Sunday, 31 December 2006

Stop the Crossing Over!

Those of you who know me well will know that I am a huge comic book fan. As a youngster I used to collect tons of Marvel and DC comics. I have a cupboard with loads of these in, some of them dating back to the 1970’s, although these days I prefer to buy graphic novels rather than individual comics.

One thing I used to enjoy, and I still do, are the crossovers between the two companies. Spider-Man meeting Superman was THE event back in the late 70’s, and even recently, when the Avengers met up with the Justice League of America, it was an event, something to look forward to. It was an event because something like that didn’t exactly happen too often.

So why am I writing about comic books in an article that is meant to be about professional wrestling? Patience, my dear friends. You’ll soon find out why.

I’m probably one of the few people on the face of this planet who enjoys the new ECW show. Sure, some of the wrestling may not be up to scratch at times, but I think that WWE are doing a good job in establishing a third brand, even though it’s not the ECW that gained a cult following all those years ago.

However, I do have one huge gripe with the shows, and if WWE really want to establish ECW as a great third brand, then there going to have to stop something that they’ve been doing since they re-launched ECW in the summer, and that’s stop the crossing over!

Since the show began, it seems like Raw and Smackdown stars have been turning up on an almost weekly basis to appear in the main event. From the Undertaker to Randy Orton to Batista to Triple H to Shawn Michaels, both of the champions that ECW have crowned have faced stars from their rival brands, and while these matches have been entertaining in their own, they have highlighted the fact that there seems to be only one ECW main eventer at the moment, and that’s the Big Show.

With Kurt Angle leaving the company, and Rob Van Dam having been pushed down to the mid-card to feud with Hardcore Holly, no new names are being pushed forward as the next challenger to the Big Show’s title, even though there are quite a few wrestlers on the ECW roster who could give the Show a run for his money.

But while Raw and Smackdown stars continue to appear in ECW, and vice versa, that just isn’t going to happen, because what would really liven up the show at the moment is if they selected one wrestler, be they an ECW original or one of the new breed, and they used a storyline where Heyman through numerous obstacles in the path of this star to stop him getting the title match with the champion. With the Survivor Series coming up in November, now would be a good time to start such a storyline.

Besides, what hardcore ECW fan wouldn’t mark out if the Big Show were to feud with the Sandman or Tommy Dreamer right now? Maybe even Rob Van Dam could be put into this sort of feud, especially as in the storylines Heyman screwed him out of the title and then suspended him for thirty days. If handled correctly, this kind of storyline would really draw the fans into it, and really make them care about what’s going on. After all, isn’t that what a good professional wrestling angle is meant to do?

So if ECW is to succeed, and to reach the same levels as Raw and Smackdown, then the crossovers have to stop. By all means give ECW a match or two on the four cross-brand pay-per-views, but stop Raw and Smackdown stars going to ECW, and stop ECW guys from working on Monday and Thursday night television shows.

And if they did that, then the next time an ECW star met a Raw or Smackdown star, it would seem all the more special.

But only if it happened once or twice a year.

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