Since the WWE`s version of ECW is running its last episode tonight I thuoght it would be nice to look back at the rise and fall of the show.
ECW started in 1991 under the banner Tri-State Wrestling Alliance owned by Joel Goodhart. In 1992, Goodhart sold it to his partner Tod Gordon who in return renamed the promotion Eastern Championship Wrestling. When the promotion was founded, it was a member of the NWA With Paul Heyman as the lead booker.
Eastern Championship Wrestling used contemporary professional wrestling, which was marketed more towards families. But Heyman saw ECW as the professional wrestling equivalent to the " grunge" movement and focused on taking the company to new things.
After separating itself from NWA, they officially changed the "E" from Eastern to Extreme.The different style of moves and controversial story lines made it popular among many male wrestling fans.The hardcore wrestling gave people an alternative to major organizations like WCW and WWE.
In 1996,Tod Gordon sold ECW to Heyman. In 1997, ECW broadcasted its first PPV.They continued through 1998 and early 1999 with many successful PPVs.
In late 1999, ECW began to broadcast nationally on TNN. Despite no advertising and a low budget, it became TNN's highest rated show. ECW on TNN was canceled in October 2000 in favor of Raw moving to the network.
ECW struggled for months after the cancellation to secure a new national TV deal but had no luck. In December 2000, ECW Hardcore TV aired for the the last time. Despite help from the WWF, Heyman could not get out of financial trouble and filed for bankruptcy In April 2001. Heyman never told his wrestlers that the company was on its dying legs. He was unable to pay them for over a month before finally filing for bankruptcy.
IN 2006, WWE relaunched the ECW franchise.Under the WWE rule ECW was presented in a modernized style to that when it was an independent promotion and is produced following the same format of the other brands such as count outs and DQs being standard. This version of ECW is set to cease on February 23, 2010 in favor of a new WWE branded show called NXT.
It is lackly we will not see another reincarnation of ECW. But thanks to DVD and utube we can always relive the best momest of ECW.