Monday, January 25, 2010

ECW Progress report: Endings and Beginnings

As a fan of nostalgia, I find it difficult to let things go. I loved the cartoons of my past, I adored the video games of my childhood, and I miss the feeling of actually having no responsibilities on a Saturday. However, all good things have to come to an end, and it's never until it's gone until you realize what you've lost. It's the memories that remain. With that said, I am not surprised with the latest moves the ECW brand has made to make things interesting. If anything, they are coercing me to accept the fact that times have truly changed. I have to come to terms with the fact that as one era ends, another begins.

Zack Ryder has made it a point to say that he's the new heart and soul of ECW, now that he has defeated Tommy Dreamer and sent him packing. As expected, he's been bragging up a storm about it, without fail or scruples. Someone should make it a point to silence him. Who is that someone? How about the person that has no choice but to step up and take Dreamer's role as the defender of ECW's honor? The one man who knows heroism like no other? I'm talking about the Hurricane (he could definitely use Bob Dylan's cool song, but this Hurricane isn't a boxer, but I digress). The Hurricane has made it a point to try and get at Zack Ryder every time Zack makes his claims. Now, since the Hurricane is not only good friends with Dreamer but also someone who has been around to know of Dreamer's career, it would behoove him to not step in and take a shot at Ryder. So far, the Hurricane hasn't been too successful as Ryder had beaten him in the ring and evaded his every attack. Still, persistence on both ends remains rather evident. I'll get into this in more detail next week, based on what I know, read, and care to ignore.

The next piece of info has to deal with Ezekiel Jackson becoming the new #1 Contender for the ECW title. In fact, it has less to do with that as it mostly deals with Christian being the longest-reigning ECW champion since the rebirth of ECW in 2006. It seems that no matter who they put in front of him, Christian is able to outsmart, outwit, and outwrestle his opponents, allowing him to regain or retain the ECW title. They've tried veterans as well as rookies, and Christian has dominated, regardless. Does Ezekiel chances fare better? Well, if Kozlov could lose to Christian, I'm But, anything is possible in the WWE so, who knows? I do. This is because the WWE is so redundant, so stagnant, and so unoriginal with their ideas as of late, that you'd swear you were watching a rerun of some bad wrestling show....or bad sitcom. You could also factor in the fact that Christian is one of ECW's best workers, so having him lose to anybody is defeating to his credibility. But, Christian's work rate has been well-documented. So, why is he king of a mountain like ECW? Ask Vince McMahon since he has a great idea as to why .

Upon seeing these two developments, I came to the stark and harsh revelation that what I feared would happen has finally happened. It is now official. The era of the original in this new ECW is over and the era of the new blood has finally taken shape and is officially a reality. From 2006 to early January 2010, ECW had a hint of the original to it with whomever was involved and whatever has went down. Now, it has been purged from the very letters that made it what it was. It seems former ECW brand member Elijah Burke prophesied the truth about a new age coming. He was just wrong about he being the one to usher it in. Turns out it's Zack Ryder who's the one to bring it forth. Just like Burke, it's through words that they make this claim. However, it is through subsequent actions from these two that the truth has come to light. This is a new beginning for ECW. Gone are the memories of the original in the ECW arena. Gone are the days of the hardcore revolution. Gone are the leaders of the new dawn in professional wrestling through violence, innovation, and toughness. Now, we say hello to a new age. Just like the old school, new stars are put forth, but not to innovate, but lamentably regurgitate what is being seen Mondays and Fridays. Sure, there's more action per se, but it's to serve one purpose: to create new stars for the other shows, not to change the way we look at wrestling. To be honest, there is still a level of interest to be had in this version of ECW, but, it's starting to fade out with all the extra nonsense we are familiar with when we turn to USA on Monday or MyNetwork TV on Friday. There's no room for true innovation, just room for complete regurgitation.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope that somehow ECW can be more than just a filler show, echoing the sentiments of the WWE. Maybe there is still hope, but after Dreamer's departure, and the aforementioned facts and happenings of recent times, I'm doubtful. Can ECW truly be the place to find true innovation as it once was before? Can it rebuild my interest in mainstream wrestling once again? There's only two options they can take: shut down or find an answer. The answer, in my view, is a star that can make the show whole and viewable in a different light. A star that brings back a style reminiscent to that of technical wrestlers of old. The star in question, is Bryan Danielson. He can be the superstar to improve on the way business is done. He can be the beacon of hope when all is lost. Then again, there might not be an ECW to save when he debuts as the lingering possibility of ECW's demise still hangs in the balance. One way or another, the era of the original that started in 2006 is over, and I have to come to terms with that. That doesn't mean I have to like it. But, that doesn't mean that ECW can be all bad, right? Well, let's see. Santino Marella was just hosting the Abraham Washington Show in his place, doing Ivan Drago impressions to insult Vladimir Kozlov as a stab at the Conan O'Brien/NBC/Jay Leno situation. Yea....where's that remote?

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