At its height, Extreme Championship Wrestling was the third biggest wrestling promotion in the United States. However, it was tiny in comparison to Goliaths that were WCW and WWE. It also didn't the help that WCW ransacked a bunch of ECW's top talent.
Not all of their wrestlers took the big money that was being thrown out by WCW. A few of their top wrestlers stayed loyal and were rewarded because of it. Guys like Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer, and Sabu made their name working for ECW.
Although ECW was great at making its own stars, they didn't turn down an opportunity to bring in an established star. A couple of these established guys had lengthy runs with the company, like Bam Bam Bigelow and Terry Funk. However, most of these guys seen ECW as just another paycheck. ECW was a minor league promotion to them and they wanted to get back to the big leagues, that being WCW and WWE.
The wrestlers on this list all had brief runs with ECW. Some wrestled for six months, some for one month, and some for one night only. Either way, they all made a impact both big and small, even if it was special attraction for the fans on a particular night.
Here are the top 15 wrestlers you didn’t know performed in ECW.
15 Joey Mercury
Most of today's new wrestling fans only know Joey Mercury as one half of J and J Security. However, Mercury has had an accomplished career. The most successful time for Mercury was when he teamed up with Johnny Nitro, along side Melina to form MNM. In their three years as a team, they would capture the WWE Tag Team Championship on three different occasions.
14 One Man Gang
One Man Gang had the best years of his wrestling career during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In WWE, he was having main event matches against guys like Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. After his time with WWE, he had a couple of different runs with WCW, which included a run as the United States Champion.
12 Mabel/Viscera/Big Daddy V
Nelson Frazier Jr. is perhaps best known for his character of Viscera, but he arguably had his most success during his first run in WWE as Mabel. The highest point of his career has to be winning the 1995 King of the Ring tournament. After his victory, he became one of the top heel' in the entire company and it seemed like Mabel was destined to get a championship run, however just a year later he was mostly used as a jobber, before being released in 1996.
After wrestling in the independents, Mabel would make his one and only surprise appearance in ECW, at the 1998 November to Remember Pay-Per-View. He teamed up with the Full Blooded Italians in losing effort as the giant Mabel would be pinned by the tiny Spike Dudley.
11 Marty Jannetty
Marty Jannetty is most famous for his six year tag team partnership with Shawn Michaels, known as The Rockers. They started off with the NWA in 1984, then they went to the AWA, until finally getting to the big leagues with WWE in 1988. When the team broke up in 1991, it was all downhill for Jannetty. He was released by the WWE in 1992, in part for being arrested for attacking a police officer. He was given a couple more chances in WWE, but his personal problems got the best of him.
10 Doink the Clown
Doink the Clown is one of the most enduring characters in WWE history. Even today, when he makes a rare television appearance, he gets a great crowd reaction. The character of Doink has been played by multiple wrestlers throughout the years, with Matt Osborne being the first and longest running. Doink was a heel when he first entered WWE in 1993 and had feuds with likes of Crush and Bret Hart, before he would turn face by dumping a pail of water on Bobby Heenan. Osborne didn't get much of a chance to play a babyface Doink, because he was fired over drug issues.
9 Ron Simmons
Ron Simmons started his wrestling career in WCW in 1987, where he had great success. He was the first ever African-American to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Simmons held the title for five months, before losing it in a match against Vader. Simmons never got another championship push and left the company in 1994.
8 King Kong Bundy
7 Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart
Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart was a part of one of the most popular tag teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s: The Hart Foundation. Teaming up with Bret Hart, they would go on to win the WWE Tag Team Championship on two different occasions. Once Bret was becoming popular as a singles competitor, the team was split up. Neidhart briefly teamed up with Owen Hart before being fired for unprofessional conduct in 1992.
6 Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Jake "The Snake" Roberts is considered one of the best wrestlers of all-time when it came to ring psychology. It's just too bad he is also known for squandering his career due to drug and alcohol problems.
He had a successful six year run as a crowd favourite with WWE, despite not winning any titles. He left for the WCW in 1992. The only noteworthy thing he did with WCW was engaging in a feud with Sting.
5 Road Warrior Hawk
4 4. Sid Justice/Vicious
3 The Steiner Brothers
Lita is considered to be one of the greatest female wrestlers of all-time. She pulled of high risk moves that women never dared to attempt before. She won the WWE Women's Championship four times.
1 Scott Hall
Scott Hall was one of the most popular wrestlers of the 1990s. He would have been even more successful had he not battled with personal demons. It was those demons that landed him in ECW. After an amazing run as Razor Ramon in WWE, Hall left for WCW in 1996 and became an original member of the nWo. He would go on to have four fairly successful years in the WCW, before injuries and drug problems got the best of him.
In November of 2000, Hall would make his only two appearances with ECW. His first was a surprise house show appearance, while the second was an actual television appearance. In his one televised match, he went on to defeat former ECW Champion Justin Credible. There were plans for Hall to have more matches in ECW, but those plans never came to fruition.
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