March 5, 2007
SLAM! Speaks - The future of ECW
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff
It's a question that wrestling fans have been asking for months - how much longer will WWE keep ECW around?
The query is a very valid one. After all, we have not seen much in terms of support for the brand in the last few months. Separate house show tours ended, Paul Heyman and several wrestlers were let go and others were shifted to Raw or Smackdown.
With WrestleMania 23 just a few weeks away (and not a single ECW-only match announced for the card yet), the staff at SLAM! Wrestling began to wonder if ECW would be around this time next year. And so, the question was officially asked - do you think ECW will still be around for WrestleMania 24, and what form will it be in? Here's what we had to say in response
Unfortunately, I think the ECW experiment has failed, and don't expect that
it will last another year. ECW was not a Vince McMahon creation, so it's no
surprise that they haven't fully committed to making it a success. It's too
bad; given enough attention, it could really have been something special. But
in this case, I think the old saying will prove true: you can't go home again.
Because I write the ECW TV reports for SLAM! Wrestling, I see more ECW than
I care to admit. The brand straight-up sucks. It would be one thing, and a much
better idea, to call the brand something else (I've begun to call it Tuesday
Night Velocity). It destroys the ECW name and legacy and there is nothing extreme
about it. Case in point - Bobby Lashley and Hardcore Holly had an "Extreme
Rules" Match on February 13 and a total of one chair was used. One chair.
The show is a gong show and is proof Vince McMahon has either lost his mind
(but that could probably be traced back to when he put Buff Bagwell on Raw way
back when against Booker T) or wants the new ECW to replace the original ECW
because, as we know, VKM holds grudges and wants to rule the wrestling world
to further inflate his billion-dollar ego.
So, to answer the question, I hope ECW is not around a year from now. If it
is, it's because Vince doesn't heed the fan's opinions (like
he never does) and doesn't want Wrestling Society X to take over Tuesday
nights. My take on that? I've watched the first three episodes of WSX and
that is a show that should be named ECW. Exploding coffins? Electrocutions?
Blood? WSX has the ingredients ECW lacks. That's why a year from now, in
a perfect world, WSX will still be around and ECW will be a thing of the past...again.
But being a stubborn money-grabbing S.O.B., Vince will still keep ECW on board
to keep that roster from making the jump to TNA, and that's just sad.
The relaunch of ECW has been an obvious major flop and is a complete disgrace
to the original brand. The individual ECW house shows have already been combined
with Smackdown, and the program looks like an old Velocity episode.
Saying that, come WrestleMania 24 I do not believe ECW will be around in its
current form. Unless Vince is stubborn and doesn't want to accept that the re-birth
is a failure I believe the plug is pulled once the TV deal with Sci-Fi is done.
However, I do think that the ECW name will still be used in a possible invasion/stable
angle on one of the WWE shows. This would probably use about four members (two
originals, and two newbies), and naturally would not be allowed to get fully
Ratings, not quality of the show, will dictate whether ECW will be around
in another year. I say it will be. Sci-Fi seems pleased with them. As long as
the current regime remains in place at the channel, then WWE will continue to
offer something, even if it's a terrible ECW product.
To be blunt, I was not much a fan of the old ECW formula. Sure, there were
great matches from the likes of Taz and RVD, but for the most part I find myself
looking at the retro DVDs and yawning at the excessive use of tables and chairs.
As you can imagine, I was very excited with the new ECW coming, with what I
hoped to be a fresh formula. While it hasn't set my world on fire, some of the
stuff, like C.M. Punk's initial build, excited me for the first time in years
Of course, that excitement has all but died since Paul Heyman left/was releseased.
I haven't watched a full episode in weeks, and judging by reactions I see on
message boards, I'm not the only one. Whether you were a fan of the original
or were drawn in for the relaunch like I was, the response is the same - ECW
is in a freefall now, and it is just a matter of time before the brand, like
WWF Super Astros before it, is gone. If December to Dismember actually
goes on, I'd expect it to be the last ECW PPV.
Do you think ECW will see the bright lights of WrestleMania 24, or will
it be dead and buried long before then? E-mail
Jon with your thoughts.
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