You have seen them all your life: the “crowds.” As a child in the schoolyard you took notice how certain children were chosen over others to participate in the gleeful games of wide-eyed youth. In fact, you may have been one of the kids left out; forced to stand alone and watch with hurt feelings and misunderstood frustration while the others enjoyed their time together.
In high school, you noticed the “cliques” take form. The “cool kids” are always the rulers of every high school across the land – you may have even qualified for this crowd. Then again, you may have been dubbed a “loser” or a “freak.” Perhaps you walked the halls alone as the perpetual “loner.” The certainty is that throughout your adolescent years, you received a label … for better or worse.
Now as an adult all of these labels seem meaningless as you have grown past the childish games and teenage torment. However, you are still being grouped as you continue with your everyday life. What comes now are “classes.” Most of us fall into the “middle class” category while many feel the hard luck of the “lower class” and a certain few live in the “upper class.”
The vicious cycle of grouping never ends; regardless of age.
If you were a wrestling fan in the '90s then you were well aware of three main companies: World Wrestling Entertainment, World Championship Wrestling, and Extreme Championship Wrestler – the latter being considered the “freak” or the “lower class” promotion. However, that did not deter faithful fans from going out and supporting their little “loner” organization.
ECW was not a place for the “cool kids” to hang out. WCW had its share but was really a place for the “rebels” and “ bullies.” The WWE table is where the popular crowd eventually sat; all the “cool kids” made their way through the system at some point and those who left, always found a way back to where they felt they belonged.
In this article we will take a look at some WWE Superstars – past and present – who would have never survived in ECW.
These are the top 20 WWE created Superstars who would have never gotten over in ECW:
Click the button below to start this article in quick view
Ryback is the current holder of the prestigious Intercontinental Championship - a title created and cemented within the WWE. It took some time but "The Big Guy" has finally gotten over with the WWE audience.
For the longest time Ryback was bombarded with chants of "Goldberg" from the live crowds due to undeniable similarities. However, the WWE fans eventually - for the most part - grew tired of the heckling.
This would not have been the case in ECW. If Ryback had been around back then and came after Goldberg debuted in WCW, the ECW fans would have never let up on Ryback.
19 Lex Luger
Lex Luger first found wrestling success in the NWA despite his limited in-ring abilities. In WWE, Luger was given some new angles to work with such as a "The Narcissist" as well as "The All-American."
Then of course, Lex Luger showed up on the first ever edition of Monday Nitro; making his small contribution to the Monday Night War. During this stint, Luger would capture the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on two occasions.
Luckily for Lex Luger, he remained where the jacked-up-jock types were more accepted as the outcast ECW audience would have loathed having "The Narcissist" or "The All-American" around.
18 1-2-3 Kid
During the Attitude Era, Sean Waltman would take on an entirely new WWE persona. Waltman was dubbed X-Pac and placed into one of the most rebellious factions in wrestling history, D-Generation X.
Now, if a character like X-Pac would have shown up in ECW, he would have been welcomed with open arms. The little guy with an attitude would fit right in in the Land of Extreme.
However, as the 1-2-3- Kid - Waltman's first WWE gimmick - the little guy with the colorful ring gear and cheesy name would have not received the same welcome.
17 Razor Ramon
What may be a lesser-known fact about Scott Hall is that in the year 2000, Hall performed twice in ECW following his departure from WCW where he helped establish the New World Order.
Scott Hall appearing in ECW following his time with the nWo gave his presence within the promotion a certain aura. The idea that a founding member of the nWo was in town - if only for a little while - was a cool concept.
As everybody knows, prior to performing under his real name, Scott Hall worked for WWE as Razor Ramon - a Tony Montana-like character with too much sparkle for the dim room that was the ECW Arena.
Throughout the years, many big men have been placed at the forefront of WWE. The company loves the idea of men coming across as monsters or beasts. During the '90s decade, a character by the name Yokozuna would twice capture the WWE Championship.
Yokozuna was a massive man who weighed in at over five-hundred pounds. Presented as a sumo wrestler, Yokozuna found himself in the main event picture for a couple of years during the promotion's transition phase.
In ECW, a character like Yokozuna would not have been able to keep up with the fast-paced hardcore style and as a result of physical circumstance would not have been accepted by the fans.
Kevin Nash has always been one of the more outspoken professional wrestlers on the scene. Love him or hate him, Nash would always stand up for himself and maintain his stance and opinion.
Much like his good buddy, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash showing up in ECW following his days with the nWo would have made for something big; something exciting for fans of the product to witness.
However, showing up as "Big Daddy Cool" Diesel with the get-up and the truck horn would have made Kevin Nash seem like a fool to the ECW crowd.
14 Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns is a WWE creation through-and-through. The look they love Reigns presents to the world. However, the idea of pushing Reign to the top of the card has seemingly lost momentum.
While pushing Roman Reigns as a main event player, the WWE fans simply refused to get behind the man chosen by the machine. While they have come around on Reigns, it may be a long climb back to the top.
During the heyday of ECW, guys like Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose would have been adored by the fans while the third member of The Shield would have struggled to break ground.
13 Big Show
When WWE decided to relaunch ECW, there were a lot of changes made to the product; changes which compromised the original vision of the promotion. ECW was now run with a WWE mentality.
When WWE ran an ECW show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, somebody thought that Batista vs. Big Show would go over well with a room full of original ECW fanatics ... not the case. The crowd hated every second of the match.
Big Show couldn't connect with the ECW audience on that night and he surely would not have been able to make a connection during ECW's prime.
12 Kurt Angle
In 1996, Kurt Angle came close to signing his first official professional wrestling deal with ECW. However, while attending an event, Angle would witness Raven crucify The Sandman in the now infamous incident.
Kurt Angle would threaten to sue Paul Heyman should any footage be shown of Angle in the building on the same night of the crucifixion. Ultimately, Angle would sign with WWE - a decision that would make him a mega-star.
In WWE, Kurt Angle was nurtured and his Olympic past was used to help build his character - a character that perhaps might not have gotten over as well had it exited in the original ECW.
11 Randy Orton
Randy Orton is another Superstar who has been completely created in the WWE lab. Orton is a third-generation performer who has been given a lot of opportunity during his time with WWE.
Randy Orton can be considered one of the greatest WWE Superstars of the New Millennium; having been a twelve time WWE/World Heavyweight Champion and a main event star for many years.
This works fine within the WWE system but a guy like Randy Orton would get lost among the lunacy of ECW.
10 John Cena (Babyface)
The word on WWE programming these days is that Seth Rollins is "the man" in WWE but we all know otherwise. The fact remains that John Cena is the man. The cash cow and golden boy of WWE.
This John Cena would have never survived in the original ECW. The fans would have torn Cena apart like starved vultures picking as a carcass in the desert. John Cena as "the man" would have been made to look like a complete chump.
However, it is worth noting that in ECW, everything alternative was considered "cool." John Cena as "The Doctor of Thuganomics" may have worked with the '90s ECW crowd as the white-boy-rapper thing was an emerging trend.
Some say that Batista truly did earn all the success he found in WWE. Others say that Batista was simply a "right place, right time" situation and that much of his glory came from his affiliations within the company.
Whether the decision was popular or not, Batista found his way to the top and enjoyed the spotlight for a number of years; holding gold for quite some time in the process and becoming a main event star.
In ECW, somebody who looked and acted like Batista would have been ousted on day one. Batista and ECW simply don't mix.
8 The Rock
The idea of The Rock working for ECW at the height of his fame during the Attitude Era is a great idea on paper but an idea that would have failed when it came to execution as the ECW faithful would have shunned the WWE Superstar.
Why would this have happened? Wouldn't they have appreciated one of the biggest stars in WWE coming over to their tiny-town promotion. Initially, yes, The Rock would have been cheered but the buzz would have worn off quickly.
The Rock represents the "big time" system. The "mainstream" audience. In ECW, the feeling was that of an underground society where a person like The Rock would have never truly belonged.
7 Triple H
Triple H has assumed many roles throughout his tenure in WWE. From Connecticut Blueblood to Degenerate to Cerebral Assassin to C.O.O. The Game has played the WWE game fairly well.
Of all the character transitions throughout Triple H's career, would any version of Triple H have gotten over in ECW? One would automatically assume that Triple H as a member of D-Generation X would work; and perhaps it would but it ends there.
Any other version of Triple H and the ECW fans would have relentlessly booed him out of the arena - and not in the good "getting heat" kind of way.
6 Shawn Michaels
The negative stories regarding Shawn Michaels and his troublesome years with WWE are seemingly endless. HBK caused a great deal of controversy and chaos while accumulating a number of enemies along the way.
Then of course, Shawn Michaels found God and his soul was saved from eternal damnation. Thus, his wild past was forgiven by those in WWE. If this God-fearing version of HBK had shown up in ECW, he would have been escorted to the Gates of Hell.
The Degenerate version of Shawn Michaels - much like Triple H - may have been accepted by the ECW fans but then again, HBK rubbed a lot of people the wrong way back in those days.
5 Bret Hart
Bret Hart was already a great wrestler before he ever arrived in WWE. However, on a larger stage, Hart would soon establish himself as one of the best professional wrestlers of all time.
In WWE, Bret "Hitman" Hart would work his way up from tag team wrestler to the face of the company until his unfortunate falling out with Vince McMahon that sent this WWE boy searching for greener grass in WCW.
In ECW, the concept of "real wresting" did exist beneath the hardcore elements but a "real wrestler" like Bret Hart would have had a hard time adjusting and soon would have been overlooked by the audience.
4 Randy Savage
In an eccentric world like professional wrestling, an eccentric human being like "Macho Man" Randy Savage was able to find comfort amid all the Madness that consumed the WWE character.
Randy Savage is one of the greatest WWE Superstars to have ever laced-up a pair of boots for Vince McMahon. Savage was different and for the WWE audience, this approach worked really well.
Would it have had the same effect in ECW? No. Randy Savage was made for WWE television - over-the-top and too-far-gone; a notion that would not have gone over in ECW.
3 The Ultimate Warrior
Almost every wrestling fan has formulated a strong opinion about The Ultimate Warrior; good or bad. To many, Warrior is great; an absolute legend who was a ground-breaking character. To many other, Warrior was a waste.
The Ultimate Warrior was a character, plain and simple. Nothing close to being a great wrestling, just a hyped homo sapien who ran down the aisle and smashed his opponents as quickly as possible.
This was not a formula that worked in ECW. Fans wanted matches - real matches - which were lengthy and legitimate.
2 The Undertaker
For twenty plus years, there has been one constant heartbeat thumping throughout the WWE Universe. The continuous contradiction of a dead man upright and walking - alive and soulless at the same time.
The Undertaker has never strayed from the WWE; a loyalist to the end and a man who will go down as onw of the greatest legends of professional wrestling. However, just for a minute, let's assumed The Undertaker did leave WWE long ago?
Would he have succeeded in ECW? No. Too much production comes along with The Undertaker and ECW was not about smoke and mirrors.
1 Hulk Hogan
The most synonymous name associated with professional wrestling is and will forever be Hulk Hogan. The WWE machine manufactured Hogan and put everything they had behind his push, which paid off in a big way.
The childhood hero of many, Hulk Hogan has seen better days. Due to a whirlwind of negative media attention regarding Hogan and racial comments he has made, WWE has virtually wiped their website clean of the legend.
Hulk Hogan once left WWE for WCW and made an immediate impact. ECW would have never been able to afford Hulk Hogan but even if they had the money; the fans would not have welcomed Hogan with open arms.
Hulk Hogan would have been sent back to the popular table, brother.
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?Get Your Free Access Now!