The Best of Times, The Worst of Times
Editorial No. 2 – In the end, it doesn’t even matter (a.k.a. yet another editorial on how the WWF is bastardizing the ECW name)

By Mexican Badass

What can the WWF fans say about the ECW that is being portrayed in the Alliance vs. WWF storyline? Mmm… let me think about it. Maybe that it is as extreme as meat loaf? That it is a federation full of jobbers? Think about it. Look at how some of the most important superstars in ECW history are being portrayed. On the last edition of WWF Jakked, Tommy Dreamer jobbed to, to quote Olympic Sharshooter, did the J-O-B to the W-O-R-F'n-M! And it was his first televised singles match on WWF programming! Blasphemy! On that same edition, Mike Awesome did the j-o-b to “The One who wishes to have at least half the talent of Awesome” Billy Gunn. Yep, after carrying Gunn through the whole match, the former ECW champion faced the indignity of jobbing to a true WWF loser. And what about Jerry Lynn? When was the last time that the star-maker had a chance time to make a star? (note – don’t send me e-mails saying that he’s injured right now, I already know about that).

I remember watching ECW for the first time. Unfortunately it was on TNN, so I never got a chance to see the really good stuff from the good ol’ days. I think Cyrus was cutting a promo, I’m not sure; hey, I can barely remember what I did a week ago, so don’t expect me to remember much. Anyway, the first thought that crossed my mind was about the presentation. Just how cheap could you get? At the time, the WWF had spoiled me with their broadcasting, and I considered that the standard. However, something kept my attention. Maybe it was the passion that the fans showed, chanting “EC-Dub” at every high spot. Or maybe it was the sight of Mike Awesome putting Masato Tanaka through a table courtesy of the Awesome bomb. Or maybe it was the sight of Kid Kash turning a diving powerbomb into a hurracanada in midair. I haven’t figured it out, but whatever it was, I’m sure glad that it convinced me not to judge the ECW book by its cover. There’s more to ECW than it’s low-budget feel.

It’s a crime that the WWF fans are being only exposed to this parody of ECW. Since “Mr. Professional Wrestling” Vince McMahon doesn’t own the rights to the rich ECW video library, there is no mainstream way of educating the casual WWF fan. If the WWF wants to own ECW’s video library, it means buying ECW. If they buy ECW, it means having to pay all the debts that partially caused ECW to go out of business. And with the XFL failure, I think that Vince wants to keep as much money as he can. I don’t think more debts are something that Vince wants to worry about right now. So, the casual WWF fan will never know the legacy of Paul Heyman’s federation, and how revolutionary it was. They won’t know about the many classics that Jerry Lynn had with Rob Van Dam. They won’t know about the highly controversial crucifixion angle between Raven and the Sandman.  They will only remember Raven and Justin Credible jobbing to the Hardy Boyz, and Tazz getting punked out by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

True, not everything in the WWF version of ECW is bad. Rhyno and Lance Storm are making good impressions, and it is shown through their recent pushes (although it seems that Lance’s has stopped). And let us not forget about the whole f’n show himself, Rob Van Dam. He can now claim a clean victory against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Not many can brag about that. I would add the Dudleys to the list, but their characters are starting to get stale. Right now, they have a shot at the WWF tag team titles, but with the Undertaker starting a feud with Kronic in the picture, it doesn’t seem that the Dudley’s star shines as much as it once did.

So, is there any hope of restoring ECW to its former glory? It seems very farfetched, especially without the help of the ECW video library. Paul Heyman may talk all he wants about RVD’s 23-month reign as ECW TV champion, and how Rhyno was the last ECW champion. But in the end, it won’t matter how much ECW is verbally pushed, because the fans won’t believe it until they see solid evidence to back up Paul’s comments. And that, my friends, is a damn shame.