ECW (WWE)

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This article is about the WWE brand. For the promotion that operated from 1992–2001, see Extreme Championship Wrestling.
ECW
ExtremeChampionshipWrestlingHD.jpg
Format Sports entertainment
Professional wrestling
Created by Paul Heyman
Vince McMahon
Starring ECW brand roster
Opening theme "Don't Question My Heart" by Saliva[1]
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 193
Production
Camera setup Multicamera setup
Running time 60 minutes (including commercials)
Broadcast
Original channel Sci-Fi/Syfy (2006 – 2010)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)[2]
Original run June 13, 2006 (2006-06-13) – February 16, 2010 (2010-02-16)[3]
Chronology
Related shows WWE Raw
WWE SmackDown
External links
Website

ECW was a professional wrestling television program for WWE, based on the independent Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion that lasted from 1992 to 2001. The show's name also referred to the ECW brand, in which WWE employees were assigned to work and perform, complementary to WWE's other brands, Raw and SmackDown. It debuted on June 13, 2006 on Sci Fi in the United States and ran for close to four years until it aired its final episode on February 16, 2010 on the rebranded Syfy. It was replaced the following week with WWE NXT.[3]

Show history[edit]

Launch on Sci Fi/Syfy[edit]

WWE acquired the rights to Extreme Championship Wrestling's trademarks and video library in 2003 and later began reintroducing ECW through content from the ECW library and a series books, which included the release of The Rise and Fall of ECW documentary.[4] The enormous popularity of ECW merchandise prompted WWE to organize ECW One Night Stand, an ECW reunion pay-per-view in 2005.[4] The financial and critical success of the event motivated WWE to organize a second One Night Stand the following year. With rejuvenated interest in the ECW product, WWE began exploring the possibility of reviving the promotion full-time. On May 25, 2006, WWE announced the launch of ECW as a stand-alone brand, congruous to Raw and SmackDown!, with its own show on Sci Fi (now Syfy).[5] Despite initial concerns that professional wrestling would not be accepted by Sci Fi's demographic, network President Bonnie Hammer stated that she believed ECW would fit the channel's theme of "stretching the imagination".[6] Sci Fi (now known as Syfy) is owned by NBC Universal, parent company of USA Network and exclusive cable broadcaster of Raw. ECW's weekly series was originally given a thirteen episode run as a "summer series" on Sci Fi. The premiere received a 2.79 rating, making it the highest rated show on cable in its time slot.[7] Because of its good ratings it was granted an extended run through the end of 2007.[8] On October 23, 2007, the network renewed the series through 2008.[9]

Original format (2006)[edit]

The ECW brand was initially produced differently from WWE's other brands. For televised events, the main ring-facing cameras were placed on a different location in the arena while the wrestling ring itself featured an ECW logo on the mat and blank turnbuckle covers. The male performers were referred to "Extremists" instead of "Superstars" while female performers were called "Vixens" rather than Divas. However, the brand steadily began being produced following the same format of the other brands, and as opposed to the original promotion, match rules, such as count outs and disqualifications, were now standard. Matches featuring the rule set of the original promotion were then classified as being contested under "Extreme Rules" and were 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.[10]

ECW logo (2006–2008)

Former ECW owner Paul Heyman served as the on-air "ECW Representative" (a reference to how Heyman had been identified on Monday Night Raw back in 1997). According to an interview in the UK newspaper The Sun, Heyman wrote the brand's weekly scripts and submitted them to writers for possible changes, and then Vince McMahon for final approval. Following December to Dismember, Heyman was relieved from both his on and off-air duties with World Wrestling Entertainment.[11]

Change in format (2007–2010)[edit]

The ECW set used from October 31, 2006-January 15, 2008.

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. Big Show at the August 1, 2006 show from Hammerstein Ballroom, which often held original ECW events while it was a company.[12][13] After Heyman left in late 2006, there was no ECW authority figure until August 14, 2007, when Armando Estrada was announced as the General Manager.

On October 16, 2007, a "talent exchange" was started between the SmackDown and ECW brands, allowing their respective talent to appear on either brand.[14][15] On May 6, 2008, ECW celebrated its 100th episode on Sci Fi.[16] On June 3, 2008 Estrada was replaced by Theodore Long as General Manager of ECW. On the September 8, 2008 edition of Raw it was announced a "talent exchange" was started between the Raw and ECW brands, allowing their respective talent to appear on either brand. Following the 2009 WWE Draft, both of these talent exchanges were quietly dropped. ECW moved to 9:00PM Eastern/8:00PM Central on September 30, 2008.[17] ECW moved back to 10:00PM Eastern/9:00PM Central on May 5, 2009.[18] On the April 7 edition of ECW it was announced that Theodore Long was returning to SmackDown to fulfill the role of General Manager. From this point the Interim General Manager was named as Tiffany who took over as full-time General Manager on the June 30, 2009 episode.[19] On July 7, 2009, the Sci Fi Channel renamed itself to "Syfy", prompting WWE to rename the show ECW on Syfy to reflect the changes.[20][21] In 2009 a "superstar initiative" was established for the purpose of introducing new talent to WWE programming, mainly those from WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling to ECW's roster.[21]

Cancellation and aftermath[edit]

On February 2, 2010, WWE Chairman announced that ECW would be going off the air and would be replaced with a new weekly program in its slot in which McMahon announced as "groundbreaking, original show." It was later announced that the show would air its final episode on February 16, 2010. On the February 9, 2010 episode of ECW, the new show's name was announced as WWE NXT.[22] With the ECW brand permanently disbanded, the ECW roster became free agents.[23] Eventually, the brand extension was discontinued in August 2011.

Online presence[edit]

At ECW's launch, WWE.com introduced Hardcore Hangover, a video feature which allowed fans in the United States and Canada to stream or download video footage from the weekly show.[24] 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 aired. After gathering a list of names from fans and conducting an online poll, the feature was named ECW X-Stream on October 31, 2007.[25] Past episodes of ECW are now viewable on the video streaming website Hulu along with episodes of SmackDown! and NXT.[26] All episodes are also available on the WWE Network.

Production[edit]

ECW's version of the universal WWE HD set used from January 22, 2008-February 16, 2010.

ECW brand shows were held in large arenas as a part of the taping schedules of WWE's other brands. This was in sharp contrast to the original Extreme Championship Wrestling which ran most of its events in smaller venues.[27] The show generally aired live on Tuesdays directly before — when touring the west coast — or after SmackDown was taped,[28][29] though it was also recorded and placed on a broadcast delay until later in the night depending on what circumstances dictated.[30] ECW had originally separated itself from WWE, featuring ECW's old black ring ropes, the ECW logo in the middle of the ring and no WWE logo to be seen on the turnbuckles or on the ring apron. However, they slowly began to become more of a WWE show than prior, when they made the ring ropes gray instead of the black ones and when they went HD, put the WWE logo on the turnbuckles, and the WWE.COM advertising on the left and right side of the ring aprons and removed the ECW logo from the ring.

ECW's initial theme song was "Bodies" by Drowning Pool, which had been used by WWE for Extreme Championship Wrestling before the establishment of the brand. "Don't Question My Heart" by Saliva featuring Brent Smith was later used to open ECW for the rest of the program's run. The songs "Famous" by Puddle of Mudd was used for one week, and a censored version of "This Is The New Shit" by Marilyn Manson was used for a few weeks.[31] On January 22, 2008, ECW began broadcasting in HD, along with a new HD set, which is shared among all three WWE brands.[32]

Special episodes[edit]

Episode Date Rating Notes
WWE vs ECW June 7, 2006 3.1[33] Special pilot episode.
ECW June 13, 2006 2.8[33] Series debut.
Best of ECW 2006 December 26, 2006 1.4[34] Featured clips from 2006.
Best of ECW 2007 December 25, 2007 1.1[35] Featured clips from 2007.
ECW 100th episode May 6, 2008 1.0[8] Celebrated the show's 100th episode.
Best of ECW 2008 December 23, 2008 1.2[8] Featured clips from 2008.
Best of ECW 2009 December 22, 2009 1.2[8] Featured clips from 2009.
Final episode February 16, 2010 1.14 [36] Series finale.

Defunct Championship[edit]

Championship Final Champion Date created Date retired Previous Champion
ECW Championship Ezekiel Jackson June 13, 2006 February 16, 2010 Christian

On-air personalities[edit]

Authority figures[edit]

Authority figures Position Date started Date finished Notes
Mr. McMahon Owner, Chairman and CEO May 22, 2006 February 16, 2010
Paul Heyman Representative May 22, 2006 December 5, 2006 Resigned after Big Show lost the ECW World Championship.
Armando Estrada General Manager August 14, 2007 June 3, 2008 Lost the position when Theodore Long was announced as his successor.
Theodore Long General Manager June 3, 2008 April 7, 2009 Appointed as General Manager by the WWE Board of Directors. Tiffany served as "Assistant General Manager" from June 3, 2008 – April 7, 2009.
Tiffany General Manager April 14, 2009 February 16, 2010 Served as "Interim General Manager" from April 14, 2009 – June 23, 2009 after Long returned to Smackdown to become General Manager again. Opted to fully take over the position on ECW until the show's ending.

Commentators[edit]

Commentators Dates
Joey Styles, Tazz, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler June 7, 2006
Joey Styles and Tazz June 13, 2006 – April 8, 2008
Mike Adamle and Tazz April 15, 2008 – July 22, 2008
Todd Grisham and Tazz July 29, 2008
Todd Grisham and Matt Striker August 5, 2008 – September 16, 2008

September 30, 2008 – March 31, 2009

Jim Ross and Matt Striker September 23, 2008[37]
Josh Mathews and Matt Striker April 7, 2009 – October 20, 2009
Josh Mathews and Byron Saxton October 27, 2009 – February 16, 2010

Ring announcers[edit]

Ring announcers Dates
Lilian Garcia June 7, 2006
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 – February 16, 2010

Recurring segments[edit]

Segments Hosts Year(s) Notes
Kelly's Exposé Kelly Kelly 2006 Striptease segment.
Discontinued and replaced by Extreme Exposé.[38]
Striker's Classroom Matt Striker 2006
Extreme Exposé Kelly Kelly, Layla, Brooke Adams 2007 In-ring dance segment.[39]
Discontinued following Brooke's release from WWE.[40][41]
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.[42]
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.[43]
Discontinued when the brand closed.
The Abraham Washington Show Abraham Washington 2009 – 2010 On-stage interview segment.
Discontinued when the brand closed.

International broadcasters[edit]

In addition to being broadcast on Syfy, Mun2, and Universal HD 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 [44]
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico FX Latin America [45][46][47]
Australia Fox8 [48]
Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan TEN Sports [49][50][51]
Cambodia MyTV [52]
Canada Global TV [53]
Finland MTV3 Max
France Action [54]
Germany Sky Deutschland [55]
Italy Sky Italia [56]
Malaysia Astro Super Sport [57]
New Zealand The Box [58]
Philippines Jack TV [59]
Portugal SportTV 3 [60]
Singapore SuperSports [citation needed]
South Africa e.tv [61]
Taiwan Videoland Max-TV [62]
United Kingdom and Ireland Sky Sports 3 [63][64]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  4. ^ a b Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE: History of WrestleMania. p. 58. 
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  7. ^ "Sci Fi Channel pins the competition with ECW's triumphant return to television". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  8. ^ a b c d {{cite web|url=http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/news/3249242%7Ctitle=Sci Fi Channel Extends ECW|accessdate=2006-10-11}}
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  10. ^ "WWE Pay-Per-Views to follow WrestleMania format". Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
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  14. ^ "Partnership Forming?". WWE. 2007-10-16. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  15. ^ "Setting the night on fire". ECW results. WWE. Retrieved 2007-10-25. 
  16. ^ "Preview:Extreme Centennial". WWE. 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  17. ^ "Lost", "Sanctuary" Among SCI FI's Fall Premieres, The Futon Critic, July 3, 2008
  18. ^ ECW On Sci Fi Changing Timeslots Again, Sexiest WWE Divas, Sports Entertainment Scoops, April 15, 2009
  19. ^ http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/articles/10573924/newfaces
  20. ^ Eng, Joyce (2009-07-07). "Sci Fi Morphs Into Syfy". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2009-07-08. [dead link]
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  31. ^ Saliva goes Extreme - WWE.com
  32. ^ "WWE Goes HD". WWE. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  33. ^ a b 2008 Nielson Ratings on Gerweck.net
  34. ^ 2006 Nielson Ratings on Gerweck.net
  35. ^ 2007 Nielson Ratings on Gerweck.net
  36. ^ Final ECW Rating, WWE Diva Hires a Designer, Jericho News, More
  37. ^ "Résultats ECW du 23/09/2008". thetvstop.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2011. Retrieved 11/07/2011. 
  38. ^ Hoffman, Brent. "An Extreme Debut". WWE. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  39. ^ Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0. 
  40. ^ "Kelly Kelly profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  41. ^ "Brooke released". WWE. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  42. ^ Medalis, Kara A. "John Morrison Challenges All". WWE. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  43. ^ Medalis, Kara A. (2009-05-12). "‘The Peep Show’s’ explosive return". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  44. ^ "WWE's Algeria Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
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  46. ^ "WWE's Brazil Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  47. ^ "WWE's Mexico Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  48. ^ "WWE's Australia Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  49. ^ "WWE's Bangladesh Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  50. ^ "WWE's India Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  51. ^ "WWE's Pakistan Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  52. ^ "WWE's Cambodia Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
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  54. ^ "WWE's France Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  55. ^ "WWE's Germany Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  56. ^ "WWE's Italy Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  57. ^ "WWE's Malaysia Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  58. ^ "WWE's New Zealand Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  59. ^ "WWE's Philippines Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  60. ^ "WWE's Portugal Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  61. ^ "WWE's South Africa Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  62. ^ "WWE's Taiwan Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  63. ^ "WWE's United Kingdom Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  64. ^ "WWE's Ireland Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 

External links[edit]