Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Please Let ECW R.I.P

I am a late to the show(as usual) ECW fan. The only wrestling I got to watch when ECW started was WCW and WWE because I wasn't in a region that carried ECW.  I remember watching commercials for a ECW pay per view at my friend Fletcher's house, who got ECW because his family had the money to get one of those gigantic satellite dishes where you could watch Chinese game shows and games of cricket on a regular basis if that is what you wanted to do..Fletch's house was also always stocked with food too..it was awesome. But, I digress.

As I watched the commercial I saw guys hitting each other with garbage can lids, powerbombing each other through tables lit on fire,hitting each other with Kendo sticks, barb wire, thumb tacks, and cookie pans. I was confused, interested, and skeptical about this crazy style of wrestling. I had NO idea that this organization would turn out to be the farm system that fueled the Monday Night Wars between WWE and WCW with not only talent, but ideas as well. However, after I left Fletch's house I forgot all about ECW, because as I said, I wasn't in a region that carried ECW, and because me and Fletch weren't that tight. Regardless of his stocked pantry.
This all changed with the introduction of the Attitude Era. The Attitude Era AKA The Era Where The WWE Used The Ideas That Worked In ECW And Put Them On A Bigger Platform And Sometimes Used The Same Wrestlers(Hell of an acronym). Looking back, we can all see how the WWE used ECW storylines and wrestlers to turn the tide against WCW and eventually for WCW out of business. WCW also used ECW talent but, for whatever reason seemed more interested burying the guys who came from the third most popular wrestling company of that time.(See: Awesome, Mike; Enemy, The Public and many more)

However, with WWE and WCW desperate for an edge they began signing anyone who could lock up properly. This would put ECW in an increasingly difficult position as they simply could not compete, even though they tried, with the fees both giant companies were giving workers. ECW trying to compete with WWE and WCW is what hurt them the most as the company went into bankruptcy and closed their doors, seemingly never to be heard from again.

The affects of ECW were still evident in the world of wrestling despite it's closing. Crowds, taking their cues from the participation of the (in)famous ECW crowds, would voice their displeasure with the product that was seemingly forced down their throats with chants of "Boring!", "This is awesome!" when something gained their appreciation. ECW's legacy grew when wrestlers who were stars with ECW, such as Rob Van Dam, The Dudley Boyz, and many others were given the chance to shine in the WWE.

For a few years after the closing fans of ECW fans were treated to the same type of storylines and hardcore wrestling with the WWE utilizing many talents from the ECW roster such ass Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, The Dudley Boyz, Lance Storm(incredibly underrated in ring performer), Rey Mysterio, and so on and so on. Realizing there would be money to be made with the ECW name, Vince McMahon released the Rise and Fall of ECW DVD, which would go on to become one of the best selling WWE DVDs of all time.

Being the incredible business man that he is, Vince McMahon decided to have a one time only ECW PPV called One Night Stand, which through it's popularity forced McMahon to make it annual PPV and eventually revive the ECW brand under the WWE banner. Fans were happy, but skeptical that McMahon would adhere to the same formula that made ECW so beloved by ECW fans. Turns out McMahon wouldn't  and the brand only lasted almost four years before ending in 2010.

Though the brand finally met it's end, there has been several ECW reunion shows and tribute shows that still pack the die hard ECW faithful and make money. The latest one being held at the ECW arena in Philadelphia and put on by Evolve Wrestling. Billed as the final wrestling show at the arena, this show is hopefully the last in a long line of shows that refuse to just let the ECW name be remembered as innovative brand it was. Since ECW ended there have been PLENTY of shows that trot out now aged ECW performers like Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, Sandman, Raven, and many others to perform the same type of matches that made them famous.

Some fans say that the end of wrestling at the old ECW arena marks the end of independent wrestling. I say that with independent promotions like Chikara, Evolve, Dragongate USA, ROH, and many others that independent wrestling is getting bigger and better everyday. Wrestling is always evolving and for fans that claim to love this industry we must evolve with it or we will sit down to watch wrestling and just constantly say "It isn't as good as it used to be!" when the fact is that is as good, if not better,than it used to be. We were just too stuck in the past to appreciate the growth. We refused to evolve.


  1. Nice review and comments. As one that live the ECW timeframe and even followed ECW events around the country, it will always hold a special place in my heart. I did attend the real ECW reunion a number of years back in Philly and also caught my first CZW show at the same time...what a wild weekend! Also attend PUNKS final farewell before joining WWE.


  2. Nice. I appreciate ECW but we can remember how good it was without replaying the same stuff over and over again.