ECW is undoubtedly the weakest wrestling show of the week. But wait! There is a sure-fire way to improve this dwindling, deteriorating show.
For starters, Teddy Long's "New Superstar Initiative" has overstayed its welcome. Giving us Kofi Kingston, a former Intercontinental and New Tag Team Champion, and Evan Bourne among others, the initiative has certainly helped beef up the superstar talent on all three WWE shows.
However, it is quite a fall from Kingston to the likes of Jack Swagger, Gavin Spears, and Ricky Ortiz. While none of the latter mentioned wrestlers appear neither ring-ready nor mic ready, each of them has been given primetime on ECW in recent weeks.
Compounding their serious lack of skills is that the show itself is only one hour long, meaning pretty much anything that happens is going to be considered a major part of the show.
My point: Get rid of the New Superstar Initiative. It helped and it will be remembered, but now is its time to be gone.
But don't stop there! Get rid of Swagger, Spears, and either drop Ortiz or play to his obvious charisma. What ECW sorely lacks right now is quality, veteran leadership.
While Raw has Batista, Cena, Michaels, and Jericho (among others) to rely on and Smackdown has HHH, Undertaker, and Big Show, the main veteran draw for ECW consists of Tommy Dreamer.
Dreamer is only a one-time, short-lived ECW champion. While there is other good ECW Talent—namely Chavo Guerrero, Finlay, Mark Henry, Evan Bourne, and Matt Hardy—the roster is, as a whole, weak.
To fix this problem a few superstars who the fans take seriously need to be added to ECW. This could be done in a manner that would not impede the progress of either Raw or Smackdown by simply choosing drastically under-utilized talent from their rosters.
From RAW, ECW could benefit greatly from the additions of Hardcore Holly, Val Venis, or perhaps even a re-invented Paul London. Holly and Venis, though past their prime, are fan-favorites and would provide, if nothing else, some solid microphone work. (If you don't think this is reason enough to sign them, listen to Mark Henry on the mic.)
London could benefit from a Kendrick-like makeover, but maybe one that likened him more to Sabu, and would thus fit with ECW.
From Smackdown, Gregory Helms (the Hurricane), MVP, Umaga/The Great Khali, or, if they do not develop his title-run, Kozlov, would all fit well on ECW. Smackdown has not used Helms at all since he joined the roster, while MVP has been used only to bolster support for R-Truth prior to his U.S. Title match with Shelton Benjamin.
Khali and Umaga would both be solid additions if they were used to increase the hardcore presence on the show. Khali is a former ECW roster member, but was not used properly and was dumped in favor of the Big Show. Kozlov could provide the kind of hardcore style that was once brandished by Steve Blackman.
With only these moves, which would allow Raw and Smackdown to continue as are, ECW could prove itself to be a real show and not just a mockery of what once deserved to be called Extreme Championship Wrestling.
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