YMMV / ECW

  • Awesome Music: During a period when both WCW and WWF were using in-house bands and music for entrance and PPV themes, Paul Heyman just raided his CD collection. Few of the tracks were officially licensed, which led to them being replaced with cover versions or generic music when the shows were released on video. The results (including Sandman making his entrance to a bouncy Euro-pop number) can be jarring to say the least.
  • Crosses the Line Twice
    • A lot of angles, but notoriously the crucifixion of The Sandman by Raven.
    • Anything and everything out of Joel Gertner's mouth.
  • Franchise Original Sin: ECW led to an influx of garbage wrestlers who could not wrestle well but could swing stuff around, take hits or were willing to jump off high places to the USA scene. Also popularized valets mainly there to do "cat fights". These did not originate in ECW, but this is where they caught on. Abdullah the Butcher, The Sheik, Dick the Bruiser, those guys could still work traditional matches well... Sandman not so much. Also, the ECW women typically had more to their roles during their early to mid years but as ECW wound down, rolling around and Bronco Busters were about all women did. Prior garbage feds like FMW tended to produce some of the most fearsome women divisions on the planet. Following in ECW's wake, XPW, IWA Mid-South and CZW would magnify these flaws to new heights(though in fairness, the latter two would learn from their mistakes and outlast ECW).
    DDT: (circa 1999) They've become a caricature of what made them unique - they're just absurd spots with tables and ladders, with no real match flow or anything else.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In this case, Americans Love Masato Tanaka. Even Shane Douglas, who rarely had anything good to say about anyone, acknowledged while doing commentary how Tanaka got over faster with the ECW fans than anyone he had seen before.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • Shane Douglas' "KISS! MY! ASS!!" promo, as that was the night the promotion left the NWA and became an entity of its own.
    • Tommy Dreamer's response to getting caned by The Sandman after losing a match against him, "THANK YOU SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?!"
    • For his money, Shane Douglas doesn't think ECW would be remembered today if not for The Radicalz.
      Shane Douglas: Today, as we see a resurgence of the ECW legend, it is, in large part, due to the performances that wrestlers like Eddie brought to the "extreme table". When Eddie, Benoit, and Malenko arrived in ECW, it was a clear signal that the "bingo hall company" was definitely going to change the face of American wrestling.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Witness a particularly brutal spot involving weapons? You are due to chant "E-C-DUB! E-C-DUB! E-C-DUB!".
    • "He's Hardcore! He's Hardcore!" is the crowd's acknowledgement of someone being beyond-Badass
    • "HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!" for something that was truly extreme (e.g., Mike Awesome giving Masato Tanaka a sit-out Awesome Bomb from the apron through a table to the floor at ECW November to Remember 99.)
    • Commentating legend Joey Styles' OH MY GOD!!!
      • TOTALELIMINANATIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON
      • CATFIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT
    • And Paul Heyman's Ascended Meme of "Drinking the Kool-Aid".
    • "Well, well, well...it is I, Joel 'Hotter than tabasco sauce, but loads easier to swallow' Gertner."
    • The crowd chanting "YOU FUCKED UP!" over and over whenever somebody messed up a move or a spot.
    • ECW pioneered the art of brawling and wrestling all over the building. Unfortunately, with such a low budget, the chant "CAN'T SEE SHIT!" was introduced.
    • "From the Harley Races, to the Barry Windhams, to the... Ric Flairs!" "Nevermind that shit, here comes Mongo!"
    • "GORE! GORE! GORE!"
    • "AND HERE COMES NEW JACK!"
  • Never Live It Down: ECW would make fun of Jerry Lawler for raping an under aged girl, even though the case was thrown out when police determined it could not have happened and she admitted to lying. There is a reason he hated ECW.
  • Newer Than They Think: ECW was the first American pro wrestling company to feature wrestlers tapping out to submissions as in Mixed Martial Arts, introduced by Taz. Before this, wrestlers only verbally signaled to the referee. Although, in the martial-arts movie parody A Fistful of Yen in The Kentucky Fried Movie, all the way back in 1977, a character applies a juji-gatame, known in pro wrestling as a crucifix armbar or a cross-armbreaker, to another character, who taps out to it.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Honestly, a good chunk of ECW counts as either this or Nausea Fuel. New Jack's infamous bump at Living Dangerously 2000, where he landed facefirst 20 feet onto concrete and brain fluid leaked out of his nose, is both.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Between the company's will to succeed and the "make-noise-at-all-costs" mentality of Paul and Tod, there's very little ECW wouldn't do for some press. In one of those periodic documentaries put out by WWE, Dreamer is said to have told Heyman, "I will die for this company." The adrenaline / head injuries probably were not helping, and Tommy's always been a bit crazy; but it's no secret that Paul Heyman was the Jim Jones of pro wrestling for a little while.
  • Older Than They Think: Fireballs, cages, tables...they were all staples of the South long before ECW or "Hardcore" was a thing. Randy Savage (back when he was working for his Father's company, ICW) may have been the first person to piledrive someone (poor Ricky Morton) through a table. This was lampshaded by Steve Corino when, while doing an anti-hardcore crusader gimmick, he blamed Dusty Rhodes for starting the "hardcore revolution". The difference is the Southern promotions largely relied on garbage when they felt enough people weren't watching, then went back to wrestling once they felt they had enough attention. This isn't really such a bad thing, as much of what ECW brought back was sorely missed by those who recognized it from somewhere else.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The promotion had a couple of awful games back in the early 2000s, made by Acclaim (who had lost the WWF license to THQ) and using the same (crappy) engine as their last two WWF games. Some (less-than-)professional reviewers used the ECW games as a launching board to decry the promotion, along with pro wrestling as a whole.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap
    • Tommy Dreamer was a pretty-boy face who, on the surface, had absolutely no business being in ECW - and the fans made their feelings about Dreamer perfectly clear. Then he lost a match to The Sandman, took numerous Singapore cane shots to his back, then famously told Sandman "Thank you sir, may I have another?!" before getting further beaten. In that one moment, Tommy became a legitimate fan favorite.
    • Mike Awesome who was legitimately hated by the fans after jumping to WCW with the ECW title jumped out of the Scrappy Heap by himself after his performance against Masato Tanaka at the Original ECW One Night Stand event. However, he then jumped right into retirement. And worse.
  • The Scrappy: Justin Credible, one of the last ECW World Heavyweight Champions, was eventually looked upon as this. After a feud with Jerry "Carry Artist" Lynn made him look like a legitimately great wrestler, this merely-passable pro was pushed as the #1 heel in the company, and the fans let him know that he didn't really deserve it. Easily one of the least-liked World Champions ever. Invoked by Paul Heyman, who wanted a long-term ECW Champion: so he put the belt on the one wrestler that neither of the "Big 2" were ever going to even try to sign.
  • Seasonal Rot: After 18 years of existence, ECW finally died its final death with the last episode of WWE's ECW on Syfy being aired in February 2010... with The Miz, Yoshi Tatsu, and Ezekiel Jackson being among the last names ever mentioned on the show. Not even poor Christian, who'd carried that show on his back for a year, yet this was his reward. Losing the belt in the last episode.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: A large part of the reason most modern wrestling fans view ECW as nothing more than a blood and guts promotion is because everything ECW did that was revolutionary in wrestling at the time is so commonplace in today's wrestling atmosphere that it's the only thing that stands out. Revisionist historians at WWE have carefully omitted any link between their current stars and ECW, leading new fans to assume that WWE built those talents from the ground up.
  • Squick
    • Sabu vs. Terry Funk in a Barbed Wire Match; it's a match so violently disturbing that some viewers will admit to only watching it once in its entirety. It was also a gimmick match that Paul Heyman said he refused to book again in ECW, because he didn't think anyone could top that one - and he didn't want anyone else to try.
    • Fortunately for the fans, Shane Douglas booked a Barbed Wire Three-Way-Dance between Sabu, Funk, and himself for Hardcore Homecoming - and it was just as disturbingly brilliant as the original.
    • How can anyone forget the Taipei Death Match? Ian and Axl Rotten decide to battle it out by taping up their fists and forearms, covering them with hot glue, and then roll their glued-up arms in broken glass. And then they went to town on each other. Dear lord, what a bloodbath.
  • The Woobie
    • Arguably, Tommy Dreamer; every time he was on the verge of a major victory, someone would always manage to cause him to lose. Even when he got the victories he was looking for, they were short lived (for example: the night he won the ECW Championship, he lost it just a little while later to Justin Credible). It was at its worst during his epic feud with Raven. Despite mixing it up nearly every week, it took Tommy two-and-a-half years to finally score a decisive win over Raven (on Raven's last night before jumping to WCW). Word of God has that this was intention - at least the not-winning-the-title part, at any rate. Dreamer mentioned he would have liked to have spent his entire career without a title, but only won them due to circumstances beyond his control.
    • MIKEY WHIPWRECK. This was his whole act as the Underdog in his first year or so.
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