Wooow I thought Rhino would be top 10-15 for sure. Very surprised with that placement.
Balls #15- LOVED Balls-ultra stiff. Best memory=I went out to smoke a spliff, Balls was cussing;walking the lot. "What's wrong Balls?" "Ref DQ'ed me--WHY WHY? He did hit the ref with a chair. Second best memory-Reunion Show= Balls was VERY worried after spitting a tooth after the match" Wife is going to KILL me." Even Balls was afraid of his wife.
Tajiri #22-He went to my gym, he looked like a little kid. Great worker+spit green mist. I always mark for green mist
I had Pitbull #1 at #28 and Pitbull #2 at #50- I split tags. I had Pitbull #2 higher but he got "bumped" during voting. Pits was VERY dumb- Veryshort-Very 'Roided. I was there when they P-bombed Francine after she went with Shane-HOLY S!
Rhino #29- I was bored by then-still enjoyed his energy.
"Don't break the Kayfabe"
Wooow I thought Rhino would be top 10-15 for sure. Very surprised with that placement.
11 Votes-302 Points
9 Votes-305 Points
9 Votes-317 Points
11 Votes-318 Points
Bam Bam Bigelow
Such a great Steve Corino writeup by @Baker, the Bakemiester. I pushed Corino pretty hard in my ECW fan fictions, he had a big match against Flair at Wrestlemania X-8 but I had to put Flair over.
I'm in the same boat as a few others here with Rhino. Wasn't that crazy about him in ECW, he was cool doing jobs for Super Crazy but once they started pushing him I wasn't feeling it. I did like his feud with Sandman though. The prospect of a big Rhino vs RVD feud seemed to be what they were headed for at the end and honestly that's not something that I would have been interested in that much. In fact in my ECW fan fiction I picked up right where ECW left off in 2001 and one of the first things I did was have Rhino drop the ECW World Title to RVD, it wasn't even a big PPV match it was just on Hardcore TV. Also noticed how much more jacked he looked in the 2001 WWF tapes I have seen, must have gotten a hold of some of those good steroids once he hit the big time. Rhino was cool and was ok, I had to at least give him a spot on my list for the work he put in there at the end.
Balls Mahoney had ECW running through his fucking blood, way underrated, I'd take Balls vs RVD from Anarchy Rulz 99 over any other WCW or WWF pay per view main event from that year, including Austin vs Rock matches. Definitely way better than any of the hardcore division posers that were getting pushes in WWF and WCW. I don't know where Balls ranked in the PWI 500 for 1999 but I hope it was pretty fucking high.
Pitbulls in their prime in ECW were awesome, definitely one of the best tag teams in ECW history.
Tajiri was amazing to me, his series with Super Crazy was a big part of why I stopped watching WCW and WWF bullshit and went strictly ECW in late 99 into 2000. Those kicks changed my life, and the Tarantula is one of my favorite holds of all time.
12. Sabu & RVD
14. Yoshihiro Tajiri
18. Super Crazy
19. Lance Storm
22. Eddie Guerrero
24. Dean Malenko
25. Rey Mysterio
26. Steve Corino
27. Balls Mahoney
29. Chris Jericho
30. Pit Bulls
31. Justin Credible
32. Doring & Roadkill
33. Al Snow
34. Spike Dudley
36. Pit Bull 2
37. Chris Candido
38. Axl Rotten
41. The Unholy Alliance Mikey Whipreck & Yoshihiro Tajiri
43. Eddie Gilbert
45. The Gangstas
46. Kid Kash
48. Steve Austin
49. Brian Pillman
50. Hack Myers
Going to hit the next batch tomorrow. Glad to see the Original Mack Daddies of Violence rank so high though:
ECW: Fuck The Bullshit
I was aware of Bret's Xanta fandom and I love that story because of how unexpected it is.Originally Posted by Kilgore
I'm kicking myself for not harping on Balls' whole gimmick/persona more. The Balls Mahoney name alone is such a winner. It goes beyond simply a great wrestling name and into the realm of pure poetry. Now I'm tempted to write a George Plimpton Paris Review piece about his ne'er-do-well friend Balls Mahoney from Nutley, NJ.
*So we've finally reached the Top 20. I'll release the Supplemental Countdown and maybe do some additional ECW ranting/listing before I start the Top 10.
Masato Tanaka- Will forever be married to Mike Awesome in ECW lore. Their rivalry was a classic ECW workrate feud with two twists- they were heavyweights and it was taken to the xtreme (like even more than usual). A lot of your smarkier fans have soured on their rivalry claiming all the matches were the same and the first Awesome/Tanaka match you saw is bound to be your favorite. Can confirm. Anarchy Rulz '99 for me (Heatwave '98 for most). But I'll defend my choice. The addition & quick subtraction of ECW Champ Taz, coupled with the locker room emptying to see who would be their next Top Guy, made it feel like the biggest thing in the world. A Top 5 ECW match for me. Tanaka also feuded and teamed with Balls and had a shockingly bad match with Furnas on ppv. Good worker who got over but I honestly have trouble remembering his non-Awesome stuff. Think he finished a little high in cracking the Top 20. I had him at #35.
Public Enemy- Here we go....
Public Enemy is the worst. Let's get that out of the way first. Most, if not all, of the other top ECW acts I disliked (Douglas, Credible) at least had long stretches of 'good heat' periods with me. Not PE. I spent over 15 years sort of apologizing for not getting Public Enemy. "What am I missing here?" I'd ask myself over and over as I watched these shitstains stink up the joint yet again. Well, within the past year or two I finally realized it's not me. Public Enemy just fucking sucked. As bad as they were in the ring, the promos...MY GOD THE PROMOS...so awful. Are they legit badasses or are they supposed to be some sort of ironic "hoodie" comedy act? To this day I do not know and I suppose I never will.
And yet I found myself in the unlikely position of rooting for this god awful act when tallying up the votes. They fell out of the Top 20 late in the voting process. That is just as shitty as Public Enemy! Because as bad as PE was, and they were awful, they were also a huge part of ECW at a time when the company was gaining momentum as the most innovative promotion in America. PE, along with Sabu, popularized table breaking. And wrestling was never the same again. PE got over as heels and had a real connection with the ECW faithful later as popular babyfaces. The ring breaking during a PE fan party and the chair shower are just two of the iconic ECW moments they were involved in. Their feuds with Sabu and the Gangstas are fondly remembered. Rocco Rock was at least out there trying with his rather unathletic chubby guy high flying. And in perhaps the ultimate testament of Heyman's genius, he got people, and I'm not just talking dumb marks here, but WON readers, Sleazy E & even Vinnie Mac himself to buy into these turds. They were the hottest tag team/free agent act around in late '95.
So while I can count the number of Public Enemy matches I enjoyed on one hand- the APA match/beatdown (Yeah, I'm an asshole), the title loss to Cactus & Mikey was a fun moment, and I may have liked a few of their hardcore-lite matches with the Nasty Boys once upon a time (can't remember for sure), and their promos make me want to swear off wrestling forever, they were a hugely important part of the ECW story. #11 on my list* and it's borderline criminal they didn't crack the Top 15.
Eliminators- I mentioned the importance of first impressions a few times already. The Eliminators scored a double knockout blow in the very first ECW match I ever saw. Based on that one match, an epic squash of the Dudleys to kick off Barely Legal, I was (briefly) convinced ECW was the greatest thing I had ever seen and the Eliminators were, at the very least, the 2nd greatest tag team of all time. And frankly only loyalty to muh Eaton/Lane Midnight Express kept me from calling the Elims thee GOAT....based on one 5 minute squash But what a performance it was! I had never seen guys that size do high flying moves and precision double teams like the Eliminators did. They were so on point that night. Unfortunately it was probably their greatest performance. They never again quite recaptured that magic. It took longer than you'd probably think but at some point I came to my senses and realized they weren't the 2nd greatest tag team of all time. Now I'm not even sure they were ever that good. I feel like they were wasted for most of '96 (their 'prime' year) in typical ECW-style brawls with the Gangstas that didn't play to their strengths. The matches with RVD & Sabu don't hold up all that well imo. Much like Taz, I don't like the Eliminators all that much in competitive matches. They were at their best unleashing their awesome offense on bump fiends in quick squashes. Still, Heyman managed to convince a large segment of 'smart' wrestling fans that these guys were the best tag team in the world for 18 months. They also had an all time great finisher in Total Elimination. #15 on my list.
Bam Bam Bigelow- One of the ultimate "just there" wrestlers for me. Didn't appreciate his ECW run at the time. Probably due to my lifelong indifference to Bigelow. But looking back it absolutely smokes all his Big Two runs, though I think I'd still take his 80s Memphis run over anything else he did. Heyman knew how to book Bigelow and the big man delivered with some of his best work. The Taz feud was legit great. BBB ending Taz's TV title reign and long unbeaten streak by putting him through the ring was perfect. Taz getting his retribution on the ramp two months later, also perfect. The TV Title change with RVD was a good/memorable match. BBB also had memorable matches with Shane & Spike. I had the Triple Threat's enforcer at #20.
*I was going to make a Hogan/Theoretical WWF Greatest Wrestler List comparison here and that got me to thinking about doing something like this for WCW & WWF in the future if there's interest. Would do WCW first. Then maybe break WWF up by decade starting with my beloved 90s.
Masato Tanaka: Man, those FMW guys were just made for ECW. Like Super Crazy, you could have dropped Tanaka off in the ECW Arena, without him ever seeing the show, and it would have immediately seemed like he spent his entire career there. The Tanaka-Awesome feud crossing oceans to ECW where they took turns trying to break each other's necks is one of my favorite feuds of all time. Just two asskickers, kicking each other's asses. Heatwave '98 is my favorite match they had (I found out here, the final table spot didn't get the first Holy Shit chant, but it was the spot that popularized it.), although I loved all of them. I liked their matches during Awesome's title reign just a hair below (N2R '99, ECW on TNN 12/24/99). I can't really separate the two. I wish they were next to each other in the countdown ala Malenko/Guerrero, but I understand why they're not.
Public Enemy: I ranked The Public Enemy at #7 on my list. I get it. Each passing year is going to be a like a decade that passes PE's reputation by, but when you consider what pro wrestling in America was in 1993/1994/1995, that's where PE lived, and PE were fucking awesome. In 1994, once Eastern became Extreme, ECW was selling tickets on the backs of PE and Sabu. They meant more to ECW in 1994/1995 than the Dudley's ever meant during their run. This is no slam on the Dudley's, who deserve their higher ranking to come, but let's be real, there's no Dudley's without PE, and they were never as important on the card as PE was during their peak. A criminally low rating for the Hoodies.
Eliminators: I never had Eliminators as GOAT status, but in 1996/1997, I thought they were the best North American tag team going, which is quite a feat for our favorite little promotion that could to have the best anything as the Monday Night Wars are starting to heat up. How cool was Total Elimination? It shouldn't even be that cool. A sweep and spin kick on their own, nothing special, even in 1996. But together, it was the coolest ECW tag team finisher pre-3D. Now that Baker mentions it, it would have been nice to see the Eliminators with a more diverse set of dance partners. I never got tired of seeing Saturn elbow people from high places, but I suppose some more workrate centric matches would have better served them in the long run. Like even now, it's tough to start listing "great" Eliminators tag matches, because they didn't really have any. That does not make them less than great, though. Those were just their circumstances in ECW.
Bam Bam Bigelow: As Shinobi has said in the past, "The Original Paul Heyman" guy, as Paul E. booked his debut match in 1985 (at Studio 54!), so it only made sense that Bammer eventually showed up in ECW. "You work for the WWF!" Bill Alfonso screamed as Bam Bam showed up in the beginning of 1996 (pre-Pillman in ECW, pre-Hall in WCW) and chased Taz out of the ring, so the "invading" wrestler trope was in the air, and Bam Bam vs. Taz was set up from the very first moments of his debut. Bammer does seem a bit high to me too, but he had a really good run in ECW. As everybody in the company had to job to Taz, Bigelow eventually doing it seemed like the biggest deal. He also gave RVD his first singles gold in a pretty goddamned good match in Buffalo (where RVD did the GOAT somersault dive into the crowd), and gave Shane Douglas one of his signature wins, as well. Bam Bam was very generous in his run. Finally, he threw Spike from the ring, over the guardrail and into the ECW Arena crowd, which was cooler than most people's entire careers.
Last edited by Kilgore; Yesterday at 01:07 AM.
r.i.p. dogs playing poker
tajiri is why i liked the 1999 cruiserweights more than the 1995 rey/psycosis/juvi/konan saga. him, super crazy, and many others were constants there and got to develop their characters and evolve. ecw tajiri may be one of my favorite wrestling personas just because of how sadistic he was. taking a chunk out of someones skull and spitting it out with a fucked up smile. that shit wasn't gonna be on the big two. and then you think it was at the same time that WCW was unmasking and burying the cruisers, and here was ECW redefining that shit.
Rocco Rock's segment from Barbed Wire City was my favorite part of that documentary. "I was doing flips and wrestling clean for years; and didn't make a penny doing it. I made my money bleeding, and going through tables and busting people with frying pans. that's how i earned my bread, that's what i'm sticking with." Joey Styles went into detail on how they were the furthest things from hoodies. Rocco Rock from New England, Grunge from Louisianna. Rocko Rock was around for a long time on the Northeast Independents as the lucha inspired Cheetah Kid and Grunge was a southern brawler for a while. Balls Mahoney said that Rock was the first person to go to him when he was starting out as a wrestler and say "look you don't want to be a wrestler, you don't know where your next pay check's coming from." that shows you where the Public Enemy came from, but i'm glad Balls didn't listen.
I can see where Baker's coming from with the Public Enemy, but they were at the first ECW show i went to and i'm glad i got to see them. Rocco Rock could work and was willing to take some crazy table bumps. Grunge was really only good for bleeding and hitting people with weapons. but everyone loved them. as heel's they were alot more serious and actually got decent heat in 1994. fans hated them enough to bury them with chairs. i didn't like their goofy promo's they cut as faces either, but watching their matches with a 1995 mentality, it was about fans being involved, everyone getting a front row seat, handing them weapons, and pretty ridiculous stunts.
I'm glad the Eliminators are a spot higher though. the public enemy may have set the tone for ECW tag teams, but Saturn and Kronos brought it to a new level. they were among the first of the acts during my early ECW experience that i was really invested in. I'd put that squash they did in Queens up there with any Road Warriors squash, and I grew up on the Road Warriors. I'll always be high on them because they always got a huge pop in Massachusetts. True, they didn't have many "great matches". but watching hardcore tv on a weekly basis, in and action movie/show what's gonna happen next way, Eliminators were kings. you knew when they came on, someone was gonna get killed. they had brutal double team moves and the gangstas feud story line was genius. loved Saturns promos and persona.
I would honestly put the the Eliminators, Public Enemy and even the Pitbulls and Gangstas above the Dudleys. Dudley's were successful elsewhere, and had a hell of a legacy in ECW, but if we're talking just ECW, i think the Eliminators and Public Enemy had a more intense run. I kinda want to see an alternate reality where the Eliminators went to WCW and WWF and dominated the tag divisions there.
Last edited by Fisto; Yesterday at 04:39 AM.
10 Votes-322 Points
11 Votes-327 Points
10 Votes-328 Points
2 Cold Scorpio
Mike Awesome: Awesome was not quite a Sabu/Mysterio astronaut, but he was pretty mind blowing to witness for the first time. He had to be the first man that size to do springboards, certainly the first I saw. The balance he had on the top rope while powerbombing people frontwards and backwards, he really was a freak athlete. Joey Styles used to love to use Awesome to take digs at every other big man in wrestling, "Most people Mike Awesome's size never leave their feet, BROTHER".I missed his first ECW run, although I had seen him bend JT Smith backwards numerous times in The Night The Line Was Crossed ad, so it wasn't until the ECW/FMW duels shows in late '97/early 98 that I saw "The Gladiator" show himself to be the coolest big man wrestler I had ever seen, which was a great appetizer for his cup of coffee run in the summer of '98. Fun tidbit, first time I learned the term "mullet" was seeing a sign at either the Elk's Lodge or ECW Arena that said, "Awesome Mullet", during a Mike Awesome match in 1998. Awesome and Tanaka were immediately over that same show.
I have mixed feelings about Awesome's title run. I should hate it completely. Dude walks in for the first time in over a year, pins Taz and Tanaka on the same night to become champion. It was a little much, but Awesome had left a big enough impression on me where I was sort of okay with it. Where it fell flat was immediately after, where it felt weird that the first ECW Champion of the TNN era, which I still had a little optimism for, was basically a stranger in the ECW universe. It felt off. Awesome had some really good matches, though. The matches against Tanaka at N2R and the Christmas Eve show in 1999 were awesome. The Spike Dudley defense was better than it had any right being. But then it quickly ran out of steam. ECW's roster was thin, and Awesome couldn't make up for lack of challenges, being bad on the mic, and being uncompelling in every other aspect of wrestling. RVD beating him would have been one of the best ECW moments ever, but it wasn't to be.
I have to talk about the departure. It was inexcusable. It's been a long time, so I'm not positive, but I believe Awesome's checks were bouncing, which certainly gave him a right to leave, but there was obviously a better way to do it than embarrass ECW so his WCW debut could be rushed for Russo/Bischoff's "Reboot". Him jobbing out in front of a crowd that genuinely wanted to kill him made up for it some. Awesome fucked up, and I think he knew it. I'm glad he got to wrestle One Night Stand, where he got a better ECW end, wrestling his rival in another classic.
Mikey Whipwreck: "Mikey likes it!" Mikey is like a child star. He peaked he really young and spent the rest of his career trying to catch up to it. The Mikey Whipwreck rise was spectacular booking. In 1994, they made a big deal out of Mikey getting an offensive move. Forget about winning, Mikey hit a clothesline. This was a huge deal. Then he got a pin. And then another one. Then he had a title. And then another one. Finally, the culmination, and ECW Title win in late '95 (and a great TV title feud with Scorpio in the following months). It was mostly downhill for Mikey after that, even squeezing in a bad WCW run that most people forget about. He had a nice rebound in the final year of ECW with the Unholy Alliance, which was a nice reminder of what made Mikey so lovable in the early days, albeit, a psychotic version.
2 Cold Scorpio: The first episode of ECW I ever saw was September/October 1995. It had a six man cage match where five of the participants were the most insane characters you would only see in ECW (Public Enemy, Whipwreck, Sandman, New Jack ), which was probably the greatest introduction I could have. My prior non-WWF/WCW watching consisted of seeing the USWA, where Koko B. Ware might be champion, and even if you liked Koko, you immediately knew you were watching the minor leagues if he was champion there. ECW having five lunatics I had never seen made it feel like a different world. Except Sandman and New Jack's partner was 2 Cold Scorpio. I knew 2 Cold Scorpio. Seeing his 450 splash on WCW television blew my mind a couple years prior. This is way before I thought of things like "workrate", I certainly wouldn't have used that term, but 2 Cold was somebody I liked in that way, even I couldn't have yet expressed it. Seeing him in this environment that seemed to value that was the last bit of the sell job ECW gave me that night, although truthfully, I didn't need to be sold any more.
Scorpio got the run in ECW he deserved. If he came around a few years later, WCW probably would have used him better, but he came just before WCW had the right dance partners for him. In ECW, he had those partners (Sabu, Malenko, Guerrero, Benoit, Whipwreck, Taz, Douglas, Chris Jericho), a brief tag team with Ron Simmons, and fantastic odd couple pairing with Sandman where they eventually bonded over dancing and getting rid of Nancy so they could be BFF's (Scorpio carrying Nancy out twice, and throwing her ass in a limo headed towards Atlanta was great). 2 Cold got to show personality in ECW. Cocky heel Scorpio was my favorite. He could be a pretty fantastic asshole, best shown in his swan song at November to Remember 1996. The crowd knew he signed with WWF, as they were already airing "Flash Funk" vignettes, so he was booked in a Loser Leaves Town match that everybody knew he would lose. Except he didn't. He beat JT Smith. Then he beat Hack Myers. Then he beat Devon Storm. These weren't exactly the cream of the crop of ECW, but Scorpio was sending half the ECW locker room out of town, when it should have been him. He was talking shit the entire time, grabbing the mic in between matches. It was fantastic. Louie Spicoli finally beat him, and then Taz sent him packing with a, "Bye-bye, Flash", but it was a pretty spectacular exit. Scorpio was one of those early 90's workrate guys that set the table up for others to succeed, and the best work the workrate guy did was in ECW.
Last edited by Kilgore; Yesterday at 11:50 PM.
r.i.p. dogs playing poker
Great write-ups guys, I'll probably just be repeating what most of you have said already but here it goes.
Masato Tanaka- I did see a few of his run ins with the Gladiator in FMW before they renewed there rivalry in ECW which were good but didn't have that ECW atmosphere to give it the extra punch. Other than Mick Foley I don't think anyone else has taken harder chair shots than Tanaka. Plus add in all of those Awesome bombs and I don't know how he is still alive and functioning today. He didn't do much else though besides feuding with Awesome so I couldn't really pair them together. Their N2R encounter is easily one of my top 10 ECW matches of all time between Tanaka's bumps and Awesome's athleticism, one of the most visually stunning feuds of all time for any promotion.
Public Enemy- The OG's when it comes to dominating the Extreme tag team division, a mantle that would be passed on to the Gangstas, The Eliminators, then the Dudley's. Honestly I think the kayfabe success of the Dudley's influenced my list a bit much, I should have switched them around. PE was the first team to popularize the use of tables and were involved in two of the most replayed scenes in ECW history with the mountain of chairs and the fan made ring collapse. I actually found humor in their promos, taking them at face value as two guys impersonating two suburban thugs. I actually liked their babyface run against the Gangstas the best just because of the contrast in characters, two posers and the real deal. They were a huge part of the fabric of what made ECW into what it was and deserved a higher ranking, especially by me.
The Eliminators- To this day I still haven't seen a tag team like them, two athletic stocky guys who used flashy offense to just squash other teams. They had some of the most dynamic double team moves I've ever seen. They looked so effective that they were a great alternative to the overpowering squashes I was used to with the Road Warriors and Demolition. I also remember them being a highlight of "Pulp Fiction Promos" with their off the wall style. I think Kilgore hit the nail on the head though as they didn't have a lot of great opponents which is why I think they get overlooked in the grand scheme of tag team wrestling. I think an extended feud with Sabu and RVD would have been the ticket for them to get the recognition they justly deserve.
Bam Bam Bigelow- I haven't seen much of Bammer's Memphis run but I think ECW got the most out of his talent. The big knock on Bam Bam was that his offense wasn't devastating enough for someone his size. A toss of Spike Dudley into the crowd and pseudo Samoan dropping Taz through the ring put an end to that for me. His matches with Shane Douglas were some of my favorites as well and showcased just how good a worker he was. Plus he came up with Greetings From Asbury Park (big Springsteen fan here) one of the best updates (from the diving headbutt) and names of a finisher of all time which gives bonus points to his ECW run.
Mike Awesome- If there was ever a guy the ECW crowd was going to shit on upon first sight it would be Mike Awesome. That name, the hair, the physique were all low hanging fruit for the crowd to feast on, but wait, he had athleticism and some street cred from FMW. No one can touch Mike Awesome when it comes to athletic "supermen" in the vein of Hogan, Sid, Taker etc. His top rope powerbombs were a thing of beauty to go with those suicide dives into the barricade. His other work with Taz, Spike Dudley and Kid Kash helped separate him from his rival Masato Tanaka. Again a tremendous feud and one of the top 5 rivalries in ECW history. His leaving ECW abruptly left a bad taste in my mouth too but he made it all right again at One Night Stand. A fitting finale to a career that was cut much too short.
Mikey Whipwreck- One of Paul E's great creations, the ring crew guy who gets a break. Plus the way it was booked with Mikey getting virtually no offense in his matches was brilliant and effective in getting the crowd behind him even more. As Kilgore alluded to his team with Cactus Jack was good comedy mixed in with some hardcore classics with the likes of Public Enemy and Sandman and Dreamer. Once he got the ECW title though there was really nowhere else to go with the character and he floundered. He was actually in the first ECW match I ever saw from Hardcore Heaven '96 against Shane Douglas that really wasn't memorable otherwise. He will forever be remembered though as ECW's greatest underdog.
2 Cold Scorpio- It was a shock to me at first to find out that this gregarious and flashy high flyer had to stoop to mingling with the misfits in ECW after showing such promise in WCW. He fit right in though as his match with Sabu at Cyberslam can attest, another ECW classic that was my first viewing of Scorp in the company. He did a great job in that match of playing the cocky heel and working the crowd. Later I would get into his series of matches with Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero which were as expected, great. It was his promo work that got fleshed out though and he became much more than just the stylish high flyer. His value went up significantly to me and he could have been a much bigger player in the mainstream had Vince had any idea of what he was doing. I guess he missed those parts of the show with Scorp ripping on the ECW mainstays at N2R '96 for example. Kilgore detailed it already and I agree that it was a great bit of "screw the audience" type booking with the ultimate payoff at the end.
9. The Gangstas
12. The Eliminators
13. The Bad Breed
14. Dean Malenko
15. Eddie Guerrero
16. Public Enemy
17. Mikey Whipwreck
18. 2 Cold Scorpio
19. Rey Mysterio
20. Mike Awesome
21. Jimmy Snuka
22. Don Muraco
23. Bam Bam Bigelow
26. Sabu and RVD
28. The Pitbulls
29. Masato Tanaka
30. Steve Austin
31. Super Crazy
33. Lance Storm
34. Chris Candido
35. The Impact Players
36. Chris Jericho
37. Spike Dudley
38. Steve Corino
39. Justin Credible
40. Balls Mahoney
43. Al Snow
44. Tommy Cairo
45. The Chair Swingin' Freaks
46. Chris Candido and Lance Storm
47. Hack Myers
49. The FBI (Tracy Smothers and Little Guido)
Last edited by The Icon; Today at 03:16 PM.
It took everything in my being for me not to put Awesome in my top three. I still probably overrated him by quite a bit but he might be my favorite ECW star of all time and if not than he is definitely top three. He was just incredible for a big man and had he not went to WCW and subsequently ruined his career I feel he could of been a big deal in the wrestling business for a period of time.
Mike Awesome- I missed Heatwave '98 but was aware of the hype when I first saw Awesome at Anarchy Rulz '99 where the athletic big man defeated Tanaka and Taz (in like 2 minutes!) in an awesome match to become the new ECW Champion a few weeks into the TNN run. It wasn't ideal. I was like all those "Bryan or bust" WWE fans a few years ago. Anything other than RVD being THE guy to usher ECW into a new era (I even fantasy booked a plausible scenario!) would be less than ideal in my view. But I was still on board with Awesome....at least in the short term. In that one match he showed himself to be an amazingly athletic big man with power moves just as cool as his flying. I was ready to accept him as ECW's new top guy....for a while.
But the magic didn't last long. I was honestly over Awesome within 5 weeks. Just remember being at the October '99 ECW Arena show thinking "why is this guy champion?" His goofy look (think I also learned the mullet was a thing because of Awesome) and mediocre promos were a turnoff while saddling him with the awful Judge Jeff Jones was an even bigger nail in his coffin. Plus I wasn't even sure whether he was supposed to be face or heel. And the only real feud he ever had as champion involved his career rival Tanaka coming in for a week or two here and there. The Awesome experiment was quickly becoming an awesome flop in my eyes.
To be fair, I never saw the highly regarded Tanaka TNN matches. 1999 was the real time peak of my ECW fandom. I went to 6 Arena shows and ordered the first 5 PPVs. I was so excited about getting to finally watch ECW every week on TNN. I legit thought they were going to take WCW's spot as the #2 promotion in the US within months and might even compete with WWF if everything worked out. But just a few short months into their TNN run the tapes sat there gathering collecting dust (I finally had some semblance of a life so I was usually out doing something on Friday nights and taped ECW on TNN). With Raw, Smackdown, my beloved Shotgun (which I was also watching less of), PPVs, and even Heat, coupled with some semblance of a life, ECW tv soon stopped being a priority. My interest went from 10/10- on par with WWF- to like a 5/10 pretty damn quick. The point of all this rambling is I think ECW Champ Mike Awesome played a role in this declining interest.
And all this took place even before he Lex Luger'ed the company. Nobody in wrestling had more heat with me than Awesome in April 2000. I legit hated him for a while there because I cared way too much about dudes fake fighting in those days. My all time favorite ECW guy Taz winning the title on loan from WWE in front of a crowd ready to lynch Awesome is one of the last great ECW moments imo.
I've mellowed out on the Benedict Arnold of ECW and now I'm more or less in agreement with Kilgore on the whole fiasco. Awesome will forever be known for two things- his neverending feud with Tanaka and screwing over ECW. Due to his relatively short stints I 'only' had him at #25.
Mikey Whipwreck- Was an odd duck. I didn't know what to make of this guy when first reading about him in the Apter Mags. He didn't even weigh 200 pounds! Yet he was an ECW Triple Crown champion! The idea of a sub-200 pound wrestler was completely foreign to me, let alone the idea of one becoming champion of a semi-major company. Even the Whipwreck name invoked feelings of bewilderment. What was a Whipwreck? Well, I had a theory. Not being particularly hip, I thought perhaps it was a slang term. One of the few (only?) pics I saw of Whipwreck had him wearing a bandanna with a stern facial expression and a t-shirt with a skull on it. He looked like a badass! Plus he weighed 187 pounds and I knew what 1-8-7 meant. So I thought maybe a Whipwreck was like a Drive By? Or in wrestling parlance, a sneak attack. Like Blue Meanie might Whipwreck a lower ranked guy, say Duke The Dumpster, to send a message to Jerry Lawler in the action figure league. (Meanie was totally psychotic in the action figure league because, duh, he's a Meanie) Mentally I could only come up with two scenarios in which a sub-200 pounder could ever be a major champion....
1. Be a crazy high flyer but I didn't even have a real basis for this. 1-2-3 Kid or Hakushi was about the 'craziest high flier' I could mentally picture. Hell, I probably still viewed 80s Bobby Eaton as a 'crazy high flyer.' Rey Mysterio would have seemed like an alien from another planet to me at this point. When my friend Rick described the Shooting Star Press I didn't even believe it was humanly possible
2. Be psychotic.
*I assumed Whipwreck was #2 and he went around Whipwrecking people left & right with his badass gangsta ways.
After those first few months Whipwreck seemed to fall off the face of the earth. He was rarely mentioned in the Apter Mags. He missed the first two ECW pay per views. It wasn't until November To Remember '97 that I finally saw Mikey. I was unimpressed. He was just a guy wrestling just another guy in Justin Credible.
It wasn't until I saw his tag title win w/ Cactus over Public Enemy (plus a promo or two) some time in 1998 that I finally understood what Mikey was all about. I liked him well enough in the underdog babyface role. Don't know if I ever told this story, and I hadn't thought about it in years, but I was also AOL buddies with Whipwreck in 1998 (ECWWHIPPER was his handle). He was very accommodating! Always had time for my mark questions and acted just like any other fan. We discussed Raw and he was a big fan of classic Florida Championship Wrestling. He even did an exclusive interview for our WKO Newzletter! Our rival internet clique, those bastards from No Life 4 Life were devastated. Major win for the good guys. Mikey even offered to get me free ECW Arena tix once or twice but I had no way of getting to Philly at the time
Random Fun Fact: I also bought tapes from a young, unknown Necro Butcher around this time.
Kilgore comparing him to a child star is accurate. Mikey was very much a one year wonder. I'm conflicted on the booking of Mikey. On one hand it obviously worked in the short term but I can't help thinking it was too much too soon. Mikey, your lovable loser, literally wins every title within a year. It's like how can he be the underdog anymore? Plus it left him with nothing to shoot for after that. His story was already complete. He spent the next few years just being a directionless midcard guy. I enjoyed many of his matches, underrated gems from mid-96 with Sabu & Shane in particular, but they were rather meaningless. Maybe they should have turned Mikey into a cocky heel as "The Guy Who Beat Steve Austin?" And he could have ranted about winning the ECW Triple Crown faster than anybody. Oh, and the Cactus farewell match was also tons of fun.
Mikey played the underdog babyface role well. His rather unathletic flying and general lack of quality offense worked for his character. Mikey was all heart...a guy busting his ass to compensate for his small stature and lack of real athleticism. Mikey, even more than most, sacrificed his body for the company. I can't definitively call him the best bumper in the company because there were like a dozen other guys who were 9/10-10/10 bumpers but Mikey is definitely in the conversation. And all it really got him was being cast aside for the latest 'Mikey' in Spike Dudley and a forgettable 6 month run in WCW. I was at The Arena when he returned. He got a respectful pop and the mandatory "Welcome Back" chants but it was honestly one of the smaller ECW return pops I witnessed live. Felt like even the ECW loyalists had moved on from Mikey. By all accounts, he did recapture some of his old magic teaming with Tajiri. So I'm happy my old AOL buddy got to go out on a high note. Unfortunately that was it for Mikey. There would be no WWE contract or even a TNA run. I saw him compete once a few years later in ROH. He looked horrible- Fat and could barely move- He wasn't even 30 yet.
#17 on my list and I can't believe I wrote this much about Mikey Whipwreck of all people Be back later to cover Scorpio and hopefully drop a few more names.
Last edited by Baker; Today at 09:11 PM.