|When the decision was made to start a weekly television show around the once defunct Extreme Championship Wrestling, a lot of questions were immediately asked. Who would be the promotion’s top stars? Would all the original ECW guys, such as Rob Van Dam, Raven, and the Sandman be there? Would the show feature the kind of hard hitting, break all the rules style that made it a cult favorite back in the mid 90’s? |
In short: could Vince McMahon bring back the dead?
Answer: yes, he could bring back the dead.
But unfortunately for all of us who lived for the original ECW, Vince attempted to LITERALLY bring back the dead.
|So the first show of ECW on Sci-Fi looked to be everything an ECW fan could want. After all, show started out with no less than Rob Van Dam arriving with his newly won WWE championship belt on one shoulder, with the ECW strap on the other. |
It seemed to be the ultimate sign that ECW was back; after all, why would the company put their top title on a guy from ECW if they weren’t going to go all out with it?
|As awesome as it was to see such an opening, the next segment may have been even better, as it featured Paul Heyman gathering ECW originals like Balls Mahoney, Al Snow, Tommy Dreamer, Stevie Richards and more and basically telling them, “Screw Smackdown and Raw…ECW is back! Let’s go to the other shows and show them what ECW is all about!” |
Hell yeah, Paul! Let’s put that bitch Hunter through a flaming table for old time’s sake!
So yes, up to this point, things could not have possibly been better. And if you were like me, you were probably salivating for that first ECW hardcore battle.
Who would the company trust to be in that legendary first match? Tommy? Balls? Maybe New Jack just to test the Sci-Fi censors?
The answer, of course, would be the Zombie.
|Believe it – the first man to make his way to the new ECW ring was nothing less than an arms sticking straight out undead brain eater. |
And make no bones about it – this guy certainly fit the bill as a Zombie, looking as if he came straight from the set of a Troma film (if Troma had a budget consisting solely of a $5 gift certificate to Goodwill).
|But this wasn’t just any Zombie, no sir. This Zombie had something to say. |
Yes, this was a Zombie who needed his voice to be heard.
What could he possibly have to say?
|Three things, apparently: |
After the never-ending stream of 20 minute promos that have opened nearly every single Raw from about 2002 to present (usually by either Hunter, a McMahon, or Randy Orton), I can honestly say but one thing:
I’ve heard worse.
|Following the decomposing cadaver’s soliloquy, it was time for his opponent’s introduction. And it would be none other than the beer swilling, cane swinging ECW badass known as the Sandman.|
|Upon seeing the frightening foe awaiting him in the ring, Sandman downed some liquid courage and proceeded to bash a beer can against his own head. |
I wouldn’t advise doing that, Sandy – after all, a Zombie would probably view that red goo oozing from your forehead as an appetizer!
|Following what may have been a fifteen minute ring entrance (one that included Sandman nearly falling backwards off not one, but two guardrails), the battle commenced. |
And by “battle”, I do mean Sandman simply beating the hell out of the guy with his cane.
|Over and over and over again. |
Seriously, it was to the point that dust was flying all over the ring!
|One White Russian legsweep later, the Zombie was headed back to the mausoleum. |
|Deciding he hadn’t quite had enough fun yet, Sandman continued to beat the Zombie all the way to the back. |
Screw the Zombie – if you want to really be horrified, check out that image to the left. I haven’t seen anything that creeptastic since that guy’s head melted in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
|See what I mean?|
Sadly, this first ECW appeance of the Zombie was also the last ECW appearance of the Zombie. While Joey Styles may have had the temerity to dub his debut as “laughable”, and while Zombie had less than fifteen minutes of fame (I believe he was only on air for about five minutes!), his appearance is one that will never be forgotten. Hell, people have even put together tribute songs for the guy (including this fantastic one by Cleavy over on the F4W board).
So while we induct the Zombie, we do so in an attempt to honor him.
Rest in crap, my undead friend. Rest in crap.
– Announcer: “Ladies and Gentlemen, this contest is scheduled for one fall. Introducing first…The Zombie!”
– The Zombie: “Arrrrrrghh! Arrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhh!! ARRRRRGGHHH!!!!”
Tazz: “That’s riveting right there.”
Joey Styles: “This is laughable!”