Okay, let’s look at this thing rationally.
This past week, World Wrestling Entertainment announced that they would be bringing back Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). It will supposedly be run by Tommy Dreamer and Paul Heyman, with a roster of existing ECW stars and existing OVW (and I’m guessing WWE stars who aren’t doing well on RAW or Smackdown!) wrestlers.
Okay, there’s the bad in this situation. First off, ECW was the rebel promotion. How can they be rebellious, and run by the establishment they were rebelling against? Second, it’s hard to believe that the McMahons are willing to let Paul Heyman or Tommy Dreamer run ECW without putting their stamp on things. Third, ECW was about letting wrestlers do what they want to do in the ring, I don’t see that happening with anything run by the WWE. Finally, the professional wrestling world is saturated with promotions where the wrestlers aren’t quite at major league levels, and WWE is just adding one more group to the list.
But… Keep this in mind:
The WWE needs a true minor-league promotion in which to teach their wrestlers how to create feuds, characters, and develop angles. ECW was the place for that. Paul created dozens of memorable characters, and chances are he can still do it. We see talented guys come into the WWE all the time, who just aren’t ready for this level, but there isn’t anywhere for the WWE to send them. A true minor league system is exactly what the WWE needs.
A Paul Heyman driven promotion has always been exciting for wrestling fans. Look at ECW throughout its history. Look at Smackdown when Heyman ran it. And from all reports, look at OVW under his tenure. Paul Heyman can provide exciting ECW television.
There are dozens of ECW alumni who really could benefit from one more run. They are too old for the indy scene, but not talented enough to be on the WWE roster: Axl Rotten, Danny Doring, Roadkill, Steve Corino, The Sandman, Kid Kash, Scorpio, Justin Credible, Johnny Swinger, Simon Diamond, CW Anderson, Perry Saturn, and dozens of others. I’d enjoy seeing them getting one more paycheck in their careers.
And finally, to be able to go to an arena, and have a moment of ECW nostalgia, to see decent wrestling, to see the ECW faithful again, would be enjoyable. Especially if the price was fair.
ECW has done more than any other indy promotion, it has survived. If only in the memories and hushed whispers of its fans. The WWE and the McMahons respects ECW and respects the power of ECW. Maybe it realizes it’s a viable entity. Or thinks its edgy enough to fit in the arsenal of WWE programming.
But this won’t be ECW as we remember it. No question about it. Anyone who goes to One Night Stand, or is excited about ECW coming back, under WWE guidance should realize this. The federation known as Extreme Championship Wrestling is dead.
However, that doesn’t mean that the wrestling ‘brand’ known as ECW couldn’t be a little bit fun.