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WRESTLING COLUMNS

A Sympathy PPV
May 3, 2005 by Serafin Santiago Jr.


This June, we will bear witness to a PPV that people have been demanding for a long time. Since it was made public that Vince McMahon was purchasing as much if not all of anything pertaining to ECW, the demand from the general public has been high.

Initially, the request was for a new brand to be implemented. Since RAW and SmackDown! were basically separate pieces of the WWE puzzle, fans suspected that putting up a third brand was almost inevitable. So many times was that idea hinted at that people started to complain about why it was taking so long to do it. There were times, you must admit, that we were picking the spots as to when they were going to pop right out and blend the storylines together; to give the creation of the brand an opportunity to rise up from the ashes. That obviously didn't happen.

They had all the talent necessary to pull it off. The majority of the talent acquired from the merger of WCW and WWE, and the pieces that were picked up by the companies from what was left of ECW, was enough to make it possible. We couldn't fathom as to why Vince wouldn't do such a thing. We waited in anticipation for that time to come. So many times we saw the opening for Vince to say, "Hey, here is a good spot we could throw in an ECW angle!" but it never happened. What did happen was something so ugly that we watched Vince just play us for dummies.

The Invasion angle was going to look good (notice I said "was") if done properly. Starting out with Shane McMahon pulling the rug from out underneath his dad's shoes was a cool aspect. Then it just got stupid. All of these stars that were slowly moving into the storyline began involving themselves in matches. Booker T going into a PPV and going after Stone Cold Steve Austin during his 3 way match with Benoit and Jericho for example, started becoming commonplace theatrics. Next thing you know, the best impromptu looking situation came to light when all of the ECW talent started coming together and making news. Yet making the decision to have Stephanie "My wife is Triple H" McMahon become the leader of the ECW faction, just told us that we were never again to see Paul Heyman in control of anything close to ECW, let alone doing a show be it a third party brand or otherwise.

Why do that" Does Vince think that Paul is going to run wild and use that access to money and power to try and do something against the company" I highly doubt that. Maybe it's the influence of Stephanie "I'm Triple H's Husband" McMahon that is preventing this very good idea to come no where near fruition. It is almost well known that both Heyman and Mrs. McMahon-Levesque are not very friendly with each other. Quite possibly the whole situation would be clearer to them if they actually did something that we all do when it comes to wrestling, take a step back and look at it from a point of view that isn't business related.

Paul Heyman is to ECW what politicians are to the world, a necessary evil. Yet Heyman's evil is that of an evil genius. He made ECW into a household name and made it possible for a fan base to brew from the bottom up. What you got from that company was a sense of dedication to the fans by the wrestlers, not the other way around. Paul knew that it was the fans that made you not the other way around; or for that matter, the fans, not Vince, made you. At best Paul was laying the groundwork for so many of today's stars to gather the steam that they need to make themselves a worthy mark on the industry. In doing that, Heyman not only helped the wrestlers, they helped him in return. Do yourselves a favor, go and get "The Rise and Fall of ECW" on DVD and watch it a couple of times. If you already have it, watch it again and see how so many of the talent lent themselves to the effort it took to hold a company with a shaky financial situation stay up for as long as it did. That, my wrestling friends, is dedication the likes of which has never been seen by either Vince McMahon or Eric Bischoff.

Paul also allowed wrestlers to blast on people when necessary. Can anyone remember back to when Steve Austin was dumped by WCW and then came to ECW" The promos that Austin cut were some of the funniest, hard hitting and deeply bruising promos that anyone had ever done publicly. It wasn't only Austin who thrived in that atmosphere. Look at Mick Foley. He was already looked upon as a maniac because of his antics overseas in Japan, but we had no idea that we were about to see his best shine through. What about some of the guys in ECW that became Champions for the WWE" Chris Benoit earned, albeit by accident, his moniker "The Crippler" in ECW after (again, accidentally) breaking Sabu's neck. What about Eddie Guerrero and his classic matches with "The Shooter" Dean Malenko, who also went to the WWE and was misused. So many of the talent that's on the WWE roster now owe so much to Paul Heyman and the fans of ECW.

So why is it that the WWE and Vince McMahon are being so disrespectful to us, the fans who make it possible for him to be able to sell his product" Why deny us the right people and the talent to do a job that would be the closest thing to nirvana for ECW fans" Just having that PPV and then goading us with the headline "One Night Only" is a slap in the face. It is an insult to the hardcore fan base and those who made ECW the legend that it will forever be. We have come to accept the WWE and its faults with putting up with so much and never protesting the decisions because we know that there is very little we can do to change it. This time we all have a say in this. The ECW was, and bear with the cheesiness for a second here, FOR THE PEOPLE....BY THE PEOPLE! The fans have all the say in the world when it comes to the final product that will rear its head in June. As to whether or not the ones in control hear us is another story all together.

So many people have been included in this event that it seems to be going right, but looks can be deceiving. It still makes a hell of an impression to have Paul Heyman not be the mad man in charge of the event. Where is the reasoning behind that" Then again, this is the WWE we are talking about and that is about the only thing that makes sense in this whole thing.

by Serafin Santiago Jr. --- [View Serafin Santiago Jr's Column Index]..


Thomas Daley wrote:
Excellent Article! I just finished watching "The Rise and Fall of ECW" for a second time. Then I logged on here and read this. It was like reading my own mind.

I'd like to throw out this question to anybody reading. How many of you think the "Hardcore Homecomming" at the old ECW arena will blow WWE..er ECW...(no I was right the first time), One Night Stand, out of the water"
Bulldog Brower Jr. wrote:
First of all I would like to take a few minutes to answer Thomas Daley's question. Rather it was the One Night Stand or any other ECW's PPV's Thomas, in the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pa., Vince McMahon's WWE wouldn't have a chance. If you were to bring back all the ECW Wrestlers and hold a ECW Event, the arena wouldn't be able to hold all the people. The show would be sold out after sold out shows. They would actually have to hold any ECW Event in the First Union Center, the same place the WWE uses. The arena would be just to small in my opinion.

You know I am just like a lot of other workers in the wrestling business, we are really good friends with the Hardcore Legend Terry Funk. I know Terry very well and he was really sadden to see Paul Heyman sell ECW to Vince McMahon, after all the work was done to build ECW to where it was. Some people don't think ECW was a threat to the WWE, but myself I totally disagree with them 100%. ECW was just like WCW, they both were a big threat to the WWE. That's why Vince McMahon bought them both out when the chance was available.

Jeff and Jerry Jarrett's TNA is heading in the same direction. They might not be a threat to Vince right yet, but they are working on it in a fast way. But people have to remember you can't build any company over night, it take's time. The WWE is letting go the good workers and the TNA is right there picking them up. It won't be long where the TNA will be traveling to a lot of the cities in the United States. More people will get to see their product in person and then like they say, the rest is history. All I can say is watch out Vince because the Jarrett's are right on your trail. One more thing I have been looking forward to see is Ted Turner help out The Jarrett's and start programming their shows on his stations. I might be wrong but we will have to wait and see what happens.
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