Posts Tagged ‘ECW’

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AEW Double or Nothing will take place on May 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and sold out in four minutes. On Busted Open, Bully Ray spoke about AEW having a “coolness” to it with those who are currently attached to the promotion.

“The guys are doing something different. They’re doing something cool. They’re doing something special,” Bully said. “I’m gonna put a lot of emphasis on the word, ‘cool.’ Cody, The Bucks, [Chris] Jericho], and Kenny [Omega]—everybody there associated there has a coolness factor attached to them. I always said that ECW was the ‘Napster’ of pro wrestling business. I believe that AEW is the ‘Facebook’ of the pro wrestling business, right now.”

Bully elaborated on how AEW is like the “Facebook” of pro wrestling as they look to bring something innovative to the wrestling world.

“When Facebook first was invented, one of the guys within Facebook wanted to do advertising on Facebook,” Bully continued. “And they decided not to because—they don’t even know what they had with Facebook, yet, they just knew have something cool. I don’t know if AEW even knows what they have yet. It’s just cool. You can tell how cool it is by how quickly All In sold out. You can tell how cool it is by how great of an event All In was. You can tell how cool it is when people show up to a ticket release party. You can tell how cool it is when they sell out 14,000 seats in four minutes. To me, that’s cool.”

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On episode 655 of The Taz Show, professional wrestling legend Taz recently weighed in on WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose’s rumored departure from the company. Specifically, Taz took aim at fans suggesting that Ambrose should not lose on his way out of the promotion. Additionally, Taz noted that Ambrose has been doing some of his best work on the microphone lately.

According to Taz, fans who think Ambrose should not be losing on his way out of WWE do not know what they are talking about and do not understand the business.

“I’m sitting there reading some this stuff and I’m like, ‘are these f–king people crazy?’ Really, are you out of your frickin’ mind? Do you expect the WWE to have Dean Ambrose look good on the way out the door? That’s called doing the honors. That’s the business. That’s what the business was built on. When you leave, and you go someplace else, or you just give your notice, and you’re leaving on your terms, you do the frickin’ job on the way out the door. It’s business. It’s the right way to do business. Anybody who says that [Ambrose should lose on his way out of WWE] doesn’t know the business. They don’t! You can read all the dirt sheets, all the f–king bulls–t online, and all the social media accounts. If you’re b—hing that a guy is going to be leaving, and he gave notice, if you’re b—hing about the way he’s going to be treated as he walks out the door, then you truly don’t know [anything] about the wrestling business. Nothing. That’s the right way to do business by WWE and the right way by Dean Ambrose.”

Moreover, Taz pointed to the fact that he did many jobs on his way out of ECW and ‘The Suplex Machine’ is proud of it.

“You do the honors on the way out the door, period!” Taz proclaimed. “That’s good business. That’s how it works. I did it when I left ECW. I did a s–tload of jobs and I’m proud to say it. Paul Heyman had me losing left and right. Once he knew I was gone and I was leaving, whew, yeah, I lost a lot of matches a lot of times, all over the country. And that’s how it should be. Was I doing backflips and happy about it? No, but I didn’t b—h, and complain, and whine, and all that stuff. I didn’t do all that stuff and Dean Ambrose is not from what I understand. He’s a pro. He’s a veteran. He understands it’s business.”

In Taz’s learned opinion, Ambrose has been doing some of his best mic work recently. The two-time ECW World Heavyweight Champion suggested that it is probably because Ambrose feels like a great weight is being lifted from him knowing he is leaving WWE.

“Dean Ambrose’s delivery in this last segment I saw him on with the Alexa Bliss deal, and when I saw him when got in Seth Rollins’ and Triple H’s face last week, two of the best, as far as what I’ve seen with his mic work, in a long time.” Taz continued, “Dean Ambrose’s performance was awesome and I think it’s because there’s a lot of weight off his chest and he could just be himself, and he knows he’s gone, and he can perform like he knows how to perform.”

Also during the show, Taz indicated that Ambrose’s present situation is all about business and it happens to everybody.

“[Ambrose] gave his notice. It’s his business, guys. It’s not f–king playtime. Some of you don’t understand. I hate to be an asshole, but I’m just being blunt. This is business. This is not playtime. This is not, ‘let’s make his fans happy’. No! It’s about making money! It’s about getting people over. If you want to leave, you’re taking yourself out of the game. Someone has got to get over from the stuff we put into you!” Taz added, “it’s a cycle, guys. It happens to everybody.”

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It seems as every big name in wrestling not currently signed to a major promotion gets linked to AEW one way or another. Rob Van Dam is the latest of those but while many other wrestlers are seeking opportunity or something different, RVD says that money talks when it comes to his future.

RVD joined our WINCLY podcast where he talked about what his future holds and if there was a certain promotion he saw himself wanting to attach his name to.

“There’s not. Money talks,” replied RVD. “I’m always interested in considering good business, but over the last several years my goal has been to work less, have more time off and make more money.

“I’m really looking to do less and less – travel less. I consider myself semi-retired. At the same time I stay ready, so I don’t have to get ready.”

RVD joined ECW a couple of years after it had transitioned from Eastern Championship Wrestling to Extreme Championship Wrestling. ECW reached its greatest heights during RVD’s tenure with the company and he was asked if he sees similarities between AEW and ECW.

“I don’t see it,” said RVD. “I think ECW was a gradual thing…. I don’t remember it making a boom out of nowhere like this seems to be.

“As far as the Monday Night Wars goes, c’mon, these guys don’t even have a TV deal yet. I wish them all the luck in the world – I hope they do well. Over the years I’ve seen many companies want to come up and be a competing brand, but eventually the guy funding it decides he doesn’t want to keep losing money and he pulls out….

“They have to prove history wrong that they are different and that they’re gonna stick around. People who have a whole lot of money usually don’t waste a lot of money. That’s why they have money. I’m not saying that they are wasteful but if things aren’t set up right and they’re paying guys the rumored reports, then they’ve got to make the money back and I hope they do.”

The genesis of AEW was the success of All In which was a major milestone for independent wrestling. RVD says he predicted this boom in indies wrestling a couple of years ago.

“If you listened to interviews I did 3-4 years ago, that’s exactly where I said the business was going to go,” stated RVD. “I could tell all of the different wrestling promotions that had their cult followings were gonna grow…. We’re gonna see all of these indies grow and it’s gonna be a place where the boys can have a lot more options to work instead of just trying to go to WWE or possible TNA.

Despite the presence of AEW and other promotions like Impact Wrestling and ROH, RVD thinks that none of them are a threat to WWE as the top wrestling promotion.

“I just don’t see WWE getting knocked out of its first place position, but history is what it is and I’m all about breaking tradition,” said RVD.

You can see more of Rob Van Dam in his upcoming documentary “Headstrong.” It will be released Feb. 19 on iTunes and is available for pre-order now.

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WWE Hall of Famer Booker T was a guest on Busted Open Radio. Among the topics discussed, Booker reflected on how much the independent wrestling scene has progressed, even claiming that it’s perhaps the hottest it’s ever been.

Booker has recently been investing in to his own independent wrestling school, Reality of Wrestling, where he actually wrestled against the ROW Heavyweight Champion, Rex Andrews in a one-on-one match this past Saturday at ROW The Last Stand. Booker recognizes that with a promotion of his own, along with the newly formed All Elite Wrestling, established promotions like Ring of Honor, New Japan, and Impact Wrestling, and other organizations that stay just beneath the mainstream radar, professional wrestling has an abundance of opportunities right now.

“It’s rich right now, I mean the independent world is rich,” Booker explained. “Oversees the money is good right now, small businesses, like myself, are flourishing because we’ve got social media and we can actually stream our stuff online without actually having to go and pay some big network and stuff like that. So the wrestling business right now is at its hottest that it’s perhaps ever been, not just in two decades, perhaps it’s ever been.”

Booker would go on to compare it to the days when WCW, WWE, and ECW were in a heated competition for ratings, saying that now-a-days, things like wrestling cons and the independent wrestling scene have taken it further than the days of the Monday night wars. Booker would also add how wrestlers no longer need to be involved with WWE to maintain financial stability.

“Even in the WCW, WWE, ECW wars,” Booker added. “Literally, from the independent scene on up, it could be the hottest it’s ever been with the wrestle cons and stuff like that going on. It’s huge right now. Guys don’t need to be in the WWE to make a living anymore. That’s saying something.”

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Tommy Dreamer has wrestled all over the world for various promotions. One of the promotions he is most known for is ECW, one that eventually changed the pro wrestling world. He sees the same thing with All Elite Wrestling.

Dreamer is a big fan of what Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks are doing with the upstart promotion. He recently was in Cody’s corner during his NWA World Title match against Nick Aldis at All In. Speaking on Busted Open Radio, Dreamer discussed a potential opportunity to be a part of AEW, if given an offer.

“I have spoken with Matt and Cody about doing stuff there. I said whenever you guys need me I’m happy to help,” Dreamer stated. “Nick and Matt helped House of Hardcore in the early stages, I always saw them as main eventers. If there are any two individuals that, If I had sons, I’d want them to be like them. They are two great human beings. Cody, I’ve known him since he’s a little kid, his father was my hero, my friend. I will do anything for those guys because I love them. They want me there, I’m there, if there’s not a spot for me, I get it.”

AEW is currently working on Double or Nothing, which is scheduled to take place on May 25th inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For someone who started his career as a manager and a nondescript mid-carder, the fact that Raven became one of the biggest stars in ECW history is amazing. He was a two-time ECW World Champion and one of the faces of the promotion during its ascent in the mid-90s.

Raven credits ECW’s rise with Paul Heyman being an innovator and thinking outside the box. Raven joined Booker T’s podcast where he discussed Heyman being a visionary and why ECW benefitted the entire wrestling industry.

“It was crazy because they were just on the cusp of getting big, so I got there right in time just riding the wave,” Raven said on joining ECW in late 1994. “I was there for the two years when they were the most influential. They revolutionized the business in a sense because the business had gotten really stale where you’d have the old-timers would sit in a hold for like 20 minutes, they wouldn’t even work a hold. Paul Heyman had said that we were changing that.

“They changed the music. They changed the sound. You know what I mean? He borrowed from a lot of places so it wasn’t like he created the whole thing, but he was smart enough to coalesce all these elements where whether it was the cruiserweights he got from Mexico and then he got the music and stuff from Memphis. He got stuff from FMW [Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling], the violence from Japan in FMW and then he just put it all together into a soup. He picked all the right ingredients and knew how to stir the pot.”

The internet and dirt sheets were just starting up during ECW’s rise and social media was non-existent. Raven believes that if ECW had come along a couple of years later when these things were popular then the promotion would have taken off and could still be around today.

“I definitely think it would have spread further. They came so close to picking up the No. 2 spot when WCW was going out of business. Then they were put on Spike TV before it was Spike. The network just didn’t get behind it,” revealed Raven. “There is so many what-ifs, but I try not to dwell on the past. I look back fondly, but I hate to play the what-if game because there were so many things that could have happened – so many things that could have gone right and so many things that could have gone wrong too.

“But it’s a moment in time and I guess that is what makes it so special too because it is a moment in time and it just happened and it won’t happen again.”

Former WWE Champion Rob Van Dam recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated. The interview is at this link and below are highlights:

Where he’s at in his career now and benefiting from his stretching routine:

“Even in ’91, when I was in the indies in Florida, I still had my stretch routine back then. When I did my splits on the floor, there was always, always some homosexual remark made from one of the wrestlers. You can guess what those guys said, but my stretching has played a significant part in my longevity and my physical health.”

“I’m at a point in my life now that I find very rewarding. I only wrestle 10-12 matches a year, and I get to pick and choose my matches. I have so much to be grateful for, but I’m still stretching and going through my routine to make sure I’m at my best. When I stretch a few days in a row, I’m limber as f—.”

More on his custom stretching routine:

“When I’m on the grind, like I was with WWE’s never-ending tours, I hated all the factors of the job except for showing off in the ring. That’s the flights, the rental cars, and everything else. Then, and now, meditation is my escape. It’s an inner-experience. I leave the secular world. I don’t even need to use my eyes.”

“I had to teach my muscles to trust me. So when I stretch, it’s about relaxing the targeted muscles. Too often people strain muscles because they’re trying to elongate a muscle, making it contract, so you’re actually working against yourself.”

A WWE return being unlikely but not impossible:

“I know that my fans want to see me back in WWE. To that, I can say, it’s good to be wanted. I can tell you that I enjoy my days off a lot more than my days on, but I appreciate the fans. It’s because of them I have the life I have. So thank you to the fans, I know they’re going to stick with me for life, and never say never.”