ECW began operating in 1992 as Eastern
Championship Wrestling. On 08/27/1994, the name was changed from Eastern to
Extreme. It operates in Philadelphia, with spot shows in the surrounding
Pennsylvania area. The wrestling operations are currently handled by Paul Heyman
(manager Paul E Dangerously) who bought the promotion from former owner Tod
Gordon in 1996. It is currently available on the Sports Channel America
syndication package and on AIN satellite. ECW has, as of 1997, also branched out
in the pay-per-view universe, putting on three shows in 1997 with four more
planned for 1998. Current top stars are Shane Douglas, Rob Van Dam, Sabu, and
more. ECW does not rely on the traditional face/heel structure. Instead, uses
high-impact, fast paced action to get its wrestlers over. Additionaly, ECW had a
WWW site at: http://www.ecwwrestling.com.
ECW has the distinction of using "real" music for it's wrestlers, and
fairly obscure music at times at that. The opening theme music used to consist
of a combination of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" (the heartbeat that
spells out E-X-T-R-E-M-E) which cuts to White Zombie's "Thunderkiss
'65" (the guitar part and the Pitbull's music). After Barely Legal, they
switched a specially written, non-commercial piece of music as their new theme.
It was also used for Rob Van Dam's WWF matches.
On April 11, 2001, ECW declared bankruptcy making it officially dead. On that
week, Paul Heyman made his WWF debut as a color commentator replacing Jerry
"The King" Lawler. Other ECW stars began to appear on WWF television
including Justin Credible, Rhino, Spike Dudley, and Jerry Lynn.
HHG Corportation, the parent company of Extreme Championship Wrestling, has
officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The petition was filed in New York
on April 4th by Paul Heyman. The company was listed as having Assets totaling
$1,385,500. Included in that number was $860,000 in accounts receivable owed the
company by In Demand Network (PPV), Acclaim Entertainment Inc. (video games),
and Original San Francisco Toy Company (action figures).
The balance of the assets were the video tape library ($500,000), a 1998 Ford
Truck ($19,500) and the remaining inventory of merchandise ($4,000).
The liabilities of the company totaled $8,881,435.17. The bankruptcy filing
included hundreds of claims, including production companies, buildings ECW ran
in, TV stations ECW was run on, travel agencies, including one owned by Bob
Ryder, phone companies, attorney's fees, wrestlers, and other talent.
Wrestlers and talent were listed, with amounts owed ranging from $0 for Sabu and
Steve Corino to hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars. The highest
amounts owed to talents are Rob Van Dam ($150,000), Tommy Dreamer ($100,000),
Joey Styles ($50,480), Shane Douglas ($48,000) and Francine ($47,275).
On July 9, 2001, ECW was recreated in Atlanta, Georgia on WWF's "RAW is
WAR." During a tag tem match between WCW's Lance Storm and Mike Awesome and
WWF's Kane and Chris Jericho, a group of WWF wrestlers came out and confronted
the WCW tag team, then they slowly turned and attacked the WWF tag team. This
group of wrestlers are: Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam, Lance Storm, Mike Awesome,
Justin Credible, The Dudley Boyz, Tazz, Raven, and Rhyno. Paul Heyman announced
the invasion of this new group and suddenly formed a "merge" with WCW
when Shane McMahon announced that Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley is the new
"owner" of ECW.