AS I SEE IT 9/7: Your thoughts on the tenth anniversary of "extreme"
by: Bob Magee
Last week's column on the tenth anniversary of ECW got some nice responses from some fellow ECW fans I don't know...some I know very well...and a few I do know but haven't seen or heard from in a while.
First, from Jeff Capo, ECW fan, and now independent referee with NWA Virginia:
I can't believe a decade has passed since ECW was formed. I remember being at that show. Ed Zohn had begun working with them since the death of Mark Bodey who we were partners with in American Commonwealth Wrestling.
I had applied to ref some of the matches, but all the slots were taken. I remember Ed coming to me from the backstage are and telling me that "something big" was going to go down but couldn't elaborate any further. What a long, strange trip it has been.
Jeffrey T. Capo"
From Mike Hensley, independent wrestler:
"That was probably one of the best things I've read this year.
That really really touched me just because I saw alot of those events and it got me remembering the past.
I remember I was about ready to give up on pro wrestling when I was 13, because it was getting boring (before Austin and the NWO came in). Then I stayed up one late night flipping through channels, and saw my first ever ECW show at 2 in the morning in Lexington, KY.
Right then and there, that show made me want to become a prowrestler, which I am now.
Man great job on the column. ECW should be remembered for all it's done for professional wrestling and for how many lives it touched, because i know it sure touched mine. EC F'N W...
From Mike Mirra of NODQ.com:
"Beautiful...jiust beautiful, man.
Over on NoDQ (Editors' note: which carries AS I SEE IT each week) this column, along with my exclusive interview with Steve Corino...ECW memories are certainly being shared over on NoDQ this week."
From Richard Degenais:
"I just looked at the new AS I SEE IT about ECW... and God, do I miss it.
Great article man. Makes me pine for the "good ol days", even if those days were only a few years ago."
I loved the story on ECW, and the history, but you forgot about a great ECW wrestler, and the first person to ever go through two tables, Don E. Allen. This guy took sick bumps from every one and had numerous matches with Taz and Public Enemy."
Duly noted. Don E. actually goes back even earlier, to the Joel Goodhart days of the Tri-State Wrestling Alliance which ran shows in Philadelphia from 1989 to 1992.
From online wrestling host/commentator, and independent wrestler Mark Manson:
"Reading that column really brought back a lot of memories.
I remember coming to the arena back in late 1994 (my friends and I were the original Dudley superfans), and not missing one show there until the end.
Seeing all those great workers passing through there was something else. All of it inspired me to break into the sport 8 years ago and i have truly been happy with it.
It was strange, sitting in the stands,watching the Japanese workers like Men's Teioh and W*ng Kanemura and then just a few years later, traveling to Japan to fight them myself.
Honestly, if it hadn't been for ECW, i probably wouldn't have gotten into the sport and missed out on some GREAT memories.
Thank you for your insightful column.
And from one of ECW's own originals....current 3PW referee John Finegan:
"Tremendous recap of the ten year "ECW anniversary:. I had chills again while reading it.
What a great time it was...
I loved every bit of it and miss it terribly."
Great job and thanks...
"LOVED your column on ECW's 10th anniversary of Heyman making the company EXTREME.
Well done, and very emotional. I wish I was there.
It was indeed a special time for a lot of reasons.
It was a time where most wrestling fans were confronted with two options...largely featuring wrestling products that resembled Saturday morning cartoons. ECW provided fans with a different wrestling product...one that didn't insult the intelligence of those watching it...with a variety of hardcore action, mixed with world-class lucha, mixed with high-quality technical wrestling where workrate wasn't a four letter word.
I'm reminded about that at a time ten years later where we have only one major promotion in the United States...with another promotion on weekly national PPV and TV struggling to make it...and some smaller/regional promotions offering some alternatives.
I was reminded about it even more last Monday when we had a two hour "wrestling show" with two matches shown in the entire program...so we could instead see the latest chapter of WWE's pre-determined Diva contest better known as "RAW is Whore" (thanks to Dave Meltzer for that one), featuring lame pottymouthed skits that made the most profane Shane Douglas promo look like a sermon at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and of course the "Wedding" of Kane and Lita.
The kind of emotion about ECW expressed in those e-mails contained in this column...and felt by tens of thousands more even ten years later...is why it's important to remember that once-in-a-lifetime experience that ECW really was... and to largely ignore Vince McMahon's pathetic attempt at revisionist history with the recently released "Rise and Fall of ECW" DVD set.
It may be true that the victors (read: Vince McMahon) get to write the history...but those fans who spent years at the "World's Most Famous Bingo Hall" or at the "Madhouse of Extreme" up in New York City or elsewhere in the United States know the kind of "history" that Vince McMahon is trying to feed people that don't know better on this DVD set is a blatant lie.
Even worse was the choice of the matches, with such matches as the classic one hour February 1994 Sabu-Terry Funk-Shane Douglas match, or countless Eddie Guerrero- Dean Malenko matches...or the match whose tenth anniversary was the reason for last week's column...Shane Douglas-Chris Benoit left out of the set.
We saw a product that Vince McMahon can't and won't ever be able to give us...in his wildest dreams....and we'll remember it long after Vince McMahon has turned over WWE to his children to ruin...er...run.
Until next time...
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