No matter how many times wrestling fans think the spirit of the original ECW is dead, it manages to rise from the grave. Two events transpired this week proving that the hardcore movement started in a dilapidated bingo hall in 1993 does in fact live on.
On Saturday night, June 27th, “The Franchise” Shane Douglas will be inducted into the Hardcore Hall of Fame at the ECW reunion show Legends of the Arena. For years, Douglas was the voice of angry wrestling fans that sought alternatives to the WWF & WCW. To this day, fans of the original ECW talk about the night Douglas threw down the NWA World Heavyweight Title and the hour long match between himself, Sabu, & fellow Hardcore Hall of Fame/WWE Hall of Fame inductee Terry Funk.
There are those that say ECW fans started losing their voice & that Douglas sold out when he left ECW for jobs in the “big two”. The fans, however, have voiced their approval over the decision to induct Shane and are certain to come out and support a hardcore legend. With the current state of the wrestling business today & knowing Shane’s knack for cutting profanity laced promos, one has to wonder what the Franchise is going to say as the hardcore faithful once again gather in the Mecca of pro wrestling.
Last night, WWE presented the Extreme Rules (formerly One Night Stand) PPV event. In the shock of the evening (at least in my mind), Tommy Dreamer finally captured his second ECW Title.
Not since July 2006 has a star from the original ECW held the brand’s title (the last to do so was Rob Van Dam & we all know what happened there). Many fans, myself included, thought last night was going to be Dreamer’s final match with WWE. I am happy to eat a big plate of crow on that one & see Tommy get one final hurrah in WWE as the ECW Champion. Nobody knows how long the title reign will last, but personally, I’m hoping he gets to wrestle at the Night of Champions PPV event in Philadelphia next month. The ECW faithful in attendance would give him nothing short of a hero’s welcome. For fans, it will be a great way to say thank you one more time. For Tommy Dreamer, it would be a hardcore homecoming he would never forget.
Congratulations to both men on their achievements. Until next time, stay extreme.
Check out Bloodsport : ECW’s Most Violent Matches by clicking here.
Check out the WWE DVD – The Rise and Fall of ECW by clicking here.
Check out ECW’s first pay-per-view, Barely Legal on DVD by clicking here.
Check out Hardcore Homecoming 2: November Reign on DVD (announced by CamelClutchBlog.com’s Eric Gargiulo by clicking here.