- Extreme Championship Wrestling (WWE)
Sports entertainment Professional wrestling
480i( SDTV), 1080i( HDTV) [cite web| title=WWE Slams Into HD |url=http://www.tvtechnology.com/pages/s.0082/t.11698.html|publisher=TV Technology|accessdate=2008-03-09]
runtime=Approximately 50 minutes
Paul Heyman Vince McMahon
opentheme="Don't Question My Heart" by Saliva featuring
Brent Smith[cite web |url=http://www.wweshop.com/Product_detail.asp?cat=cat-newreleases&productId=35-00612 |title=WWE Music Volume 8 CD |accessdate=2008-02-25 |publisher=WWE Shop]
first_aired=June 13, 2006
num_episodes=122 (as of October 7, 2008)
Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) is a
professional wrestlingbrand of World Wrestling Entertainment(WWE), based on the independent Extreme Championship Wrestlingpromotion that lasted from 1992 to 2001. It debuted on June 13 2006with 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 FIin the United States, X-Treme Sportscite web|title=Television|publisher=WWE|url=http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?country=Canada|accessdate=2008-02-20] and Global in Canada, Sky Sports 3 in the United Kingdomcite web|title=Television|publisher=WWE|url=http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?country=United%20Kingdom| accessdate=2008-02-20] and Republic of Irelandcite web|title= Television|publisher=WWE|url=http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?country=Ireland|accessdate=2008-02-20] , Sky Italiain Italycite web|title=Television|publisher=WWE|url=http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?country=Italy|accessdate=2008-02-20] , Premiere in Germanycite web|title=Television|publisher=WWE|url=http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?country=Germany|accessdate=2008-02-20] , in Finland on MTV3 MAXcite web|title=Television|publisher=WWE|url= http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?country=Finland|accessdate=2008-02-20] , FX Latin Americain Latin America, [cite web|url= http://www.canalfx.tv/la/programacion|title=Programación Canal FX|accessdate=2008-02-05|format= html|work=FX] Ten Sportsin Indiacite web|title=Television|publisher=WWE|url= http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?country=India|accessdate=2008-02-20] , Astro in Malaysiacite web|title=Television|publisher=WWE|url=http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?country=Malaysia|accessdate=2008-02-20] , Solar Sportsin the Philippinescite web|title= Television|publisher=WWE|url=http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?country=Philippines|accessdate=2008-02-20] , FOX8in Australia, [cite web|url=http://www.foxtel.com.au/channel/channel_38.html|title=Entertainment List| accessdate= 2008-02-03|format=html|work=Foxtel channels] The BOX in New Zealandcite web|title=Television|publisher=WWE|url=http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?country=New Zealand|accessdate=2008-02-20] , tvN in South Korea, e.tvin South Africacite web|title=Television|publisher=WWE|url= http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?country=South%20Africa|accessdate=2008-02-20] , SIC Radicalin Portugalcite web|title=Television|publisher=WWE|url=http://www.wwe.com/schedules/television/?country=Portugal| accessdate=2008-02-20] , Sportmanía in Spainand AFN Xtra and in Saudi Arabiaand Middle Easton Showtime ArabiaShowSports 4.
Extreme Championship Wrestlingand 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 SCI FI.cite web|title=WWE brings ECW to Sci Fi Channel|publisher=WWE|url= http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/scifi|accessdate=2006-06-02] Despite initial concerns that professional wrestling would not be accepted by SCI FI's demographic, network President Bonnie Hammerstated that she believed ECW would fit the channel's theme of "stretching the imagination". [cite web|url= http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060525/tv_nm/scifi_dc_1|title=Sci Fi grapples with summer wrestling series|accessdate=2006-05-21 |quote="It will have a nice little twist that will fit in the brand"] SCI FI is owned by NBC Universal, parent company of USA Networkand 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. The ring mat featured an ECW logo, and the WWE logo turnbuckle covers were replaced with blanks. The male performers were also referred to as "Wrestlers" as opposed to "Superstars" (later "Extremists" was used as the official label), 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-viewevent 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. [cite web|url=http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2007/2007_03_14.jsp|title=WWE Pay-Per-Views to follow WrestleMania format|accessdate=2007-03-21]
Former ECW owner
Paul Heymanserved as the on air "ECW Representative" (a reference to how Heyman had been identified on "Monday Night RAW" back in 1997). 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 McMahonfor final approval. Following the December to Dismember 2006 Heyman was relieved from both his on and off air duties with World Wrestling Entertainment. [cite web|url= http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/news/heymanout|title=Heyman out|accessdate=2006-12-23] After Heyman left, there was no ECW authority figure until August 14 2007, when Armando Estradawas announced as the General Manager. On June 3 2008Estrada was replaced by Theodore Longas General Manager of ECW.
ECW on SCI FI
ECW's weekly series was originally given a thirteen episode run as a "summer series" on
SCI FI. The premiere received a 2.79 rating, making it the highest rated show on cable in its time slot.cite web|title=Sci Fi Channel pins the competition with ECW's triumphant return to television|publisher=The Futon Critic|url=http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=20060614scifi01|accessdate=2007-07-08] Because of its good ratings it was granted an extended run through the end of 2007.cite web| url=http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/news/3249242|title=Sci Fi Channel Extends ECW|accessdate= 2006-10-11] On October 23 2007, the network renewed the series through 2008.cite web|url= http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2007/2007_10_23.jsp|title=SCI FI Channel Reups WWE’S ECW Through 2008|accessdate=2007-10-23| date=2007-10-23|publisher=WWE]
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 2006show from Hammerstein Ballroom. During the match, fans chanted "Boring", "You both suck", "same old shit" and "change the channel". [cite web|url=http://www.oowrestling.com/features/20060801.shtml| title=The New ECW? "End that Chanting, Now!"|accessdate =2007-08-12|publisher=Online Onslaught] [cite web|url= http://www.pwtorch.com/artman/exec/view.cgi/15/17507|title=ECW on SciFi Reax #1|accessdate=2007-08-12|publisher= Pro Wrestling Torch]
October 16 2007a "talent exchange" was started between the SmackDown! and ECW brands, allowing their respective talent to appear on either brand. [cite web|url= http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/archive/10162007/articles/partnershipforming|title=Partnership Forming?|date=2007-10-16| accessdate=2007-10-25|publisher=WWE] [cite web|url=http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/archive/10162007/|title=Setting the night on fire|accessdate=2007-10-25|work=ECW results|publisher=WWE] On May 6 2008, "ECW" celebrated its 100th episode on SCI FI. [cite web|url=http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/preview/|accessdate=2008-04-30|title=Preview:Extreme Centennial|publisher=WWE|date=2008-04-29]
"ECW" moved to 9:00PM Eastern/8:00PM Central beginning Tuesday,
September 30 2008. [ [http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=7692 "Lost", "Sanctuary" Among SCI FI's Fall Premieres] , "The Futon Critic", July 3 2008] [ [http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080728/20080728006108.html WWE(R) Rated PG] , "Yahoo!", July 28 2008]
September 8 2008edition of Raw it was announced a "talent exchange" was started between the Raw and ECW brands, allowing their respective talent to appear on either brand.
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. [cite web |url=http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/hardcorehangover/ |title=Hardcore Hangover |accessdate=2007-10-25 |publisher=WWE ] On
October 16, 2007it 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. [cite web|url=http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/ecwreplay/|title=Watch it Again Exclusively on WWE.com|accessdate= 2007-10-17|publisher=WWE]
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 Wrestlingwhich ran most of its events in smaller venues. [cite web|url=http://prowrestlinghistory.com/ecw/index.html|title=The History of Extreme Championship Wrestling| accessdate=2007-08-12|publisher=Pro Wrestling History] The show generally airs live on Tuesdays directly before — when touring the west coast — or after "SmackDown!" has taped, [cite web|url=http://rajah.com/base/node/7253|title=WWE Makes Changes To Compete With WSX|accessdate=2007-02-07] [cite web|url=http://rajah.com/base/node/7293|title=ECW TV Staying Live|accessdate=2007-02-07] though it has been recorded and placed on a broadcast delayuntil later in the night depending on what circumstances dictate. [cite web|url=http://rajah.com/base/node/6941|title=WWE Smackdown! & ECW Tapings (12/12/06)|accessdate=2007-02-07]
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. It has also used " This Is the New Shit" by Marilyn Manson. A remix of "Don't Question My Heart" by Saliva featuring Brent Smithis now used. [ [http://www.wwe.com/subscriptions/wwetunes/vol8/exclusives/salivaecw Saliva goes Extreme - WWE.com] ]
On January 22, 2008, "ECW" began broadcasting in HD, along with a new HD set, which is shared among all three WWE brands. [cite web|title=WWE Goes HD|url= http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2008/2008_01_14.jsp|publisher=WWE|accessdate=2008-01-15]
*World Wrestling Entertainment roster (ECW brand)
Extreme Championship Wrestling
WWE Friday Night SmackDown
* [http://www.scifi.com/ecw/ "ECW" at SciFi.com]
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