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SLAM! Wrestling







Thursday, December 03, 1998

ECW in Canada? The time is now!

SATURN
"Hardcore" says Saturn could be the best worker WCW has ever had.
By "HARDCORE" CHRIS GRAMLICH -- For SLAM! Wrestling

With the increasing number of Extreme Championship Wrestling superstars showing up on the WWF and WCW programs the time is right for Canadian fans to do their part in bringing ECW to Canadian television. In the last few weeks such former ECW superstars as Bam Bam Bigelow, The Sandman and most recently the Blue Meanie, have left "Barbed Wire City" for the more lucrative pastures of Titan and Turnerland respectively.

Far from putting Paul Heyman and the ECW in a chokehold, this exodus of talent coupled with the past defections of Raven, Saturn, the Public Enemy and Cactus Jack, have given the ECW more exposure in mainstream wrestling than it's ever had before. WWF fans have no doubt noticed the emergence of J.O.B. Squad leader Al Snow, who made his name and escaped the stigma of failed WWF gimmicks in the ECW. Lately, he has established himself as a top contender and formed the J.O.B. Squad with former ECW alumni Too Cold Scorpio among others. In fact, the J.O.B. Squad itself has already been used by the ECW (more of an inside joke but it was used), and no real changes have been made (besides the line-up) in the WWF.

On the WCW front, we have the Hardcore Icon Raven who has blossomed into one of the most over heels in wrestling today. Former Eliminator Saturn has thrown off the shackles of The Flock and could be the best worker WCW has ever had. The "Beast From the East", Bam Bam Bigelow's feud with WCW Heavyweight champ Bill Goldberg is generating massive heat and exposure. It is only a matter of time before the Sandman makes his appearance, cane in hand and beats the living crap out of somebody (most likely Raven in a revisit of their ECW feud).

The proliferation of ECW talent in the Big Two should tell fans one thing...ECW is the sh*t. Many fans of the aforementioned have only seen one side of the talent, they haven't experienced the "Extreme" side. There is no disputing that Raven is hardcore but will you ever see him get his head busted open by a cheese grater in the WCW? How many times do you think the WWF will show Al Snow in a twenty foot ladder match? Or have a scaffold match over a ring filled with triple-stacked tables? And do you think either of the Big Two will ever have a Barbed Wire for ring-ropes match?

The answer for Canadian fans is obvious. At least it was up to a few weeks ago but to quote Bob Dylan..."The Times They Are a Changing". The Nashville Network might air a wrestling program as a lead-in to its roller derby show. The consensus is that the choice could be Music City Wrestling but ECW is fast becoming a contender mainly by a grassroots E-mail campaign initiated by 1wrestling and Strictly ECW.

To help out (Remember TNN is readily available in Canada!) simply E-mail TNN at http://www.country.com/. Remember to select TNN out of the list of E-mail selections and to be polite in requesting that TNN carry ECW.

While on the topic of E-mail campaigns, Canada's pay-per-view company - Viewer's Choice - has recently agreed to start airing Ultimate Fighting and is apparently seriously considering picking-up ECW shows. Some will remember that Viewer's Choice had reached an agreement with ECW to carry their pay-per-views earlier in the year but backed out for unknown reasons at the last minute.

BIGELOW
Former ECW grappler Bam Bam Bigelow is now on the hunt for WCW champ Bill Goldberg.
While many were heartbroken at the time and failed to understand how a such a company can carry uncut pornography, gore-filled horror movies and bone-crushing boxing, yet claim ECW was "unsuitable" because of its sometimes violence and vulgar content; the hypocrisy no longer matters. The opportunity has presented itself once more.

To tell Viewer's Choice that they should carry ECW and give the fans the choice in ordering it. Simply E-mail Viewer's Choice at vcc@tmn.ca and respectfully inform them that they should broadcast ECW pay-per-views and they're losing money due to lack of vision especially during a time when wrestling is at its peak.

It's an old cliche but it still holds true. Sometimes even one person can make a difference especially if that one person has a couple of thousand of friends. The important thing to remember is that TNN and Viewer's Choice are both companies and in the business of making money. As long as they think they can make money by airing or carrying a program then they will and with the ECW at its highest profile in its violent, tumultuous history the time is now for Canadian wrestling fans to stake their claim.




Chris Gramlich originally hails from "anywhere he damn well pleases" (a.k.a. Vancouver, BC). His hobbies include: wrestling, piercing various body parts, aggressive music, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Star Trek related programs, good animation, any all shark programs, video games, wrestling and walking his dog. Gramlich plays in a jazz/metal/punk/noise band called Association Area, being previous associated with bands such as Bad Blood and Tchort. Also a respected music writer based out of Toronto, "Hardcore" writes for the Exclaim and Doomhauled magazines.

Discuss this topic in our Wrestle Talk. It is a moderated chat group because of problems in the past, and will only stay active if people behave themselves.


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