From what we've seen of the ECW so far, I found the dynamic between the WWE and the ECW to be one of the most interesting bits we've seen. I'm not entirely sure how to read the whole thing yet, but there seems to be a bunch of interesting angles here.
On the simplest level, you basically just have the ECW and the WWE pooling their mutual resources to cooperate in battling the WCW. Simple enough. From this angle, you have basic cooperation.
Then you also have this sort of animosity between the two. Lawler rather actively insults the ECW wrestlers. Heyman constantly uses "McMahon" in what seems to be a genuinely derogatory way. The WWE is underhandedly stealing wrestlers from the ECW. From this angle, you have basic antagonism.
However, somehow these two things seem to coexist in a sort of an uncomfortable way. If the ECW hates the WWE so much, then how come they keep bringing folks like Lawler back on the show? Is it just to get better ratings? The ECW seemed to pack its stadiums pretty consistently, and was less television-oriented, so wouldn't the WWE clearly stand to gain more? Even if the ECW gains something from bringing on the WWE, is it really worth it to help out your biggest competitor? Why allow Lalwer to come on and trivially beat the living crap out of your new champions? That makes the ECW wrestlers look awful! Whatever you stand to gain from the competition, surely that doesn't make any sense.
I'm just not sure I understand what the ECW was doing here.
I suppose, the one way I can make sense of this, is that Haymen who knew a damn good wrestling story, but without a great deal of business sense. Perhaps he saw that what he was doing with the WWE made for a better story, and that was what he focused on, without taking into consideration the larger impact it might have on the business?
I'm not sure.
Another interesting angle, somewhat tangential to this, is getting back to the whole reality versus fiction dichotomy.
One thing that struck me about the ECW wrestlers was how real everything seemed to them. When they talk about Lawler showing up in their ring, they seem genuinely upset and surprised about the whole thing. Surely they were told about the story in advance, right?
On the WWE side of things, I got the more familiar sense (from what we've been seeing throughout the class) that they acknowledged the fiction and the reality together, whereas the ECW felt more lost in the unreality of the whole thing. It was a bit strange. It felt almost anarchonistic in the context of class.
A part of me wants to draw some kind of connection here between the more story-obsessed and less-business-oriented attributes of the ECW and the more blurred line between reality and fiction in the ECW... though I'm not quite sure yet.
Just starting to get the old gears turning with regards to the ECW. I might revisit this topic later if we talk more about them.