For seven years, the culture of ECW was both infectious and alluring. Promoting itself as “extreme,” the hardcore matches that took place in the company was gory, graphic, and just plain nasty. However, it left fans wanting more, chanting, “ECW! ECW! ECW!” There are a number of names that can be attributed to the success of Extreme Championship Wrestling. With owner Paul Heyman at the helm, even WWE and WCW could not resist but to notice the uptrend.
Some of the pioneers of ECW had an opportunity to recall untold stories of their tenure during a special on the WWE Network. These names included Taz, D-Von Dudley, Bubba Ray Dudley, and Tommy Dreamer. During this special, there were a number of moments where it was comical. However, there were also moments where it got very serious.
Dreamer was very outspoken about Heyman being a shoddy businessman who was not the best at keeping his financial promises. In fact, Dreamer admitted that there were times when he wanted to kill Heyman as a result of being so upset at him. However, despite all of that, Dreamer credits Heyman for where he is now, and gave him high praise for his creative mind.
When Heyman stated his final thoughts, he asserted that the wrestlers who represented the company on the panel were the frontline, and he deserves to stand behind them due to everything they sacrificed for the company to become successful. However, he went into kayfabe mode and promoted his client Brock Lesnar against Bill Goldberg at Survivor Series. This did not please the panel, especially Tommy Dreamer.
On a recent episode of Under the Mat Radio, Dreamer shared his thoughts on the situation.
“That was an edited version first of all. That was the first time we’ve (Himself, Heyman, Dudleys, and Taz) all been together since ECW One Night Stand 2005. I’ve said it before Paul [Heyman] has screwed me over many times more than anybody ever has but we’ve had it out but Paul deserves all the credit in the world. It was the best times in people’s lives and I’ve said it myself I learned a lot about the person I am and why I am what I am. I experienced loss, a lot of people tell me what ECW meant to them but ECW didn’t have to go away but it did, it was like a death to me. One day you’re on top of the world and then next you’re unemployed.
“The ending I can tell you was different we ended up fighting (as he laughs) because Paul started bringing up Brock Lesnar and I said who cares about Brock Lesnar I’ll fight him for real, I’ll fight him in UFC or WWE who gives a s**t. Then Devon said yeah Paul how you going to do that then Paul starting to keep trying to rap it up and go back to Brock when they said ‘Uhh guys you can wrap this up whenever you’d like.'”
ECW will always be a sensitive spot to those who had such a big stock in it, whether financially, physically, or emotionally. With only seven years of existence, it ended up being one of the biggest launchpads to stars becoming successful in either WWE or WCW. Wrestlers such as Chris Jericho, RVD, Eddie Guerrero, and Rey Mysterio potentially would not have built illustrious careers if it were not for the opportunity to compete for ECW.
Obviously, there are still those, like Dreamer, who still take the company quite seriously, and is willing to come to blows with “The Beast” Brock Lesnar over it.
[Featured Image by WWE]