Badseed's Bottomline #375:
ECW: One Night Stand
Hey yo! I made it to issue #375 and there are only 25 more columns until the big 400. Damn. That’s a lot of columns. I am so feeling old right now, but everything old is new again and ECW is back this weekend. Yes, they showed signs of life on Raw and Smackdown over the last few weeks, but this weekend kick starts ECW: Version 2.0. I can’t believe this. I am so excited, but let’s talk about ECW One Night Stand and what comes after that, along with a few tidbits on the WWE.
First, back in the day, UWF was the hottest federation on the market. It was the ECW of its time, but it was soon folded into the NWA and it died. However, it came back and I believe there was even a PPV that saw the likes of Steve "Dr. Death" Williams, Paul Orndorff, B Brian Blair and Cactus Jack fight among others. But it failed. The highly anticipated return fell apart and all we were left with were memories of what was missing. NWA fell apart soon after and then…despite still being around in name…didn’t make its return until four years ago when TNA took on the NWA World Title. However, TNA sort of absorbed the NWA to a degree and therefore NWA’s resurgence sort of failed, too. AWA is also back, but it hasn’t been more than an independent federation with a big time name. So, can ECW succeed in its return?
The answer to that is yes. ECW is being funded by the WWE. Therefore it has an instant advantage over everyone else that tried and failed. It has a built-in fan base in the rabid ECW fans, the WWE fans who will try anything once and the Sci-Fi fans who may stick around just to see what the show is all about. The WWE really wants this to work so they are going to put a lot of effort behind it and having Kurt Angle, Big Show and RVD involved, as well as Tazz, will get some fans aboard right away if word of mouth doesn’t get them later. So, ECW is not going anywhere, at least not for a year.
That being said, I am a little leery about the PPV this weekend. Some of you may be reading this column after the PPV, but if you aren’t, I just fear the PPV will lack that ECW flavor I was craving. And yet, I get why the WWE is booking the PPV in the manner it is booking One Night Stand. Last year, it could book the PPV as a reunion show with a WWE involvement that was minimal, because ECW was not coming back. This year, Vince McMahon has to make this PPV a big success to get people to follow the show the following Tuesday. In order to do this, they have to get some WWE fans interested in the ECW product. The WWE has to be more involved this year, so we have to deal with Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton, which is an awesome match that just doesn’t seem to fit ECW’s mold at the moment. We have to put up with Edge having a match on the show, too and we have to deal with John Cena’s involvement. We also have to deal with the fact that Chris Benoit vs.Dean Malenko got cut, because this is part of the storyline and Benoit is injured…he can’t wrestle. So, we have to deal with it and hope for the best.
I expect to see a classic from Rey Mysterio and Sabu. I expect John Cena to bleed and just go with the flow. I expect a mat classic from Angle and Orton. I think we will see a brawl from The King and Tazz that will end quickly. I think we will also see a very violent bloodbath with Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer vs. Edge and Mick Foley. I think we will have a high flying clinic with Tajiri and Super Crazy vs. FBI and I think we will actually see a hardcore choreographed masterpiece from Balls Mahoney and Masato Tanaka. So, my hopes are up. They are very up. I am praying for ECW right now.
Now, let’s look at what I loved on Wednesday. Damn, RVD vs. Rey Mysterio was awesome and if given more time, could have been an RVD vs. Jerry Lynn-caliber classic. Tommy Dreamer may have lost a step, but he is still so cool to watch in the ring; a true everyman that has been missing from wrestling these days. Mick Foley cut the best promo he has cut in some time. The Big Show turn was so unexpected and so damn cool. I know a lot of people don’t like it, but remember when Sid Vicious came to ECW…he was so friggin’ awesome. Big Show’s best time in the WWE was when Paul Heyman was booking Smackdown. I expect some big things for Big Show. I hope he’s a heel. I am excited about what it means to have an ECW-Kurt Angle. Justin Credible is back. I hope he’s a big time heel in ECW. Al Snow showed real fire. Welcome back to the ring. Stevie Richards is looking good and I hope he’s a cocky heel, because ECW needs one. Tazz and Jerry Lawler are going to hurt each other…I like that. Joey Styles is awesome. I love that improvisation with JR where he flicked off his cowboy hat. It really made the rivalry cool, because it extended everywhere. Loved it.
When ECW starts, I want Mick Foley to stay. I think he makes a perfect heel. He’s hardcore, but he plays the perfect anti-hardcore wrestler. It is just so odd that it is almost perfect. I hope Super Crazy stays in ECW, but I hope Psychosis comes with him. ECW needs more tag-teams and while Psychosis could shine on his own in the WWE, I think he is better suited for ECW. I would love to see Kid Kash go to ECW for nostalgia sake, but I actually think he could do so much more with Jamie Knoble battling Paul London and Brian Kendrick. I am happy Little Guido is back. Please bring back Vito, but as the leader of Da Baldies. I liked that team. Tony Devito is very underrated. Get his back. I would love to see Tajiri, Lance Storm and Steve Corino on a full-time basis, but if not, part-time would make their appearances that much more exciting. Sign Masato Tanaka full-time. Bring in other Japanese hardcore wrestlers to battle Kurt Angle. Please bring back Nova. Simon Dean is just lost in the shuffle. When Kurt Angle says he will fight anyone from a six-sided or eight-sided ring, can we see a wrestler like Rhino jump to ECW to totally pump up the fan base who will just be excited about a war between ECW and TNA. Rhino could help both ECW and TNA just by going Extreme.
Now, should the WWE send some other WWE stars to ECW? Rob Conway? I don’t know. He just doesn’t fit the ECW mold, but Paul Heyman has worked with far less and made them stars. But, I just don’t like him in ECW at all. Matt Hardy? Yes!!! He belongs in ECW. He would excel in ECW. And he has a built-in feud, because ECW wrestlers could just hate him for using the Team Extreme nickname for the Hardy Boys back in the WWE. Perfect. Shannon Moore’s look is perfect for ECW, too, so I would love to see that. But the one wrestler who totally belongs in ECW is Fit Finley. I would love to see him freak out on the little midget and beat the holy hell out of him, cut a shoot promo about being misused and then go to ECW where he can fight like he wants to fight. Masato Tanaka vs. Fit Finley. That’s the match I would book. I would actually like to see Carlito in ECW. Why? Well, I don’t think the WWE is doing much with him at all and while I see a feud with Randy Orton that would rock, I think he would be able to explode in ECW. Now, that all being said, Smackdown is starting to falter a lot. They need some Raw talent and I think Kane, “Fake” Kane and any one other Raw star to go to Smackdown just to balance things out. Something has to be done. But this is about ECW.
How does ECW succeed? They need to attack the WWE like they used to do. It seems like Vince McMahon didn’t mind the verbal jousting with Tazz and Joey Styles tearing apart the WWE, so let them continue. But at the same time, they need to tear into TNA and work on getting their fans to watch ECW. By doing this, they have built in storylines when they sign wrestlers like Rhino, Simon Diamond, Homicide and any other wrestler to ECW.
Damn!!! I have people coming over. I got a big platter of food being shipped to my house. I am wearing a Dudley Boys t-shirt. Can you tell I am excited? I think I have written the same column in three different ways. I just want ECW to succeed. With Raw, Smackdown, ECW and TNA, my next 25 columns will be a breeze. Until next time…that column was not just the coolest...not just the greatest...that column was Justin Credible.
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