Sunday, October 25, 2009

ECW Progress Report: Quality vs. Quantity

I'll try to be brief with this one, but, you know how it gets when you're in front of a computer and you have a lot to talk about, with little or no interruption. So, here we go.

Lately, after much talk with fellow wrestling fans and even some other reviews here and there, I've come to see that ECW has become quite a quality show. Despite Raw's endless cavalcades of clownish entertainment, and SmackDown's slow descent into the same spiral as its sister brand, ECW remains the way it was, virtually untouched, and on the same path: creating new stars, re-focusing old stars, and remaining more on the action side of things, with little-to-no extra exposition. This isn't always the case, though, as we do see a lot of recap footage on this show, mostly to push the upcoming PPV event. However, when that's not the case, we can see ECW shine with the talent it brings to the table.

For the month of October, we've seen Yoshi Tatsu establish himself as a growing sensation, Zack Ryder maintain his standing as an increasingly adaptive heel, Sheamus become the big deal of a big man that he is, William Regal remain the dirty, rotten, scoundrel he has always been, Vladimir Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson dominating as a tandem of tough brutes, veterans like Goldust, the Hurricane, and Tommy Dreamer fulfilling their roles to the best of their abilities, and Christian being as entertaining, charismatic, and athletically sound as possible. It's been a pretty solid effort on all their parts, hence, making ECW a very watchable and entertaining show. And yet, I wasn't shocked to learn that last week's ratings were at a .95, which I believe was ECW's lowest ratings to date. Why the lack of shock? Well, sadly, ECW's quality, as good as it can get, is still not enough to merit new or continuing viewers. This can be pretty disappointing, since ECW is the only quality show that's on WWE television now that hasn't been fully gentrified with "too much entertainment". So, one would say that it is the only show worth watching that is within the WWE programming schedule. However, some, if not most people don't think so.

If you don't know by now, ECW has been completely forgotten on the October PPV schedule, being frozen out of any and all matches on Bragging Rights or Hell in a Cell, when it's obvious that they would have fit in well for either PPV. However, the WWE's booking schemes have virtually proven to be very shoddy in some instances, whether it is in overbooking matches, or overplaying certain gimmicks. If that's not the case, then the match logic has been rather off when it comes to stipulations. In either case, someone must have gotten the message across that ECW wasn't worthy of being on PPV for the month of October. Also, it has been confirmed that the WWE wanted to shift the Smackdown team for Bragging Rights around to a team with more notable wrestlers instead of young and hungry wrestlers that could use the rub for a good push to the top. Instead of making new stars, they went with old ones only because the new guys looked weak against team Raw. Perhaps, they looked weak because everybody's favorite duo of "push killers", DX, made them look like a bunch of nobodys. Since DX keeps on talking, and is consisted of Vince McMahon's favorite "son" and his actual son-in-law, everyone has to listen. How much do you want to bet they had something to do with freezing ECW out of October's events? Well, they probably didn't, but someone obviously did.

I just find it very disappointing that the WWE's only quality show with little or no spots to make you change the channel isn't even an idea of their own, let alone a 2-hour show or wrought with top stars. If you haven't been watching ECW lately, I suggest that you do. Get an inside look at the stars of tomorrow on WWE television. Instead of breaking your brain on nonsensical booking, lousy announcing, re-hashed storylines, dreadful celebrity guests, and the same old main event you've seen a hundred times, go with ECW. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Yea, this is starting to sound like an ECW infomercial, but it has its merits, and I just wanted to let everyone know what they are missing. When the WWE was floundering around, looking for new stars to put on Raw, they completely forgot they had a place that was making new stars almost often. ECW continues to make new stars by having great matches with these new stars every Tuesday night, while Raw continues to spiral downward in quality every Monday, and Smackdown follows right after it. The problem is: no one really cares. When these new stars find a new place to go, be it Raw or Smackdown, ECW gets forgotten completely as if it never existed and the new stars just appeared out of nowhere. Can something be done to laud ECW's quality? Only time will tell, quite honestly. But, I will say this: ECW has been doing a better job at entertaining than Raw or Smackdown has, to be quite honest. It has also done a better job with athleticism and action. If you look at any match that has occurred this week, you'd be hard-pressed to say that ECW didn't deliver. ECW delivered, and in spades. It might not seem like a problem, but it is. It is reflecting the quality of Raw and Smackdown, on a whole. When you have people saying that the best rematch of the week was ECW's Christian vs. Chris Jericho over Raw's Cena/HHH battle #1000 or Smackdown's attempt at revisiting the C.M. Punk/Undertaker controversy, which was based on another controversy, you know you have a problem.

I'm just saying........that you can stand to do much better for certain shows that have been around for 10 years or more. Why is it that a show that is reborn from the ashes of an organization that died 8 years ago is doing your jobs for you?

Special note: if you have what it takes to blog about this version of ECW, get in touch with me by
Thanksgiving weekend. That Sunday is Fan Appreciation Day!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

How ECW can reclaim its "Bragging Rights"

So, it looks like Cyber Sunday, which was formerly Taboo Tuesday, is now a memory, as the WWE has changed this PPV event to WWE Bragging Rights. The theme: a slew of Raw and Smackdown superstars square off against each other in a "Raw vs. SD" showdown of sorts. The point: well, not just to get over yet another themed PPV, but to also plug and support the upcoming Smackdown vs. Raw videogame, aptly named Smackdown vs. Raw 2010, as if it were a John Madden football game. This seems like a great idea to push new stars, see some stars from each show in dream matches against each other, and generally show some pride for each brand. I can think of at least 2 things wrong with this motif. One: no one really cares which show is better. It's safe to say that active Raw viewers watch Smackdown when they can, and vice versa. So, why would they care which show is better? In fact, by doing this, your forcing the fans to decide which show is worth watching, which can cause the fans to ultimately stop watching the alternative. Problem two is this: why is this just subject to Raw and Smackdown? Where's ECW? Yea, you can use the video game's title as an excuse to leave ECW out, but even ECW is represented in that game. It's almost as if ECW is a "dirty little secret" that the WWE doesn't want to share with anyone. Yet, it deserves to be shared, honored, and at least respected on some levels.

ECW was, without a doubt, one of the most controversial, unorthodox, and generally, ground-breaking organizations in the U.S. I could go on and on about what was done there and how it changed wrestling, but odds are, if you're reading this, you are like me, and you know that story already. When it was re-introduced by the WWE in 2006 as a brand, it was treated as if it was an infected sore that needed to be treated the WWE way, but was still infecting thanks to Paul Heyman's involvement. Once Heyman was gone, it was treated, but then its value was non-existent. Who would care about a 1-hour show that had as much to do with the original ECW as Vince McMahon had to do with changing professional football? The ECW originals didn't care, the original fans didn't care, the new fans didn't care, the pundits didn't care, no one cared. So, ECW existed as a place to hold matches with stars that couldn't hack it on the other brands, as well as new stars that couldn't find a place on those brands to start without getting lost in the shuffle. It was in this light that ECW found its niche and deserves to be respected.

Ever since the word went out that ECW was to become the haven for new stars that weren't quite ready for Raw or Smackdown, amazing things happened. We were treated to stars that re-focused their energy on re-inventing themselves, and new stars that were focused on becoming the new generation of wrestling stars that we see today. The results: six superstars have emerged from this version of ECW and have become the stars that we have always seen them to be, with accolades that are very noteworthy. John Morrison became John Morrison after securing the ECW title for the first time as Johnny Nitro. He then became the charismatic, somewhat obscure, "Shaman of Sexy" and "Weekday Night Delight", walking away with about 3 Intercontinental title reigns, a long standing WWE Tag Title reign with the Miz, a World Tag Title reign with the Miz, two Slammy Awards for his tag work and his web show, "The Dirt Sheet", and he's poised to become a top star on SmackDown. Speaking of the Miz, he pretty much did exactly what Morrison did, except for win the ECW title and instead of the IC title, he won the U.S. title once. He is also poised to be a star, but on Raw. Evan Bourne electrified crowds all over the world on ECW with his high-flying abilities. Because of this, he made his way to Raw and forged a great following there. Kofi Kingston had an amazing undefeated streak on ECW before being added to the Raw roster where he would become a World Tag Champion, an IC champ, and a U.S. champ, to say the least. His amazing wrestling style makes him an instant hit with the fans. Jack Swagger established excellence and dominance with an decent streak going on ECW as well as 2 ECW title reigns. This was enough to merit him a spot on Raw in the U.S. title hunt. Lastly, the biggest success story out of ECW has to be C.M. Punk, who went undefeated for the rest of 2006, captured the ECW title on a number of occasions, then became a 3 time World Champion, an IC champion, and a World Tag champion while on Raw and then Smackdown, becoming the fastest superstar to the fabled "Triple Crown". These 6 superstars are living proof of the effectiveness of ECW. That's plenty to be arrogant about. And yet, ECW is still given the shaft, but not to the extreme that I've seen recently.

ECW has given Raw and Smackdown six excellent superstars in the Miz, John Morrison, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne and C.M. Punk. These men have made Raw and Smackdown a haven for new and different wrestling for new and old fans alike. So, you'd think for a PPV like Bragging Rights that every group would have something to fight for. Instead, ECW gets frozen out of this PPV. In fact, ECW got frozen out of the Hell in a Cell PPV as well. In other words, ECW has been completely neglected for the month of October. Does that stink or what? ECW doesn't get a chance to brag, get involved in any inter-brand battles, or even have matches of their own. Also, and I have noticed this, when it comes to mentioning the history of those aforementioned six stars, there's barely any mention of their success in ECW. It's like, the WWE doesn't even want to acknowledge their history before the brands they are on. So much for ECW's bragging rights. I guess my "dirty little secret" theory is proving to be right.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that this iteration of ECW is great. It is missing a lot of things that can make it great. One major thing is the fact that it has little or no connection to the original ECW at all, in its matches, promos, etc. It doesn't have that feel in almost any way. But, you know something? Despite all that, it has done some things right. It gave us those stars I mentioned. It's going to give us more stars in Yoshi Tatsu, Zack Ryder, Sheamus, Paul Burchill and even veterans re-focused and rejuveneated like William Regal and Christian. It's still very qualitative in those sorts and cases. Still, the schema of ECW being a low-level brand and an "unwelcome guest" in the eyes of the WWE through many facets still exists and it's stronger than ever. However, I think ECW could have made a bit of an impact in this case, even with only a few weeks removed from the PPV at hand. The move to make: do what ECW is good at doing in the WWE: INVADE!

You want to make an impact? Have seven of ECW's stars, despite what they are doing, show up on Raw or SD, and attack one of, if not a few of, the qualified stars for the Raw/SD match. They can start on the week of the Hell in a Cell PPV, and then have it escalate the next week. When ECW's GM, Tiffany, is confronted about this, she states that it was Regal's idea while she was out of the picture with her injury. But, after looking at the big picture, she feels that it was a smart move because ECW has just as much to brag about as does Raw and Smackdown. After conferring with the necessary people, ECW finally gets involved. As for ECW's involvement, it would be limited to just two matches.

Match one is obviously the tag match. Instead of 14, it would be 21, in this case. However, with this many people, it could be rather packed in the ring, so lower the number to 5 guys a team or something. If not, just leave it at 7 and see what happens. As for the teams, well, just assemble the top guys on ECW right now that's not the champion. This would be William Regal (the captain), Vladimir Kozlov, Ezekiel Jackson, Yoshi Tatsu, Zack Ryder, Tommy Dreamer (Co-captain), and either Sheamus or Shelton Benjamin. This would be a great way of showing how viable ECW is as a brand. If not, it would at least give them a spot for showcasing their talent. Also, you can leave that possibility that ECW can actually win with stars like Yoshi Tatsu, Zack Ryder, and even Shelton or Sheamus doing a great job as athletes on their show.

Match two is my main thesis point in this analysis. Forget a Raw-only main event. Forget a Smackdown-only main event. Instead, bring back the "Champion of Champions" triple threat match. Instead of putting the title or titles on the line, since that has proven to be a bad move only due to the fact that the fans will only vote to one side, just make it a non-title affair, and not make the threat of letting the title change hands, since the titles have been changing hands a lot. This would give Christian the main event importance that he not only deserves, but that ECW can use. However, the idea isn't as solid as one would think it to be.

The possibility of a "Champion of Champions" triple threat would have only worked if we had a certain set of champions in place, instead of the ones we see now. I had hoped that if Christian was to be in this match, the champions would or should be John Cena and C.M. Punk. See, if you put Christian in this match with Randy Orton and Undertaker as the champions of their respective brands, the possibility of Christian winning goes square out the window. No one is expecting him to get the pinfall on Orton or Taker, let alone a submission. It just wouldn't make sense, nor would it seem believable. Now, if it were Cena and C.M. Punk, then you have a level of believability. You can see Punk taking Cena out, but falling to the "Unprettier" (Killswitch Engage? Sorry, that's a rock group, not a finishing move. Try again!) and Christian winning. It would be a good combination of a veteran, a star on the rise, and an established star working as you can see three styles combined to make a good show, with three stars that can hang with big and small guys alike. Truth be told, it would be a decent match to watch. It would keep Raw and Smackdown on the top, and it would validate ECW as a brand with a star that can hang with the best. Believe me, I'd pay to see Christian/Cena/C.M. Punk because it has a chance of being good logically, than Christian/Orton/Undertaker which has a strong chance of being horrible due to its bad logic.

There you have it. ECW can get its bragging rights by taking part in the two Bragging Rights main events. Quite honestly, ECW can use it, and is due for it. They've made six great stars on the rise. They've given us the best of the new when we needed it and the re-focused potential of the old when it counted. They have given a haven to stars who couldn't find a place on Raw or Smackdown to get over. They even prove to be a starting point for new stars from other companies to start their quest to the top of the WWE (not so much for Braden Walker, but very much for C.M. Punk). I think they have just as much a stake in this PPV than the others do. Sure, they won't trump Raw or SD, especially since their best stars are on those shows, nor would they have a great chance of winning in their battles. But, you can't ignore something that has actually done some good for the WWE. If you just want to talk about Raw and SD and who's better, then just use those brands. Get rid of ECW! Destroy it. Do away with it. Just utilize the stars on the shows you have and push them properly instead of throwing them on some extra show that you don't even care about and in truth, which no one will watch. If you want to brag that you have two shows that might have had more episodes than most television shows, that's fine. If you want to brag that you won the big battle of wrestling feds of the 1990s and 2000s with the acquisition of ECW, go ahead as you've done so already. Why not brag about one of those acquisitions actually having the potential to do good stuff for you with creating stars and having quality matches at times?

Oh...that's right.....ECW wasn't Vince's idea, but it succeeded in changing the world of wrestling. You have weight-lifting organizations that do nothing but sell bad supplements, and lousy football leagues that don't do more than stink up the place this side of horrible arena football. I guess it's better to brag about bad ideas and laugh about it later than brag about good ideas that you didn't have, stole from, and can help you even though you don't want it to, since you didn't think of it yourself. Good to see the right priorities intact...

Monday, October 12, 2009

ECW Talent Search: so you think you can wrestle....for the ECW brand?

I've been harping on this for the past several weeks, quite honestly. I had hoped that ECW would have fixed this problem, but sadly, that would be asking too much. The problem in question deals with the ECW roster. No, it's not the fact that there is no talent, because there is. It's not the fact that some of the stars there belong on more qualified brands, because we all know they do. The problem is this: the talent roster is too thin. There aren't enough stars to go around, coercing us to either watch favored stars look bad, not-so-favorite stars get all types of face time, and the same matches with the same people over and over again. Don't get me wrong. Sometimes it's good to have a feud with the same person to establish that wrestler's cred. However, when there is no one to transition to afterward, be it after a long or short-term feud, you have no choice but to watch the same old story, with most likely the same result (the greater of the two wrestlers wins). If you see anything different along those lines, then people see it as an attack against the greater's cred, or worse, a chance to elevate the lesser, even though the lesser might not deserve it or can't do anything with it. Another key problem I have with this whole situation is that there are a plethora of stars that either are or aren't used on television in a way that could stand to be on ECW and flourish due to their talent alone. This would be great for them to somehow get themselves re-discovered and relied upon for bigger things the second time around. Having said all of that, let's look at the talent pools of both Raw and Smackdown and see who can benefit from making the move to ECW, in a sense (note: I will even be including stars that have been on ECW before):

-Charlie Haas
This has to be the most forgettable wrestler that I can think of that has all the talent in the world to be a big deal as a wrestler. Even while on SD, he was wrestling stiff and concise and, well, that's just not enough. This guy has talent, without question. However, Vince McMahon would rather watch paint dry than watch him wrestle. Sadly, everyone now thinks this. This didn't help matters even when he started impersonating wrestlers. Does this mean he sucks, completely? I don't think so. ECW can be a fresh start for him as a singles wrestler. No, scratch that. It seems that Charlie's best success, despite having some concise submissions, is in tag wrestling. So, how do you save his career? Put him on ECW with a running buddy or as a running buddy and make him a perennial tag team wrestler. Hands down. Who do you tag him with? Look ahead.

-Curt Hawkins
Curt has the skill to be a great wrestler on the singles' scene. He has good maneuvers and skill as well, but lacks the charisma to match Zack Ryder....sadly. So, what do you do with him? Easy! Find where his true success was (tag team wrestling), and stick him with a perennial partner that can't possibly overshadow him to be split away from him. Enter Charlie Haas. They wear similar tights, and similar colors. Also, they are similar in..well...charismatic delivery. So, here's an approach: They are the C.H. Athletics Club, whose main purpose is to show that they are the best wrestlers in the WWE. To build on this: they attack anyone who is all about stupid gimmicks, ideas, or personalities. Where would be a good place to try this, while allowing them to wrestle virtually uninhibited? ECW.

-The Hart Dynasty
Don't get me wrong. I love this team. I love virtually anyone connected to the Hart family that has made something of themselves positively, one way or another. I just hate the fact that they are on a major show, like SmackDown, and getting trashed by tag teams that don't appeal anymore (Cryme Tyme) or just against stars that don't need to be pushed over them (Great Khali). Heck, they put John Morrison and Matt Hardy together in some makeshift tag match to get them both over as they were both involved in something major at the time. How did they do it? They ended up beating the Hart Dynasty. Instead of putting them out there so soon, why not let them build up on ECW and then become a big deal? Unfortunately, that didn't work too well, either as they were being buried on that show by the likes of Finlay. Still, with the show now focusing more on wrestling, they belong back on that show.

-Mike Knox
This guy has been looking bad as a wrestler ever since ECW and his name were connected. However, when he was on ECW, he at least had something of a push before he was traded to Raw...and then to SmackDown. How did those trades go down? Horribly! He took Snitsky's place as a jobber on Raw, and once again, as a jobber on S.D. This time, he's probably replacing Chuck Palumbo or something as a jobber on S.D. He's not chiseled. He doesn't have boyish or mannish good looks. But, I'll tell you what: he's a heck of a hand as a brawler and a powerhouse. Give him one break for once and let it be somewhere good, like ECW. Heck, they've got hard hitters in Ezekiel Jackson, Vladimir Kozlov, Sheamus, and Paul Burchill. Throw Knox in the mix, why don't ya?

-Jimmy Wang Yang
Here's how this works: drop the stupid cowboy gimmick. Give him something different. Make him a standard Japanese wrestler, like Yoshi Tatsu. Or..go back to the whole Japanese Mafia idea with Sakoda. Or better yet, look to Dragon Gate or CHIKARA or something for some ideas and do something with him. I know Jimmy has the talent and is a great athlete. I just think that ECW would be a great place to see that if he a) drops the gimmick, b) gets out of the WWE doghouse fully by not violating anymore policies, and c) adopts one of his better finishers.

I know a lot of you will disagree with this. I'm only saying this to give him some direction. Now, yes, this is a demotion, but it gives Carlito a chance to once again, spread his wings as a wrestler and fly. This is also a chance for him to re-focus himself as Shelton Benjamin is doing. He's a great wrestler who needs a platform to show how great he is, but there's too many things keeping him from doing this, be it backstage attitude, no space on Raw for his talent, jobbing ridiculously, or being saddled with his rather generic brother. I can see great matches between Carlito and Christian. However, Carlito going to ECW isn't a definite. It's only definite if the next person doesn't go there.

I would more prefer that Primo goes to ECW to at least polish his game a little as a singles wrestler. He really doesn't have a signature maneuver, which I think really hinders his upward mobility. He is athletic, to say the least. However, with the pecking order on Raw being limited to big players like Cena and DX, how does a face like Primo spring out of the shadows behind more capable stars like the Miz, Jack Swagger, and especially Kofi Kingston, not to mention MVP and Mark Henry, to say the least? My answer is that he goes to ECW and slowly makes a name for himself that way.

-Evan Bourne
To be honest, he never should have left. In fact, if he was going to, he should have left to SmackDown. He could have been the next Rey Mysterio. Instead, he's become the target for all types of abuse and beatdowns on Raw, by....virtually everyone. He's an extremely talented wrestler who is getting the shaft for being smaller than everyone on Raw. Instead of touting his skills, like they did in his ECW title match with Matt Hardy, he's now relegated to make others look good, if not better. How about we do Evan a favor and put him back on ECW where he can mean something again...if not on a lower scale? If this doesn't float your boat, put him on Smackdown.

-Jamie Noble
Is he a goof? Yes. Does he do silly things? Yes. Is he an accomplished wrestler? 100% yes! That's why he belongs on ECW. He can have great matches, put good stars over, help bad stars look good, and at least have a purpose. I'd rather watch Jamie Noble wrestle well, than fail miserably every night.

I changed my mind in wanting to get outside talent to be on ECW since essentially, that was or is going to happen anyway. If you're wondering why the other seemingly perennial jobbers of each show haven't been considered for this is because a) they really don't have any standout qualities to be a big deal, even on ECW and b) they are better off serving their purposes on Raw and Smackdown, specifically, with what they do (sorry, but Santino doesn't really do anything for me anymore).

All that said, I think that ECW is in need of some talent. I figure that if you have talent lying around that you aren't using that can be used, then use them on a show that can use them. ECW can use some fresh rivalries, with stars that actually look or wrestle competently. So, fish for them. We know they aren't using them on Raw and Smackdown. So, use them on ECW.

Every day, a halfway decent wrestler gets neglected on WWE television. Every day, a wrestler is considered not good enough to be hired. But, as days go by, Raw is losing its quality in certain ways, and Smackdown isn't far behind. But, ECW is still doing its job right, creating new stars, making some decent moments in wrestling, and acting as the jumping point for new stars on the rise and continuing stars who need to be re-focused. There are a slew of stars that can take that focus and make waves with it. If ECW can give direction for stars who are going to start it out, as well as some direction to present stars that can use it, don't you think it's time they raid Raw or SmackDown for the stars that can use this opportunity? I'm sure it would be a little better than, say....watching paint dry. But, that's just my opinion. Let's hear some of yours!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Zack Ryder: Beating the odds, one "woo woo woo" at a time.

I'm not going to lie. I have always thought that Zack Ryder was a talented individual. I knew he was an accomplished wrestler. I just didn't put my faith in him with this new look of his. I mean, being the quintessential "Era guy" from the 80s, 90s, and even 2000s, sounds like a pretty lame idea. In fact, only the older fans would get it since most of the young fans never lived through it. It's the older fans who can't stand him because they have lived through those eras, they do know what he's doing, and they see how corny and one-dimensional the idea is. Yet, something strange has happened along the way. Somehow, someway, Zack Ryder has won the respect of some of these fans, if not most of them. Despite the annoying attitude, Ryder has shown the world that he is competent enough to be a top star, if not that, a star on the rise. And, I for one, like some others, am buying into it.

Ryder started his run on ECW stomping out jobbers, then getting some key victories against some stars like Yoshi Tatsu and Tommy Dreamer. Then, he found himself doing two things: warring with Shelton Benjamin and vying for Christian's ECW title. His feud with Benjamin involved them tagging up together with failed results, battling each other talent-wise with singing, and doing battle in the ring with Shelton remaining undefeated against him. However, that slowly became an afterthought when Ryder started challenging Christian. They traded barbs and quips, leading to a non-title main event with the two. Ryder proved he could hang with Christian as well as prove that he could be a #1 contender by winning a battle royal. So, he managed to fight Christian twice and lost, non-title and for the title. He was impressive and has turned heads, to say the least. I wouldn't be surprised if he becomes a star on another brand within a year from now....or at least something like that.

See, this is an example of when the WWE uses its new booking style and it actually helps them. This is one of a number of times where the WWE creates an idea so boisterous, so foolish, so nonsensical that, if put over enough times and if it is "over-the-top" enough, people may actually start to like it, or like to hate it. The Boogeyman was so ridiculous, that it was actually funny. Cryme Tyme is so stereotypically silly, that sometimes, it's actually entertaining. Zack Ryder falls into this category in this case. For those of us who get how goofy he is, we can look past his gimmick and see his ability for what it is. With his gimmick, it's actually a plus, as it brings character to him. So, he's completing the package that he actually is.

There is one problem with Zack Ryder. See, his character might have some flair to it, but it still doesn't have much dimension to it. Sure, the idea is there, but what else is there to the "woo woo woo"? Perhaps he needs more work on the mic skills? Perhaps a new set of moves are needed? Who knows? I just feel that if he were to leave and head to somewhere like Raw or Smackdown, he could get lost in the shuffle. I can see him teaming up with Dolph Ziggler and becoming a tag champ with him. The problem: both do lack dimension in their characters. However, they'd be uneven, in a sense. While Ziggler has more ability and less character, Ryder has more character and less ability. Then again, it's hard to say since Ryder hasn't had many matches with many people, as ECW is limiting with its talent. There isn't enough to go around.

Truth be told, Zack Ryder is proving his worth as an athlete, just as Dolph Ziggler is doing, or as the Miz has done, as Morrison has done, and many have while working their way up through the rigors of the WWE. Sure, his character is grating at times, but there is room for improvement. His ability speaks volumes as he is holding his own, but he has yet to be fully tested. The sky is still the limit for the wonder boy from eras past. If Ryder wants it, he has to work for it, reach for it, and then take it. All we can do is sit back and see if he's got the talent to have it. But if you asked him if he has it, you know what he'd say: You know it! Woo Woo Woo! (man that can get annoying........)