Extreme battle: Originals vs. newcomers
The passing of the torch or a lesson in respect? The Six-Man Tag Team Match at Worcester's DCU Center on ECW on Sci Fi had the potential to be one of these, but it was up to the teams of Sandman, Tommy Dreamer & Sabu and Matt Striker, Mike Knox & Test to decide which.
"It's a new day. The days of the old ECW are over," Knox announced. "The new breed unleashed: that's our team."
There has been an aura of abandonment since ECW on Sci Fi debuted. Paul Heyman has chosen to ignore the help he received over the years from ECW Originals like Sandman, Dreamer and Sabu; he has instead opted to support the Extremists Heyman considers the future of the brand.
The Six-Man Tag Team Match is especially intriguing to Sabu, who has arguably been the greatest victim of Heyman's change of heart. The self-proclaimed "Messiah" of ECW has adamantly protected ECW World Champion Big Show since the giant obtained the gold. The Suicidal, Homicidal, Genocidal, Death-Defying Maniac has done everything in his power in the past month to take the championship, but he has come up short. Heyman's efforts to defend Big Show have gone so far that he entered the squared circle three weeks ago in an Extreme Rules Match and left Sabu barely breathing. On Tuesday night, ECW fans will witness Sabu's opportunity to battle a few of those Extremists who -- like Big Show -- Heyman has such an affinity for.
"I'm not done with Big Show yet," Sabu told ECW.com before the massive tag match. "I'll do anything to be the ECW World Champion and if that means I have to wrestle in a Six-Man Tag Team Match, then everybody else in that ring better watch out."
It is an undeniable fact that the new Extremists are younger and, therefore, have an athletic advantage. But do they have a mental edge, as well, since enlisting Striker on their roster?
"Not only do I get to teach Sandman a valuable lesson," Striker said, "but I get to teach several of those ECW Originals, as they call themselves, both Sabu and Tommy Dreamer, a lesson as well. I mean, after all, I am Matt Striker… and I am… your teacher."
While Striker might have experience in molding young minds, the ECW originals are hoping to give the teacher an extreme history lesson. After all, it's not usually a matter of who is younger, smarter or in better shape. In ECW, matches boil down to one question: who is most extreme? And many ECW fans would argue that competitors like Sabu, Dreamer and Sandman is as extreme as it gets.
"You mean I've got a chance to drink beer and fight on worldwide television and get a chance to stick my cane in places that Matt Striker never dreamed of and get paid for it?" asked Sandman before the match. "Perfect. Sandman's ready."
His rivalry with Striker might give Sandman a little extra motivation, but all individual disputes will be pushed aside as this match seeks to finally prove who can get it done better: the longtime experts or the new potentials.
"The ECW fans are having a hard time letting go of the dinosaur that used to be ECW," Knox explained. "When things get better and bigger, sometimes people get left in the dust. And of course [ECW fans] are going to root for them. When they're facing people like Test, Mike Striker and myself, they are the underdogs. People love to root for the underdog."
Knox figured a victory over the ECW Originals could be the event that brings ECW fans into the new Extremists' corner.
Is there a new future of ECW ready to take the lead or is ECW's future in its past? Find out Tuesday on ECW on Sci Fi at 10/9 CT.
Watch how it all went down last week on ECW on Sci Fi