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ECW
File:ExtremeChampionshipWrestlingHD.jpg
Format Sports entertainment
Professional wrestling
Created by Paul Heyman
Vince McMahon
Starring ECW Brand
Opening theme "Don't Question My Heart" by Saliva featuring Brent Smith[1]
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 193
Production
Camera setup Multicamera setup
Running time 60 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Sci Fi Channel/Syfy
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)[2]
Original run June 13, 2006 – February 16, 2010[3]
Status Ended
Chronology
Related shows WWE Raw
WWE SmackDown
External links
Official website

ECW is a professional wrestling television program for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), based on the independent Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion that lasted from 1992 to 2001. The show's name also referred to the ECW brand, in which WWE employees were assigned to work and perform, complementary to WWE's other brands, Raw and SmackDown. It debuted on June 13, 2006 on Sci Fi in the United States and ran for close to four years until it aired its final episode on February 16, 2010 on the rebranded Syfy.[3]

Show historyEdit

Launch on Sci Fi/SyfyEdit

WWE acquired Extreme Championship Wrestling and its video library in 2003 and later began reintroducing ECW through content from the ECW library and a series books, which included the release of The Rise and Fall of ECW documentary.[4] The enormous popularity of ECW merchandise prompted WWE to organize ECW One Night Stand, an ECW reunion pay-per-view in 2005.[4] 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 (now Syfy).[5] Despite initial concerns that professional wrestling would not be accepted by Sci Fi's demographic, network President Bonnie Hammer stated that she believed ECW would fit the channel's theme of "stretching the imagination".[6][dead link] Sci Fi (now known as Syfy) is owned by NBC Universal, parent company of USA Network and exclusive cable broadcaster of Raw. 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.[7] Because of its good ratings it was granted an extended run through the end of 2007.[8] On October 23, 2007,the network renewed the series through 2008.[9]

Original format (2006)Edit

The ECW brand was initially produced differently from WWE's other brands. For televised events, the main ring-facing cameras were placed on a different location in the arena while the wrestling ring itself featured an ECW logo on the mat and blank turnbuckle covers. The male performers were referred to "Extremists" as opposed to "Superstars" while female performers were called "Vixens" as opposed to Divas. However, the brand steadily began being produced following the same format of the other brands, and as opposed to the original promotion, match rules, such as count outs and disqualifications, were now standard. Matches featuring the rule set of the original promotion were then classified as being contested under "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.[10]

File:ExtremeChampionshipWrestling.png

Former ECW owner Paul Heyman served 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 McMahon for final approval. Following December to Dismember, Heyman was relieved from both his on and off-air duties with World Wrestling Entertainment.[11]

Change in format (2007-2010) Edit

File:Ecwset.jpg

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, which often held original ECW events while it was a company.[12][13] After Heyman left in late 2006, there was no ECW authority figure until August 14, 2007, when Armando Estrada was announced as the General Manager.

On October 16, 2007, a "talent exchange" was started between the SmackDown and ECW brands, allowing their respective talent to appear on either brand.[14][15] On May 6, 2008, ECW celebrated its 100th episode on Sci Fi.[16] On June 3, 2008 Estrada was replaced by Theodore Long as General Manager of ECW. On the September 8, 2008 edition 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. (Following the 2009 WWE Draft, both of these talent exchanges were quietly dropped.) ECW moved to 9:00PM Eastern/8:00PM Central on September 30, 2008.[17] ECW moved back to 10:00PM Eastern/9:00PM Central on May 5, 2009.[18] On the April 7 edition of ECW it was announced that Theodore Long was returning to SmackDown to fulfill the role of General Manager. From this point the Interim General Manager was named as Tiffany who took over as full time General Manager on the June 30, 2009 episode.[19] On July 7, 2009, the Sci Fi Channel renamed itself to "Syfy", prompting WWE to rename the show ECW on Syfy to reflect the changes.[20][21] In 2009 a "superstar initiative" was established for the purpose of introducing new talent to WWE programming, mainly those from WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling to ECW's roster.[21]

Cancellation and aftermathEdit

On February 2, 2010, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that ECW would be going off the air and would be replaced with a new weekly program in its slot in what McMahon announced as "the next evolution of WWE; the next evolution of television history." It was later announced that the show would air its final episode on February 16, 2010. On the February 9, 2010 episode of ECW, the new show's name was announced as WWE NXT.[22] With the ECW brand disbanded, the ECW roster became free agents.[23]

Online presenceEdit

At ECW's launch, WWE.com introduced Hardcore Hangover, a video feature which allowed fans in the United States and Canada to stream or download video footage from the weekly show.[24] 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.[25] Past episodes of ECW are now viewable on Hulu.[26]

ProductionEdit

File:WWECWHD.jpg

ECW brand shows were held in large arenas as a part of the taping schedules of WWE's other brands. This was in sharp contrast to the original Extreme Championship Wrestling which ran most of its events in smaller venues.[27] The show generally aired live on Tuesdays directly before — when touring the west coast — or after SmackDown was taped,[28][29] though it was also recorded and placed on a broadcast delay until later in the night depending on what circumstances dictated.[30]

ECW's initial theme song was "Bodies" by Drowning Pool, which had been used by WWE for Extreme Championship Wrestling before the establishment of the brand. "Don't Question My Heart" by Saliva featuring Brent Smith, a new version of the song originally performed by Kyle Morrison of the band Shattersphere, was later used to open ECW for the rest of the program's run.[31] On January 22, 2008, ECW began broadcasting in HD, along with a new HD set, which is shared among all three WWE brands.[32]

Special episodesEdit

Episode Date Rating Notes
ECW June 13, 2006 2.9[33] Series debut.
Best of ECW 2006 December 26, 2006 1.4[34] Featured clips from 2006.
Best of ECW 2007 December 25, 2007 1.1[35] Featured clips from 2007.
ECW 100th episode May 6, 2008 1.0[8] Celebrated the show's 100th episode.
Best of ECW 2008 December 23, 2008 1.2[8] Featured clips from 2008.
Best of ECW 2009 December 22, 2009 1.15[8] Featured clips from 2009.
ECW The Final Episode February 16, 2010 1.14[36] Series finale.

On-air personalitiesEdit

Authority figuresEdit

See also: Professional wrestling authority figures#ECW brand authorities
AuthorityPosition Date startedDate finishedNotes
Paul Heyman Representative June 13, 2006 December 4, 2006 Resigned after The Big Show lost his world title.
Armando Estrada General Manager August 14, 2007 June 3, 2008 Estrada's term ended when Theodore Long was announced as his successor.
Theodore Long General Manager June 3, 2008 April 7, 2009 Tiffany served as "General Manager Assistant" through Long's term.
Tiffany General Manager June 30, 2009 February 16, 2010 Tiffany served as "Interim General Manager" from April 7, 2009 - June 30, 2009.

CommentatorsEdit

Commentators Dates
Joey Styles and Tazz June 13, 2006 - April 8, 2008
Mike Adamle and Tazz April 22, 2008 - July 22, 2008
Todd Grisham and Tazz July 29, 2008 - August 5, 2008
Todd Grisham and Matt Striker August 12, 2008 - March 31, 2009
Josh Mathews and Matt Striker April 7, 2009 - October 20, 2009
Josh Mathews and Byron Saxton October 27, 2009 - February 16, 2010

Ring announcersEdit

Ring Announcer Dates
Justin Roberts June 13, 2006 - September 18, 2007
September 29, 2009
Tony Chimel September 25, 2007 - September 22, 2009
November 24, 2009 - December 8, 2009
Lauren Mayhew October 6, 2009 - November 17, 2009
Savannah December 15, 2009 - February 16, 2010

Recurring segmentsEdit

Segment Host Years Notes
Kelly's Exposé Kelly Kelly 2006 Striptease segment.
Discontinued and replaced by Extreme Exposé.[37]
Striker's Classroom Matt Striker 2006
Extreme Exposé Kelly Kelly, Layla, Brooke 2007 In-ring dance segment.
Discontinued following Brooke's release from WWE.[38][39]
15 Minutes of Fame John Morrison 2007 Fifteen minute match challenge for a future ECW Championship match against Morrison.
Discontinued following Morrison's defeat by CM Punk.[40]
The Dirt Sheet John Morrison and The Miz 2008–2009 In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after The Miz and Morrison were drafted to Raw and SmackDown respectively.
The Peep Show Christian 2009–2010 In-ring interview segment.[41]
The Abraham Washington Show Abraham Washington 2009–2010 On-stage interview segment.

International broadcastersEdit

In addition to being broadcast on Syfy, Mun2, and Universal HD in the United States, ECW was broadcast on a number of channels in many different countries

Country Network Ref
Algeria and The Middle East Showtime [42]
Argentin], Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico FX Latin America [43][44][45]
Australia Fox8 [46]
Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan TEN Sports [47][48][49]
Cambodia MyTV [50]
Canada Global TV [51]
Finland MTV3 Max
France Action [52]
Germany Sky Deutschland [53]
Italy Sky Italia [54]
Malaysia Astro Super Sport [55]
New Zealand The Box [56]
Philippines Jack TV [57]
Portugal SportTV 3 [58]
Singapore SuperSports [citation needed]
South Africa e.tv [59]
Taiwan Videoland Max-TV [60]
United Kingdom and Ireland Sky Sports 3 [61][62]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  18. ECW On Sci Fi Changing Timeslots Again, Sexiest WWE Divas, Sports Entertainment Scoops, April 15, 2009
  19. http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/articles/10573924/newfaces
  20. Eng, Joyce (2009-07-07). "Sci Fi Morphs Into Syfy". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://www.seattlepi.com/tvguide/407905_tvgif7.html. Retrieved 2009-07-08.  [dead link]
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  22. Caldwell, James (2010-02-04). "Caldwell's WWE Superstar TV Report 2/4: Complete coverage of Team Morrison vs. Team McIntyre six-man tag, awesome Bourne vs. Carlito match". Pro Wrestling Torch. http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/TV_Reports_9/article_38751.shtml. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
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  57. "WWE's Philippines Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. http://www.webcitation.org/5nbkO30T8. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
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  62. "WWE's Ireland Schedule". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. http://www.webcitation.org/5nbkFlXBM. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 

External linksEdit

Template:Former WWE programs

Template:Extreme Championship Wrestling

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