ECW was one of the edgiest, most groundbreaking pro wrestling companies that the business has ever known. Paul Heyman’s creation turned the wrestling world upside down in the 1990’s and many fans continue to talk about ECW’s impact to this day.
Recently, one of WWE’s most famous personalities commented on the ECW Championship on Twitter. Bruce Prichard, ex-WWE producer and current podcaster, tweeted his thoughts about the title on September 22.
Prichard also included a fan poll asking if fans liked or disliked the title belt. Thus far the reaction has been overwhelmingly negative toward the championship. Of course the title belt he’s referring to is not the original ECW World Championship. This particular belt is the second incarnation of the ECW Championship, which was introduced by WWE in 2006.
ECW’s return as a WWE brand was met with serious hesitation and understandably so. Longtime ECW fans were extremely apprehensive about what direction Vince McMahon would take with his version of ECW. However the addition of Heyman in the beginning did help ease the minds of many.
After all if Heyman was involved, then perhaps ECW would indeed be worth a watch. But even some of the ECW “Originals” couldn’t prevent the slide that was ultimately going to happen. It just was not the same product that ECW fans remembered.
The WWE/ECW project surprisingly lasted for four years however before the company pulled the plug. Though the brand did have its moments, including the rise of CM Punk and Matt Hardy as main event stars, it failed to capture the magic created by the original. ECW was also used in the Invasion storyline, when the brand was paired with the remnants of WCW. But none of that could generate enough momentum to keep ECW going.
WWE finally did develop a viable third brand of course with NXT. NXT became the developmental brand that ECW was perhaps engineered to be. But for many pro wrestling fans, Paul Heyman’s ECW is the one that continues to captivate the imaginations of so many.
That’s evident by the ECW chants that continue to take place in arenas every time something extreme happens during a show. The same is true when a former ECW star competes in the ring.