This Week in ‘E – E-C-DUB! E-C-DUB!

WrestleMania comes to the dirty south in 2011, the wrestling world loses another legend and ECW finally gets to rest in peace.

Opening Witty Banter
Real life and Super Sunday intervened. Apologies for the abbreviated column this week…

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
WWE’s version of the Extreme Championship Wrestling brand will cease to be in three weeks.

Vince McMahon appeared on the February 2 edition of ECW to announce that ECW will go off the air in three weeks and will be replaced by the “next evolution” of WWE programming. According to PWInsider, the new program, which will be ECW’s current timeslot on the SyFy network, will be called WWE NXT, with NXT representing “Next Generation.” The final episode of ECW will be taped and air on Tuesday, February 23 from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. WWE NXT will debut on Tuesday, March 2 from Wichita, Kansas.

SyFy had become unhappy with ECW’s ratings for some time now, as when the program debuted in June 2006 it was getting high 2.0 Nielson ratings and was the network’s highest rated show. In the past year or so the program’s ratings have bottomed out to about a 1.0 weekly rating.

Plus the original spirit behind the ECW name had been stripped away from this new vision long ago, with Tommy Dreamer’s departure from the company in January being the last remaining piece of the original Extreme Championship Wrestling still on the brand. The ECW had long been transferred into a place where new talent, fresh from the developmental or independent leagues could gain valuable television exposure without being completely exposed on the larger RAW or SmackDown brands. Mid-card veterans who could work with the young stars to help them improve with on-the-job training supplemented the young roster.

It is expected this type of formula will be employed by NXT, with young stars getting their first crack at television exposure. However there is no news yet on the fate of the ECW Championship, currently held by Christian.

WWE WrestleMania XXVII will be coming to Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday, April 3, 2011. The event will be held in the Georgia Dome.

A press conference was held yesterday, February 1, inside the Georgia Dome to announce the event. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta Sports Council President Gary Stokan, Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner, Ken Stewart and Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay were on hand alongside WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon to make the announcement. WWE stars including John Cena, Big Show, Batista, Rey Mysterio, Mark Henry, Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres were also in attendance to hype up the announcement.

In addition to the actual WrestleMania event, a variety of events over “WrestleMania week,” including a Hall of Fame induction ceremony, a fan Axxess convention, an art auction, a golf tournament and a live Monday Night RAW taping will make Atlanta the wrestling capital of the world during that time.

The Georgia Dome has hosted other wrestling events in the past, most notably was the July 6, 1998 edition of WCW Monday Nitro that saw Bill Goldberg defeat Hulk Hogan to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. ATL has traditionally been a hotbed for rasslin’ and is the perfect spot WrestleMania.

Legendary pro wrestler Jack Brisco passed away early in the morning of February 1 from complications from a recent heart surgery. He was 68. Brisco (real name Freddie Joe Brisco) underwent a triple heart bypass several weeks ago and had been in a rehab center ever since to recover.

Brisco was a two time NWA World Heavyweight Champion. He was Champion for nearly the entire two and a half year period from July 1973 until December 1975. In addition to his success as NWA Champion, he held numerous regional titles throughout Georgia, Florida and around the country. He also formed a highly successful team with his younger brother Gerry Brisco, who is currently a road agent for World Wrestling Entertainment.

He was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2005 and alongside his brother was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.

The Road to…Elimination Chamber
Elimination Chamber for the WWE Championship
Sheamus (c) v. Triple H v. Randy Orton v. John Cena v. Kofi Kingston v. Ted DiBiase

Elimination Chamber for the World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker v. John Morrison v. R-Truth v. CM Punk v. Rey Mysterio v. Chris Jericho

expected matches
Mickie James v. Beth Phoenix v. Michelle McCool for the Women’s Championship
MVP v. The Miz for the US Championship

Wrestler of the Week
Week of February 1 – 7: Edge
For the second week ago I have to give some love to Edge. While he didn’t wrestle this past week he still made his presence felt on both RAW and SmackDown. On RAW he solidified his new found “good guy” status by going toe-to-toe with Sheamus and putting the Irishman on his ass. Then on SmackDown he brought back The Cutting Edge, addressed Chris Jericho and found himself on the same side as his old “friend” The Undertaker.

RAW’s On Tonight! (actually last nite…)
NASCAR driver Carl Edwards will guest host RAW tonight from Lafayette, Louisiana. Edwards is apparently one of NASCAR’s top drivers of the day and is hugely successful in the circuit. He will be there to promote the start of NASCAR’s 2010 Sprint Cup season, which starts on February 14 with the famous Daytona 500. He has worked with WWE golden boy John Cena in the past. In 2007 Edwards was the driver who worked with Cena and taught him how to drive a NASCAR stock car on the reality show Fast Cars and Superstars – The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race. Months later, Cena starred in a Gillette Young Guns commercial with Edwards and other NASCAR drivers. Plus the show will chalked full of goodness including a triple threat Tag Title match between DX, The Straight Edge Society and The Miz & The Big Show (MizShow? Biz? The Reality Show?). In addition the finals of the Divas Championship tournament should transpire between Gail Kim and Maryse. And will Bret Hart make another appearance?

On Last Week’s Episode…
Eison brings the love for a super fun SmackDown that set the upcoming World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber.

Eison also covered Superstars, including a surprisingly fun Evan Bourne-Carlito match. What’s with these Colon boys and having good matches on the D-show?

Pulse was full of great RAW coverage, including Marshall’s live coverage, Innarelli’s 10 thoughts and Wheeler’s kick ass Judicial Review.

How They Rated
SmackDown! (1.22.10) –

Superstars (1.28.10) – 1.0

A.M. RAW (1.31.10) – .6

RAW (2.1.10) – 3.6

ECW (2.2.10) – 1.05

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Perillo brings some great love to CHIKARA…
The always thought-provoking Skvarla has a great piece up about the infamous Bruno Sammartino.

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For more relevant, interesting and exciting wrestling information from your truly, check out my gig as the Pro Wrestling Examiner over at Examiner.com.

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