Dueling Chair Shots
Welcome to the first edition of ‘Dueling Chair Shots’. Last week in the TNN TV review a mystery tag team partner was promised but just like the identity of the hummer driver we are not delivering on our promise. The identity should be revealed next week (I can feel the anticipation building).
The topic that I posed last week was “Should Tommy Dreamer continue to wrestle with his back problems?”
I talked to Tommy for a couple of minutes the day after Heatwave as we were boarding the same airplane in Dayton back to the east coast. I asked him about his back and he told me all the herniated disks and the rehab and everything else that most of us are familiar with.
I quickly learned that surgery was not much of a choice for Tommy. If he went this route he would be out of action for at least 6 months and it could possible be career ending. He told me that he wouldn’t allow a doctor to determine the fate of his career while he was under the knife. So Tommy has opted for rest and rehab.
The problem I see with this option is that while Tommy maybe rehabing he definitely isn’t resting the back. And while I am not a doctor I suspect that continuing to wrestle with herniated disks isn’t the best way for him to get healthy.
Not helping the situation is that Raven has come back to ECW and now he and Tommy are involved in the only interesting angle going right now. Dreamer’s loyalty to ECW and the fans is such that he feels that he must go out there and entertain even though he is likely taking years off of his career.
While this is very noble of him, Tommy needs to step back and look
at the big picture and be selfish for once. Tommy’s current matches
are painful; for his back and for us watching him at less than 100 percent.
He needs to take as much time off as he needs to get his back healed up
and then we can see the real Tommy Dreamer in the ring and not a shell
of his former self.
I also received a lot of letters to Tommy on this topic. Here are a few interesting ones:
You need to stay in the ring until you either can’t walk anymore or until you die. You should consider a tuxedo match with Gorilla Monsoon for your next match. The fans would love that.
Signed, Moolah and Mae West
Take all the time you need over the next 6 months to rest that back. Then come springtime you and I can swing for the fences again.
Your softball pal, Sid
Put me over, then retire.
Signed, Old School Steve Corino
If you see the ratings going up then be sure to stick your nose into everything and take credit for it. If the ratings go down, complain about your back, don’t wrestle, and call everyone else midgets.
Signed, Hulk Hogan
The topic for next week’s column will be “Did Taz sell out?”. If you have any good opinions on the subject I’ll be sure to include them in the column. If you have really bad opinions they may be included too. Send all comments on the subject to me at email@example.com.
If you are upset at anything in this column be sure to send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think that a lot of people are bitter because Taz is a hypocrite. We all bought into his gimmick of “I’m so loyal to ECW, I work on a handshake deal, I’ve been offered bigger contracts and choose to stay in ECW” rhetoric that he sold to us. And we all bought into that and when we found out that Taz was leaving it was like he was stabbing the fans in the back.
We all bought into the “my gimmick is a shoot, brotha”. It was only after we found out that he was leaving did we realize that his undying loyalty to ECW was a gimmick. And on top of that it was only a few weeks after Taz himself said that he had signed his ECW contract. We all expected to see him in ECW for a few more years and then we found you he was leaving. So to go from being the person who the fans see as the extreme loyalist who has been in ECW from the beginning to the one that is leaving leaves a sour taste in your mouth.
If he was leaving for more money or more fame I wouldn’t have a problem with that. I don’t think that anyone who leaves their job for another job because of money ‘sold out’. It’s something that most of us would do if we were offered a significant raise. It’s why when the Dudleys left I wasn’t too upset about it (and we don’t have to see Sign Guy anymore!!). They didn’t have much more to do in ECW and a better deal was on the table. Who could blame them for taking it? The difference to me between Taz and the Dudleys was that Taz gave us the loyalty gimmick and the Dudleys didn’t.
The key when looking at this whole situation is that we have to separate
the character of Taz and the person behind the character. Taz sold
out, it’s plain and simple. The person behind the character of Taz,
however, is looking for a better oppurtunity and we can’t begrudge him
A lot of feedback was sent to Dueling Chair Shots about this subject. Here are a few of the letters that I received:
I couldn’t think of a better time for Taz to sell out.....er, I mean I fully support his decision, he did not sell out.
The Champ, Mike Awesome
What’s a sellout?
What’s a sellout?
Atlanta Braves fans
Someone will now be shorter than me! I won’t have to wear my high heel boots when I wrestle him now!! So of course he didn’t sell out!!!
Sincerely, Y2J, Chris Jericho
The topic for next week’s column will be “Who is the most annoying person in ECW?”. If you have any good opinions on the subject I’ll be sure to include them in the column. If you have really bad opinions they may be included too. Send all comments on the subject to me at email@example.com.
Last week I was reading about an interview where Paul E. was ripping into the Sandman. Here is what was even posted on this site....
“Although many people within ECW are pushing for Paul Heyman to re-sign
James Fullington (Hak,Sandman), Heyman tells Wade Keller's Pro Wrestling
Torch that he is still outraged that Fullington left ECW without giving
Heyman told the Torch in regards to Fullington, "I never liked him
personally, but it didn't get in the way of business."
While Heyman gives Fullington credit for "working his ass off" while
working in ECW, he says that he created the harder-edged version of the
Sandman character. "I gave him a career, a life, and spent a fortune
getting the music rights" for his in ring enterance (Metallica's "Enter
Sandman"). Heyman notes that he stood up for Fullington when several
wrestlers complained about his stiff in-ring style and stood by him when
Mick Foley refused to work with him. "Then he left without giving
notice," Heyman said.
Heyman says if Fullington is brought back in ECW, he will have to
over. "He won't be paid what he was making before," Heyman says.
Instead, Fullington would have to accept "starter pay". When pressed,
Heyamn said starter pay "in his situation" would be roughly $1,500 per
week. Heyman adds that Fullington would have to give up "$5,000 per
week" from WCW.”
Now when I first read this I didn’t buy it 100%. I could see how Paul E. could be bitter about Sandman’s exit from ECW but the rest of it didn’t make sense. For one I’m pretty sure Paul E. never paid any rights fee for ‘Enter Sandman’. If he did they wouldn’t have had to put that bad cover of it on the ECW CD. (Whatever happened to volume II? I thought that was suppose to come out a long time ago). Also, I had a hard time believing that there was a deep hatred between the two to the point where they couldn’t be in the same room. But I thought that this was just part of Paul E’s bitterness so I bought it.
Fast Forward to Saturday night. A former ECW World Champion will return. The first thought that comes to mind is the Sandman. And then in the opening match out come Mikey Whipwreck. Oh well, I guess the Paul E / Sandman heat is legit, at least Mikey is back.
Fast Forward to the Main Event Saturday. Raven/Dreamer V. Credible/Storm. Mid-match the lights turn out. Upon the return of the lights is the Sandman. OH MY GOD! (Gimmick ripoff) While many accounts say that this was the loudest pop on record in ECW, I have my doubts. As far as I’m concerned the pop for Raven at the last Queens show would be hard to surpass. Personally, I think this is just Philly fans saying this to try and look better than NYC fans. (In case you can’t tell this is my ‘heel’ personna - Gimmick ripoff #2).
I had to read the results of the night from our good friends at ECWWrestling.com and I was shocked reading the results because I bought into Paul E’s 2-pronged swerve just like everyone at the Arena.
This swerve was classic Paul E. In this day and age where wrestling news hits the internet almost instintaneously, Paul E found a way to use it to his benefit to stage the second most memorable show in years behind the return of Raven at the last Queens show, of course.
Could you imagine the reaction of the crowd if they knew the Sandman was coming back? The lights turn back on, there’s the Sandman............and the crowd gives him a nice golf applause. It just wouldn’t have been the same. Kudos to you Paul E for pulling it off.
I think Paul E’s handling of the return of the Sandman can be best
summed up like this.......
That’s just not the coolest
That’s not just the best
That’s just incredible (gimmick ripoff #3)
Can you have a gimmick that is just riping off other gimmicks?
I guess so. Stevie Richards already does that (chalk up gimmick ripoff
Book review: If you like wrestling, you’ll love Mick Foley’s book. It’s a book that I only put down to go to work or to sleep, it was that good. It also includes quite a bit about his time in ECW, especially the anti-hardcore gimmick. You also get a good look into the wrestling business. And it can give you funny sign ideas that only people that read the book will get like “there’s f’n cookies in my bed!!”.
Go to www.barnesandnoble.com for the cheapest copy you can find.
Baldies v. Balls and Axl
The only question I have is who will take the biggest chair shot. I'll go
Jerry Lynn v. Yoshihiro Tajiri v. Super Crazy
Jerry Lynn has to be the next TV Champion so you can't have him drop this
match and then go on to beat RVD later. It doesn't make sense. Either way
this will be the best wrestling match of the night.
Sabu v. Chris Candido
There's no way Sabu does the JOB two straight PPVs.
RVD v. Taz
I'm hoping that we don't see a straight JOB in this match like the Taz/Sabu
match last week. Everyone is expecting that. Paul E knows this so I'm
expecting something interesting to happen in this match. I can't see Taz
winning the belt now because that would be too similar to the Dudley's last
hurrah; but maybe something along the lines of having Sabu try to interfere
to help Taz win but then have Jerry Lynn come out and make the save for RVD.
Mike Awesome v. Tanaka
You can't have someone who's not in the company hold the belt, so Awesome
will win. I expect another great match between the two either way though.
I could watch those 2 every PPV and not get bored with it.
Dreamer/Raven/Sandman v. Credible/Storm/Rhino
Since this has been announced as the main event I'm expecting Paul E to have
a big angle planned for this one. And with the history between Dreamer,
Sandman, and Raven there are a lot of different ways that this one can go
down. Sandman turning on Dreamer seems to be the likely candidate. Look
for the heels to get the pin while Tommy is left lying in the ring.
Send all comments on the subject to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While I liked the show there were several aspects of the show that
I thought could have been better:
1. Put Mike Awesome and Tanaka as the main event. First, its the World Championship Belt; treat it like it actually is. Secondly, you know these guys are going to put on a great match so let them finish the show and leave the audience with a good taste in their mouths. Having the heels win the final match is kind of a letdown and takes away from the overall show.
2. My last column was praying that RVD - Taz wouldn’t be a straight J.O.B. match. It was. After all the matches Taz has been in where he kicks out of everything to see him be pinned after one frog splash was strange. Everyone knew that the belt wasn’t going to change hands but that doesn’t mean that there doesn’t have to be any drama in the match. I liked the first few minutes of the match but after that it was nothing special. Something needed to spice that match up and it never happened. Could you imagine the reaction if RVD put the Tazmission on Taz and Paul E came out and had the bell rung saying that Taz tapped out, ala Bret Hart - Vince McMahon? That would have been tremendous.
3. N2R is ECWs showcase event. However, if we didn’t know this, would you be able to differentiate between the 6 PPVs? To me they all look the same. Don’t get me wrong, you know your going to get a great show with ECW but N2R doesn’t stand out like it should. I think Paul E was worried about overbooking again this year so he held back on angles and focused on wrestling.
4. 57 run-ins in one match. Just because the wrestlers are at the show doesn’t mean that they all have to be used. However, if you insist you MUST have Tom Marquez.
Having said that there was plenty that I did like:
1. Awesome v. Tanaka. Another tremendous match. I could watch these 2 wrestle every week. Best match of the night. One of the best of the year.
2. Three way dance with Super Crazy, Tajiri and Jerry Lynn. I expected this to be the best match going in and I wasn’t disappointed (although it match was surpassed by Awesome and Tanaka). To me Jerry Lynn is the best wrestler going in ECW. Now it’s time for him to get the clean pin over RVD for the TV Title (OK, it probably won’t happen but I can wish for it).
3. Cyrus was tremendous on commentary. I had mixed thoughts on the first PPV he announced on but now I can’t image Joey going it alone anymore. Cyrus is able to come off as a credible wrestling color commentator in addition to providing humor. No other color commentator out there today can mix the two together like he does.
4. I had my first look at the Simon and Dick gimmick. That’s some funny stuff.
5. Jazz getting planted by Dick. She’s talented, but I find her annoying.
6. Nova’s Smash Mouth
7. The cocktail napkin
Overall, I thought the show was pretty strong. Each match accomplished what it was ultimately trying to whether it was great wrestling, brawling, putting guys over, angles or in a lot of cases a combination of those. On a scale of 1-4 I would give it a solid 3.
His opponent distracted, Justin Credible reaches for his singapore cane. He climbs into the ring and sneaks up on his unsuspecting opponent from behind. Waiting for the right moment he waits in anticipation gripping the cane in his hands. Sensing that the time is near he begins by running in place. He takes a run at his next victim just as the enemy turns toward him. He rears back and takes a mighty swing with the cane connecting to his opponents head and leaving them lying in the ring.
His opponent lying motionless in the ring Justin Credible then grabs the microphone, looks into the camera, and addresses the audience.
“Now, that’s not just the coolest”
“That’s not just the best”
“That’s Justin Credible”
Actually, if you ask me, that’s quite annoying.
Does Justin Credible have to say that phrase EVERY SINGLE TIME he has a microphone in his hand? And on top of that does he have to scream EVERY SINGLE TIME he says it? Apparently the answer is yes.
A lot of times, less is more, and I think that is definitely this is the case here. Just because you say something loud doesn’t mean that it’s intense or that people are getting your message or that you even have a message. I think a lot of wrestlers don’t get that. If you want a example of a great intense promo that gets the message across just look at Raven. He’s great at that. And I think Justin could cut a better promo just by not yelling as much and cutting back on the catchphrase, using it only when it fits instead of everytime a camera is in his face. Less is more.
I realize that wrestlers feel the need to have a catchphrase and there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that, unless that is the only way you are over (i.e. Konnan). They just need to learn when to pick there spots so the message is effective and isn’t some rambling nonsense. Justin has already established himself as a top talent in ECW. He just needs to take it to the next level now by realizing less is more.
Send any feedback, questions, or column ideas to me at email@example.com
Wednesday Dueling Chair Shots.
The news of Acclaim producing the ECW video game was not much of
This has been something that I'm sure has been in place for months now but
could not be announced because of Acclaim's existing deal with the WWF that
only expired last week.
The big surprise, and the more significant part of this whole deal,
Acclaim taking a minority interest in ECW. What this means is that Acclaim
now owns part of ECW. This is just a shot in the dark, since a minority
interest could be anywhere between 1-49%, but I would guess that Acclaim now
owns about 20% of the company.
For consideration of this minority interest in ECW, Acclaim has given
cash, a much-needed asset for ECW. How much cash exchanged hands is also
unknown but I think $10 million is a conservative estimate. As of 8/31/99,
Acclaim had $74 million of cash on hand that could go towards this.
(Based on its current stock price the WWF is worth roughly $1.4 billion.
you were to say ECW was worth 5% of the WWF that would put ECW at a value of
$70 million. A 20% interest of $70 million would be $14 million so an
estimate of $10 million is in the ballpark. Paul E. will now need to be
known as Millionaire Paul E).
The impact of this deal is huge. For one ECW, barring multiple
screwups, is 'in the clear' financially. You will no longer hear stories
about bouncing checks or how the company is ready to go under. This
infusion of cash into ECW allows them to do a lot of things they might not
have otherwise, such as paying off debt, upgrading equipment, acquiring
talent, retaining talent and a whole host of other things.
In addition, with Acclaim as a partner, ECW now has a whole new host
connections throughout the business world, which while not sounding terribly
exciting is very valuable.
Acclaim has two major reasons why the success of ECW is important
One, they hold a minority interest in the company and share in their
percentage of profits. The other is that they are selling the video game
(is there an Atari 2600 version coming out?). The larger the ECW fan base
is the more games that Acclaim will sell. Therefore it's in their best
interest for the ECW fan base to grow. It's for these reasons why we will
likely see a major ECW advertising promotion from Acclaim in conjunction
with ECW in the near future. Up to now we haven't seen much advertising
because TNN doesn't have the same interest in seeing ECW succeed as Acclaim
now does. In addition, ECW, up to this point, didn't have the capacity to
do this on there own either so that is largely why the rating has been
siting at 1.
Who would have thought that before the end of this century you would
to own a piece of each of the 3 major wrestling organizations? You can own
the WWF directly (ticker: WWFE), WCW through Time Warner (ticker: TWX), and
now ECW through Acclaim (ticker: AKML). It's a crazy world.
If you made it to the bottom of this column without falling asleep
Send any feedback, questions, or column ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday Dueling Chair Shots.
Memo to Paul E: Bring HBK to ECW. Do whatever it takes to bring
him in. If
he truly has an interest to come in do what it takes to bring him in. The
possibilities with him are endless. I'm marking out right now thinking
about it. Look at the buzz that Rick Rude created when he came in.
Michaels is in a similar situation as Rude was, as he can't wrestle anymore
but he can add a ton to the overall product. He might be the most
charismatic wrestler ever. Find a way to get it done.
The one thing that bothers me is that the rumor is that part of his
motivation would be to help put Justin Credible over. Don't you think that
Paul E. has done this enough already? How much more could possibly be done
to put this guy over more?
Why would HBK want to come in? Personally, I think that Michael's
performing. It's part of that huge ego of his. He seems to be in the WWF's
doghouse and there's no chance that WWF would let him work for WCW, so ECW
is HBK's only real option to perform on a big stage.
Vince and Paul E. seem to have an amiable relationship so I imagine
something could be worked out. The obvious one is to release Taz from his
contract immediately and let Vince use him. Hell, Paul E should do this
anyway. Neither Paul E or Taz is benefiting from Taz being paid to sit at
New Roster Additions:
I don't think I ever would have said that I thought ECW's talent roster was
too full but I think that point is getting close if it hasn't reached that
level already. Paul E. is spending money on talent like it was going out of
style. This is largely attributable to the Acclaim deal (see the previous
DCS for in depth analysis on that). With only 2 hours of TV a week having
so many wrestlers might not be the best thing. There's not enough time to
get over everyone. There's going to be quality talent on the undercard
that's getting buried because of this as well as veterans who will be upset
at not getting enough TV time. This could become a problem in the future.
Here's my take on all of the wrestlers who appeared at the latest
Too Cold - He was the reason why I was the only person who watched the
Legends of Wrestling PPV. One of my favorite wrestlers who I hope is in ECW
for a longtime.
Tracey Smothers - This guy cracks me up as well as being a solid
presence in the locker room.
Super Calo - No one puts on luchadore matches like ECW. I'm
continue the tradition. Another solid addition.
Glacier - I can't say I'm too excited about Ray Lloyd being in ECW
he'll prove me wrong
Dusty Rhodes - This is a head scratcher. I'm sure Paul E can
do some good
things with him but I'm not sure if I want to see Dusty wrestling now, let
alone 10 years ago.
An Open Letter to Chris Candido and Tammy Sytch
Chris and Tammy,
I read your (Chris') letter that you had wrestling newsboards post
weekend and which ECWnews copied onto its newsboard. (Apparently you didn't
see that ECWnews.com is the #1 ECW site as voted by the fans, we hold no
grudges though). I can see that you two were troubled by the 'news' that
was reported and the effect it had on your family.
I can understand the urge to explain your side of the story.
reported was very misleading. What you two were doing was part of
rehabilitation and it came across as if you two were busted for drugs in a
police sting and locked up in your home.
You mentioned that Paul E. tells you to "Do Nothing" as a response.
Apparently, you don't realize that this is the best advice that anyone can
give you two. Acknowledging these rumors just fans the flames. In
addition, mentioning people by name only makes someone go and actually read
what they wrote. If you feel it is necessary to post a response you should
have done something along the lines of:
"There have been internet reports circulating that we were "locked
weekend and missed the ECW shows because of that. This is a true statement,
although, it is very misleading. We were in a 72 hour program this past
weekend that was part of our rehabilitation. We informed ECW management
prior to the date that we would miss the shows and it was OK'd. Thanks to
all of our fans for your continued support. - Chris and Tammy"
It's really just that easy. This statement shows that the 'news'
misleading, you inform the reader of what actually was the intent of the
program, and you thank your fans.
The problem with what you posted is that your emotions got the best
and it leads you to write things that take away from the point of your
letter. For instance, in your letter you talk about:
* Performances stealing the show which have led to higher ratings
* How Chris carries great matches without getting any credit
* How Tammy is the greatest manager today (among other things) without
getting any credit
* How you two are treated differently from other wrestlers
When the reader reads all of this the first reaction is to question
whether or not he believes any of these statements. I'm not going to argue
one way or the other over these things, that's not the point here. The
point is that mentioning anything other than clarifying what was misleading,
you distract the reader into thinking about everything but that.
I think just about everyone on the internet knows that you two have
numerous problems over the past few years. And it appears you both are
working to overcome these problems and that in itself is admirable. You
just need to learn when saying nothing is the best thing.
Next week will be my ECW year in review column. If you have
you think deserves a mention let me know at email@example.com.