ECW on Sci-Fi (2006–2010)

TVSeries


ECW on Sci-Fi (TV Series 2006–2010)
E.C.W. (original title)

Extreme Championship Wrestling was reborn in 2006 with Paul Herman leading the way and ECW Superstars like Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, Big Show, The Sandman and Tommy Dreamer. ECW was back and ready to be a new breed unleashed.
USA
IMDb   5.8 /10
TheMovieDb  
RottenTomatoes
TV.com  7.9 /10
FilmAffinity  
Creators
Creator Vince McMahon
Information
Release Date2006-06-12
Runtime40min
GenreSport
Content RatingTV-14 (TV-14)
Awards
CompanyWorld Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Tommy Dreameras Tommy Dreamer
Matt Strikeras Matt Striker
CM Punkas CM Punk
Joey Stylesas Joey Styles
John Morrisonas John Morrison…
Kelly Kellyas Kelly Kelly
Tiffanyas Tiffany
Elijah Burke
Elijah Burke
Elijah Burkeas Elijah Burke
Mark Henryas Mark Henry
Mike Knox
Mike Knox
Mike Knoxas Mike Knox
Kevin Fertig
Kevin Fertig
Kevin Thornas Kevin Thorn
Shelton Benjamin
Shelton Benjamin
Shelton Benjaminas Shelton Benjamin
Layla El
Layla El
Laylaas Layla
Tony Chimelas Tony Chimel
Christianas Christian
Dave Finlay
Dave Finlay
Finlayas Finlay

WWE ECW

WWE ECW (also known as ECW on Sci-Fi and later ECW on Syfy, or simply ECW) is a professional wrestling television program that was produced by WWE, based on the independent Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion that lasted from 1992 to 2001. The show's name also referred to the ECW brand, in which WWE employees were assigned to work and perform, complementary to WWE's other brands, Raw and SmackDown. ECW debuted on June 13, 2006, on Sci Fi in the United States and ran until its final episode on February 16, 2010, on the rebranded Syfy. It was replaced the following week with WWE NXT. Every episode is available for on-demand viewing via the WWE Network.


Show history

Launch on Sci Fi

WWE acquired the rights to Extreme Championship Wrestling's trademarks and video library in 2003 and later began reintroducing ECW through content from the ECW library and a series of 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. The news that WWE was planning to bring back ECW was leaked in the middle of April as Vince McMahon decided to revive ECW as a full-time brand. Reports beforehand stated that WWE was prepared to bring back ECW immediately after WrestleMania 22.

On May 25, 2006, WWE announced the launch of ECW as a stand-alone brand, congruous to Raw and SmackDown!, with its own show on Sci Fi (now Syfy). 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 (now known as Syfy) is owned by NBC Universal, parent company of USA Network and exclusive cable broadcaster of Raw and Smackdown. 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. Prior to the show's launch, WWE opted to cancel its webcast Velocity and replace it with the new ECW program.

Original format (2006)

ECW was initially produced differently from WWE's other shows. 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" instead of "Superstars" while female performers were called "Vixens" rather than Divas. However, the show steadily began being produced following the same format of the other shows. As opposed to the original promotion, match rules, such as count outs and disqualifications, were now standard. Matches featuring the rule set of the original promotion were then classified as being contested under "Extreme Rules" and were only fought when specified.

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 show'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.

Change in format (2007–2010)

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. Big Show at the August 1, 2006 show from Hammerstein Ballroom, which often held original ECW events while it was a company. After Heyman left in late 2006, there was no ECW authority figure until August 14, 2007, when Armando Estrada was announced as the General Manager.

On May 6, 2008, ECW celebrated its 100th episode on Sci Fi. On June 3, 2008 Estrada was replaced by Theodore Long as General Manager of ECW. 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 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. 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. In 2009 a "superstar initiative" was established for the purpose of introducing new talent to WWE programming, mainly those from WWE's developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling to ECW's roster.

Cancellation and aftermath

On February 2, 2010, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced that ECW would be going off the air and would be replaced with a new weekly program in its slot in which McMahon announced as "groundbreaking, original show." It was later announced that the show would air its final episode on February 16, 2010. On the February 9, 2010 episode of ECW, the new show's name was announced as WWE NXT.

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 were previously viewable on the video streaming website Hulu, which are available on the WWE Network.


Production

ECW shows were held in large arenas as a part of the taping schedules of WWE's other shows. This was in sharp contrast to the original Extreme Championship Wrestling which ran most of its events in smaller venues. The show generally aired live on Tuesdays directly before — when touring the west coast — or after SmackDown was taped, though it was also recorded and placed on a broadcast delay until later in the night depending on what circumstances dictated. ECW had originally separated itself from WWE, featuring ECW's old black ring ropes, the ECW logo in the middle of the ring and no WWE logo to be seen on the turnbuckles or on the ring apron. However, they slowly began to become more of a WWE show than prior, when they made the ring ropes silver instead of the black ones and when they went HD, put the WWE logo on the turnbuckles, and the WWE.COM advertising on the left and right side of the ring aprons and removed the ECW logo from the ring.

ECW's initial theme song was "Bodies" by Drowning Pool, which had been used by WWE for Extreme Championship Wrestling before the establishment of the brand. "Don't Question My Heart" by Saliva featuring Brent Smith was later used to open ECW for the rest of the program's run. The songs "Famous" by Puddle of Mudd was used for one week, and a censored version of "This Is The New Shit" by Marilyn Manson was used for a few weeks. 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

EpisodeDateRatingNotes
WWE vs. ECWJune 7, 20063.1Special pilot episode
ECWJune 13, 20062.8Series debut
Best of ECW 2006December 26, 20061.4Featured clips from 2006
Best of ECW 2007December 25, 20071.1Featured clips from 2007
ECW 100th episodeMay 6, 20081.0Celebrated the show's 100th episode
Best of ECW 2008December 23, 20081.2Featured clips from 2008
Best of ECW 2009December 22, 20091.2Featured clips from 2009
Final episodeFebruary 16, 20101.14Series finale

On-air personalities

Authority figures

Authority figuresPositionDate startedDate finishedNotes
Vince McMahonOwner, Chairman, and CEOMay 22, 2006February 16, 2010
Paul HeymanRepresentativeMay 22, 2006December 5, 2006Resigned after Big Show lost the ECW World Championship
Armando EstradaGeneral ManagerAugust 14, 2007June 3, 2008Lost the position when Theodore Long was announced as his successor
Theodore LongGeneral ManagerJune 3, 2008April 7, 2009Appointed as General Manager by the WWE Board of Directors. Tiffany served as "Assistant General Manager" from June 3, 2008 – April 7, 2009
TiffanyGeneral ManagerApril 14, 2009February 16, 2010Served as "Interim General Manager" from April 14, 2009 – June 23, 2009, after Long returned to SmackDown to become General Manager again. Opted to fully take over the position on ECW until the show's ending

Commentators

CommentatorsDate startedDate finished
Joey Styles, Tazz, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler
June 7, 2006
Joey Styles and Elijah Burke
November 14, 2006
Joey Styles and TazzJune 13, 2006April 8, 2008
Mike Adamle and TazzApril 15, 2008July 22, 2008
Todd Grisham and Tazz
July 29, 2008
Todd Grisham and Matt StrikerAugust 5, 2008September 16, 2008
September 30, 2008March 31, 2009
Jim Ross and Matt Striker
September 23, 2008
Josh Mathews and Matt StrikerApril 7, 2009October 20, 2009
Josh Mathews and Byron SaxtonOctober 27, 2009February 16, 2010

Ring announcers

Ring announcersDate startedDate finished
Lilian Garcia
June 7, 2006
Justin RobertsJune 13, 2006September 18, 2007
September 29, 2009
Tony ChimelSeptember 25, 2007September 22, 2009
November 24, 2009December 8, 2009
Lauren MayhewOctober 6, 2009November 17, 2009
SavannahDecember 15, 2009February 16, 2010

Recurring segments

SegmentsHostsYear(s)Notes
Kelly's ExposéKelly Kelly2006Striptease segment.
Discontinued and replaced by Extreme Exposé
Striker's ClassroomMatt Striker2006–2007In-ring "educational" segment
Extreme ExposéKelly Kelly, Layla, and Brooke Adams2007In-ring dance segment.
Discontinued following Brooke's release from WWE
15 Minutes of FameJohn Morrison2007Fifteen-minute match challenge for a future ECW Championship match against Morrison.
Discontinued following Morrison's defeat by CM Punk
The Dirt SheetJohn Morrison and The Miz2008–2009In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued after The Miz and Morrison were drafted to Raw and SmackDown respectively
The Peep ShowChristian2009–2010In-ring interview segment.
Discontinued when the brand closed
The Abraham Washington ShowAbraham Washington2009–2010On-stage interview segment.
Discontinued when the brand closed

International broadcasters

In addition to being broadcast on Syfy, Mun2, and Universal HD in the United States, ECW was broadcast on a number of channels in many different countries.

CountryNetworkRef
Algeria and The Middle EastShowtime
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and MexicoFX Latin America
AustraliaFox8
Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and NepalTEN Sports
CambodiaMyTV
CanadaGlobal TV
FinlandMTV3 Max
FranceAction
GermanySky Deutschland
ItalySky Italia
MalaysiaAstro Super Sport
New ZealandThe Box
PhilippinesJack TV
PortugalSportTV 3
SingaporeSuperSports
South Africae.tv
TaiwanVideoland Max-TV
United Kingdom and IrelandSky Sports 3