E-C-W! E-C-W! E-C-W!
The chants can still be heard today. In fact, WWE still capitalizes on those three letters to this very day.
For example, last Monday night after RAW, WWE premiered “ECW Exposed” on the WWE Network as part of a full “ECW Week” theme for their digital subscription service.
Next Tuesday night, a second edition of “ECW Exposed” is scheduled to air on the WWE Network.
Hell, this weekend, Tommy Dreamer will be presenting the seventh “House Of Hardcore” event, which is considered by many to be a show with the old “ECW feel” to it.
My question is this, why do we see so many ECW reunion shows, but no WCW reunion shows? I’m assuming it has a lot to do with dollars and cents.
For an ECW reunion show to be held, you need at least some of the following guys: Paul Heyman, Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, Taz, Bully Ray, Devon, Terry Funk, The Sandman, Rob Van Dam, Raven and Shane Douglas. Sure, there are many other names you can go with, but you need at least a few of those guys on the event for it to feel like a legitimate ECW reunion show.
For a WCW reunion show to be held, you need at least some of the following guys: Eric Bischoff, Ric Flair, Sting, Hulk Hogan, Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Diamond Dallas Page, Lex Luger, Sid Vicious, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner and Rick Steiner. Again, many names are missing, but the fact remains, the price tags of the key guys needed for an ECW reunion show versus the price tags for a WCW reunion show are world’s apart.
WWE has at different points in time had enough of the aforementioned WCW names under contract, and certainly has enough money to secure the stars they didn’t have at a particular point in time, to put together a legitimate WCW reunion show.
Outside of the financial side of putting together a reunion show for the former two biggest rival promotions to WWE, there is the financial side of how much these shows would generate.
When you compare the amount of DVDs sold between “The Rise & Fall Of ECW” and “The Rise & Fall Of WCW,” again you will notice that they are world’s apart.
When ECW went out of business in 2001 they were still a beloved promotion that just didn’t have the financial backing or television exposure to stay afloat. When WCW went out of business in 2001 they barely had a pulse.
The fan-base for ECW was a rabid, cult-like fan-base that loved their home-promotion dearly. The fan-base for WCW by the time the company folded in 2001 was practically nonexistent.
Still, it feels like there is enough WCW nostalgia for a reunion show to work. Anytime rumors circulate that claim WWE is in negotiations with Goldberg, Sting, or any of the other major names wrestling fans associate with WCW, there is a huge buzz. Fans are excited at the prospect of these guys coming into the current fold and squaring off against today’s crop of WWE Superstars.
Currently, there is a lot of interest in a Sting vs. Undertaker match at WrestleMania. There has been buzz in the recent past about a possible showdown between Goldberg and his modern-day carbon-copy Ryback. There’s even been a lot of interest in “The Hulkster” lacing up his red and yellow boots once more.
If WWE were to sign all of these guys, or ever considered the idea at any point in time, why is it out of the realm of possibility that a WCW reunion show would be a success? Personally, I think it would work, however, I think WWE wants the WCW legacy buried and forgotten, and wants the fans of today to only remember history the way Vince McMahon and company choose to portray it.
Ever watched the “Monday Night War” documentary series on the WWE Network? Right there is a perfect example of the WWE-version of history being told.
The fact is, ECW was never a close second to WWE. They definitely provided a template on how to change the wrestling product into something more modern that fans of that generation soaked up in droves. The fact remains, however, that WCW was kicking WWE’s ass for a lengthy period of time.
Prior to that, when WWE was the top dog, WCW was always nipping at their heels. NWA before WCW was at times a close-second to WWE, and for a long period of time was considered to have the better talent roster. Additionally, NWA would beat WWE in television ratings on a somewhat regular basis before fans really paid attention to TV ratings or considered them any legitimate measure of success, as was the case when the ratings became the focal point of the WWE vs. WCW “Monday Night Wars.”
Outside of WrestleMania once a year, WWE puts on pay-per-views that for the most part feel the same. Nothing seems special or different about them anymore, and the entire idea behind a pay-per-view is to put on an event that feels bigger and more unique than a typical weekly wrestling television program.
Unfortunately, current WWE pay-per-views just feel like a slightly better version of a solid edition of WWE RAW and/or WWE SmackDown, when the company should be striving to put on pay-per-views that feel like “must see” or “can’t miss” programming.
Something tells me if WWE were to book a WCW reunion pay-per-view, if they booked the right guys, it would generate a ton of interest and likely draw a solid buyrate. It would garner interest from fans who escaped the wrestling bubble and moved on with their lives back in 2001 when the only alternative to the WWE-style of wrestling went out of business.
Picture it guys — WCW One Night Stand!
I’d fork out $44.95 and spend three hours of a Sunday evening to watch it.
And something tells me many others would as well.
How about you? Would you be interested in buying a “WCW Reunion” pay-per-view event? Let us know by posting your feedback in the “Comments” section below. You can also connect with me directly on Facebook at Facebook.com/MattBooneWZR and/or on Twitter @MBoone420.