Chewin the Fat
By Bay Ragni
Well this week I wanted to “Chew the Fat” on the Extreme Reunion. Something I had mixed feelings about in the beginning, and then felt positive about it, now I am not sure how I feel.
Originally when this show was announced my initial reaction was not again. ECW was such an incredible thing that happened to not only the Wrestling business, but many people involved with ECW, whether it was in or outside of the ring. Including the Philly area fans as well that truly changed the way of wrestling fans worldwide.
I felt that The ECW reunion shows have been beaten to death over the years. Either by some money marks who rolled into Philly and put out a huge production, with all ECW Talent and then never to be heard of again, or WWE and TNA doing their own version tribute show to ECW, or now Shane trying to resurrect ECW.
So initially I felt, can we please let this fed, that I got the honor of being a very small part in, please rest in peace. But then as the past months have slowly gotten closer to show time, my feelings started to change and the reasons why were two.
First being the boys. The roster of the ECW guys Shane put together is a roster of true talent. Guys that know the business, knows what the business needs, wants and how to do it, and deserve that chance to do it. Like the chance they had 10 – 15 years ago. (Remember that last part)
Second being the fans. As it got closer, the excitement of the fans was nonstop through social media. Everyone was excited to either, relive the old days of ECW, or get a chance to experience what they missed out on the first time around.
I was asked nonstop by a few dozen fans, up until show time, where I was still getting text messaging if I would be either on the show, or at the meet n greet. My answer to everyone was, there is no reason for me to be there, without the rest of Dudley’s, and I am not needed there. Also too, as I just celebrated my 42nd Birthday last week, and only being in the ring once in last 10 years, I have no right to be anywhere near a ring.
So come show time, over 2000 fans sell out the Armory. I see pictures being posted of the crowd, and I feel proud. That not only has a wrestling show in the area meant something again, But the boys who have been scattered throughout the Indy scene for 10 years now can once again have that same in ring high, like they felt when ECW was alive.
From that point on, until the time I write this, I have heard that the show was a complete disaster.
Starting with Sabu, who had some medication problems and was found in his hotel room, and rushed to an area hospital. Wow hell of a way to make mainstream news on TMZ.
Now the main event needs redone right before show time.
Another main eventer Justin Incredible is completely out of it in the locker room, passed out and in no condition to get in the ring. Which I was even sent a text picture of this from the locker room, Way to go Pete.
So now you have 2 big strikes against the reunion, and the show hasn’t even started yet.
Show starts late, which c’mon people, when did an ECW show ever started on time.
Everyone is bitching at Shane about things. I have to stick up for Shane on this. Sabu & Incredible were not Shane’s fault. He did not put them in the condition, they ended up.
I also heard that the BWO vs. FBI match was a very entertaining match, and that Jerry Lynn vs. Crowbar was a show stopper.
Rest of the show I haven’t heard many positive things about.
So let’s look at a few things, first off there was some no shows, and last minute changes of the show that were needed, which took away from the show, and probably upset the locker room as well.
Secondly, I mentioned something earlier in this article; it is 10 – 15 years later. ECW closed in 2001, it is now 2012. That is a lifetime for some wrestlers’ career. These guys are not in their 20 & 30’s anymore. They are now in their 30’s, 40’s & possibly 50’s. Their work rate has slowed down a few steps. The same way people like to rip Hogan & Flair when they still step in the ring; these guys are way past their prime.
A lot of people have been complaining all day long on the Extreme Reunion Facebook page, asking for refunds, and they are not returning to the next show.
Now this is something Shane needs to figure out leading up to the next show. How to fix problems from first show and make it up to the fans, to get them back, while regaining their trust.
Shane & Crew I think can do this and figure this out, but the fans have to realize something also. This is NOT ECW; there is no Paul, Dreamer, or Taz, the three heartbeats behind ECW. This is the ghost of ECW.
So the fans do need to slightly lower their expectations, and realize this is not 1996 – 97 peak era of ECW. This is 2012, and these guys are trying to regain their past glory like you the fans are.
I was asked last night on fb, during the show. How can this show with all the ECW’s guys’ together, sell out, and the ECW guys by themselves on an Indy show cannot draw.
Why, because ECW was never about 1 guy. It was about a fed. It was about the locker room. It was about the fans. It was about the building. It was a package deal. So when fans chanted ECW ECW ECW, They chanted for the whole package, because that is what it was, it was a complete package.
Extreme Reunion needs to put together their package, ECW was not built in one show, go back and look at The original ECW (Eastern Championship Wrestling), and see how far, ECW climbed.
Chewin the Fat