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ECW ready to return to line McMahon's pockets green

Allen Gaynor | Interrobang | Sports | June 12th, 2006



The wrestling world is buzzing (no, The Killer Bees have not made a comeback). What is making a comeback however is ECW, the renegade promotion that ran from the mid-90s until early 2001. After a successful PPV last year, and making millions off of selling ECW themed DVDs, Vince McMahon clearly saw that ECW had more drawing power than Tatanka and Mark Henry combined.

There are three big events slated for the re-launch of ECW. The first was held this past Wednesday with a WWE vs ECW show on the USA network. In a dream match, Rob Van Dam battled Rey Mysterio. RVD scored the win, becoming the first deserving person out of the many to pin Mysterio in the last few months. Mick Foley cut an excellent anti-ECW promo, showing that he still has the intensity to be a regular part of either WWE or ECW. Jerry Lawler bickered throughout the show with Tazz, leading to a fistfight between the two. Say what you will about their match on the PPV, but when Lawler steps into the ring that night, the fans are going to want to see him torn to shreds. It may not be a technical masterpiece, but it will have plenty of emotion. In the only negative on an otherwise excellent show, The Big Show defected to ECW. While I am certainly not a Big Show hater, his defection should be sounding off alarm bells, as it is a little bit too reminiscent of back in 2001 when WWE stars kept switching over to WCW during the Invasion angle. If Andrew “Test” Martin appears on ECW programming, they're in trouble.

The second will be this Sunday's second annual One Night Stand PPV. The event will feature such legendary ECW stars as Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer, Randy Orton,…wait, one of those names doesn't belong. The event will be heavy on WWE flavour, but I suppose that is necessary to draw in people that didn't have access to the previous incarnation of ECW. John Cena will defend the WWE Championship against Rob Van Dam. Look for some sort of contested finish, which will allow ECW to recognize RVD as their champion, and Cena to keep his title as well. Also it will prevent the rabid ECW fans from burning down the building in disgust. My prediction for match of the night is Rey Mysterio vs Sabu. Other matches pit Tazz against Jerry Lawler, Kurt Angle vs Randy Orton and Funk and Dreamer vs Edge and Mick Foley.

The third big date for ECW is their return to weekly television on June 14th on the Sci-Fi network in the U.S. (no Canadian outlet has been announced yet). There has been talk of some Sci-Fi elements be included on the show to appease the station, but hopefully it is kept to a minimum. Unless of course you've always wanted to see Balls Mahoney fight an unruly computer with a mind of it's own.

With the addition of Kurt Angle, and a host of former ECW stars such as RVD, Super Crazy, Nunzio, Roadkill and The Sandman under contract, the re-incarnation of ECW has the potential to be a big success. That is, if Paul Heyman and Tommy Dreamer are allowed to run the show based on their vision. The last thing fans of the old ECW want is for it to be a dumping ground for stars they no longer want on Raw or Smackdown (Tatanka, I'm looking in your direction). If that happens, than ECW will be buried along with WCW, NWO, XFL, WBF and the many other three letter acronyms that McMahon and his cronies have run into the ground.
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