What if? So, the other day while I was writing my blog about Mick Foley I was talking to Tactix about what he thought about ECW. Now our backgrounds are a little different. I basically have not stopped watching wrestling since I was 2 or 3 years old, whereas Tactix missed a good part of the 90’s professional wrestling. This is one of the few topics where he and I greatly disagree. I believe that ECW, the original ECW, not the Vince McMahon ECW, was one of the most important eras, if you want to call it that, which has ever happened to modern professional wrestling.
To start things off, I want of course am going to acknowledge the yes, the hardcore movement definitely started in Asia. Now that we have that out of the way, my argument is that it was really ECW that brought that more hardcore style of wrestling to the United States. If it were not for guys like Mick Foley, Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam, Sandman, and so many more, the business would not be the same today.
During our discussion the other day, the one thing that Tactix kept bringing up as being the most important contributions to the world of professional wrestling that ECW ever gave was the talent. Yes, guys like Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, and a whole host of others came out of ECW, just like a whole bunch of the guys wrestling today came out of Ohio Valley Wrestling or Ring of Honor. These two companies, I believe are also major, game changing parts of professional wrestling, so it’s not like I am discrediting them while holding ECW on a pedestal.
Our conversation then morphed into what would the business look like now had Vince not bought ECW out? Tactix brought up a good point; it was eventually going to go out of business anyway. Frankly it was almost there when McMahon had bought it out. Paul Heyman was a terrible businessman who was in financial trouble. His talent wasn’t getting paid, so they were leaving the company to find a steady stream of money. All of this I totally agreed with Tactix about.
I guess my point during this whole conversation is that they were really the first to bring the hardcore style of wrestling into the mainstream. I would almost venture to say that without ECW there might not have been an Attitude Era. I don’t know if maybe we have a different outlook on things because I was there through the rise and fall of ECW and I was such a huge fan of the product that they were putting out, or if there is a little bit of wishful thinking. But I guess there is always this little part of me that hopes for a new company that give me the excitement that I got when I was watching the ECW guys push the boundaries of what they could show on television.
Since I haven’t talked to Tactix in a day or two, I don’t want you to worry bud, my love for TNA is not fading in the least. I still feel that TNA is putting out the best product in the business today. I still have a major distrust in the way WWE is being run and I don’t think they are ever going to get back to the heights that they once were. I just wish there was a more gritty, hardcore, passionate style of wrestling out there today. If I could take the Heymans love for the business, mix it with Dusty Rhoads’ creative mind and Vince McMahon’s business sense into one body. That would be the guy I would want running the company.
That last sentence was also for you Tactix. I know we greatly disagree on the creative end of professional wrestling so I really do hope I can get some kind of feedback from you buddy.
As always, thanks for reading.