Monday, April 24, 2006

Return of ECW

So it looks like WWE is bringing back the ECW name. This is certainly an interesting story, and I would probably do a longer write-up on it for the Observer site were not I so busy these days (and sick to boot). My short take on it is that it will be a guaranteed short term success and guaranteed long term failure. Short term it will unquestionably garner much more interest than the current Heat or Velocity programs, and also bring interest to some younger guys WWE wants to showcase and give them experience. Fans will be into it because they like the ECW name and I think for a time WWE will contemplate making the ECW name even more prominent. It will start off shows with a lot of excitement that will get the crowd into it immediately, and there will be more interest in the wrestlers involved off the bat. It also potentially might give them an excuse to get Jim Ross back into the Raw booth without totally humiliating Joey Styles (only partially by sending him to cover ECW).

However, that will eventually give way to the reality that ECW, the rebel promotion which could not have existed except in opposition to WWF and WCW, is now manipulated by one of those companies and presented as an unquestionable B gimmick on WWE shows. That's not something that will sit well with fans that liked ECW, and eventually fans are going to turn on the whole thing. Short term younger fans that didn't watch ECW will think the whole thing is really cool, but they will eventually catch on how much this concept is the antithesis of what ECW stood for. Not to mention that for authenticity you need to feature old ECW wrestlers, but to build the brand going forward you need to debut new guys that people associate with ECW. Doing the latter is a difficult if not impossible task.


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