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WRESTLING COLUMNS

ECW: Sports Entertainment"
May 29, 2006 by Paul Mason


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Unless you've been away from a computer for the last few weeks, the WWE will finally be reopening ECW's doors. ECW will be like Raw and SmackDown; a brand of the WWE instead of its own promotion. But just like back in the day, the main figureheads of ECW will be Tommy Dreamer and Paul Heyman. It is said that like the ECW of old, it will push the envelope, feature controversial subject material and will be on a network that shouldn't even be showcasing wrestling in the first place (this time, it will be on the Sci-Fi Channel). With the minor shortcoming of being fully backed by the WWE, ECW is said to be coming back for good. Seem too good to be true" You bet your ass it is.

On Friday, May 26, 2006, Vince McMahon said in an interview for WWE.com that ECW was going global. Of course, that doesn't seem too bad, until he started talking about more ECW background information. He mentioned that ECW will be grittier than Raw or SmackDown and more imagination will be put into it, but that it will need a delicate balance because, as McMahon put it, "...there are three masters to serve."

The first master, and the seemingly insignificant, at least to McMahon, is the "small, vocal ECW audience." The next is the frequent viewers of the Sci-Fi Channel, "that [are] accustomed to things more SCI FI." Then, of course, is the "broader audience", that only know "of what sports-entertainment is today."

To say that the ECW audience is small is a very daring move on McMahon's part. Last I checked, he made a killing selling the WWE-made ECW DVDs, he sold out the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York for One Night Stand, not only this year, but last year as well. Not to mention that millions of people saw One Night Stand on PPV, bought the DVD when it came out and can't wait for this year's. So, how is that small" If anything, McMahon should be doing everything in his power to appease to these people; they out number his teenage girl, John Cena-loving/ECW-oblivious audience by an impressive margin (hell, ECW chants can still be heard in large WWE crowds).

Before I go on, why is ECW going on the Sci-Fi Channel" I can understand why it was on TNN; it was a channel whose main demographic were trailer park rednecks, people who naturally like pro wrestling. But why Sci-Fi" I can see how they can say that ECW will take pro wrestling out of the ordinary, but having it on the same channel as shows like Stargate SG-1 and Farscape is taking the previous statement a little too far.

The last "master" McMahon wants to satisfy is the "broader audience", as he calls them; the WWE-faithful flock that buy up all of his merchandise and sell out his arenas just to see a familiar face. Is this to say that the new ECW will have a dash of sports entertainment thrown in" Even a minor turn to sports entertainment would be disastrous for ECW, and the faithful fan base would turn their backs; so in turn, he would be sabotaging a product made for customers he wants, with the very thing that they hate. If ECW is to be an alternative, why make it a dash like all of the other brands" Hell, why have it on Sci-Fi" Have it on the Spice Channel at 3 AM and tell the management and talent to just go nuts. I know for a fact that the loyal ECW fan would tune in; ECW Hardcore TV used to move around local stations all over the place, only playing at 2 AM on Saturday morning with little to no advertisement.

So yes, ECW is coming back, but it may be just like every other product the WWE has under their belt. If I end up being wrong, I'll take back everything I said, admit to McMahon himself that I was wrong and apologize (but I don't think a man like that cares about what a small journalist like me thinks). When asked if Paul Heyman will have a role in the new ECW, McMahon ended the interview on Friday with, "Absolutely, ...but at the end of the day, Mr. McMahon is in charge."

by Paul Mason..


Adam S. wrote:
What are you talking about" ECW was "sports entertainment" before WWE or WCW. ECW had some of the wildest, most over the top storylines ever! Vince is just the one that stole their ideas.
Ralph wrote:
I hate to agree with this article, But I think you're right about the new ECW. Guys like Jerry Lawyler say ECW and it's fan have no standards. But he is wrong...ECW fans (myself being one) have a higher standard for wrestling then WWE or WCW fans for that matter...And we will not think twice about booing you out of the building if you don't put on a good show. It's not about Gimmick or Storylines. It's about In Your Face, non stop action from the begenning of the show til' the very end. For example, ECW didn't wait til the main event to put on a good match with guys like RVD VS Sabu. The show started off with a bang just like it ended. I remember all the 3 Way Dances with Tajari, Super Crazy & Super Crazy. And I hate to say it, but I found more excitement in those series of matches then I do watching Cena VS Triple H. Or any match with JBL in it for that matter...And that's how the new ECW needs to be. No Storylines, No Male Cheerleaders,and no mentally Challenged Gimmicks. (Not that I have a problem with mentally challenged people) But I don't think it's right to make somone have to play that role, and to not use their talent. Esp a guy that can wrestle as good as Nick Dinsmore. Put him back with Rob Conway, put them in ECW, Give them the ECW tag titles and call it a day...And I beg, Please Kill off Simon Dean and put him in ECW as Nova again...What is the sence in taking a good wrestler and wasting him like is being done...Any idiot can play the role of Simon Dean...In the end, I hope this article turns out to be wrong...
D.J. Kellogg wrote:
There have been rumors for awile of the prospect of Vince McMahon restarting ECW. I personally consider this to be akin to a hostage situation since ECW and the WWF (not just WCW as Vinnie Mac wants you to think) were in fact enemies and in competition. We've seen how McMahon has treated SD! and its one of his own made up brands! He simply can't favor whatever form of corperate entity we will be calling "ECW". My original hopes were that a new tet lesser ECW would result from Todd Gordon's lawsuit for the rights to Eastern Championship Wrestling and him either selling that to someone willing to promote it or atleast to purge McMahonia of some of its swiped goods in archives and stolen treassure. I believe that if ECW is to be restarted by Vince then the titles need to be continuous. Rhino might be contracted to TNA and unabhle to return as ECW World heavyweight and ECW World Television champ but atleast Danny Dorring and Roadkill are contracted. they should be presented as the currentl champions. Also I have got issues with this placemrnt on the Sci-Fi ch. I dont think its even close to a good idea to run the risk of promoting professional wrestling as science fiction or as something as trivial and outlandish as a child's imagination. MTV, TBS, or VH1 or G4, would be far better then Sci-Fi. And all this stupid B.S. about ECW losing what it was "all about" needs to stop. Anyone who thought ECW was destined for the bingo hall needs to squash that theory! ECW was small because it had to be not because it wanted to be. too many of the Viking Hall regulars seemed to think ECW was theirs to hog and got all threatend when other people took interest. truth be told, it was more about them trying to be cool and alternitive and show offish then it was about ECW's health and bein' legit. They want ECW small let them take over the PAX network then. All and all I support this resurrection assuming its not a puppet promotion, there is a legal counterweight to WWE Corp.'s power (such as say Gordon owning 20% of ECW's rights and footage), it is populated by true ECW alumni, their PPVs are restored, the tite lineages arnt that broken (atleast one), and creative authority is shared. I would not favor a revived WCW however because that wouldbe to grotesque and hard for me to see but WWE has better experiance with ECW more than anyone else so i hope Vince doesnt ruin this like he has so many other things.
Paul Mason wrote:
I agree with this column, and I hope it doesn't happen. But DJ Kellogg, if you got an opinion, write your own column. Dont try to steal the spotlight of someone elses work.
Jose Aguirre wrote:
You should be glad ECW is back I mean they went wild. I really don't know what they're trying to do to ECW but it seems good. The whole Sci-Fi channel thing, sounds good, because it's diffrent and you're still going to watch it right"
wrote:

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