ECW has been one of the most famous professional wrestling company to date. In the 90s, WCW was not the only competition for WWE. ECW was a big competition for both WWE and WCW. WWE.com looked at some of the top matches of ECW that are hardly remembered by the fans
Top 10 Must Watch ECW Matches
Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko (Aug. 26, 1995)
“I think the greatest match I ever called is Eddie Guerrero versus Dean Malenko in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match from the ECW Arena,” The Extreme Announcer said of the bout, which was the final showdown between the two ring greats in the Philadelphia promotion before their exit to WCW.
“I think the match exemplifies the original ECW because so many people mistakenly think ECW was all about hardcore wrestling and barbed wire. While that was part of it, ECW was also willing to take the best wrestlers in the world — many of whom were considered not big enough to be in WWE or WCW at the time — and made them main eventers. I think it’s a shame we didn’t have better production values because I think it’s a match that stands up against any match I’ve seen since then. I love this match.”
Rey Mysterio vs. Psychosis: Gangstas Paradise (Aug. 16, 1995)
“When WCW hired Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko, we needed to replenish our roster and make our own stars, so we made the call to bring in the Lucha Dores,” Joey Styles said of ECW’s 1995 acquisition of such masked Mexican standouts as Juventud Guerrera, Psychosis and the amazing Rey Mysterio.
“Rey Mysterio, from minute one, proved what a star he was. But I did have to be on my game (for this match). I actually watched VHS tapes of Lucha libre to learn what some of the moves were called. You know, I believe I was the first American wrestling announcer to call a hurricanrana. Until then, it was only a word you saw printed in a wrestling newsletter.”
Mikey Whipwreck vs. Steve Austin: November to Remember 1995 (Nov. 18, 1995)
“Paul Heyman had been interviewed about Steve Austin and said that we only had Austin available to us for two matches, but he wished it had been 2000,” Styles remembered about the WWE Hall of Famer’s brief run with ECW in 1995. “Had he not come to terms with WWE, ECW was going to be built around Steve Austin. But I think Austin’s short time in ECW is important because it’s where the “Stone Cold” persona was first seen.
Whoever hired him at WWE had obviously never watched him in ECW, because WWE made Steve Austin into The Ringmaster, didn’t let him speak and made “The Million Dollar Man” his mouthpiece. When he finally became “Stone Cold,” while many were shocked, it’s what we already saw him doing in ECW and that’s being himself.”
The Sandman vs. Raven: CyberSlam 1996 (Feb. 17, 1996)
“The story with Sandman versus Raven was that Raven had stolen The Sandman’s wife, Lori, and was living in The Sandman’s house. And The Sandman’s young son, Tyler, who I believe was seven at the time, was actually treating Raven as his stepfather and dressing like Raven,” Styles recalled about one of ECW’s more controversial battles.
“The fact that we did such an uncomfortable, unnerving rivalry and the way we shot it on home video instead of overproducing it is what I think makes this a must-see moment in ECW history.
Chris Jericho vs. Cactus Jack (March 8, 1996)
“I was a fan of Chris Jericho’s because I had seen his work with Lance Storm. They were The Thrillseekers in Smoky Mountain Wrestling,” Joey Styles revealed about the WWE Superstar’s early days in sports-entertainment. “Chris was only in ECW for a short time. I think he knew that coming to work for ECW was a way to get noticed by either WWE or WCW and he was right.
He was with us very quickly and got a lucrative offer very quickly and was gone as quickly as he came. There may have been simmering heat between ECW and WCW before, but with Jericho, WCW made it clear that they were watching our show to pick people off. We knew we were under siege.”
Sabu vs. Rob Van Dam: Hardcore Heaven 1996 (June 22, 1996)
“Sabu and RVD trained together with Sabu’s uncle, The Original Sheik,” Joey Styles revealed about two ECW icons who were both rivals and allies. “They learned all that high-flying wrestling when The Sheik wasn’t looking. The Sheik hated it. He wanted them to work on headlocks and shoulder blocks.
Two guys that close who know everything about each other and learned everything together made for great opponents and they made for great tag team partners. I just think the athletic ability in both of them and the fact that what both of them did still can’t be duplicated in the industry today more than 10 years later makes their matches must-see matches.”
Tommy Dreamer vs. Brian Lee: High Incident (Oct. 26, 1996)
“When WWE does any sort of speciality match, we have a professional named Ellis Edwards who owns his own stunt company and helps us build all these apparatuses. ECW had the drunken Sandman build that scaffold!” Joey Styles howled when remembering the infamous Scaffold Match between ECW icon Tommy Dreamer and the dangerous Brian Lee.
“It was a piece of wood hanging from the top of the arena from ropes and chains! It was not very stable. Brian Lee looked like a pinball (when he fell from the scaffold) and was legitimately knocked out and unconscious by the time he hit the canvas. God, he was so tough. Looking back, I’m just happy it wasn’t Tommy losing that match because he’s a friend of mine and I’ve watched him take so many horrific falls. I still have a hard time watching them.”
Tazz vs. Sabu: Barely Legal 1997 (April 13, 1997)
“I think Tazz versus Sabu at Barely Legal stands out because it was one-half of the double main event of our first pay-per-view,” Styles said. “It was built-up for an entire year without them even touching. The next time after that I can remember anyone match being built up for an entire year before it happened was John Cena versus The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII.
And they did touch. We built Sabu and Tazz for an entire year without having them touch and that’s what made it special. Granted, we only had 1,200 people in that building for the main event, but when they finally locked up it sounded like a hell of a lot more than 1,200 people. And that’s because we waited for a year just to make them touch. It’s not done enough today.”
Stevie Richards vs. Terry Funk vs. The Sandman; Raven vs. Terry Funk: Barely Legal 1997 (April 13, 1997)
“I know it’s technically two matches, but I’ve always considered it one match,” Joey Styles said of the two consecutive bouts that served as the main event of ECW’s inaugural pay-per-view, Barely Legal. “I think the star of that first match wound up being Stevie Richards. Everyone knew that Terry Funk was a star and The Sandman was already established.
That 3-Way Dance was designed to see if Stevie Richards could hang with those guys, and he did. Looking back, it was a shame that Stevie was wearing a half-shirt and daisy dukes because it’s hard to take him seriously, but I think he proved himself to be able to go with anyone in the ring that night. Then Terry Funk won the ECW Title from Raven against all odds — everything just went right. Even the power going out didn’t happen until 15 seconds after we went off the air.”
The Eliminators vs. Sabu & Rob Van Dam: CyberSlam 1997 (Feb. 21, 1997)
“I thought The Eliminators were the best tag team in the world from the standpoint that they were the most exciting to watch,” Styles said of the classic pairing of John Kronus & Perry Saturn who held the ECW Tag Team Titles on three occasions.
“Nobody else could do what they did — especially John Kronus, who weighed 265 pounds. When you get two men who are that explosive and that athletic against two guys like Rob Van Dam and Sabu, you probably have four of the most athletic people on the planet in the ring at the same time. You knew it was going to look like a highlight reel.”