June 7, 2005
Jealous over ECW nostalgia
By "Hotshot" JOHNNY DEVINE - SLAM! Wrestling
With the upcoming rash of ECW-related nostalgia, I am struck with the memory that I was going to go and work there, but they folded mere months before I was to make my way stateside. Damnit.
Alas it was not to be. And just like this weekend, the nostalgia everyone is yearning for is not to be as well.
Shane Douglas' Hardcore Homecoming will be as close to a real ECW show as anyone will see, but even then it won't be right because there will be a lack of a lot of the talent that made ECW great.
That's not to say it won't be good! Anything run by Shane I am positive will be excellent; but it will be missing small pieces of a larger puzzle. The main event, though, will elicit memories of a match from 1997 that "made" ECW and coined the phrase "three-way dance" as Shane battles two of the greatest hardcore icons walking Earth in Terry Funk and Sabu.
I have had the pleasure of having the hell beaten out of me by Sabu. I saw him recently and he looks great considering his recent injuries. He is definitely ready to surprise some people. And you can bet with an event like this that the Terry Funk that comes out every so often and leaves people staring in awe will be the one that laces up the cowboy boots that night, so to speak. To be perfectly honest though, the entire card will be great and should have a PPV of its own.
I am not so confident about the WWE's ECW One Night Stand, though. I am skeptical, as are many many others that the insurgence of non-ECW, WWE talent will make it a beter show. I have been proven wrong before and will still watch regardless, but the doubt is still there. I am really hoping that it can be pulled together and made as great as an ECW show should be, but it's been hard with the build up it has received.
The WWE show sports what most will call the better ECW roster and angles. The ability to have great pairings like Chris Jericho and Lance Storm is there. Let's keep our fingers crossed that they (the WWE office) let the ECW "wrestling", that made the company so great and innovative, speak for itself.
On a quick side note, I hope they are giving my buddy Kid Kash a match on the PPV as he was, to me, one of those "ECW guys" that could have gone far if the company had stayed together.
In reality, I am ridiculously jealous that I cannot be part of these ECW shows and was not part of what I consider one of the best groups of talent ever assembled. I really was what you would call an ECW "mark". Don't get me wrong, I love where I am now; but there will always be a place in my heart for the little company that could and would push the little wrestlers that could.
As of this writing, TNA's hiatus from television continues -- as do the negotiations with television networks that could bring TNA to primetime. Speculation and rumours are running wild. I can't tell you anymore than you probably already know, because I really don't know and am not in any loop to know. I, as well as the rest of the locker room, are beyond hopeful that things will work out and we will have a national platform in primetime to "go to war" so to speak.
Granted, there is a lack of familiarity with the talent in TNA as far as national exposure goes, but really, once the deal is done and we're on, familiarity will be gained because talent like the guys in TNA have cannot be denied. Period.
But what about star power you ask? Well if this weekend can prove anything to us, it's that once the talent shows itself, stars can be made. RVD, Cactus Jack/Mick Foley, Rey MysterioEddie Guerrero, Jerry Lynn, Jericho, Storm, Sabu, Rhino, Tazz, The Dudley Boys... the list goes on and on. Stars can be made and will be made. The wrestling audience is not near as stupid or vapid as the mainstream media makes them out to be. They are intelligent, if not always articulate, fans with a constant lust for more of the thing that does it for them -- wrestling. And if one company is not providing what they want then the other will.
If and when it happens, it can only be a good thing for every fan of wrestling. Period. Competition breeds ingenuity and success. I, for one, look forward to upping the ante as it were.
Well enough for this week. I will do a review of the One Night Stand in next week's column and
will talk a little about the time I got to spend in what some call the Mecca,
the Mid South Coliseum. Injury included. Take care all and as always support
your local indies and send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.