Hardcore Justice was supposed to be a one time event to pay homage to the legacy of ECW.
Fast forward nearly two months though and there are still a group of guys in TNA who wrestled that night. Granted, a few of them already had contracts (Raven, Rhino & Stevie Richards) but the decision to keep them around still looks a puzzling one.
Considering ECW wasn't all that popular, it's still flabbergasting really that there have been so many reunion shows put on by big companies (TNA & WWE in particular.)
There were two ECW One Night Stands in 2005 and 2006 which were mainly seen as reunion shows. Vince McMahon then resurrected the ECW name by giving it its own show along with RAW and Smackdown.
The show however was strictly a WWE product and the only thing it had in common with the old ECW was the name.
The group, led by Tommy Dreamer, appeared on the first iMPACT! after Hardcore Justice to thank Dixie Carter and the TNA fans for making it happen. The newly formed Fortune group—which has Ric Flair and his protégé AJ Styles at the helm—took exception at the ECW guys stealing their limelight and viciously attacked them, leaving them bloodied in the ring.
Ever since that episode of iMPACT! we've seen Fortune vs. EV2.0 (which they were later called due to WWE owning the ECW name) more or less every week.
One of the first things that annoyed me about this feud was how stupid it seemed when you broke it down. Fortune, who were supposed to be a group defending TNA from invaders, were the heels.
That makes no sense to begin with. I don't think you can really call EV2.0 faces as they get such little crowd reaction but the fact that they are an outside group coming into TNA points to the fact that they should be faces.
ECW died nearly 10 years ago so obviously a lot of the wrestlers aren’t getting any younger. The oldest of the group is Raven at 46 whilst the youngest—apart from Brian Kendrick—is Rhino at 35.
Talking about Kendrick: why is he even in EV2.0? Kendrick had no business getting involved in the feud and I know TNA was probably a man short in their plans but a guy with no ECW history makes it seem pointless.
It is understandable that these guys can’t go as well as they did in their prime, hey that’s just nature, but to put them on TV every week is a bit foolish.
You can agree with it for a reunion show, one of the main objectives is to remember how things used to be, so you can forgive a bit of ring rust. But seeing old, out of shape guys trying to keep up with the likes of AJ Styles is quite painful.
It looks as if this Sunday at Bound For Glory when EV2.0 (Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, Sabu, Raven & Stevie Richards) take on Fortune (AJ Styles, Beer Money, Matt Morgan & Kazarian) it’ll be last chance saloon for the extremists.
Let’s hope for TNA’s sake that it is their last act in TNA, or at least in the ring.