Page 2 of 2
With the above having been said, let's take a closer look at the 4 superstars that debuted this week on ECW:
Yoshi Tatsu: Tatsu has been a pro since 2002, and has wrestled in the past for New Japan and wrestled under the name Yoshi Tatsu in Florida Championship Wrestling. He's been under contract to WWE since September of 2008 and made his debut on ECW by defeating Shelton Benjamin with one kick to the head in what was basically a comedy match. In my opinion, unless this leads to a series of matches between Tatsu and Benjamin, this was a terrible way to debut both superstars as newcomers to the brand. What did this accomplish? It established no connection between Tatsu and the crowd, as the entire segment was about Benjamin making fun of him being Japanese, and furthermore it made Benjamin look like the newest member of the job squad on Tuesday nights. It's said that Tatsu is a talented in-ring worker and we all know that Benjamin is certainly not lacking in that department, so again, unless this was a tease for a coming feud between Tatsu and Benjamin, this was a poor way for WWE to introduce us to a rookie and a veteran.
Abraham Washington: This guy seems like he has some charisma and talent on the mic, but the segment with The Bella Twins was not very good. It was boring, lasted way too long for a one hour show, and most of the material just wasn't funny. I'm not sure who wrote the segment, but if it was Washington himself then he's gonna have to try harder than that because the crowd wasn't into anything he had to say other than the slightly dirty talk with The Bellas, and who wouldn't be interested in that? Maybe Kanyon. If Washington has an upside in the ring, then he could have great potential in WWE considering he fared pretty well on the mic considering it was his first time on WWE TV. Management has to realize, though, that his material was weak, and if he's going to continue doing the talk show segment than someone has to step up and write some quality stuff. For the record, Washington had previously been working this gimmick in FCW and it apparently went over pretty well, so it might have a future on ECW once it picks up some steam.
Sheamus: In my opinion, Sheamus had the most impressive debut of the 4 new superstars this week as he was allowed to work a solid match and has a very unique look. Sheamus' name is Sheamus O'Shaunessy, and he has been getting pretty rave reviews for his work down in FCW. WWE got it right when they introduced us to "The Celtic Warrior." They booked his debut well, and he looked like he actually has potential to be an impact player if he continues to improve in the ring. His physicality reminded me of William Regal, as he worked his opponent with a lot of stiff offense, and that never bothers me. It might have made more sense for WWE to focus this past week's ECW broadcast on the debut of the talents traded to the brand from Raw and Smackdown and only one new talent. In this week's case, I would say that should have just been Sheamus, as the crowd would have left remembering him a little more easily than having to remember him plus 3 other new names.
Tyler Reks: What can be said about this guy? He seemed pretty comfortable on the mic and had a bit of Rob Van Dam like attitude, but at the end of the day there was just too little of him shown to really make any kind of judgment as to what he can bring to the ECW table. Again, it would have made more sense for WWE to hold off on debuting Reks for at least another week so that he could benefit from more screen time. Reks is reportedly somewhat of a high flier that was signed by WWE back in February of 2008.
With all of these debuts, WWE must also remember that each individual ECW broadcast has to be entertaining, and ultimately this week's show felt a bit flat to me because there was too much happening that I wasn't familiar with, so I found myself tuning out at times when I was supposed to be learning something about someone new. I like that WWE is proceeding with the talent initiative, however, as it's a necessary tool for instituting new talent, and ECW is a great one hour platform that WWE can use as a "televised developmental system" of sorts. My only hope is that the company remembers to book these guys well, allow them to run with the ball for a while before it's taken from them, and in general give the fans a good show in addition to a host of new names.