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Reflecting back on a busy June
By "Hotshot" JOHNNY DEVINE - SLAM! Wrestling


Once again wrestling fans, Johnny Devine is back to enlighten and improve your sad and miserable lives. Wow, has June been one hell of a month for wrestling! The return of ECW, TNA's Slammiversary and some good, great and absolutely terrible TV! Wrestling fans on the whole have to be happy, very happy.

The return of ECW has created a huge buzz around the wrestling world. With opinions and speculation as varied as the fans who will tune in. The One Night Stand PPV was, by all accounts, a resounding success. Filled with the things that made ECW great -- counter culture personas, a hatred for all things corporate and lots of profane chants -- it was considered a triumph for Paul Heyman and Tommy Dreamer, and by association Vince McMahon and WWE, to bring back the little engine that could.

But now the nostalgia of a return is worn off. And the reality of the wrestling world is setting in. What do I mean? I mean that you can't go back. I mean the Sci Fi TV show has to this point been a failure to produce the desired ECW feel. And that's part of the problem. You cannot get the desired ECW feel if the WWE is running the show.

The first TV show was by all accounts dismal and offensive in that it was so NOT an ECW show it was laughable. It must be said, though, that WWE or McMahon cannot be blamed for the reaction at this point though because they are trying. So who is to blame? Well the answer is easy. The fans who expected to see the 1998 version of ECW, that's who. In all the entertainment world, returns and rehashes to old story lines and ideas never catch on like they did the first time. Some people are going to say it's just sour grapes, and in truth to a small extent it is, but I would be remiss if I didn't point it out. But it can never have the "same" feel as it did before. The roster is different, the writing is different and the station airing it is different. And you just can't please all the people all the time. Most people know I was a huge fan of ECW and would like nothing more than to see it take off, but those who will say "you are with TNA and want it to fail" couldn't be more wrong. As well we always need more places for the boys to work.

TNA's Slammiversary was also a success. It had some of the best build-up for a PPV in recent memory. I thought the Scott Steiner and Samoa Joe interviews were fantastic, and the stuff for the King of the Mountain as well. But to me, one of the most entertaining build-ups went to Kevin Nash versus Chris Sabin. Alex Shelley and Nash have, for the time being, stolen the title of "most entertaining thing on television" from Eric Young. Granted, Eric will be getting it back shortly, but Shelley and Nash have done an amazing job together. I look forward to their antics each week.

I thought the PPV itself was excellent. All the matches were quite good, with my match of the night nod going to America's Most Wanted and The Fallen Angel and A.J. Styles. Damn, was that Amazon huge; legs like tree trunks. For those of you that missed it, I definitely suggest getting the replay if you can, or the DVD when it comes out. And Jim Cornette as the new face of management is awesome!! He is one of the all-time best promo men in wrestling. Period. Look for some big changes from him in the near future. I was a big fan of the Midnight Express as a youngster and love that I will get to work with him and learn from him.

Well, enough for now. I hope you have all been supporting your local indies and wrestling in general. If not shame on you. Give yourself a good self flagellation and stern talking to.

As always feedback or booking info can be sent to johnnydevine@shaw.ca or to the website at www.johnnydevine.net or on MySpace at www.myspace.com/canadiandevine. Till next time, I've got my eye on you. In the mean time and in between time, that's it, another edition of Devine Intervention.

Bye now,
Devine

EDITOR'S NOTE: "Hotshot" Johnny Devine's column will run on Saturdays (or whenever he delivers) on SLAM! Wrestling. Be sure to visit each week!

For more on Devine's career, see his biography in our Canadian Hall of Fame
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