Written for and published by What Culture June 2015
The design of tag team wrestling is to increase the amount of action and drama in a particular match. Four wrestlers can pull off certain moves and tell certain stories that two wrestlers alone could never do, such as blind tags and double team maneuvers. ECW revolutionized the wrestling business in the ’90s with hardcore action, mature storylines, and highly technical and competitive matches showcasing different styles.
Their tag team division was not only a pivotal part of the show, but they exuded the essence of the art by increasing the excitement in a promotion that was already extreme. The ECW Tag Team titles were originally introduced in 1992 under the promotional moniker of Eastern Championship Wrestling and an affiliate of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA).
Seven tag teams held that incarnation of the championship until the promotion left the NWA in September 1994, when the company and the belts were rechristened Extreme Championship Wrestling. Three physical versions of the belts were fought over and defended until 2001, when the company’s original incarnation closed its doors.
Taz pupils Danny Doring and Roadkill were the final team to hold the titles and even defended them on the independent scene post-mortem. Thirty-one teams over eleven years produced many popular feuds and memorable matches with a mixture of uniformed duos and makeshift pairs that often stole the show. Some teams stood out and brought more to the table (literally) than others.
Let’s look at the 10 Greatest ECW Tag Team Champions.
Continue reading “10 Greatest ECW Tag Team Champions”
I vividly remember an altercation during an ECW house show at Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere, MA. It was intermission, and there was a metal guardrail in the crowded foyer separating the wrestlers from fans buying merchandise.
“I don’t want to see that s***,” New Jack shouted to a fan who, without warning, handed him a VHS tape of his backyard wrestling exploits. New Jack quickly said he was only kidding, took the tape, removed the slipcover, and smashed it over the guardrail.
Continue reading “Remembering New Jack, Dies at 58”
Last week, the wrestling world was saddened by the passing of Eiji Ezaki, better known to fans around the world as Hayabusa.
The words grace and innovation encapsulate the legend of this masked highflyer who astonished fans all across the orient as the star of the FMW promotion in the mid to late 90’s. Hayabusa made his sole U.S. wrestling appearance at ECW Heatwave 1998.
Ezaki’s daring array of moves like his patented Phoenix Splash influenced a generation of wrestlers. I’ve come across many wrestlers on the independent scene who tailored their gear and in-ring presentation after Hayabusa
I recently recorded an audio blog discussing my introduction to Hayabusa, his cult like status among die-hard wrestling fans and the mark he left in the industry.
My condolences go out to the family and friends of Eiji Ezaki.
There have been a lot of wrestling matches over the years where promoters booked the wrong person to win. While booking for financial gain isn’t an exact science, mistakes are made for a variety of reasons.
Sometimes a promoter wants to prolong the story in hopes of a larger return at the box office. Other times, these decisions are made simply to shock the audience with a curveball thrown out of nowhere.
There is one match in particular that took place in ECW where fans vehemently detested the end result, and I was one of those fans. After some information came to light, it turned out to be the right call even though it’s still a little disappointing that such a popular concept never reached its apex. Continue reading “The Absence of Snow as ECW Champion”
The design of Tag Team wrestling is to increase the amount of action and drama in a particular match. Four wrestlers can pull off certain moves and tell certain stories that two wrestlers alone could never do, such as blind tags and double team maneuvers.
ECW revolutionized the wrestling business in the 90’s with hardcore action, mature storylines, and highly technical and competitive matches showcasing different styles. Their tag team division was not only a pivotal part of the show, but they exuded the essence of the art by increasing the excitement in a promotion that was already extreme.
My latest column at What Culture.com reviews the best tag teams that ever graced the land of extreme. What qualifies someone as being the best? Championships do. Click here to check out 10 Best ECW Tag Team Champions Ever
As a teenager in the growing up in the 1990’s, professional wrestling was my singular passion. While WWF/E was often front and center for me, Extreme Championship Wrestling, spent a few years as my favorite wrestling company. What drew me into ECW was the realistic storylines and hardcore atmosphere, complimented by blood, guts, tables, chairs and barbed wire brutality.
Naturally, I was thrilled when WWF and ECW worked together for a time in 1997. Taz, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Paul Heyman, and others appeared on Raw and in return, Jerry Lawler, with the help of Sabu and Rob Van Dam would infiltrate the ECW Arena. This was great stuff that really showed how to do a proper promotion vs. promotion angle.
Most wrestling fans only remember the poorly executed 2001 invasion angle involving ECW and WCW instead of its predecessor. I recently wrote an article for WhatCulture.com examining all the juicy details about this fresh concept during the heated stages of the Monday Night War. Click the link to check out 10 Things You Need To Know About The Original ECW Invasion.
I crawled into bed late last night to watch TV. Channel after channel, nothing tickled my fancy until I said “Hey, you have the WWE Network.” I logged onto my iPhone and fell asleep watching WrestleMania Rewind chronicling the iconic confrontation between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. When I woke up, I realized I’d just experienced something that my ten year old self could only dream of. Continue reading “WWE Network Recommendations”
Once again, The Body Slam Podcast takes a break from the biggest news items and discuss wrestling video games and how the business would look if the original ECW was around today. Plus, Todd Graham moderates a fantasy King of the Ring tournament where Shane Daly keeps it real while Atlee Greene…..not so much at all.
If you want to ask a question to be read on the air or you just want to tell us how awesome we are, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to listen to the podcast at Gerweck.net: Pro Wrestling Since 1997
Money in the Bank was an excellent event that pulled out all the stops and produced a great moment when Paul Heyman blindsided CM Punk with a ladder and cost him the MITB briefcase. These moments are normally reserved for Monday Night Raw. It’s not hard to understand why, considering that more people will always watch free Raw than a pay-per-view. Still, I would have bet any amount of money that the turn would have happened on Raw and build to a Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk match at Summer Slam.
Continue reading “Heyman Hustle Shines on Pay-Per-View”