AS I SEE IT: The End of ECW

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

There are actually people upset over Vince McMahon “making the announcement to end ECW” this past Tuesday night. If you’re a fan of the WWE TV show that airs on Tuesday night, sorry you’re upset. it’s not just fans, but has even been suggested that McMahon’s decision is the reason that Tommy Dreamer left WWE. But for all of you who don’t realize it, ECW died in 2001 when Paul Heyman ran out of money. For for anyone who was there in person for the real ECW or has seen tapes and DVDs, the WWE TV show that aired on Tuesday nights never was ECW…or even anything remotely close. It’s sort of ironic that the original ECW first aired on Tuesday nights, on SportsChannel Philadelphia at 6:00 pm. I wish a lot more people could have seen the real thing, rather than edited versions on WWE Classics.

Some people online didn’t like my continued references to the Tuesday night show as “WWECW”. What did they want me to call it? It wasn’t ECW. It wasn’t even a low-rent version of WWE. It wasn’t even what WWE claimed it would be. Just because Vince McMahon owned the rights to the intellectual property called “ECW” didn’t mean what he showed on TV looked like anything Paul Heyman would have shown on TV or at the Bingo Hall….or even an updated version of it.

I don’t mean that McMahon should have used talent like Sabu, Sandman, or Balls Mahoney on top for much more than the very beginning as ECW as an attraction to original ECW fans, but the fact that young or new talent wasn’t featured in the way that the original ECW did. Along with not using original talent, WWE killed a lot of interest by not using good young current talent, and instead came up with crap like vampires, witches, zombies and an alien to pacify SciFi Network executives. In the end, the Tuesday night show was little more than a WWE Velocity on SyFy..

The rebranded Tuesday night promotion is to be called NXT. It’s the kind of branding that WWE should have used in the first place. NXT is being portrayed as the “next generation” of WWE, with young talent…essentially a nationally televised semi-developmental brand to be featured, with a few experienced names that haven’t been used on Raw or Smackdown recently. Now let’s see if WWE does what it says it will do with it, or panics the first time that ratings go down and makes it Smackdown v 2.0.

I hope one thing that happens with this rebranding is a way in which wrestlers like Bryan Danielson and Low Ki can be used…and used the right way. When Vince McMahon finally took a chance on presenting a unque character and didn’t stuck fans with one more standard issue WWE formula wrestler and let CM Punk be CM Punk, it worked pretty well. It can work well for Danielson and Low Ki as well. I hope McMahon lets someone like Danielson, a character who actually uses submissions and brags about being “best in the world” actually use the gimmick people know Danielson for using. Same thing with Low Ki. I mean, how hard it is to present his character as a cocky little guy who backs up what he talks by pounding on…or choking out…or submitting someone who’s bigger and fits the WWE stereotypical character?

You also have to let these smaller and more athletic guys go over. TNA did it for a little while, until they brought in big, older names and started using their X-Division as cannon fodder for the Kevin Nash’s of the world.

Using smaller, talented workers would also help in contrasting the bigger workers with the smaller workers…making the bigger workers look bigger, rather than the same size as every other wrestler WWE uses; thus losing their main advantage, being big.

Finally, and more importantly, a reminder about how you can help the people of Haiti:

The CZW-affiliated Maven Bentley Association will hold a show on March 21 (3:00 pm belltime) at the Park Avenue Banquet Hall, located at 4249 Parkside Avenue in Philadelphia. For information on the venue, go to the Park Avenue Banquet Hall website Directions are linked through Mapquest

Wrestling website Diva Dirt is continuing the effort to put together a friendly competition among wrestlers on Twitter to raise money for the people of Haiti which was struck by a tragic earthquake earlier this week. As part of the competition, they ask all wrestlers to tweet to their followers to send a donation via PayPal to [email protected].

How to pledge via PayPal:

1. Log in to your Paypal account or sign up for one.
2. Click on the “Send Money” tab.
3. Type [email protected] in the “To” field and enter your pledge amount into the “Amount” field.
4. Choose how you wish to send the payment [it’s advised to send it as ‘personal’ and ‘gift].
5. On the confirmation screen, you will see “Email to recipient”” which shows something similar to the image below. In the “Message” field type in the name of the wrestler who you are pledging in support of. As you can see in the example below, the pledge is in support of Awesome Kong.
6. Click “Send Money” to send your payment!

All pledges will be sent to the American Red Cross Haiti emergency appeal fund. Please spread the word to your favourite wrestler on Twitter and ask them to get involved!

WWE is asking its fans to support relief efforts through AmericCares at this link

You can also donate to these well-known charitable organizations:

  • UNICEF’s website
  • The Clinton-Bush Haiti fund
  • American Red Cross International Response Fund
  • Doctors Without BordersThe following organizations are accepting SMS donations in the US only:
  • SMS text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts
  • SMS text “YELE” to 501501 to Donate $5 to Yele Haiti’s Earthquake Relief efforts
  • SMS text “GIVE10” to 20222 to donate $10 to Direct ReliefUntil next time…

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