With Vince McMahon finally pulling the plug once and for all on ECW, I thought it would be nice to pay respect to who I feel are the Top 12 ECW Singles Competitors of All Time! They made that famous bingo hall in South Philly come to their feet in excitement with the letters, "E...C...W" echoing throughout the building.
Last night, ECW came to an end with no tribute video, to homage to the wrestlers who made that company what it was, and no real thank you to Paul Heyman or Tod Gordon for making it all possible. Here is your Top 12 ECW Wrestlers of All Time!
This former ECW Tag Team Champion was able to elicit some of the absolute biggest crowd reactions in ECW. His death-defying dives have been the focal point of hardcore highlight videos for years and will always be remembered.
He would occasionally bring a garbage can or shopping cart full of weapons to use on his opponents. He was highlighted in the movie "Beyond The Mat" and this gave a true look into the life of a gangsta.
Dean Malenko was introduced to American wrestling in ECW. Malenko brought an unique mix of Japanese Strong-style, lucha-libre, and traditional mat wrestling to South Philly with numerous wrestling classics. Although his stay in ECW was short-lived, his matches with the next man on our list will be remembered for years to come.
Dean Malenko went on to have success in both WCW and WWE before retiring to become an agent for WWE. He has also trained some of the top talent in the business.
No question in anyone's mind that Eddie Guerrero is one of the most loved professional wrestlers to ever grace the squared circle. He brought his ability and charisma to ECW in the mid-'90s and left his mark in the ECW Arena forever. He traded the ECW World Television Championship with Dean Malenko and gave use some instant classics.
As we all know, Eddie's death was untimely and he is forever missed by millions of fans across the World.
Cactus Jack was finally able to showcase his charisma and creative brilliance in ECW. The promos cut by Cactus Jack were some of the most unique and thought inspiring interviews in wrestling history. He gave us some classic altercations with Raven, Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer, and his final ECW battles with his one-time tag team partner, Mikey Whipwreck.
There is really no way to sum up the kind of career that Mick Foley has had and is still having to this day. He is what hardcore was all about in ECW!
Definitely one of the most unique characters to ever step inside a wrestling ring. When I first laid my eyes on Raven, I knew he looked familiar, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. I then realized that this is the same guy who played Johnny Polo in the early-'90s in the WWF!
I couldn't believe this was the same guy as Raven was the polar opposite of everything that Johnny Polo was.
Raven held the ECW World Championship and truly helped legitimize it with the controversial storylines with The Sandman, Cactus Jack, and of course, Tommy Dreamer. Although Raven just recently vanished from TNA Wrestling when Hogan and Bischoff took over, what he meant to ECW was something that will never be forgotten.
The original beer-swiling, hell raising, son of a bitch is none other than The Sandman. For years, The Sandman gave his heart and soul to ECW and was truly one of a kind. He came to the ring smoking cigarettes and drinking beer...something that no one would had ever thought to do.
He is a former ECW World Heavyweight Champion and like Raven, he has been involved in a few of the most controversial storylines in the history of wrestling. The Sandman went on to have some success in various Independents and had a brief run in the WWE when the ECW brand was brought back.
Terry Funk was the Godfather of ECW. He was there to help give the company a sense of legitamacy and since day one of his ECW tenure, he did just that. Funk loved to help the young talent and was often described as a father figure to many of the guys in the locker room.
He has been middle aged and crazy for about 20 years now, but the WWE Hall of Famer still occasionally makes an in-ring return because it is simply something that is in his blood.
Funk and Sabu had an unbelievable Barb-Wire match at "Born to be Wired" at the ECW Arena. On that night, Sabu won World Championship from Funk, but this is a match that has to be seen to be believed.
Rob Van Dam may have the most unique style in the history of professional wrestling. Most people either love his style or hate his style, but there is no question that Van Dam has entertained millions throughout his career.
RVD held the ECW Television Championship for a record 700 days before being forced to drop the title due to injury. Rumor has it that a potential huge pay-per-view main event was scheduled to unify the Television and World Championships of ECW before RVD broke his ankle.
Van Dam performed on the last ECW pay-per-view against Jerry Lynn in a sold-out Hammerstein Ballroom. RVD may have had the most successful career of any post-ECW competitor that was there until the end having won the WWE Championship at ECW One Night Stand 2006 by defeating John Cena.
His reign as both ECW and WWE Champion was short-lived, however, due to circumstances that took place outside of the ring. Rumor has it that "Your Favorite Wrestler" might be resurfacing soon.
Sabu was a true innovator in high-flying hardcore offense. He put his body on the line time and time again by throwing complete caution to the wind. His greatest feud in ECW was with Taz.
For months, the build-up to this match was that Taz and Sabu would not come into contact with each other. Taz would relentlessly call Sabu out to no response. Finally, the score was settled as Taz choked out Sabu during the first ever ECW Pay-Per-View, Barely Legal.
Sabu had a good amount of success in various Independent promotions and had a nice run in WWE competing against the likes of Kurt Angle, The Big Show, and John Cena.
The Franchise Shane Douglas was the catalyst of ECW taking things to the Extreme in 1994 when he threw down the NWA World Championship and declared himself the first ECW Champion!
This incident sent shockwaves through the wrestling world. Shane Douglas went on to become one of the top heels of all time with his no nonsense attitude and cheap tactics in the ring. He had a brief run in WWE as the Intercontinental Champion and jumped ship to WCW towards the end of ECW.
Shane Douglas was the leader of the Triple Threat that consisted of Bam Bam Bigelow and Chris Candido. His accomplishments in ECW are never forgotten as he is a member of the Hardcore Hall of Fame at The Arena.
The man who some of you may know as "just an announcer" was once the most feared professional wrestler in the business. He invented different variations of the suplex, which was the reason why he was dubbed "The Human Suplex Machine." His had runs with both the Television and World Championship in ECW and was embroiled in many wars with the likes of Shane Douglas, Sabu, and Tajiri.
Taz went on to have an extremely impactful debut with the WWF in 2000 at The Royal Rumble defeating the then undefeated Kurt Angle. His sizzle quickly faded and Taz became a ringside announcer within the next year and a half. Taz can now be found on TNA Impact as the lead color commentator.
And your No. 1 ECW wrestler is none other than Tommy Dreamer. Tommy stuck with ECW through thick and thin. ECW blood pumps through the veins of Tommy Dreamer and there is no way to deny that.
When he found out that the future of the brand was in jeopardy and the Scy-Fy show was about to be cancelled, Dreamer left WWE.
Although not the best mat technician in the history of the ring, the absolute drama that has been evoked by Dreamer's character and storylines throughout his career is undeniable. Dreamer is back on the indy scene doing what makes him happy and that is wrestling.
I'd like to be one of the many to say 'Thank You' to Tommy Dreamer for never stopping being what he truly is....EXTREME!
I hope you enjoyed the Top 12 Wrestlers in ECW History. I would regret it if I did not throw out some honorable mentions as there is no way to do a list of only 12.
Thank you for checking this out...and if you wish, check me out on www.wrestlingroundtable.com for the best Wrestling/MMA Talk Show on the Internet!