ECW remains a beloved historic wrestling promotion nearly two decades after going out of business. Paul Heyman had a unique vision for the future of wrestling and put it into action when gaining control of ECW. Wrestlers that couldn’t find homes in WWE and WCW like Shane Douglas, Taz and The Sandman became the faces of the company as they delivered a new style of wrestling to the audience.
No one could easily predict what would happen in ECW since the chaos and unpredictability are what took it over the top. Things behind the scenes would find the same path creating some of the wildest stories in wrestling history. We will look at just what exactly went down when it came to the backstory of the promotion. Find out what life was like for your favorite hardcore wrestlers with ten interesting facts that fans didn’t know about ECW.
10 Ultimate Warrior almost joined
The career of the Ultimate Warrior went downhill during the time of the Monday Night Wars. WWE gave up on Warrior after getting burned by him multiple times. WCW brought him in for a short storyline with Hulk Hogan, but it was a huge disaster.
Warrior found his way on the free agent market with no realistic options. Paul Heyman reportedly came close to bringing Warrior to ECW for a huge attraction to join the roster. Warrior did not want to take a loss to Taz as pitched by Heyman which ended the talks.
9 Paul Heyman wanted to blacklist Sabu
Paul Heyman had up and down relationships with many of the wrestlers on the roster. Sabu was one of his biggest stars, but that didn’t prevent issues from growing on both sides. Heyman was upset at Sabu for making appearances in Japan after committing to ECW on those dates.
It culminated in Heyman blacklisting Sabu from ECW for a short while. Sabu had his stint in WCW during this chapter of his career, but he ended up making the decision to return to ECW. The fans there treated him like a legend and Sabu did help ECW find the success it did.
8 Had a match between WWE and WCW wrestlers for ECW Championship
One of the only times a contracted WWE wrestler faced off with a contracted WCW wrestler took place on an ECW show of all places. Mike Awesome joined WCW during his run as the ECW Champion. Paul Heyman threated to sue if Awesome did anything to the title.
An agreement was made for Awesome to return to one final ECW house show and drop the title. Heyman made a call and asked Vince McMahon to lend former ECW star Taz to the promotion for the night. WWE’s Taz defeated WCW’s Awesome to win the ECW Championship in a surreal moment.
7 Fans were sometimes allowed to bring weapons
The hardcore wrestling style of ECW is what most fans remember from the run. Wrestlers like Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman and Raven used weapons in a way that had never been done in the United States wrestling scene to that point.
ECW gained momentum with the bloody product often dominating the card with a few technical and high-flying matches. Paul Heyman would allow the fans to bring their own weapons from home on certain shows. Wrestlers used VCRs, golf clubs and other strange items thanks to the fans.
6 Many wrestlers are still owed money
The rise of ECW featured a happy locker room enjoying the creative freedom of succeeding on their own merit. It proved that these wrestlers were good enough to bring in fans despite not having a WWE or WCW deal. Things would change in the final few years of ECW.
Paul Heyman was running out of money to pay the roster which led to confusion among the talent. Many wrestlers would see their pay delayed each month while some never got compensated at all. Some names have spoken out that Heyman still owes them money to this day.
5 Sid almost became the face of the promotion
The end of Sycho Sid’s run in WWE gave ECW the chance to use him as an attraction. Sid started 1999 in ECW as a dominant force that would come down to the ring and destroy his opponents. Despite the limited in-ring skills, Paul Heyman worked his magic to hide Sid’s weaknesses.
Sid became one of the most popular acts with fans enjoying the carnage that followed him. Heyman wanted to make him a top name and potential world champion according to rumors of the time. Unfortunately, WCW came calling with a bigger contract as Heyman expected to steal him away.
4 XPW invaded to start real fight
The West Coast promotion XPW was meant to be an alternative to ECW. Hardcore wrestlers took it to another level with dangerous matches that often made fans uncomfortable. Many ECW wrestlers ended up working there in the future, but the start of XPW was meant to challenge ECW.
Wrestlers from XPW showed up at a couple of ECW shows. Heatwave 2000 was the most noteworthy with ECW wrestlers noticing them in the crowd and going to start a fight. The XPW talent was kicked out of the building with ECW wrestlers rushing out of the locker room to chase them in the parking lot.
3 Planned RVD title run was meant to happen before company closed
Rob Van Dam never winning the ECW Championship in the original ECW is a strange fact looking back. The fans treated Van Dam as the most beloved talent on the roster. Wrestlers like Justin Credible and Steve Corino won the title before RVD since they needed it to be elevated while RVD was already a top star.
Paul Heyman reportedly wanted Van Dam to win the title in 2001, but the company ended up closing before it happened. RVD did get the chance to win the title during the WWE rebirth of ECW. Even if the WWE version of ECW disappointed big time, the visual of Van Dam winning the ECW Championship was beautiful for all ECW fans.
2 There was a mole backstage
The backstage aspect of ECW often saw wrestlers leaving the company for bigger contracts from WWE and WCW. Paul Heyman believed there was a mole backstage in the mid-90s that helped WCW bring in talent from ECW since they added more names than WWE did.
The Rise and Fall of ECW DVD featured the story with Todd Gordon and Bill Alfonzo accused of having a relationship with WCW’s Terry Taylor about the talent exchange. WCW would get an easy path to knowing when wrestlers were free agents and a route to easily sign them.
1 Kurt Angle almost joined the company
Kurt Angle picked up the wrestling industry faster than almost anyone in the history of the business. WWE trusted Angle enough to main event shows, feud with icons, win the King of the Ring and become WWE Champion all within his first year on the main roster.
ECW had the first chance to sign Angle coming out of the Olympics when Taz invited him to a show. Raven happened to have the storyline where he attempted to crucify Sandman on that show which upset Angle. The legend was that Angle cursed out employees backstage and walked out after being offended by the segment.