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Old 04-25-2013, 09:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ECW: Revolutions Never Die!

August 27, 1994...one promo began a revolution that changed American professional wrestling forever...

Quote:
"In the tradition of Lou Thesz, in the tradition of Jack Brisco of the Brisco Brothers, of Dory Funk Jr., of Terry Funk-- the man who will never die. As the real Nature Boy Buddy Rogers, upstairs tonight. From the Harley Races, to the Barry Windhams, to the... Ric Flairs, I accept this heavyweight title. ... Wait a second. Of Kerry Von Erich. Of the fat man himself, Dusty Rhodes. This is it tonight, Dad. God, that's beautiful. And Rick Steamboat, and they can all kiss my ass! Because! I am not the man who accepts a torch to be handed down to me from an organization that died-- RIP-- seven years ago. The Franchise, Shane Douglas, is the man who ignites the new flame of the sport of professional wrestling! Tonight, before God and my father is witness, I declare myself, The Franchise, as the new ECW Heavyweight Champion of the world! We have set out to change the face of professional wrestling. So tonight, let the new era begin: the era of the sport of professional wrestling, the era of The Franchise, the era of the ECW."

Shane Douglas
A tribe of extreme from the underutilized, to the misfits, to the next generation of wrestling superstars marched for less than 7 years as a cutting edge alternative to WWF and WCW. This promotion was known as...

Extreme Championship Wrestling

However, once ECW rose to national prominence, it was all down hill from there. Poor business decision after poor business decision eventually led to this company's downfall. The mastermind behind ECW was also its biggest weakness as Paul Heyman would not allow others to take control of the finances of the company and he would not sell his brainchild to no one else. With ECW falling there was another promotion also falling at this time...

World Championship Wrestling

After years of backstage politics and wrestlers having creative control, WCW tried many last ditch efforts to save its brand, but these tended to make things only worse and WCW truly addressed its major problems in time to bring it back to prominence. When the network officials pulled the plug on WCW, there were plans to try to buy the company, but eventually they all fell through, leading to the ultimate demise of World Championship Wrestling.

With ECW and WCW fallen, the World Wrestling Federation (later named World Wrestling Entertainment) stood as a titan towering over the American professional wrestling industry and has never faced any major competition from another wrestling company since...

But...what if...

What if ECW and WCW found a way out of their financial woes, what if they did survive, and the Big Three still stood tall. This is my vision of what could of happened and it all begins in 2001. I will take you down the road from 2001 all the way up to late-2007 as I note the major events related to these companies along the way. From there, I will take the helm of Extreme Championship Wrestling and continue this odyssey into the fiction genre known as alternative history.

Welcome to ECW: Revolutions Never Die!



---

Some of you guys, especially you guys that have been around for a while, may recognize this concept a I had done a similar thread called ECW 2007: What If ECW and WCW Never Died. Ultimately that thread stopped during the backstory because I got burned out from the LONG backstory I was writing. Now over 5 years since I first made that thread, I've become smarter and have learned from my past mistakes. If anyone doe remember that thread, the backstory here is definitely going to be different and it is going to be a shorter format which will only note the major events since 2001 instead of basically everything from each month. I believe a year will be posted each week or maybe two weeks at some points where I'm feeling ambitious. Either way, I think I'll have a lot of fun writing this and there really isn't a reason for me to stop writing it as long as I do enjoy it. I hope that you guys will have fun reading the one project I could never let go of for all these years.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: ECW: Revolutions Never Die!

Good to see you back again - it's been too long. Helps that it's a project you obviously feel very strongly about. I'll be reading
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: ECW: Revolutions Never Die!

Extreme Championship Wrestling

As 2001 opened, rumors were flying around about the eminent end of Extreme Championship Wrestling. The company began falling apart as soon as it went national and now it seemed from the outside that WWF was swimming around like sharks waiting to take the cream of the crop talents of ECW. In reality, WWF officials were waiting to see if Paul Heyman would be able to get ECW back onto its feet. The last thing many in WWF wanted to see was a company that produced many members of their current roster fall into oblivion. Hoping that ECW could make a turn around, WWF waited before signing ECW talents at this point. In January of that year, Guilty as Charged was rumored to be ECW’s final PPV. The show wasn’t really anything spectacular with the biggest news coming out of the show being that Rhino became the unified ECW World Heavyweight Champion and ECW World Television Champion without even being advertised on the card as well as the surprise return of RVD who defeated Jerry Lynn in an impromptu main event.

Following this PPV, ECW ran only a couple more shows that January before it looked the like company was ready to shut down. Paul Heyman soon headed to California, reportedly searching for a financial backer or at least looking for a television deal, but maybe he was just going there for Rollerball? (Heh.) As it turned out, Heyman was filming for Rollerball…

But on his way back he made a surprise stop in Las Vegas with many joking that he was getting ready to dump all his money down the drain again. No one knew why Heyman truly went to Las Vegas at the time, but one thing was known…ECW was promoting another pay-per-view, ECW Living Dangerously. As the PPV was approaching around the corner, a not so surprising announcement was made. WWF had signed contracts with Jerry Lynn, Justin Credible, Rhino, and Yoshihiro Tajiri. Maybe the most shocking thing was that Rob Van Dam was not signed yet despite rarely making appearances anywhere in the last few months, but the main reason for this was WWF’s concern for Rob Van Dam’s rumored “behavior problems”. There was one special exception in these new talents contract though which would allow them each to appear at ECW for an undisclosed number of shows.

With things leading up to ECW Living Dangerously another major announcement was made. ECW had struck a deal with Shawn Michaels where Michaels would make an appearance at the PPV for seemingly completely free with one exception; ECW would need to sign talents from his wrestling academy. This created a huge buzz in the world of professional wrestling and it looked to drive the potential sales of the PPV to a new ECW record. As it turned out, it was ECW’s most watched PPV up to this point, though not by a spectacular gap. The show opened up with Shawn Michaels in the ring where he cut a promo before The Network came out and Rhino hit HBK with a Gore. As it looked like no one would be coming to the aid of Michaels, rookies Bryan Danielson and Paul London made the save which set up a match between Cyrus and Jerry Lynn against the two rookies in an impressive match which finished with Cyrus getting pinned after a 450 Splash from Paul London. The show featured what would be the final match of the feud between Super Crazy and Yoshihiro Tajiri which ended with Super Crazy getting the victory. It also featured Justin Credible cutting a promo about going to the WWF before winning an impromptu match against Tommy Dreamer after CW Anderson made a run in and gave Dreamer the Anderson Spinebuster. The main event of the night featured Rob Van Dam and Rhino in a match for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship which featured interferences from Lynn, Cyrus, and Credible on the behalf of Rhino before Shawn Michaels came out and gave all three talents Sweet Chin Music. RVD would then hit the Van Daminator on Rhino and won the ECW World Heavyweight Championship from Rhino. It was a huge night of celebration for ECW with many having expected the company being out of business by now. The following day ECW’s website made a major announcement that would change the course of the company forever…


Quote:
ECW and UFC Now Under The Same Roof! MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

It has been reported that a major business move has taken place as ECW’s own Paul Heyman was put in charge of the marketing sector of Zuffa, the limited liability company that recently bought the controversial UFC. Following this an even BIGGER transaction took place as Zuffa, LLC. has bought Extreme Championship Wrestling. We can assure you that Paul Heyman still has control over the company. We will give you more updates as more news on the subject becomes available.
In a strange event two sports related markets that many questioned the long term future of, professional wrestling and mixed martial arts, were under the same brand. This was definitely a major business risk by Zuffa and many wondered if that company would soon be going out of business. As the year went on things seemed to be looking up for both ECW and UFC though. ECW started running pay-per-view events every other month and were back on syndicated television. The company was pushing for a new direction as well. Following years of having a lot of hardcore wrestling matches, the company was presenting hardcore as not just the ability to brawl, but the work rate within matches. In this new direction ECW showcased the talents of young talents such as Bryan Danielson, Christian York, Christopher Daniels, Joey Matthews, Low Ki, Michael Shane, Paul London, Spanky, and Steve Corino as well as the return of Rey Mysterio, Jr. (back in a mask) after he was free from a written contract to WCW. While it would take a while for ECW to reach its once former glory, something special was being built and the fans of ECW knew it.

Champions At The End of 2001

ECW World Heavyweight Champion: Rob Van Dam
ECW World Television Champion: Rey Mysterio, Jr.
ECW World Tag Team Champions: Christian York and Joey Matthews

Top 5 Stars of 2001

CW Anderson
Rey Mysterio, Jr.
Rob Van Dam
Steve Corino
Super Crazy

World Championship Wrestling

When Time Warner executives decided to pull the plug on WCW, potential buyers scattered to try to pick up this legendary brand. It seemed as though Eric Bischoff and Fusient Media Ventures were going to make a deal to buy WCW, but when it was declared that there would be television slot for WCW the deal was dropped. Shortly after this, a group of seven veteran wrestlers announced their plans to buy World Championship Wrestling…Dusty Rhodes, Jeff Jarrett, Jerry Jarrett, Jerry Lawler, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat and Sting. The offer quickly went through and the septet was announced as the new owners of World Championship Wrestling. A new concept design for WCW was announced shortly after where the company would be broken up into four regional companies who would recognize a single World Heavyweight Champion, United States Champion, World Cruiserweight Champion, and World Tag Team Champions while each had their own regional titles. The four regions were the Midwest (controlled by Jerry Lawler); the Northeast (controlled by Ricky Steamboat); the South (controlled by Jeff Jarrett, Jerry Jarrett, and Ric Flair; and the West (controlled by Dusty Rhodes and Sting).

While the company had a rocky start, by Summer it seemed like things were looking up for the company. The company had allowed all its talents to be on non-exclusive contracts except for a special clause for the unified recognized champions to insure that they would not jump from the company as champions and this ultimately led to some wrestlers walking away from the company to seek more opportunities with other companies including Goldberg and Scott Steiner who would end up in New Japan and Kevin Nash who took a break before jumping to WWF in 2002.

Each region of the company had mild success with each hosting their own major stars and developing new talents for their respective brands as well as the company as a whole. By the Summer of 2001 plans were put in place to get WCW on national television. They eventually came to an agreement with NBC and began airing WCW Saturday Night each Saturday from 8:00 PM-9:00 PM EST. The show would focus on airing portions of matches from across WCW’s four territories which would be strung together to form storylines and build up PPV matches. The concept worked well and was able to bring money into the company which was divided evenly between the four regions. Things were looking good by the end of the year and the relaunch of the New World Order at that year’s Starrcade, featuring the unlikely alliance of fan favorite Booker T and the top heel of the company Jeff Jarrett, it looked as though WCW was going to soon be a force that WWF would need to reckon with once more.

Champions At The End of 2001

WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Jarrett
WCW United States Champion: Booker T
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: AJ Styles
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire

Top 5 Stars of 2001

Booker T
Jeff Jarrett
Ric Flair
Shane Helms
Sting

World Wrestling Federation

Now being the only major promotion in America, WWF seemed untouchable. That year witnessed some interesting events including the heel turn of Steve Austin who played the Franchise Player aligned with the boss Vince McMahon. It seemed as though everything was going high for this team, especially when Triple H joined the two, but Triple H was injured fairly early in the storyline and was noted for not being able to return until 2002. From here Steve Austin would quickly enter a feud with Kurt Angle which would see the title exchange hands almost every time they met with Austin getting the final victory before The Rock would return from filming for The Scorpion King and defeat Steve Austin in a Last Man Standing match to finish off the feud with The Rock coming out as the new WWF Champion.

Two talents, though, made a meteoric rise within the company. One was Chris Jericho who became that year’s King of the Ring and had retained the Intercontinental Championship, European Championship, and the Light Heavyweight Championship for most of the year before announcing himself the unified Intercontinental Champion and started carrying around the previous version of the title and no longer using the European or Light Heavyweight titles. The other talent was Raven. Raven quickly formed a plot, using the trust of his former lackey Steven Richards in order to join Right To Censor. From there Raven started to systematically brainwash the members of RTC before attacking Steven Richards off-screen and leading to Raven taking over RTC as a cultish figure who would guide his followers through their insecurities of trying to live a reformed life from their previous degeneracy. Raven was even seen in matches with names such as Kane, Kurt Angle, The Rock, and The Undertaker during this time frame.

Another major development was that under the guidance of a road agent acquired from WCW, Fit Finlay, the WWF’s women’s division was beginning to take a more serious approach as actual wrestlers and was setting the stage to make this an important part of the show featuring something that wasn’t available in the WWF alternatives.

Overall, 2001 was a great year for the WWF that saw investment in their future stars as it seemed the company was in great order to battle WCW if it ever became a threat again.

Champions At The End of 2001

WWF Champion: The Rock
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho
WWF Hardcore Champion: Rhyno
WWF Women’s Champion: Trish Stratus
WWF Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz

Top 5 Stars of 2001

Chris Jericho
Kurt Angle
Raven
Steve Austin
The Rock

AND NOW A SNEAK PEEK AT THE CURRENT ECW ROSTER...



KENTA
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 179 lbs.
Affiliation: Face
Finishers: Busaiku Knee Kick/Go 2 Sleep
Theme: "What You Know (Instrumental)" by T.I.


Making his debut his ECW debut in 2005, KENTA has since made occasional appearances for the company along with other Pro Wrestling NOAH wrestlers. Since mid-2007, KENTA has started to make regular appearances and is regarded as a member of the current ECW roster. Coming from a kickboxing background, KENTA is a notorious striker and has quickly won over the ECW fans with his distinctive style and great courage.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: ECW: Revolutions Never Die!

Extreme Championship Wrestling

A major return kicked off the year for ECW, Eddie Guerrero, after being suspended from WWF for D.U.I. made a long awaited return. Instantly Eddie was thrust into the main event scene in a feud with Rob Van Dam for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. This seemed to be the cementing moment for the company for moving towards a more in-ring work based promotion rather than a hardcore promotion. The feud ended in March where RVD ended up getting the victory before Eddie Guerrero returned to the WWF. Shortly afterwards, Rey Mysterio Jr. also signed with the WWF and a feud with Steve Corino was quickly cut short and Corino and CW Anderson promptly left for Japan afterwards.

Things only started to look down from here as talk was that Rob Van Dam would soon be making his way to, now, the WWE. This instantly turned the fans against RVD who would go on to promoting himself as someone who was doing ECW a favor by sticking around and it would of died without him. RVD defended the ECW title against practically everyone in the company and on his last night in the company he said he was going to go on WWE television and throw the ECW title away in the trash.

Suddenly, the lights went out and when they came back on, Steve Austin, who was rumored to be signing with WCW after major backstage issues with the WWE, was in the ring. An impromptu match was thrown together and Steve Austin ended up winning the ECW World Heavyweight Championship from Rob Van Dam. Reports came out saying that with Austin no longer having an interest in signing for WCW and the fact that he has made enough money to live the rest of his life on, he wanted to give his time to a promotion that would fully appreciate his talents. The wrestling world was on fire when Austin's return hit the news and wrestling fans began calling their TV stations to include ECW on their broadcasts. That fall, ECW signed a deal with the USA Network, riding the wave of popularity they gained from Austin’s return and ultimately overcame WCW in the ratings that year.

This year also saw the development six major stars for the future of the company in a three-way feud over the ECW Tag Team Titles, these six were the teams of Bryan Danielson and Low Ki, Christopher Daniels and Samoa Joe, and CM Punk and Colt Cabana.

Champions At The End of 2002

ECW World Heavyweight Champion: Steve Austin
ECW World Television Champion: Super Crazy
ECW World Tag Team Champions: CM Punk and Colt Cabana

Top 5 Stars of 2002

Christopher Daniels
CM Punk
Samoa Joe
Steve Austin
Super Crazy

World Championship Wrestling

2002 proved to be a VERY rocky year for WCW. When things were looking high for WCW at the end of 2001 with the rise of a new nWo, many were speculating that it would only be a matter of time before the talent roster of WCW proved too much for the WWF to handle. The new angle ended up triggering issues for the company. The Southern region of WCW was the only sector being represented in the nWo and other than Sting, had all the top faces now under its roof. When the owners of the other regions attempted to put their talent into the feud, they would only end up losing and none were allowed to join the major heel stable.

From here, the owners of WCW from all the regions besides the South were searching for a way out of their deals. By that summer, everyone besides Jeff Jarrett, Jerry Jarrett, and Ric Flair sold their stocks to the other members in the company and all left the company. The company was then reorganized to once again being a unified national company rather than a regional alliance. Now WCW had a new problem. The sponsorship for the company was set up to support the regional owners of each regional WCW “promotion” rather than the promotion as a whole. On top of this, WCW relied on revenue from each individual promotion running its shows and sharing the profits. With the company’s future looking glim, Steve Austin, who was apparently going to sign for WCW after issues with the direction of the WWE, signed with the smaller ECW instead.

With all hope falling through, Jeff Jarrett got into contact with someone who had to ability to financially back a company and who was currently helping with the marketing side of WCW. Dixie Carter. WCW was purchased that October by Panda Energy International with a special buyback clause allowing Jeff Jarrett, Jerry Jarrett, and/or Ric Flair to buy the company at any point after 2006.

Under the guidance of Dixie Carter, WCW started focusing more and more on the youth of the company and on the cruiserweight division. Even though these changes were made, the way in which the shows were promoted and presented still felt like an old school NWA show which seemed to be a positive in attraction distraught WWE and ECW fans.

But…Jeff Jarrett was still WCW Champion at the end of the year…to the anger of many fans.

Champions At The End of 2002

WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Jarrett
WCW United States Champion: Shane Helms
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Frankie Kazarian
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Chris Harris and James Storm

Top 5 Stars of 2002

AJ Styles
Booker T
Jeff Jarrett
Ric Flair
Shane Helms

World Wrestling Entertainment (Formerly World Wrestling Federation)

This was a very exciting year for WWF/WWE (named such after WrestleMania to walk away from controversy with the World Wildlife Fund on the international use of the initials) which saw the rise of one of their hottest storylines yet. As the year opened up The Rock entered a feud with the returning Triple H. That February, at No Way Out, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Hulk Hogan made their return to the company by costing The Rock his match with Triple H and HHH ended up winning the WWF Championship. It was then revealed that Vince McMahon brought them in with a Mission Accomplished speech saying that they had destroyed Vince’s competition as was planned and now Vince’s trio was going to oppose all who stood against him and his family. At that WrestleMania, a major dream match between The Rock and Hulk Hogan took place with The Rock getting the victory. Also, Royal Rumble winner, Steve Austin (whose alliance with McMahon and heel turn was seemingly forgotten) lost to Triple H in the WrestleMania main event after help from the group. Following the main event, the group celebrated in the ring before turning on Hulk Hogan, announcing they did not need a worthless fossil and Hulk ended up joining the faces in the feud, returning to the red and yellow.

While the new group, going by the name The Kliq began dominating the company, Steve Austin began to show anger backstage at the direction the product was going and how his character, who was now seeming to fade into the background in favor of The Rock and Hulk Hogan, ended up walking out on the WWE. This had upset many WWE fans, but the company was able to keep most of them by painting Austin as a villain for leaving the company and The Kliq being a well, designed angle for the company. This storyline would ultimately see the return of Shawn Michaels who joined the group as well as the stable, The X-Factor joining. With The Rock taking another break from the company, upcoming star Chris Jericho quickly took his position in the company and at the end of the year at Survivor Series was able to defeat Triple H to become the new WWE Champion and unified the title with his WWE Intercontinental Championship.

At the start of 2002, it seemed as though Raven would soon be a contender for the WWE Championship, but after The Kliq started being pushed, his focus began going on the decline and he would end up feuding over the Hardcore Championship with Rhyno and the incoming Rob Van Dam.

Champions At The End of 2002

WWE Champion: Chris Jericho
WWE Hardcore Champion: Rob Van Dam
WWE Women’s Champion: Lita
WWE Tag Team Champions: Kevin Nash and Scott Hall

Top 5 Stars of 2002

Chris Jericho
Hulk Hogan
The Rock
Triple H
Vince McMahon

AND NOW A SNEAK PEEK AT THE CURRENT ECW ROSTER...



"The Cowboy" James Storm
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 245 lbs.
Affiliation: Face
Finishers: Eight Second Ride/Eye of the Storm/Last Call
Theme: "The More I Drink" by Blake Shelton


Facing possible obscurity with a lack of direction following the dismantling of the AMW tag team in WCW, ECW saw their opportunity to take a young talent in his prime and mold him into a major star. Coming into ECW in late 2006, James Storm has proven to be a popular wrestler with the ECW faithful whether it is due to the fact that he enjoys his beer or it is due to the fact that he is one of the best brawlers in the business today. James Storm has had a slow, but steady climb up the ECW ladder and will be star to look out for in the near future.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: ECW: Revolutions Never Die!

Extreme Championship Wrestling

Riding into 2003 on the back of the popularity of Steve Austin, ECW was quickly gaining international media and was growing as a national brand on the USA Network. In early 2003, Austin was in a heated feud with young talent, Samoa Joe, who was being built up as an unstoppable for in ECW. At Living Dangerously that year, Samoa Joe was able to defeat Steve Austin to become ECW World Heavyweight Champion. This would signify a turning point in the company as the young talents of the company began feuding with many of the veterans in the company to build up ECW as a youth-oriented promotion.

Following this rivalry, Steve Austin would use the rest of his time left as a regular wrestler to feud with another upcomer, CM Punk. This feud lasted throughout the Summer and went to November To Remember that year where CM Punk would defeat Steve Austin in a Steel Cage Match. Austin would go on to have his official last match as a full-time wrestler that December where he faced off against Samoa Joe in a rematch for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship which saw Samoa Joe get the victory and a celebration of the legacy of Austin.

This year also saw ECW expanding on other areas within the company by bringing in different indy talents to build up the brand and saw the expansion of the tag team division with ECW starting to promote itself as having the best tag team wrestling in America.

While things were looking good for ECW and they were able to maintain their lead over WCW this year a major business transaction was beginning to take place that was a cause for some major scares in the company...NBC had bought USA's parent company and was going to be taking over the USA Network that Summer...and they did not see a future for ECW after Austin's retirement.

Champions At The End of 2003

ECW World Heavyweight Champion: Samoa Joe
ECW World Television Champion: Christopher Daniels
ECW World Tag Team Champions: Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe

Top 5 Stars of 2003

Christopher Daniels
CM Punk
Samoa Joe
Steve Austin
Super Crazy

World Championship Wrestling

WCW continued to push their cruiserweight division and youth and while in 2002 it seemed like this didn't mean much due to Jeff Jarrett still being champion, things began to look different in 2003. This year saw a major victory with Shane Helms winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship from Jeff Jarrett that summer. Shane Helms would then go on to feud with Booker T and a returning Scott Steiner that year with Scott Steiner winning the title at that year's Starrcade.

WCW continued to push its cruiserweight division, using it as a major selling point for the company. AJ Styles, Frankie Kazarian, and Jamie Knoble had become the faces of the division and had a long series of matches which were getting rave reviews.

WCW, however, despite being on a large television network, was struggling against ECW. Dixie Carter was unsure why this was, but eventually decided it was due to WCW needing a new creative decision. Thus, she did the unthinkable, and brought a man of great controversy back to WCW...

Eric Bischoff! This caused a mixed reaction backstage with some thinking this would make WCW not only a threat to ECW, but also WWE. Others were skeptical...especially Ric Flair. This created a rift between Ric Flair and Dixie Carter which would just continue to strengthen as the year went by. While Ric Flair was envisioning a return to traditional pro-wrestling, Eric Bischoff and Dixie Carter were wanting to push an episodic television concept beyond what was ever done before in wrestling.

The ratings did in fact begin to go up for WCW, but there was often debates about whether it was due to the appeal of the youthful wrestling talent or due to the changes Bischoff was making. Either way, things were finally looking up for WCW and were only looking better as the year came to a close and it was known that in 2004 ECW was going to be kicked off the USA Network in favor of more WCW programming once NBC had full control over the network and a major return was going to come into play in 2004.

Champions At The End of 2003

WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Scott Steiner
WCW United States Champion: Lance Storm
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: AJ Styles
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Andy Douglas and Chase Stevens

Top 5 Stars of 2003

AJ Styles
Booker T
Jeff Jarrett
Scott Steiner
Shane Helms

World Wrestling Entertainment

The Kliq storyline was still in full force in WWE. Triple H would continue to feud with Chris Jericho and was able to win the title back from him at Royal Rumble that year. The winner of that year's Royal Rumble was Hulk Hogan to the surprise of many who didn't expect to see Hogan back in the title scene for WWE. Shortly after the Royal Rumble saw the return of The Rock who was now playing a heel character who looked down at the WWE fans since he was now a movie star. This new persona of The Rock ended up clashing again with Hulk Hogan at No Way Out that year, which saw Hogan come out as the victor.

That year's WrestleMania saw Hulk Hogan defeating Triple H to become WWE Champion as well as a match between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho that finished with HBK getting the win. Hogan and HHH would continue to feud, but Hogan was able to retain the title throughout the feud. That Summer though, Shawn Michaels was able to defeat Hulk Hogan to become WWE Champion. Hulk Hogan and Triple H clashed one more time at that year's SummerSlam in a Loser Leaves WWE Match which was rumored to be due to Hogan and Vince McMahon having issues backstage. Triple H ended up getting the victory over Hulk Hogan, effectively ending their feud and Hogan's WWE return.

Following that year's SummerSlam, The Kliq, led by Triple H, turned on Shawn Michaels with Triple H targeting him for his WWE Championship. By the end of the year, Triple H would end up defeating Shawn Michaels to win back the WWE Championship and afterwards Chris Jericho, Rob Van Dam, and Shawn Michaels would join efforts to try to finally bring down The Kliq.

Speaking of RVD, he continued to hold the Hardcore Championship throughout the year, becoming the longest reigning Hardcore Champion in WWE history. The Women's Division of the company was also expanding. The only thing that seemed stagnant at this time was WWE's Tag Team Division with the only new tag team around being Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman.

Overall, WWE as a company was continuing to grow. While ECW and WCW were having success, compared to WWE, they were in no form a threat to the international brand.

Champions At The End of 2003

WWE Champion: Triple H
WWE Hardcore Champion: Rob Van Dam
WWE Women's Champion: Trish Stratus
WWE Tag Team Champions: Edge and Christian

Top 5 Stars of 2003

Chris Jericho
Hulk Hogan
Shawn Michaels
The Rock
Triple H

AND NOW A SNEAK PEEK AT THE CURRENT ECW ROSTER...



ˇPeligro Abejas! (Danger Bees!)
Combined Weight: 385 lbs.
Affiliation: Face
Theme: "ˇOlé!" by The Bouncing Souls

Accomplishments: 1x ECW World Tag Team Champions

These guys are both fun loving wrestlers who can go with pretty much anyone in the ring. Being such a talented duo there are very high expectations for them which they have shown to be worthy of, having won the ECW World Tag Team titles. Always putting on a good show in both action and entertainment, the Danger Bees are quite possibly the ECW crowd's favorite tag team in the company. Though El Generico may only know how to speak Spanish and though Paul London may partake in some extracurricular activities, these two are a great duo who show everyone what the buzz is all about.

El Generico
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Affiliation: Face
Finishers: Brainbustaaaaahhhhh!!!!!/Spike Brainbuster
Theme: "ˇOlé!" by The Bouncing Souls

Accomplishments: 1x ECW World Tag Team Champion

El Generico made his ECW debut in 2005, making occasional appearances and wrestling in tag team as well as singles competition. In early, 2007 he had his biggest match at that time in a losing effort to ECW Middleweight Champion, Bryan Danielson. Since then he has appeared regularly in ECW and began a tag team with Paul London, capturing the ECW World Tag Team Championship with him. They have recently been defeated by The King of Wrestling for the titles at November To Remember, but they are definitely numbero uno when it comes to contendership!

"The Intrepid Traveler" Paul London
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 205 lbs.
Affiliation: Face
Finishers: 45O Splash/Legsweep DDT/London Star Press
Theme: "Pompeii" by E.S. Posthumus/"ˇOlé!" by The Bouncing Souls (while teaming with El Generico)

Accomplishments: 1x ECW World Heavyweight Champion; 1x ECW World Middleweight Champion; 2x ECW World Tag Team Champion; 1x ECW World Television Champion

Making his debut in 2001 as part of a deal made between ECW and Shawn Michaels, Paul London has had a very accomplished career in ECW. Having won the ECW World Television Championship in 2004, Paul London went on to defeat ECW World Heavyweight Champion Samoa Joe in a historic title unification match before losing the championship to CM Punk in the Summer of 2005. Paul London would go on to winning the ECW Middleweight Championship Tournament that year, crowning him as the first ECW World Middleweight Champion. He is also a very good tag team wrestler, having won the ECW World Tag Team Titles with Spanky in 2006 before Spanky was signed by WWE. Since then, Paul London has taken El Generico under his wing, leading them to tag team gold in 2007 before losing the title recently to The Kings of Wrestling.
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Last edited by ChainGangRed : 05-16-2013 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: ECW: Revolutions Never Die!

Extreme Championship Wrestling

Among doubts of the longevity of ECW by those outside the company after the retirement of Steve Austin and with NBC, who was broadcasting WCW, taking over the USA Nework, things were looking questionable about the future of the company. Paul Heyman and Zuffa quickly searched for alternative networks as they knew ECW was inevitably going to be taken off the USA Network in favor of WCW television due to the doubts about the company's longevity even though they were more successful than WCW at the time in terms of ratings and reviews.

That Spring, NBC officially took over the USA Network and shortly afterwards ECW was taken off of USA. During this time, Extreme Championship Wrestling was in discussions with Fox and was able to get a 1-hour spot on FX, the company's cutting edge television station with similar programming as HBO and Showtime, which both companies felt would be a natural fit for ECW. The only downfall was the contract would not come into effect into the Fall season, so ECW had take it's show off television until that Fall. In order to continue TV, ECW streamed its weekly television shows on the internet and sold these streamed shows as extras to their PPV DVDs.

As far as the product went that year, it ended up being a great year for the young talent in the company. Samoa Joe came into the year and left the year as ECW World Heavyweight Champion, being built up as a modern day incarnation of the unstoppable world champ. Not only would Joe defeat many of the top young talents and legends of ECW, but foreign stars such as Doug Williams, Jushin Liger, The Great Muta, and Último Dragón. He also had a match with Ric Flair in a one time appearance of Flair on ECW on FX in order to promote Flair's new wrestling promotion. The most noteworthy feud of this entire time period was a trilogy of matches between Samoa Joe and fellow young talent, CM Punk. Having two 60-minute ties for the title, the two had their rubber match in which Samoa Joe choked out CM Punk for the win at the end of the year. Punk, who entered the angle as a heel, came out highly over with the crowd and they turned him into a babyface.

Another major feud during 2004 was a feud between ECW World Television Champion Christopher Daniels, Super Crazy, and Paul London. These three would have many exciting matches with Christopher Daniels holding onto the title through many underhanded tactics until the three clashed in a ladder match that fall with Paul London coming out the victor. Paul London would go on to defeat many of the opponents Samoa Joe had throughout his reign and closed out the year as ECW World Television Champion. Christopher Daniels would leave the company for WWE shortly afterwards, but what Daniels did was highly important for the ECW World Television Championship, bringing it to a prestige it hadn't seen since Rob Van Dam held the title. Thanks for Daniels, the belt was once again seen as being at the same level as the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, and in-effect made Paul London look like a million bucks.

The tag team division for ECW saw some exciting matches with The Briscoe Brothers and The Rottweilers building themselves through a feud with the Second City Saints. The Rottweilers would come out of the feud as ECW World Tag Team Champions before feuding with ECW legends Sandman and Tommy Dreamer who would win the titles that November.

This year was a mixed year for ECW overall. Though the movement up the networks and the time off left ECW with a lower TV rating and being considered a smaller company than WCW now, the company was able to develop its talent and proved to the naysayers that the company could survive without the Austin return. If anything, while the casual viewers may of dropped off in the switch, the cult appeal of ECW expanded and there were more ECW fanatics than ever before.

Champions At The End of 2004

ECW World Heavyweight Champion: Samoa Joe
ECW World Television Champion: Paul London
ECW World Tag Team Champions: The Sandman and Tommy Dreamer

Top 5 Stars of 2004

Christopher Daniels
CM Punk
Paul London
Samoa Joe
The Sandman

World Championship Wrestling

When NBC took over the USA Network, ECW was replaced by the return of WCW Nitro, now airing for 1-hour on Wednesday nights. The product for the company was starting to shift into a very story oriented show which was presented more as a TV sports drama. This upset some in the company who thought the retro approach was the best way to stick out from WWE and ECW as an alternative and felt that this approach was even worse than WWE's sports entertainment. The new show had higher ratings than WCW had seen in years, however, so those in the traditional wing had no room to raise their concerns in the company.

At the return episode of WCW Nitro, Hulk Hogan made his WCW return, saving Booker T from a beatdown by Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner after the two formed an alliance. Shortly after it was announced that Hulk Hogan signed a 2-year contract with the company. Hulk Hogan would go on to feud with Scott Steiner for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and defeated him to become WCW World Heavyweight Champion, driving WCW's ratings even higher, even reaching 2.8 million viewers the Nitro after Hogan became champion. Hulk Hogan would go on to feud against Jeff Jarrett with Jarrett defeating Hulk Hogan for the title. Jeff Jarrett went on to forming a stable with AMW, Jamie Knoble, Scott Steiner, and on-screen authority figure Eric Bischoff.

Once Eric Bischoff became an important figure on television, Ric Flair's tensions with Bischoff began to flare...

Eric Bischoff for one reason or another decided to make these grievences part of Nitro and Ric Flair was put into a feud against Jarrett's stable. This feud would end in a WarGames at that year's Fall Brawl with the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on the line as well as Ric Flair's career. Jarrett's army (excluding Bischoff and Knoble) was able to defeat Flair's team of himself, Booker T, and the team of Petey Williams and Lance Storm. The matched ended when Eric Bischoff low blowed Ric Flair after opening the cage and Jeff Jarrett making Flair tap out to the Figure Four Leg Lock. Once Ric Flair lost the match, he walked away from WCW without looking back, but he wasn't going alone.

While Ric Flair was trying to argue with Bischoff's take on the company, many others were feeling put off as well and didn't like the fact that their complaints were not welcomed in the company. Some of the cruiserweights and young talents as well as some of the veterans were exceptionally upset with the company. These few would ask for their release shortly after the show and walked out with Ric Flair with plans of forming their own promotion. This also led to a gradual ratings drop as WCW lost a half million of its viewership, dropping down to an average of 1.8 million viewers by December from its usual 2.4 million viewers.

Following this feud Jeff Jarrett's group would go on to dominate until Starrcade where they had a major set back, losing every single title that night. Jarrett lost to Hogan (in a failed attempt to shock the ratings again), AMW lost to Elix Skipper and D'Lo Brown, Scott Steiner lost to Sean Waltman, and Jamie Knoble lost to Petey Williams.

At the time this year came to an end, it was viewed as an overall positive year other than for the drop of viewers at the tail-end. WCW was doing better than its previous year's ratings which struggled to reach over 1 million viewers and the company was making more money compared to the previous year. When the history books look back at this year, however, Flair's leave from the company along with the other detractors was going to prove a game changer.

Champions At The End of 2004

WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan
WCW United States Champion: Sean Waltman
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Petey Williams
WCW World Tag Team Champions: D'Lo Brown and Elix Skipper

Top 5 Stars of 2004

Eric Bischoff
Hulk Hogan
Jeff Jarrett
Scott Steiner
Sean Waltman

World Wrestling Entertainment

The Kliq's war against the rest of the WWE kicked off another year for the company. That year's Royal Rumble saw Triple H defeat Rob Van Dam in a WWE Championship vs. Hardcore Championship match. It also Scott Hall and Kevin Nash defeated Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels in a tag team match. In the Rumble itself, The Undertaker shockingly won which created a lot of confusion as many expected The Undertaker to be undefeated in WWE at WrestleMania, but with a match against Triple H it now seemed at risk. The Rock would also enter what would seem to be his final major feud in the WWE, against a upcoming young talent named John Cena, during that year's Royal Rumble. During the Royal Rumble John Cena was eliminated by The Rock which led to Cena jumping in and eliminating The Rock.

Following the event, Triple H retired the Hardcore Championship and rewarded X-Pac with the WWE Intercontinental Championship. X-Pac would go on to feud with Rob Van Dam over the WWE Intercontinental Championship with X-Pac retaining at No Way Out, but dropping the title to Rob Van Dam at WrestleMania.

Also at WrestleMania, John Cena defeated The Rock after cheating with a steal chair. The Undertaker was victorious in his match with Triple H and became the WWE Champion after a run-in from every single member of The Kliq to try to cost Undertaker the match. After this The Kliq began to self-destruct as various members would begin plotting against each other in trying to lower the numbers to heighten the spoils, but everyone was out for themselves. This ultimately led to a Triple H face turn and shortly after teaming up with Shawn Michaels as Degeneration X to take on Kevin Nash and Scott Hall as The Wolfpack while Justin Credible and Albert faded into the background and X-Pac was released from his contract, after which he went back to WCW.

The DX vs. Wolfpack feud finally came to a close that year at SummerSlam when DX defeated Wolfpack in a steel cage tag team match. Afterwards, Scott Hall was released for his WWE contract and Kevin Nash went on to becoming enforcer character for former WCW wrestler Frankie Kazarian later that year after Kazarian left WCW along with Ric Flair.

The Undertaker would start feuding with both members of DX following SummerSlam and Triple H ended up brutally attacking Shawn Michaels during the feud to try to remove him from a triple threat match, but Shawn Michaels showed up at the event and ended up winning the WWE Championship. Shawn Michaels and Triple H would go on to feud against each other until Armageddon when Triple H defeated Shawn Michaels in a Hell In A Cell match while The Undertaker would start feuding with his brother Kane which would lead to a Buried Alive Match which Kane won after Intercontinental Champion John Cena came out and attacked The Undertaker, F-U’ing him into the grave after Kane was Chokeslamed in, allowing Kane to escape and bury his brother.

While this was once again another great year for WWE, one major issue that arose was the size of its active roster which led to releases and unfocused multi-man feuds. By the end of the year WWE made some major cuts on a lot of their developmental talent and enhancement talent as well as other talents that WWE didn’t have immediate future storylines for. Two of these major releases would later be regretted by WWE in the following year…

One was Brock Lesnar, who requested a release earlier that year due to him being upset about his use as a monster jobber in the company and due to his interest in joining the NFL.

The other was Randy Orton who was released from the company late that year and was almost instantly called up by Ric Flair who saw a bright future for the kid and wanted to make him the centerpiece of his upcoming company.

Champions At The End of 2004

WWE Champion: Triple H
WWE Intercontinental Champion: John Cena
WWE Women’s Champion: Gail Kim
WWE Tag Team Champions: Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio

Top 5 Stars of 2004

Kevin Nash
Scott Hall
Shawn Michaels
The Undertaker
Triple H

WOOOOOO!

Following his release from WCW, Ric Flair began contacting former members of the WCW ownership from 2001 and repaired his relationships with them. Flair would then announce later that coming January he would be starting a new company called Four Horsemen Wrestling which would be working under the NWA banner and would be hosting the NWA World titles. Ric Flair would go onto ECW for one night to face in a losing effort to ECW World Heavyweight Champion Samoa Joe in exchange for promoting the NWA: Four Horsemen brand which would be available by streaming online as well as through DVDs. The company’s roster was soon released which contained such wrestlers as AJ Styles, Booker T, Jeff Hardy, Lance Storm, Randy Orton, Shane Helms, and a man who had been out of wresting since 2002…Sting. While it was unknown how well this new show would get over, it attracted a lot of attention from traditional wrestling fans as well as the cruiserweight fans of WCW who were upset about the company focusing more on dramatic television than on pushing talented young athletes.

AND NOW A SNEAK PEEK AT THE CURRENT ECW ROSTER...



Sara Del Rey
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 160 lbs.
Affiliation: Face
Finishers: Royal Butterfly/Spike Piledriver
Theme: "Boss of the World" (Bull Nakano's Theme From AJW)
Accomplishments: 1x ECW World Tigress Champion (Current)

Sara Del Rey made her ECW debut in March of 2007 having occasional wrestling matches with other women as ECW began its journey to women's wrestling. She took part in the ECW World Tigress Championship Tournament, defeating Amazing Kong in the finals at November To Remember in order to become the first ever ECW World Tigress Champion. Sara Del Rey has proven to be one of the toughest women wrestlers in the world today with her no-nonsense attitude and the skills she developed in wrestling dojos. She is also the reigning and first ever Shimmer Champion, which she gladly shows by carrying the title at ECW events along with her ECW title, showing why she is considered one of the best wrestlers today.
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Last edited by ChainGangRed : 05-30-2013 at 10:14 AM.
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