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WRESTLING COLUMNS

ECW One Night Stand
May 23, 2005 by T.C. Anderson


There are a lot of ECW fans still around in the wrestling world. I will admit that I am one of them. So, when I heard rumor that the WWE was building an ECW reunion pay-per-view I was shocked to say the least.

The first time I saw an ECW show was back in 1996. It was about two o'clock in the mourning and I was having trouble sleeping. I was flipping through the channels and came across the last five minutes of the show. I only remember Brian Lee and Tommy Dreamer brawling it out. I was shocked that this wrestling show was on television and I had no idea up until this point that ECW even existed. From that moment on I was hooked. I found myself staying awake until late in the mourning just to catch a glimpse of an ECW show.

I watched first hand as ECW slowly started building momentum and growing from a bunch of no name misfits, to a group of great wrestlers and performers who always kept you on the edge of your seat. While my love for ECW grew, others around me had no idea that it even existed. I told anyone and everyone I came across about ECW. I wanted them to see it first hand. Most, didn't want to stay up so late to watch it. I then started recording every episode that I saw and sent them out to everyone who wanted to watch. Soon they were all hooked too.

Many people will argue against ECW, bringing up such issues as, they wrestled out of a bingo hall, they were too violent, they pushed the issue far too often, they only targeted a small portion of the audience, and they were at best a second rate promotion. In some ways most of these statements are true. If ECW was such a second rate promotion and only targeted toward small portions of the audience, then why do you still hear overwhelming ECW chants to this day at almost every WWE event you see" When was the last time you heard a WCW chant break out" Never.

ECW let everyone know that they were a promotion that didn't try to hide anything from the audience. They respected the audience that help build the promotion. They knew that wrestling was more than just a couple of 6'10" 300lb guys bumping around in the ring. They knew that people were tired of the childish gimmicks thrown at them by promotions. ECW, even though scripted, was real.

For example, take the Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart feud that took place in the WWE. It is still one of the biggest, most shocking set of events that ever took place in wrestling history. Vince McMahon had the intelligence to bring all the "behind closed doors" happenings out into the public's eye. For that reason, it grew to be the most memorable event in wrestling history that I have witnessed over the last 24 years of being a wrestling fan. Reality sells. It's a proven fact. Just look at all the reality shows that rule television ratings right now. During the "Monday Night Wars", why do you think wrestling grew so large" Because everyone knew that something major was going on behind the scenes. I would guess that only about 10% of the wrestling that took place during that time was decent enough to set through. What we all were watching for was the shock and surprise of one wrestler jumping promotions, to hear what they had to say about their previous employer and co-workers, to see what they really felt as an individual.

For anyone who had the pleasure of viewing ECW before their demise, there was rarely a moment that you were bored with what you were seeing. They had a way to use each and every wrestler for a purpose. Even if what you were watching sucked, half the fun was letting everyone know how bad it sucked. Once it was known that the fans really disliked an angle or a wrestler, they were gone. Unlike what you still see in the WWE today, special note to Chris Master's segments.

My hope is when the ECW One Night Stand Pay-Per-View is over, Vince McMahon will realize how much money and how many fans it would bring in. With Paul Heyman as the figurehead and Vince McMahon overlooking, ECW could once again be a great promotion. With the return of ECW, it would also give the WWE an equal competitor. TNA can try, but I can never see them stepping up and becoming a legitimate competitor. Only time will tell if ECW returns from the ashes to rise again. For the better of wrestling I hope it happens.

by T.C. Anderson ..


Jay Tusch wrote:
Wrestling in bingo halls, being too violent, and targeting a small portion of the audience didn't make ECW a second-rate promotion. RoH is held in smaller venues, matches are often spotfests, and it reaches an even smaller audience than ECW, but RoH is a first rate promotion with a prestigious world title (thanks Joe).

You are right that you're hearing loud ECW chants on Raw. But Raw has been held in midwest cities the past two weeks. I can't see either city being part of the former target audience, considering that ECW was a eastern-based promotion for almost its entire tenure. I think what's happening is that, because of the internet, a lot of people are learning about what ECW was, and they're basically just droning their chants. You know that if the last two Raws were held in like New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, etc, the chants would be much louder and more inspired. ECW in itself has almost become a face character to play off of Eric Bischoff's heel, anti-ECW gimmick.

Your reasoning behind ECW possibly becoming a force again was killed by your own statement. Vince McMahon doesn't want competition. Having separate brands are enough of a competition for him. If ECW was revived in the way you stated, it would be afloat just enough to make money, but it'd be a very watered down product. McMahon already proved through the Invasion angle that he wanted to bury the WCW-ECW alliance. He did it once, and he'd do it again. If a WCW reunion show seemed more profitable (hard to even imagine), we'd be seeing WCW commercials on Raw. Imagine seeing Hall, Nash, Sting, Flair, Luger, Savage, Hogan, Dusty, Goldberg, Jarrett, Vader, Sid, Booker T, and Alex Wright on PPV. Sounds good, no"
Huthaifas wrote:
ECW should be used as a brand name, and that is it. Maybe as a replacement for OVW, or better yet bring back both brands WCW and ECW, and combine them with the RAW and Smackdown shows. World Wrestling Entertainment doesnt sound like a wrestling promotion, its sounds like an entertainment company. When the E lost to the rights to WWF because of The World Wildlife Fund, they lost history, and they lost their face. They already use the WCW titles, why not just cement the deal.
Vid wrote:
You list possible/probable wrestlers and under Sabu you say that he is probably the biggest wrestling name not to be a part of WCW or WWE

Sabu had at least one, maybe 2, runs in WCW. He wrestled Disco Inferno on Nitro the night after Halloween Havoc '95 (whenever The Giant fell off of Cobo).
Steven Brooks wrote:
If you go to WWE.com you will see that they have the matches posted. The matches look somewhat mediocre except for Dreamer and Sandman versus the Dudleys but the appearances! Whew, they almost have everybody except for Raven. Which brings me to the article. Raven was not ECWs biggest star. But neither was Dreamer or Tazz or The Dudleys. I think ECW was more about all of the talent and all of their different wrestling styles with a giant slab of blood, pain, and awesome carnage thrown in. Now at One Night Stand it would have been cool to have Raven come in but he won't. So everybody needs to stop complaining and buy the PPV. I have a feeling that the mediocre matches will be better than we expected because this is an ECW PPV and if someone isn't bleeding in at least half the matches or giving their all then it will ruin the whole show.
Brian Bertrand wrote:
Many people state that Hardcore Homecoming, which is Shane Douglas' event, will blow O.N.S. out of the water, which is untrue considering how much Mr. McMahon is funding behind the product. If you remember, last Monday on RAW, he said that he gave some funds to ECW and since then, it grew and became a big force to where it threatened WCW. That's why WCW grabbed the talent that it did from ECW.

Now with the current matches that were announced at WWE.com, I'm not sure about because I can see better matches being scheduled for this event. I'm not going to name examples just yet but trust me, there are some sweet ideas floating around in my head.

Jay Tusch is actually wrong about the ECW demand. If you noticed, Raw was in Green Bay and during the McMahon/Heyman/Bischoff segment, a good portion of the audience chanted "E-C-Dub!", so it doesn't matter where WWE is going, the people will know what ECW was and was about even if they got finished watching the DVD. Also, many independant wrestling fans are really into it because, as you know, ECW was an independant promotion under the National Wrestling Alliance when some of these guys came in. So I think WWE won't screw this up for everyone.

As far as RAW vs ECW is concerned, I think they'll just have some feuds involving ECW's roster for the event, and just have it as a full ECW event. Paul E probably doesn't even need that much to run the show. I can tell you what he'll need just to run it live. Think of it as Heyman's birthday list if, or anyone used any of my ideas:

* 3 Sony DV-TRV11 camcorders (damn good quality cameras that would be perfect for him, especially for webcast)

* 2 computers (one PC and one Macintosh) with sound editing for PC and video editing for Mac. With that it would be perfect to add those effects during the event. Before-hand, he will have to make some of the intros and stuff at home or somewhere. I know by experience that those take quite a while to make and edit along the way.

* Standard sound boards and micophone equipment. This is pretty much the standard but only if the Hammerstein Ballroom won't help out with that. I'm sure they won't.

Pretty much, that's all ECW will need besides the standard wrestling ring equipment. If anything, this helps out your column seeing as how no matter what they bring or how much (or little) money they spend, it will still be one of the best pay-per-views of the year and they can always get more stuff down the road if they do make it a mainstream product once again.

As far as a TV deal goes, if they don't put this on Spike TV then don't you think that it would go against what kind of a station that SpikeTV is supposed to be" I smell desperation by Viacom.
jay bradbury wrote:
Ok, who is going to pay 400-150 dollers for an ECW show, hell when ECW was running tickets were 150 for front row. To justify it, you can meet ECW ooops I mean WWE stars, and you can take home a chair...I was so psyched, I was going, but seeing the prices of these tickets make me realize this is not autentic ECW. I was disapointed when I seen New Jack would not be there, folks New Jack is one hell of a guy, he is respectful to the fans, and approachable....I will be watching this show on PPV, happy but inside hopeing it fails
James Watts wrote:
My opinion is that Vinnie Mac needs to just suck it up and ask TNA if he can book their former ECW stars (such as Raven, Kid Kash and Shane Douglas) on the PPV, as well as try to track down Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis, Justin Credible and Balls Mahoney and maybe even add a few of ECW's legendary names like Terry Funk and Jimmy Snuka.

What he shouldn't do is present the current ECW stars as they are in the WWE. Make Simon Dean into the kick-ass Nova. Make Rhyno the brutal "Man-Beast" that he was. Hell, see if you can get Tazz and Lance Storm to come out of retirement to compete in a match.

And as for RVD on commentary" That would be an injustice to the fans of ECW. Put Joey Styles and Paul Heyman on commentary and get Van Dam where he belongs: in the ring!
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