First Batch of Reader Thoughts on the ECW Talent Initiative

Nick Paglino

The following are emails sent in by WZ readers voicing their opinion of the new talent initiative which resurfaced this past week on ECW. If you would like to see your thoughts posted on the site, please email us at WZInbox@gmail.com!

The following is from Jordan

Living in Tampa, I often watch FCW so I was somewhat familiar with the talent that debuted.  Yoshi Tatsu is okay, but like many stars out of Asia, it is hard to show lots of personality when their English is weak.  Abraham Washington showed little wrestling on FCW as his only goal while there was to be president.  While his talking was a little boring at FCW, it at least managed a couple laughs.  It was never nearly as boring or dry as he was Tuesday night.  He had not been on television to long, so I am surprised he was called up as quickly as he was. 

Shamus is a former FCW champion who is probably the most talented of the debuting bunch.  He plays the heal role well, and he has said in interviews that he works hard to keep his body that pale. While he is talented, that adds a lot to his character.  Tyler Rex has also held the FCW championship and makes the Surfer gimmick work.  If WWE promotes him right, he could also find success. 

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The following is from Taylor

Hello my name is Taylor Gombos and I want to share with wreslezone.com this story from Wednesday nights ECWSuperstars and Smackdown tapings from Bakersfield, Ca. This was my first time going to a live show. I went to a house show when I was 13 but it isn’t the same as seeing a live show that is being taped for TV.  I have to say that the WWE really put on a great show, it was well worth it. Some notes and spoilers for you: From ECW, the only thing of note is that Christian hit the Killswitch to defeat Vlademier (sp?) Koslov to become the #1 contender for the ECW Title, meaning that he will face Tommy Dreamer at Night of Champions for the ECW Title.  For some reason I can’t remember any of the matches from superstars (probably because they were all so boring). Smackdown match results of note: Kane b Jeff Hardy, Jeff Hardy was about to go for the Swanton Bomb when CM Punks music hit which distracted Jeff Hardy allowing Kane to hit the chokeslam for the win. CM Punk’s match with The Great Kali ended in no contest after Kane interupted and got into a chair fight with Kali, Kane hit Kali in the back with a chair, and Kali responded by hitting Kane in the air with a chair, (pretty lame if you ask me). Dolph Zingler b John Morrison: After what seemed like a long drawn out match Zingler rolled up Morrison to get the win. Rey Mysterio b Chris Jericho to retain his Intercontinental title. This was a very entertaining match, with several near falls. Mysterio hit the 619 for the victory. After the match Edge ran down and attacked Mysterio and put him in a leg lock that allowed Jericho to do the codebrecker on Mysterio, Zingler then entered and   started attacking Mysterio allowing Edge to spear Mysterio.

Biggest Pops

Jeff Hardy
Rey Mysterio
Tommy Dreamer

Biggest Heat
CM Punk
Chris Jericho
Koslov

Thank you for taking the time to read this and keep up the great work on wrestlezone.com, it’s the top and only place I go for the latest wrestling news!

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The following is from Kevin

Hey guys what’s up, I’ve been a fan of your website since forever, you guys are what’s up!! Nick’s RAW reviews are the best and percise, and all the writers are awesome, keep up the good work. But on to the wrestling.

I love the WWE’s new superstar initiative on ECW. I really love it. Its kind of the WWE’s "minor league", although I can’t really call it that much considering that you have guys like Christian, Tommy Dreamer, and William Regal on the show. But it gives a chance for the fans to see new talent without shoving them down our throats by putting them on mainstream shows like RAW and Smackdown, cause by doing that they’re saying "ok this guy is new and he’s gonna be big cause he’s on RAW" and trying to make us love em or hate em when we really don’t know anything about em, but by doing this on ECW its better because then they’re saying "ok this kid is new, just check him out" and that’s better cause it can really go both ways, cause you can start on ECW and end up being World Champ like CM Punk, or u can start on ECW and go nowhere like Kevin Thorn. Its a better way allow the superstars be put over by the fans and gain popularity both as heels and faces, like how it was done with Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne) and Kofi Kingston. This is, however, why they need names that the fans already are familiar with like Shelton Benjamin, Christian, Tommy Dreamer and so on. ECW will never be a prestegious show like how RAW is, but with the new talent, it’ll be a way for the WWE to get fans excited, by seeing new faces and new match ups, for example, I loved the opening bout on ECW this past tuesday. Shelton Benjamin vs Yoshi Tatsu. It was funny, and quick, and by giving Tatsu the victory, it might spark a feud with the two superstars, if you give them both mic time and cut promos, it might really put Tatsu over with the fans. I would love to see Tyler Rex, if I’m not mistaken, battle it out with Shelton Benjamin, although Zack Ryder really needs to change those fruity lookin tights, he could be a worthy opponent too. But yea, I don’t know if u guys wanted a long detailed email like this, lol, but in short; the new superstar initiative is great.

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The following is from Ben

Shelton Benjamin vs. Yoshi Tatsu

Wow, Shelton really goes up and down. He’s been languishing so long now, this is what, the second or third time he’s been in ECW now? And they still don’t know what to do with him. I thought he actually showed some good promo skills here which was a surprise. I don’t really know what they can do with him on ECW except use him to help the newcomers get accustomed to working. Kinda like Finlay did with Swagger. This segment was about two times longer than it needed to be…The Godzilla line was funny though. I knew the kick was coming when he did more than 3 jokes, and it took several more before it happened. 1,2,3. Okay, nice start to a feud I guess. But we basically saw nothing from Tatsu except the fact his character will stand being insulted for ten minutes before doing anything about it. He also looks very similar to Funaki, maybe he should do something with his hair, otherwise he’s going to end up as Funaki-lite, minus the accolade of being the Smackdown number one announcer.

Abraham Washington….When I saw him walking from backstage, I thought ‘this guy looks kinda like the Rock, no, kinda like Obama…’. When I heard his name, my heart sunk. Whatever his talent, that is a God-awful character name, I’m sure they could get him over as being ‘a guy who looks like Obama’ without giving him that ridiculous name. Then the segment….Good lord. I have seen some bad stuff on WWE in my time, some God awful stuff in TNA from time to time, but this was just bad. It was almost as bad as those skits with ODB and Taylor Wilde a while back on TNA. Wait, I take that back. Okay, so I get that people like looking at the Bella twins…but noone wants to sit and spend nearly 15 minutes watching a boring interview with them while they act like childish girls. I’m sure there are kids tv channels for that kind of thing. It doesn’t belong in wrestling, nevermind the WWE… As far as AW (which I am guessing is an abbreviation for awful on the mic), any comparisons with the Rock or Obama were quickly squashed. I’ll give him credit; the crowd were on his back, and he had horrible material to deliver. But his voice really lets down his appearance. He should spend some time with a vocal coach and learn to put bass in his voice. Basically he didn’t even come off as a wrestler, just a bad Obama impersonator who hosts a bad segment. I hope for his sake he gets another chance in FCW and a chance to work on improving his gimmick, because this will never work on tv. Put this on Raw and it will sink.

Sheamus vs. Jobber

As soon as you see the second guy in a match get no entrance, you know what’s happening. It reminds me of the days when enhancement talent were all the rage. That said, the average fan doesn’t seem wary of this and so I wouldn’t judge this match on that pretext. Though the match was a squash, it wasn’t a ‘hide the weaknesses’ Khali/Henry style squash, and actually went more than 2 moves. Sheamus may need time to connect with the crowd, but he looks to have all the tools needed and this was what I’d call a ‘strong debut’, in an ECW sense.

Funny short promo with Kozlov and Regal. I swear with that attire Kozlov is just trying to be Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV. I actually understood the pun at the end of the promo which was impressive.

Tyler Reks talking to Zack Ryder apparently. I didn’t recognise Ryder. If I hadn’t known it was him, I’d have thought he was another new guy from the talent initiative. Then again, he as much is. Something about Long Island beating California in the surfing stakes. Reks looks very familiar, for a second I thought it was Ortiz with braids instead of an afro. Nothing special here, I need to see these two in front of a crowd before I can make assumptions regarding charisma and true mic skills.

Christian and Dreamer talk about the coming match. Christian mentions still wanting the ECW title and Dreamer smites him for his ill sense of timing. Man, Christian is a great promo but what can he do with that kind of material? The promo made sure he was over with the live crowd, but did nothing else for him. They need to give him more mic time and give him a chance to be heel again. If they’re going to waste him on ECW, at least let him do what he does best while he’s there.

Christian and Tommy Dreamer vs. William Regal and Vladimir Kozlov

It’s funny how I always forget how long main event matches can be on ECW. They generally rival anything on Raw or Smackdown in terms of length. While this isn’t, quite obviously, going to be a great match, I did enjoy it. The end of ECW shows always seems to leave a good taste in your mouth, no matter what came before it. This was a strong tag match with a perplexing ending. I figured if anything that Kozlov would put over Christian or Dreamer. It would make no sense to have the champion job, and Christian might as well join the talent initiative if he goes down in a match like this. I figured though that if anyone went over, it’d be the new guy from Raw. So I was a little miffed that Kozlov went over on Dreamer, possibly the least likely scenario in my mind (but what do I know, right?). The finish was kind of cool and unusual, with the blind tags. I couldn’t exactly tell if Regal was looking like he was going to level Kozlov for it and then smiling when he turned around, or trying to look impressed. Whatever the case, I think working with Regal will do wonders for Kozlov and I hope they stick with it; the chemistry here was surprisingly good for what it was. Talk about the monosyllabic promo ability of Kozlov all you want, but I enjoyed what I saw tonight for the most part.

New talent;

Yoshi Tatsu; showed nothing that can be fairly judged.
Abraham Washington; horrible gimmick and name. Didn’t wrestle. Had bad material to work with and a horrible segment to deliver. Needs a serious rethink all around.
Sheamus; the most impressive newcomer of the night by far. Gimmick is a bit ‘small town indy’ but with work, it could be pulled off properly.
Tyler Reks; his promo was okay, for what it was, but nothing to fairly judge him on tonight.

I’d like to add that although I picked Sheamus as the best performance of the night, he was also the only one who got a decent in ring promo opportunity and actually had a match. All of the newcomers need at least this, or at least a match, before they can be fairly judged. That said, only his character really shone out from the rest, if it was a ‘reaction test’. Reks could possibly stand out as well once he has a decent showing, and Tatsu will get a good showing working with Shelton Benjamin, so we’ll judge his ‘character’ then. At this point, he doesn’t have one, except the fact he has a high tolerance for listening to people trashtalk him. As for Abraham Washington, that gimmick looks like Goldberg in a technical wrestling class (seriously wrong and out of place). Needs serious work as it only stood out as a bland, poor attempt to grasp pop culture.

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The following is from Majingir

I’ll first talk about the ECW show itself OUTSIDE of the talent initiative.
ECW to open the show with Tiffany announcing the talent initiative was somewhat annoying, she tries to get fans excited for what she’s announcing as if she’s vince mcmahon or john cena or something.

The main event of Christian,Dreamer vs Regal,Kozlov was an ok main event, Christian is the only good vet on the ECW roster but the new kozlov attire looks great and hopefully they take kozlov farther then just wearing russian attire, a kozlov promo that really shows hate towards USA could make him a huge heel.

Now onto the talent initiative.

Yoshi Tatsu-He seems like a real energetic, japenesse version of Kofi Kingston(minus the high flying ability)

Sheamus- Just from his first match, I don’t see him being as good as many people are hyping him up to be, I can see him being like a way better version of Albert. He does seem like he has a bright future and like the ECW broadcasters said, CM Punk debuted in ECW not seeming like he would do much in the company and here he is now, World Champion for 2nd time.

Abraham Washington-He seems alot like Teddy Long when he first came into WWE mixed with MVP when he first came into WWE. I don’t believe he is a wrestler but I can really see him being a great manager for guys like Cryme Tyme,R-Truth or maybe even helping Zeke make a comeback on ECW since he hasn’t appeared since being drafted. I really liked the Abraham Washington show, was real random and sometimes funny.

Tyler Rekes- Only had a small promo but I’ll wait till superstars to see what he can bring. His first promo though seems good and seems like he is really ready to go out there and compete

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The following is from Zach

My thoughts on ECW’s new talent is that its a stupid idea. They had 5 of ECW’s best talent traded like Jack Swagger, Evan Bourne, Mark Henry, David Hart Smith, and Tyson Kidd. They also took 3 of those and sent them to RAW out of all the brands, RAW already has too much talent that doesn’t get any match time. They took Shelton Benjamin and William Regal and Golddust and sent them to ECW…dumbest idea ever, Shelton Benjamins not that bad of a wrestler and my thoughts are they’re probably gonna try and make him a ECW champ or get a big fued started with him and somebody else, but Golddust and William Regal, are you serious?! Golddust hasn’t done anything in the past 10 years and is way past his prime and so is William Regal. If I was them I would have sent 2 of Raw’s top superstars and 1 of Smackdown’s top superstars to ECW and not sent Mark Henry or Evan Bourne…yeah, I know the only reason they sent those superstars from ECW to the other brands is so they can get some more fans and get story lines with them but you don’t want to make ECW any worse than it already is. I think it was a good idea to send Jack Swagger away from ECW but they should have sent him to Smackdown and I think they should have sent MVP and John Cena or MVP and Triple H and I think they should have sent Rey Mysterio from Smackdown to ECW because Mysterios kinda dying down a little bit and I think he would be a perfect fit for ECW and I believe they could make World Champion out of him again.

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