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…
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.
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.
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
Rey Mysterio, Jr.
Rob Van Dam
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
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
AND NOW A SNEAK PEEK AT THE CURRENT ECW ROSTER...
Weight: 179 lbs.
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.
"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and around you thousands will be saved." + Saint Seraphim of Sarov
Last edited by ChainGangRed; 05-16-2013 at 11:17 AM.