ECW (WWE brand)

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ECW
ECWlogo2006.png
Logo for the brand and the ECW television program
Product type Professional wrestling
Sports entertainment
Owner WWE
Produced by Paul Heyman
(2006)
Vince McMahon
(2006–2010)
Country United States
Introduced June 13, 2006
Discontinued February 16, 2010
Related brands Raw
SmackDown
NXT
NXT UK
Tagline A new breed unleashed[1]

ECW was one of WWE's brands which was established on June 13, 2006 as a revival of the Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion and was discontinued on February 16, 2010. Wrestlers assigned to the ECW brand wrestled predominately on the ECW television program and ECW branded or co-branded pay-per-view events. From 2007 to 2009, ECW wrestlers occasionally appeared on the Raw and SmackDown television programs due to talent exchange agreements between the brands.

History

Paul Heyman, the first ECW Representative in the ring in 2006

In early-to-mid-2002, then World Wrestling Federation (WWF) underwent a process they called the "brand extension".[2] The WWF divided itself into two de facto wrestling promotions with separate rosters, storylines and authority figures.[2] Raw and SmackDown! would host each division, give its name to the division and essentially compete against each other. The split came about as a result of the WWF purchasing their two biggest competitors, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW); and the subsequent doubling of its roster and championships. The brand extension was publicly announced by Linda McMahon during a telecast of Raw on March 25 and became official the next day. WWE acquired the rights to ECW's trademarks and video library in 2003.[3]

The enormous popularity of ECW merchandise prompted WWE to organize One Night Stand, an ECW reunion pay-per-view in 2005.[3] 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).[4] On May 29, the WWE held their 2006 brand extension draft. The draft featured ECW founder Paul Heyman receiving two total draft picks from the existing Raw and SmackDown rosters for the newly created ECW brand.[5][6] During the draft, Rob Van Dam was drafted from Raw and Kurt Angle from SmackDown.

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.

Tiffany (the final ECW General Manager) on Raw in November 2008

Former ECW owner Paul Heyman served as the on-air ECW Representative until December to Dismember, when Heyman was relieved from both his on and off-air duties with WWE.[7] 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 June 3, 2008, Estrada was replaced by Theodore Long. On the April 7 edition of ECW, it was announced that 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.

On October 16, 2007, a "talent exchange" was started between the SmackDown and ECW brands, allowing their respective talent to appear on either brand.[8][9] On the September 8, 2008 episode 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.

On February 2, 2010, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that ECW would be going off the air and would air its final episode on February 16.[10]

With the ECW brand permanently disbanded, the ECW roster became free agents.[11]

Championships

When ECW was revived in 2006 as a third brand, the ECW World Heavyweight Championship was reactivated and was intended to be the brand's only championship.[12] The brand would later gain championships through the yearly WWE draft, but the ECW Championship was deactivated along with the ECW brand on February 16, 2010.[13]

Championship Time on brand
ECW Championship (June 13, 2006 – January 22, 2008; March 30, 2008 – June 23, 2008; June 29, 2008 – February 16, 2010)
WWE Championship (June 13, 2006 – July 3, 2006)
WWE United States Championship (June 23, 2008 – July 20, 2008)
WWE Tag Team Championship (November 13, 2007 – July 20, 2008)
World Tag Team Championship (December 13, 2008 – April 5, 2009)

Pay-per-view events

Date Event Venue Location Main event
June 12, 2005 One Night Stand Hammerstein Ballroom New York, New York The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley) vs. The Sandman and Tommy Dreamer
June 11, 2006 One Night Stand Hammerstein Ballroom New York, New York John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam
December 3, 2006 December to Dismember James Brown Arena Augusta, Georgia Big Show vs. Bobby Lashley vs. CM Punk vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Test

References

  1. ^ Williams III, Ed (2006-06-12). "An extreme awakening makes Cena snap". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-06-30. The slogan for ECW is “a new breed unleashed”
  2. ^ a b Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE: History of WrestleMania. p. 55.
  3. ^ a b Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE: History of WrestleMania. p. 58.
  4. ^ "WWE brings ECW to Sci Fi Channel". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved June 2, 2006.
  5. ^ Williams III, Ed (May 29, 2006). "Heyman gets Draft picks". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
  6. ^ Williams III, Ed (May 29, 2006). "Will Triple H join the Mr.McMahon Kiss my Ass club". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
  7. ^ "Heyman out". Retrieved December 23, 2006.
  8. ^ "Partnership Forming?". World Wrestling Entertainment. October 16, 2007. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  9. ^ "Setting the night on fire". World Wrestling Entertainment. October 16, 2007. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  10. ^ Caldwell, James (February 4, 2010). "Caldwell's WWE Superstar TV Report 2/4: Complete coverage of Team Morrison vs. Team McIntyre six-man tag, awesome Bourne vs. Carlito match". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  11. ^ Adkins, Greg (February 8, 2010). "Raw's pit stomp". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
  12. ^ "Rob Van Dam's first ECW Championship reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
  13. ^ Medalis, Kara A. (February 16, 2010). "Results:Dominant farewell". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on February 20, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
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