Abandoned: The History of the ECW Television Championship

Kyle SchadlerChief Writer INovember 13, 2011

Abandoned: The History of the ECW Television Championship

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    Throughout history, professional wrestling has seen many championships.

    In WWF/WWE, there are six major titles. Not many know that the company has had a total of at least 19 different titles, 13 of which have been abandoned for one reason or another.

    The other two major companies owned by WWE are WCW and ECW, which have at least 15 abandoned and forgotten titles between them.

    For as long as it takes, I will be concentrating on those forgotten titles.

    Each slide will feature the champion, who they defeated, where and when they won it, the length of their title reign, any special circumstances that happened during their reign and a bit of commentary.

    Belts with a lengthy history will get their own articles and may be broken up into two depending on the length. Titles with a short history may be featured in a standard article, but if they’re really short, they’ll be at the end of another title.

    For this edition of Abandoned, I present the ECW World Television Championship.

    It first appeared in 1992 as a part of an NWA territory known as Eastern Championship Wrestling.

    It has seen a few wrestling legends and Hall of Famers hold the title, while some used their time as champion and in ECW to vault to bigger and better things, whether it be in WCW or WWF/WWE.

    The company became extreme in 1994 and was shut down in 2001 when Vince McMahon bought the company.

    The title may have only been around for nine years, but it has been held by many notable wrestlers.

    So let’s get started!

Johnny Hot Body

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    Defeated: Larry Winters

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: August 12, 1992

    Title Reign: 31 days

    Johnny Hot Body defeated Larry Winter to become the first Eastern Championship Wrestling Television Champion.

    At the time, ECW was just another territory of the National Wrestling Alliance.

    It is not known, though, if this was a tournament or if the NWA/ECW just stuck them together to decide the champion.

    The title was declared vacant on September 12, 1992 due to Hot Body breaking his ankle.

    Before this title win, Johnny Hot Body was previously the ECW World Champion, and a year later he captured the Tag Team Titles. Hot Body became the first Triple Crown Champion in ECW.

Glenn Osbourne

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    Defeated: The Sandman

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: March 30, 1992

    Title Reign: 136 days

    A battle royal was set up to decide the new champion. Glenn Osbourne eliminated The Sandman to become the new champion.

    In February of 1993, Osbourne was forced to vacate the title by ECW. It is not known as to why they made him do it, though.

    This would be Osbourne’s only title win in ECW.

Jimmy Snuka

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    Defeated: Glenn Osbourne

    Where: Radnor, PA

    When: March 12, 1993

    Title Reign: 203 days

    Despite being forced to vacate the belt, ECW allowed Glenn Osbourne to enter the tournament to crown the new champion. He failed in his attempt, being defeated by future Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka.

    A year before this, Snuka would become a two-time ECW World Champion, which included being the inaugural champion.

Terry Funk

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    Defeated: Jimmy Snuka

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: October 1, 1993

    Title Reign: 33 days

    This became the legendary Terry Funk’s first of two titles in ECW.

    Two months later he would win the ECW World Title, then once again in 1997 when the company became extreme.

    Funk would go on to the WWF to win the Tag Team Titles in 1998 with Cactus Jack and be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside his brother, Dory, in 2009.

    Despite his many, many retirements, Terry Funk still wrestles to this day.

Sabu

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    Defeated: Terry Funk and King Kong Bundy

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: November 13, 1993

    Title Reign: 113 days

    This was a Tag Team Match putting champion Terry Funk and King Kong Bundy against Sabu and Road Warrior Hawk where the title was on the line.  When Sabu pinned Funk, he became the new champion.

    He was the ECW World Champion at the time and when he won the Tag Team Titles with Tazmaniac in 1995, he became a Triple Crown Champion.

    Sabu would go onto win the World and Tag Titles one more time each.

Tazmaniac

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    Defeated: Sabu

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: March 6, 1994

    Title Reign: a few minutes

    Tazmaniac, later just Taz, would also go onto become a Triple Crown Champion when he won the Tag Team Titles with Kevin Sullivan later that year and the World Title in 1999.

    He would win the Tag Team Titles two more time and the World Title once more.

J.T. Smith

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    Defeated: Tazmaniac

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: March 6, 1994

    Title Reign: 41 days

    This would be the only of the three major titles in ECW Smith would win.

    He was the first and only ECW Maryland Heavyweight Champion a year before, but the title was abandoned as quickly as it was created.

The Pit Bull

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    Defeated: J.T. Smith

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: April 16, 1994

    Title Reign: 27 days

    The Pit Bull would go onto win the Tag Team Titles with Pit Bull #2 in 1995.

    He is one of many ECW stars to have one title elude them and never become a Triple Crown Champion.

Mikey Whipwreck

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    Defeated: The Pit Bull

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: May 13, 1994

    Title Reign: 92 days

    A few months later, Whipwreck would win the Tag Team Titles with Cactus Jack.

    He would hold them one more time with Cactus before becoming one of the final champions when he won the titles alongside Yoshihiro Tajiri.

    A year later, he became a Triple Crown Champion when he won the ECW World Title.

Jason Knight

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    Defeated: Mikey Whipwreck

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: August 13, 1994

    Title Reign: 83 days

    On August 27, 1994, ECW withdrew from NWA. They became known as Extreme Championship Wrestling.

    Jason Knight was recognized as the first Television Champion of the Extreme era.

2 Cold Scorpio

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    Defeated: Jason Knight

    Where: Hamburg, PA

    When: November 4, 1994

    Title Reign: a few minutes

    Despite his first reign being rather short, Scorpio would go onto win the Tag Team Titles with The Sandman.

    The World Title was something that always eluded him.

Dean Malenko

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    Defeated: 2 Cold Scorpio

    Where: Hamburg, PA

    When: November 4, 1994

    Title Reign: 134 days

    The man of 1,000 holds.

    He would also capture the Tag Team Titles with Chris Benoit during his tenure with ECW.

2 Cold Scorpio

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    Defeated: Dean Malenko

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: March 18, 1995

    Title Reign: 21 days

    Scorpio would once again have a short reign, holding the title for less then a month.

    He would soon enjoy two long reigns as champion, though.

Eddy Guerrero

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    Defeated: 2 Cold Scorpio

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: April 8, 1995

    Title Reign: 104 days

    This would be the only title Guerrero would hold while in ECW.

Dean Malenko

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    Defeated: Eddy Guerrero

    Where: Tampa, FL

    When: July 21, 1995

    Title Reign: 7 days

    Malenko would soon move on to World Championship Wrestling.

    He would win their Cruiserweight, United States and Tag Team Titles while there.

    Later in his career, he would move onto WWF where he won only the Light Heavyweight Championship.

Eddy Guerrero

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    Defeated: Dean Malenko

    Where: Middletown, NY

    When: July 28, 1995

    Title Reign: 28 days

    Much like Malenko, Guerrero also moved onto WCW. He would hold the Cruiserweight and United States Titles while there.

    When he went to the WWF/WWE, he became the star he deserved to be.

    He won Tag Team, European, Intercontinental, United States and World Titles, making him a Grand Slam Champion.

    He was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 after his death, which occurred six years ago today, November 13.

    R.I.P. Eddie Guerrero

2 Cold Scorpio

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    Defeated: Eddy Guerrero

    Where: Jim Thorpe, PA

    When: August 25, 1995

    Title Reign: 126 days

    This would be Scorpio’s first of two lengthy title reigns.

Mikey Whipwreck

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    Defeated: 2 Cold Scorpio

    Where: New York, NY

    When: December 29, 1995

    Title Reign: 7 days

    Whipwreck defeated Scorpio in a match where both the ECW Television and Tag Team Titles, both held by Scorpio, were on the line.

    When Whipwreck won the match, he became the holder of both titles.

    Cactus Jack then chose himself as Whipwreck’s partner.

2 Cold Scorpio

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    Defeated: Mikey Whipwreck

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: January 5, 1996

    Title Reign: 127 days

    This would be the final time Scorpio would hold the title.

    He would then head to the WWF where he became Flash Funk to no success whatsoever.

Shane Douglas

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    Defeated: 2 Cold Scorpio

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: May 11, 1996

    Title Reign: 21 days

    Douglas held the World Title twice before winning this belt.

    Like many others, one title eluded him in his quest to become a Triple Crown Champion; in this case, the Tag Team Titles.

Pit Bull #2

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    Defeated: Shane Douglas

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: June 1, 1996

    Title Reign: 21 days

    Pit Bull #2 previously held the Tag Team Titles with The Pit Bull. Much like his partner, he would never win the World Title.

    The second Pit Bull would pass away on September 25, 2003.

Chris Jericho

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    Defeated: Pit Bull #2

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: June 22, 1996

    Title Reign: 21 days

    This would be the only title in ECW Jericho would hold.

    When he left to go to WCW, he won the Cruiserweight and Television Titles.

    It wasn’t until he made the leap to WWF/WWE that he would become a star.

    He would win a total of 24 championships during his time there, which included the Intercontinental Title a record nine times.

    With his mass amount of titles, he became a Grand Slam Champion.

Shane Douglas

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    Defeated: Chris Jericho, Pit Bull #2 and 2 Cold Scorpio

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: July 13, 1996

    Title Reign: 329

    This was a fatal-four way elimination match.

    This would be the final time he’d hold the title, but he would go on to win the World Title two more times.

    During his short run with WWF a year before, he won the Intercontinental Title.

    He had more luck in WCW where he won the United States, Tag Team and Hardcore Titles.

Taz

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    Defeated: Shane Douglas

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: June 7, 1997

    Title Reign: 267 days

    This would be he last time Taz would win the title before making the move to WWF/WWE.

    There he won the Tag Team and Hardcore Titles before retiring.

    Be became of color commentator on SmackDown before heading to TNA where he commentates with Mike Tenay.

Bam Bam Bigelow

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    Defeated: Taz

    Where: Asbury Park, NJ

    When: March 1, 1998

    Title Reign: 34 days

    Five months earlier, Bigelow was the World Champion.

    He would never be able to capture the Tag Team Titles to become a Triple Crown Champion, though.

    During his time in WCW, he held the Hardcore and Tag Team Titles.

    Bam Bam Bigelow would unfortunately pass away January 19, 2007.

Rob Van Dam

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    Defeated: Bam Bam Bigelow

    Where: Buffalo, NY

    When: April 4, 1998

    Title Reign: 700 days

    Rob Van Dam would become the biggest star to never hold the ECW World Title at the time.

    It was only matter of time before he did, but an injury sidelined him. The title became vacant on March 4, 2000 due to that injury.

    He would become a Triple Crown Champion when he was awarded the World Title in 2006 during WWE’s failed attempt to revive the brand.

    He would also become a Grand Slam Champion during his time with WWF/WWE, winning a total of 15 championships, which included the WWE Title.

    You can now see the Whole F’N Show in TNA, where he’s a one-time World Champion.

Super Crazy

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    Defeated: Rhino

    Where: Danbury, CT

    When: March 12, 2000

    Title Reign: 27 days

    Super Crazy defeated Rhino in a tournament final. This would be the only title he held while in ECW.

    He made his WWE debut in 2005 as a part of the Mexicools. He didn’t have much luck with the company, as he was released three years later having never won a title.

Yoshihiro Tajiri

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    Defeated: Super Crazy and Little Guido

    Where: Buffalo, NY

    When: April 8, 2000

    Title Reign: 14 days

    This was a triple-threat match.

    Later that summer, Tajiri won the Tag Team Titles with Mikey Whipwreck.

    When ECW folded, he found himself in WWF/WWE. While there he would gain much success, winning the Tag Team, Cruiserweight and Light Heavyweight Titles.

    He also held the WCW Cruiserweight and United States Titles while they were being defended on WWF television.

Rhino

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    Defeated: Yoshihiro Tajiri

    Where: Philadelphia, PA

    When: April 22, 2000

    Title Reign: 126 days

    Rhino’s first title win in ECW. He would win it one more time before the title was abandoned.

Kid Kash

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    Defeated: Rhino

    Where: New York, NY

    When: August 26, 2000

    Title Reign: 14 days

    Kash’s one and only title win in ECW.

    When TNA was created, he found himself there, winning the Tag Team and X-Division Titles.

    He was later signed by WWE where he won the Cruiserweight Title.

    You can now see Kid Kash back in TNA.

Rhino

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    Defeated: Kid Kash

    Where: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

    When: September 9, 2000

    Title Reign: 214 days

    Four months later, Rhino would win the ECW World Title.

    Rhino has the distinction of being both the final Television Champion and final World Champion in ECW.

    The title was abandoned in April 2001 when Vince McMahon bought the company and shut it down. Despite ECW returning in 2006, only the World Title was brought back from the ashes.

    Rhino would move to the WWF/WWE soon after ECW shut down. During his time there, he won the Hardcore Title and WCW United States Title.

    He would later pop up in TNA, winning the NWA World Title in 2005.

Statistics and Final Thoughts

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    Most Reigns: 2 Cold Scorpio (4)

    Longest Single Reign: Rob Van Dam (700 days)

    Longest Combined Reign: Rob Van Dam (700 days)

    Shortest Reign: Tazmaniac and 2 Cold Scorpio (a few minutes)

    City with the Most Title Changes: Philadelphia, PA (18)

    State with the Most Title Changes: Pennsylvania (21)

    Most Title Changes in a Single Year: 1994 (7)

    Most Title Changes in a Decade: 1990s (26)

    Extreme Championship Wrestling was one of a kind. It showed wrestlers with a passion for the business beating the hell out of each other to give us a great show.

    ECW proved to be a great place to get your start, as once you became a star there, WWF and WCW took notice and they wanted you.

    The Television Title was a great belt that many great wrestlers held.

    Rob Van Dam made it seem like the World Title when he held it, as he became the star of the company during his time as champion.

    It’s a shame that it wasn’t brought back alongside the World Title when ECW was revived by WWE. At the same time, though, WWE watered down the ECW name.

    The title may have become the equivalent to the Cruiserweight Title, a belt WWE didn’t care for towards the end.

    ECW’s legacy was tarnished by the revival, but thankfully, people that grew up watching the company will always remember the days of the extreme and the ECW Television Championship.

    Come back on Wednesday when I present another edition of Abandoned!