June 19, 2005
ECW - Yay or nay?
By "Hotshot" JOHNNY DEVINE - SLAM! Wrestling

Well it's over and I can say that I truly enjoyed the ECW One Night Stand PPV even if it was marred by too much WWE silliness.

I thought that there could have been more emphasis given to the ECW guys who were, shall we say, bit players. They were the guys, when all was said and done, that made the company the fun and exciting place it was. Guys like Danny Doring and Roadkill -- who's promo for some reason got cut. The cult like following that Al Snow and Head had could have been exploited more. The list could go on and on, but for those of you burnt out of the "feedback" -- like I am -- I will spare you. Everyone's got their opinion of what coulda, shoulda, woulda. But in the end you either enjoyed it or didn't. And I enjoyed it.

For me best match props go to either Lance Storm and Chris Jericho who had a fantastic opening match with great crowd heat or to the in-great-shape-looking Rhino and Sabu, who really needed more time but still put on a great match. Rhino really looked as lean as I think I've ever seen him. And it was great that after all his injuries Sabu was able to be Sabu and not a shell of his former glory.

I really have to question the great reviews of Mike Awesome and Masato Tanaka, though. They really do have hard-hitting matches, but after power bombing a guy from the apron through a table to the floor, I would think you could only follow that up with hitting the guy with a bus because apparently a regular car just won't cut it.

As far as the "shoot" promos by RVD and Paul Heyman ... Well, to me, they made it feel like the ECW of old where just about anything can happen. No one is really sure how much was scripted and so on. I think none of it. But who cares. They were entertaining as hell.

And I still get fanboy shivers every time This is Extreme by Harry and the Slashtones hits. Yeah I'm a "mark".

As far as the hullabaloo with JBL and Meanie goes, that kind of thing is pretty common in the wrestling industry but you rarely see it on PPV!! Meh. Really it's pointless to say right or wrong now, as it's over with and you can't change that it happened. Will JBL get punished? Probably not. Will he have a receipt coming from someone? Probably. Does he care? Probably not. Will we remember this in a year. Probably not. But it really lit up the internet for a couple days!!

This Sunday is TNA's third anniversary. There is a lot of speculation and talk and nervousness surrounding TNA's current and future TV status. As of the writing of this, there has been no other news other than the WGN deal has fallen through. What this means right now though is that even though the Fox Sports Net spot wasn't the best spot, it still put the product out there. And right now the product is not being seen in North America. So the things like storylines and character development are in a holding pattern because there's no place to see them. It's really a bad spot right now and many speculate that it's the swan song of the company. But they would be wrong. Just because there's been a hiatus doesn't mean TNA's dead in the water. It just means when the TV deal gets done there will have to be a lot of hard work to re-establish the product.

The company is full of hard workers and idealists. So it won't be a problem for long.

The PPV this Sunday should be the first step in re-establishing a foothold in the market place. With a high profile main event in the King of the Mountain match, featuring current TNA champ the Phenomenal AJ Styles, former champ Jeff Jarrett, the Alpha Male Monty Brown and the Monster Abyss, right there you have a group of guys willing to put it on the line to impress even the hard core fans. Add in a mystery opponent and you can up the ante even more.

But there is a great undercard as well.

You've got the Outlaw (formerly Billy Gunn) vs Ron the Truth Killings. The debuting Samoa Joe vs the redebuting Sonjay Dutt, a six-way X division match and Shocker vs Alex Shelley. Team Canada represents in two matches. Bobby "the Enforcer" Roode takes on the ridiculously popular Lance Hoyt, and Petey Williams and Eric Young take on the Naturals for the NWA Tag Team Titles. Those two matches right there are worth the price of admission. And let's not forget the X division title will be defended by the champ the Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels against both the Future Chris Sabin and my bro Michael Shane who as always will be accompanied by the ridiculously hot Traci Brooks. Mmmmmmmm Traci.

I have to really express at this time, though, my anger in not being able to be there for the third anniversary. I am viciously bitter. I hate being injured. It's driving me crazy because I have never been injured for so long a period and not been able to some way be involved. If I don't get to hit someone soon I could be certifiable. But I digress. I highly recommend this Sunday's PPV to any wrestling fans out there as it will be the beginning of a new era for TNA fans. Even though I'm not on it. Heh.

Next week I'll get to Memphis memories and a couple pics. Till then Stay Hot.

Devine

EDITOR'S NOTE: "Hotshot" Johnny Devine's column will run on Saturdays 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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