By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Extreme Championship Wrestling personified its essence through brutality, rampant sexuality and thanks to Owner Paul Heyman, logical booking that accentuated the strengths of his ever-changing roster and deemphasized its weaknesses.
Unfortunately, its biggest weakness came financially.
Without a new national television deal, ECW only lived on Pay-Per-View, but it wasn’t a given that when Guilty As Charged aired in January 2001, it’d be the last time they’d grace airwaves.
Axe the two house shows that followed this and you can even call this the final chapter if you choose to.
What it’ll be remembered best is for the potential of what could’ve been, but it worked out for the two companies to form from ECW’s ashes and for that, we’ll need the jury to be unanimous here. No objections.
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Quoth The Monsters, Nevermore
– Given last week’s shocking ending that saw Devon Moore turn on his longtime partner Kevin Matthews, joining the “Shining” Edward Jackson Family in the process, after Jackson revealed himself to be Helmet, it was good to see that covered in the opening video a la “fan footage” that sold the crowd’s reaction. Also liked the little flashbacks with all of Matthews’ interactions with Helmet in the past, building up to the turning point. What was disappointing here was that there were no follow-up promos or segments on this show. Something like Moore with The Jackson Family or Matthews vowing for revenge would’ve been perfect for this show. We’d imagine they’ll pick right back up on this angle, but they should’ve struck while the iron was hot.
Pro Wrestling Syndicate has found a new TV home in WLNY/TV 55 and the timing could not be better. In a time where indy world rulers can become WWE and TNA champions within two to four years later, attention should be paid to what’s out there.
Below, you’ll find some random notes and analysis on their television debut episode. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Kudos To The Carwash Man
– The opening montage seemed awfully generic with the music and “fire” on-screen graphics, but it was hard to ignore all the hardcore action and flips and flops. PWS definitely has potential.
– Right off the bat, David Adams had a Joey Styles-like delivery to him. The production studio behind him looked so fake though, which then obviously shifted to a green screen which showed an image of the ring. That aside… Dude can really sell $5 t-shirts.
– Jushin Liger, AJ Styles, Jeff Jarrett, Bret Hart, Great Muta aren’t names to ignore… PWS does have an established background since it started in 2007. The reunion of Lance Storm and Justin Credible as The Impact Players was definitely smart booking in providing nostalgia and helping younger talent get over.
– Not to mention while PWS boasts an indy darling like Colt Cabana, some other gimmicks make you wonder. One in particular was The Drunken Swashbuckler, which was the worst ring name ever, but perhaps fitting for a pirate gimmick. Who knows. On that note, Starman was such a generic-looking luchador. His high-flying skills may be all he has. See more below.
– The Heavenly Bodies-Reality Check tag team match seemed to be the usual for an indie tag; fast-paced and such. The announcers mentioned that the two teams were in “a blood feud,” but it just didn’t come off that way. For all the big names mentioned, it was good to start the show off with PWS-grown talent. Craven Varro of RC definitely got in some exciting offense and there’s definitely potential in the newest installment of THB. There was also a nice heel swerve from the referee as he was apparently with THB all along, stopping before a three count and counting fast to steal the win away from Reality Check. This was a good immediate followup as the announcers alluded to THB having an “official representation” on social media and we found out who it was.
– Kudos for the “Don’t Forget Your Roots” video graphic with general wrestling facts (and H2O of course)
– The concept of the Suicidal Six Way division screams a copycat of TNA’s X-Division with six men fighting one fall to a finish where the champion needn’t be pinned, but it works as a way of having fast-paced action and getting many guys time to shine on the card. This match – which featured Habib From The Carwash – yes, a real character who sprayed the ropes as he entered them – was shockingly much over with the crowd as defending champion. Also in the mix were Amazing Red, Brian XL, Big Mason (BJ Whitmer if he was more muscular and taller), Matt Macintosh and Joe The Drifter (with the gimmick of a homeless man). There was lots of high-flying action, but may be a bit chaotic for the casual fan to follow. There were some silly spots involving sponges too, but Red shined in this match, even with blood to show for it. One memorable spot included Big Mason doing a flying lariat onto five men below from the top rope. Habib From The Carwash retained with a pinfall over Macintosh.
– There was a weird vignette of scary guys in the woods with bloody face paint and cowboy hats with a child’s voice saying, “It’s only a dream” over and over. Guess the Wyatt family has some illegitimate cousins…
– The highlight package of the “On The Spot Title Shot” 30-man battle royale definitely showcased Tommy Dreamer, Fallah Bahh and Starman. Bahh looked particularly dominant and he even had a mouthpiece in the form of the “fake referee” from the earlier match, revealed to be “Shining” Edward Jackson. Jackson definitely showed off great mic skills and the match was good. No Homicide promo though?
– The PWS Tag Team Championship match between The Team Impact Players and Reynolds Brothers had good action. Lance Storm was still incredibly agile for his age. The Reynolds Brothers were highly regarded by the announcers, but they barely had a presence in the ring. Some good near falls towards the finish, which saw Reynolds Brothers retain.
– The Kevin Matthews promo seemed very Low Ki-esque as he had a hood pulled over his head and he screamed about being betrayed by his former partners Brian Myers and Gavin Tuft. Keyword was screaming. Words you couldn’t really hold on to.
– Hyped for next week was: Dan Maff vs. Eddie Kingston, Matt Macintosh vs. Tony Nese vs. Shynron vs The Amazing Red in a High-Flying Four Corners Match and Fallah w/”Shining” Edward Jackson vs Homicide. Sounds pretty good.
– Could they advertise for a birthday party enough times?
– Dave D-Struction was great on color commentary, providing a few laughs. With some of the gimmicks in this company, it’s not hard to crack jokes on some of them.
– Overall, decent debut for PWS that gave a glimpse into just what this company can offer. Guys like Fallah Bahh, “Shining” Edward Jackson, Habib The Car Wash Man and Amazing Red looked like stars on this episode.
– The Heavenly Bodies def. Reality Check via pinfall
– Suicidal Six-Way Division Championship Match – Habib From The Carwash def. Matt Macintosh, Joe The Drifter, The Amazing Red, Brian XL and Big Mason to retain
– PWS Tag Team Championship Match – Reynolds Brothers def. Team Impact Players via pinfall to retain