TNA put on “The Last Stand” last Sunday, a pay-per-view designed to be the final ECW-oriented pay-per-view ever. And unlike all the ECW inspired events of a few years back, I personally feel like they succeeded.
Both of the previous shows seriously suffered from a lack of available talent. Hardcore Homecoming missed out on any talent contracted to WWE (which included tons of stars, but most notably Tommy Dreamer and Rob Van Dam) while One Night Stand missed out on talents signed to TNA, most specifically Raven. An ECW show without Raven misses out on one of the key players that helped really innovate the promotion, while Tommy Dreamer was the heart and soul of the promotion with Rob Van Dam probably being its biggest star ever. The first time in a decade, Hardcore Justice gives us a match between Raven and Tommy Dreamer, a match that is key to any show truly interested in bringing back the old ECW. With almost everyone involved with the original ECW now gone from WWE (only Joey Styles and Joey Mercury are left), the roster pool was far stronger for this show than it was for any previous attempts at recreating the old school feel of ECW. Dreamer clearly knew this, and embraced it wholeheartedly in his booking decisions.
The stars were definitely older (and balder, at least in the case of Sabu), and some were definitely worse for wear. Arguably, it seemed only Too Cold Scorpio (who faced C.W. Anderson early on the card) hadn’t lost a step. If anything he seemed faster and more innovative then in his classic days. He really surprised me in his match, reminding me of classic battles with the likes of Chris Jericho and Taz. Just to digress, his performance at Hardcore Justice just made me question his quick hiring and firing from WWE a few years back.
If this truly was “The Last Stand”, then TNA succeeded at giving the world one last great farewell to ECW. And can any ECW fan ask for any more than that?
Next week, we will have an update on my first two wrestling Wednesdays, and look how the events of WWE’s second biggest pay-per-view Summer Slam affect Kane and the Nexus.