Extreme Championship Wrestling took the wrestling world by storm in the 1990s.
The Paul Heyman-ran promotion built up a cult following, up against the might of the WWE and WCW, during the Attitude Era. It inspired both companies in their storytelling and in-ring action, and we would not have modern wrestling today without Paul Heyman’s promotion.
ECW went bust in 2001 and closed its doors, seemingly for good. It was bought out by the WWE in 2003, who rebooted the show years later, only to cancel it again in 2010.
In this article, we’ll look at the last match in the original ECW and the final bout in the failed reboot under the WWE banner.
The Last Match In ECW
The last match in ECW history was The Sandman vs Justin Credible. The match took place at an ECW House Show on January 13th, 2001 in the Pine Buff Convention Center in Arkansas.
Very little is known about this match. As it was a house show match, the event was not filmed by the company. Only the 1300 live fans in attendance can attest to the match, although 22 years later it would be hard to get an accurate picture.
Both Sandman and Justin Credible were former ECW Champions and big parts of the company’s history. Especially The Sandman, who was one of the most popular wrestlers in the company and a multiple-time former ECW Champion.
The Sandman vs Justin Credible actually happened twice on the show. The first time, Credible challenged Sandman to a “wrestling match” as opposed to a hardcore match. The Sandman accepted and was promptly defeated after interference from Credible’s valet, Francine.
Credible then went off and grabbed a container of weapons, due to “owing” Sandman a hardcore match. The fans were elated that they got to see some classic ECW action on the final night of the company. Sandman won after a piledriver onto the metal backing of an air conditioner.
The entire ECW locker room then entered the ring. Tommy Dreamer, who had wrestled in a tag team title match earlier in the night, got on the mic and thanked the fans for their support, with The Sandman adding “This Bud’s for you”. The crew shared a beer in the ring to close the show and say goodbye to ECW forever.
Or so they thought.
Christian Cage vs Ezekial Jackson Was The Last Match In WWE ECW
Ezekiel Jackson defeated Christian on the 16 February 2010 episode of ECW to become the final ever ECW Champion. This was the final ever episode of ECW and Vince McMahon wanted the title change to build up momentum for Jackson as he moved to Smackdown soon after.
The show was cancelled after years of poor ratings and was a shell of its former self. The hardcore aspect of ECW was completely lost, with no-dq matches a rarity. It also featured mainly developmental wrestlers cutting their teeth before moving to the main roster, ignoring legends like RVD and Sandman in the process.
After interference from William Regal, Jackson hit a Rock Bottom onto Christian through a table. This match was an extreme rules match, paying tribute to the extreme past of the much loved ECW brand of days gone by. He pinned Christian to become the new ECW Champion just minutes before the title belt was dissolved for good.
WWE ECW was then replaced by NXT, the game show version which helped spawn The Nexus. ECW was deemed a failure by WWE, despite the reel of champions including stars like Christian Cage, CM Punk, Rob Van Dam, Big Show and many more.
Did you know that Chris Benoit was meant to become ECW Champion before his untimely death?