Most Extreme Player for 9/28/06
Without consternation and deliberaton, this week's MEP is Hardcore Holly.
When I first appeared for WWE, I was leery of meeting Hardcore Holly and one other WWE Superstar (who will remain anonymous for a future column). I was leery because it was common knowledge that they were WWE's locker room enforcers. Basically, they were unofficially in charge of making sure that new WWE talents (wrestlers and announcers) adhered to WWE's unofficial locker room code of conduct, traditions and mores. As many WWE wrestlers had passed through ECW on their way to reaching WWE, I had heard many stories of the fate that could befall a WWE newcomer who tread on the wrong toes.
When I first met Bob, I extended my hand and said, "Hello Mr. Holly, I'm Joey Styles and I hear you are the locker room enforcer. If you are going to lock me in the trunk of my rental car, I ask only that I am allowed to bring a flashlight so I can finish the book I am currently reading."
Bob immediately smiled wide, shook my hand and said, "You'll be fine as long as you don't walk around with your head up your ass...and don't call me Mr. Holly. My name is Bob."
I can only assume that the fact that I had initially showed Bob and all of the locker room veterans and producers the respect they richly deserve upon meeting them - combined with them, in turn, being generous enough to view my seven years with ECW as time served (similar to transfering credits from one school to another) - is what kept me from experiencing hazing similar to my freshman year in college.
In any case, from that first day, I was as much a fan of Hardcore Holly's personally as I had been professionally for many years prior. Hardcore Holly is my kind of wrestler and would have been a great fit for the Original ECW. Holly is a smashmouth, no-nonsense wrestler who is very credible inside the ring. Probably because outside the world of sports-entertainment, he could beat the crap out of almost anyone who did not show him the respect that I have. In short, Hardcore Holly does not need a gimmick to get fans to take notice of him.
I was thrilled when I found out that Hardcore Holly was joining the new ECW roster but was dissappointed when I found that he had alligned himself with Paul "Judas" Heyman and as such, would be booed by ECW fans. I felt that Holly's true to life toughness would immediately make him a fan favorite with Original ECW and new ECW fans alike.
By choosing not to end his match with RVD after his back was slashed wide open, and instead fighting as hard as he could for as long as he could, I think Hardcore Holly could have made himself ECW's newest main eventer.
All Hardcore Holly has to do now is drop Heyman in the center of the ring.
Read more about Holly's injury
Watch Holly's medical procedure after his Extreme Rules Match