After the roster reshuffling this week in WWE everyone has wanted to weigh in with their thoughts and opinions on who lucked out and who lost out and it would appear to be the general consensus that ECW is the biggest loser in this latest reshuffling which is usually always the popular opinion amongst many wrestling fans. Now as for me I prefer to think that I think unlike any other wrestling fan and as such I will strongly disagree and not only tell you that ECW is not the biggest loser in this draft at all. That’s right ECW has a lot to gain and although this will be a unconventional way of thinking I will tell you that ECW’s biggest gains will ultimately be TNA’s biggest loss?you?re reading ?Wrestling Rumblings?.
The fact that many lament the losses of ECW show that some would put it on par with WWE’s other two brands. It has been said more often than not that ECW on Sci-Fi has some of the best in ring action you will see in a WWE ring all week however with all that being said ECW is not to be considered on par with Smackdown and Raw and while that may have been the initial plan as the old saying goes plans change. Some including myself have said in the past that ECW is a developmental brand not to be treated any differently than FCW but when I think about it that statement while accurate in part is also inaccurate in part. To say ECW is like FCW is really an unfair comparison after all the storylines in FCW have nothing to do with what goes on in WWE and vice versa while ECW is an integral part of the WWE Universe. Still though ECW is a feeder system of sorts for WWE a way to introduce the general public to the stars of tomorrow without having the HHH’s, Cena’s, and Edge’s overshadow them. So when a star leaves ECW it is not to be mourned but to be celebrated because in a sense that individual has grow n to the point where he/she can stand out in the big WWE sea and well when a star gets sent down to ECW more often than not that too should be celebrated as it gives that individual a chance to reinvent his or herself or learn how to function at a higher level on the card than they were previously used to. While fans of ECW lament the losses of Swagger, Bourne and the Hart Dynasty I will instead look forward to the next crop of talent from FCW like Tyler Rekks, Sheamus and others as they embark on the path of becoming the superstars of tomorrow. ECW is alive and well and well that should concern TNA.
I mention TNA because the truth of the matter is any talent that gets there initial exposure in TNA might as well be damaged goods to WWE. While it can be argued that from top to bottom TNA may have a better talent base than WWE the lack of character development and bad booking erodes any potential value some of those talents will have. Let’s face it you only get one chance at a first impression and while many argue that wrestling fans have a short memory I feel that due to the increased exposure of the business that the Monday Night War left in its wake your first impressions mean more than ever. Talent no longer guarantees the opportunit y to be pushed. It all goes according to your exposure and the creative direction that you are given now more than ever. In other words while a Samoa Joe and an Abyss may have unlimited potential according to the internet crowd to the casual audience and to WWE creative they are already a damaged entity not worthy of investing time or energy into. When looking at TNA as competition what WWE clearly sees and what the rest of us sometimes fail to see is that TNA is not the choice of destination for truly name worthy talent that is in the prime of their career and that TNA is not the place to spark your career. While some will argue with me that Christian won world titles in TNA and received the first true push of his career the truth of the matter is that while Christian languishes in WWE he is more likely to draw money there than he ever did in either of his reigns as world champion in TNA and drawing money is the name of the game if you are a wrestler. WWE knows how to maximize a talents potential way better than TNA. Take a wrestler like Santino Marella. TNA wouldn?t know what to do with a raw talent with limited ring ability like Santino and he probably wouldn?t make it past Explosion but for a good stretch their Santino was arguably the most entertaining wrestler in the world. As the ECW machine churns on TNA should be worried because the fact that ECW still exists and is still something worth caring about is a threat to TNA. It means that by havin g it around WWE is able to do what TNA has failed to do in its 7 years of existence and that’s create new stars.
It is true though that all that glitters is not gold and for every CM Punk and Kofi Kingston that ECW has pioneered there are also the busts such as the Mike Knox and failed reclamation projects such as Shelton Benjamin but the fact that it still exists and still rests comfortably on the axis that is the WWE Universe should offer encouragement to anyone that claims to be a fan of wrestling. While everyone is down on the current wrestling product we are about to usher in the next generation of stars as we have seen more fresh talent breakthrough than ever before and much of that is possible due to ECW. I was a fan of the original ECW and had certain expectations for this brand when it was first launched. I expected a product similar to the original ECW and well this is not the original ECW but if there is one thing that this has in common with the original ECW is its ability to help its stars find their potential. Let’s be honest there were many within the original ECW that weren?t exactly wrestling geniuses or for that matter names that many felt had star potential. It was the genius that is Paul Heyman that was able to turn chicken shit into chicken salad and help elevate those individuals in a way that would have never been possible. While it may not have the originals hardcore origins it just may have its spirit in that it can?t be disputed that every wrestler on the ECW roster is hungry and looking for that break and ECW just might be the place to give it to them.
Unlike some who may be reading this I have the benefit of watching and keeping track of FCW week to week and am very familiar with some of the talent that you are about to see make their debut in ECW. Tyler Rekks is the current FCW champion and has a world of potential if the powers that be can see it and exploit it. Abraham Washington while in my opinion he was unimpressive in his debut if he can be half of what he was in FCW I am sure many of you will find it very entertaining. Sheamus may very well be one of the best natural talents in the business today and I would not be surprised if at some point he is elevated in ECW so you have much to look forward to. This past Monday was a good day to be a wrestling fan you just have not seen it yet but trust me when I tell you the best is yet to come.
So on that note it’s time to wrap this week’s column up and as usual you can send your comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and well that’s it for this week next week I will try to do better and until then I am out.