by: Bob Magee


Some interesting things at the Bingo Hall last night, as I went to the Bingo Hall to "Experience the Indifference"...

The crowd was down at least 250-300. There were obvious empty areas in the bleachers, inlcuding in Section C. While there was a transit strike in Philadelphia, it was the feeling of two people from ECW that the price increase may well have been a bigger issue. To boot, the show was nowhere near what the previous show had been.

To start things off, the crowd was not let in AGAIN until 7:30 pm, the scheduled bell time. The alcohol consumption did seem to be down from the previous show.

NO mention whatsoever was made of JYD's death at the Arena, something unforgivable in my mind considering he was a "hardcore legend" honored at the recent WrestlePalooza PPV. There were at least two crowd chants with his name at quiet moments in the show.

They lost the crowd early after announcing that Lance Storm would not be there for the scheduled tag title match with Van Dam/Sabu. There were audible chants of "Refund". Candido looked pissed. The claimed reason was Storm having "travel problems". The real reason? Paul Heyman and the ECW office didn't do the necessary paperwork to get Storm's visa, confirmed through a source in ECW. So ECW KNEW that Storm wouldn't be there. Similar problems occurred with Chris Benoit during his stay in ECW.

That same source also mentioned that Paul Heyman had said some time back to the workers and other staff that he "would never raise prices at the Arena since it was where everything started". It's clear in this situation that Paul Heyman creatively intereprets the truth. He also overestimated the tolerance of the ECW Aena crowd for being lied to

The show seemed to have been haphazardly booked, with little storyline or continuity, a fact also mentioned by the source just mentioned. The only match worth the money was Jerry Lynn-Justin Credible, the opener.

I'll be spending June 27th, the date of the next ECW Arena show, at the NWA show in Mount Holly instead. I have more important things to do...to help celebrate the birthday of a friend, PWBTS writer and NWA staffperson Kathy Fitzpatrick, who worked for ECW for 5 years, before being thrown out the door like yesterday's garbage when someone else wanted her job in August 1996.

It's ironic, and yet appropriate, that the FIRST show that I voluntarily miss in FIVE years at the ECW Arena is for someone who was a key part of this promotion when it DID give a damn. When things were organized. When people in the leadership of ECW cared about the paying customers, and the product put on in the ring for them.

I'm proud to see the work Kathy's done in organizing the Eddie Gilbert Memorial, and is already beginning to do for the NWA 50th Anniversary Convention and Show this October. Paul Heyman obviously needs someone like that in his company these days. The funny thing was that he once had her... Once upon a time, when ECW gave a damn.

Indeed, ECW...Experiencing the INdifference...

Until next time...

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