Counterfeit Pennies: Vince McMahon, ECW Champion?

In April 2000, it was a really bad sign of things to come for World Championship Wrestling when actor David Arquette – and I use the word “actor” very loosely – was crowned the WCW Champion during a tumultuous time where promoting the movie Ready to Rumble superceded all common logic in terms of placing true value on the top prize in the company. Equally as horrendous was when the notorious Vince Russo won a cage match at the Nassau Coliseum that September to become WCW Champion just a few short months after Arquette’s title win, thereby cementing my disdain even further for what were to be the last and least formidable years of WCW. (Credits: Inside Pulse World Heavyweight Title History)

Flashing forward nearly seven years to the day since Arquette’s infamous victory, Vince McMahon added another sad chapter this past Sunday to what is becoming an awfully lengthy encyclopedia of blunders by wrestling organizations that become too arrogant and cocky for their own well-beings. That’s right, folks, Vince McMahon is the new ECW Champion.

At yesterday’s Backlash PPV, Vince – with the help of Shane McMahon and Umaga – pinned Bobby Lashley to become the new ECW Champion. Now, I understand that Lashley isn’t the most exciting or charismatic character in the world, but at the same time Vince has been pushing Lashley to the high heavens behind the scenes, essentially molding Lashley into the face of the new ECW. I also understand that Vince’s on-screen persona of Mr. McMahon has endured plenty of adversity lately – from the D-X – Big Show incident to having his head shaved at WrestleMania. However, at no time did I ever think that Mr. McMahon would even come close to getting a “revenge win” over a guy like Lashley who has actually started to garner some big crowd reactions despite the IWC’s collective feeling of indifference towards the former Champion. How do you work so hard to push someone and then waste it all on an undeserving opponent? It just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, which really isn’t as surprising as it is disappointing.

What I’d like to also bring to everyone’s attention to gain a little big picture perspective is the following fact: Vince McMahon can now stake claim to being both a former WWE and current ECW Champion. Not only is this the ultimate slap in the face to the real ECW diehards who completely loathe everything Vince McMahon stands for, it is a true indication of just how devalued these heavyweight titles have become over the past seven to ten years. How can we take these titles seriously when their histories are continually littered with such outrageous outcomes?

The bottom line is this: Vince McMahon is the new ECW Champion. Unfortunately, this is just the latest in an increasingly long line of bad ideas that just may spell the end for ECW. I say it’s time to just put the thing out of its misery, once and for all.

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