By Graham "GSM" Matthews
It's been an exciting week to be a WWE fan as it was announced this morning that the Brand Split will be brought back this coming summer. This will coincide with SmackDown going live on Tuesday nights on the USA Network starting July 19th.
It was noted by WWE in their official press release that for the first time in nearly five years, SmackDown will have its own "distinct roster," and that a Draft to determine who ends up on which brand is "imminent." It was also said that along with the rosters for Raw and SmackDown being separate again, ECW will be brought back as a third brand... for a second time.
This June will mark ten years since WWE's incarnation of ECW debuted on the SyFy Network, the perfect home for the wacky and crazy competitors of the Land of Extreme. The pilot episode featured the unforgettable debut of The Zombie, a revolutionary moment in television history, and the coveted ECW Championship being defended. Later that summer, a main event match on the show that pitted Batista and Big Show against each other received rave reviews from critics. Although fans in attendance chanted "Same old shit!" at them, it was believed the crowd was too intoxicated to appreciate the instant classic, or at least according to one Vince McMahon.
At any rate, ECW continued to prosper in the years that followed and stayed true to its "extreme" origins by hosting dance-offs, arm wrestling contests and Monster Mash Battle Royals. Some of the company's biggest names in the last decade, including Ricky Ortiz, Vance Archer and even Braden Walker made their premiere appearances on the ECW brand. Sadly, despite its immense popularity, ECW went defunct in February 2010 to make room for NXT.
However, following a six year absence, the Land of Extreme is set to make its long awaited return this summer as part of the Brand Split, once again as WWE's C-show. The ECW Championship, which was found in a nearby garbage can at WWE Headquarters, will also be brought back as the brand's top title. The belt has a long lineage of credible champions including Bobby Lashley, Rhyno, Big Show, and Mark Henry. Who knows what Superstar will be the first to hold the prestigious prize once it returns from retirement. The resurrection of ECW will also see the return of the critically acclaimed December to Dismember pay-per-view this Christmas season, the gift that keeps on giving.
"We've had so many ECW reunions over the past 15 years that I figured, hell, why not do another?" said WWE Chairman Vince McMahon earlier today. Initially, the idea was to bring back ECW with a purpose by putting an extra focus on younger talent, but Vince shot that down immediately. Instead, the show will feature a slew of out-of-shape ECW Originals, or at least those that are still living. Vince is excited about ECW's revival, saying, "It's time to shake things up again, and what better way to do that than by re-instituting the brand that just won't die?"
All "facts" in this article are erroneous and compete fiction. If you took it seriously, well, joke's on you. Thanks for reading!
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