The Sharp Shooter #16
July 8, 2009
By: Sean Hurley of WrestleView.com
In a recent interview with The Sun, published on June 5th, 2009 WWE superstar and former competitor on Tuesday night's WWE rebranded ECW, Evan Bourne stated that he feels the McMahon-run version of ECW quote, blows Paul Heyman's ECW show on TNN out of the water.?Every week we blow it out of the water.? ? Bourne
While every supposed diehard, hardcore, blowhard fan of the original ECW is up in arms over Bourne's comments, trashing him and WWE in the comment section of the aforementioned published interview, I just sit back and laugh while these delusional, empty headed ECW groupies go on and on about how the original ECW was so great and the new incarnation of ECW and WWE in general are apparently ?complete rubbish? (actual quote from someone on the comment board). I laugh because, like anyone who has a fairly lucid view of reality and isn?t clouded by fantastical fiction and hyperbolic memories of the original ECW, it's clear to see that Bourne's comments were completely on the money. Hell, I think Bourne held back what he was really trying to say, which is that not only does WWE's ECW blow away Heyman's old TNN TV show, but that WWE's ECW blows away the original ECW. Period.
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Let me preface my argument with some background information about me and my experience with the original ECW, as I?m sure this column will spark some vehement debates, perhaps even amongst my colleagues. Firstly, I was/am a huge fan of the original ECW (which, for those of you who aren?t aware, although you should be, when I say original ECW, I mean the Todd Gordon/Paul Heyman product that ran from about 1992-2001). I began watching ECW weekly in 1996, Hardcore TV, as it was called (the pre-TNN days) Saturday nights at midnight on WPTT Pittsburgh. It was a different type of wrestling product. There is literally nothing else I could say to describe the attitude and feel of the original ECW that hasn?t been said in countless interviews, columns, DVD's and personal stories, so I?ll refrain from using the terribly worn out buzz words associated with the appraisal of the original ECW. Just suffice it to say that I enjoyed the original ECW for all the reasons everyone else enjoyed it.
Hell, I enjoyed it so much that I (like many kids my age around the country at the time) organized a backyard trampoline wrestling ?league?, implementing the same violent, bloody, unprofessional and clumsy style that the original ECW had popularized. It was safe to say that the original ECW acted as a welcomed adrenaline and testosterone shot, helping me through my young teenage years.
Since the original ECW shut down in 2001, I have watched countless hours of ECW footage courtesy of WWE 24/7, The Rise and Fall of ECW, and numerous other DVD's and specials featuring original ECW footage. I can accurately estimate that I?ve been following the weekly installments of Hardcore TV from WWE 24/7 every month for about two years now and in doing so I?ve become re-acquainted with an old love. However, as is the case most of the time, running into your old love after years of personal growth, maturity and experience, you find that perhaps your old love wasn?t all she/he was cracked up to be and maybe you weren?t thinking too straight when you fell in love in the first place.
I waited until now to write this article because I wanted to gather more and more proof, month after month, hour after hour of original ECW footage before I accurately made a complete assessment of my opinions. Furthermore, seeing that Evan Bourne spoke out and vocalized a private thought of mine only revitalized my argument, almost forcing me to put the idea on paper (figuratively) and perhaps act as one of Bourne's only supporters, as I see there aren?t many out there.
There are several trains of thought that all meet at one station to form my opinion on why the original ECW is heralded as such an invincible, pure entity, sent from God Himself to enlighten the lives of wayward wrestling fans and to change the course of wrestling's path. One is that people in general, specifically Americans, love to alter the past in order to meet their needs and desires. ?When the legend becomes fact, print the legend..? Maxwell Scott once said in the John Wayne classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. You really Paul Revere was anything like the lone-wolf rider in Longfellow's poem? Or perhaps a man named Israel Bissel did the bulk of the impressive messenger riding, as well as the famous ?midnight ride?, but was cleverly omitted from Longfellow's poem in favor of a more American, patriotic sounding name such as Paul Revere.
Oh people love to glorify their idols for the sake of pride and tradition; John Lennon wasn?t really a fantastic, peace loving saint, Elvis died with eleven drugs in his system and was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to feed his habit while (seriously) seeking permission from President Nixon to join his drug task force team. Andrew Martin wasn?t a do-gooder who was torn apart and raped by the WWE system. Truth is the only true tradition to hold onto when discussing our idols, is that they are never as glorious or special as they once seemed; such is the case for the original ECW.
Hardly anyone practices this nowadays, but a healthy and stimulating exercise that someone can do to test their intelligence and thoughtfulness, is to take something or someone they hold dear in their hearts and minds, such as a band, a movie, a religion, family member, or a TV show, and compose a staunch, direct and pointed argument against your chosen infatuation, just to see both sides of the story. Conversely, you could do the reverse with something or someone you absolutely despise by composing a thoughtful, intelligent and strong argument in favor of them or it.
For example, I LOVE The Beatles with every ounce of blood in my body, as anyone who knows me can attest to. So, from time to time, just to test myself, I will come up with a hypothesis, or a thesis statement such as, ?The Beatles were overrated because?? or ?Though Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is regarded as one of if not the greatest rock album of all time, I postulate that Sgt Pepper is actually overrated and mediocre at best, in conjunction with its contemporaries because??
I do this all the time in my writing, especially for Wrestleview. Sometimes I?ll write about something I blatantly disagree with, just to see if I can compose a valid argument from the other side of the spectrum, it's called critical thinking, or simply, using your imagination. The original ECW is not immune to this practice, nor is it immune to the obsessive-compulsive way we embellish our idols, mutating them into glorious legendary figures that far miss the mark of their actual existence. Since its demise, the original ECW has been regarded and thought of by wrestling fans and some former ECW originals alike as a utopian wrestling state, a Nirvana like state that can?t be replicated, relived or reinterpreted. Any attempts to recreate or to outshine the original ECW are met with comments like this one, lifted from the comment section of the actual Evan Bourne interview in question:
?evan bourne is either THE dumbest person on the planet or he's been completely brainwashed by vince mcmahon. the original ecw was a much more exciting product than wwe's toned down, gay, commercialized, kiddy crap. here's a list of the reasons why the original ecw was better:
1. original ecw had star power, today's ecw doesn't.
2. original ecw had the most violent matches ever, today's ecw doesn't.
3. original ecw had a lot of shocking, funny and exciting skits/angles, today's ecw doesn't.
4. original ecw had (and still has) a loyal and intelligent fanbase, today's ecw doesn't.
i could go on and on but i don't think i've got enough room to list every reason why the original ecw was better but if there are any real wrestling fans in here then i don't think need to tell you how much better the original ecw was anyway.
one thing i will say is that evan bourne has definitely lost a lot of respect with his comments regarding ecw and i hope he gets what's coming to him.?
This may be on the extreme, belligerent end of the blind faithful, but it's a good example of how a lack of insight, critical thinking and an ability to see a subject from various viewpoints acts as a recipe for stupidity, narrow-mindedness and plain old ignorance.
Next week I?m going to go into detail regarding Evan Bourne's interview with The Sun, and explain exactly why he is correct in his assertion that the new ECW blows away the original, in my mind, by a long shot, attacking the argument from a logical, objective viewpoint that takes a whole host of factors into consideration. If you disagree with me and would like to offer your input, go right ahead, as I always welcome HEALTHY and INTELLIGENT debate. If you choose to act like the guy above who shall remain nameless, do not expect a reply. So until next week, question your beliefs, examine what you hold dear, kill your idols. I lived according to the original ECW when I was a young teen but nowadays I see that WWE's incarnation is really everything the original ECW could?ve been and that, like an old lover, the original ECW wasn?t all it was cracked up to be. This week I led the original ECW behind the woodshed, next week I put it out of its misery.Seanmhurley85@yahoo.com