- Not every wrestler was a perfect fit in the extreme and gritty world of ECW, as some performers clashed with the promotion's hardcore style and attitude.
- The presence of legendary wrestlers like Marty Jannetty, Ron Simmons, and Tully Blanchard in ECW did not live up to their stature, with their runs in the promotion being uneventful and lackluster.
- While some wrestlers, like Brian Pillman and Lita, had the potential to make an impact in ECW, their stints in the promotion were disappointing and failed to showcase their true abilities.
In the wild and chaotic world of professional wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) stood out as a rebel force, a promotion that dared to push the boundaries of sports entertainment like never before. With its hardcore style and edgy content, ECW gained a cult following and became a haven for wrestlers who didn't quite fit the mold of mainstream wrestling in WWE or WCW.
However, not every wrestling signing was a stroke of genius for ECW. In pursuing innovation, the promotion occasionally stumbled upon performers who didn't belong in their gritty, hardcore universe. These wrestlers often felt like square pegs in round holes, out of place amidst the hardcore chaos and the uncompromising energy ECW was known for.
While ECW is often praised for its willingness to take risks and challenge norms, it's essential to acknowledge that not every gamble pays off. For each diamond in the rough that ECW uncovered, an unfortunate misstep reminded everyone just how challenging the world of professional wrestling can be.
Get ready to be surprised, intrigued, and perhaps even nostalgic as we shed light on the fascinating and sometimes flawed side of one of wrestling's most legendary promotions.
10 Doink The Clown
Few characters have been as polarizing and perplexing as Doink the Clown. With his mischievous demeanor and his face painted in an eerie clown motif, Doink was undoubtedly a memorable figure in the '90s wrestling scene. However, his stint in Extreme Championship Wrestling proved peculiar and misplaced. Doink The Clown was a divisive figure in the wrestling world. Although the gimmick has been portrayed by various wrestlers, the Doink who went to ECW in 1994 was played by Matt Osborne.
Some fans appreciated his comedic antics, while others despised him for being a silly clown. His transition to ECW was unexpected and awkward, as he clashed with the hardcore style and attitude of the promotion. He tried to change his gimmick by becoming more stupid, but it didn't work well. He had a weird feud with Shane Douglas, which didn't make much sense.
9 Marty Jannetty
In the realm of Extreme Championship Wrestling, where hardcore legends and boundary-pushing daredevils roamed, the arrival of Marty Jannetty was an unexpected twist that left many scratching their heads. Marty Jannetty's stint in ECW was pointless. Many fans don't even remember that he ever stepped foot in the ECW ring. He had no impact on the promotion, despite getting several title shots.
Despite his storied past as one-half of the iconic tag team The Rockers and occasional brushes with championship opportunities in ECW, Jannetty's tenure amounted to nothing substantial. He was a relic of the past who didn't belong in the cutting-edge ECW.
8 Pierre Carl Ouellet
Among the eclectic mix of wrestlers that graced the ring in ECW, Pierre Carl Ouellet, also known as PCO, stands out as a puzzling choice. A talented performer with experience in various promotions, PCO's tenure in ECW seemed like a missed opportunity and a questionable hiring decision.
Despite being a seasoned competitor, PCO's presence in ECW was overshadowed by the larger-than-life personalities that dominated the promotion. He struggled to carve out a distinct identity in a sea of extreme talent, which resulted in lackluster storylines and uninterested fan responses. While he may have found success in other wrestling circuits, PCO's stint in ECW served as a reminder that not every wrestler can thrive in the extreme environment that the promotion was known for.
7 Ron Simmons
Ron Simmons, a legendary figure in professional wrestling, made an unexpected appearance in ECW, leaving fans both surprised and puzzled. While it can be argued that his run in ECW positively impacted other performers, it's hard to ignore the perplexing nature of his time in the promotion.
His tenure in ECW didn't amount to much, which was surprising for someone of his stature in the early-to-mid '90s. While he wasn't necessarily booked as an enhancement talent, his run in ECW paled in comparison to his time in WCW where he became a World Heavyweight Champion. His role in the promotion felt uneventful and devoid of meaningful storylines or memorable matches.
Sunny had a promising start in ECW, as she was involved in a storyline that brought in Dawn Marie, who became a popular ECW diva. However, her run was a disaster, as she was plagued by drug abuse and personal problems that affected her performance and reliability. These issues hindered her ability to stay in the spotlight and negatively affected the atmosphere within the promotion. The promising storyline that marked her entry eventually took a backseat as her struggles took center stage.
She had a boring feud with Dawn Marie that went nowhere. Sunny's time with ECW ended abruptly, lasting just over a year before she departed from the company altogether. It was a missed opportunity for both her and the promotion, as her initial entrance into ECW had showcased the potential for a successful stint. Still, it was quickly derailed by the numerous obstacles she faced.
5 Taka Michinoku
Taka Michinoku, a highly skilled and acrobatic wrestler from Japan, may be best known for his time in WWE. However, what many might not realize is that he had not one but two distinct runs with ECW. Despite his undeniable talent, Michinoku's presence in ECW was unnecessary on both occasions, leading to unremarkable stints. In 1997, Michinoku appeared in ECW, entangled in a short-lived tag team feud. But the feud failed to ignite much interest or leave a lasting impact on the ECW landscape.
His return in 1999 did little to change the narrative. Apart from sporadically teaming up with the talented Tajiri, Michinoku's second stint in ECW was marked by a lack of noteworthy accomplishments. Although his matches were consistently fantastic, they failed to elevate his status in the promotion.
4 Tully Blanchard
Tully Blanchard, an undisputed legend in the wrestling industry, made appearances in ECW when his talents would have been better suited in a different capacity. The decision to bring him into the promotion seemed aimed at elevating Shane Douglas as a dominant champion, but it left some of Blanchard's devoted fans questioning the wisdom of his role in ECW.
Blanchard's tenure in ECW was marked by multiple challenges, engaging in long matches that always ended in his defeat. While having a seasoned veteran put over a rising talent is a common practice in wrestling, it didn't sit well with some of Blanchard's loyal supporters to see him take a series of high-profile losses in the promotion. Instead of leveraging Blanchard's incredible experience and wrestling prowess, ECW opted to have him compete in a role that seemed ill-fitted for the legendary figure. As a seasoned wrestler, Blanchard could have been an invaluable asset as a manager, guiding and elevating other talents.
Lita, the charismatic and high-flying female wrestler, undeniably left an indelible mark in the wrestling world. Her time in WWE showcased her as a trailblazer for women's wrestling, but her brief stint in ECW failed to make an impression. When she stepped foot in ECW, there was hope that her presence would add a fresh dimension to the women's division in the promotion. While she did participate in some notable storylines and engaging matches, it became apparent that she failed to make a mark.
Lita's ECW run was a stepping stone for her career but also a dull and disappointing one. She didn't have any memorable matches or angles, and she was involved in some embarrassing segments. Lita was later signed by WWE and debuted in 2000 alongside Essa Rios.
2 The Steiner Brothers
The decision to bring the Steiner Brothers, a well-known tag team, into Extreme Championship Wrestling was another instance of recognizable names being roped in to bolster the promotion's reputation and talent pool. While they had already achieved success in other wrestling companies, their ECW run didn't offer much of anything interesting, becoming an unremarkable chapter in both brothers' careers.
Undeniably, the Steiner Brothers were a formidable tag team with a track record of success, which carried over into their time in ECW. Their in-ring abilities were evident, and they delivered some decent matches during their tenure. However, their success as a tag team didn't quite translate into captivating storylines or memorable feuds in ECW.
While the Steiner Brothers' presence may have attracted attention initially, their run in the promotion failed to leave a lasting impact. Instead, it became one of the most forgettable parts of their illustrious careers.
1 Brian Pillman
The decision to bring Brian Pillman into Extreme Championship Wrestling without utilizing his in-ring abilities was puzzling. As a highly talented and charismatic wrestler, Pillman's potential clash with the top talent in ECW held significant intrigue for fans. While Pillman did deliver some captivating promos during his time in ECW, the anticipation among fans was primarily centered around seeing him engage in thrilling matches against the promotion's top stars.
It seemed like he was on the verge of a feud with Shane Douglas, adding further excitement to his presence in the promotion, but this rivalry never came to be. In Pillman's brief time with ECW, he managed to create a buzz with his on-mic skills and enigmatic persona, but the absence of actual wrestling encounters left a void that left many yearning for more. Soon after his appearance in ECW, he made a move to WWE.