Monday, January 18, 2010

ECW Homecoming: why a good idea can be a waste of time

If you don't know by now, the newest ECW #1 contender is Ezekiel Jackson after winning the ECW Homecoming battle royal. Yes, that same Ezekiel Jackson that just received a crash course in character development after languishing as Brian Kendrick's bodyguard saying nothing, doing nothing, and meaning nothing. All of a sudden, he's a contender for a title after...well, being a bodyguard for William Regal. Is this a slam against Jackson? No. Is this a slam against his ability? No. It's a slam against the people in charge of creative development and writing. Is it too much to ask for a little attention to detail for ECW? Yea, you don't care, but some of us actually do. That said, I'm going to point out why I didn't bother to watch this, and why I think this idea didn't come off too well. Well, other reasons than just the fact that, this shouldn't be ECW (by the way, Tommy Dreamer was at an indy wrestling show this past weekend. Look into EVOLVE WRESTLING. Might do you some good)

Ok, problem number one lies with specific details. The first thing that was mentioned when it came to this idea, was that ECW's esteemed G.M., Tiffany, mentioned that former ECW stars would be invited back for a competition to see who would qualify for a battle royal to get contendership for the ECW title. You're having matches to qualify for a battle royal to become a contender for the title? Convolution aside, here's the problem: as soon as this was mentioned, we see two current stars fighting for contention, in Ezekiel Jackson and Vladimir Kozlov. Ok, now you're not being clear about your stipulations. If it's for ECW stars making a homecoming, then maybe it should just be those stars making a homecoming. If you wanted all ECW stars, past and present, you should have just said that. Instead, the writers decided to be vague with the delivery, hoping people wouldn't care about the stipulations since they already don't care about the brand. Ironically enough, this didn't garner new ratings and no, nobody cared. However, since the title match will be on a pay-per-view event (Royal Rumble 2010, to be honest), don't you think you should put some effort into creating a good back-story so people won't be confused as to why this match is happening? Consistency is key when it comes to stories and plans, folks. This is why TNA isn't treated very fairly. Well, that, and for the dumb ideas they put forth.

Another point to consider is the very fact that in order to decide a new #1 contender, the WWE had to use stars from other brands to fill in the gaps. Way to make the ECW brand look weak, guys. The very idea of a "homecoming" shows that you don't have the talent to come up with wrestlers on the very show you have that are up to snuff for the challenge. In fact, they did have challengers. The problem is, they all challenged for the title and lost, except the Hurricane and Vance Archer. How are they doing? Well, Archer already lost his first match, and Hurricane is fighting for the honor of ECW, and looking pathetic doing so. Why? Is it because the WWE has no other main face to job out in ECW with Tommy Dreamer gone? Maybe it's because he's friends with Jeff Hardy, who quit the WWE while maintaining all types of stardom, got convicted for drug smuggling and dealing, and is now on TNA for a short amount of time? Who knows? So, any and all future challengers were burnt out before they even got started. Some drawn out feuds would be helpful, right? No, that's too much work. Let's just give everyone a title shot or two, have them lose, and not bother trying to build some good angles and feuds. Oh, and while we're at it, let's call upon stars that aren't going anywhere but could be going somewhere from other shows to help us with our contender problems. In the end, we get Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne and C.M. Punk wrestling for a title they don't need or could have used on their first run in ECW when they could have been wrestling on their respective brands, making strides to be important again. And, when looking at this, it can be easy to say that, sadly, this devalues them as much because it takes away from their time on their own shows.

My final point lies with the general concept and what it lacks. If this is an ECW homecoming for wrestlers to battle for a shot at the belt, wouldn't it be more fitting to say, involve the stars from the past? As a fan of what ECW stands for, I know I would. Yes, this might be my weakest point, but let me tell you: people still long for the original ECW and some of its stars. Specifically, they long for one man who would have made this homecoming awesome: Rob Van Dam. If you hear something like a homecoming for wrestling, specifically for ECW, then you would hope that some stars from the past would show up. If there was anyone most competent to handle this current ECW roster, it would be him. He has the charisma, the talent, and the credentials to back it up. But, we all know that this is virtually impossible due to many, many factors, including Vince's need to control the ECW product, Paul Heyman's release, RVD's lack of interest in wrestling full-time, etc. Now, some would say that asking for old stars to return would also be counteractive to the youth movement in ECW. The thing is, you can't play up a homecoming angle of sorts with an entity like ECW and not include all aspects of its past. You just finished getting rid of Tommy Dreamer, a card-carrying old school ECW member. Now, you want to talk about a homecoming? Let's not forget the fact that great strides were made to make people forget that these guys were on the ECW brand. Come on.

Yea, this might not be my best analysis, as it seems I'm slowly signing off on ECW, but I'll try to be much more analytical about ECW. However, it's hard when those involved don't have the foresight to make the show watchable. It's also hard when you have the spoilers in your face already. All I'm saying is the thought of an ECW homecoming could have been done much better. You don't have to throw random ideas on the screen and see what happens. Some planning helps. Also, foresight and preparation are good. I'm not asking for Shakespeare, just some planning. Then again, it is asking much. Why should I care about a writing team that doesn't care about a brand that's not worth caring about? Where's that plug to ECW? Why hasn't anyone pulled it yet? Oh, that's right. It's still precious enough to merit some sort of homecoming....for stars and people other than those connected with ECW. That makes sense.

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