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411’s WWE Untold: The 2nd Coming of ECW Report

March 5, 2019 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
ECW Untold

411’s WWE Untold: The 2nd Coming of ECW Report

-Original air date: 03/05/19

-The Network had 2 new shows debut last night and I opted to check this one out first.  The other is a new edition of Chronic detailing Roman Reigns and his latest Leukemia battle.  I plan on checking that one out tomorrow evening when I get home from work.

-So this is a new series and for the first episode we get talking heads who were front and center for the relaunch talking about WWE’s ECW.  This should prove interesting.

****While typing this review, news broke that King Kong Bundy had passed away.  Another piece of my childhood gone.  He was a man with a great look and when I was 5 years old he terrified me when he destroyed my hero Hulk Hogan.  His appearance on Married with Children made me see him in a comedic light and I always had a soft spot for the big guy.  My condolences to his family and friends.****

-We immediately start with the infamous episode that featured Big Show vs Batista and the crowd chanting “you both suck” and “change the channel.”  Paul Heyman says the new ECW was doomed from the start.  Tommy Dreamer called it “shit” and The Sandman just sounds disgusted as he says he is so over professional wrestling right now.  Heyman says his mistake was taking on the project to begin with and he remembers telling Dreamer it will all crash down on them within a year.

-This is WWE Untold!  To set the idea of this show, the talking heads are never shown and instead are just talking over videos of shows and highlight packages.  Some of the talking heads sound like they are on a phone instead of in studio as well.

-Heyman says that even 25 years after taking over creative for ECW he still can’t find the words to convey how special that was.  Dreamer calls ECW amazing and that they were a bunch of guys and girls that were changing the business even though they didn’t know it at the time.  Heyman says the business needed someone to disrupt things and that’s what ECW did.  He calls the ECW fans the most passionate ever and they were their army.

-Dreamer says that if ECW had the money of WCW or the TV of the WWE, they would have taken over.  I don’t know if I am buying that one.  A graphic tells us that on April 4, 2001 (3 days after Mania X-7), HHG Corporation officially closed ECW and WWE purchased ECW’s assets from bankruptcy in Jan 2003.

-Heyman says the death of ECW was inevitable because ECW had run its course.  Dreamer meanwhile thinks the networks didn’t trust Paul and thinks they should have given him more control.  He says that Paul no showed a network meeting and he wanted to beat him up for it, but learned to let go.  Paul knows if they had gotten another national TV deal, the product would have needed to evolve.  Once a TV deal was available, Paul knew ECW was dead.

-Another graphic: After the dissolution of ECW, many of the company’s stars moved to WWE.  In 2005 the idea came about for WWE to stage an ECW reunion show.

-Dreamer says that he worked in talent relations at the time and it was RVD that went to Vince McMahon and pitched ECW One Night Stand.  Vince took notice thanks to the crazy strong sales of the Rise and Fall of ECW DVD and it was decided to do the reunion show.  Dreamer says that his smile when Sandman’s music hit is one of the most genuine reactions you will ever see from him.  Zack Ryder says he was at the show and it was one of the best shows he has ever seen live.  Paul says that if they had stopped there it would be closure for everyone and the best sendoff that none of them would have dreamed possible.

-Dreamer brings up Shane McMahon as the guy who kept getting in Vince’s ear to bring back ECW.  Back to the graphic: With the success of ECW’s One Night Stand, WWE began to conceptualize bringing back ECW as a third brand alongside RAW and SmackDown.

-At the end of 2005, Shane went to Paul with the idea of doing an online streaming relaunch of ECW.  Heyman says it was very forward thinking as now everything is streamed online.  Shane says that ECW is interesting as they had more unique talent and had a niche.  The idea was to bring up new talent and send talent to ECW to reignite their careers.  Hmm, it kind of sounds like what became NXT.  The idea soon got to Vince and once it was in his hands, it was something that needed maximized.  Once it got there, Paul says that it could no longer be authentic ECW.

-Shane wanted it to be online as that meant they could do more and keep it authentic to ECW.  The idea was also that people could watch it on their own.  Dreamer says he was brought in Johnny’s Ace office and was told they were going to move forward with the relaunch as an hour long show following One Night Stand 2.

-Sandman talks about getting the call saying the WWE wants to sign him, and his reaction was “get the fuck out of here, dude.”  Nice!  Dreamer talks about the 2nd One Night Stand and Heyman says it was built around Cena/RVD.  He says that match was the only time on the show that it felt like something authentic to ECW.  I don’t know, the 6 Person Match with Edge/Foley/Lita vs Dreamer/Funk/Beulah was an amazing spectacle that felt right at home with anything ever done in ECW.  Dreamer says he knew once the show ended, things would never be the same.

-June 13, 2006 Extreme Championship Wrestling made its return to network TV

-Sandman talks about the first show on SyFy and how it was supposed to be someone dressed up like an alien, and 20 minutes before the show it is changed to being a zombie.  The Zombie gets some screen time and Dreamer says that the network wanted some Sci-Fi elements and that was the WWE’s compromise.  Sandman kills The Zombie in short order in what was the first match in the new ECW.

-Jone Cone, former ECW ref, talks about how the WWE wanted to establish rules.  So he had to call for a DQ when Sabu put Justin Credible through a table.  He talks about how fans heckled him at house shows for calling for hair breaks and using closed fists.  Shane McMahon talks about how it became just like any other show they distributed thanks to their TV partners.

-Big Show talks about how The Sandman took him to one of the merchandise stands and all they sold was WWE merch.  This smartened Show up to the fact that ECW didn’t really mean much.

-Cone brings up RVD and Sabu being pulled over by the Police.  Oh man, I happened to be at an ECW house show in Rostraver just a day before that happened.  I think they were actually leaving the show I was at and heading to Ohio, when they got pulled over.  It was the only time I ever got to touch the WWE Title as RVD was having a blast around ringside letting people spin the belt.  Anyway, the fallout is that RVD had to immediately drop the title and it went to The Big Show.  Sandman thinks things would have been better if Sabu and RVD weren’t busted by the cops.  Show knows the ECW fans hated seeing him with the ECW Title.

-They then made the smart move to run Hammrstein with a hardcore, old school ECW crowd and decided to headline it with Batista and Big Show.  Sure, that’s great star power for TV, but for that crowd it was the wrong move.  Show says he remembers that night vividly and both are greeted with chants of “You Both Suck.”  Show says it is a horrible feeling and it was embarrassing.  He just wanted to get it over with as he admits he didn’t know at that time, how to work to get the crowd back.  Instead he and Batista plowed through the match with chants “Boring” and “Change the Channel.”  Too funny!  Show says he did the best he could and didn’t book himself in that spot.  They just didn’t give those fans the guys they wanted and they had to go out there and pay for it.

-We jump ahead to December Dismember and oh man, what a disaster that was.  Dreamer calls it crap and says he asked for his release after that show.  John Cone says they were optimistic as if the show does well, they were hoping it would turn things around for the brand. Ryder was there for the show as he was in developmental and he flat out says the show sucked.  No kidding!

-Heyman mentions that he resigned as the head writer on 2 different occasions in the weeks leading up to the PPV.  Stephanie would not accept his resignation.  Once they got to the PPV, Paul knew he had to go.  He and Vince had different opinions on what should happen with the main event and it was evident that Paul was going to have to leave.  They don’t touch on it here but it has been covered on Heyman’s DVD and it was difference of who should leave as ECW Champion.  Vince wanted Lashley to overcome all the monster odds and get the big coronation.  Paul wanted Show to be the first to lose in the Chamber to CM Punk’s Anaconda Vice so that everyone would knew that a new champion was going to be crowned, and he wanted Punk as that Champion.  Obviously, Vince won that battle.

-After Paul was pushed out, Dusty Rhodes was brought in and they created the new Superstar Initiative which introduced the WWE to Ryder, Sheamus, The Miz, Morrison, etc.  Ryder puts over that he got to have matches with Christian and it was better than anything he could get on RAW.  The Miz says that he was on the verge of getting fire if his run with Morrison in ECW didn’t work.  He says that this obviously wasn’t the real ECW but it gave a lot of young guys a chance.  Sheamus and Kofi echo those same thoughts and Sheamus ribs Kofi about having a Jamaican accent in ECW.  Kofi even breaks out the accent! Fantastic!

-Vince shows up and cancels ECW live on the air after 193 episodes.  John Cone says it was his start and he keeps an ECW ref shirt in his office.  The Miz says it put a chip on a lot of guys shoulders as they wanted to prove they deserved more than being on the C show.  Heyman doesn’t know if the New ECW deserves the credit for launching the careers of CM Punk, The Miz, Sheamus, etc as they were talents that were going to be launched in the system no matter what.  He calls the product an abomination and says that you could say the legacy is those few guys that made a name for themselves along with the first One Night Stand and Cena/RVD, but he doubles down again saying those guys were going to be stars no matter what.  He crushes the brand again by calling it a diseased product that needed to be put out of its misery and out of his misery.

-Dreamer says the New ECW had good and bad and he is proud to be part of it because he got to work WrestleMania with his friends (Mania 23) and its cool to him that he is the only person to hold the original ECW Title and the New ECW Title.  Ryder loves telling people he worked in ECW even if they don’t let him take credit for it because it was the New ECW, but too him he will always be proud to say he was in ECW.  Heyman gets the finals words as he says the brand would have been a success if it was called anything else just due to the talent roster they had, but the minute it was called ECW, it was doomed to fail.

-That last part from Paul pretty much sums things up as the brand was perfectly fine but carrying the legacy of ECW killed it.  The good thing is they learned from ECW and it set in motion the plans for NXT.  This was a fun, albeit short, look back at the WWECW, and while nothing here was earth shattering, it had some good moments and unearthed a few new stories.  I hope they continue with this series as there are a lot of things they can cover and they certainly have an army of talking heads to do this work.

-Thanks for reading and thanks for any feedback and comments.

article topics :

WWE Untold, Robert Leighty Jr.