Nobody was happier to see ECW go than me.
From the very beginning of its incorporation into the WWE Universe, it never managed to deliver that which it promised: a new breed unleashed.
Or so they said.
ECW became the home for lower-card performers and developmental talent alike.
While there might not be anything wrong with that, it was the way in which the WWE tried to allude to its "C-brand" that did greater damage than service they hoped it would provide.
Their intentions were noble, but ECW was never given the opportunity to become one third of the WWE Universe.
The hour-long time-slot told the entire story, as the brand in and of itself wasn't even granted the time of day to entertain for the length of a Raw or Smackdown program.
Yet over the years (to varying degrees, of course), the WWE would attempt to promote this brand as something greater than unequal.
But it was unequal, by leaps and bounds.
Be it a poor sense of structure or very little credible authority, they failed. That's not to say that Raw has such in the least, but at least they compensate for a lack of structure with a wealth of talent.
You would NEVER see the likes of William Regal close out a Raw or Smackdown broadcast. If they ever decided to pursue that direction, they might very will begin to lose the ratings war (if you even would like to call it that) to TNA, and that's saying something.
WWE has now managed to do what is best for the development of their product.
When I first learned of Vince McMahon's concept for NXT, I figured it would be a clear-cut "minor league" for developmental talent.
Yet, with the incorporation of the reality-TV angle, they've now managed to create the minor leagues with a dash of relevance.
At the same time, talent the likes of Christian and Ezekiel Jackson gets an automatic promotion to the major leagues.
I'm not by any means saying that NXT is so great a concept that I'm going to become equally excited for Tuesdays as I have been for Mondays; I'm simply saying that on paper at least, it appears to be a step in the right direction.
No longer will there be that third "C-brand" show trying to boast itself as being part of the greater picture.
It is what it is and I respect that, for the very same reason I often failed to respect ECW.
It's not a knock on the talent; it's just an issue with the brand's portrayal.
At least now, it appears as though they are headed in the right direction.