Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Who knew the world of wrestling would one day be saved by a promotion so "extreme" it was banned in several states. That the WWE, a company so lucrative they are based in Stamford CT, would rely on a grassroots circuit that encouraged fans to bring household items for use in their matches. Come this Sunday, ECW will finally be crowned as the savior of professional wrestling for all time. To understand ECW you need to understand that as a kid everyone believed wrestling was real. As time went on you noticed the Hulk Hogan punches weren't connecting, that Macho Man was using some type of blood packet, and that when a move actually was done correctly, people got seriously hurt.
But then ECW came out - and everything changed. The blood was real, the moves were real, a table wasn't just for the announcers anymore - it was a lethal weapon. The ropes were replaced with barb wire, there were no rules, weapons were welcome, and rivalries weren't started by just jumping someone, you humilated whoever it was AND their family. Oh yeah, and everyone entered to real hard rock music. This wrestling changed me as a fan. I couldn't wait for ECW to make its bi-annual trip to the Mid-Hudson Civic Center so i could bring an old baking sheet and watch New Jack obliterate some guy over the head with it. This is what it's all about!
Flash forward to 2000 when Vince McMahon bought out WCW. From then on it was a one horse race for wrestling dominance. ECW slowly began losing wrestlers to the combined product because of course that was the big leagues. But as insanely popular wrestlers like Tazz and the Impact Players moved into the spotlight, the fans at that level didn't embrace them. Instead people whispered "Who the hell is that?" At the same time, hardcore ECW fans were staying true to the product even though the wrestlers became more scarce and obscure. Finally when ECW folded you had a prominant promotion dead, with its life line of amazing wrestlers lost in the shuffle at WWE. So basically you had a roster of talent people loved with no outlet to showcase them.
This sunday however, justice will finally come. In a move that will undoubtably bring wrestling back to its popularity heights of 2001, ECW has been reformed with the big names that made it famous. Sandman, Sabu, RVD, Tazz, Ballz Mahoney, Axl Rotten, Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer, and many others have re-formed the most action packed, kick ass wrestling name ever. Any part of the arena is officially game, and not just for entrances. The blood is real, the broken bones real, the screams real, and the wins are real. There is nothing fake about ECW wrestling and that's why they don't have fans, but rather disciples.
If anything, the reformation of ECW will bring a lot of wrestling fans back, myself included. By putting on shows that defy what wrestling is all about, the gimmics will be left to the RAW crowd, while the hardcore components will once again fill small smokey arenas stockpiled with real fans who have no qualms yelling "You F-ed Up" when a wrestler just doesn't quite hit his mark. In the end, ECW should trumph over the WWE, in reality it did already. Thanks to the dedicated fans and the passion that burns in the hearts of the wrestlers that once cashed a paycheck signed by Paul Heyman, ECW never did die. Instead it laid low like so many of its superstars once did, and attacked when the WWE never saw it coming. EC F'N W!!!
So here's how i see it panning out. For one, I like Kurt Angle as part of ECW. He's a good wrestler, he can mix up, and he's a very believable bad guy. Angle defeats Randy Orton and messes the kid up pretty good in the process. For the main event, RVD is NOT losing. For the first time he will hold the championship belt and what better place then at the ECW pay-per-view. Expect John Cena to win over fans but mixing it up in the extreme, but in the end this is RVD's playground and he'll not only put on a show, but pull out a win. Rey Mysterio v Sabu could be the most entriguing match of the night. Two high flyers who can not only wrestle in a technical style, but also be creative in their assualts. Again, ECW should take this one since Sabu is much more seasoned in the aspects of extreme wrestling and lets be honest, some 5'5 guy isn't taking down the Homicidial, Genocidal, Sucicidal Sabu. If Tazz loses to Lawler he might as well start his own florist. And for the tag-team match, Mick Foley has loooong overstayed his welcome and its about time he pay homage to the man who actually started his gimmic - Terry Funk. The Funk/Dreamer connection will be one for the ages - nothing pretty - just bloody! I also think another big name superstar from the WWE will join ECW...and im thinking The Game! With Triple H always bordering on manical behavior, who better then the sledgehammer carrying King of Kings to help ECW once and for all take over wrestling. Whatever the case may be, tune in come sunday...It's going to be EXTREME!
Posted by Pat Healy at 5:04 PM