There has been some talk on different sites about WWE rebranding ECW after WrestleMania this year. Let’s face it; the ECW brand has been the red headed step-child of WWE since it was restarted in 2006 & hasn’t really shined as a legitimate brand. Yes, stars have been spawned from it (CM Punk, John Morrison, & Sheamus come to mind). But beyond that, who or what has the ECW brand really helped?
Some people have asked me what I would do differently regarding ECW. If given a time machine & a WWE writing job, the answer would be a lot. But since I have neither of those things, let’s talk about it here. We begin with Rebooking the ECW One Night Stand 2006 PPV & events which transpired after. There are two key changes to the PPV card I would make:
World Heavyweight Championship Match – Sabu vs. Rey Mysterio (C)
Instead of ending this match in a no contest, I would have put Sabu over Mysterio, thus making Sabu the World Heavyweight Champion on the SmackDown! brand.
I would have put RVD over John Cena without the interference from Edge. The PPV could have then ended with RVD & Sabu both laying claim to be the ECW Champion.
Now, there are 2 ways to go from there.
The first would be to have WWE Champion RVD vs. World Champion Sabu in the first episode of ECW TV to determine an undisputed ECW Champion. That match as the main event would have ensured a strong rating for the debut of ECW on Sci-Fi.
But why settle for a high TV rating when you can milk the angle for a month & get a high PPV buy rate? Let’s pretend RVD & Sabu didn’t get busted for possession & WWE went this route. For a month, you’d have RVD & Sabu laying claim to the vacant ECW Championship. Naturally, both men could get in their rematches with their respective One Night Stand 2006 opponents as well as new challengers to their belts; both would retain their championships leading up to Vengeance & both men would be featured on all 3 brands of WWE programming.
What does following this path accomplish? This does a few things; attracts more of the old ECW fanbase, legitimizes ECW stars in the minds of WWE fans, & makes the vacant ECW Championship seem like a championship worth fighting for.
As for the winner of the match, I would have had RVD win the ECW Championship at Vengeance against Sabu & have a long run with the belt up until WrestleMania the following year.
If you enjoyed this piece, let me know. I would like to follow it up with a “passing the torch” article. Until next time, stay extreme.