NWA President Howard Brody isn’t a fan of ECW. Perhaps he’s still upset over Shane Douglas trashing the NWA World Heavyweight title back in 1994 and calling the NWA a dead organization. Even though he wasn’t the president at the time, it was a crushing embarrassment for the NWA.
Whatever the reason, Brody is tired of ECW taking shots at the NWA. And he’s decided to speak out.
“ECW built themselves off the back of what the NWA was,” Brody told SLAM! Wrestling. “All this hardcore, ultra-violent crap, that came out of the old southern style of wrestling.”
Brody doesn’t mince words when criticizing his competition.
“(What they do), it’s all derivative of the old NWA style. They just take it one step further by smacking each other with tables, lighting people on fire and doing crazy shit we would never do.”
Brody is quick to point out the differences between the two organizations to those who paint stroke both with the same independent label.
“We have plenty of guys who work that style,” claimed Brody “but that’s not what we sit there and perceive ourselves to be to the general public. We try to present ourselves as more traditional.”
Brody dismisses remarks made by ECW and their fans that the NWA is a non-entity in today’s wrestling world.
“When ECW debuted (on TNN), what’s the first thing they showed? They showed Shane Douglas trashing the NWA title. Well, if we’re not so damn important, why did they show that again? If we mean nothing in today’s wrestling, why did they show it?”
Brody also doesn’t buy into the notion held by many that ECW booker Paul Heyman has one of the most shrewd minds in wrestling.
“What Paul Heyman did was take what FMW was doing in Japan and turned it into an America version of the company,” stated Brody. “They really created a niche product for themselves, so the perception was they were different.”
Brody also feels the WWF and WCW have now out ‘extremed’ Heyman.
“ECW was different because the WWF and WCW were going in an opposite direction. Both have taken Paul’s lead and created a better version of what Paul can do because they have more money.”
Despite the animosity, Brody does concede that Heyman does have some good qualities as a booker and TV producer.
“Paul would bring in guys who they said could never get over because of their personality, like Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko. Paul put them on TV and the next thing you know they’re in WCW. Paul knows how to build talent out of nothing.”
Brody also credits Heyman for successfully building ECW into a distinguishable brand name.
“The one thing I will always give Paul Heyman credit for is he used old names like Tito Santana, Hawk, Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco to build his product to establish his brand. Once he did that, he created his own stars.”