Champions in enemy territory

Page 2 of 8
March 04, 2013

WWE Superstar Tazz wins ECW Title from WCW’s Mike Awesome

Toward the end of the original ECW’s existence, shaky finances led to many of its top stars leaving for greener pastures in WWE and WCW. That included their reigning champion, Mike Awesome. The 300-pounder shocked everyone in sports-entertainment when he showed up on WCW Monday Nitro and attacked Kevin Nash. The announce team recognized him on-air as the ECW World Champion.

Awesome jumping ship left ECW wondering what they could possibly do to get their title back. When the defector agreed to return to the promotion for one last title defense in April 2000, his opponent was the last person anyone expected to show up.

Tazz, who left ECW the previous winter for WWE, returned to the hardcore promotion to challenge the rogue champion. In a situation that will never be recreated, a WWE Superstar challenged a WCW wrestler for the ECW World Title. Although he tried to run away, Awesome was eventually trapped in the Tazzmission, giving The Human Suplex Machine the title he made famous.

The ECW faithful were stunned even more the following Monday, when Tazz walked out on Raw wearing the ECW Championship. Thrilled by the national exposure their small company was getting, ECW never could have imagined that Tazz would take on then–WWE Champion Triple H that week on SmackDown. Well, he did. In a rare Champion vs. Champion Match, the ECW Champion looked to have The Game on the ropes, until Tommy Dreamer inadvertently cracked The Human Suplex Machine with a chair, giving Triple H the opening to hit a Pedigree and claim victory.

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