would be useful to have an ECW show with ECW wrestlers in. If Vince wants this to work he has to do alot better than this.Probably the end of the show will see HHH standing over the entire ECW wrestlers.
Pete Hric (That's from Windsor, Ontario Canada!) wrote:
You sound like you're a "Hardcore" ECW and wrestling fan so I don't want to blemish your character. But what I have to say is this. Don't start running your mouth until all the final details are worked out and the actual card is announced! To say that RVD will not be there to wrestle but to commentate is speculation, like did your creative team come up with that or did Vince call you personally and tell you" (And by the way, listening to RVD's commentary would be pretty sweet compared to Taz and Michael Cole's poppy cop crap) And the argument that you articulated best was the claim that "Raven was ECW". This is flawed for sooo many reasons and I'm surprised someone has not taken your head off for it yet! Sure Raven was an integral part of ECW and building that brand, just like every other wrestler in that federation was that wrestled as if it were their last match every single night. But who is to say that Raven was "The Franchise" of ECW" Cause my friend, that he is definitely not nor ever will be. Raven did not become what he was in the ECW on his own, if it weren't for guys like Taz, or for that matter, Tommy F'n Dreamer then Raven would have been "never more". And neither would the ECW as a federation.

As for the rest of your article, you ask too many questions and make too many assumptions (once again without all the information). Saying that the current WWE roster will be unable to detain itself from interjecting is ludicrous. They (ie. Triple H, Angle, etc.) are not ECW nor ever will be. I don't think Vince is stupid enough to screw that up! I'm just excited to see the boys back where they belong, and doing what they are good at for one night only! I'm not even going to attempt to rebut the other points cause non of it is credible anyways.

Oh yea, P.S. visit here http://www.hardcorehomecoming.com/ (might be helpful)
Al Fucsko wrote:
You couldn't have said it any better. I'll take the long approach to my point...You know, I'm a child of the 80's so I loved Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Randy Savage(before the cowboy hat stuff), Jake Roberts, and so many more. I would love to see Roddy Piper make a comeback and take the WWE belt off Batista... or would I" Piper made a comeback at Wrestlemania 19 and he looked absolutely terrible. He couldn't even fit into his trademark blue trunks! He jobbed every match that he was in; and this guy was famous for rarely being pinned... just a handful of times EVER! After a few weeks of that junk, I was almost happy to hear he got fired before he couldn't embarrass himself any further. When Jake Roberts made an appearance on RAW a couple months back, he was fat, heavily medicated, and just looked like death. He was recently quoted as planning a comeback; do you want to see that" See where I'm going with this" You can't go home again. These ECW guys are mostly over the hill and cannot put on the show they once did. Dreamer, Storm, and Tazz are retired! The ones who aren't retired have been heavily tarnished by the WWE. And having a WWE invasion of ECW is the last thing hardcore ECW fans want. They were all about NOT being like WWE and wCw. One more point...Monday on RAW McMahon was saying how original and great ECW was... UMMMMM really" Is that why EVERY ECW star was a jobber in WWE" I mean look at their big stars... Nova (jobber), Rhyno (jobber), Nunzio (jobber), Dreamer (jobber), Storm (pretty much a jobber), Spike Dudley (jobber). The ones who weren't jobbers never main evented squat! Tazz, Tajiri, RVD, and the Dudleyz had some success in WWE but not even close to the level they had in ECW, WWE could never market them properly.... And don't even mention Jericho, Austin, Benoit, Foley, Rey, and Guerrero; WWE can call them ECW stars all they want but everyone knows that they were wCw stars. The ECW stars who don't currently work for McMahon are being ignored anyway. What is an ECW reunion without Sandman, Douglas, Raven, Funk, Sabu, New Jack, and Mahoney" It's not!
nathan jones wrote:
Im going to start off by saying that you are more than correct on what you have said about Vince McMahon. ECW One Night Stand might possibly work, but the chances of it really meaning anything are almost as low as they get. However, now that TNA is letting thier superstars negotiate with the WWE to appear on the show the show might be saved....even if only for the 1 time deal. One thing that fans can look forward to though, is Shane Douglas' ECW Hardcore Homecoming. But as far as One Night Stand goes, there are only a few things that could save it. First off, WWE has to bring Rhyno in for the show. He was the last ECW champion, so it just wouldnt feel right not having him. Also, theyre going to need to drop the whole "safety first" gig for this show. I mean lets get back to reality here, can you see Tommy Dreamer on an ECW PPV facing Sabu or anyone else for that matter and not falling off of a balconly through at least 4 or 5 tables" Who knows we may just be in for a surprise if Vinne Mac will give Paul E. control over the PPV. Now what about matches" Well, RVD is on the shelf and cant wrestle at the event wich sucks because I would have enjoyed him and Sabu going at it. On a positive note however, because RVD is one of the most well known ECW superstars of all time, the WWE may want to reconsider the One Night Stand and make it into an annual PPV so RVD can wrestle the next show. An interesting match would be Jimmy Snuka vs. Rhyno....the first and last champions of ECW. Raven vs. Dreamer would be like old times, the Dudley Boyz vs. the re-encarnated BwO, Tajiri, Rey, Juvi, Super Crazy, and Kid Kash in a Cruiserweight bout. Another match wich im surprised WWE hasnt had already would be Beniot and Y2J vs. Eddie Guerrero and say Jerry Lynn. Something else that could come out of this event is the possibility of Christian York being signed to WWE. In ECW he teamed up with Joey Matthews(Mercury). No matter what, I am definantly going to order the PPV just to see how it will turn out. As they always say, anything can happen in the WWE....maybe even the rebirth of ECW.
Alex Gonzalez wrote:
While I completely agree with you on the subject and basis being that this is a scam brought on by Vince McMahon to make a hefty profit off of the legacy of a dead fed, I cant agree with you on how much credit you are giving to Raven. Raven was very good, but ECW was not Raven. If anything, ECW was Taz, RVD, Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, Mick Foley , "Franchise" Shane Douglas and the Dudleyz before Raven. Remember, Raven's rise into the main event of the ECW threshold occurred after the Franchise left and Sabu and Taz were in the beginning stages of their heated rivalry(which was the most anticipated of any of the ECW rivalries to date). While Raven's character was a tremendous assett to the ECW product, the company actually faired quite well after his departure to WCW. I hold Raven's ECW days in a high regard and see him as one of their pioneers, but he was not the heart and soul of the product.
C Thomas wrote:
Joel Gertner: WELL-WELL-WELL

It's like another one of our HARDCORE ECW comrades has done a lil shoot on WWE's handling of ECW's pay per view. And you know what" He's damn right. I'm not liking this Raw and Smackdown! invasion of ECW' One Night Stand. I've tolerated (as a lot of you have read here at OWW.com) many things that Vince and the creative team have messed up over the years but messing with ECW is just plain hell no-say no go!

I'm totally against the idea of WWE having anything at all to do with the ECW ppv but Vince is gonna shift his weight around and since he does slavery style own the right to the brand that many people thought to be "The last hope of pure wrestling", they decide that ECW was just a garbage wrestling company. Prime example of that was Monday Night Raw's so called "ECW Rules" match with Benoit and Tajiri. It was just a WWE ATTITUDE-ESQUE HARDCORE MATCH THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE BEEN WANTING TO SEE IN THE FIRST PLACE! I live in Texas and to see the fans paying OUTLANDISH prices for this event is very offending to any ECW fan. At least any fan that will admit that.

To end this shoot, here are in the words, inspired by Shane Douglas, the 4 reasons what made Extreme Championship Wrestling so damn great:

1. ECW was genuinely for the fans. It give fans a true alternative to WCW failure and WWE self absorbed TV and Jerry Lawlers senseless anti-ECW shoots and rants.

2. ECW made so many stars is not even funny. Go to www.WWE.com and listen to Heyman actually telling the emotional truth about it's stars that even touched me as a die hard fan.

3. ECW inspired many other so called copy cat promotions to follow the footsteps of ECW.

4. ECW was a promotion that a wrestling fan could ACTUALLY believe in.

If you want raven, go online, buy a ticket to Shane Douglas' real ECW Reunion called Hardcore Homecoming and enjoy him as he takes on THE SANDMAN.

After this, if WWE has any respect for the fans of the Three most chanted, duplicated and legendary letters in Pop-culture history, they would not EVER(!) do another ECW pay per view after this year never again. If us fans still wanna remember ECW for what it was and not some lame ass excuse to make money.
John Dunbar wrote:
Your One Night Stand rant left me thinking: Why doesn't ECW just start over again"

It's not dead. A perfect example is my local football club, Clydebank FC. Bought out by another team and went extinct, but the amazing fans brought the club back from the dead and are back again. They aren't as big as they used to be, but once again the fans have their local team to support.

So why can't the fans make something happen and try to get something rolling" I'm more WWE fan than anything but the more I learn about ECW the more I'm loving it. Just fights, no shite storylines (Lita's getting married on the show again - is this the third time or something"), it was just guys putting on a good show in the ring for the fans.

Bring ECW back from the dead - what fans are willing to put in the kind of work to have the show back to where it rightfully belongs" If WWE owns the title 'ECW', then either have talks into buying it back (as if Vince'll let it go) or subtley change things a bit, I ain't good on names but I'll leave that for others.

It's time for action - don't be afraid to battle for the show you so dearly love!
wrote:

wrote:

If you have any comments, reactions, rebuttles or thoughts on this column, feel free to send them to the email below,
If your email is intelligently written, they will be posted underneath this messege..
We at OnlineWorldofWrestling want to promote all points of view, and that includes YOURS.




© 2007, Black Pants, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective holders.

[ CHAT ROOM | FLASH | SEARCH | FORUMS | DOWNLOADS | TAPES | WRESTLINKS | GUESTBOOK | THANK YOU | CONTACT ]