Before I get the column underway in earnest, I would just like to say that my thoughts go out to the family of John Tenta. He was one of the best super heavyweights to enter the squared circle, and had a good attitude about his legacy in the business which you can tell from his involvement with the Wrestlecrap books and websites. I’ll be eating a quakeburger tonight in his honor.
To the matter at hand. ECW vs. WWE is hours away as a write this and the second iteration of One Night Stand comes to us this Sunday. ECW’s full resurrection is right around the corner, and it will no doubt have an effect on Independent wrestling as we know it. Some indy companies, those that booked ECW alums on a regular basis like UXW, PWU and others, will be hit the hardest immediately. My concern though is not with those companies, though I hope they do succeed my concern for this column is my favorite Indy company Ring of Honor.
The big question is, “Will ECW ruin the Independent scene?”
My answer is no, it will not. The original incarnation of ECW is what spawned the current indy scene with groups like CZW, RoH, and others trying to pick up the mantle of the alternative to mainstream wrestling. The New ECW will have a focus on technical wrestling, moreso than the original, citing Kurt Angle’s jump as the major sign of that. The rumors that CM Punk will play a major role also lend credence to the rumors that the New ECW will be more technical base. Hmmmmm, now what wrestling company focuses on technical wrestling??? None that I can think o…. Oh wait…there is one that comes to mind.
Could the New ECW be trying to cut RoH’s legs out from under them while they seemed poised to take the next step forward in notoriety, noticeability and popularity? Many top wrestling journalists are already raving about the “Milestone Series” as some of the best series of consecutive wrestling shows by any company in a long time. Having attended most of the east coast shows during that period, I have to agree. My answer to this is once again no.
ECW’s focus on technical wrestling will not raid the indies for top technical wrestlers. WWE has plenty already in their arsenal, it is just the current WWE product is more character/storyline driven and the wrestling is an afterthought despite classics like Benoit/Finlay among other recent technical bouts. If WWE wants to they can put on some of the best matches anywhere in the world. Ring of Honor is pretty much safe. Samoa Joe is locked in to TNA, American Dragon is still viewed as “too vanilla” by many higher ups despite lots of evidence to the contrary. Other than that Colt Cabana, Nigel McGuinness and Homicide seem to be the other RoH wrestlers that could possibly go ECW that are not tied down with contracts anywhere. RoH could absorb the losses. The writing is on the wall for Colt to make the jump to the big time. Nigel has been touring Japan more than competing in RoH recently and RoH has been doing fine without him. Homicide is currently involved in an intriguing storyline about where his allegiances lie. Homicide has been becoming increasingly upset with his treatment in RoH. This could either be the beginning of the end of Homicide’s amazing four year run in RoH. Either way RoH seems to be planning for life after Homicide.
Ring of Honor could lose these three or other stars, but it is making plans for the future. Davey Richards recently made a very successful debut, Adam Pearce and BJ Whitmer seem to be the heirs apparent to the top of the card. The CZW angle will bring new stars like Chris Hero into the fold full time after the storyline runs its course. Ring of Honor will be fine.
Wrestling is a regenerative industry. Companies come and companies go. Wrestlers succeed and wrestlers fail. The New ECW will not kill the independent scene. Independent wrestling will always be there.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns you can e-mail me at email@example.com
I’ll see you next time.
PS – Is there a chance John Cena will get cheered at One Night Stand only because WWE wants him to get booed? Could the smart mark fans at the Hammerstein screw Vince’s plans? If I’m wrong I look like an idiot. If I’m right, I am the smartest man alive.