On Saturday night in Poughkeepsie, New York, another semi-ECW reunion show took place in the form of House Of Hardcore 3 (detailed event results here). The show featured a main event of Tommy Dreamer and Terry Funk vs. Lance Storm and Sean Waltman, complete with the Funk-airplane spin ladder finishing spot. After the match, former TNA World Heavyweight Champion and ECW original Bully Ray invaded the show (video footage here). He challenged Tommy Dreamer to a match at the December 30th TNA “One Night Only: Old School” event in an “Old School Street Fight” where falls count anywhere (full details here). Ray’s former “Dudley Boyz” tag-team partner, Devon, came out and the two hit the “3D” on Dreamer together. That wasn’t all. Former ECW original The Sandman came out and caned everyone to death to end the show.
One question comes to mind: why do we see so many ECW reunion shows, but no WCW reunion shows? The answer is actually pretty simple when you think about it: money.
For an ECW reunion show to be held, you need at least some of the following guys: Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, Taz, Bully Ray, Devon, Terry Funk, The Sandman, Rob Van Dam, Raven and Shane Douglas. Sure, there are many other names you can go with, but you need at least a few of those guys on the event for it to feel like a legitimate ECW show.
For a WCW reunion show to be held, you need at least some of the following guys: Ric Flair, Sting, Hulk Hogan, Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Diamond Dallas Page, Lex Luger, Sid Vicious, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner and Rick Steiner. Again, many names are missing, but the fact remains, the price tags of the key guys needed for an ECW reunion show versus the price tags for a WCW reunion show are world’s apart.
WWE has at different points in time had enough of the aforementioned WCW names under contract, and certainly has enough money to secure the stars they didn’t have at a particular point in time to put together a legitimate WCW reunion show. Besides the financial side of putting together a reunion show for the biggest two rival promotions to WWE, there is the financial side of how much these shows would generate.
When you compare the amount of DVDs sold between “The Rise & Fall Of WCW” and “The Rise & Fall Of WCW,” again you will notice that they are world’s apart. When ECW went out of business in 2001 they were still a beloved promotion that just didn’t have the financial backing to stay afloat. When WCW went out of business in 2001 they barely had a pulse. The fan-base for ECW was a rabid, cult-like fan-base that loved their home-promotion dearly. The fan-base for WCW by the time the company folded in 2001 was practically nonexistent.
Still, it feels like there is enough WCW nostalgia for a reunion show to work. Anytime rumors circulate claiming WWE is in negotiations with Goldberg, Sting, or any of the other major names wrestling fans associate with WCW, there is a huge buzz. Fans are excited at the prospect of these guys coming into the current fold and squaring off with today’s crop of WWE Superstars.
Currently there is a lot of interest in a Sting vs. Undertaker match at WrestleMania XXX. There has been buzz for months about a possible showdown between Goldberg and his modern-day carbon-copy Ryback. The buzz surrounding Hulk Hogan’s potential return to WWE for a match at WrestleMania XXX is off the charts.
If WWE were to sign all of these guys, or ever considered the idea at any point in time, why is it out of the realm of possibility that a WCW reunion show would be a success? Personally, I don’t think it is. I think WWE wants the WCW legacy buried and forgotten, and want the fans of today to only remember history the way Vince McMahon and company choose to portray it. The fact is, ECW was never a close second to WWE. They definitely provided a template on how to change the wrestling product into something more modern that fans of that generation soaked up in droves. The fact remains, however, that WCW was kicking WWE’s ass for a lengthy period of time. Prior to that, when WWE was the top dog, WCW was always nipping at their heels. NWA before WCW was at times a close-second to WWE, and for a long period of time was considered to have the better talent roster. Additionally, NWA would beat WWE in television ratings on a somewhat regular basis before fans really paid attention to TV ratings or considered them any legitimate measure of success.
Saturday night in Poughkeepsie, the hardcore fan-base of pro wrestling had something to again get excited about. The idea of another ECW-style reunion show still seems to resonate with a fan-base that probably never saw a single “original” ECW event live in their lifetimes. Outside of some hardcore fans, most current wrestling fans weren’t even alive yet, or went too young to remember the old days of the original ECW, yet they still get jacked up every time a ECW reunion show rolls around. Why not try it with WCW? What could it hurt?
Outside of WrestleMania once a year, WWE puts on pay-per-views that for the most part feel the same. Nothing seems special about them anymore, and the entire idea behind a pay-per-view is to put on an event that feels bigger and more unique than a typical weekly wrestling television program. Unfortunately, current WWE pay-per-views just feel like a slightly better version of a great edition of WWE RAW or WWE SmackDown, when the company should be striving to put on pay-per-views that feel like “must see” or “can’t miss” programming. Something tells me if WWE were to book a WCW reunion pay-per-view, if they booked the right guys, it would draw a solid buyrate. It would garner interest from fans who escaped the wrestling bubble and moved on with their lives back in 2001 when the only alternative to the WWE-style of wrestling went under.
WCW One Night Stand. I’d fork out $44.95 and spend three hours of a Sunday evening to watch it. And something tells me many others would as well. But hey, that’s just one man’s opinion. Would you order a WCW reunion show if it were done the right way? Leave your feedback in the “Comments” section below.
NOTE: The above item is an eWrestlingNews.com opinionated editorial, and should not be confused as a factual news item. Readers can contact the author of the above editorial, Matt Boone, via Twitter @MBoone420 or by posting your immediate feedback in the “Comments” section below.