The Morning After (ECW News and Views) – 7/19/06

Morning everyone… MORNING AFTER! Greetings all, I’m Tom Pandich, your king of knee jerk reactions and misinformed wrestling commentary. Big show (HAH) this week as the Undertaker invades ECW. Regardless, let’s look at e-mail first and then you can read me tossing yet another e-mail session.

Greg S starts things off saying: I agree one hundred percent with what you said.

I wish Heyman would have come out in the suit, like he did, but talk about he wants to “clean up” ECW’s image (as you’ve said earlier). That would immediately get him some heat as a sell-out, especially if he dropped some USA network names.

So he suspends RVD for getting busted for pot. And that explains how he “worked” the Big Show match. If he’d have said, “I had to get the belt off RVD” that would have rocked.

Screw it, ya know. It’s not like everyone doesn’t know why RVD is really suspended….

Anyway, good columns.

This was really the majority of e-mail this week, and the opinions weren’t all anti-Heyman. Eric S really dug his new gimmick, and the way he’s playing it off. I’ve never really cared for any pseudo-religious gimmicks. They always end up offending someone (see the crucifixion of the Sandman, Vince McMahon vs God, etc) or end up being absolutely retarded (Deacon D-Von). If anyone can work the gimmick over, it’ll be Paul. Still, a RTC/the Network type gimmick would have been a much more natural progression of Paul’s character then “Paulie Knows Best”.

Next up, Jonathan R writes about something I can rebuke:

OK, is everyone high in regards to TNA and WWE’s tag divisions? I swear, people are so blinded by the fact that tag teams get actual feuds on TNA (which WWE is getting better at by featuring Hooliganz, Pittbulls, Highlanders, and Spirit Squad on a weekly basis) that they don’t realize that WWE outnumbers them in tag teams nearly 2:1. Let’s break it down. (NOTE: These are teams that REGULARALY tag, so teams like Finlay/Regal and Nash/Shelley don’t count. Also, this is only for teams that have actively competed together, so Shelley/Divine don’t count since they haven’t competed together yet.)

WWE: Spirit Squad (that’s 10 right there given the different combinations), Hooliganz, Highlanders, Pittbulls, Gymini, Scotty And Funaki (have been teaming together for like a year now), Mexicools (even though they’re feuding right now, they still come out to the same entrance music with graphic saying “Mexicools”), Striker And Conway (several weeks of teaming make them a regular team now), Odd Squad (Snitsky/Eugene/formerly Golddust trio tag regularly on Heat), Cade And Murdoch, Val And Vis (although this may change soon), FBI, Roadkill And Doring, Bashams
Total (not including multiple Spirit Squad combinations): 14

TNA: AJ And Daniels, America’s Most Wanted, Team Canada (same situation as Spirit Squad), James Gang, Team 3-D, Naturals, Diamonds In The Rough, LAX
Total (not including multiple Team Canada combinations): 8

So, who’s got more teams now? And don’t even try to cop out with “but they have three brands and five hours of TV a week!” Just throw this out there to show everyone that yes, WWE still has tag teams…the ranks aren’t abyssmal. Just because they don’t force feed us the same tag feud for three months at a time doesn’t mean tag wrestling isn’t important…it’s just becoming harder and harder to market these days.

You proved my argument by showing the quality of the teams. Disregarding the 6 hours of wrestling for three brands (two for Raw, two for Smackdown, one for Heat, one for ECW) which is a very legitimate argument, look at who’s in the TNA tag ranks. You have the two most prolific tag teams of the 90s (Team 3-D, James Gang) several former X-Division champs, a former TNA World Champ, and Americas Most Wanted who have been together for years now.

Who’s the biggest name in the WWE tag ranks right now? Is anyone on the same level as AMW? Is anyone in the Spirit Squad going to get the same type of well deserved push that Eric Young is once they break up? You’re trying to make it a numbers game when nobody cares about the number of tag teams. We care about the quality of the tag teams. The WWE treats their tag division with little respect as it’s the “we’ve got nothing to do with you, let’s tag you with wrestler X”. There are exceptions (Hooliganz, Gymini, the Pitbulls) but the majority of WWE tag teams have no reason or history to be together. The tag ranks on Smackdown are getting much better, but they are no where as legitimate as what TNA is doing.

Finally, bigga is back this week to cry some more:

I see you posted my feedback in your column. However by reading your response to what I had to say, I am coming to the realization that you were not a fan of the original ECW. If you actually like the idea of Big Show as ECW champion, then you have no business writing a column about the original or “new” ECW to begin with. All you did was talk shit about ECW mainstays who carried the promotion on their backs. You have no idea what ECW is and was all about. You are just a WWE mark, who will swallow any crap that is spoon fed to you.

As the great Artie Lang says, Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. The Big Show is the best and most legitimate choice in terms of being hardcore while still being recognizable. Dreamer was never championship material and the Sandman is still too unfamiliar to the WWE fans (I refuse to use the term mark as “long term ECW fans” is the very definition of that term). Did I talk shit about the ECW entertainers who carried ECW on their back? Sure I did. You know why? ECW festered and died on their backs. The only reason any of them still have a job is because of the fact that Vince McMahon feels some sort of sympathy for them as ECW gave him the raw material to create Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Ok readers. Put your tissue boxes away as its time to look over the past ECW show and dissect it.

That Was Awesome

Paul Heyman: Godfather of Wrestling: It seems that they’re going to play Paul as a semi cult leader, semi Godfather type character. I can live with that. It’s different enough from Vince’s gimmick that it seems fresh, but it stays away from Paul doing a religious angle that’s bound to either completely suck or piss off a decent number of people. Sure, it’s a safe choice, but ECW needed a bit of stability after the Sabu/RVD fallout or in Sabu’s case, lack of fallout.

Hype promos galore: ECW has been promoing a good deal of wrestlers recently, and the crop looks relatively decent. Shannon Moore looks retarded as hell, but he looks retard as hell which makes it incredibly amusing when he pops up. The vampire needs to debut within the next two weeks as the tease for him has been relatively unbearable. Baring that, the promos have been very well done. Balls Mahoney is being set up as a long term star in ECW. CM Punk’s “I love the rush of wrestling” is an interesting way to play the character and could really resonate with the fans especially if his matches are good. Overall, it’s a mixed bag but there’s more candy and sunshine in that bag then poopie.

Kelly Caned: Kelly got hit in the head and it was hilarious. It’ll be interesting to see who she ends up with after she breaks things off with Mike Knox. My guess is it won’t be Sandman. Perhaps she’d be a good fit with Balls when he re-debuts. Regardless, it was funny to see her get decked with some wood last night.

Dreamer/Test: I can live with this feud. Test is still an awful wrestler, but he may end up being a decent brawler. Setting him up with Dreamer is a potentially satisfying (note, I didn’t say good) feud where the two beat the hell out of each other until RVD comes back and he becomes the center of Paul E’s feud.

Boo/Yay: Two Night Stand’s RVD/Cena match may be the start of the boo/yay dueling chants for heels and faces. We saw it again at SNME and again briefly in last night’s Taker/Show match. If

You Fucked Up

Undertaker/Big Show: Oy vey. Not only did this end up being a pay per view pimp match, but it was a horrible pay per view pimp match. The biggest problem with this match is that Undertaker and Big Show were playing chicken so to speak. Undertaker didn’t want to sell well, because he’s Undertaker. Big Show didn’t want to sell because he’s ECW’s monster. Mixed with the big lump known as the Great Khali, and it is perhaps the crappiest match in quite some time.

Honestly, the badness of the main event was enough badness for this week. It has crushed my spirit for this week. I’ll save my Sabu rant for next week. Take c