Re: ECW Imitations hurt or helped wrestling ?
I feel like everyone who shits on CZW, has never seen enough CZW to accurately judge. Go and watch a full show. Every time CZW is mentioned negatively, people bring up two things: Zandig/Meat Hooks, and the Mondo roof incident. CZW is more than meaningless violence.
First, their deathmatch workers are professional. The use of weapons has a purpose in the match and plays into it. They use weapons WITH the main offense, not AS the main offense. If you want to see true garbage, go hunt down any match involving Spidar Boodrow. Then watch a Masada match. Even Stevie Wonder could see that Masada, and guys like him, are far from overly violent, talentless, glorified backyarders.
Second, CZW has one of the most hybrid rosters in wrestling today. That guy in The Shield that everyone jacks off to? Yeah, the buzz around him began in CZW. Adam Cole, who many consider to be the next guy to head to Florida? Yeah, he trained in the CZW Wrestling Academy, and got his start in CZW. Sami Callihan is another guy who got his buzz in CZW, and many consider him to be high on WWE's Hit List. Sami and Dean also have a past in the deathmatch scene.
I feel like I've went on a rant here, but it really irritates me when people bash them without really watching the product. I'm not even a huge CZW fan anymore, but they're constantly shit on for things that happened 10 years ago. I don't think CZW tried to imitate ECW at all. They tried to imitate IWA Japan, and FMW. Both which existed, and did the things CZW did years later, while ECW was still Eastern Championship Wrestling/The very early Extreme Championship Wrestling days.
But on topic: I don't think anybody has ever really tried to imitate ECW and been successful. What they did was special. Overrated, but special. What really gets me are these promotions that book a bunch of ECW guys and attempt to give it a "rebirth". Those days are gone. What prime the guys did have, is long gone. Don't get me wrong, I respect what they did for the business, and respect them all, but nobody wants to see an ECW rebirth anymore. I was actually at a wrestling show on Saturday, and they booked Sabu. I met him at intermission and got a picture with him and everything, and watching him in the ring is amazing, Just knowing everything he's done in his career and whatnot, and admiring him as a kid and now being a few feet away from him (Literally, I was pushed out of the way because he threw his opponent into the crowd.), but I wouldn't pay money to see Sabu vs Raven, or Sabu vs Sandman in 2013. (Not on DVD anyways, in person maybe)
TL;DR: Watch CZW before judging on two incidents that happened a decade ago; fuck Shane Douglas.