ECW


Extreme Championship Wrestling

Website

WWE - ECW

Profiles

John Morrison Paul Heyman Terry Funk Mick Foley "Cactus Jack"


Extreme 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!.

ECW 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[5], 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 4.

Show history

Original format

WWE 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.

The 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.

Former 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.

 

ECW on Sci Fi

ECW's 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.

While 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.

On October 16, 2007 a "talent exchange" was started between the SmackDown! and ECW brands, allowing their respective talent to appear on either brand.

Online presence

At 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 31, 2007

Production
ECW's version of the universal WWE HD set has been used since January 21,

ECW 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.[30] 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.

ECW's 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.

Starting 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: Wikipedia).

 

 MatchesOnline

 

Press Release

WWE(R) Launches ECW(R) As Third Brand

STAMFORD, 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) franchises.

After 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.

"After 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."

Similar 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.

In 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. ET.

For more information go to ECW.com.

World 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.

Trademarks: The names of all World Wrestling Entertainment televised 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 owners.

Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company's brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; risks relating to maintaining and renewing key agreements, including television distribution agreements; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated. In addition to these risks and uncertainties, our dividend is based on a number of factors, including our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan, our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends and such other factors as our board of directors may consider relevant.

SOURCE: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
Media:
Gary Davis, 203-353-5066
or
Investor:
Michael Weitz, 203-352-8642


Copyright Business Wire 2006


Press Releases 2008

WWE(R) Smackdown (R) / ECW™ Live! Superstars Confirmed To Tour In June

 

Media Man Australia ECW Hall of Fame

Terry Funk

Mick Foley "Cactus Jack"

John Morrison


Profiles

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