What if ECW didn't close? Insiders tell all

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May 15, 2013

WWECLASSICS.COM: Who were some of the stars in ECW at that time who were destined for greater things?

STYLES: I think York & Matthews would have broken through. Joey Matthews did get his breakthrough as Joey Mercury and Christian York recently got his big break so many years later. It should have happened much sooner.

DREAMER: Joey Matthews & Christian York would’ve probably been the next Hardy Boyz.

RHYNO: They were so talented. ECW had such a solid tag team roster. York & Matthews, The FBI, even Danny Doring & Roadkill. They were creating magic, too. It was fun to watch. They were such an important part of ECW.

MERCURY: Christian York and I were with WCW in 1999 and at the beginning of 2000, we were let go and had a tryout with WWE. We were awfully young, Christian might have been 21 and I was 19. So WWE recommended us to go work for Paul. We had a tryout up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. They liked us and the next night we started at the ECW Arena. Paul came up to us afterward and hired us full-time. We were there every show thereafter until it closed. I’m the youngest ECW Original and I will hold on to that title forever.

Watch York & Matthews vs. EZ Money & Julio Dinero at the Hammerstein Ballroom

HEYMAN: Joey Matthews & Christian York were going to be given a real opportunity. Michael Shane, who was a protégé of Shawn Michaels, would have been given a huge opportunity.

RHYNO: I honestly believe a wrestler named Chilly Willy would have been a star. He’s a Purple Heart hero from the war in Iraq. I worked with him a little bit toward the end of ECW and we were having really good matches. He had a lot of charisma, dyed his hair blond and had great athletic ability. He just needed a little bit of dusting off and then he would have been golden. There were talks of me wrestling him in between wrestling Rob.

DREAMER: I know CW Anderson would’ve become a star. EZ Money was another guy that Paul was so high on. That kid could do anything. He would have become a bigger star.

CORINO: CW was about to become a huge deal. Paul loved him. Rhyno was going to vacate the ECW TV Title. One of the last interviews was going to be Rhyno saying, “We’re not on TV!” and throw down the TV Title. The belt itself had been stolen out of the locker room, so he didn’t even have it to vacate. [I believe] CW would’ve won the tournament to become the TV Champion. Especially coming off that amazing “I Quit” Match he had against Dreamer [at Guilty as Charged]. If there was a guy that should’ve gotten bigger and timing wasn’t on his side, it was definitely CW.

Watch CW Anderson vs. Tommy Dreamer at Massacre on 34th Street

HEYMAN: CW Anderson, Kid Kash and EZ Money were clearly going to be moved up the roster. But after them, it was going to have to be the influx of new talent. An overhaul of the roster would have been implemented. My mindset was to find new talent. I felt we were going to have to present the next generation of stars for the entire industry. While Rhyno and Van Dam were certainly going to be the focal points of the promotion, it would have been the introduction of the new stars that would have created a vibrant atmosphere for the product.

STYLES: WCW ceased operation two months later and WWE brought very few of those talents over. So there were a lot of good hands who Paul could have given a persona to and coached to have more charisma or paired with a manager that would’ve kept ECW looking fresh. I think Rick Steiner working the lighter ECW schedule would have worked out very well.

DREAMER: Rey Mysterio could’ve come back. Mike Awesome probably would’ve come back and been the biggest villain in the company. You never know the limitless possibilities if we had actually hung on.

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