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WRESTLING COLUMNS

ECW One Night Stand: Another Wasted Angle"
June 20, 2005 by Ryan Kabir


Hopefully this article will find its readers fully recovered from the ECW One Night Stand hangover. Let's recap here; the show was damn good by WWE standards, and pretty good by ECW standards. Presentation and sets were fully professional since they had no problem with funding, for a change. I believe it's fair to say that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the show. Some loved it and thought it to be the best PPV in a very long time; others found it quite enjoyable but still somewhat of a disappointment for not having a few big names like Shane Douglas, Jerry Lynn, Raven, etc. Almost everyone disagreed with Vinnie Mac's decision to "add" heat by involving WWE superstars as part of the anti-ECW crusaders. I did love some of the things that RVD, Joey Styles and Paul E said, particularly Heyman screaming "Matt freaking Hardy" at Edge! Damn!!

Overall it was a very enjoyable show which provided some nail biting excitement while nostalgically hitting the most fans' soft spot for ECW and the "good ol' days". Amidst all this excitement, I couldn't help but notice that this may perhaps have been another great angle that Vince McMahon had failed to capitalize on. Looking back at the Monday Night Wars, I wouldn't say that either product of the WWF or the WCW was far superior in comparison to the bullcrap we must endure in the form of the current WWE programming. I admit, the shows, feuds, and angles have been presented poorly over the last 2 years, but it hasn't been totally different from how it used to be. The main reason there was so much excitement and anxiety during The Wars is because of the realism aspect. Almost everyone was aware of the on-going drama that was taking place between Titan Towers and Turner Broadcasting HQs. People weren't tuning in to watch the WCW Heavyweight Title changes hands or the WWF World Championship being defended, but they were watching to see what would happen next. Wrestlers were jumping ships to the rival company, while the companies itself were constantly trying to outdo each other and often parody the other. THIS was what kept viewers glued to their television screens. After countless articles about how Mr McMahon screwed up the Invasion angle by not involving the WCW's major stars properly or giving them enough significance, and how the WWE product has deteriorated ever since mainly due to the lack of competition, so there's not much point for me to go over all that again.

However, over the last few weeks, I've felt a very similar vibe to what I felt when the original NWO first "took over" Nitro, or right at the beginning of the WCW+ECW Invasion. I felt this vibe throughout the build up to the ECW One Night Stand. The way Eric Bischoff was determined to gather support to stop and destroy the ECW, and how Paul Heyman surprised everyone by bringing in old ECW stars who we haven't seen appear on WWE programming in a very long time (or ever in some cases). It was the perfect way to rebuild the thrilling programming that Mr McMahon used to bring to us in the 90s, particular in the latter part of the 90s. I'm not suggesting my own ideas for angles, but I just think that the ECW theme could have been incorporated better to create the same kind of excitement that we witnessed during The Wars and the NWO and Attitude phases. Like, ECW could have been creating more and more of an impact with each coming week while Bischoff and his crusaders would constantly try to stop them. More people would join ECW, whilst others would join the crusaders. Turncoats would betray their alliance and shift to the rival team, etc. etc. This is what I was hoping for to happen. As of now we don't know what's really going to happen. But since the aftermath of the ECW One Night Stand, there hasn't been much mention of it in either of the WWE's shows. Vince is doing a pretty good job with the month long draft lottery though, which is creating a fair bit of anxiety. He's got John Cena and Kurt Angle on RAW now while Smackdown! have acquired the services of Chris Benoit and Randy Orton. After Vengeance, we will probably have HHH moving to Smackdown! with the heavyweight gold, which I so do not want to see around his waist, but it seems inevitable, though I wish to be proven wrong. If, along with these fairly good plots happening in the WWE right now, the ECW Takeover thing were to happen as well, I think we would all be in for some of the best pro-wrestling action ever, possibly surpassing that of the NWO and Invasion. It would be wishful thinking to say that perhaps, the climax of the ECW Takeover would result in the merger of the RAW and Smackdown! shows to one Monday Night show, and having a second ECW show. This way, the battle between the two could continue for years and years, whilst justifying the need for separate mid-card and tag team titles, but having one World title. I only wish one of the McMahon's was reading this, especially Vince... Vinnie ol' chap, if you are... then please make some sense of this and bring us that joy of watching Sports Entertainment (as you coined it) again. Oh and PS Vinnie, FU for Bret Hart!

by Ryan Kabir..


Ryan Gregg wrote:
I agree for the most part with what your saying. I think that if the ECW/WWE feud was drawn out longer it could have produced better wrestling. When you look at the aftermath of this really awesome pay-per-view, you'd expect to get something on one of the WWE shows, but to no avail. The WWE also made a mistake in that it has multiple veterns of ECW and didnt' take advantage of the Takeover angle to create new feuds amongst their current superstars. Great example with Angle and Tazz. Since Angle got traded to RAW, thats a great possible feud that could have produced great matches. Maybe an RVD/JBL feud after what happened at One Night Stand; there are numerous possibilities. The angle is always exciting to watch because it has a story of two famous franchises and provides for fans to be able to put their support behind a superstar not just for them, but the franchise that they represent (ECW or WWE).

I like your idea about the separate ECW show. At first, with purchasing the rights to ECW, I thought Vinny Mac was going to do that. However, I think the recent draft picks have more to do with the current fiasco with UPN and Smackdown! being pushed to Friday nights. Very possible that Vince is simply trying to bring over all of the superstars that put butts in the seats on the program that more people are going to watch, while at the same time being able to draw a decent crowd to Smackdown!. Guys like John Cena coming to RAW prove that Vince wants crowd favorites on RAW. The two top Smackdown heels, Carlito and Angle, now belong to the RAW roster. Smackdown! has picked up Chris Benoit, who hasn't been pushed since he lost the Heavyweight title. While him and Randy Orton alike are entertaining, they may not be as popular as the John Cena's, HHH's, and Batista's.

To give a little bit of credit to Vince, he has used some of the ECW Cruiserweight talent in a great way. On Velocity, you see cruiserweights Super Crazy and Psicosis having great matches. Kid Kash put up a pretty good match against Val Venis on Heat as well. Vince should really use these talented superstars to possibly create feuds that the crowds will like amongst the Cruiserweight ranks, instead of pushing them to the side like he has.
Brian Bertrand wrote:
Your handle on the obvious is strong, grasshopper. Yet you have not utilized the rumors that were made in the build up for One Night Stand. Whether these rumors prove to be true or false, they are rumors nonetheless.

Vince McMahon was rumored to plan a new product brandishing the ECW name and to use the ECW license to its full extent. With the major success of ECW One Night Stand, the demand is still lingering and no one will forget what had happened. I'm sure many of the ECW Alumni and fans would definately mark out to see the come true.

Joey Styles is now on WWE payroll for WWE 24/7. Many people agree that you just can't have ECW without the voice of ECW and that voice is the one and only Joey Styles. Call him a sell-out, hypocrit, or whatever you want but damn it, even Vince McMahon said that Joey Styles is the only person worthy of calling the action. Let's face it, JR would get completely chewed out by ECW fans if he called the action because he'd just fumble through damn near all of it.

If ECW did come back to rotation again, imagine the boost that they will get. I doubt that WWE will be hurt at all from it. The smarks would totally watch ECW because they didn't hide much of anything from the public and they demonstrated that during Paul Heyman's worked shoot interview at One Night Stand. It's that kind of up-front mentality that ECW was famous for and is still remembered. I don't mean to kiss ECW's ass but it's what everyone has known about and it looks like from reading this that you're considering it just another bullshit InVasion angle that should have been repeated from the 2001 angle. Think about it, how could Vince build up One Night Stand if ECW couldn't invade and do what ECW is known for. The slight-invasion on Raw and Smackdown was the only thing they could do and you consider it to be something that lasted a whole year and never drew any fans.
Pettis Terris wrote:
I don't think that ECW was a waste becasue all of the ECW fans wanted to relive there past, and try to created a future for ECW. And the wrestlers missed having fun and just having fun.
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