From DJ Gabriel To Cm Punk : Was ECW Talent Initiative A Success

The PhantomCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2010

The ECW Talent Initiative took a lot of heat from fans because of the fact that it delivered the final blow to the legacy of the once great company. Instead of the Extreme attitude we were so use to seeing in the original ECW, we were left with guys who could not make it on the main roster, wrestlers with no charisma, new young talent, and Christian.

But underneath all of the misery of seeing a once great product go to shambles, ECW may live on through the Talent Initiative.

That's right despite all of the things I mention there is some light at the end of the dark tunnel that became ECW on Tuesday nights.

The official mark of the initiative started in July of 2008, when then GM Teddy Long started a push to get more young talent on the show. However traces of a push for younger stars dates back to the New Breed and the company being brought back by Vince McMahon in 2006.

If you look through the history of WWE's ECW, you will see that the brand has witness a lot of stars that are now on the rise and will soon be competing for World Titles in the near future.

Among them are John Morrison, CM Punk, and The Miz in the WWE and you can't forget about Dinero in TNA, although his ECW stint was less than impressive.

CM Punk turned a nice feud with Chavo Guerrero in ECW into a MITB win and is now a three time World Heavy Weight Champion.

Elijah Burke, I mean D'Angelo Dinero is now competing in the main event for TNA and has carved himself a nice career since his release.

Miz and Morrison careers were saved by time with the brand when they were made into a tag team. In The Miz case he went from a complete joke, to being able to carry rivalries, promos, and can now hold his own in the ring.

These are not the only stars to witness some levels of success. Others like Kelly Kelly, Evan Bourne, Drew Mcintyre, Ezekiel Jackson, Tiffany, Matt Striker, Todd Grisham, Yoshi Tatsu, Jack Swagger, and Mike Knox can trace their WWE careers through ECW.

WWE's ECW has perhaps benefited no one as much as it has Sheamus. He went from being an ECW unknown to WWE Champion and will be apart of Wrestlemania in a match with Triple H.

The brand also helped known wrestlers like Shelton Benjamin improve his mic skills, help Christian reconnect to the WWE audience after coming back from TNA, and allowed Matt Hardy and Kane to prove that they can carry a show as champion. ECW also helped bring life back into the careers of Mark Henry and Zack Ryder.

Also former ECW Talent Initiative Superstars hold half of the companies titles at this point in time and are among the WWE fan favorites in terms of popularity and crowd reaction.

Although the brand failed to help those like Chavo, Finlay, and Tyler Reks get over with the WWE fans, the brand itself has produce more new world champions among young superstars than RAW and Smackdown has combine in the last few years.

We fans make look at the new ECW as a failure because of the way it destroyed the image of the ECW we grew up loving; and in ways we are right seeing as the magic was never restored.

But I have a feeling that in five to ten years that us fans will be buying the ECW Talent Initiative DVDs featuring the matches of some of these stars as they take the company by storm.

It maybe to earlier to tell, but for know I think it is safe to view it as a success.