I’m sure you’ve all heard the horror stories about this past weekend’s ECW Reunion show that was promoted by Shane Douglas. So there is no reason to rehash it. If you didn’t, just do a search online and I’m sure you’ll come up with TONS of reports from disappointed and angry fans, stiffed for pay wrestlers, and internet critics who have never done a fucking thing in this business. There is an in-depth recap by ECW mark Mike Johnson that gets to the root of the story, but I wouldn’t recommend tracking it down unless you have an account with the Best Buy Geek Squad, because the PW Insider website will ruin your computer with TONS of spyware.
Back to the point of the post, I think it’s time to finally say goodbye to ECW. Vince McMahon and the WWE did ZERO justice in their ill-fated reincarnation. Dixie Carter amazingly matched Vince’s flub in one night with Hardcore Justice. The difference between the two – talent actually got paid in WWE. But, for ECW original Shane Douglas, to attempt to promote on an indy level and fail to deliver in a manner that dug up the ECW legacy, performed necrophilia and then dumped it back into the grave, it’s pretty safe to say that we have forever seen the last of Extreme Championship Wrestling.
If there was any possibility of ECW making a comeback in 2012, don’t you think Paul Heyman would have had a part in it? If the market called for hardcore wrestling, don’t you think he would have done it? If there were the slightest possibility to reignite the flame and reboot the franchise (no pun intended to Douglas), don’t you think Heyman would have done it already? His absence and distance from anything ECW related speaks volumes.
What’s even more disturbing than Shane Douglas working at Target, is the condition most of the ECW alumni are currently in. In a business where traditionalist and purists complain that there is no more “protecting the industry” from kayfabe, the art of perception, and each other – it’s disturbing that the brotherhood would piss on each other by exploiting the harsh reality of their colleagues through social media with photos of a drugged out Justin Credible and an unconscious Sabu.
Part of the love for this business comes from the admiration you have for your heroes. The other part of the love comes from those fortunate enough to work in it and protect the sanctuary of the brotherhood. These photos are a betrayal of that code. It pushes the industry into the vile and corrupt world of reality television. Sure, it makes a great story. But, this is the lasting image, and one that will haunt memories. I was a big Jake “The Snake” Roberts fan growing up, and when I saw him smoke crack in Beyond The Mat, my admiration for him died.
Luckily for Jake, he’s a alive and well. Still kicking and doing his thing. But, ever wonder why the illustrious WWE Hall of Fame has passed on him numerous times? Could it do with something about inducting the first crack head into the Hall?
There are quite a few ECW originals who also deserve their spot in the Hall of Fame. They revolutionized the industry in the 90′s. But that was 20 years ago, and the reunion shows do nothing to nourish the legacy of the cult following. It’s an exploitation of what happens when you don’t get the call up from Vince. These are the guys who burned the bridges and had nothing to fall back on. This is the other side of pro wrestling, when you’re broke with one foot in the grave, trying to hold on to the thin thread of name recognition you have left. This is the horror show. This is the extreme disaster. This is the official death of an overdosed ECW whose bloated body was found three days later in a rat infested apartment. It’s proof that every story doesn’t end with a “happily ever after.”
**UPDATED** Shane Douglas has issued an official video statement concerning the Extreme Reunion event:
"People always say to me, 'When you get to the NBA, don't forget about me.' Well, I should've said back, 'If I don't make it to the NBA, don't you forget about me.' "
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