My first article here on BR and I felt it might be fun to talk about the big 15 person trade between RAW, Smackdown! and ECW. I've heard from a lot of people that ECW got raped of its talent.
If the main reasons you watched ECW was for Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, Finaly and the Hart Dynasty (I swear I'm missing someone in there) then yeah, you could say that.
I liked all of those superstars for various reasons but having them on ECW made no sense at all to me. ECW has always been to me, a glorified version of OVW or FCW, depending upon which connects better with you as a developmental territory.
New talent was supposed to grow there and then eventually move on to bigger and better things. Case in point with Morrison and Punk.
Sure, a lot of people knew CM Punk from his indy work, but to get him in with the WWE only crowd, ECW was a great thing.
Sure, Morrison had an IC title reign and a lot with MNM, but what happened with him in ECW was great for his career, in my humble opinion.
Either way, ECW served its purpose, and those two moved on to big things and continue to do so today.
Lets break it down, shall we? If you look at Bourne, he's a great high flyer that people love to see, especially when he's made appearances on RAW/SD!.
He got into Cyber Sunday's ECW title match and had a great match with Matt Hardy that I think really got him noticed and probably would have carried him through if he hadn't gotten injured.
I think he would have been better suited on SD!, with Rey who he's had great matches with, especially with Edge/Jericho now holding the tag team belts.
I hope Bourne does go somewhere, because he's exciting, and that's really what the WWE audience needs, someone who can give them something that they haven't had drilled into their brains like Jeff Hardy.
Jack Swagger, not really one of my favorites in the least. He reminds me of Chris Nowitzki, and I just don't find him all that entertaining.
However, for the hype he had been getting, getting him off ECW now was the smartest thing to do.
Mark Henry, one of the better big men out there, and yeah, I know he sweats a lot and looks a little sloppy at times, but he's effective at what the WWE wants him to do.
Plus, he has some of the better facial expressions out there which is half the game now-a-days.
If they are turning him face, which it seems they are, I'd like to see him enter into a program with the Big Show: World's Largest Athlete vs. World's Strongest Man, it could draw.
Moving Henry to RAW and getting rid of Tony Atlas (so it seems), it seems a smarter move.
Finlay is Finlay, not really much to say about it. He can do just about anything on any of the three brands as needed.
I think keeping Hornswoggle away from him is great because it really lets him go back to that more smash mouth style he's known for and less of being a comedy sideshow act.
The Hart Dynasty going to SD! will do great things for them as they'll now really get a chance to be put into the Unified Tag Team title picture like they should be.
There was no chance of them holding gold while on ECW, Vince would never let the tag team titles sit on ECW, unless there was a "talent exchange" like when Miz and Morrison held the titles. That way ECW could be used to bridge the gap, so to speak.
Plus, with Natalya coming to Smackdown!, one can hope that Melina gets the belt back real soon and enters into a feud with her, that could definitely get fans attentions more so than boring Michelle McCool.
Michelle may have athletic ability but sorry people, she bores everyone to tears.
So, on the flipside, ECW got Shelton Benjamin, the Bella Twins, William Regal and Goldust. These are not losing acquisitions to say the very least.
The Bella Twins were never going to be used on RAW or Smackdown! in a serious way, so why keep them around to clutter things? ECW fits them well, and who knows, maybe we'll get some new girls from the new talent initiative.
For all of the Shelton fans out there, you should have been happy as clams to see this move. He no longer has to flounder on Smackdown! and could be a "world" Champion on ECW, which is as close to the big one as he'll get. I
personally am glad that he went to ECW because it means he doesn't have to waste my time. Sure, he's a great athlete but so is Charlie Haas.
Shelton and Charlie both lack charisma and personality, ergo why neither man will get anywhere anytime soon if the WWE Universe has something to say about it.
It wouldn't shock me if Shelton gets released soon, as no one really cares all that much about him.
William Regal is one of the better brawler/technical wrestlers in the business today. People forget that he's a multi-time Intercontinental Champion as well as the 2008 King of the Ring, so this should technically be a coup for ECW to get him.
He's got enough personality that being on a one-hour show won't kill him and he can get other talent over as well.
He fits perfectly for what ECW is, and he will shine, which he hasn't had a real chance to do on RAW since coming back from his suspension.
I am a hardcore Goldust mark. I think he's a great talent and if we could see old school Goldust and he really looks back on form, I wouldn't say no to a run with him as ECW Champion.
It would definitely shake things up on that brand and I miss my mind games. Goldust is like Regal in the fact that he's got something that he can bring to the table that a one-hour setting is okay for him.
So all in all, my take is that ECW did what was best for ECW. New talent will get a chance to step up (I hope) and work with some of the better veteran talents (Regal and Goldust) before progressing on.
Keeping the people who were on ECW before the trade would have been far too detrimental to their careers. ECW is back to what ECW really ought to be.