ECW (WWE)

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ECW
ECW's version of the universal WWE HD set has been used since January 21, 2008.
ECW's version of the universal WWE HD set has been used since January 21, 2008.
Also known as
  • ECW on Sci Fi
  • ECW on SyFy
Format Sports entertainment
Professional wrestling
Created by Paul Heyman
Vince McMahon
Starring ECW Brand
Opening theme various (See below)
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 193
Production
Camera setup Multicamera setup
Running time Approximately 50 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Sci Fi Channel
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)[1]
Original run June 13, 2006February 16, 2010
Other websites
Official website

ECW (which at one time stood for Extreme Championship Wrestling) was a professional wrestling brand of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), based on the independent Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion that lasted from 1992 to 2001. It started on June 13, 2006 with a weekly television series. The ECW brand was one of WWE's three brands, the other two being RAW and SmackDown.

Show history[change | change source]

Original format[change | change source]

WWE got Extreme Championship Wrestling and its video library in 2003 and later began reintroducing ECW through a series of DVDs and books. The big popularity of ECW merchandise prompted WWE to organize ECW One Night Stand, an ECW reunion pay-per-view in 2005. The financial and critical success of the event encourages WWE to start a second One Night Stand the next year. With rejuvenated interest in the ECW product, WWE began exploring the possibility of reviving the promotion full time. On May 26, 2006, WWE announced the launch of ECW as a stand-alone brand, congruous to Raw and SmackDown!, with its own show on the Sci Fi Channel.[2] Despite initial concerns that professional wrestling would not be accepted by the Sci Fi Channel's demographic, network President Bonnie Hammer said that she believed ECW would fit the channel's theme of "stretching the imagination".[3] Sci Fi Channel is owned by NBC Universal, parent company of USA Network and exclusive cable broadcaster of WWE programming.

The ECW brand initially tried to differentiate itself from WWE's other brands. The hard cameras were placed in a different location and the ring mat had an ECW logo on it. The male performers were also referred to as "Extremists" as opposed to Superstars, and female performers were called "Vixens" instead of Divas. It also had the first ECW talent. Later however, changes were made to differentiate it from the original ECW promotion, including changing the original promotion's rules where weapons were legal in all matches and there were rarely any count outs or disqualifications. WWE now classifies such matches as having "Extreme Rules", and are only fought when specified. The only pay-per-view event hosted exclusively by the ECW brand since its launch was December to Dismember in December 2006. On March 14 2007, before another one could be scheduled, WWE announced that all future pay-per-views would feature all three brands.[4]

Former ECW owner Paul Heyman served as the on air "ECW Representative". According to an interview in the UK newspaper The Sun, Heyman wrote the brand's weekly scripts and gave them to writers for possible changes, and then Vince McMahon for final approval. After the December to Dismember 2006 Heyman was relieved from both his on and off air duties with World Wrestling Entertainment.[5] After Heyman left, there was no ECW authority figure until August 14 2007, when Armando Estrada was announced as the General Manager.

ECW on Sci Fi[change | change source]

ECW's weekly series was first given a thirteen episode run as a "summer series" on the Sci Fi Channel. The first episode got a 2.79 rating, making it the highest rated show on cable in its time slot.[6] Because of its good ratings it was given an extended run through the end of 2007.[7] On October 23 2007, the network renewed the series through 2008.[8]

While the show started out a ratings success, it began drawing criticism from fans of the original ECW early on. This was most evident by the negative crowd reaction "old school" fans gave the main event of Batista vs. the Big Show at the August 1 2006 show from Hammerstein Ballroom.[9][10]

On October 16 2007 a "talent exchange" was started between the SmackDown! and ECW brands, allowing their respective talent to appear on either brand.[11][12]

Online presence[change | change source]

At ECW's launch, WWE.com introduced Hardcore Hangover, a video feature which allowed fans only in the United States to stream or download video footage from the weekly show.[13] On October 16, 2007 it was replaced by a new feature which made full episodes of the show available for streaming on WWE.com the day after they were shown. After making a list of names from fans and conducting an online poll, the feature was named ECW X-Stream on October 31 2007.[14]

Production[change | change source]

ECW brand shows are held in big arenas as a part of the SmackDown! brand's Tuesday taping schedule. This is in sharp contrast to the first Extreme Championship Wrestling which ran most of its events in smaller venues.[15] The show usually airs live on Tuesdays directly before — when touring the west coast — or after SmackDown! has taped,[16][17] though it has been recorded and placed on a broadcast delay until later in the night depending on what circumstances dictate.[18]

ECW's initial theme song was "Bodies" by Drowning Pool, which had been used by WWE for Extreme Championship Wrestling since before the brand was established. Since then the theme song has changed between a number of different songs before settling on "Don't Question My Heart", sung by Kyle Morrison of the band Shattersphere. A remix of "Don't Question My Heart" by Saliva featuring Brent Smith is now used.[19]

Starting with the January 22 2008 version, ECW began broadcasting in HD, along with a new HD set, which is shared among all three WWE brands.[20]

Theme song[change | change source]

ECW's initial theme song was "Bodies" by Drowning Pool, which had been used by WWE for Extreme Championship Wrestling since before the brand was established. Since then the theme song has changed between a number of different songs before settling on "Don't Question My Heart", sung by Kyle Morrison of the band Shattersphere. A remix of "Don't Question My Heart" by Saliva featuring Brent Smith was in use when the show ended.[19]

Television Finale[change | change source]

On February 2, 2010, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that ECW would be going off the air and would be replaced with a new weekly program in its slot in what McMahon announced as "the next evolution of WWE; the next evolution of television history." It was later announced that the show would air its final episode on February 16, 2010.[21] On the February 4, 2010 episode of WWE Superstars, the new show's name was announced as WWE NXT.[22] The ECW brand is set to be disbanded, with every ECW wrestler becoming a free agent after the show ends.[23]

Special episodes[change | change source]

Episode Title Date Rating Note
Best of ECW 2006 December 26 2006 1.4[24]
Best of ECW 2007 December 25 2007 0.9[25]
ECW on SciFi 100th Episode Spectacular May 6, 2008 1.08[source?]

On-air personalities[change | change source]

Champions[change | change source]

Championship Current champion Date won
ECW Champion

Ezekiel Jackson

July 26, 2009

General Managers[change | change source]

Authority Position Date started Date finished Notes
Paul Heyman Representative June 13, 2006 December 4, 2006 Resigned after The Big Show lost his world title.
Armando Estrada General Manager August 14, 2007 June 3, 2008 Estrada's term ended when Theodore Long was announced as his successor.
Theodore Long General Manager June 3, 2008 April 7, 2009 Tiffany served as "General Manager Assistant" through Long's term.
Tiffany General Manager June 30, 2009 Present Tiffany served as "Interim General Manager" from April 7, 2009 - June 30, 2009.

Commentators[change | change source]

Commentators Dates
Joey Styles and Tazz June 13, 2006 - April 8, 2008
Mike Adamle and Tazz April 22, 2008 - July 22, 2008
Todd Grisham and Tazz July 29, 2008 - August 5, 2008
Todd Grisham and Matt Striker August 12, 2008 - March 31, 2009
Josh Mathews and Matt Striker April 7, 2009 - October 20, 2009
Josh Mathews and Byron Saxton October 27, 2009 - Present

Ring announcers[change | change source]

Ring Announcer Dates
Justin Roberts June 13, 2006 - September 18, 2007
September 29, 2009
Tony Chimel September 25, 2007 - September 22, 2009
November 24, 2009 - December 8, 2009
Lauren Mayhew October 6, 2009 - November 17, 2009
Savannah December 15, 2009 - Present

Recurring segments[change | change source]

Segment Host Years Notes
Kelly's Exposé Kelly Kelly 2006, 2008 Striptease segment.
Discontinued and replaced by Extreme Exposé.[26]
Striker's Classroom Matt Striker 2006
Extreme Exposé Kelly Kelly, Layla, Brooke 2007 In-ring dance segment.
Discontinued following Brooke's release from WWE.[27][28]
15 Minutes of Fame John Morrison 2007 Fifteen minute match challenge for a future ECW Championship match against Morrison.
Discontinued following Morrison's defeat by CM Punk.[29]
The Dirt Sheet John Morrison and The Miz 2008 - 2009 In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after The Miz and Morrison were drafted to Raw and Smackdown respectively.
The Peep Show Christian 2009 - 2010 In-ring interview segment.[30]
The Abraham Washington Show Abraham Washington 2009 - 2010 On-stage interview segment. Like a late night talk show.

International broadcasters[change | change source]

In addition to being broadcast on Syfy in the United States, ECW was broadcast on a number of channels in many different countries.

Country Network Ref
Algeria and The Middle East Showtime [31]
Argentina, Brazil,Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico FX Latin America [32][33][34]
Australia Fox8 [35]
Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan TEN Sports [36][37][38]
Cambodia MyTV [39]
Canada Global TV [40]
France Action [41]
Germany Sky Deutschland [42]
Italy Sky Italia [43]
Malaysia Astro Super Sport [44]
New Zealand The Box [45]
Philippines Jack TV [46]
Portugal SportTV 3 [47]
South Africa e.tv [48]
Taiwan Videoland Max-TV [49]
United Kingdom and Ireland Sky Sports 3 [50][51]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

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  3. "Sci Fi grapples with summer wrestling series". http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060525/tv_nm/scifi_dc_1. Retrieved 2006-05-21. ""It will have a nice little twist that will fit in the brand""
  4. "WWE Pay-Per-Views to follow WrestleMania format". http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2007/2007_03_14.jsp. Retrieved 2007-03-21.
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Other websites[change | change source]