Due primarily to financial mismanagement, ECW—the proverbial "Little Engine That Could"—officially closed its doors in 2001. For all the hardcore fans, this was a great blow to the wrestling business.
Stars such as Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Steve Austin and Rey Mysterio, all became world champions in the WWE after a stint in ECW.
The popularity of ECW resonated throughout the WWE even after its closure. Whenever a "hardcore" spot would happen during a match, fans would quickly accredit it to Extreme Championship Wrestling with their "E-C-Dubb... E-C-Dubb... E-C-Dubb" chants.
The WWE attempted to revive the brand in 2006 after two successful ECW "One Night Stand" pay-per-views. However, shortly after this revival, we began to see WWE's version of ECW.
Although the brand integrated WWE stars, such as Kurt Angle and the Big Show, the hardcore style faded away, and it just became a third brand all the way to its extinction in 2010.
Despite a severely diluted version of what had a cult-like following—which did not have the approval of many fans—there were some perks to WWE's version of ECW.
Let's analyze a few.