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Which was better - WWECW or ECW

Devon Malcolm


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ECW blew my mind when i first saw it. A mate of mine would record it on Bravo and we'd gather at his to watch it, sometimes he'd only catch half or so but that was enough. It was hard to come by back then, especially before id discovered tape trading. How hard it was to get a hold of probably added to the appeal.

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ECW, from what I've watched, is just average wrestling that heavily depends on violent weapon spots and edgy counter-culture tropes. It was the 90s/early 2000s, however, and it was in an era where stuff like grunge and industrial music, Beavis & Butthead and South Park were mega popular, so it blended perfectly with the 90s zeitgeist regardless of the quality of wrestling. 

By the time it returned in 2005/2006, none of those crutches they relied upon in the original run existed anymore. Hardcore wrestling wasn't even much of a novelty in the industry at this point, with CZW and numerous other "violent style" promotions going around. They had to be a bit more creative, and of course Vinnie Mac was calling the shots from here on out, not Heyman. WWECW was promising at first. Like others have noted before me, it was a forerunner for NXT and gave platform to veterans that never made a huge impact on Raw or SmackDown.

Where WWECW went wrong, however, was its drastic change in style around 2006-2007, even before the Benoit tragedies. Vince being the main antagonist didn't work, same with Bobby Lashley being pushed as the face of the brand and whatnot. It made no sense to have the main event scene built around non-Originals so early into the revival's run. They pushed this "Originals vs. New Breed" angle instead, but it halted the momentum that any wrestlers involved in that angle may have had, and it damaged the brand. Coming hot off the heels of ONS 2006, which was a major success for ECW, hurdling the likes of RVD, Sabu, Dreamer and Sandman into a throwaway mid-card tag match at WrestleMania was a downright mistake.

Of course, within the next year, WWE turned to more PG-oriented programming, so WWECW could certainly not be what it once was. The final nail in the coffin was when they just decided to send all of WWE's main roster rejects there (which wasn't necessarily a bad thing in some cases, as noted above) and WWECW felt like what would happen if Sunday Night Heat and Velocity had a kid up until its eventual axing to make way for NXT.

ECW and WWECW both had their pros and cons. Both dreadful at times, but they were very much "of their time" and represent important periods of industry history that led us to where we are now. But as for the question, I'll have to go with WWECW as it's still easy to watch and hasn't aged too badly.

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