Guest Booker: With Gabe Sapolsky.
Some of you may remember that just over a month ago I reviewed Kayfabe Commentaries’ “Guest Booker with Raven” DVD, where he booked Scott Hall and Kevin Nash’s entry into the old ECW in 1996. Well, as I was so impressed with the spot of fantasy booking, and as I’m working on a similar project myself, I thought it would be a good idea to take at another volume in this series, the title in question being “Guest Booker with Gabe Sapolsky”. In case you didn’t know, Gabe is the head booker for Ring of Honor, and here he’s been put in charge of booking the “new” ECW in 2006, up until the December to Dismember pay-per-view.
And I have to say that given the ideas Gabe has put forward here, it’s a damn shame that Vince didn’t give him the job back then. After gathering together his roster, disregarding a great number of people who made the “original” roster and bringing in a few surprise names, Gabe sets about putting together his booking plans for the three major titles and the undercard feuds for the weekly shows. He disregards the WWE style of booking, instead preferring to use the old fashioned ECW style, mixed in with a few ideas of his own.
Gone is the Zombie. Gone are the vampires. Gone is the Elimination Chamber. In there places are a series of feuds and matches that, if they had actually happened, would have made this writer, and probably a whole lot more of you, watch the ECW show on a weekly basis.
How would you feel about a C.M. Punk v Rob Van Dam Stairway to Heaven match? Or a two out of three falls bout between MNM and Paul London and Brian Kendrick, with the ECW Tag-Team titles? Or a lengthy feud over the ECW title between…..well, that would be telling wouldn’t it? I’ve got to leave you with some surprises now, haven’t I?
The Raven DVD had really impressed me, but this one impressed me even more. Whereas Raven was charged with booking the feuds and angles of just a few workers, Gabe laid out plans, feuds and angles for an entire roster of nearly thirty men and women.
In conclusion – in the cover notes, there’s a snippet of Les Thatcher’s review of this release; “If you have plans to be involved or are currently involved in the creative end of this business, I highly recommend you owning both the first and second edition (of Guest Booker) and viewing them over and over.”
He was right. As someone who has dabbled in the creative end of the wrestling business in the past, and as someone who is currently in the planning stages of a fantasy booking-type project, this release has proved to be a valuable resource to me. But that’s not the only reason I like it. It makes you realise just what could have been done with ECW when it was re-launched two years ago, and how the WWE really dropped the ball.