Badseed's Bottomline #376:

ECW: Aftermath

By Badseed

Hey yo!  So, the ECW explosion continues and it is the best thing to happen to wrestling in some time.  Finally, the industry is interesting again.  People were excited.  Ratings were up.  Wrestling was all over the place.  But was the ECW experiment; at least the beginning, a success?  Letís discuss it. 

The PPV was awesome.  I thought having the show start with Tazz choking out Jerry Lawler was the smartest decision possible.  It got the crowd to pop right away and it didnít hurt Tazzís legend.  To continue with Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton was a stroke of genius since both wrestlers were not ECW, despite Kurt Angle now on the roster.  So, we knew we were going to get a classic battle, but not a classic ECW battle, so get it out of the way to get to what the fans want.  Kurt Angle vs. Orton turned out to be a masterpiece and the fans really set up what would be the tone for WWEís two youngest stars on the rise.  Orton got beaten up by the fans and later, Cena got much of the same.  It was a great match and I am stoked at the idea of seeing the two in a rematch at Vengeance, because it works the transition from WWE to ECW very nicely in the two-week span between pay-per-views.  Itís another instant classic and it will showcase the difference between Raw and ECW when ECW is allowed to be ECW

I also loved Super Crazy and Tajiri vs. FBI.  I thought the match was great and highlighted, in a short time, what is wrong with the WWEís cruiserweight division.  It needs help.  This match had more energy than any Smackdown match (Velocity is a different story).  I like the FBI makeup, especially with the addition of Trinity.  I think a battle between Trinity and Jazz could be exciting.  Big Guido is actually a big guy and having Big Show come down and face him face to face was actually pretty cool.  I think ECW should bring in some big guys for Big Show to fight for a little while.  Have Big Show choke slam 911, too.  That would be fun.  But did you see the sick move he did to Tony Mamaluke?  Now, if this is the Big Show we will see in ECW, I am all for it.  In fact, Kurt Angle and Big Showís slight transformations are probably the best things about ECW right now.  Super Crazy is awesome as always.  I think he may be heading to ECW full-time once he finishes out his potential feud with his Mexicool tag-team partner.  I think that is the only reason for this dissension we have seen between the two and that is great.  Super Crazy needs to be in ECWTajiri must be signed as well and the two need to wrestle right away, because ECW needs this battle to hook the fans. 

Sabu vs. Rey Mysterio was awesome until it ended out of nowhere.  It was such a classic example of old school wrestling.  Remember when Harley Race would defend the NWA title against Bob Backlund, who was defending his WWWF title?  They would always end the match in a double countout or draw or something to keep the belts on the respective wrestlers.  Thatís what they did here, but it pissed me off.  I thought this match had potential to be even better and I think that they need to work some sort of rematch for us all, possibly at Wrestlemania (if they use all the brands) or at the next ECW PPV.  Right now, I am disappointed by what I feel we all missed out on in this match. 

Balls Mahoney vs. Masato Tanaka was a lot of fun to watch, but it ended too fast.  I felt that Masato Tanaka got slightly punked out here.  He stole the show at the last PPV and he should have been given the opportunity to steal the show once again.  I donít think the WWE has much use for either Balls Mahoney or Masato Tanaka and that is a real shame, because I think Masato Tanaka is a wrestler who could be a world champion and wrestle with anyone.  I think Balls Mahoney is a great character who could be a top contender and a possible tag-team champion; even a TV champion if they bring the belt back. 

Tommy Dreamer and Terry Funk vs. Foley and Edge was a classic ECW match.  I loved it.  It had a little bit of everything in it, including a catfight.  I didnít expect the match to get as hardcore as it did.  I was slightly scared for Funk Foley being set on fire was a nice touch, based on the history between Funk and Foley.  I love how Dreamer will brutalize Lita and break down in tears when Belulah is speared and the fans eat it up as if he was an innocent party in the whole ordeal.  That is what makes Dreamer such an awesome wrestler in the ring.  You just have to love the guy and whether he is winning or losing, he always has an aura of a ring general about him.  You could job him out for life and he would still be the most awesome wrestler to watch.  I would have really liked it if Sandman or New Jack came out when Funk was taken to the back with the injury.  That would have been hot, but we donít even know where New Jack is in talks with the WWE and Sandman was busy doing something else. 

I love the attack on Eugene and on Tuesday, it made sense to send a message out to the public that there would not be a goofy character like The Zombie in ECW.  Sandman was the perfect guy to have come out and beat both wrestlers up.  Sandmanís gimmick, in the eyes of WWE fans, is Steve Austinís gimmick, so ECW needs to push him in a role where he is answering the fanís prayers to beat up wrestlers they canít stand.  Now, about his musicÖthe WWE has a good relationship with Motorhead since they do HHHís music, so I donít understand why they donít use their version of Enter the Sandman.  I have a weird feeling the WWE doesnít want to see Sandman become too popular, because of Stone Cold Steve Austin and I think that is a boneheaded move.  Sandmanís shirts would sell.  The WWE could make a lot of money with Sandman and the fans always look for something to chant with, whether they are ECW or WWE fans.  If you thought it was amazing seeing a small arena of ECW fans sing to Enter the Sandman, imagine an arena full of people doing it.  Just give it a try.  You have the money.  Spend money to make money. 

RVD vs. John Cena was an awesome match because of the fan reaction.  I loved how they just kept throwing back Cenaís shirt.  I love Cenaís response to the ECW fans.  He played it off well.  It was very good and this actually will help Cena grow as a wrestler.  Thatís what an ECW crowd is good for.  Pay attention Mr. McMahon.  That said, the actual match itself was not the greatest battle, but I was happy with the results, because I thought it was going to suck.  Edgeís interference made sense. I love how Paul Heyman made the three-count, because in ECW, anything can happen.  The WWE says that, but it is really true in ECW.  I have seen some of the strangest things in ECW and I actually think Heymanís count made the most sense.  Shouldnít the ďhead bookerĒ have some kind of power?  RVD winning the title really complicates the title picture, which is great, because I love it when things are not so simple.  You need to make the fans think and wonder.  Donít make it too easy. 

So where do you go from here?  Not sure.  The Tuesday show started off well.  I thought RVD felt uncomfortable for some reason, but he picked up the pace and his decision to keep the WWE title because it spins made perfect sense from a booking standpoint.  Whoever he loses the title to, it could be controversial, and he and Paul Heyman could just claim that they lost the WWE title and not the ECW belt.  That is the way you split things up without having to have a tournament and so on and so forth.  The Edge vs. RVD confrontation and then the Cena vs. Edge confrontation, followed by the three-way battle was awesome.  I really want to see all three battle it out in a match and if the ECW feud continues, maybe that is exactly what we will see one day.  Still, I am very excited about an ECW wrestler main eventing a WWE PPV at Vengeance against EdgeRVD deserves this one chance to main event the WWE PPV as champion.  It is a fitting farewell, as he heads to ECW full-time. 

Here is what I didnít like.  That girl was a retard.  I donít need to see stripping on ECW television.  There are other ways to highlight the women.  This was a joke.  She didnít even look real at first.  I swore it was a cardboard cutout and Jazz was going to tear her apart, but then she moved and talked.  Ill!!!  Total beanhead.  Get rid of her. 

Kurt Angle vs. Justin Credible.  Loved Angleís attitude.  Loved his headbutt.  Loved the fact that he used the Tazz-mission.  Hated how they totally shit on Justin Credible and his legacy in ECWJustin Credible was an awesome find for ECW.  He was a former world champion.  His role in the Impact Players made ECW a hotbed for some of the best feuds in the federation.  He deserved to be treated a little better.  Let Angle do that to Danny Doring; not Justin Credible.  This was not the way to go. 

The battle royal was whack.  Big Show eliminated everyone.  I liked the end.  Sabuís win was well deserved, but the whole battle royal just made ECW look like Extremely Crappy Wrestling.  There were no movesÖjust weapons.  This is not what ECW was about.  And no wrestler was allowed an opportunity to shine.  They messed up.  They messed up big time. 

How do you fix it?  You have only an hour, but ECW thrived on that.  They used to showcase those one minute intense promos from different wrestlers that allowed each wrestler to have an opportunity to showcase their personality and character.  We need those again.  We need storylines outside the WWE-ECW conflict.  We need ECW to have a purpose other than to just be there.  We need shows taped at ECW friendly arenas.  We needed longer matches.  I would be happy with just two or three matches, as long as they were classic battles.  If you are going to replay matches, donít replay newer matches, give the fans a chance to see a classic ECW battle on free TV.  Also, I hate the look of the show.  It just makes it feel like a WWE brand and not ECW.  Change the letters then.  ECW was dark and gritty. Keep it that way.  Stop brightening things up.  It felt like I was watching Raw

One thing I am looking forward to is the vampire group, because if done right, Gangrel could be the new Raven.  His Bite Club could be the next Ravenís Flock.  Thatís one thing I am excited about.  Other than that, right now I am a little scared, if still not hopeful. 

Itís really sad because ECW really took the thunder away from TNA and what looks like an awesome PPV.  Sorry TNA.  I will be showing some more love soon. 

I am just loving the wrestling scene.  Monday is Raw, Tuesday is ECW, Thursday is TNA, Friday is Smackdown, Sunday is a PPV.  Put Wrestling Society X on Wednesday and a womenís wrestling league on Saturday and my wrestling life is complete. 

But for now, it is time to go.  Until next time, thatís the bottomlineÖHoohrah!!!

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