Let’s pretend the WWE actually had faith in the ECW brand in 2006. Let’s also pretend that I’m Paul Heyman, only skinnier, with more muscles, better hair and able to land a date. Now let’s also pretend I can build an alternate brand that isn’t linked at all to the WWE, and can operate independently of any interference. Well, this is how I would do it.
First and foremost lets start at the night of the ‘ECW Draft’. Now I’d try and get guys like Masato Tanaka and Tajiri as part of the roster going forward, but I doubt I’d be able to get them. So let’s operate without them for now.
Let’s pretend that we get more than one pick from each brand. We redesign the ‘draft’ as more of an expansion draft. Each brand has to post their top names, and can only protect X amount. This leaves open a few names. So on the night of the draft, RAW loses Rob Van Dam and Big Show, while SmackDown loses Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio.
I know this brings up the fact that Mysterio was World Heavyweight Champion at the time, but you could easily move the belt to Booker. Or, and follow me here. Do Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania, and have ‘Taker win the belt. There’s many different ways to go with what to do with the belt, so there’s no reason to overthink this. Just put it on Booker, Orton or ‘Taker and call it a day.
Now, losing Rey hurts, but with Lashley not moving to ECW,you can turn around and move Lashley either to RAW while shipping a Jeff Hardy/Johnny Nitro back to SmackDown, or you can have Lashley continue on his course on the SmackDown brand. There’s also guys like Chris Masters, Carlito, The Hardy’s, Shelton Benjamin, and a slew of others who’d benefit from the moving of the four names to the ECW brand.
Now this is crucial, you have to go independent. You have to have the brand completely separate from RAW and SmackDown. You’d run smaller venues, and would maybe tape back to back episodes on the road. You could easily turn a profit with the WWE machine behind this, but it has to be truly ECW if albeit a bit separate from the original.
Firstly, we’re going to give a lot of other guys a shot. Tatanka and Road Warrior Animal were always lost on SmackDown, so we’d do something about that. We’ll dub them the American Warriors, and we’ll call them Tatanka and Animal. They’ll be a veteran tag team that you can put out there for the nostalgia but be able to win a tag title if need be. We’ll also include Psicosis and Super Crazy as well, but not as the MexiCools, but as single’s competitors. We’ll also include Hardcore Holly as well, cus that just makes sense. Val Venis gets brought in as well, because his sexual gimmick goes well with the ECW angle. We’ll also pair him with Candice Michelle, who herself is a former softcore pornstar.
We’ll also bring in Charlie Haas, mostly because I think he was always a hell of a worker and could be built up, especially after Angle and Mysterio end up taking a leave.
To round out the top names, CM Punk would be an obvious fit, as he’d have a huge role. We’d also have Test, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu and Sandman. Dreamer and Sandman because they offer fan appeal, and Sabu because of his potential as a marque heel. Test is also in this spot due to just sheer expectations.
Rob Van Dam, Big Show, Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio
Upper Mid Card
Sandman, CM Punk, Test, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu
Burke/Terkay, Tatanka/Animal, Helms and Moore, bWo, FBI (w/Trinity)
Super Crazy, Kid Kash, Val Venis (w/Candice Michelle), Psicosis, Hardcore Holly, Charlie Haas
Mike Knox, Kevin Thorn, Gunner Scott, Ariel, Matt Striker, Kelly Kelly
Scotty 2 Hotty, Balls Mahoney, Al Snow, Paul Burchill, Rene Dupree
So the whole thing should build up to One Night Stand 2 but who knows if I could get that to work, right? If we build to One Night Stand 2, you have one or two matches on RAW and SmackDown to build up to the main event and several top matches for the event. What matches would we have on RAW? Well, ideally, it’d be an eight man tournament for the event. It’d be Sabu vs. RVD, Dreamer vs. Sandman, Rey vs. Test, and Kurt Angle vs. Show.
We’d whittle that down to RVD vs. Dreamer, and Rey vs. Angle, and those two matches would open the show for One Night Stand.
One Night Stand II
ECW World Heavyweight – Special Guest Ref Terry Funk
??? vs. ???
Big Show vs. Sabu
Burke/Terkay vs. Tatanka/Animal
CM Punk vs. Test
ECW T.V. Title Battle Royal
Scotty 2 Hotty, Balls Mahoney, Paul Burchill, Rene Dupree, Super Crazy, Kid Kash, Val Venis, Psicosis, Hardcore Holly, Charlie Haas
The Sandman vs. Al Snow
ECW Title Tournament
Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle
ECW Title Tournament
Rob Van Dam vs. Tommy Dreamer
How It’d Go:
– To open up the semi-finals we start with Rey vs. Angle. This match would be killer, because why wouldn’t it. They’re both fit, they’re both at their peak physical abilities and are, without a doubt, rad. Yup. I said it. I’m torn who should go over here, as both men would give RVD (duh) a great main event but considering the hype level and star power needed, I’d go Angle vs. RVD.
For Dreamer and RVD, I’d keep it simple . I’d even tell a story where RVD would rid the ring of all of Dreamer’s weapons, much to the bemusement of Dreamer. It would be more of a nostalgia/comedy bit, to cool fans off of the 20-25 minute opener. But there’ll be some good moments, with RVD going over.
To pop the crowd we’re getting a true blue hardcore match with The Sandman taking on Al Snow. Snow goes over in a fun brawl, thanks to Head being used to finally put down Sandman. The kicker would be that we’d relaunch the Head bit, and have Snow arguing with Head for being the entity who got the win.
With Candice Michelle at ringside, Val Venis and Charlie Haas come down to the final two. Haas is on the verge of losing before catching the bottom rope, sliding in under the rope, only for Venis to kick him to the floor. Having returned to the ring, and not going over the top, Haas instinctually grabs Michelle and threatens her. Venis nears the top rope which allows for Haas to grab Venis, pull him over and slide back in to win the battle royal and become the new heel champ in the process.
CM Punk and Test’s feud starts with the two men wanting to prove who’s the future of the brand. It’s simple and just a way of getting Punk over with a solid match. Punk wins, and fans cheer. All you need.
Burke and Terkay challenge the legends of Animal and Tatanka in a tag match to start the hype around the tag team division. This would be the chance to see what all four men could do. It’s high on the card but not one of the to two matches on the card. So it’s not going to be one of those matches that are needed to carry the show. Burke should work most of the match but Terkay should just destroy both men effortlessly. I’d put over Terkey and Burke, and start alluding to them being the next great tag team.
Sabu’s cage match against Big Show should just be 9-10 minutes of Big Show throwing Sabu around, with Sabu capping it off with a top of the cage spot that sees him connect, and get the win. Simple, brutal and easy.
Finally in the main event, Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam go toe to toe for the World Title. Kurt’s style changes form the all around classic with Mysterio, to a more brawling approach to RVD. This is obviously to keep Angle rested and protected physically. Angle can brawl with anyone and that’ll be on full display here. RVD will pull out the comeback eventually only to eat an Angle slam. Angle though, spitting on ECW and it’s fans, will taunt and tease the crowd, positioning himself for the Ankle Lock. RVD leaps to his feet though, makes contact with Angle’s head with one of his deadly heel kicks, and hits a Five Star Frog Splash for the win.
RVD celebrates with the faces and Paul Heyman as they flood the ring. Joey Styles declares ECW to be back and the show comes to a close.