DeMarco: It’s Time For WWE To Have Paul Heyman Bring Back ECW… Again

Nostalgia plays, and Greg DeMarco thinks WWE is in position to leverage ECW to give many underutilized talents a chance to shine!

Maybe it’s because I am “too old for this sh*t,” but I hate April Fool’s Day. I mean, I really hate it. I mean, has an April Fool’s gag ever truly brought people closer together? It’s a rhetorical question, but if it weren’t, the answer would be NO. It’s stupid. Don’t @ me, just agree with me. It’s dumb. (Yes, you can disagree with me–but we’ll have to agree to disagree because we ain’t gonna agree on that one, because I disagree. Agreed?)

Well this past April 1st “holiday,” (I still had to work, so it doesn’t count) one of the many “funny” April’s fools wrestling news posts pinpointed a return for ECW, with an MMA influence, on Netflix when WWE makes their transition to the streaming platform. Of course, it was going to be led by Paul Heyman, the genius behind much of what people loved about ECW. There’s a link to some trademark filings, and that’s where the April Fools revelation happens. If you visit the post, please don’t be fooled.

Not Gonna Lie, This is Dope. I couldn’t locate who to credit.

And that was on April 1, a Monday. That next Friday, Paul Heyman would be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame, where he would deliver one of the best Hall Of Fame speeches ever conceived.

That, of course fuels speculation that ECW could return, because of course it would. It’s natural to feel nostalgic, and then immediately connect some dots that likely aren’t there. A quick Google search is going to bring you to this April Fool’s article–which is written in more believable fashion than some actual wrestling news–and if you don’t get all the way to the link on the bottom, you will think it’s legit.

“Holy Crap, WWE Is Bringing ECW Back!”

There are two sides to every report–the person who reports it and the person who believes it. And the #1 rule of news, especially wrestling news, is that “people will believe anything if they want it to be true.”

And I would love for this to be true. But it isn’t. In fact, according to ol’ buddy Dave Meltzer, WWE “spiritually closed the book” on ECW once and for all with Paul Heyman’s perfect Hall Of Fame induction in Philadelphia.

Now, I haven’t heard the quote from Meltzer with my own ears, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it started with “to me…” because it’s likely speculation or opinion that is taken as news. And don’t get it twisted, Paul Heyman’s speech WAS the perfect way to close the book on  ECW.

But maybe… just maybe… it shouldn’t be!

Now Could Be The Right Time For WWE To Bring Back ECW

There are elements of pro wrestling history that are often viewed with rose colored glasses. The Attitude Era was an amazing boon to the wrestling business, but a lot of it was pure crap that, when watching it back, was terrible. And what put the (then) WWF in position to have to pivot (I really hate that word now) to a mature product? Eric Bischofff’s WCW kicking it’s ass with the NWO. The NWO is another point in wrestling history that had an amazing start, but got way too big and never had a defined exit strategy.

Honestly I have never seen a white NWO shirt.

And when WCW was kicking the WWF’s ass, what product did Vince McMahon have to rip off to make their comeback? That’s right–ECW. And it worked.

And it could work again.

Do We Really Need To Discuss WWE-ECW From 2006 to 2010?

The answer to that question is NO–we don’t. Except for the fact that it happened. And if WWE were to bring back ECW, we need to at least acknowledge that it happened once before, and it wasn’t all that good. And unlike the original ECW, the Attitude Era, or the NWO, it is not viewed through rose colored glasses. Not at all.

Ask any fan who was paying attention when WWECW was a thing, and they will tell you that it sucked. SUUUUUUUUUUCKED. Was it all bad? Absolutely not. But it was not good.

Why Should WWE Bring Back ECW Now?

And there is the million dollar question. Why now?

The answer only has part to do with Paul Heyman and the ECW brand. Although Paul Heyman should ABSOLUTELY head up this project. But it has to do with the current state of WWE. They have so much talent that they can’t possibly use them all, but they mostly deserve to be in the company.

Look at this list:

  • Ricochet
  • Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Bronson Reed
  • The Creed Brothers
  • Liv Morgan
  • Ivar
  • Nia Jax
  • Pretty Deadly

Who are they? Main roster talent who is damn good but couldn’t find their way onto the WrestleMania card. That doesn’t count a JD McDonagh who wasn’t booked but (as expected) appeared during the Tag Team Championship Ladder Match. Or many members of Legado Del Fantasma and the LWO who appeared during the accompanying tag team match.

Take Ricochet, for example. He’ll find his way into high profile matches (against Logan Paul at SummerSlam) but will also be off of television for a few weeks at a time. Or Shinsuke Nakamura, who had a great main event feud with Seth Rollins in 2023 but wasn’t part of WrestleMania. Imagine those two with Paul Heyman booking their stuff. It would be amazing!

ECW is the right brand because of the awareness it already holds. ECW was also synonymous with a cutting edge style that brought the likes of Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, and Taijiri to prominence in the US. Was all of ECW great? Does it all need to be brought back?

Well, I don’t think we need to see a Taipei Death Match in 2024 and beyond. And some of the style has been integrated into modern day wrestling (table spots are everywhere, weapons happen all the time, and we get blood when it’s warranted). But believe me, this could work. Netflix is a perfect place for it, and Paul Heyman could pull elements from Lucha Underground, the independents, and international wrestling to make it so unique that you just have to tune in. And an ECW Championship,, Tag Team Championship, Television Championship, and Women’s Championship would give members of the roster more to fight for.

Sure, it’s another 2 hours of programming each week. But there are a million different ways to consume the WWE product now, and if it’s too much, then you don’t have to watch ECW. But it might give Gallus something substantial to do, along with Cedric Alexander, and Shayna Baszler. Those are just examples, but you get it.

There is more content than ever today, and there is still room for more. WWE has the talent, the trademarks, and they have Paul Heyman. Why not do it?

Bonus Coverage!

You like that? It’s from my 411Mania days. I thought it would make for a nice separator to the second portion of the column.

My last article featured me agreeing with Dave Meltzer (it happens) about Trick Williams, and I really enjoyed the perspectives shared in the comments. Keep that coming–that’s the lifeblood of opinion based writing.

Surely You Have An Opinion On Wednesday’s Dynamite?!?!

I sure as hell do, and it was all over my Twitter feed. And if you read the mentions, I am largely an idiot. An idiot who gained over 100 new followers for what I said:

There’s a lot I can say, but honestly it was best summed up by Mr. Tito and Christopher Connor. No, I didn’t like it. No, it doesn’t equate to Vince McMahon eating a Stunner from “Stone Cold” Steve Austin or the NWO powerbombing Eric Bischoff off the stage. We didn’t have the internet like we do now, and Tony has already been all over AEW programming as the guy leading the charge. It simply doesn’t fit. And Tito & Christopher were quite eloquent in their analysis.

Just because something worked nearly 30 years ago doesn’t mean you need to do it today.

(Yes, I know–this comes at the bottom of a column suggesting the return of ECW. Crazy, eh!)

Whoop That Trick!

Trick Williams is your new NXT Champion, and I am excited about that. Trick is a star, I have seen it for over a year. But in retrospect, it was too much. We didn’t need the former NXT stars in attendance. We didn’t need it “shoved down our throats” as it was. I am going to write an article about the drawbacks of present day WWE booking, and this will be part of it. Don’t get me wrong–what they are doing today is great. But it isn’t perfect.

Odds & Ends

Aaron has some great video content in the Opinion section, go check it out! This site’s commitment to opinion content is why I am here–so support it!

My friends at the DWI Podcast put out a great one this week, I recommend you check it out here. You will enjoy it.

Don’t forget, if you are in or around Phoenix, Arizona, we have our next IZW event on Saturday, May 11. Tickets are going fast, but I have a $5 off discount code for the NoDQ readers using this link, or clicking the image below: