The general consensus of the Internet Wrestling Community is that ECW One Night Stand II was not as good as ECW One Night Stand from last year. However, there is little reason to compare the two on the subjective of “good versus bad from last year” because last year because the audience was under the impression that ECW One Night Stand was indeed a one night only and wouldn’t be back full time. This pay-per-view was not meant to be nostalgic, but to move ECW forward into a full-time status with storylines infused with the WWE Superstars.
The difference is the obvious WWE writing influence with Paul Heyman’s ECW ideas and original characters. WWE is not hiding the fact that ECW is a brand of the WWE and not direct competition. For instance, Jerry Lawler and Tazz lasting less than two minutes in an altercation than a actual wrestling match. Why not work a actual match? What the audience saw was sports entertainment, not a actual test of endurance, strength or ability. Both men can wrestle, I hope in the future the writers will decide that they should.
The use of Eugene randomly appearing in front of the ECW crowd to get caned by Sandman worked in terms of Sandman representing ‘everything that ECW stands for’ caning the WWE symbolism, much to the delight of the ECW audience, despite the lack of his original “Enter Sandman” theme music. That’s part of the Sandman Experience taken away, with nothing to chant/sing along to. If Sandman can get the music working independents, there’s no reason WWE shouldn’t pay the price to have it played regularly for Sandman. I would have written Eugene to have started off as his character in his promo and then in mid-sentence say, “….and that’s not me. I’m not Eugene, I’m not mentally challenged and I am not a joke. I am Nick Dinsmore and I’m here in ECW to be taken seriously.” The ECW audience could embrace a WWE guy rejecting their WWE character to really be “themselves” which is what ECW always stood for and embraced in their talent and in their audience. Sadly that scenario did not happen, and instead, Eugene was back on RAW, with Hacksaw Jim Duggan (another Eugene hero, WCW/WWF patriotic jobber to the stars), looking pretty pathetic, trapped in an boring angle with Umaga.
Kurt Angle has successfully made the crossover it seems as an ECW “superstar” in front of the ECW audience, but he did it facing Randy Orton. I’m anxious to see him wrestle talent he has not wrestled before, but that requires the ECW base to be open to new and fresh faces to enter the roster. Angle has not only the ability to prove that he is a team player and so well rounded to wrestle for all these rosters in his career, but to lead it to success. I hope in the future, if ECW becomes a proven-success for the WWE, that we will see RVD versus Kurt Angle for the WWE World Championship in an ECW ring. I’m eager to see Kurt Angle in his very-marketable yet mean looking ECW mouthpiece do a ECW promo on someone who could tell a compelling storyline with him and outside of the ring.
The Big Show was showcased with a new song, a new aggression in punking out ECW guys smaller than him (which is basically everybody). The tossing-release cobra clutch looks devastating and reckless coming from him. I’m eager to see what they do with the Big Show, what they will offer any different than how he’s been pushed over the years from WCW and the WWE. WWE hasn’t pushed strong enough that Big Show sold out, it’s just been accepted that he’s sold out.
The “flipping a pancake in mid air” as I call it finish with John Cena and Rob Van Dam is getting a mixed reaction in the Internet Wrestling Community, with the rotating, knocked out referees, the Edge as Helmet Bill Goldberg type interference and Paul Heyman making the count, giving Rob Van Dam his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The writing team was placed in the precarious position to not make John Cena look weak since he was going to be returning to RAW with or without the WWE Championship against RVD. The heat Cena received was off the charts and I can only imagine what it was like live for the audience in the building. The infamous ‘fans return your t-shirt’ moment was classic and that’s ECW rejecting WWE’s John Cena. However, though Cena handled his heel heat appropriately, WWE can’t take away the fact that he is completely limited in his move repertoire. Now, John Cena will be going back “into the fire” going on the first ECW TV show under the WWE payroll. Is it safe to assume that John Cena will be the top heel of ECW? Will fans pay money to boo John Cena, the opposite of the WWE belief that WWE fans pay to cheer John Cena in their hometown?
The Internet Wrestling Community will be constantly discussing the pros and cons of ECW and for plenty of opinions, check out our talented wrestling staff here at InsidePulse.com for in-depth converage.
There’s a lot to be done with the new WWE-ECW, with the WWE-based characters now in ECW colors and the storylines between “both brands,” while at the same time, needing to create storylines solely on ECW television to keep their audience each week. I’m willing to give it a chance, however, I want it to be a less-WWE influenced alternative for fans who miss “taking it to the Extreme” with their favorite mad scientist, Paul Heyman.
Always remember, for things to change, you have to make movement. Thanks for reading and for all the feedback, feel free to contact me anytime at Bam@insidepulse.com.