From last week’s retro Observer:
I attended the ECW PPV here in Pittsburgh and I really enjoyed it as a live event. I haven’t seen the tape yet. It was a lot better than I expected it to be. I probably wouldn’t have bothered with it if it wasn’t a local show, since none of the matches seemed that interesting. But Paul Heyman’s booking was superb this time out and really hid a lot of the weaknesses of some of the wrestlers.
I also have to say how impressed I was with the local promotion. Shane Douglas worked his ass off, doing local appearances and commercials. The day before the event, the ECW wrestles were everywhere, appearing at local clubs, malls, etc. I think this was a key in drawing such a good house. Pittsburgh is a city where people only turn out for big league events, so the promotion really got the show over locally as a must see live show.
I’m still working on my year-end ballot. The promotion that really stood out for me this year was All Japan. The main events are always spectacular and the addition of Hiroshi Hase made them that much better. I even liked seeing Hayabusa, who I always thought was a joke before, and Jinsei Shinzaki, who I thought the same about, now that they are working part-time. If Baba could find just one more new guy to mix in with Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada, Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama, Akira Taue and Hase, it would be perfect. What he needs is a new top American star since Johnny Ace, Stan Hansen, Steve Williams and Gary Albright can’t keep up anymore. Except who is there out there of the level of Baba’s top guys?