If you’ve read any of the columns I’ve written about TNA the past few months, you know that I’ve disagreed with most of the booking, but have always said that they have a talented roster. Well, after reading the most recent spoiler reports for upcoming episodes on Impact, I don’t know if I should applaud TNA’s newest booking direction or just chalk it up as being more evidence that Vince McMahon owns pro wrestling in the United States. A little over four years ago, the wrestling world was a buzz as what fans had wanted to see, a return of ECW would take place when the WWE, who bought the rights to the ECW trademarks planned to relanch the brand to bring back the extreme wrestling that so many fans enjoyed during the late 90s. However, it took only one show for fans to realize that Extreme Championship Wrestling was still dead and after watching the WWE’s version of ECW, it probably should have remained just part of wrestling history. Many people have said that it was McMahon’s attempt to kill the legacy of ECW, which could defiantly be true, but I think it was more of McMahon trying to reshape the legacy of ECW to be able to contribute it’s success as a promotion in the 90s more to the WWE than the actual original ECW wrestlers. Let’s be honest here, five years ago when the original ECW One Night Stand PPV took place, there was more of a buzz around the letters ECW than anything that was seen on Raw or Smackdown so again, it could defiantly be possible that McMahon wanted to destroy the ECW legacy to prove that the WWE is a superior product, which in many ways it was already, which makes you wonder, why did Vince McMahon bring back ECW and try to make it a different brand? How would the follow of the original ECW translate to the WWE’s ECW if they were two completely different products? It doesn’t make too much sense to me, but the WWE’s version of ECW soured a lot of people on the letters ECW and most fans consider the original and the relaunch to be two completely different things.
So where does TNA get involved in all of this? Well, according to reports and advertisements, TNA’s next PPV, Hard Justice will be another ECW reunion show, which could be a great show. TNA will join the line of people or promotions that have had ECW reunion shows, some of which have been successful, while others haven’t been quite as successful. There’s a few ways that I think this situation could be discussed so let’s examine each of them. First of all, it’s a chance for ECW originals such as Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, Raven, Sabu, The Sandman, etc. to reclaim the legacy of ECW with a show that properly represents extreme wrestling. It also has to be considering an opportunity for old school ECW fans to see an extreme show with some of their favorite ECW wrestlers so it defiantly provides the fans the opportunity to see a great show. Another consideration is that for TNA it could be a good business move considering that there is still a demand for the ECW legacy among wrestling fans and WWE’s botched attempt of ECW could give fans even more of a reason to tune into the Hard Justice PPV to see an authentic extreme show.
However, what does this say about TNA’s view of their own product? They can’t successfully book their own promotion so they are going to use the nostalgia of another promotion as a safety net to be able to produce a quality PPV? What about producing a show for their own product that people want to see? It should be mentioned that even if the ECW reunion PPV is a major success, it could still backfire on TNA because if the ECW show is better than recent TNA PPVs in wrestling quality or the buy rates than it basically proves that TNA is less of a draw than a company that has been closed for almost ten years.
All things considered, it actually seems like there is more risk than reward for TNA in this situation. The main two things that I think TNA should be concerned with here is #1 if the ECW show is better than recent TNA PPVs than TNA looks bush league and #2 If the ECW show isn’t a good show than TNA will look desperate to bring back anything that worked in the 90s, which has been a common thing for the company the past few years. Don’t get me wrong here, the original ECW was great but at this point I don’t know if it’s a wise decision for TNA to try to put another reunion show on PPV. Regardless, it should be interesting to see who participates and what matches are booked for the PPV. If nothing else, it will probably create more buzz for a TNA than anything that they’ve done with their own product in the past few months.
Until next week
That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It
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