Extreme Championship Wrestling
Foley "Cactus Jack"
Championship Wrestling (ECW) is a professional
wrestling brand of World Wrestling Entertainment
(WWE), based on the independent Extreme Championship
Wrestling promotion that lasted from 1992 to 2001.
It debuted on June 13, 2006 with a weekly television
series. The ECW brand is one of WWE's three brands,
the other two being RAW and SmackDown!.
can be seen on Sci Fi Channel in the United States,
X-Treme Sports and Global in Canada, Sky Sports
3 in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland,
Sky Italia in Italy, Premiere in Germany, in Finland
on MTV3 MAX, FX Latin America in Latin America,
Ten Sports in India, Astro in Malaysia, Solar
Sports in the Philippines, FOX8 in Australia,
The BOX in New Zealand, e.tv in South Africa,
SIC Radical in Portugaland AFN Xtra and in Saudi
Arabia and Middle East on Showtime Arabia ShowSports
acquired Extreme Championship Wrestling and its
video library in 2003 and later began reintroducing
ECW through a series of DVDs and books. The enormous
popularity of ECW merchandise prompted WWE to
organize ECW One Night Stand, an ECW reunion pay-per-view
in 2005. The financial and critical success of
the event motivated WWE to organize a second One
Night Stand the following year. With rejuvenated
interest in the ECW product, WWE began exploring
the possibility of reviving the promotion full
time. On May 26, 2006, WWE announced the launch
of ECW as a stand-alone brand, congruous to Raw
and SmackDown!, with its own show on the Sci Fi
Channel. Despite initial concerns that professional
wrestling would not be accepted by the Sci Fi
Channel's demographic, network President Bonnie
Hammer stated that she believed ECW would fit
the channel's theme of "stretching the imagination".
Sci Fi Channel is owned by NBC Universal, parent
company of USA Network and exclusive cable broadcaster
of WWE programming.
ECW brand initially attempted to differentiate
itself from WWE's other brands. The hard cameras
were placed in a different location and the ring
mat had an ECW logo on it. The male performers
were also referred to as "Extremists"
as opposed to Superstars, and female performers
were called "Vixens" instead of Divas.
It also featured original ECW talent. Later however,
changes were made to differentiate it from the
original ECW promotion, including changing the
original promotion's rules where weapons were
legal in all matches and there were rarely any
count outs or disqualifications. WWE now classifies
such matches as having "Extreme Rules",
and are only fought when specified. The only pay-per-view
event hosted exclusively by the ECW brand since
its launch was December to Dismember in December
2006. On March 14, 2007, before another one could
be scheduled, WWE announced that all future pay-per-views
would feature all three brands.
ECW owner Paul Heyman served as the on air "ECW
Representative". According to an interview
in the UK newspaper The Sun, Heyman wrote the
brand's weekly scripts and submitted them to writers
for possible changes, and then Vince McMahon for
final approval. Following the December to Dismember
2006 Heyman was relieved from both his on and
off air duties with World Wrestling Entertainment.
After Heyman left, there was no ECW authority
figure until August 14, 2007, when Armando Estrada
was announced as the General Manager.
on Sci Fi
weekly series was originally given a thirteen
episode run as a "summer series" on
the Sci Fi Channel. The premiere received a 2.79
rating, making it the highest rated show on cable
in its time slot. Because of its good ratings
it was granted an extended run through the end
of 2007. On October 23, 2007, the network renewed
the series through 2008.
the show started out a ratings success, it began
drawing criticism from fans of the original ECW
early on. This was most evident by the negative
crowd reaction "old school" fans gave
the main event of Batista vs. the Big Show at
the August 1, 2006 show from Hammerstein Ballroom.
October 16, 2007 a "talent exchange"
was started between the SmackDown! and ECW brands,
allowing their respective talent to appear on
ECW's launch, WWE.com introduced Hardcore Hangover,
a video feature which allowed fans only in the
United States to stream or download video footage
from the weekly show. On October 16, 2007 it was
replaced by a new feature which made full episodes
of the show available for streaming on WWE.com
the day after they aired. After gathering a list
of names from fans and conducting an online poll,
the feature was named ECW X-Stream on October
ECW's version of the universal WWE HD set has
been used since January 21,
brand shows are held in large arenas as a part
of the SmackDown! brand's Tuesday taping schedule.
This is in sharp contrast to the original Extreme
Championship Wrestling which ran most of its events
in smaller venues. The show generally airs
live on Tuesdays directly before — when
touring the west coast — or after SmackDown!
has taped, though it has been recorded and placed
on a broadcast delay until later in the night
depending on what circumstances dictate.
initial theme song was "Bodies" by Drowning
Pool, which had been used by WWE for Extreme Championship
Wrestling since before the brand was established.
Since then the theme song has changed between
a number of different songs before settling on
"Don't Question My Heart", sung by Kyle
Morrison of the band Shattersphere. A remix of
"Don't Question My Heart" by Saliva
featuring Brent Smith is now used.
with the January 22, 2008 edition, ECW began broadcasting
in HD, along with a new HD set, which is shared
among all three WWE brands. (Credit:
Launches ECW(R) As Third Brand
Conn., May 25, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- World Wrestling
Entertainment, Inc., today announced the official
launch of ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling(R))
as a brand extension to its RAW(R) and SmackDown(R)
acquiring the ECW assets in 2003, WWE spent the past
few years re-introducing ECW to the global WWE audience
and increasing the interest in its unique brand of
sports entertainment. To date, WWE has successfully
released three ECW DVD's, all of which have become
best sellers, and produced a very profitable ECW pay-per-view
event in June 2005, with another ECW pay-per-view
scheduled for this June 11, 2006. With consumer interest
at an all-time high, WWE is introducing ECW as a complementary
brand to RAW and SmackDown.
keeping the ECW concept alive and creating an enormous
cult-like following for all things ECW from DVD's
to PPV's to books, we feel that now the time is right
to officially launch ECW as its own stand-alone franchise,"
said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman. "RAW, SmackDown
and ECW now represent a portfolio of WWE brands for
fans of all ages and interests to enjoy."
to WWE's RAW and SmackDown brands, WWE will produce,
market and promote a full line of ECW products from
television programs to pay-per-views to live events
to licensed consumer goods.
a related announcement, The SCI FI Channel today announced
it would start airing one-hour episodes of a new ECW
live television program, debuting June 13 at 10 p.m.
more information go to ECW.com.
Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) is an integrated
media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford,
Conn., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles,
Toronto and London. Additional information on the
company can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.
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and live programming, talent names, images, likenesses,
slogans and wrestling moves and all World Wrestling
Entertainment logos are trademarks which are the exclusive
property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All
other trademarks are the property of their respective
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of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which
are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These
risks and uncertainties include the conditions of
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and renewing key agreements, including television
distribution agreements; and other risks and factors
set forth from time to time in Company filings with
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could differ materially from those currently expected
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our dividend is based on a number of factors, including
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World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
Gary Davis, 203-353-5066
Michael Weitz, 203-352-8642
Copyright Business Wire 2006
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Foley "Cactus Jack"