Welcome back to Wrestling Re-Booking, where we look back and rewrite the script on some wrestling angles because it’s always fun to wonder what if.
The comeback of Extreme Championship Wrestling excited many, but it soured after one month. Fans expected the ECW of old to return but got a watered down version of the former wrestling company. I credit that to the first month of ECW.
The Sandman was caning horrible gimmicks, Kelly Kelly was a bland character and the ECW Title was just given to Rob Van Dam. It didn’t help that Van Dam would lose the title in a month to The Big Show thanks to Paul Heyman, who helped Van Dam win the WWE Championship a month earlier. It’s the equivalent of a kid getting a new Playstation 4 for Christmas only to have it taken away in a month.
Needless to say, ECW was disappointing from the word go. That first month killed any momentum it might have had. Luckily, there was a simple way to fix this.
Turn back the clock to 2006 and let’s kick-start WWE’s version of ECW the right way.
For starters, hold off CM Punk’s debut. It was perfect taking on Justin Credible at the Hammerstein Ballroom, and that should be left alone.
Start off WWE’s version of ECW with the announcement of a tournament. It would culminate in the proper crowning of the ECW champion, similar to how they started with the NWA championship in 1993 with Shane Douglas defeating 2 Cold Scorpio.
Put in a 16-man tournament of the best of the best. That list should include Van Dam, Kurt Angle, Sandman, Balls Mahoney, Justin Credible, Tajiri, Super Crazy, Al Snow, Tommy Dreamer, Little Guido (Nunzio), Tony Mamaluke, Sabu, Test, Stevie Richards, Mike Knox and Kevin Thorne.
This would take two weeks of shows, considering they had one hour on Sci-Fi. It would also provide wrestlers with time to recover.
After those two weeks, the remaining names would look like this: Van Dam, Angle, Dreamer, Big Show, Knox, Mahoney, Sabu and Test. Remember it’s about incorporating new names as much as reestablishing the old ones.
This would only take up one week of programming. After that week ends, the tournament would be down to four. Van Dam, Angle, Dreamer and Big Show would be the only ones left.
Why those four? Simple; they’re the most marketable. Van Dam and Dreamer are the ECW originals that fans outside of ECW recognize the most. Big Show provides an obstacle that many would have trouble with one on one. Angle had an incredible year with a world championship reign earlier that year.
The semifinals would pair Van Dam and Dreamer in a bout while Angle and Show face each other. No one on that roster would believably beat Show in any contest except Angle. Therefore, have Angle beat Show.
Meanwhile, Van Dam would still be the WWE Champion at this point. He’d still feud with Edge and John Cena at the time. Having him take on Dreamer pits the favorite in Van Dam over the underdog in Dreamer.
Have Dreamer go over Van Dam thanks to Edge and Cena. It makes Dreamer a bigger underdog going into his bout with Angle, creating The Innovator of Violence in Dreamer battling The Wrestling Machine in Angle.
Despite all of Dreamer’s best efforts, Angle defeats Dreamer and becomes WWE’s ECW champion. The tournament would establish many storylines and wrestlers in everyone’s eyes. Angle’s a safe bet for everyone to enjoy involved, and Dreamer’s name becomes close to Van Dam’s level.
Plus, Dreamer would put Angle over, which is what he loves to do.
It’s all about paving the way for new stories to be told. This is how ECW should have been started in the first place. Who knows; it could’ve been a contender if it was built the right way.
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Copyright @ 2007