Stars in Progress: Extreme Rising, Wade Barrett, WWE Return

Chris Cash

Extreme Rising – One Step Up

A bit of advice to future wrestling promoters: Run your first event in Philly with a slew of former ECW stars, put Extreme in the title, and make the easy money. Once you realize how easy it is to capitalize on the previous success of Paul Heyman, repeat the process over and over.

Sarcasm aside — and I don't really mean to discredit the hard work of those involved with Extreme Rising — it's still remarkable how many fans will rush to these types of events. There's never been a more loyal fanbase in pro wrestling than that of Extreme Championship Wrestling.

Stevie Richards, who I've always been a big fan of, won the the company's first world title on Saturday night, defeating Rhino in the main event. Either man would have been a suitable first champion, and congratulations to both for putting on a great match, from what I'm told. I can only speculate that Rhino's future within that promotion will hold the same fate at some point.

And while I do think exploiting the still-viable market of ECW is an easier path to take as a promoter, sustainability isn't guaranteed as a result. Shane Douglas and company have done a great job getting good exposure. The online wrestling community, as a rule, doesn't support independent wrestling enough to be a factor of profitability for most companies, but ECW (and its subsequent relatives) and ROH are the exceptions.  From everything I'm gathering, Extreme Rising could make a true go at this thing in terms of longevity, and that's always a good thing in pro wrestling.

Good luck to everyone involved.

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