Badseed's Bottomline # 414

Playing Devilís Advocate with ECW


Hey yo!  So, I am an ECW diehard fan.  And I have critiqued the product as of late, because it has sucked, but lately, while watching, I have noticed some good aspects of ECW and it is only fair I discuss them.   

My love affair with ECW first started many years ago just as Shane Douglas was about to lose the title to Bam Bam Bigelow and RVD was waving the flag of the original WWF in a feud with Tommy Dreamer. 

ECW was so different.  While the WWF was showing syndicated garbage and highlights from Raw on regular television, ECW was giving away some of its best matches.  You never seemed to miss a beat when watching ECW.  I even got to see an exploding ring match involving the late Gladiator Mike Awesome. 

I just couldnít wait to see ECW on Channel 31 in New York each week and when I got cable, I was excited when they landed the national deal with TNN.  Great moments like Tazz coming back to beat Awesome for the title were unforgettable and never duplicated again.  So much happened that the WWF/WWE could only copy and never properly duplicate.  ECW was the most groundbreaking federation of our time, reminding me very much of the UWF and World Class from the 80ís.  Ring of Honor now fits that class today and faced similar problems from WWE and TNA. 

So, when ECW came back with One Night Stand, it was just amazing.  The show was just incredible.  I enjoyed every aspect and then One Night Stand II came along and things changed a little, as ECW became a full-fledged federation and one could almost feel some of the original aspects of the company leaving in favor of WWE-style glitz and glamour, but there was still so much promise. 

And slowly, they killed itÖbut maybe in killing it, they did something good.  ECW should have never been resurrected if it could not come back as it was and I actually feel the name of the brand should be changed to something more suitable.  I donít know what that would be, but in the meantime, letís talk about the positive aspects of the watered-down ECW. 

We no longer get cool hardcore battles.  There are no extreme rules.  They come along as they please, so that aspect of ECW is gone, but the aspect of getting over fresh faces is still there.  It is very much a part of what ECW is today.  They do not have to work as hard to please the fans, but they still have to get over and ECW allows new wrestlers to do just that. 

Kevin Thorne was horrible as Mordecai and here he is in a very intriguing gimmick.  He has a great gothic look and his valet is ridiculously hot.  She catches the eye and sparks an interest in Thorne.  Now, I hear he can talk and he really doesnít much, but it would make sense to develop a real character around him.  Still, he is getting a lot of opportunities to show what he can do in the ring.  He failed in his previous gimmick.  The matches were boring.  Now, his matches are enjoyable and Thorne has shown an interesting side of himself in the ring.  His move set is intriguing and I donít mind watching at all. 

Matt Stryker is just annoying, but he is a classic heel and in ECW, he is allowed to shine when on Raw, he just got lost in the shuffle.  I donít like the teacher gimmick, but his posh look in the face of a hardcore element, as watered down as it is, makes him an easy target for the fans.  If he can build on that heat in a positive way, I think he could rise through the ranks.  He definitely has what it takes to go in the ring. 

Elijah Burke showed no promise while on Smackdown and when he went to ECW, it didnít appear things would get much better when he was thrown to the reunited Hardy Boys, but then, all it took was for Vince McMahon to anoint him as the leader of the new breed and suddenly, Burke has run with the ball.  He is having great matches with RVD and he is really pushing this angle along with CM Punk.  I never thought he would get anywhere and he of all people has proven me so wrong. 

The Alpha Male is actually not going anywhere just yet.  They have stalled him a bit, but he is still a part of the angle, so that is a good thing.  I hope he picks up some more wins and has a lot more time to shine with the mic.  There are some who will say the Alpha Male is a one-trick pony and that he only looks good in a controlled environment, but when exposed to a larger audience, his flaws show.  Those people are probably right, but with the right seasoning, the WWE can slowly make something of him.  ECW is a great place for him to prove himself. 

Snitsky has even benefited from being in ECW.  He has really been on a tear.  His performance has been enhanced because of the move.  And I think he is slowly being built into a credible challenger to Lashley.  I think the original idea for his character was scrapped, because he didnít fight Lashley at all or align with Holly, but he has become a monster.  This human has so much room for growth and will certainly muscle in on the competition in ECW.  Not bad for a guy who had a foot fetish on Raw. 

Lashley is the biggest reason to support ECW.  He has gained the most from the company.  Not since the Big Showís win of the ECW title has someone benefited so much.  This guy is running roughshod through the competition and is now in a high profile match at Wrestlemania.  The fans are into it and it involves an ECW wrestler.  Lashley is a star in the making.  If he can just stop sounding like a girl when he talks, I will enjoy him a lot more. 

Even La Resistance looked like a force when they were brought back for a time being. 

CM Punk is getting involved in a major feud.  He is stuck in the middle of this Originals vs. New Breed angle and I love it.  I said they should do it.  Someone reads my column.  We already know that.  So, it was nice to include my ideas.  Thanks Creative.  Glad someone could help you live up to your name.  I just hope Punk doesnít get lost in the shuffle again.  He is someone that can carry this company in the future.  Lashley is not the only big star in ECW.  Punk is a future star, too.  Please do not lose sight of that. 

And there you have it.  ECW is a mess, but over time, maybe when  the dust clears, out of its ashes will rise something great.



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