I’ve probably attended a solid 15 live ECW shows in my life. I’ve seen scaffold dives, 5 star mat classics (and frog splashes for that matter), staplers, high-flying spot fests, men fighting women, illegally played trademarked theme songs played on a boom box, fist fights in the stands…I’ve seen it all. Hell, once Nova even called my friend “the undoubtedly gayest individual I’ve ever met in my life.” My buddy once signed autographs for a solid 20 minutes because he dressed like Spike Dudley and everyone was convinced he was really him. One of my friends held a sign over another one’s head proposing to the latter’s girlfriend, which the latter later had to rescind. It was raw, it would smack you across the face, entirely unpredictable, unique, and beyond fun. Now, instead of raw and smacking you across the face, it’s not even good enough to be a poor man’s RAW and Smackdown. The ECW product has been so appalling bad as of late, it is a shame to even utter the letters ECW as it relates to it.
Several things make ECW stink. Let’s get it out of the way…Adamle. But that is just re-hashing the obvious. Let’s just move past the fact that he knows nothing about the product, virtually makes no sense, has no sense of pop culture or relevancy, doesn’t know who the wrestlers are or what their moves are called or what day of the week it is. How about this? The WWE always talks about getting younger, fresher faces on the air when they are replacing older talent. That reason is always cited when Coachman, Cole, Grisham etc. take over for JR once every 6 months….then 3 weeks later, they tend to remember that calling the match well is more important than how handsome the announcer is. Does anyone know that Mike Adamle is nearly 60 years old? Was Mae Young busy?
Onto the impact of the draft. Matt Hardy was their big bounty from the draft (after all, he’s comparable to the foursome of Punk, Kane, Kofi, and Shelton, right?). Well, was he even on the show this week? Nope. He was fighting on a different show and jobbing cleanly! Great way to build the show around him. Good thing they got to return Super Crazy back to his roots, right? Oh wait, he’ll never appear on that show unless it’s to job to Mark Henry in under 3 minutes. Hell, why not just move Kelly Kelly off the show without so much as an explanation?
Now on to the new talent initiative. Great idea in concept. Yes, in concept. The actuality thus far has been the two, single worst matches on wrestling program in all of 2008. The matches went on for so long, had no flare, no energy, no crowd reaction, no in ring ability. So sloppy. So many telegraphed, dull spots. You could visibly see them calling these alleged “spots.” Why didn’t either of them have finishers…a back slide and a cross body block? Is this 1984? Greg Gagne must have been working with them backstage…maybe next week the new talent can win with a dropkick. Also, let’s get the talent and creative departments in unison here. Repeat after me, “we will decide on a name and we will keep it.” They pointlessly changed Sydal and Dubone/Ortiz’s names the week following their debuts and gave Harris a ridiculous name to match his fat-man’s outfit and limited move set.
Let me also point out, that jobbing Estrada weekly is not the same as jobbing Delaney was. Delaney’s story made sense. Plus, they were building a 1-2-3 Kid type of character…the underdog is always very likable. This does not even make sense. He was already under contract. He won matches for several weeks in a row before starting this. How come the new talent he’s fighting simply get signed to contracts, whereas he has to earn his? What’s to gain here? This is lazy booking. And that’s not even pointing out that Estrada is a really solid talent. He is a great character. The way he talks during his matches is classic. He has natural mic skills. At worst he can be like Santino…at best, with his look, I think he could be a lot more. But not anymore…he’s been buried for good. And speaking of buried, what did Elijah Burke do wrong and who did he do it to? How is this guy permanently off TV?
I even miss The Boogeyman.
The sad reality though is that the ratings are actually top of the line as it relates to the Sci Fi network. Furthermore, it costs WWE virtually zero effort to produce these shows (there’d be dark matches all the same either way). Worst of all, so long as its pattern of relative ratings success continues…not only will the show not die, but they will make absolutely no effort to improve it.
ECW is becoming like a bad, lingering STD you just can’t quite get rid of. We all know the real ECW has been dead for years. I wish this craptastic version would do us a favor and follow in its footsteps.
On an entirely unrelated note, does anyone else ever see real life through wrestling eyes? Cause I do. And the sports world had a rare feat this week – the real life heel turn. Elton Brand was one of the NBA’s most esteemed and well liked players. He was loyal to his team, involved heavily in charity work in Los Angeles, and was widely considered a good guy to know. He wanted to play with his close friend, Baron Davis, going so far as convincing his fellow free agent to sign with his Clippers and promising him that he would re-sign and join him. But alas, money talked and Brand broke his word and skipped town, screwing over his beloved city, team, and close friend Davis in the process. Brand threw Davis through the proverbial Barber Shop window. And if things happen as expected, poor Baron was not only screwed, but his career is headed the way of Marty Jannetty’s…down the tubes. However, the NBA’s newest heel, Brand, is ready for a Michaels’ like push towards the championship.
Have any of you ever gotten a real life push? Turned heel? After years of toiling on the mid-card, pulled a surprise move and finally got over? Post some of your “seeing real life through the eyes of wrestling” stories on the forum – I’m sure it’ll give us all a good laugh.