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T3C: Everything's Completely Wrong



25 July 2006

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"Never Go Back." It's an old saying but one that is very true. Whether it be trying to resurrect a broken relationship (often done to regain control of the CD collection) or going back to a football team where you enjoyed your greatest success, it just never works. The same is ringing true for ECW because the realisation of the dream fans had of the company one day returning is becoming a living nightmare but hopefully one that is zombie free.

The glory days of ECW were enjoyed by fans because it was something completely different from WWE and WCW and it didn't have the hands of Vince McMahon running matters like the evil puppetmaster that he is. It was a breath of fresh air as new stars were created, wrestlers who had been misused by WWE were given a real chance to express themselves and stars from the past such as Funk, Abdullah and even The Sheik were given a new lease of life. But inevitably the big guys came along and stole the stars and then the style and combined with Paul Heyman's financial incompetence, ECW days were numbered. Poor old ECW went to the great barbed wire ring in the sky while those left on Earth had to put up with watching fake barbed wire rings on Sky.

Then Vince managed to grab hold of almost everything in the wrestling world and began slowly to realise that ECW could earn him some money, not just in terms of DVDs and reunions but in a resurrection of the company itself as a third WWE brand, after all the return of ECW was what the fans wanted wasn't it?

Sure it was but like I've mentioned, you never go back. There was never a chance of recreating ECW especially when the likes of Raven, Douglas, Rhyno and The Dudleys were nowhere to be seen. The big problem though is the fact that it's Vince who is controlling this new ECW. He knows his wrestling but he especially knows HIS wrestling. He knows his type of showmanship, his gimmicks and his way of running a company and that's very different from how ECW was run.

OK he brought in some ECW stalwarts including Sabu and Sandman but what is he doing with them? ECW was never full of short matches but the new TV show, sadly just an hour long unless you have to watch it that is, is full of these kind of squashes. Wrestlers like Justin Credible and Stevie Richards have found themselves being used as jobbers simply because that's how Vince used them in WWE. OK we get to see tables and chairs used but most channels won't show that in their entirety and besides we've all seen it loads of times before in the watered down Attitude era and the fact is if fans want to watch that style of wrestling they'll go and buy a CZW or IWA-MS tape.

ECW has no tag division to speak of and no TV title either, all we have is the ECW title which is a total farce. It's not an ECW title, just an extension of the other WWE titles and gives WWE wrestlers something else to aim for. Look at the title contenders so far: RVD, Big Show, Angle, Cena, Edge, Flair and Undertaker, all established WWE stars that the fans will know about. What would those fans be thinking if Sabu or Justin Credible had a title shot?

It can't be a coincidence that the current champ is Big Show, BS for short!

You can always tell when there's a WWE PPV on the horizon because ECW is used to help promote it, why else have Undertaker and Giant Khali on there this week. I bet if Vince thought he could get away with it he'd have all of Raw and Smackdown on there.

What new stars are being created? CM Punk is a possibility of course but apart from that ECW is just a place to dump former WWE stars who haven't made it on Raw and Smackdown, so bring on Test and Shannon Moore.

If ECW is to succeed it can't be filmed prior to Smackdown. It has to be in a smaller arena and not filmed in front of fans who know little about ECW and are simply there to watch their favourite wrestlers on the depleted Smackdown roster. ECW needs to get some proper cruiserweights on there, in fact ditch the WWE cruiserweight division and give them all to ECW. If ECW is to live (and its contract with sci-fi ends in September) it has to be separate from WWE, give the company more of an indie feel and get rid of the continual interruptions from Raw and Smackdown.

Will that happen? Course it won't. ECW wrestlers are going to be part of the Great American Bash and Summerslam so it's obvious that the interruptions are going to continue. Heyman and Dreamer haven't a chance of getting their own way because this is Vince's show and that's why Everything's Completely Wrong.

Stephen Ashfield

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