Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Extreme Championship Wrestling
Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) was a groundbreaking and influential professional wrestling league, and was a stop for many popular wrestlers seen today. Best known for its audience participation by its chanting fans, it was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1992 by Tod Gordon, who was its first owner.
NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling
ECW was founded in 1992, under the name Eastern Championship Wrestling, and upon its foundation, it was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance. In 1994, after a tournament was held in the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the vacant NWA World Heavyweight Title, tournament winner Shane Douglas threw down the belt and proclaimed ECW Extreme Championship Wrestling, thus starting the "hardcore revolution".
With the backing of owner Tod Gordon and booker Paul Heyman, ECW withdrew from the NWA and became an underground sensation. The group would showcase many different styles of professional wrestling, popularizing bloody hardcore wrestling matches and the 3-Way Dance. Wrestlers such as Shane Douglas, Public Enemy and the Tasmaniac helped launch the new ECW at this time.
A Mini-Timeline of ECW
At a time when the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now known as WWE - World Wrestling Entertainment) was having relatively tame wrestling clowns and pig pen matches, ECW was having barbed wire matches and creating new stars (Steve Austin drank his first on-screen beer on ECW TV years before the "Stone Cold" era in WWE). After noticing that ECW was the future of the business the "Big Two" (World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and WWE started stealing their talent and ideas. While the WWE had somewhat of a working relationship with ECW (going as far as allowing cross-promotional angles), WCW refused to even mention ECW by name, calling it "barbed wire city" and "a major independent promotion" who wrestled in bingo halls.
In April 1997, ECW had its first wrestling card broadcasted on pay-per-view, highlighted by 53-year-old legend Terry Funk winning the ECW World Heavyweight Title. Soon after the PPV, Gordon sold ECW to Heyman. They would then broadcast bi-monthly on PPV.
In August 1999, ECW began to broadcast nationally on The Nashville Network; however, this signalled the beginning of the end. Despite poor advertising and promotion, ECW became TNN's highest rated show, but was cancelled in October 2000 in favor of the World Wrestling Federation jumping over to the network.
ECW stuggled for months after the cancellation, trying to secure a new national TV deal, but could not. Despite help from the WWF, Heyman could not get out of financial trouble and filed for bankruptcy on March 2001.
ECW in WWE
Soon after ECW closed, Heyman was hired by the WWE as an on-air character and writer. During the "WCW Invasion" into the WWE, the former ECW wrestlers "rejoined" ECW with the storyline being Stephanie McMahon as the owner. Joined together, the WCW/ECW faction was named the Alliance. Heyman and Stephanie McMahon brought together the Dudley Boys, Tazz, Rob Van Dam, and Tommy Dreamer among others.
Throughout the summer and fall of 2001, the Alliance and WWE fought back and forth in battles culminating in a Winner Take All Match at the 2001 WWE Survivor Series. The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin were the remaining survivors for their team. The Alliance lost,after WCW Champion The Rock pinned then WWF Champion Steve Austin,meaning their faction had to disband.
The Rise and Fall of ECW
In Summer 2003, WWE purchased ECW's assets in bankruptcy court, acquiring the rights to ECW's video library. They used this video library to put together a two-disc DVD entitled The Rise and Fall of ECW. The set was released in November of 2004. The main feature of the DVD was a three-hour documentary on the company's history. The other disc featured bonus matches from ECW's history and hidden promos from wrestlers.
The DVD sold extremely well. Many retailers, including online sellers like Amazon.com and Best Buy could not keep enough in stock. The feature is currently ranked as WWE's second highest-selling DVD of all time, with the WrestleMania XX set topping the list.
ECW One Night Stand
WWE has confirmed that an ECW branded pay-per-view will be held on June 12, 2005 at the Hammerstein Ballroom . It is not known whether only former ECW stars will perform at the show or that former owner Paul Heyman will be involved in any capacity. As of right now, Tommy Dreamer is the booker for this show. It has been confirmed that the Sandman was contacted, but declined an offer.
Updated list of performers includes: Justin Credible, Jason Knight, Masato Tananka, Spike Dudley, Devon Dudley, Bubba Ray Dudley, Little Guido, Axl Rotten, Tracy Smothers, and Tony Mamaluke.
Paul Heyman has recently been removed from the SmackDown! writing team for allegedly listening in on a conference call to which he had unauthorized access. His exact status with the company is unknown. This means, that as of right now, he will have nothing to do with the ECW pay-per-view.
See also: ECW One Night Stand
The list of performers scheduled to appear include: Axl Rotten, Bill Alfonso, Don "Cyrus" Callis, Francine, Jason, Jerry Lynn, Johnny Grunge, Joey Styles, Justin Credible, Kid Kash, Gary Wolfe, Raven, Sabu, The Sandman, Shane Douglas, Terry Funk, Tracy Smothers, and Tod Gordon.
This is a list of the champions as they were on April 10, 2001, when ECW shut down for good.
|ECW World Heavyweight Champion||Rhino|
|ECW Television Champion||Rhino|
|ECW Tag Team Champions||Danny Doring and Roadkill|
Note:On January 7, 2001, the ECW TV titled was considered unified with the ECW World Heavyweight Championship to form the ECW Unified World Heavyweight Championship .
Famous crowd chants
- E-C-W! used for memorable moves by wrestlers who originally had a connection to the league. (Usually sounds like or shortened to "E-C-Dub!")
- He's hardcore! used to praise a performer, often one engaging in wanton violence
- Holy shit! used for shocking moves that could have put the wrestlers in harms way.
- Oh my God! a chanted variation on announcer Joey Styles ' famed catchphrase
- Fuck New York! employed by Philadelphia-based fans
- Philly sucks! employed by New York City-based fans
- Show your tits! directed toward the promotion's various female performers
- Sit the fuck down! an invective typically reserved for conspicuously disruptive crowd members
- You fat fuck! used for welcoming overweight wrestlers.
- You fuck sheep! a welcoming chant specific to Roadkill.
- You fucked up! used when a wrestler screws up a move.
- You sold out! used to decry those ECW wrestlers who had chosen to leave the promotion.
- Where's My Pizza? a welcoming chant specific to the F.B.I. and/or Little Guido
- She's A Crack Whore! usually directed at any number of female valets
- Welcome back! used to greet wrestlers who have returned to ECW.
- You suck dick! usually directed towards heel wrestlers.
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