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WRESTLING COLUMNS

ECW: Everyday Common Wrestling
July 15, 2006 by Ryan Gregg


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Let me start off this article by setting personal bias straight. I am not an anti-ECW person by all means. I am a fan of wrestling in general with a basic personal opinion. And considering this is my first article with OWW, I kept thinking of what I wanted to write about to start things off with a bang. And the thing that is generating most bang with me is ECW.

The vibe I got from ECW from the old days was one that was this insane form of sports entertainment that seemed to really stand out amongst the mainstream WWF and WCW. This small promotion, run out of a bingo hall in Philly, brought a new level of intensity and violence to wrestling. And not only was the new level of intensity entertaining, it hooked into many fans like an addiction. The question that I think needs to be asked is, what made this product so special to this hardcore group of fans"

The action is probably the most obvious answer. Those who weren't satisfied with a lot of glitzy, sexually-charged storylines and angles of WCW and WWF could turn the channel over to good ol' TNN and watch Sabu give somebody and Arabian Facebuster with a steel chair or watch RVD do a somersault plancha off the top rope into the crowd, watch the Dudley Boys give some poor sap a 3D through a table, or Sandman just beat the mess out of somebody with a kendo stick. This kind of action fulfilled the audience's craving for moments that make you want to start "Holy Sh*t" chants. The small time environment intensified this atmosphere because it also gave less of a chance for one group of fans to disagree with the others. The fans seemed to be united in their love, or hatred, of a wrestler, tag team, or stable. This made it a great way to make the matches come off good on television with good fan interaction as well as aid in getting storylines over.

While I do not believe that ECW was the first promotion to truly "shock" the audience, I do believe that they definitely pushed the limits. Not only the intensity of the matches make you think to yourself "Damn, that's intense" but some of the storylines truly helped. Let's think back to the Sandman/Raven feud where families were first involved, or one of the most distinct parody stables in wrestling, the bWo. ECW helped to usher in many new ideas to professional wrestling.

Having established some of the things I remember from ECW, I keep asking myself the question that everyone has on their minds. Is it possible for Vince McMahon, the multi-billionaire who helped bring wrestling into the mainstream with the WWE, successfully resurrect an old brand like ECW and really capture its old atmosphere and intensity" The answer to that question, as it seems so far, is a resounding no.

The ECW we see now seems the exact same as the two brands RAW and SD! Just with older superstars from ECW. Even with the ECW superstars trying to help bring back some of the old style of ECW (*cough cough* Tommy Dreamer and Paul Heyman *cough cough*) Vince McMahon has still turned this new promotion into the typical WWE show. Let's compare some of the things that go on now in ECW and how they would fly back in the 90's. Would Sandman be as popular today as he is if all he did in his career was come out of the crowd wielding a kendo stick and just beat the hell out of stupid characters like Macho Libre and the Priest" No. He got popular because he had matches and storylines that helped him expand his character and the WWE needs to do that to really expose him to the fans that might not have watched ECW back in the day. Because the WWE is missing a huge opportunity to promote an awesome character in the Sandman if they don't start to involve him in something that actually has some meaning.

Kelly Kelly is also something that is new to ECW. She is incredibly hot and all, but come on now, this is ECW. If you are going to have a hot girl on there, which is definitely fine by me, have her be beating the hell out of another girl. This is WRESTLING after all. But hey, as has been demonstrated many times before, if Vince likes you, then you get to be on television 24/7.

Granted, ECW has not been around for very long, but the roster right now is looking weak because they need to expand to new stars to fill up their divisions. Tag teams right now include the F.B.I. and...oh yes, that's it. No Television Title yet either. Instead of worrying about having John Cena run in again and again, why not start to promote some feuds with some other wrestlers and have them be for some gold.

Finally, my last comment would have to be on the fact that it seems Vince McMahon has limited the hardcore matches to only specific matches and not applying to all matches like it was back in the 90's ECW. If you take the hardcore element out of ECW, then what makes it different from RAW or Smackdown" The hardcore element used to be a key driver in what made people tune in at night to watch it, so what is really going to make the average Joe Wrestling Fan turn to Sci-Fi on Tuesday nights" Taking out the hardcore element is basically cutting out the heart of ECW. Cut around the fat of ECW, including some of the things of listed, but if you want to see ECW thrive, don't take the hardcore element away because all it will do is lead to its demise.

I have faith in ECW right now. It has things that are good about it, rest assured. We will see CM Punk debut there and tear it up, we get to see awesome stars like Big Show and Kurt Angle in a new type of environment, and we get to see the usage of Sabu and RVD to their fullest (when they get back, of course.) So if you're a fan of "hardcore" wrestling, let us hope for the a little nostalgia of the old ECW and make that nostalgia a normal thing for this new breed of professional wrestling and not make Extreme Championship Wrestling turn into Everyday Common Wrestling.

by Ryan Gregg ..


Ralph wrote:
Well I have been happy with it so far...Aside of kelly stripping every week. Although it is much more raunchy then anything ever seen on Raw or Smackdown, enough is enough already...Now that the sandman finally beat the crap out of an actual wrester, maybe he'll fued with Mike Knox now instead of beating the crap out these jobbers...

I must say that in the one hour ECW has a week, they manage to squeeze a lot of wrestling into the show...Unlike Raw which spends most of the show with talking and storylines...Smackdown however uses it's wrestlers more which makes me think it's truly the #2 show...Just that Raw is not #1 to me...I gotta give that spot to ECW...

The roster is building up. I can't wait to see CM Punk wrestle already. I also like how they brought Mordaci into it. Gangrel is supposed to join him from what I hear...Also another TNA star lost to ECW/WWE I see...Shannon Moore is going to make one hell of an ECW Wrestler...I also see that they Signed the Bashams...Looks like they're gonna need to bring the tag titles back soon...

If it were up to me, I'd go to Smackdown and draft the New Pitbulls (Kash & Noble). These guys are amazing. I have not seen such a great team in a long time...The original Pitbulls started in ECW, so Bring on the New Pitbulls to carry the name... Now I have been paitently waiting for them to drop this simon dean gimmick and bring him back to ECW as Nova already...Somthing tells me that will be soon...Looks like they're trying to get the nova look back first...(Notice how long his gear is getting again") I have the feeling that the Ex members of the mexicools are on their way back to ECW as well...I would pay to see Super Crazy/Little Guido/Tagari in one more 3-Way dance...

I gotta give them credit when they go into these big arenas...I like how they dim the lights and make it look more ECWish...And on how they brought back the old style Entrance Way...In the end, if Vince wants to keep from getting booed out of the building, he will bring back the old ECW Style...
Gus D. wrote:
The new ECW is already EverydayCommonWrestling. ECW has become a another playground for Raw superstars. I wanted to see RVD tag with Sabu against FBI, maybe Sandman and Dreamer vs. Sabu and RVD. But now, we're stuck watching a stripper who has no talent whatsoever at what she does, Tommy Dreamer jobbing to non original ecw stars. I have to admit, The new ECW is going no where fast.
Stephen Y. wrote:
In the original ECW, every match had no rules, but in the new ECW, the matches are Extreme Rules. Why" Why is Big Show ECW champ" Where is the FBI, bWo etc, but they have Big Show, Mike Knox, Al Snow etc. And every week, they have a WWE guy in the show.
tom-new york,ny wrote:
dude, i read your article and i must say, i totally agree with what you wrote 110% ! ever since ecw returned to television, it hasnt lived up to its hype at all,i dont personally hold the wreslters responsible or paul heyman but if there was alittle more breathing room for them i bet evrything i own theyd put put on an "extreme show" ECW was founded by putting on the most extreme shows, the ridiculous strip shows,bad promos and weak storylines are nothing short of boredom.what you wrote about sandman in paticular was even more correct its like it hadnt ocurred to vince this guy was actually a multiple wrestling champion who actually had a meaningful purpose, and the edge/cena crossovers each week are becoming tiresome.the show wont last while mcJackass continues to destroy the legacy we call E-C-W i pray for the wrestlers and the true fans
[I forgot to sign my name] wrote:
I WIsh ECW was 2 hours long instead of 1 so we can see more matches. Vince is trying to make ECW be seen from his point of view. Even trying to hire talent that he screwed over ( EX: Rhino) and let them job to morons like Muhammed Hassan.I am so happy they told him to stick the contract up his ass.Now ECW has new faces some I am not mad at and some can't stand. WWE has also brought old faces from recent wwe past which I think would be good for ECW. If ECW wants to impress most fans they should make every match on the card EXTREME RULES, stop making Kelly dance (She looks nasty!), stop making Joey Style tell boring color commentary, (VINCE!!) (I use to like when styles said what is on his mind!),stop making us think Paul Heymen is just like you,(VINCE!!) And stop trying to cover real facts of what happened to Rob Van Dam.
Kevin S. wrote:
this new version of ECW is a joke in my opion. the big show as a champ" he is only there so Vince can get his moneys worth out of him.

where are the like of Mike Awsome, Mikey Whipwreck, New Jack, and Lance Storm" why are Tommy Dreamer and Justin Credible jobbing" these are the names and faces that made ECW great back in their hayday. till Vince gets off his butt and brings in the "old school" ECW guys, this show will be nothing but another Smackdown
"The Pope" in United Kingdom wrote:
ECW was an institution! I remember in the early/mid 90's when I first heard about this small promotion from Philly and managed to check it out via a German channel on my Sky TV (I live in UK). Through the internet and tape trading I was able to get all the house shows and then PPV's etc. and became totally hooked!

It was like a breath of fresh air for wrestling fans who didn't buy into the whole WWF pantomime that, at that time was getting out of control. The WWF was becoming more and more like a 2 hour episode of Days Of Our Lives than a wrestling promotion. ECW was alternative, you felt like you were part of something and the fans had as much say in the future of it's stars as anyone else. WE decided who got pushed, WE decided who won belts, WE decided who became tag partners and so on. ECW fans liked you if you were good! Yes, if you were good and or you really tried hard! That's all they ever asked of their wrestlers and if you delivered then they cheered for you, weather you were heel or not. Take Jerry Lynn for example, in the modern wrestling world he was a lost course! He had no personality, no eccentricities and both WCW and WWF decided this guy just couldn't come up with a character that people would care about. You know what he did when he got ECW" He wrestled!! Nothing more, nothing less, and he wrestled his ass off! It was because of that he became a star of ECW, purely because he was talented and gave the fans what they wanted, wrestling matches!!

I was fortunate enough to attend the first ever TV taping of the show when me and my dad flew out to the US for my 18th birthday. It was amazing, you felt like part of this huge ECW family! We met the wrestlers outside before the show. We had our own chants, our own favourites, our own catch phrases and what felt like our own wrestling promotion. I remember my dad saying to me "this is like being and a rock concert in the 60's before a band broke, it's got the same cult-like following. Everybody just seems to be on the same wave length". I totally lost interest in wrestling all together when ECW finished, after that I knew I would be constantly disappointed with Monday Night Raw and the like. (On a side note how the hell did WWE take Taz from ECW and make him into a f**king commentator" Did they ever even see this guy wrestle")

I don't think ECW will ever be the same again unless Vince backs off totally and leaves every wrestling decision to Heyman (although I cant see that happening) and of course they stop trying to use it as a minor league promotion for WWE by giving them wrestlers like "Test" who is the complete opposite of everything an ECW wrestler should be. Unless you were right there at the time before ECW went Nationwide I don't think you'll ever be able to understand just how much it meant to people. It was truly one of those special things that come around once in a blue moon and if you didn't experience it first hand then it's always gone be tough to understand.
Dartagan67 wrote:
I have to agree with the point 100%. So far the new ECW is just a watered down version of what it was back in the day. Now you know why Rhino & Team 3D (The Dudleys) said what they said in TNA. That is why Shane Douglas & Raven won't go running to the new ECW. Hell; they couldn't even get Newjack on that new breed ECW! How you gonna run a promotion with only one belt; mind you there's no Tag Team, Intercontinental, TV titles. They don't even have a Hardcore title!! Maybe its because Rhino actually threw away & burn the 2 actual title belts (for those who watch TNA kno what I'm talkin about).

But seriously; Vince & Paul need to stop insulting our intelligence with this type of bastardized, watered down crap they do on this new ECW. How can you have people from RAW & SMACKDOWN challenging for the ECW title & not give a guy like Sabu a title shot!! Then Paul Heyman says it's just a new concept from back in the day; I don't buy it. It's a slap in the face to the old ECW fans & the old ECW wrestlers. Also it cheapens the legacy that the old ECW laid down in the industry. Kelly's expose, extreme rules in only 1 match out of 3, non-ECW wrestlers title shots; ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

In closing I'll say this: if they can't do no better than what we're seeing now" Well they might as well had a left it buried in the past. That's my opinion.
Brian Bertrand wrote:
Well, well, well! I just thought I'd come out of the forums for a bit and check out the new columns and I see that someone agrees with all of us in the views of ECW. It's no surprise really when it comes to something owned by the WWE because just like a good 90% of their newer talent, they are watered down. It's sad when you think about it because you've seen guys like Paul London and Kid Kash make it everywhere else with wrestling moves that are just amazing to watch but yet once they get put in WWE they get turned into whatever Vince says and they can't do anything but take it like employees. It's a sad world.

Thanks for agreeing with everyone else and keeping the faith alive. Maybe Vince will pay some attention to us...someday...and look back at why One Night Stand was a hit.
wrote:

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