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ECW is a professional wrestling television program for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), based on the independent Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion that lasted from 1992 to 2001, that airs on Syfy in the United States as ECW on Syfy. It debuted on June 13, 2006. The show's name also refers to the ECW brand, in which WWE employees are assigned to work and perform on that program; the other programs and brands are Raw and SmackDown.

Show history

Original format

WWE acquired Extreme Championship Wrestling and its video library in 2003 and later began reintroducing ECW through content from the ECW library and a series books, which included the release of The Rise and Fall of ECW documentary. The enormous popularity of ECW merchandise prompted WWE to organize ECW One Night Stand, an ECW reunion pay-per-view in 2005. The financial and critical success of the event motivated WWE to organize a second One Night Stand the following year. With rejuvenated interest in the ECW product, WWE began exploring the possibility of reviving the promotion full time. On May 26, 2006, WWE announced the launch of ECW as a stand-alone brand, congruous to Raw and SmackDown!, with its own show on Sci Fi. Despite initial concerns that professional wrestling would not be accepted by Sci Fi's demographic, network President Bonnie Hammer stated that she believed ECW would fit the channel's theme of "stretching the imagination". Sci Fi is owned by NBC Universal, parent company of USA Network and exclusive cable broadcaster of WWE programming.

The ECW brand was initially produced differently from WWE's other brands. For televised events, the main ring-facing cameras were placed on a different location in the arena while the wrestling ring itself featured an ECW logo on the mat and blank turnbuckle covers. The male performers were referred to "Extremists" as opposed to "Superstars" while female performers were called "Vixens" as opposed to Divas. However, the brand is now produced following the same format of the other brands, and as opposed to the original promotion, match rules, such as count outs and disqualifications, are now standard. Matches featuring the rule set of the original promotion are now classified as being contested under "Extreme Rules" and are only fought when specified. The only pay-per-view event hosted exclusively by the ECW brand since its launch was December to Dismember in December 2006. On March 14, 2007, before another one could be scheduled, WWE announced that all future pay-per-views would feature all three brands.
ECW logo (2006–2008)


Former ECW owner Paul Heyman served as the on air "ECW Representative" (a reference to how Heyman had been identified on Monday Night Raw back in 1997). According to an interview in the UK newspaper The Sun, Heyman wrote the brand's weekly scripts and submitted them to writers for possible changes, and then Vince McMahon for final approval. Following December to Dismember, Heyman was relieved from both his on and off air duties with World Wrestling Entertainment. After Heyman left, there was no ECW authority figure until August 14, 2007, when Armando Estrada was announced as the General Manager. On June 3, 2008 Estrada was replaced by Theodore Long as General Manager of ECW. On the April 7 edition of ECW it was announced that Theodore Long was returning to SmackDown to fulfill the role of General Manager. From this point the Interim General Manager was named as Tiffany who took over as full time General Manager on the June 30, 2009 episode .

ECW on Sci Fi/Syfy

ECW's weekly series was originally given a thirteen episode run as a "summer series" on Sci Fi. The premiere received a 2.79 rating, making it the highest rated show on cable in its time slot. Because of its good ratings it was granted an extended run through the end of 2007. On October 23, 2007, the network renewed the series through 2008.

The ECW set used from October 31, 2006-January 15, 2008.
While the show started out a ratings success, it began drawing criticism from fans of the original ECW early on. This was most evident by the negative crowd reaction "old school" fans gave the main event of Batista vs. the Big Show at the August 1, 2006 show from Hammerstein Ballroommarker, which often held original ECW events while it was a company.

On October 16, 2007, a "talent exchange" was started between the SmackDown! and ECW brands, allowing their respective talent to appear on either brand. On May 6, 2008, ECW celebrated its 100th episode on Sci Fi. On the September 8, 2008 edition of Raw it was announced a "talent exchange" was started between the Raw and ECW brands, allowing their respective talent to appear on either brand. ECW moved to 9:00PM Eastern/8:00PM Central on September 30, 2008.

ECW moved back to 10:00PM Eastern/9:00PM Central on May 5, 2009. On July 7, 2009, the Sci Fi channel renamed itself to "Syfy", prompting WWE to rename the show ECW on Syfy to reflect the changes. ECW was broadcast on Thursday, July 9 for special night episode.

Online presence

At ECW's launch, WWE.com introduced Hardcore Hangover, a video feature which allowed fans in the United States and Canada to stream or download video footage from the weekly show. On October 16, 2007 it was replaced by a new feature which made full episodes of the show available for streaming on WWE.com the day after they aired. After gathering a list of names from fans and conducting an online poll, the feature was named ECW X-Stream on October 31, 2007. Past episodes of ECW are now viewable on Hulu.

Production

ECW brand shows are held in large arenas as a part of the taping schedules of WWE's other brands. This is in sharp contrast to the original Extreme Championship Wrestling which ran most of its events in smaller venues. The show generally airs live on Tuesdays directly before — when touring the west coast — or after SmackDown has taped, though it has been recorded and placed on a broadcast delay until later in the night depending on what circumstances dictate.

ECW's initial theme song was "Bodies" by Drowning Pool, which had been used by WWE for Extreme Championship Wrestling since before the brand was established. Currently, ECW opens with "Don't Question My Heart" by Saliva featuring Brent Smith, a new version of the song originally performed by Kyle Morrison of the band Shattersphere. On January 22, 2008, ECW began broadcasting in HD, along with a new HD set, which is shared among all three WWE brands.

Special episodes

Episode Date Rating Notes
ECW June 13, 2006 2.9
Best of ECW 2006 December 26, 2006 1.4
Best of ECW 2007 December 25, 2007 1.1
ECW 100th episode May 6, 2008 1.0
Best of ECW 2008 December 23, 2008 1.2


On-air personalities

Champion

Championship Current champion Date won Event Previous champion
ECW Championship Christian July 26, 2009 Night of Champions Tommy Dreamer


Authority figures

Authority Position Date started Date finished Notes
Paul Heyman Representative June 13, 2006 December 4, 2006
Armando Estrada General Manager August 14, 2007 June 3, 2008
Theodore Long General Manager June 3, 2008 April 7, 2009
Tiffany General Manager June 30, 2009 Present


Commentators

Commentators Dates
Joey Styles and Tazz June 13, 2006 - April 8, 2008
Mike Adamle and Tazz April 22, 2008 - July 22, 2008
Todd Grisham and Tazz July 29, 2008 - August 5, 2008
Todd Grisham and Matt Striker August 12, 2008 - March 31, 2009
Josh Mathews and Matt Striker April 7, 2009 - Present
Josh Mathews and Byron Saxton October 27, 2009 - Present


Ring announcers

Ring Announcer Dates
Justin Roberts June 13, 2006 - September 18, 2007
September 29, 2009
Tony Chimel September 25, 2007 - September 22, 2009
November 24, 2009-Present
Lauren Mayhew October 6, 2009 - November 17, 2009


Recurring segments

Segment Host Years Notes
Kelly's Exposé Kelly Kelly 2006, 2008
Striker's Classroom Matt Striker 2006 - Present
Extreme Exposé Kelly Kelly, Layla, Brooke 2007
15 Minutes of Fame John Morrison 2007
The Dirt Sheet John Morrison and The Miz 2008 - 2009
The Peep Show Christian 2009 - Present
The Abraham Washington Show Abraham Washington 2009 - Present


International broadcasters

In addition to being broadcast on Syfy in the United Statesmarker, ECW is broadcast on a number of channels in many different countries.
Country Network Ref
Algeriamarker and The Middle East Showtime
Argentinamarker, Brazilmarker and Mexicomarker FX Latin America
Australia Fox8
Bangladeshmarker, Indiamarker, and Pakistanmarker TEN Sports
Cambodiamarker MyTV
Canadamarker Global TV
Francemarker Action
Germanymarker Sky Deutschland
Italymarker SKY Italia
Malaysiamarker Astro Super Sport
New Zealandmarker The Box
Philippinesmarker Jack TV
Portugalmarker SportTV 3
South Africa e.tv
Taiwanmarker Videoland Max-TV
United Kingdommarker and Irelandmarker Sky Sports 3


See also



References

  1. http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/articles/10573924/newfaces/
  2. "Lost", "Sanctuary" Among SCI FI's Fall Premieres, The Futon Critic, July 3, 2008
  3. ECW On Sci Fi Changing Timeslots Again, Sexiest WWE Divas, Sports Entertainment Scoops, April 15, 2009
  4. Results: Charismatic Fate, WWE.com July 9, 2009
  5. Saliva goes Extreme - WWE.com
  6. 2006 Nielson Ratings on Gerweck.net
  7. 2007 Nielson Ratings on Gerweck.net
  8. 2008 Nielson Ratings on Gerweck.net


External links




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