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  Nov 8, 1999

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Reflections from the ECW crowd
By BOB KAPUR -- For SLAM! Wrestling

BUFFALO -- I'm always been amazed at the response from the crowd at an ECW show. Their fans have consistently been some of the most supportive, loyal and vocal, as compared to those at other wrestling events. It's almost as if the fans are celebrating among themselves about sharing in the best kept secret (at least from a mainstream perspective) in wrestling today: the fact that ECW is delivering a product that is not only competitive with that of the WWF or WCW, but perhaps even better. We, the ECW fan community, pride ourselves in the fact that we have dared to look beyond the Big Two for our source of sports entertainment - and have been rewarded for our search efforts. And our pride usually manifests itself in the form of a chant, screamed at the top of our lungs in unison: "E-C-Dub! E-C-Dub!"

At the Flickinger Center in Buffalo NY, tonight was no exception.

Before, during, and after the November to Remember PPV, the Buffalo crowd was primed and ready to voice our support for ECW... and that's exactly what happened.

Prior to the start of the show, the building was rife with the sounds of anticipation. Fans discussed the night's card, predicted the winners and losers, and speculated on which weapons that were displayed in the lobby would be used during the evening. In the meantime, others voiced their pleasure or displeasure at opinions scrawled on other people's signs ("Buffalo Sucks" won for the most pre-event heel heat, while the "Screw Calgary" sign was the undeclared favourite), and began verbal warfare with people across the building, depending on which wrestlers they supported or disdained.

At 7:30, one half hour before the PPV card was to begin, the first "Start the show!" chants were heard. And from that moment on, the audience never stopped.

The dark match, pitted rookies Wild Bill Wyles and C.W. Anderson against "Dastardly" Danny Doring and Amish Roadkill. Interestingly, Doring and Roadkill received the face treatment from the fans, and played the role fairly well. The end came after Doring delivered a top-rope legdrop to Anderson, and Roadkill followed that up with a Superfly Splash and a pin. Good, solid match, which whetted the appetites of the fans even more.

From the time Joey Styles emerged from the backstage area, to the sound of the final bell, the atmosphere in the building was alive and excited. Every match was a four-star match in the eyes of the live crowd, if the fan reaction was any indication. The chants were deafening at times, and never really subsided to anything less than a dull roar. Faces were cheered and heels were booed in standard ECW fashion, meaning similar to the chants used by WWF and WCW audiences, with a little colourful language thrown in for good measure). Table and chair spots were demanded constantly, and jaw-dropping usage of such furniture was rewarded with crowd approval in the form of the aforementioned "E-C-Dub!"

Between matches, if not requesting assorted ladies in the audience to release the hounds (ie: "Show your (puppies)!"), the crowd was normally abuzz about the action just viewed. New Jack's death-defying dive was talked about at length, Taz's departure was a hot topic (usually building to a "Taz sold out!" crescendo), and comparisons of tonight's show to past offerings by the promotion were made constantly (it appears that tonight's show is generally considered one of the best ECW PPV's of all time, judging from the reactions of everyone I talked to).

After the final bell tolled, and all the beers had been drank, the crowd filed out, still talking about the wonders they had seen over the course of the three-hour show. While some braved the cold to wait for their favourites to come outside and sign autographs and take pictures, most people opted to head for the warmth of their cars.

But I'm sure that most of them, just like myself, continued their discussions on the ride home, their hearing a little dulled, their heads echoing with the sound of "E-C-Dub!" And all of them will no doubt agree that they witnessed, on this November evening, an event that they will always Remember.

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