First and Last Matches of WWE’s ECW – Bell to Bell

(bell ringing) – So we’re doing something a
bit different on Bell to Bell, With WWE’s ECW shutting
down ten years ago today, I thought it’d be fun to
look back at the first match that ever happened on the
show and the very last. Let’s just jump in to it
and see how this goes. So to summarize ECW’s revival, in 2004 “The Rise and Fall
of ECW” DVD was released. It did well enough for WWE to
put together a reunion show a year later called One Night Stand. It too was a hit so another
event was held in 2006. Up till about this point, WWE’s usage of ECW had been pretty good but all this success ended
up being its downfall. On top of having another
One Night Stand show, WWE also decided to bring
back ECW on a weekly basis with its own show on Syfy. This sounded awesome, but the premiere episode
showed exactly why it wasn’t. A lot of that can be seen
in the first official match of WWE’s ECW so let’s take a look. The first wrestler who
entered wasn’t even someone on the roster, it was a
character named The Zombie. All he did was walk with his arms out and moan into a microphone. At least his opponent was an
actual wrestler on the roster. Sandman entered from the crowd to combat his undead opponent. The actual match was faster than either of these guys’ entrances. How quick was it? I can cover the whole
thing in one sentence. The Sandman beats Zombie
with his Singapore cane and hits the White Russian
Legsweep for the win. Now just changing this match
wouldn’t have fixed all of the problems this version of ECW had but it would have helped a little. Why not have Sandman
or another ECW original take on a younger, new talent? Perhaps someone from development who was going to make their debut on ECW. That could have been a great
passing of the torch moment and would have also fit with the New Breed Unleashed
slogan they were promoting. If they had to have
this match on the card, move it to somewhere in
the middle of the show. It still wouldn’t have been great but at least it wouldn’t stand out. Having it as the first
match for this new brand just put a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. On the positive side, at
least they were being upfront with what they were going
for, so I can respect that. Anyways, after the debut episode, it was clear this wasn’t
the ECW fans had loved. It tried to be similar while
also doing its own thing, which seems like a good
combination but it didn’t work. Like I’ve said, there
were a lot of reasons why WWE’s ECW wasn’t
good but one big reason was because of the company culture. The original ECW was a smaller
promotion that was fan-driven and wasn’t really corporate at all. WWE was the exact opposite,
with sponsors and shareholders and it was just a lot larger so it didn’t have the connection
to the fans that ECW had. Regardless, there was
enough of an audience that ECW stuck around and found its place below Raw and SmackDown
as the third brand. While it had its growing pains, I think ECW eventually
found its own identity. As the show went on, more and more of the
original ECW wrestlers left and the void was filled by
talent from development. Now, of course, this
made it bare even less of a resemblance to the original ECW but I think this helped give
the brand its own image. It became a show where new
talent could get TV time and weren’t just going to be used to enhance other performers. There were still veterans
too but I think an emphasis on younger stars helped
give ECW its own identity and more of a purpose. Sure, if you wanted to see
big stars and huge storylines you had to check out Raw or SmackDown but if you wanted to see a
smaller star get featured, ECW would have you covered. Honestly, I think WWE
going PG helped ECW get out of that weird rut it was in. Sure, ECW becoming a PG show goes against what the original company was about but it forced them to focus
on talent and wrestling rather than hardcore violence and sex. So after a couple of years of trying to be like the
original promotion and failing, ECW finally found its position in WWE. It had a good run but the
beginning of the end started when Vince McMahon made an announcement on February 2nd, 2010. He stated that in two weeks’ time, ECW would be going off the air
and replaced with a new show. We’ll get to that in a bit
but let’s jump ahead 14 days to February 16th, 2010 to the main event of the final episode of ECW. The last ECW contest was
fittingly an Extreme Rules match for the ECW Championship. First to enter was the
champion, Christian, along with a cart of weapons. He grabbed a mic and reflected on his time in the land of extreme. Captain Charisma said he
was proud to be a part of the ECW roster and glad
to have been able to work with both veterans, such as Tommy Dreamer, and younger talents like Yoshi Tatsu. Next came out Christian’s
opponent, Ezekiel Jackson, who was accompanied by William Regal. Once the bell rang, Jackson was able to easily
overpower the ECW champion. Realizing he couldn’t beat
the challenger with strength, Christian used his speed and
reflexes to combat Ezekiel. Jackson adjusted his strategy accordingly and threw some weapons into the ring. It proved not to be a smart move since Christian got his
hands on a Singapore cane and kept the muscle monster
at bay on the outside. From behind the Titantron, Zack Ryder came out
and ambushed Christian. These two did face off a few months back with Christian getting the better of Ryder so I’m assuming in kayfabe Zack Ryder is still upset about losing and wants to see Christian defeated. Anyways, the ECW champion quickly took out the Long Island Iced
Z, but received a slap from Rosa Mendes, Ryder’s
on-screen girlfriend. Then, the ECW General
Manager Tiffany ran in and took out her fellow female worker. One commercial break
later and both Christian and Ezekiel Jackson were in the ring. After an elbow to the face, the champion went to the top rope only to receive a light shove
from his adversary, oh well. With the fight on the outside, Jackson pulled out the steel steps to inflict some serious damage. He decided to step it up with a trash can that ended up backfiring
right in his face. It was only a slight setback as Ezekiel Jackson was back
in control almost instantly. Christian did show he
still had fight in him by dodging a shopping cart but
Jackson’s monstrous strength continued to overpower Captain Charisma. The match returned to the ring, where Christian once again countered the challenger’s offense but like before, his comeback was stopped before he could build any momentum. With some help from William Regal, Jackson pulled out a table and, after a literal
push back from Christian, the Personification of
Domination got it set up. Both men fought to avoid smashing
through the piece of wood and it was finally the Singapore cane that gave Christian the advantage. Knowing that he was a threat to the match, Christian exited the ring and sent William Regal
running to the back. The battle had taken its
toll on the Canadian wrestler but Christian was gonna
fight till his last breath. With all of his options exhausted, the ECW champion looked
to hit the Kill Switch to end the match. Before he could do that, William Regal returned to the
ring and attacked Christian. However, just like with Zack Ryder, Christian quickly dealt with the problem and ended up hitting
Regal with his finisher. It was too late though. Ezekiel Jackson grabbed
Christian by the throat and slammed him through the table and became the final ECW champion, a title he held for
less than three minutes. I actually thought it
was a pretty good match but it’s also the final episode of ECW so I may be a bit biased. It’s interesting to compare
this match to the one in 2006. The winner of the first
represented the original ECW and the winner of the last match more or less represented WWE’s ECW. So after 193 episodes, ECW shut down and in its ashes rose NXT. That’s an entirely different story, but I think ECW was, in
a way, NXT before NXT. It was a place for new
talent to start their careers and for veterans to restart theirs. Sure, ECW was always the little guy but that’s what I liked about it. People like Jack Swagger were
able to receive strong pushes that weren’t derailed. Others like Zack Ryder were able to develop their personalities. The show started off as
this weird hybrid of WWE and the original ECW but by the end it found its own identity and created its own legacy. So yeah, this was a bit
different and don’t worry, next time we’re looking at a wrestler. Let me know what you
guys think of this video and if you’d want to see
me do something like this in the future. In the meantime, check out
the first and last matches of MVP, who apparently is still in WWE? But with that, I’m Zach
from Tap Out Corner and that was Bell to Bell!

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