By Dillon Avery
I’ll readily admit that I never watched the original ECW. I could never find it on, the Internet was in it’s infancy, and I was content watching my WCW and (during commercial breaks) WWE on the channels that were easy to find and apart of the most basic of packages. I had heard about it, knew of some wrestlers there. Mainly the ones who had jumped ship to WCW like Raven, Stevie Richards, Mike Awesome, Lance Storm, Shane Douglas, ect. And after WWE brought it back, it peaked my interest enough for me to watch the first One Night Stand PPV as well as the compilation DVD’s and saw just what I was missing. Why the ECW story? Because, for me, the same can be said for Nigel McGuinness in ROH. Now we know him as Desmond Wolfe in TNA.
I remember reading about this McGuinness guy tearing it up in ROH and was headed to WWE, possibly to join William Regal, who was pushing hard for WWE to sign him. I wondered if this amazing talent I had read about would get the CM Punk treatment and become a star or the Braden Walker treatment and become a joke. Then suddenly he shows up in TNA and, in his first appearance, attacks arguably the best wrestler in the world today, Kurt Angle. Now that’s a debut. And a great show of faith in him from TNA management. The two went on to have some amazing matches, and Wolfe displayed some great promo ability to boot. However of their many matches together, Angle would come out victorious in all but one, a street fight which Wolfe won via referee stoppage. For some reason it irked me that Wolfe had never gotten a clean pin on Angle, but I assume just having a feud with the man is good enough for many. It looked like Wolfe was on his way up the card and TNA was continuing it’s recent trend of building it’s own stars. Then something happened. Desmond Wolfe seemed to have mad someone backstage mad.
Desmond began losing matches, but at the same time getting a rub from being associated with Ric Flair. It seems Flair wanted to reunite the Four Horsemen but guess who owned the trademark? So Ric calles the group Fortune, and says it’s members are not finalized yet. However the on-screen presence of the group consisted of Flair, Styles, Kazarian, Beer Money, and Wolfe. Meanwhile, Desmond was busy losing matches to Abyss, Pope Dinero, Mr. Anderson, Jay Lethal, even Orlando Jordan. Thus far his TNA career consisted of being associated with the best in the business yet losing most of his matches. Like Raven in WCW or Chris Jericho in WWE. Wolfe demanded to be apart of Fortune but was denied. Now he’s in a tag team with Magnus on Xplosion. Again I ask, who did he piss off backstage? If you’re an internet rumor hound like me, then you’ve probably read stories of him having a big head, an ego, and being full of himself. Of course having both WWE and TNA interested in you at the time you’re leaving ROH might do it. Or having your first feud be with the one & only Kurt Angle. Or being a rumored member of a Four Horseman-like stable with the iconic Ric Flair might also do it. An then there is the polling TNA has done online, asking fans to vote for the top contenders for the TNA World Title. The fans voted overwhelmingly that Desmond Wolfe should get the title shot. And he did but if you blinked, you missed the match.
Now I’m not an uber-fan of Desmond. Just a typical fan of his talents. It’s just always amazed me that someone of his skill and obvious fanfare would be denied a push that, according to TNA’s own polling, the fans want. It’s guaranteed ratings, merch sales and PPV buys. On paper at least. Fans dug Shark Boy but that doesn’t mean he should be wrestling for the TNA World Title on a PPV. Still, I truly hope if he is in the dog house for something, it’s not for long. And after the current Fortune vs. EV2.0 storyline (which looks to be great by the way) dies down, maybe Desmond will get another chance to join the rising stars TNA is building up like Jay Lethal, Kazarian, D’Angelo Dinero and others. Typically when I hear about ROH or TNA stars going to WWE, I cringe because it meant in the past that they would be saddled with a lame gimmick, or embarrassed and fired after a short time. Now with the NXT thing, they will be made to look like rookies, attached to “coaches” who in many cases have LESS experience, and will be made to look like fools. I truely hope I don’t see Desmond Wolfe on a future edition of NXT with a goofy new ring name and the “pro” Kelly Kelly as his mentor. Please don’t let him suffer that fate, TNA!
By Dillon Avery