Philly-Born ECW Gets the Boot

The days of Rob Van Dam, Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, "barbed-wire" matches, "flaming table" matches," "fans bring weapons nights" are long gone, but now, so is the ECW.

"The Land of the Extreme" has become extinct.

World Wrestling Entertainment, who owns ECW, pulled the plug on the stagnant program this week. The final beatdown happening Tuesday night on SyFy as the brand changes to the NXT brand.

ECW began as a hardcore alternative to the old school WWF and WCW brands.

ECW followed an anything goes format. Tables and ladders and chairs, oh my! The ECW matches featured grown men beating the daylights out of one another with baseball bats covered in barbed wire and kendo sticks.

Extreme Championship Wrestling was launched in Philly in 1992. The ECW Arena, located near I-95, quickly became home to extreme matches and extreme personalities.

Who could forget icons such as Terry Funk, Cactus Jack, The Sandman or the Dudley Boyz?

It seems like now in a world without ECW all that reamins are the memories of those fighters.

This was the second time the brand was pulled. Its former owner, Paul Heyman, first pulled the plug in 2001.

Heyman and the old ECW originally filed for bankruptcy, leading it to be absorbed by the WWF (WWE). From there, it was instant downfall for ECW and a terrible time in America’s history -- the ECW wrestlers were brought into the WWE and the ECW name was eventually phased out.

The brand was relaunched as part of the WWE family. But, it was never the same.

Since its re-launch into the limelight in the mid-2000s, ECW failed to deliver what long-time ECW fans were hoping for. Instead, the program became a breeding ground for new up-and-coming talent. 

The talent was there but the show lacked viewers. The ratings for the show failed to reach those of WWE’s Smackdown or Raw brands.

For many fans, ECW wasn’t just an alternative to WCW or WWE, it was a way of life.

From its "anything goes" origins to the lamer inception it came to be, ECW, we bid you adieu.

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