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  #1  
Old 07-13-2015, 03:44 AM
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Default ECW VS WWF Shotgun Saturday Night

Back in the late 1990's the then-WWF aired a wrestling show on Saturday nights named Shotgun Saturday Night from early '97 to the summer '99. But the format of the show was mainly kept in 1997 with the venues being in nightclubs in New York City like the Mirage Nightclub and the All-Star Cafe in Times Square. We've seen some crazy things watching SSN on whatever channel that we can find it on for those who are old enough to remember the B-Show that is. Like when Terri Runnels aka Marlena flashed her boobs in front of the Sultan (Rikishi) during his match against her then-husband Dustin Runnels aka Goldust causing the Sultan to lose the match. And the Headbangers putting in double-duty dressed as a new tag team "The Flying Nuns" but only made one appearance as the masked men. And the episode where Brian Pillman (R.I.P.) beat up a fan (plant).

Around this time in wrestling another eastern promotion Extreme Championship Wrestling was growing in popularity. They'll weekly TV show was all ECW had, and wrestling fans all over the country were trying to find ECW on TV if they could receive it on TV in the cities that they lived in (me included). ECW came on on late nights most of the time. Around the same time as WWF's Shotgun Saturday Night. Was the WWF trying to steal some of ECW's fanbase? Shotgun Saturday Night aired during the pre-attitude era that would set the tone for the attitude era which was lead by guys like Stone Cold Steve Austin and D-Generation-X. But Shotgun Saturday Night couldn't last forever with it finally ending it's run in the summer of '99.

ECW was ECW. But how would you think that Shotgun Saturday Night would fair in the long run if it would have kept the original format? Was it the B-Show to ECW? How can anyone forget the confrontation between Stone Cold Steve Austin and hardcore legend Terry Funk on SSN in Texas? Talk about a bar-brawl in Texas! With Terry Funk going to ECW a few months later and returning to the WWF/E a year later.
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2015, 06:41 PM
mral82 mral82 is offline
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Yeah I remember Shotgun Sat Night but didn't get a chance as a kid to watch much as I moved around so much I never knew when it was on. Plus all Shotgun was, was WWF Wrestling Challenge renamed then Shotgun spun off into Jakked and Metal, then After Burn and whatevs the other was. Then they bsocally dropped them after ECW/WCW was bought and made Sunday Night Heat and Velocity the B-Shows of the brands. I don't think WWF was trying to put ECW out then as Vince helped Paul as Eric also did as that's why you saw alot of ECW Stars melt into the WWF/WCW during the Attitude Era as ECW was their Farm System. Plus ECW Created The Attitude ERA not WWF/E-WCW as they piggy backed off of ECW and it was renamed the Monday Night Wars. Plus I didn't get to see alot of ECW only PPV's cause of the Areas I lived didn't get ECW
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:31 AM
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As I understand it, the original SSN experiment only actually lasted around a month or so before, ultimately, WWE determined it would be cheaper to follow the model they use now, and tape the matches before Raw. But that original idea did sound pretty cool, taking mainstream wrestling to 'alternative' venues.

I don't believe it was Vince attempting to put ECW out of business (just I don't believe the aim of NXT is to put ROH out of business) - ECW was NOT a competitor. Make no mistake: the only legit competition WWE has had since, well, about 1990, was WCW.

I just feel that, in a time where Vince was struggling, and actually the number two promotion in American wrestling, for the first time in 15+ years, it was his way of trying to claw back: it *may* have been inspired, partially, by ECW, but certainly there would be little benefit of him wasting time trying to put out of business a group which was still two months shy of putting on their first ppv.

From late 1995, when WCW's ratings started to really grow, there are several moments where we can see Vince and WWE took a radical departure from the comic book style of the Golden/New generations. Shotgun Saturday Night was one of these. Others included the entire booking of the Diesel v Bret Hart title match at Survivor Series '95; Vader destroying an authority figure in Jan '96; the whole Goldust and Mankind characters when they debuted; the Stone Cold character after KOTR96; new match types like the Boiler Room Brawl and Buried Alive matches (and later the Hell in a Cell); and fresher, more physical match ups like 'Taker v Mankind and Austin v Hart. All of these eventually led to the dawning of the Attitude Era, but you cannot just jump straight from colourful comics to edgy darker graphic novels, there has to be some noticeable elements of change, or else the audience is in danger of being completely apathetic towards the upgraded product.

I see Shotgun Saturday Night, in its original format, as a logical step towards the Attitude Era. I think that Vince, inspired by ECW in part but also pop culture at the time, saw the (eventual) AE as a way to reclaim his throne, especially when WCW did similar and scrapped their awful comic storylines like the Dungeon of Doom in place of the nWo in 1996; it certainly wasn't, IMHO, a means to eliminate ECW from wrestling's map
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  #4  
Old 08-10-2015, 09:25 PM
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Heyman and ECW was in a working relationship with WWF when Shotgun launched. Vince actually even offered Heyman a job doing commentary on Shotgun. Heyman actually used his connections in the New York nightclub scene(he worked at Studio 54 at one point) to introduce Vince to the owners of the clubs/bars where the first few episodes of Shotgun were filmed in New York. Terry Funk was also working ECW shows just weeks before and after his stint in WWF in January 97 on Shotgun and his cameo in the Rumble. From what I've heard the relationship between ECW and WWF was such that WWF was actually even selling ECW merch at their shows and advertising Barely Legal.

Shotgun was definitely WWF's version of ECW at first. No bones about it. They were dipping their toes in the pool of an adult style wrestling show. The whole ECW invasion that spring was what literally put the War in Raw. Mania 13 was such an ECW style show compared to the 12 Mania's before it. As much as a lot of fans today hate to hear it and try to deny it, ECW influenced everything. By September-October 97 WWF practically was ECW, just a bigger budget version of it.

Last edited by ShinobiMusashi : 08-10-2015 at 09:30 PM.
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2015, 05:59 PM
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It was absolutely an attempt to try a more "edgy" product directly influenced by ECW's popularity, I'm pretty sure McMahon himself admitted that. Hence why you got stuff like Marlena flashing the crowd and other things, testing the waters for what would eventually be the Attitude era though they'd already stepped into that territory months before with the Pillman has a gun angle.

I actually recently watched (or at least skimmed through) every episode of Shotgun and I enjoyed the fact that it was basically the TAKA Michinoku show for awhile, not to mention several appearances from Christopher Daniels.
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  #6  
Old 11-04-2015, 07:15 PM
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I agree it was an attempt to be a little edgier and not done to compete against ECW. Paul and Vince had a working relationship but ECW was not big enough to be a threat. WCW was the threat and were a little edgier but were starting to turn PG so Vince decided to try going to the R side and it was a huge success.
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  #7  
Old 11-05-2015, 08:52 AM
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It was a real half assed attempt at producing a watered down ECW for the WWF audience. That episode where the Flying Nuns appeared and Marlena flashed her boobs is the perfect example of how it wasn't as revolutionary as some now pretend it was.

For those who have never seen it, Marlena has her back to us when she pulls her top down and even off screen, given the crowd's response, she's wearing something over her boobs. Throughout that episode Sunny on commentary built up about how she was going to go wild to end the show and going wild was her dancing with a midget wrestler before the midget fights a midget Vader wrestler. Just painful stuff.
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  #8  
Old 01-09-2016, 08:14 AM
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I seen one of the first few episodes in person. I always looked at it more as a test run of their edgier content before ultimately trying certain ideas on Raw. I wish they could've stuck with the original format(we owe Terry Funk to thank there). Definitely was a great show - kinda wish the format still existed as you had more of in your face action. They weren't opposed to coming back out and sitting in the audience or engaging with fans. This was real interaction - not something like The Miz responding to a fan over Twitter.
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