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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Most Important Column I Have Ever Shared
December 9, 2006 by Matt Cooper


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Despite the title, this is not an ignorant rant that should be closed. With all of this ECW hate going around as of last night, I thought I'd clear a few things up and get some things off my chest.

First and foremost, the ppv. I liked December to Dismember. First the undisputed positives. Good, solid, entertaining wrestling. Every match besides the main event was technical and/or extremely WWE-kosher. Exactly how Vince would have wanted it because he supposedly wants to tone down ECW. Bad buyrates" Why do we as wrestling fans care about that anyways (I will address Vince caring about it later)"

The main event, the Extreme Elimination Chamber wasn't that different than a regular Elimination Chamber in terms of rules, but in terms of quality, I would have to say that it's at worst, the second best Elimination Chamber yet, only trailing the very first one. Think about it, there was the crappy Goldberg-Nash Chamber that had one huge spot (spear through Chamber) that was botched. The first NYR Chamber was solid, but definitely not memorable, and for what it was built up to be and to not have a title change made it stale. The most recent NYR Chamber didn't have any real big spots, and the three competitors who could've made it entertaining (Angle, Kane, and HBK) were the first three eliminated. And who cares about not hyping any matches besides the main event and the Hardy-MNM match" Has anyone ever heard of a PPV (an ECW PPV nonetheless, using only ECW talent) named One Night Stand" Both of those drew big buyrates, and Vince knows it. He really shouldn't expect ECW to be able to completely fill a card when six of their top competitors are in the main event and they have a significantly smaller roster than any other brand. What Vince should've done before drastically firing Heyman and claiming that ECW is doomed is wait till ECW fields its own PPV that doesn't involve all of the competitors in the main event. If that PPV draws more, and it most likely would (ONS anyone) he would then see that his so-called fledgling brand is capable. I agree, more storyline matches at D2D would've been nice, but isn't it nice for a change not to see half of the matches end because of some b.s. finish"

Now, as far as the ECW on Sci-Fi goes, I like it. I like it because it features many wrestlers who wouldn't get the push they deserve under the almighty Vincent Kennedy McMahon. These include The Big Show (when was the last time he got a title shot or was regularly used in the ME"), Hardcore Holly, Test, Kevin Thorn, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Matt Striker, Mike Knox, and the list goes on. CM Punk is the only one who would get a serious push, but even then, it wouldn't be nearly as much as ECW. Second, I like the fact that there's a much better balance of wrestling and storyline than RAW for sure. More entertaining main events, for sure, and this is only with an hour show. When was the last time RAW, WWE's supposedly flag-ship brand, had a 15 minute main event that was entertaining" I sure as hell can't remember. And ECW does it on a constant basis.

As for the wrestlers, like Sabu and RVD being upset, I agree with them. Apparently, Vince just wants to "punish" them, and hasn't said when this punishment is going to end. What he should do simply to have a working relationship with his employees is to let RVD, at least, know that even though he isn't going to get the title now, his time will come, and he will continue to be pushed. He isn't just going to float around forever. If Vince was to make that clear to RVD, I doubt RVD would be feeling so doubtful about his future.

As far as firing Heyman, well that's the worst decision Vince McMahon could've possibly made. However, many compare Heyman with the old ECW. This comparison has drawn a lot of criticism to new ECW. If a new general manager was present on-screen, this may have less people comparing it to old ECW, thus the hardcore level could stay where it's at, and they wouldn't feel pressure to drastically increase the violence, or drastically decrease it if Vince keeps his mouth shut. This could work, but as to who to pick, that's up for debate. No debating, Heyman indisputably should work behind the scenes on the ECW show and have a good deal of control over it. Heyman is a genius, and he was doing good for new ECW. He doesn't need to be on TV, but keep the man around.

That is my two cents. Hate it or love it, I don't care. This is how I feel, and the reasons why ECW on Sci Fi is worth fighting for, even if increased results number and buyrate wise don't immediately show up. Feel free to share your thoughts, but remember no bashing, even if you feel as extremely as I do (pun intended) about this.

by Matt Cooper..


joseph santangelo wrote:
Hate to say it but Ii completely disagree with you. I hate the new ECW. If it had a different name then i would be fine but this is just showing the old ECW disrespect. They are using the old ECW title records and they are making money off of the name of ECW. They are squashing all of the originals and making all of them look week. They have fired Paul Heyman and officially turned ECW into a total WWE product.

As for they PPV being good, I completely disagree with you. You had one great match in hardys vs MNM, one pretty good main event (VERY PREDICTABLE) , and about 3 meaningless matches. I think the PPV sucked and WWE should be ashamed for putting it on TV. It ended at 10 freaking 15. It didn't even go two and a half hours. I want a refund!!!
John Nelson wrote:
Vince better ask for a recall on those McMahon DVDs and put some more footage in about how firing Heyman is a GOOD idea. The guy who added something good to the writing team, a guy brave enough to tell Stephanie McMahon to fu** off, and a guy who made OVW a bastian of good programming (so I'm told anyway) and you cut him loose.

The December to Dismember PPV wasn't a BAD payperview, and I understand the need to push talent, but what about the old school ECW guys who don't get any screen time" Al Snow and Steven Richards anyone" Maybe Terry Funk could have come back for another blood fest. The matches weren't bad and some of them were of good length and much like the TV show on SciFi they all had some good quality wrestling to them which is more then what we can say about Raw lately.

What kind of show is ECW going to be without the heart and soul involved with it, Paul Heyman" One I don't plan on watching. Was this how Vince planned on burying ECW since it was getting over his own two shows, kill the guy who people like, have people tune out and then say "See they don't like this show!"" BLECH!

Who do you replace with Paul Heyman is a better question. If it's Stephanie McMahon then I'm outa here for sure.

Vince may be willing ot give Paul another chance but I think the damage has been done. Paul, help seed the fields of TNA Impact, ROH or another new upstart promotion and leave WWE in the dust with their follies. ECW with no Paul Heyman who was one of the saving graces of that show, is like classic Star Trek without Leonard Nimoy.
Jarrett Kemshead wrote:
For starters, you must not have an idea what good wrestling is. It certainly isn't anything that came after the Hardyz/MNM match at December 2 Dismember. Tommy Dreamer lost to a manager, Ballz Mahoney was allowed to wrestle in a match, and Hardcore Holly was in the Main Event, that Lashley won. I won't even start on how stupid it was to put the belt on Choc Lesnar.

Secondly, Heyman wasn't fired. He is still with the WWE, and it will stay that way. No way is Vince going to let Heyman leave and help out TNA (ROH doesn't need Hayman, they have sick booking as it is). Heyman will end up in OVW.

ECW on SCI-FI is a joke. Their main events are 15-minute piles of crap. For a month straight you had Big Show wrestle Kane, Taker, Flair, and Raw stars would have to come over and give ECW the rub.

If WWECW had've been cast into a role as one promotion separate, than everything could've worked, but Vince had to control everything and send over Big Show, Choc, Turkey Man, Burke, and the rest of the WWE rejects. ECW guys (the real ones, not Renee F'n Dupree) and guys from OVW and DSW shouldve been used.

And if there aren't going to be hardcore matches, do everyone a favour and release Sabu, cause the guy is useless in real matches.
Ieuan johns wrote:
"ECW with no Paul Heyman who was one of the saving graces of that show, is like classic Star Trek without Leonard Nimoy" ------- Exactly my thoughts, except unlike John I do not think that that is a bad thing.

To continue the analegy, Star Trek without Leonard Nimoy would be unthinkable, however "The Next Generation", "Deep Space Nine", "Voyager" and "Enterprise" all got along perfectly fine without him.

The difference is that they are not direct continuations, ther are a new set of stories built on the foundation of the originals (including a shared history).

The New ECW is also not a direct continuation of the old, it is a new entity in it's own right and that has been made clear since day one by all those involved.

Most of the ECW originals are made to look bad because they ARE bad. Many are veterens now who will not be with the roster in 2 years time, they should NOT be winning a great deal. The only exception really is Rob Van Dam, who has another 5 years in him if he's sensible, and possibly Sabu, who might not have too long but can at least draw in the ECW main event. Sandman, Dreamer, Balls and co are doing what they should be doing, putting over the next generation of ECW (Punk, Thorn, Knox, Lashley). You can even class Big Show in that category as despite his winning streak he put over Lashley clean and transfer his heat to a new star.

The new ECW is only using the old guys at all to try and draw some of the old fans back in, and because they need at least some recognised names in order to built up the new talent. In this they are being used correctly. The one wildcard in this is Heyman, who will be a constant reminder is he stays. I would have much preffered he stayed as a booker but worked his way off camera after the first few months, however this was not happening and as entertaining as he can be, he had started to hold ECW back on camera.

Sure this will lose a few ECW hardcore viewers, but it is a necessary shedding (as will be the eventual loss of Sandman, Dreamer, Balls and Sabu) for ECW to move forward. Remember that is ECW had lived on it would have evolved also, it did not so stagnated, all of a sudden a reunion PPV has a frighteningly high average age, the very fact that talk was of Funk doing yet another blood match says it all. ECW will need time to reinvent itself, find it's niche (it is already different from RAW, SD!, TNA or RoH) and frankly to judge it either way after just six months (and as it only just starts to get it's own roster instead of old WWE talent) is far too soon. If this time next year we are still seeing the likes of Test, Holly, Sandman and co are still in the top 10 of the brand then will be the time to worry.
Andrew Irving wrote:
Can somebody please explain to me exactly how this article made it through the OWW net" I only ask because I had just been reading the new 2007 rules for column writing and the so called "OWW 10 commandments" (a less blasphemous name would be appreciated by the way) which clearly state that articles should not review PPVs (see rule 2). That aside, the self-proclaimed importance of the article's title, not to mention the arrogance shown in the closing paragraph, are surely not in the spirit of this website.

However, since this article has been allowed, I'd like to say that I thought that the opening Hardyz-MNM match (as noted by Joseph Santangelo) was superb and that once again, Matt Striker was outstanding against Balls Mahoney (seriously, I'm an ROH mark and that guy is brilliant). It's also great to see that Daivari is getting the limelight, rather than the Great Khali (like Taz I love how he pays such close attention to his pin covers). I sort of agree with Matt Cooper (the author) that some of the former WWE mid-carders have earned their push, but it definitely devalues the history of the ECW title when, of the 6 competing for the ECW title at D2D, only CM Punk and RVD would be seen as desirable champions in the eyes of most fans in my opinion (and they were both eliminated quite early if I remember correctly).

In closing, I really don't have a problem with the show they are putting on, rather the fact that (as noted by Joseph Santangelo) they are using the ECW name, when quite clearly, this is not ECW. In principle, a show dominated by Punk, RVD, Striker and Daivari is a brilliant show, but no professional promotion has been carried by 'small' competitors successfully (in terms of ratings, which is what concerns the pro ranks). I think that a more interesting and relevant column would have been entitled something like, "Why are title matches no longer guaranteed main events"" This is something that has bothered me lately (if someone has the time and desire to write such a column, I would be grateful).
Jesse Lee wrote:
I guess a ton of people forgot how WWE called it "ECW: A New Breed Unleashed." This isn't the old ECW that was once the heart of north-eastern wrestling fans. This is the "glorified Velocity" vision of Vincent K. McMahon.

I agree with a lot of Matt Cooper's opinions, now that I've had a while to think about the incident. While I really hated the build up for D2D, I admit that it was a connection to the old ECW. Yes, the old ECW would usually only announce one or two matches for their PPVs... so that's not really a "Vince-thing." Veterans being beaten is what the original ECW used to do all the time. Sandman, Sabu, RVD, and Dreamer are doing nothing but playing the role of the veterans so that the fresher faces will get pushed. While I admit that ECW did it better than Vince's ECW, it's still a fact. Big Show's reign was enjoyable compared to anything he's done before going to the "new" ECW. Sabu is nothing but a stuntman nowadays, always needing a table to make him look good. Which isn't to say that he never drew money, it's just that it's more risky for WWE to invest in Sabu. The only real upset for me is how they've used Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer's always been the face of ECW since it fell years ago and has been doing nothing but getting squashed, beaten down, and punished since ECW came back onto sci-fi. Perhaps WWE's way of making it clear that "old ECW is dead."

While I dislike many things going on in ECW, I can understand why it's happening to some extent. Also.. after D2D, I decided to boycott WWE television.. I guess I'm the only smark who actually put that threat in action.
Keith G. wrote:
As quickly as I can I must say this: ECW is lost. I can't say dead because it's probably still going to have a show on sci-fi but it has no direction. The problems on the PPV began for me when they took Sabu out of the Chamber match. You had to know right there that Lashley was going to win. Not that Sabu is booked as his equal or anything but immediately the cool spots where taken out of the equation. No high spots off the ceiling no crazy cut jobs and most importantly: NO SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF. That is what Sabu is capable of and every true fan knows it. Things to take note of

1)Watch Sabu because how he is booked is really the best barometer of whether or not ECW will succeed.

2)We all know Dreamer will do the job even if it's to a manger so don't get upset when he loses (hey he took that nasty bump on the ramp didn't he").

3)Rumor has it that CM Punk is an asshole, oh wait check that, he's straight-edge that means he has a moral right to look down on everyone right" What's next a vegan warrior" "Wrestling is my meat!" or he could feud with JR over the barbecue sauce and claim that the BBQ is a the equivalent to a gateway drug.

4) Now that Big Show is done, and that sucks by the way, it means we will probably see a lot more of the Great Khali and possibly a PUNJABI PRISON match again!

5) and finally who did Turkey piss off to do a job to the Hardys on sci fi" That guys on his way down too mark these words, if he feuds with Balls he is done, one match is fine two would be pushing it but if there are three that means it's a feud and everyone knows if you touch Balls more than twice you are officially masturbating.
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