T-N-A! T-N-A! Does that sound familiar? Well it should. There are three other letters that used to be shouted by wrestling fans in the same fashion a little over a decade ago. That’s right, E…C…W.
Its official TNA is attempting to bring back ECW. It’s clear after the signing of Tommy Dreamer TNA is looking to ride the ECW horse all the way to the promise land. Who can blame them? ECW is so beloved by wrestling fans that it simply won’t die. The three letter chants bellowing from the Impact Zone are a tribute to the ECW of past years. TNA is banking on this current invasion angle to boost ratings. Will it work? Well let’s check the record books.
The first invasion angle of the modern era (that was at the very least memorable) was the NWO invasion of WCW. Wrestling fans know how well that worked for WCW but have we forgotten the ECW invasion of Monday Night Raw?
In 1997 the first ECW invasion was born. Vince McMahon saw the steam and the talent ECW possessed and brought the small company in for a ratings boost. The invasion worked but only for a short period of time. There were rumors that Vince McMahon was a financial partner to Paul Heyman/ECW and a talent swap began. These rumors never really proved to be true but the talent swap was obvious between the two companies.
[adinserter block=”1″]Fast forward to 2001 and the second ECW invasion of WWE. Vince McMahon literally had bought everything on the wrestling front and ECW again was left without a home. Fans were clamoring to see where their beloved ECW stars would end up. Well they showed up in the WWE again only to produce one of the most disapointing angles in wrestling history. The 2001 ppv “Invasion” wasn’t well thought out and most of the story lines that came from it just didn’t have legs. The WWE tried and failed to capitalize on the ECW brand. A bigger failure was to come.
For some reason the WWE decided ECW wasn’t dead yet and put on not only one, but two ECW ppv’s. Ironically the first one was called “One Night Only.” The buy rates were huge and the WWE knew it was on to something. In fact the buy rates were so big that the WWE just had to try and ride the ECW bandwagon one more time. The WWE decided to bring back ECW as a brand to tv. I don’t really have to tell you how much of a failure this turned out to be. In the beginning the WWE’s version of ECW was a nice attempt but it lacked a lot in the “extreme” department. The only thing remotely ECW was Tommy Dreamer in the end.
[adinserter block=”2″]So now we sit and wait for TNA to try it’s hand at the ECW game. As I am writing this there have been strong reports that Paul Heyman is close to signing with TNA. Heymen would be a major contributor to TNA creative if not the head honcho. Regardless Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Rhino, Stevie Richards, Taz, Mick Foley, Team 3D and Rob Van Dam are all employed by the company. These ECW alumni have been invading the Impact Zone with the same swagger as the NWO did in WCW. They are even coming in through the stands and sitting with the crowd. Will this current ECW invasion work for TNA? That’s the million dollar question. The ratings this time around will most likely boost for awhile but TNA’s ratings are so low no one will likely notice. Of course TNA will probably do a much better job of writing compelling story lines for the ECW invasion but this probably won’t put them over the top.
After all the smoke is cleared and the dust settled, it will be time to say goodbye to ECW for good. This should be the last hurra. It’s time to let the wrestlers who built the characters (we loved so much) to move on and perform without the anchor of ECW attached to them. We won’t forget ECW we will just have to say goodbye one last time.
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