Sunday, December 27, 2009

ECW predictions for 2010

It's time once again to gaze into the crystal ball and see what the future holds for ECW in the year 2010. It's quite funny that as I tried this last year, most of what I said came true. Is the WWE listening to me, copying me, or is it just that predictable? Whatever the case may be, it's time to tell you what I think is going to happen to ECW in 2010. So you know, these predictions are based on what is happening on-screen, backstage, and what would make logical sense based on the information we know from both or separately. Confused yet? I hope not. If you think about it, it would make sense. So anyway, here we go:

Abraham Washington and Tony Atlas
-They will continue to hold their hackneyed show, in a failing attempt to garter ratings, until they start inviting more prominent stars to the show, like D-X, Cena, and Batista. Once they expose the show for how bad it is, the show will most likely get canceled, coercing Washington to change his approach on the ECW brand. His next move? Something political, as he becomes a ridiculous version of Barack Obama with Tony Atlas as his "vice president", as he makes his play to become...the ECW general manager.

Byron Saxton and Josh Matthews
-The ECW announce team will continue to burn our ears off with their terrible excuse for commentary. When Matt Striker returns, Byron will become ECW's newest backstage interviewer. This might or might not lead Byron to become the new official announcer of Superstars with the WWE's newest hire or hires for their announce crew.

Caylen Croft and Trent Barretta
-These two will continue their winning ways against jobbers until they encounter a tag team combination that will give them more trouble then they need (most likely involving Goldust, the Hurricane, Yoshi Tatsu, and/or Shelton Benjamin). Once this happens, Croft and Barretta will find their way to the Unified Tag Titles and challenge for them, only to lose. But, this won't come without a relocation onto another brand. My prediction: they will call Smackdown their new home when they challenge for the titles

-Christian will lose the ECW title before, during, or after the ECW Homecoming event where a bunch of ECW stars will take part in a challenge to get a shot at the ECW title. Christian's loss of the ECW title will have something to do with the possible destruction of ECW. If the title leaves Christian, it might very well go to a former ECW member and they will attempt to unify that title with another brand's title. Either way, expect Christian to be doing battle for ECW's honor in a last ditch effort to ferret the brand some respect. He won't be alone in this battle, though.

Ezekiel Jackson
-Jackson, with William Regal's tutelage, will make a play for the ECW title, in which he might very well win it. However, it looks more as if he will not. Once this is the case, his teaming with Regal will end brutally, with Jackson on the receiving end on a beatdown by Regal and his new Ruthless Roundtable that will involve wrestlers directly from the U.K. After which, Jackson might either end up working with Abraham Washington, or continuing his war with Regal

-The golden one won't be doing anything big for the next year. I can only see him getting embroiled in feuds where he will be making new stars out of the heels he's facing. But, don't be surprised if he plays a major role in ECW, pertaining to its demise...

Gregory Helms/The Hurricane
-After stifling Paul Burchill's chances to make his way back to ECW, Helms will make a new arch-nemesis in the form of Vance Archer who won't care if Helms is or isn't the Hurricane. He'll be pretty sure as to who is who, and still brutalize whomever he sees. Helms will find solace in the form of Vladimir Kozlov as Kozlov will take on Archer, allowing the Hurricane to focus on more important things.

Rosa Mendes and Zack Ryder
-This power couple will prove to be problematic for Tommy Dreamer as the war between Yonkers and Long Island will continue with Ryder embarrassing Dreamer almost every step of the way. This will coerce Dreamer to bring his "ace" out of his sleeve in the form of Beulah McGuillicuty as a battle between the old and new school continues. Despite the result, Ryder and Mendes will find themselves warring with another new couple on the horizon. Whom, you ask? Well, let's just say that Eve Torres will be showing us more of her skills in the ring, while the "Masterpecs" dance in all jolliness.

Shelton Benjamin
-Shelton will make his play for the ECW title, just like Ezekiel Jackson, but will most likely secure it. Come to think of it, Jackson and Benjamin might find common enemies in Regal and his new allies. As for how long Benjamin has the belt, well, that's not very clear. However, it is seeming more likely that if another brand does end up with the ECW title, it will be after someone beats Benjamin. This will put Benjamin on the front lines fighting for ECW.

-She will have her job in question, to the point of where she will end up losing it. She will be challenged by Abraham Washington and William Regal within ECW, and outside of ECW by Vickie Guerrero. She will make a play at being the only female capable of running a brand, sending wrestlers like the Hart Dynasty, Dolph Ziggler, Mike Knox, C.M. Punk, and Luke Gallows to cause unrest for the ECW brand. This will most likely cost ECW its title, and Tiffany will lose her job. Will she reclaim it? Most likely not. I can see her becoming another standard diva, as she will be seen as someone who isn't capable of being in charge of a show.

Tommy Dreamer
-It's been made known that Dreamer will be leaving the WWE. Having known this, I can predict that ECW will most likely leave along with him as he is the only thing connected to ECW's past. That said, Dreamer will be taking part in a slew of random battles hoping not to die as hard as John McClaine. These battles will include Zack Ryder, Christian, William Regal, and...Bryan Danielson? Expect Dreamer to be there making his last stand with and for ECW

Tyler Reks
-He will re-establish himself as a heel, showing his jealousy toward stars that are furthering themselves. One such star is Yoshi Tatsu. As he will continue to take shots at Yoshi for his inability to speak English, Yoshi will have some help from someone who does understand Japanese, and that someone will be the bane of Tyler's existence. Who do I mean? Well, let's just say that this guy has had his experiences with a "Tyler" or two. After this, Tyler might not last long enough to see his career succeed. Can you say, Ricky Ortiz, because I can see "future endeavors".

Vance Archer
-Archer will continue his path of destruction, involving the Hurricane. Upon doing intense damage, he'll come face to face with the Moscow Mauler, Vladimir Kozlov in a brutal battle that will see only the strongest survive. Will this be the last time they do battle? Doubtful. The ECW title might be involved with their battles as one of them might be holding it.

Vladimir Kozlov
-See Vance Archer. After Archer, the ECW title might very well be in his future. Otherwise, both Kozlov and Regal will cross paths again and a few times more before Archer. Don't be surprised if Jackson is involved as well...on Kozlov's side.

William Regal
-I've mentioned him a few times, so here's Regal's story: a new round table will be formed of Regal and his fellow countrymen. These stars will include the M.I.A. D.J. Gabriel, Wade Barrett (a.k.a. Stu Sanders), Paul Burchill and Katie Lea. Now, you're wondering how this is going to happen with the final two names. Well, Regal will hold a prominent place of power in ECW that will see those two re-hired and supporting him. Also, Regal will find a way to get the title from Christian. Once he fails to keep it for himself, he will put ECW in a compromising spot, coercing its slow downfall

Yoshi Tatsu
-Yoshi will continue his rise to power, and like his international counterpart, Kofi Kingston, he will make a big splash on ECW, which may involve Bryan Danielson. Once they establish their foothold as a competent tag team, Danielson will make his play at being the savior of ECW by assisting in the battle for ECW's honor, while Yoshi will do more interpromotional work. This type of work will land him a cushy spot on Raw, allowing Yoshi a spot on Monday nights to form a new rivalry...with the Miz

and now the finale:

-the ECW brand will meet its untimely demise in one of or a combination of 3 things:
1) the ECW title will end up in the hands of another brand
2) Tiffany will lose her power as ECW G.M.
3) a battle will take place between ECW stars and stars of another brand or brands, where ECW will lose

Regardless, the ECW brand will have one last hurrah at survival before it ultimately becomes a new entity. An entity in which the new stars and rookies reign supreme. This entity will be showcasing Bryan Danielson as its premiere star, most likely, along with a slew of the remaining stars that aren't quite ready for the other brands yet. As for those that remain, they will either stay, or be disseminated between Raw and Smackdown, either losing their jobs later, or surviving.

Those are my predictions for 2010. Now, they're just predictions, so don't get all uptight about it. Just comment away.

Have a happy new year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

ECW 2009 Christmas wish list

Yes, folks, I know it's late, but bear with me. I was wrapped up in work, school, present shopping, and whatnot, and virtually forgot about all my faithful readers. Well, you're lucky I have a lot less time on my hands...again, and I have a good memory otherwise, I would have to have made two posts on one day. I wasn't looking forward to it, thank you. So, here's the post of the week that you were waiting for.

So, anyway, here's the premise: I celebrate Christmas (not to insult any other non-celebraters), and as a form of analysis, I act as the general manager of ECW and make a slew of wishes to Santa to see if he listens. So, here's me doing my best Tiffany impression asking Santa for gifts for Christmas. The catch: it's all ECW-brand related, so, no material stuff. That said, here's my wish list:

-the cancellation of the Abraham Washington show: this show doesn't help in any way to get any ECW stars over...anymore. I used to think that Abraham had some quality, but now, it's no longer the case. I can't take Tony Atlas' laughter, the horrible jokes, the lack of topical humor, and the incessant need to take non-ECW stars and place them on this show as filler. Cut if!

-a better ECW announce team: ever since the departure of Matt Striker to SD! to cover for Jim Ross and the debacle of the Mike Adamle experiment, the ECW announce team has been atrocious. This is what happens when you deal with an organization that feels it's better to make changes due to spite instead of due to quality. Why has commentary taken such a terrible hit in 2009 across the wrestling world?

-more competent tag teams on ECW: Trent Barretta and Caylen Croft are a start, but clearly not strong enough to topple a tag team like DX or Big Show. No, neither were Vladimir Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson...despite the pending break-up. If you're going to taut a tag division or something like it across the brands, at least make it believable. Then again, this might counteract my next wish:

-No D-X of any kind on ECW: please grant this one. They put themselves over. They don't put over young talent. They aren't funny. Their merchandise is terrible. And now, they have Hornswoggle, the human logic killer as their friend? To quote Owen Hart: Enough is enough and it's time for a change.

-Christian, ECW champion, on a DIFFERENT BRAND: Yes, it's nice to see Christian as a champion, but, really, he can do much better than this. He has charisma, talent, and he has appeal, even years after his first departure. Give him to Smackdown. Give him to Raw. Most importantly, give him a competent push. ECW can do well without him.

-Shelton Benjamin, in Christian's current spot: Has the boat really sailed on Shelton? Not entirely. If you're going to put a star as an ECW champion, make the Shelton fans happy and just hook him up already. He's got the talent to have great matches. Haven't you seen the ladder match with him Christian? He's making it.

-No more fluff: I'm seeing way too much nonsense on ECW. Too much clips, foolishness, goofiness, and whatever has been making ECW look and feel like the failure of that which is RAW. Let's keep it nice and plentiful with the wrestling, folks.

-William Regal, in Christian's current spot: refer to Shelton Benjamin, sans the ladder match reference

-a new GM: sorry, I find it hard to take Tiffany seriously if she's been showcased as a rather robotic diva who looks good, and at times is showcased as a piece of eye candy on Here's a hint: if you aren't going to make Regal a champ, make him a G.M...again.

-Better pushes for certain new stars: it seems they've pulled the plug on Yoshi Tatsu, Zack Ryder, Tyler Reks, and soon enough, Vance Archer. I don't know about you, but if you're going to make new stars, how about some consistency? This wasn't a problem with C.M. Punk, and if it was, it came after Heyman left. I don't know. I guess more talent would be needed and better storylines, too, instead of copying popular movies for their ideas.

-Another hour and/or a secondary title: ECW needs depth. If it makes any sense to make changes due to ratings, then get rid of Superstars and give the second hour to ECW. If it means scripting ECW twice a week on two different shows, then move it to Thursday and have it compete with TNA, like it's expected to.

And my final wish

Either a complete overhaul to the original days or a complete cancellation of ECW:

There's only two ways about this, here. If this new way isn't working ratings-wise, take a page from Heyman's book and go that route or get rid of the show as planned, rumored, and expected by next year. If it isn't working anymore, it's time to pull the plug. Don't worry about finding a place for stars you want to use. Eventually, they'll end up replacing stars on other brands anyway. As for stars on the rise, well, you haven't used Bryan Danielson yet, so why expect him?

That's my Christmas list, abridged albeit, but it's what I want. Comment away, if you can pry yourselves away from your presents.

That said, have a happy holiday season.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Breaking news; The American Dragon, Bryan Danielson, descends on ECW?

Don't you just love rumors? It's always something to think about and follow, you know? It's always fun to follow the buzz behind it. The reactions from people are interesting. I think my favorite part of rumors are the level of truth to them, usually because it happens to be right. So, where does this place our main idea and thesis for this week? Well, I only hypothesized that Bryan Danielson could severely help out ECW if he was drafted there. Now, it's turning out to be the truth. It's been confirmed that Danielson may very well debut on ECW, and with the WWE's way of operation, I can see that being 90% true. What's my take on all this? I'm glad you wondered.

Bryan Danielson's addition to the ECW brand is perfect for his career to blossom and bloom, to be honest. He won't be overshadowed by the likes of Cena, HHH, Batista, the Undertaker, HBK, or even Orton while on ECW. He also gets a place to showcase his talents without hindrance. Yes, I made this point a few times before, if not once. So, it's old news. Now, it might very well be official.

To continue with old news, Danielson's time on ECW can prevent him from getting any exposure since no one really watches the brand. Also, it might typecast him to being a C-grade level wrestler since he is on that type of brand. It could be exactly what some of the WWE pundits who detest people like Danielson and other castaways from wrestling organizations that are competing with the WWE are looking for. Why not stifle the "best in the world" by placing him on the worst brand in the world? Well, technically, it's the worst due to ratings, but if you want to say Monday Night Raw is the worst, you have a good point.

One key element I'm not bringing up here, interestingly, is the longevity of the ECW brand, on the whole. So far, it's week two in the countdown to the imminent departure of ECW, seemingly. If ECW does get repackaged, where does this leave Danielson? Quite honestly, I think it puts him in position to be the top star of this new brand or show. Yes, Christian and William Regal are great hands and workers. However, if you throw Danielson in the mix, you have three great workers with great charisma that can make new stars as well as have great matches with each other. They can be your main focus group for main events. Also, Danielson can draw out the best in any wrestler, no questions asked. If ECW re-brands, then Danielson has to be the main star.

Ok, so, technically, I can't really add to this since I've added more to this already with my pros and cons blog. Basically, Bryan Danielson will most likely be one of the main focal points of this show, if not for his skill, but for his connection with HBK. His involvement on ECW might very well help ECW in the quality department, as more people will most likely watch now. However, the general possibilities are endless. Only thing that can be done is to let the "Dragon" descend onto ECW and see where it goes.

[UPDATE] Want to know if Danielson can survive in the WWE? Well at the TLC PPV, Sheamus became the WWE champion beating John Cena, while Drew Mcintyre became the IC champion after defeating John Morrison. They are two stars highly regarded by HHH, HBK, and now, Vince McMahon. Also, they are new stars ready to start a tidal wave of new talent crowding up the main event to mid-card scene. If this is any indication of things to come, I expect Bryan Danielson to have gold within the first 3 to 6 months on television. The difference: he could probably outwrestle both Sheamus and Drew, and it wouldn't be a bad thing, either.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Hurricane/Burchill conflict: endings and beginnings

*Editor's note: I'm well aware of the possibility of ECW being re-branded and disappearing for good. That said, I will honor my vow to end my ECW analysis blog. So, the countdown is on. I will, however, continue to blog as if ECW will still exist until said expiration date is given. So, enjoy to the fullest. If I have to, and if there's a lot of demand for such, I will immortalize these blogs elsewhere for your reading and viewing pleasure. That said, enjoy the ride while it lasts.*

Once upon a time, a wrestler named Paul Burchill was drafted to the ECW brand with this sister, Katie Lea. His plan was to make a new name for himself and be the brute of a Brit that he has always been. He wasn't very successful at that, as he started losing more matches than he won. At the same time, another wrestler was struggling like Burchill, but not to win matches. He struggled to make due on ECW while he could not wrestle due to injuries, ring rust, and a lack of confidence in his health from his superiors. It was Gregory Helms, and his only solace was to be a broadcast journalist, interviewing people backstage. One day, while interviewing Mark Henry, someone was in peril backstage. All of a sudden, Helms disappeared. Then, a mysterious yet familiar figure saved this person. It was a masked man wearing green and black, with dark ominous hair. Then, as this figure disappeared, Helms returned to interview Henry. Who was this masked man? It was the Hurricane and he was slowly making his return to wrestling. As his heroic exploits were making waves, Burchill couldn't help but notice along with others. However, it was Burchill who jealously demanded Helms admit that it was he who was the Hurricane. Burchill didn't like the fact that everyone was falling for this obvious ruse and wanted Helms to admit that he was insulting the people's intelligence. Burchill even threatened Helms with physical force, until finally, the Hurricane confronted Burchill, and the war ensued.

What followed were a string of matches between Helms and Burchill, along with various skirmishes between the two with the Hurricane winning more battles against Burchill. Discontent with the situation he was in, Burchill challenged the Hurricane to a "Mask vs. Career" match where if the Hurricane lost, he'd remove his mask and reveal his identity, but if Burchill lost, he and his sister would leave ECW forever. Burchill lost the match and his place on ECW. Now, the move was made for one, if not various reasons. First off, the WWE liked Helms as a wrestler, but knew he wouldn't survive on any other show besides ECW. So, the decision was made and given that he wouldn't go anywhere. As for Burchill, the early decision was to move he and his sister back to Raw. As for the reason, well, I can only assume that it was to get Katie in the mix for the Divas title. However, that idea was nixed, and now we see Burchill and Lea begging for their jobs on ECW, while elsewhere, a masked individual is attacking the Hurricane. His mask is reminiscent to that of The Scarecrow on Batman Begins and his frame looks rather hulking as if it were....wait for it....Burchill under the mask. Yes, we're taking that road, folks. Paul Burchill is now attacking the Hurricane while under a mask, as a masked super-villain. And that, in a nutshell, is the Paul Burchill/Hurricane conflict with the fallout as mentioned weeks ago by yours truly. The end.

What? I'm supposed to analyze this? Great. I couldn't just go out like the Game Overthinker and just walk away with a short day. Ok. So I really have to analyze this? You know what? I'm not going to. I'm just going to leave it as is. That's all. See you next week.

Still here? Looks like you are. Ok, here's my take on this situation. How many times are they going to repackage, shift around, mess with, abuse, and downright screw with Paul Burchill's career? I mean, come on already. He started out as a British brute teamed with Regal as a mentor, and was looking to do some damage. Then, just like that, he's got the plug pulled on him. The next time he shows up, he is dressed like a pirate, pushing the fact that his great ancestors were pirates. This was his own doing, mind you. He was so adamant in making something of his career that he came up with this idea about him portraying a pirate. He was also cashing in on the fame and success of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise. Heck, he made William Regal dress up like a woman while with him. Then, around the time that he got a real female valet (Shelly Martinez, if you recall, who became Ariel to Kevin Thorn), the WWE pulled the plug on this idea only because the always innovative Vince McMahon didn't get the pirate idea because he never saw or even heard about the "Pirates" franchise. This is the same Vince McMahon who thinks it's relevant to have Verne Troyer host Raw and make a bunch of Austin Powers jokes, which are, to date, 10 years out of reference. Meanwhile, the "Pirates" stuff was still fresh and actually current. So, Burchill gets written off of television selling an injury by Mark Henry, and is back to square one. He disappears from the WWE for months on end to return to this current gimmick only to receive more static from the WWE. Initially, this gimmick was to have an incest-based relationship between Paul and Katie, but the WWE put the kibosh on it as soon as it started. This was because the WWE decided to become more kid-friendly at that exact time. So, Burchill was curtailed, and sadly, lost more matches because of it. Now, he's doing the same thing he was doing when he was curtailed, only now, after losing this war with the Hurricane, he's now donning a mask. Sadly, the WWE commentators took it upon themselves to make a bunch of references to "The Dark Knight" and "Batman Begins", while doing it. Ok, so now, it's good to make a bunch of references to movies, since we have a major blockbuster like Batman on our hands, but if it's Pirates of the Caribbean, it doesn't work? I get this sinking feeling that it's Triple H in Vince's ear, making mention to the movies that are worth joking about. It's gotta be fart jokes, midget jokes, toilet humor, and lots of testosterone-driven action, not silly, frilly pirates or something. What's even worse is that Burchill has probably gone through 5 or so different finishers which have all failed to catch on. Traversing through gimmicks can do that to someone.

Why am I neglecting the Hurricane? What should I say about him? He won, remember? He's going to keep his spot. Now, he's the barometer for Burchill's career as they are involved in this pseudo-comic war that the knucklehead hacks of the creative team could come up with. All we know about the Hurricane is that he's about a few losses away from becoming virtually irrelevant as Tommy Dreamer. Sadly, he and Burchill are in this mess together. But, I guess the real reason I'm neglecting the Hurricane is because he was a success, more than Burchill has been. You'd be remiss to neglect the titles he's won, owned, and defended. Burchill, on the other hand, hasn't had that success.

Hold on a minute! I'm getting an interesting piece of news. It turns out that fellow British ECW star, D.J. Gabriel, is now working a mask gimmick in FCW as a way to retool his failing career in the WWE. Perhaps, maybe, it would be wise to team Gabriel and Burchill together as some sort of masked super-villain team? Both are British, both have to hide their faces behind masks to hide their ECW shame, and both are suffering from being re-tooled for their own good, one more so than the other. It works if you think about it. But, thinking and the WWE don't really go hand in hand.

What is it going to take for the WWE to finally get behind Paul Burchill? If it's nothing, then fire the guy, stop squandering his talents, and be done with it. Otherwise, just commit to something and make it work. He's a great wrestler and a fine hand in the ring. If he doesn't seem as such anymore, it's due to all that time off he's been getting for, well, not wrestling. Make the move already! Give him something to work with. So far, he has something to work with, but how long will it last? It's through the whims of a creative madman in Vince that keeps Burchill from ascending up the ladder, let alone existing in good favor in the WWE. He's like a weekend hobby that a person never gets around to, but always promises to. In my case, he's my guitar, which hasn't been touched in months, despite my incessant need to learn.

Poor Paul Burchill, what are you going to do? You lost on ECW, now your career is through. You're wearing a mask to fight your way on t.v., because the writers don't have a clue. Now, it's only a matter of time before they make you the next "Who?" (Jim Neidhart's masked gimmick that was a failure from the start). So, there's the fallout of the war between Burchill and the Hurricane. It's not even over yet. It's still going. It's now entered the "ran out of ideas, so let's steal from pop culture" phase. This usually has pretty bad results, so time will tell where this goes. In my opinion, it will go down the toilet, like the rest of Burchill's gimmicks. But, hey, it's not like he doesn't have a job, right? Getting paid to not know your future is still getting paid, when you think about it. And if they can pay a slew of wrestlers in the WWE without having creative direction for them, there shouldn't be anything wrong with this. Well, there is one thing. See, you have two solid hands at wrestling stuck working an angle that not even the most jaded of young fans will hope to get, let alone care about. Instead of putting them in better position to move their careers, they are placed in a position to fail or be forgotten. Trust me when I say this: when you are on this version of ECW, you will be forgotten. If I'm wrong, explain why ECW was missing from close to three straight PPVs.