AS I SEE IT 6/19: Oh my God...

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

“We are going to have everything that made the old ECW great, and a whole lot more...This is going to celebrate the concepts that we initiated and that we perfected and brought to the table back in the 90’s. It’s going to springboard a whole new revolution of new concepts and new ideas and be the trendsetter for the future. The ground breaking experience that it was back then, it will be all that again today".
Paul Heyman,, June 13, 2006

Oh my God.

I turned on the television at 10:00 pm EDT to Sci-Fi Network, hoping I've been wrong all along...and that what I'd see over the next 65 minutes would remind me in SOME way of the ECW TV I'd watched on SportsChannel Philadelphia, WGTW Channel 48 in Philadelphia, TNN, and on PPV from 1993 to 2001. I hoped that Vince McMahon's WW/ECW would have some of what I loved about the original ECW.

Maybe it would have some of ECW's trademark great technical wrestling.

Maybe it would have some of ECW's trademark violence.

Maybe it would debut new faces like CM Punk to a mainstream nationwide audience.

Needless to say, NONE of these were featured on Tuesday, June 13 at 10:00 pm EDT on SCi-Fi Network.

So much for Heyman's denials that there'd be any sort of vampire or zombie characters demanded by Sci-Fi Network. The first match on the "new ECW" had a zombie.

Yes, a zombie.

It could have been worse, though. It's reported that Sci-Fi didn't want the originally planned alien that was supposed to be in this segment, because they didn't want an alien getting beaten up, feeling it would upset their regular network fans.

Not to mention the vampire (Kevin Fertig aka Mordecai) we saw on the one bumper coming back from a break.

Stories from those who attended live state that the crowd was also told by Joey Styles not to do risque chants as "families were there to see Smackdown". Oh, in other words, don't piss off Sci-Fi Network..who decided after watching the One Night Stand PPV that they would make ECW taped again, instead of airing it live.

If that isn't enough Dave Meltzer reported on June 14 that the next Sci-Fi influenced character"will be a tarot card reading witch portrayed by Shelly Martinez as WWE filmed vignettes with her tonight in Trenton, New Jersey".

Despite the earlier denials by Paul Heyman in an online interview, Sci-Fi Network got exactly what they wanted: content to "appease" what the network's executives think science fiction fans apparently are.

Sci-Fi seems to think that science fiction fans are nothing but morons who need each and every hour to be full of zombies, aliens, and vampires. Anyone with a brain knows that stereotype... like all stereotypes, is untrue, but the management of Sci-Fi apparently does not. So we were inflicted with zombies, vampires and now, reportedly, a tarot reading witch.

If I were a hardcore science-fiction fan (I am a viewer on occasion...and loved Babylon 5 when it was on SciFi), I'd be pissed off to think that's what this network thought I was.

This show inspired universally negative reaction among wrestling fans...and I mean universal, in a way that few wrestling angles, storylines, or characters, have anytime in recent memory. We're talking a reaction that viewed it as worse than WCW Thunder at the end...worse than Legends of Wrestling...worse than Herb Abrams's infamous Black Jack Brawl PPV.

The debacle of last Tuesday featured no Steve DeAngelis or Bob Artese ring announcing. The Joey Styles of ECW wasn't there, as someone called Joey Styles and Taz were forced to feign enthuasism for that bullshit that aired, rather than say the things Joey Styles would have said about any WWF/E inspired product that aired that crap on anything other than public access TV. There was no John Finegan, Jim Molineau, or Mike Kehner refereeing. There were none of the things we remember from ECW that aired even two nights earlier at One Night Stand, save Paul Heyman, Sabu, RVD, and Sandman.

What's the matter? Don't SteveDeAngelis or Mike Kehner fit into someone's corporate idea of programming for Sci-Fi? Anyone for a healthy "We want Horshach" chant this Saturday night if you're at the bingo hall?

What's more, WWECW comes to Philadelphia this Saturday night at the ECW Arena. Let WWE try putting out that crap, or even worse putting it out at the July 4 TV taping (that apparently won't be announced until the night of June 24 at the Arena). Want to see an outright riot? Even better, let WWE or Sci-Fi try sound-sanitizing the ECW Arena crowd. That would wind up all over the Internet before the show ends and kill it deader than dead on July 4.

I'm going to be as direct as I can with this.

Yes, the ratings did a 2.8, far more than anything TNA has ever done, or the original ECW ever did. They did a 2.8 this past week. Anyone want to take odds it doesn't do a 2.8 again?

If this trend continues, this TV show and perhaps the whole WW/ECW project, is DOA by Labor Day.

It seems at least Joey Styles wasn't happy with the drivel he was forced to feign enthusiasm for, with these comments naming his "Most Extreme Player for June 15":

" This week’s ECW M.E.P. is without question The Zombie. The Zombie’s riveting entrance, intensity and pre-match interview embodied everything I have come to expect from sports-entertainment.

The Zombie immediately made this lifelong wrestling fan conjure up images of such other sports-entertainment greats as Max Moon, The Goon and The Gobbledygooker."

Sarcastic, yes?

Actually, Styles forgot the all-time classic WCW Shockmaster, the debacle which was at least made somewhat funnier that night, when I was on vacation at SMW Fanweek 1994. Along with the rest of those on the trip who had all just come back from a SMW house show we'd traveled to, I was told by Jim Cornette that we had to come to certain hotel room to see the single funniest thing in the history of wrestling.

When Jim Cornette tells you something's funny, you know it must be really good, or really bad.

Needless to say, The Shockmaster was really bad, but really hilarious to watch him fall through a fake wall on live TV with a group of wrestling fans.

The debut of ECW last Tuesday night was Shockmaster-level bad. Except this time, there was no Jim Cornette to point out the utter absurdity of it and make us laugh...although if you watch him holding up the NWA belt on a TNA PPV to make people watch a live TV show to find out who's getting the belt, he had his own to justify last night.

Until next time...


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