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CM Punk: WWE Legend compares drama to massive ECW feud

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In the world of professional wrestling, the line between reality and fiction often blurs. The debut episode of “AEW Collision” served as a prime example, with CM Punk cutting a promo that seemingly referred to his real-life backstage issues with The Elite.

Punk, dubbed the “Second City Saint,” made a passing reference to The Young Bucks and boasted about his relationship with the head of Warner Bros. Discovery in a promo that kicked off the show.

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The ECW Paradigm

Bully Ray, a former ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) talent and current WWE Hall of Famer, had a different take on how things should have unfolded.

In his view, had this situation played out during ECW’s heyday, Paul Heyman, known as the “Mad Scientist of Extreme,” would have capitalized on the real-life tension, turning the “Brawl Out” fallout into a gripping storyline.

He envisioned Punk sharing the ring with Hangman Adam Page, Kenny Omega, and the entire Elite crew, a storytelling tactic that Heyman often employed in ECW.

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The Real-Life Drama of Taz and Sabu

This perspective is grounded in Bully Ray’s experiences from the ECW era. During a recent episode of Busted Open Radio, he and Tommy Dreamer, another WWE Hall of Famer, discussed how ECW often brought real-life rivalries into the spotlight.

They reminisced about the infamous feud between Taz and Sabu that began in the early ’90s when Sabu missed an ECW event to accept a booking in Japan.

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An Animosity Unleashed

Sabu’s decision to leave ECW didn’t sit well with Taz, the “Human Suplex Machine.” After a public firing by Heyman, Sabu returned to ECW in 1995, igniting a grudge that spilt from the locker room to the squared circle, most notably at ECW’s first pay-per-view, Barely Legal, in 1997.

The animosity between Taz and Sabu was palpable, as Bully Ray recalls a memorable night in the ECW Arena. Taz stood in the ring, lights dimmed, and when they came back on, Sabu was there, igniting a fiery confrontation.

“Taz wanted to rip Sabu’s head off of his shoulders and spit down his neck. For a 100% straight up shoot,” Bully Ray recounted. The heat was so intense that Paul Heyman felt the need to have additional wrestlers present to intervene if needed.

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Hopes for AEW’s Future

While Bully Ray didn’t explicitly advocate for replicating such real-life tensions in AEW, he did express his desire for unity within the roster.

Amid rumours of a possible split, Bully Ray hopes for the preservation of a unified AEW locker room, keeping the door open for potential in-ring resolutions of real-life disputes, like the one between Punk and The Elite.

In the ever-evolving landscape of professional wrestling, it’s clear that the lessons of ECW remain relevant, even as new promotions like AEW forge their paths.

Whether AEW will take a page from ECW’s book in blurring the lines between reality and fiction remains to be seen.

Jake Skudder
Written by
Jake Skudder
Jake is an SEO-minded Combat Sports, Gaming and Pro Wrestling writer and successful Editor in Chief. He has more than ten years of experience covering mixed martial arts, pro wrestling and gaming across a number of publications, starting at SEScoops in 2012 under the name Jake Jeremy.