I honestly hate that I even feel the need to write this article. But it has to be done. I'm getting tired of the "What happened to ECW?" articles that seem to never end.
What happened to ECW? Simple: It died seven years ago.
Vince McMahon did not revive the ECW name for any other reason than it draws. He knew if he created a show with the ECW name, it would attract attention. And it did. It drew the ire of everyone expecting hardcore, chair-swinging, bloody freaks.
But what would have been the use in bringing ECW back? The industry has evolved. ECW was edgy before edgy was cool. ECW featured pure, technical wrestling before it was ever considered. ECW was known for so much more than what people remember it as. Yes, ECW was a place where heads were busted, barbed wired was used as ropes, and blood was spilled. But it was so, so much more.
So what was to be gained bringing it back and trying to make it the same? People would complain they'd seen it. So Vince eventually did the smart thing. He made it a testing ground for guys and girls with potential for stardom who needed to hone their craft.
It also is a place where underappreciated veterans get a chance to be on top of the mountain. Mark Henry would never hold the World Heavyweight Title or the WWE Title, so why not let him be The Man on ECW to keep his monster persona legit? Chavo Guererro is a great technical wrestler and performer.
But let's face it, he's never getting above the mid-card on Raw and Smackdown. On ECW, he gets what he deserves.
Would CM Punk, John Morrison, the Miz, Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne) and so on be able to do what they do now without ECW? When would a guy like Sydal ever be given the chance to shine like he is now?
When their time is up, they move onto the big leagues of Smackdown and Raw, and the next batch tries it's hand. Honestly, it's great. Smarks like me get to mark out when we see Indy Wrestler X on WWE tv and marks get to experience a fresh face with talent and potential.
ECW is dead and buried. It's time the fans realised that and enjoyed what remains: a great show.