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WRESTLING COLUMNS

ECW: Sports Entertainment"
Part 2: The Little Things
June 7, 2006 by Paul J. Mason


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It's no secret that ECW is coming back. It's also no secret that ECW will be very different than it was back in its heyday. Vince McMahon has no trouble saying that ECW will be different, but he uses the excuse that if ECW were still around today, it'd still be very different. It's not surprising that the WWE would be changing ECW to fit their own agenda, but what's difficult on the mind and will of most ECW fans is, what exactly would be changing"

We know that most of ECW's roster wants nothing to do with the new ECW, that ECW will now be a world wide affair, that ECW will have a larger platform and a larger budget than ever before, and that ECW will be on the Sci-Fi Channel. But what about all of the little things that made ECW what it was" The little things that made ECW's look and feel, not to mention delivery, more unique than other independent promotions. The little things that you couldn't notice right away unless you had OCD, but gradually caught onto you like a fungus.

If you've ever watched ECW Hardcore TV on a weekly basis, you'd notice the format of the show was a lot different than your average wrestling program simply by its delivery. For example, every episode started at least 5 minutes late, when high impact moves were applied, the centered camera would zoom in a little and shake, the ring was extremely illuminated, the cameras were never "still", and when it came to showing Joey Styles at the commentating booth, he was in front of an ECW banner talking to a camera. Compare this to most independent companies, many of which never show their commentators, use only one camera and make their shows look like it was filmed and produced by a high school. Most of said independent companies didn't even have enough of a crowd to fill up all of their seats, cheapening the production even more.

Another small difference was the attitude of ECW's booker. Paul Heyman was a booker who was quite different from the rest of them; he told his crowd everything that was going on, and he never tried to cover anything up if it didn't go according to plan. Bookers from other independent promotions just want a crowd to hand in the money for their tickets, watch the show, then leave, and if something happened that wasn't supposed to, they just play it off like it never did happen. Paul made the crowd feel smart, though it was a double-edged sword for kayfabe reasons. In the end, he had an extremely loyal fan base.

These examples are just a few to the long list of small details that made ECW what it was. Then, of course, are the larger things, like extreme athleticism and creativity with using weapons in different ways. Though many of the larger things might stay the same, a lot of the smaller things may change. Sure, ECW won't be the same for many reasons, but the smaller changes would definitely accentuate that. Paul Heyman once said that one of the goals in ECW programming was to accentuate the positives and hide the negatives. But little did he know that a lot of the things he thought were negative were some of the things that made ECW what it was. It gave ECW its look, and though people may not notice, or may not even care about the little changes, it may just be an attribute to why they feel that ECW is a bit more different than they expected. And at the end, it's the little things that you miss the most.

by Paul Mason..


Ryan Cassano wrote:
One glimmer of hope that WWE may stay true to those elements is that all the recent hype for ECW (especially during tonight's WWE vs. ECW special) have been very authentic looking compared to their productions of old.

The true test will be their first broadcast. I think the production feel of that show will set the tempo. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they keep as much of it as possible, for the reasons you've already mentioned.
Richard wrote:
I think your question has been answered. It seems that the "NEW ECW" is a third string Smackdown!. If ECW continues on this path, it won't last long before fans get turned off thinking it another WWE show, which of course it is at the moment..............
Dominic Mancini wrote:
Sports Entertainment"" If I want to see people getting set on fire, or bashed with a barb wired bat, I will watch a Friday the 13th movie!! ECW was "killed" by Eric Bischoff once, and it should have stayed dead! There is nothing great about the promotion , it is GARBAGE! I think Vince McMahon should pull his head out of his @$$ and stop with the ECW rebirth! If he wants to do something innovative, bring back Eric Bischoff(greatest thing that ever happened to wrestling) and start WCW again! The WCW days were great! ECW=GARBAGE! -----
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