Over the past few months on ECW, Tommy Dreamer, the last ECW original, has been spotlighted in the ECW Title picture. As the last original Tommy Dreamer represents everything that was Extreme Championship Wrestling. In honor of Tommy Dreamer and Extreme Championship Wrestling I have compiled this list of the top five significant wrestling matches in the history of the original ECW.
#5 – Hardcore TV (04/04/98): Rob Van Dam versus Bam Bam Bigelow
This was the match that started Rob Van Dam’s near two year reign as ECW Television Champion. The match was also what put Rob Van Dam over as a headliner. Van Dam’s high flying assault from the top rope through the crowd and onto Bam Bam Bigelow made wrestling fans take notice of RVD. Soon fans would pay their hard earn money just to watch Rob Van Dam. This was significant to ECW in their last few years because their other top wrestlers like Taz and The Dudley Boyz left the promotion. With such talents gone Rob Van Dam became the headliner that brought in crowds to ECW events.
#4 – Wrestlepalooza ’97 (06/06/97): Tommy Dreamer versus Raven
Tommy Dreamer/Raven was the biggest feud in the history of the original ECW. The feud had to be cut short after Raven signed a contract to go to WCW (World Championship Wrestling). Wrestlepalooza was Raven’s last night in ECW and Dreamer’s last opportunity to gain a victory over his nemesis. The match is also significant for the aftermath that saw Jerry “the King” Lawler invade the ECW Arena to ignite a feud between ECW and WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).
#3 – Barely Legal ’97 (04/13/97): Taz versus Sabu
ECW promoted Taz versus Sabu as the grudge match of the century. The two had a heated rivalry but for close to a year they did not lay a finger on each other. All that changed on Sunday night, April 13th, 1997 at Barely Legal. The event was the biggest in ECW history because the event was ECW’s first pay per view (PPV) and first chance to promote to a national audience. The PPV’s selling point was the Taz/Sabu match. Taz and Sabu were featured on the Barely Legal t-shirt and Barely Legal poster. As the promoted main event of the PPV, Taz and Sabu had to deliver.
#2 – ECW on TNN (04/14/00): Mike Awesome versus Taz
Mike Awesome versus Taz was history in the making but at the same time a bad sign for ECW. Mike Awesome, who was the ECW World Heavyweight champion, breeched his ECW contract in order to sign a contract with WCW. Taz, who by this time was under WWE contract, was loaned to ECW by the WWE so he could defeat Mike Awesome for the ECW Title. The match was the first time a WCW contracted wrestler wrestled a WWE contracted wrestler and it was for the ECW Title! While exciting, the match showed just how desperate ECW had gotten. The company would declare bankruptcy less than a year later.
#1 – NWA World Heavyweight Title (08/27/94): Shane Douglas versus Too Cold Scorpio
Extreme Championship Wrestling’s motto was “Join the Revolution” and nothing was more revolutionary then when Shane Douglas won the NWA Heavyweight Championship and proceeded to throw the title down in order to proclaim the ECW Title a world championship. The match and its’ aftermath rushed in the era of Extreme.