Feature: Steve Anderson on ECW Before a Live Studio Audience


1050 Techwood Drive in Atlanta. What does that mean to you?

Chances are if you were a wrestling fan in the seventies and eighties, you would know the significance of the Techwood Drive studios, the home of Georgia/World Championship Wrestling. Yep, wrestling in a television studio with a small audience. Who would have thunk it?

Studio wrestling at Techwood was intimate and stark. Angles were more â<80><9c>in your face.â<80> Fans were close to the action and violent attacks seemed that much more dangerous. Chaos in a huge arena is nothing like chaos in a television studio.

Techwood Drive came to mind after I read Jim Rossâ<80><99> blog on his ideas for ECW. How to make the program distinct and stand out from the others.

My suggestion? Get it out of the arenas. The WWE has the capability, if not the facilities to make ECW a Techwood-like studio wrestling show.

Yes, it is decidedly low-tech, but it would bring ECW back to its roots, not to mention the WWF. It would also help it differentiate from the other shows. Right now, Raw, Smackdown and ECW all look the same. The stage is modified. The graphics are different. But the programming follows a strict template.

ECWâ<80><99>s ratings are lower than its counterparts. It is merged with Smackdown and maybe Raw at some point. There is nothing different. The current PG movement takes a great deal of â<80><9c>Extremeâ<80> out of Extreme Championship Wrestling. How can ECW wrestlers stand out when the show has the gloss and glitz of the other brands?

Set up the studio similar to the GCW/WCW layout. Have Joey Styles (no, not Grisham or Adamle) serve in the Gordon Solie role, grasping the microphone to call the action and interview the sweaty wrestlers after their matches. Heck, Iâ<80><99>m still a mark for Bob Caudle. Yeah, heâ<80><99>s not a TV guy and he has a thick southern drawl, but there is something about him that just fits in a studio.

Putting ECW in a Techwood-like setting would also give its matches more prominence on pay-per-views, something that doesnâ<80><99>t happen right now. ECW matches are few and far between. An afterthought that is poorly hyped. Take the young grapplers out of the studio and in front of a larger audience. Perhaps a Clash of Champions-type monthly or bi-monthly shows on Sci Fi could take place at WWE-style arenas.

I know studio wrestling still exists in WWE developmental and around the country. But imagine introducing it to todayâ<80><99>s fan. Past fads have become current trends before. The youth movement embraces things from the seventies and eighties. It is possible to sell wrestling fans on the concept of ECW-style studio wrestling.

If WWE wants ECW to stand out and put new wrestlers in the spotlight, they need to make that spotlight smaller for ECW wrestlers to compete underâ<80>¦

Live before a studio audience.

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