For those of you that check out my work or follow on Twitter or Facebook, I’ve been an avid caller on Perfect Plex talk radio. It was in doing this that I established myself with the name of The Apex Predator of Perfect Plex and now, thank you Dwayne Allen, The Apex Predator of the Wrestling Wrealm. I’ve supported Brian Waters aka Mr Main Event and at the time, I supported Mike Knoxxx. However, things over the last week or so have changed as Mike and myself don’t see eye to eye on certain things. One of them which happens to also be a topic I don’t like with a lot writers who do this, is the verbal bashing of ECW. Somebody had said to me that I need to come to an understanding with Mike but I understand things fine as I’m gonna explain.
Eric Sheppard aka ERock of Podcast of Pain, had an opinion of his own on ECW and a lot of what he said is what many guys including Mike don’t get about ECW. ECW was not and I repeat NOT just about the barbed wire, flaming tables, chair, blood and violence. It was about a sense of belonging and a sense of being a part of something and in this case, ECW was a revolution and those that were loyal to it, those fans that were loyal and chanted those 3 letters were as much a part of that revolution as the guys in that ring were. Yes, it was the misfits that didn’t get even a shot or the rejects that WWE or WCW cast out, but what made ECW special was what the guys in charge like Paul Heyman gave these guys: a chance. A chance to become something, a chance to live a dream because the fact is that no matter what the talk is about being all about the money and all that, it started out for these guys that they were doing this because it’s been their dream to be a pro wrestler and to become a star in it. To those guys that say “It’s always been about money” or saying that the dream is just an illusion or doesn’t exist and it never did or even that no stars came out of ECW, all I can say to those guy is BLOW IT YOUR ASS!!!!!!
The Dudley Boyz aka Team 3-D established themselves as the baddest tag team on the planet in ECW. They didn’t go to WWE or even to TNA until after they set the standard for tag teams in ECW. Brian Pillman became a loose cannon in ECW long before he ever went to WWE. Steve Austin was fired from WCW by a phone call and had a chip on his shoulder. Paul Heyman and ECW gave him the chance to make that his strength. He went to ECW before WWE and the fuse was lit in ECW and by the time the fuse reached it’s end and went off, it went off in WWE and Stone Cold Steve Austin was born. Stone Cold came to fruition in WWE, but it was ECW that pointed him in the right direction. Scott Levy was never going to go anywhere in WCW as Scotty Flamingo and he damn sure was never going to reach the top in WWE as Johnny Polo. It wasn’t until going to ECW that he left those gimmicks behind and Raven was born. Mick Foley went to ECW after WCW and thanks to that and thanks to the Death Match tournaments in Japan, gave Cactus Jack a whole new standard. Then there’s the WCW Cruiserweight Division and the guys that made it what it was. Let me run down the names for you as well as others that WCW acquired: Dean Malenko, Juventud Guerrera, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Psychosis, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho. Those guys were a quarter of WCW’s roster and if they weren’t wrestling elsewhere and making themselves known, WCW wouldn’t have even raised so much as a glance at those guys. Public Enemy, Rhino, Rob Van Dam, Bam Bam Bigelow, 2 Cold Scorpio, Super Crazy, Tajiri, Sandman, Mike Awesome, Masato Tanaka, Chris Candido, Steve Corino, Balls Mahoney, Sabu, Jerry Lynn and probably some others that I’m leaving out, but the fact is that ECW made these guys and for a lot of them, it was because they were given the chances that neither WCW or WWE would’ve given them on their best day.
ERock said it best about the word “Hardcore” and that it wasn’t just about the violence and brutality. It was about the passion and the admiration and the damn undying loyalty that the fans had for that product. It was about more than the type of wrestling that we got, it was about what it represented. When people continue to refer to it as “Extremely Crappy Wrestling” and use the excuse that i was what Jerry Lawler always called it, it doesn’t change things considering that Jerry Lawler stopped calling it that almost 20 years ago. Voicing your disapproval of a product is one thing, but when you’re continuously ripping into the product and doing so by saying the same exact thing you’ve said time in and time out, you’re pretty much looking down and spitting on what many valued and held dear because you glance at it and think that you understood what it was about. If you’re going to rip into something, make sure you have all of your facts straight but always remember that when you have an opinion, always be ready to have somebody challenge it, disagree with it, and/or think that their opinion is superior to yours.
We’ve seen the word Extreme used to the point where it almost loses all meaning. Yes, ECW is dead and buried and it went under and while the reasons always vary such as “it expanded too quickly” or whatever, the fact is that it went under and that’s all there is to it. After the first One Night Stand, that was my closure on ECW. I was content with that and I was able to leave it behind me. You want to say that you don’t like the product, than fine. But don’t try to push it down on us that did love it and think that we’re brain-dead on the subject because the fact is that those of us that remember ECW and understood what it was about were loyal to it than and we’ll always honor it as a memory in pro wrestling. And to certain people that still don’t get that, all I can say is quite simply this:
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