week of 10-12-97

by: Fritz Capp

Well everyone...it's that time of year once again. The nights get cooler, the thoughts of goblin's and ghoul's start creeping into your mind....and ECW does it's annual vestige of playing "Let's see how we can shoot ourselves in the foot this year"!
For those of you who are not familiar with the annual event that ECW seems to have to put on for whatever reason in October lets just go back in time and revisit "October's Past"


The year....1995...late October. The ECW Arena was filled as usual. The previous show was far less than what ECW was used to putting on, so Paul Heyman came out in the beginning of the show and promised a show that we wouldn't forget. For once, Paul Heyman was telling the truth. The last match was Cactus Jack vs. Terry Funk in what is now a legendary and unforgetable match. During the match a chair wrapped in soaked towels was brought to the ring and ignited. Afterwards the towels came undone from the chair and ended up landing in the crowd. Although this was purely an accident, and that the match was in the hands of what I would say was two of the best to be involved in this type of match, this was also a sign of things to come in ECW. A few fans were injured and shock and rage went out throughout the wrestling business about this match.
Let's jump ahead one year. October, 1996. Another great show being put on by ECW. Over the past couple of years Tommy Dreamer and Raven had been involved in a series of events that ended in either Tommy or Raven being handcuffed to either the ring ropes or a cage with their arms outstretched, looking as if they were crucified. On this night, Paul Heyman decided to stop 'looking as if' and go for the whole shooting match. In a match with The Sandman vs. Too Cold Scorpio , Raven (who had custody per say of Sandman's son in another angle running at the same time)....with the help of Stevie Richards and The Blue Meanie with Brian Lee keeping everyone at bay who came out from the back who tried to help out Sandman, actually pulled out a wooden cross and crucified The Sandman and hung the cross on the ringropes for all to see. Sandman was also wearing a crown of thorns. This night, there were people that actually walked out. The religious implications were there to be sure, and more than a few were totally offended by this angle. In a very weak move by Paul Heyman, at the beginning of the second half of the night, Raven, who totally broke character, came out to the ring and apologized to the crowd for the angle stating that neither Paul Heyman or Tod Gordon knew anything about the angle and that its was solely his responsibility. Talk about taking a character and totaly blowing all the time of building up the character. As if anything goes on inside of an ECW ring without Paul's approval. Olympic Medalist Kurt Engle was beside himself when he saw this from atop the stage. Needless to say, ECW had taken it to the extreme then tried to get out of it through the backdoor. The press was told to not print any of the pictures they took, with ECW being afraid that Vince McMahon would see this and break the deal that they were working on.
It is now October, 1997 and I am sure another debacle is in the works. The question is...what will it be and do they still have the talent to pull of their annual brand of idiocy???? In my estimation, they have never needed talent for their debacle's. Paul Heyman is now at a place in time where he needs to do something to put ECW back on the map with all their recent talent losses. It is a shame that Paul will probably sacrifice one of his workers (or more if need be) to the the wrestling gods all in the name of making up for taking a truly great promotion and shoving it into mediocrity. But there could be a bright spot...if Bubba takes a big enough bump maybe he'll forget just how big a jerk he is and start focusing back on wrestling instead of thinking that he is the end all of the pro wrestling world.

Fritz Capp is the editor of Pro Wrestling's Between The Sheets - for comments or opposing viewpoints please e-mail to fritzecw@fast.net

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