Well, the ECW reunion show took place over the weekend and the reports I have read have not been very complementary of the show. I read the fairly detailed report over at prowrestling.net (http://www.prowrestling.net/artman/publish/miscliveevents/article10024865.shtml) and one or two other reports and it sounds like the fans who made up an impressive crowd for an indy show turned on this show in a big way. I do think it sounds like the crowd did not have very realistic expectations for the show. The things I would have hoped that this show would have tried to accomplish they at least attempted. I feel like for this show to have any chance of repeat success they would have to use some of the established names to get the fans interested in new talent. With the interference in the Gangstas match and the use of new Raven’s followers it sounds like they tried to set up some things for the next show.
The obvious problem with this show is that the ECW style takes a serious physical toll on the wrestlers and to expect most of these guys to be able to work the types of matches they did well over eleven years ago just isn’t very realistic. When one starts thinking about the alleged health problems or scares that Sabu and Justin Credible had that prevented them from performing at the show it makes the event a bit more depressing. Many will write about and talk about how the extreme style has possibly ruined people’s lives and certainly contributed to many premature deaths. As a fan who discovered ECW on a grainy UHF TV station (yes I had to disconnect my cable to watch ECW, this station was so small it wasn’t on any cable systems but was part of the “America One Network”) and loved watching ECW programming it’s not pleasant to think about the price many of these wrestlers I enjoyed watching so much have paid.
I went to several later day ECW shows in St. Louis but I only made it to the ECW Arena once for “Cyberslam ’98″. When I first started taking the Torch I was rather frustrated to read about Cyberslam ’96 and ’97 AFTER it had occurred or I might have made one of those shows as well. I had a great time at this event and met some very interesting folks (maybe that goes without saying). I was then in grad school so while I did not have a tremendous amount in common with many of these performers I certainly appreciated what they did and enjoyed the question and answer sessions and thought seeing a card at the ECW Arena was one of those things I was able to take off my bucket list.
Because I have great memories about those experiences watching and enjoying ECW I wanted to reflect on those people who were most benefited from working in ECW. I’m sure it’s not a complete list and this is not to say that these performers would not have done well if ECW did not exist but since many have been focusing on the cost ECW incurred on many of its workers I thought I would reflect on who benefited the most from their ECW experience. Please feel free to add suggestions to this list.
1. Taz — Make no mistake about it. The ECW Taz was as bad as they come (in a good way). At the show I went to he physically manhandled one of many body builders the WWF wanted to get behind in Brakkus and the fans loved every minute of it. However, he parlayed his ECW success into a frustrating WWE run followed by many years making what I am guessing is pretty good money as a TV announcer. As great as Taz was when I saw him wrestle…. well let’s say I don’t think he will be entering the real (Observer) hall of fame or even the WWE version anytime soon. As far as making a great living based off of what he contributed to ECW I’d say Taz is the #1 choice. God bless him for making money as far as I am concerned also.