Eric’s blog: A look at WWE’s ill-balanced rosters: ECW

A) Unbelievable that I found a picture of Tommy Dreamer wearing a T-shirt. B) Holy shit, is that Monty Brown? He needs to come back from the Serengeti.

A) Unbelievable that I found a picture of Tommy Dreamer wearing a T-shirt. B) Holy shit, is that Monty Brown? He needs to come back from the Serengeti.

Finally, it’s time to take a look at the roster of WWE ECW, the red-headed (no offense, Sheamus) stepchild (no offense, Sheamus) of World Wrestling Entertainment. While no longer your daddy’s ECW, Brand No. 3 has turned into a proving ground for new talent (CM Punk, John Morrison, Jack I Love You Swagger) and a place for cast-offs (Christian, William Regal) to ply their trades with a little angle behind them. ECW’s is a small roster, making this a short read (plus they seem to do a lot of even-steven booking; see Burchill, Paul v. Cane, Hurri), and this will probably be the blog entry that doesn’t rank the wrestlers by tier but rather “in order.” But hey, it’s my chance to rank the useless, vapid Bella Twins all the way at the bottom!

(1) Christian: He’s the champ and he wins a lot. He gets the mic and can talk a lot. He still probably won’t headline pay-per-views anytime soon, but after his few-year hiatus, he won the ECW Championship, which means he gets to be on pay-per-views, which means exposure and bonuses. It’s nice to see WWE likes him, they really like him!

(2) William Regal: He’s still being positioned as a/the top contender for the ECW Championship, whether or not Zach Ryder won that battle royal. He gets to talk quite a bit, and he has an entourage. That’s more than the rest of the roster gets. Plus, like Finlay, he’s an old-timer who wrestles tight, which it seems Vince McMahon appreciates.

(3) Sheamus: This big, red blue-chipper is in the same spot Jack Swagger was before being moved to a more prominent brand: getting a push with wins over veterans and talking on occasion. And he deserves it, as he was probably the best prospect in Florida Championship Wrestling at the time he was called up. With his size, good skill, unique look and weird charisma, he could be a big player down the road.

(4) Hurricane Helms: Blecch. He gets that stupid extended entrance, he gets all sorts of face time, and he gets to beat people. God, I hate this fat turd.

(5) Zach Ryder: It seemed for a while that for every win Zach Ryder got over Tyler Reks, he’d lose a match to Goldust or the like. But he kept wrestling on TV, and we all kept deciding we liked him and his ridiculous Guido gimmick. Well, he won a battle royal to face Christian for the title, so that was cool! He’s a goofy fucker with a funny but memorable catchphrase, but Matt Striker is right when he says on commentary that Ryder can be aggressive at times. Which would explain why Ryder got a gimmick and Curt Hawkins is sitting at home not answering his phone.

(6) Goldust: I think Dustin Rhodes is the man — I know he can wrestle and I know he can talk — but it does pain me a little bit to put this 21-year veteran higher on the list than Shelton Benjamin. But that’s Benjamin’s fault.

(7) Ezekiel Jackson/Vladimir Kozlov: I’ll lump these two together because, even though they have distinct looks and personalities, they’re essentially the same person right now. I feel like almost all of the wrestlers above these two would be given wins, even if flukes, against these two, but the wrestlers below them would be less likely to see victory against Regal’s roundtable.

(8) Shelton Benjamin: I love ya, man, but potential don’t pay the bills.

(9) Tommy Dreamer: Probably the best spot for him, someone who can be seen standing next to Christian and not look stupid but who should be putting over younger guys. It’s hard to imagine him beating Zeke or Vlad, but not as hard picturing him pinning Paul Burchill.

(10) Paul Burchill: Poor bastard, stuck trying to unmask the Hurricane. He’s not a great, dynamic wrestler or anything, but he’s serviceable.

(11) Yoshi Tatsu: Has victories over wrestlers higher than him on this list, but he’s still a newbie and has a long way to go. But people who know him better from FCW than I do insist that he could be something big down the road.

(12) Tyler Reks: Turd.

(13) DJ Gabriel: Who?

(14) The women, the least of which being the awful Bella Twins.

The Architecture of Wrestling – Ring My Bell

Overview of the Bell Centre in Montreal

You couldn't create a little more space between you and the giant glass tower?

The WWE’s last pay per view Breaking Point took place at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  It was finished being built in 1996 (more information on the history here).  I noted how old Joe Louis Arena is but this one was designed and built after HOK started making stadiums and arenas well designed structures. Bell Centre was actually designed by the Consortium of Quebec Architects, which obviously is not one specific firm and I couldn’t find confirmation on who was in the group.

Same elevation, different perspective

Same elevation, different perspective

On to the building design which is the important part. The above photos show the northwest side of the building (Google map here) although the lower photo does show the southwest face too.  They have used three different materials – brick, block and glass – but what is strange to me is the use of two different type of stone, one of which is a beige color and the other which is more gray. The beige block matches the block from St. George’s Anglican Church which is  so I would think that they would stick with it rather than having two different types. The beige stone along with the brick and glass also matches some of the other buildings around the area.  I’d suggest using the “More” tab on the map to click around the area’s pictures. The gray stone continues to make little sense after leafing through the photos. The glass could be lighter and still be opaque so that it would match the surrounding area more but the contrast in colors that it creates helps offset that problem.

The stone tower, with the Centre Bell sign, along with brick with the small slats help to create a vertical feel visually which terminates with the beige stone. On top of the stone is the black (maybe a dark blue) glass which continues the horizontal banding which carries around the northwest face to the soutwest. The banding helps to make the building flow. Normally, stone or brick is built up in a staggered formation (called stretcher bond) but the beige stone is a stacked bond, which lines it up so that the joints are linear. The stack helps to emphasize the verticality of the tower and also the horizontal nature of the stone above the brick and glass corner. To the left of the tower is a combination of gray stone and glass. It also does a good job of combining horizontal and vertical banding. The stone columns and the mullions (or fenestration if you prefer) create the verticals. The horizontal nature comes from the stone above and below the main portion of the glass. The condensed nature of the windows on the top help provide the horizontal feel too.

That’s all I can analyze though because all of the pictures that I found on Google are of this elevation.  It’s quite obvious the design quality has been upgraded since 1979. -Kevin

WWE Needs Your Help!

Well, it's better than a red bird cage.

Well, it's better than a red bird cage.

I just checked my email a minute ago, and there was one from WWE. They need my help! Apparently, even though they have a full “creative” team on their payroll, they need to do fan surveys to figure stuff out. I’m starting to wonder if the creative team serves any purpose whatsoever other than figuring out ways to get themselves on television because they are all marks for themselves and are hurting the business and deserve to suffer great pain for the rest of their lives.

But I digress. The point is, I was sent a survey to help the helpless figure stuff out. The purpose was to determine what should be the name of the PPV that features Elimination Chamber matches in the main events of the show. The choices were as follows:

-Elimination Chamber

-Heavy Metal

-Battle Chamber

-Chamber of Conflict

-No Way Out

They had you rank the five choices in the order you like them. I voted for No Way Out since, as logic would dictate, that’s the name they’ve gone with in the past, it’s not a bad name by any means, and why change something that doesn’t really need to be changed? I also wouldn’t mind using the name “Elimination Chamber” much in the same way WCW called their show “War Games” when it featured a War Games match.

The other three names are ridiculous and if that’s what the creative team gets paid to come up with, where do I sign up? – Dusty

Just a reminder, you can discuss the Elimination Chamber, the Chamber of Conflict, the Halloween Havoc Chamber of Horrors, and whatever else you like to discuss by registering for our free message board: http://www.stuntgranny.net/cgi-bin/yabb24/YaBB.pl

Meet Lilian’s Replacement

She's a real pretty lady, Richard...

She's a real pretty lady, Richard...

So, I’d like to introduce you to Lilian Garcia’s replacement, Lauren Mayhew. She won’t technically be replacing Lilian, I should point out, since she will be acting as the Smackdown ring announcer while Justin Roberts slides over to take over the duties on Raw. I’d like to congratulate Justin on the promotion, since I feel like he is great at what he does and definitely deserves it.

As for Lauren, obviously I don’t know much about her, but I do know she has a YouTube page (which can be found here http://www.youtube.com/user/laurenmayhew) and a website (which can be found here (http://www.laurenmayhew.com), so everyone should just go to those sites if they are desperate for more information about her. Here is a video of her doing the National Anthem, and I can tell she’s already worlds better than the ol’ Perpetual Failure she’s replacing. – Dusty

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