Retro column from 2006: The “beginning of the end of ECW”

The following column was written by Linda Robin on in December of 2006…

It’s not like last night’s Raw was the worst Raw in a while, but it certainly wasn’t the best in a while either. Thankfully the few segments that I liked were enough to keep this from being a disastrous show. Now here’s what I would like to do. I would just like to list the garbage and spend the rest of the time talking about the positives and then I would like to end with my thought on ECW’s pay per view and the release of Paul Heyman. You have to hand it to WWE there’s never a dull moment with that company

Okay here are the top 5 worst parts of last night’s Raw.

Eugene, I’m special (ICK)
Chris Masters and that miserable Master-lock challenge
Carlito vs. Viscera, Poor Carlito
Super Crazy vs. Shelton Benjamin, this had promise but was just thrown together
The Coach, he’s such a good heel, it’s too bad Vince and the creative staff don’t know that

And there you go. Now I know many times I shock the hell out of a lot of you. This one might make you faint. I think the days of John Cena getting to me have come to an end. I have noticed in the last few weeks that I’m not as disgusted by him as I used to be. In fact as many of you know and I’m not proud of it I got to a point where I couldn’t even watch his entrance or his 5 knuckle shuffle move. But now? I not only watch the entrance and his five knuckle shuffle but, I’m not getting bent out of shape when I do watch. Hmmm I wish I knew why the change, but I’m definitely not going to question it. That being said I thought the opening with John Cena and Melina was very good last night. Cena’s promo didn’t consist of the unfunny junk that the creative team usually gives him. I thought he did a good job out there and having Melina come out and hype up the match between Cena and Kevin Federline definitely worked for me. And keeping with the Cena theme, while I hated that he had to take part in the Master-lock challenge, I liked Umaga and Cena beating up each other, I thought there was quite a lot of excitement during the fight. And finally another good part was Cena choking Armando Alejandro Estrada’s neck for kicking him in the stomach during the Umaga/Cena brawl. With Coach standing there it was perfect having Coach buying into Cena’s rant about Estrada thinking Raw is his show not Coach’s. All of these segments played out very well. Yes you read that right.

Now I could have easily put the Highlanders vs. Cade/Murdoch on the top 5 list, of course then it would have been the top 6 worst parts of Raw. But the reason it didn’t make this list was because it was a very nice gesture dedicating the match to an ailing Rowdy Roddy Piper. And the match wasn’t bad it’s just that the interest to watch these four guys wrestle isn’t there, I mean you could hear a pin drop throughout most of the match. Now while Maria doesn’t wrestle well her match against Victoria was nothing, but what made this good was that Victoria is definitely back to being a psycho and the attack on Mickie by Victoria was a nice way to heat things up. I’ll tell you this with Lita and Trish gone they really need to bring in some women that can wrestle. I think there’s plenty of eye candy on both shows, its opposition for Victoria and Mickie that is needed now. This might not sit well with some of you but I still laughed with Cryme Tyme. Sure the segment wasn’t in good taste but in my opinion is that JTG and Shad are both very likeable and basically it’s just silliness and nothing more.

Shawn Michaels and Triple H had a very good backstage segment. DX serious is rare but when they are it works. Well it worked even better than ever when Todd Grisham interviewed Shawn Michaels and Triple H about the beating that Ric Flair received from Edge and Randy Orton. Shawn did all the talking and did it so well. The way he talked about the beating that Flair took was done with such emotion. Hunter didn’t say one word he just stared with so much anger in him. All of this played out perfectly and it just made the whole feud with DX and Rated RKO even better. And finally the main event with DX and Matt and Jeff Hardy vs. Edge/Orton and MNM was very good. I thought every one in here did an awesome job. And that includes the Charleston, S.C. crowd. Their Edge and Randy “sucks” chants were nice and loud. A few highlights for me during the match had to be Hunter at the very beginning non stop chocking Randy Orton in the corner. Just Hunter’s way of trying to get Orton for what he did to Flair. Then there was Shawn and The Hardy’s hitting planchas at the same time on Edge and MNM. There were so many cool spots during this match and I really like the Hardy’s working with DX, and MNM with Edge and Orton. Now as far as Kenny goes, I see him joining Edge and Orton. He was told at the beginning of the show he had to prove himself to be with them. Well DX might have gotten him in the end, but it was his chair shot to Shawn Michaels head and his interference that kept Hunter out of the ring and gave the heels the upper hand and Randy the pin over Matt. So while DX got Kenny, I think he proved his value to Rated RKO.

This was just a terrific main event and I have to say the Umaga/Cena feud is looking good and the heat between DX and Rated RKO is coming along very well. Next week we know that Estrada vs. Cena will take place, and has posted Edge vs. Hunter will also happen on Raw.

Now normally I would end this by saying I’m getting ready to watch ECW, and I can’t wait, but now I’m not so ready. I’m sure most of you know that WWE released Paul Heyman yesterday. It reads like a story line but from the reports on the main sites he’s gone. And it seems like that very very bad December to Dismember is a big reason why he is out. I did not order the show THANK GOD, but I kept up with results and I could not believe what I was reading. No forget that I could not believe the matches that made up this pay per view. With the exception of the Hardy’s vs. MNM and the Elimination Chamber match the rest sounded like dark matches. Matches that would NEVER be televised. So supposedly Heyman wrote the show, but Vince had it changed. And if you go by what’s out there it’s like Heyman is being blamed for that garbage. I know very little but I know that Heyman is no way responsible for that pay per view. December to Dismember was not a Heyman production.

I was angry and depressed when I read the results and I told one of my friends that I have a feeling that this is the beginning of the end of ECW. Now that Paul Heyman is out, I think ECW which was coming off very well is going going gone. I really can’t see this show surviving without Heyman. And with rumors that RVD is frustrated and fed up I see him out very soon as well. Just when WWE is giving you something good to watch it’s all taken away from us. I hope I’m wrong and ECW will continue to entertain but I’m not holding my breath. And while I’m on the subject I have a fear and I believe this fear was mentioned a while ago by me. But as over as CM Punk is and he is, I have the bad feeling that he’s not going to get that major push that he should get. I guess I’m basing it on the fact that he was eliminated so fast during the Elimination Chamber match. As much as I like Lashley, Punk is THE guy right now in ECW and whether he was going to win or not he should have been in that match until the very end. I’m quite unhappy and very concerned about ECW and Punk’s future.

With that I will end all of this. I’ll be back over the weekend with my Smackdown thoughts and hopefully not such a downer of a column.