The difference between the WWE and ECW was drastic. WWE had been the powerhouse of sports entertainment and pro wrestling for decades. ECW came out of nowhere in the mid-90s and created an alternative product to satisfy fans sick of WWE and WCW. The promotion featured different styles of wrestling. There was violence with Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and New Jack swinging weapons every night. Technical wrestling was highlighted with Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Chris Jericho getting their first breaks in America. Most importantly, the wrestling was unique. You had to watch ECW to see a talent like Rob Van Dam or Sabu leave you in awe.
ECW used the landscape of wrestling and society to captivate an audience. The talent consisted mostly of former failed WWE/WCW stars. Paul Heyman would find wrestlers the two big companies didn’t use to the best of their potential and put the spotlight on them. Heyman tapped into their personalities to find the most ideal characters that the talent could realistically portray and fans would care about. On the other side, WWE would sign ECW stars after they progressed and made their name in South Philadelphia. The companies had a working relationship but if WWE saw a talent they could make money with, they didn’t hesitate to sign them away from ECW.
Most of the wrestlers to compete for WWE and ECW succeeded in one more than the other with the successful stint usually taking place in ECW. A bigger fish will always appear more appealing in a smaller pond. A small group of wrestlers were able to succeed in both promotions but even less wrestlers failed in both. It’s hard to define failure in pro wrestling but in this instance it will be wrestlers that were unable to live up to their potential, couldn’t move up the card when relied upon or just flat out sucked. We are examining the top fifteen wrestlers to fail in both WWE and ECW.
14 15. Tony Mamaluke
13 14. Jazz
12 13. C.W. Anderson
11 12. Marty Jannetty
10 11. Louie Spicolli
9 10. The Harris Brothers
8 8. Mr. Hughes
7 7. One Man Gang
6 6. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams
5 5. Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon
4 4. Brian Lee
3 3. PG-13
2 2. Gangrel
1 1. Brakkus
Here’s a history lesson for one of the biggest flops in wrestling history. Brakkus entered the pro wrestling world because Vince McMahon loved his look and background. As a German bodybuilder and fitness standout, Brakkus was signed to be a future star despite his lack of wrestling talent. He was trained in a WWE program for top prospects along with The Rock and Mark Henry but obviously failed to understand the business like the other two. Brakkus could not get into wrestling match shape and failed to ever make an impact in WWE. They actually sent him to ECW as part of a working relationship to get him more experience but he was terrible there as well. While he was employed by WWE the entire time, Brakkus is the best example of a wrestler failing in both WWE and ECW.
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