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10 Best ECW Wrestlers From WWE's Sci-Fi Era

WWE's version of ECW was, without doubt, a major failure. The show lacked the edginess that the original ECW provided and certainly wasn't anywhere near as hardcore as the show that Paul Heyman brought to the wrestling world.

Fans originally had high hopes for the brand, but it was quickly shut down as the show was clearly just a third brand that WWE didn't want to commit too much time or focus to, which is why the show only lasted from 2006 to 2010.

RELATED: 10 ECW Stars That Never Made It Big (But Should Have)

However, even though the vast majority of the show was incredibly forgettable, there were some major stars that WWE managed to create who went on to have great success with the company on Raw and SmackDown, as well as several established names who stepped up to the main event level from the show.

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10 Bobby Lashley

When WWE first brought ECW back the company quickly made the decision to move Bobby Lashley onto the show, building the brand around him as the big main event star who certainly had the look that Vince McMahon tends to love.

However, Lashley was able to back it up inside the ring and he quickly managed to become ECW Champion. He even defended the title against some of the brand's bigger names in RVD and Big Show.

Lashley was also given the huge opportunity to be part of the storyline between Vince McMahon and Donald Trump, with Lashley beating Umaga at WrestleMania 23 to ensure that the WWE Chairman was shaved bald.

9 RVD

When WWE brought ECW back, at the very start the company tried its best to make the show exciting and as close to the original that fans remembered, and Vince McMahon brought back several ECW originals to put on the show.

RELATED: 10 Things You Didn't Know WWE Copied From ECW

One man who Vince was very happy to push was Rob Van Dam, who was arguably working at his very best during this period. RVD actually ended up being both the ECW and WWE Champion at the same time, showing the faith WWE had in him at the time.

Unfortunately, issues in RVD's life ended up bringing his big push to a screeching halt, failing to live up to the level most expected him to reach. Nonetheless, he was still without doubt one of the best wrestlers during that period.

8 John Morrison

Working under the Johnny Nitro name, John Morrison had a fantastic run in ECW that saw him become ECW World Champion and the WWE Tag Team Champion alongside The Miz, as he proved himself to be one of the best prospects in wrestling.

Morrison never quite reached his full potential on Raw or SmackDown, but he certainly thrived in ECW where his character work certainly shone through alongside his unique in-ring talent.

Whilst he didn't display the hardcore style that many diehard ECW fans wanted to see, every single one of his matches was very entertaining and high paced, making him one of the top stars from WWE's version of the show.

7 Jack Swagger

A lot of wrestling fans overlooked Jack Swagger as a performer, and even though on the microphone he wasn't the strongest, inside the ring the former World Heavyweight Champion was incredibly talented.

With a legitimate amateur wrestling background, Swagger always had the core skills to get the job done inside the ring, always putting on entertaining matches that mixed his mat wrestling skills with power and pace.

Swagger was the man WWE trusted to throw away the old ECW Championship title, bringing out the silver design and also went on to have success on the main roster, proving his ability.

6 Kofi Kingston

Kofi Kingston might be a megastar now, but when he first debuted on ECW, he was a true unknown commodity who wrestling fans didn't know anything about outside of the Jamaican character that the company was pushing.

RELATED: 10 ECW Wrestlers That WWE Did Not Want To Succeed

However, Kingston quickly made an impact on the show with his fast-paced, athletic ability shining through as he went on an undefeated streak, winning over the WWE Universe in the process.

Kingston got to work some incredible matches with Shelton Benjamin. The pair produced some real hidden gems that fans should go back and seek out.

5 Chavo Guerrero Jr.

Anytime you put a member of the Guerrero family inside the ring you know that it is going to be a great match, as wrestling is simply in their blood and Chavo Guerrero Jr. was no different in that regards.

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Chavo showed just how talented he was during his run in ECW, as he was incredibly experienced by that point in his career, lending a hand to some of the younger talents to help get them over.

Considering he was also part of the La Familia storyline at the time on SmackDown, Chavo was able to bring some more eyes to the struggling ECW brand, showing his true star power.

4 Shelton Benjamin

Shelton Benjamin is one of the most athletic and underutilized WWE Superstars in recent history, and during his runs in ECW, he was really able to show just how good he was, putting on some incredible matches.

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The Gold Standard was given a platform to really perform to his maximum level as one of ECW's top stars, which allowed him to have plenty of time in the ring to really shine as much as possible.

Benjamin had some amazing matches with the likes of Kofi Kingston and Christian, and although he never claimed the ECW Championship, he was still a crucial member of the roster.

3 Matt Hardy

The future WWE Hall Of Famer has had a brilliant career and for the vast majority of it, he has been a tag team specialist. However, Hardy had several brilliant runs as a singles wrestler, and one of his best spells was in ECW.

Unlike his brother, Matt had never really been given a big run as a main event star in the company, but when he was put on ECW, the company showed their faith in him by giving Matt a run as ECW World Champion.

Hardy had a solid run as champion on the brand and certainly helped get the fans interested in the show while also earning the World Championship run that he always deserved.

2 Christian

In 2009, Christian made a surprise return to WWE after spending four years away from the company, proving his ability as a singles wrestler in TNA, and many were surprised to see him in ECW.

Given the fact he was a big name in WWE's past from his tag team with Edge, the company could easily have used him on Raw or SmackDown, but instead opted to use his star power on Sci-Fi to help ECW, and he did a fantastic job.

Christian came back with a renewed sense of purpose and a desire to prove he was a top singles competitor, which is exactly what he did in ECW, putting on some great matches, especially with Jack Swagger.

1 CM Punk

Without a doubt, the biggest star that WWE's version of ECW was able to create was the 'Best in the World,' CM Punk. Paul Heyman forced WWE to give Punk a spot on the roster, and without the show, it is unlikely he would have ever made it in the company.

Everyone now knows and loves Punk, who had an incredible career with WWE, but everything started for him on WWE's ECW. Punk was able to cut his teeth in ECW and had some fantastic matches, proving himself as a main event star.

Punk enjoyed a run as ECW Champion and even won the Money in the Bank as an ECW talent, with WWE quickly moving him to Raw after realizing his potential.

NEXT: 10 Former WWE Stars Who Will Sign For AEW By 2020

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