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I just watched the Rise and Fall of ECW documentary. It really feels like most of the great stuff from the Monday Night Wars was innovated from ECW.

From the great cruiserweight matches in ECW to Austin's promos to the hard-core match style to the more shade of grey characters.

I have found the ECW restoration project and I plan to watch all the Heyman booked ECW from 93 to the end.
 

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It was definitely fun to watch. A few weeks after they started on TNN it gradually started going downhill.
Definitely this. I think the magic was still there in terms of the environment and presentation but the booking was noticeably lacking from the TNN era on to when they closed doors. They did a great job in 1997 of rebounding when they lost Raven, Richards, and Saturn to WCW and Funk to brief retirement then WWF. They knew how to build new or returning guys up on the backs of those leaving. By 1999-2000, they were losing guys more frequently and they lacked the time to really properly build up new stars in their wake.
 

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I love ECW but no.

From '95 to late '98, it was great. Those were the glory years, as it had a perfect mix of quality wrestling, violence and compelling storylines.

From '99 onward, they were chasing ghosts. And pre-'95 was...not that good.
Only truth in this post above. Outside of Anarchy Rulz 1999, there was no really good show after House Party 1998 which I think was in July.

TNN really destroyed ECW. That plus the talent leaving for WWF/WCW. I went from staying up every single Friday until 2-3am to watch the show on some local spanish channel to not watching at all in prime time.
 

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It's hard to say, a true wrestling historian can give a clearer answer but from my own experience....

I'm currently watching back through 199-2001 WWF/WCW/ECW and a lot of the ECW stuff is a bit of a slog, with repetitive matches (literally just replaying matches over and over again on TV) and then some dud content to
 

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Yeah because they hot-shotted the territory, but some years were much stronger than others.


I'd say that "act 2" was by far the strongest if you broke ECW's existence down into 3 acts.
 

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Ecw on Tnn was trash and Heyman booking was just as bad as WcW.

Ecw peak probably ended in 98, then the creative went to shit. RVD and Awesome was the saving grace. They still had a strong loyal fanbase but they cheer for everything.

Funny how the death of Ecw and wcw led to the birth of Impact and Roh. Impact and Roh is still around. The creative side might be weak nowadays but the business side is at an all time high.
 

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Only truth in this post above. Outside of Anarchy Rulz 1999, there was no really good show after House Party 1998 which I think was in July.

TNN really destroyed ECW. That plus the talent leaving for WWF/WCW. I went from staying up every single Friday until 2-3am to watch the show on some local spanish channel to not watching at all in prime time.
I think you mean Heat Wave. House Party was usually the first big ECW Arena show of the year.

1999 was still a great year up until about when Taz loses the title.
Taz working with both Bubba and Tajiri felt like very weird PPV main events at the time. I also thought, outside of the Taz and Van Dam match (which lost any real steam since virtually everyone knew Taz was on his way out), that the 1999 November To Remember was a very good show.
 

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Hell no. I liked some of it but to be honest the majority was trash bell to bell but that wasn't the appeal anyway. It was suited to it's time and it's appeal was the danger, swearing, tits, blood and guts. Not the place to go if you wanted any ring psychology or selling.
 

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One of ECW's greatest strengths during the couple years heading into PPV and the few years before TNN was their television presentation. They used popular music at the time and catered video packages to talent and angles in a way that had never been seen before. Instead of doing overlong interviews with one or two guys, they would make an entire reel of promos and play it over the "Pulp Fiction" music. Since a lot of the television was basically paid programming, their commercial breaks were like 95% ads for their own merchandise and videos, which doubled as a way to promote their characters and event history. It was quite ingenious.

One of things people often credit Paul for is building up the strengths and hiding the weaknesses of the talent and nowhere was this more evident than in how the TV was produced. Since it wasn't live, they could trim the fat or just pull very specific clips to make everything look like the most amazing thing ever.
 

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I would say around mid 94 until it died it ranged from good to great. Outside of pure workrate shows (NJPW, AJPW, Noah etc) I dont think any promotion maintained that level of quality for that long.
 

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93-01 nah. But you could make a case for late 94ish through Wrestlepalooza 97. It was incredibly fresh for its time. WWF & WCW would borrow from Heyman's frantic STUFF HAPPENING ALL THE TIME booking style to drive the MNW.

Thing is Heyman was kind of a one trick pony who spent the last few years of ECW just blatantly recycling ideas that had worked in the past. I could give about a dozen examples of Heyman just shamelessly, almost hilariously even, doing carbon copies of stuff he did a few years earlier. I still enjoyed 98-99 ECW for the most part mind you, but that's partially because I hadn't seen most of the earlier stuff, and they really did fall off a cliff in 2000.
 

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I just watched the Rise and Fall of ECW documentary. It really feels like most of the great stuff from the Monday Night Wars was innovated from ECW.

From the great cruiserweight matches in ECW to Austin's promos to the hard-core match style to the more shade of grey characters.

I have found the ECW restoration project and I plan to watch all the Heyman booked ECW from 93 to the end.
Of course. WCW from late 1995 onwards were doing the technical and lucha libre matches that ECW had been doing before them (think Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, Mysterio, Psychosis, Guerrera, Jericho), Steve Austin with long blond hair was basically doing in ECW in late 1995 what would become the bald headed Stone Cold persona in the WWF. The whole blending of faces and heels, of encouraging kayfabe and real life to mix where possible, the incredible promos that could draw gasps etc. was also in ECW long before the WWF's "Attitude".

Bret Hart has himself talked about ECW fan influence on him turning heel in 1997, how ECW fans would go to WWF shows near Philadelphia, or the north east USA in general, and boo a lot of faces, which was starting to change the culture in wrestling, which was Paul Heyman's plan at the beginning.

Paul Heyman was a creative genius. Nearly all the great stuff in the Monday Night Wars seemed to start in ECW, although the nWo started in Japan. Paul Heyman has said himself that the whole September 1993 and on period, until about 7 years later, while he was running ECW, was consuming him almost all the time. But in the last month or so of ECW, Joey Styles said that Paul Heyman was a "disaster" and "checked out", and that Tommy Dreamer was actually running the shows by that time.
 
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