17 Superstars you didn't know competed in ECW
August 20, 2012
The WWE Universe knows three of the most recognizable Superstars of ECW are Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam and Sabu. Other WWE Superstars and Legends such as Rey Mysterio, Dean Malenko and Chris Jericho are also known to have competed in the Philiadelphia-based organization.
However, there have been a number of WWE Superstars, Divas, Legends and Hall of Famers who ventured into the Land of Extreme or it's predecessor Eastern Championship Wrestling that you may not have known.
After conferring with the Extreme Announcer, Joey Styles, WWE Classics lists 17 individuals who made oft-forgotten and brief appearances competing in ECW. ( WATCH VIDEO PLAYLIST)
Check out the list and tell us your favorite obscure and forgotten Superstar appearances in ECW on the WWE Classics Facebook page.
Best known in the United States as a member of The nWo Wolfpac during his tenure in WCW, Konnan was also a highly regarded competitor in Mexico. A former U.S. Champion and two-time WCW Tag Team Champion, Konnan also captured a number of prestigious titles south of the border. Before joining the ranks of The New World Order, the Mexican Superstar spent time competing in ECW.
Making his debut in 1995, Konnan immediately engaged in a heated rivalry with ECW stalwart The Sandman. At 1995’s November to Remember, the Mexican grappler earned an impressive victory by defeating Jason Knight in only 15 seconds. Konnan was one of the most popular Superstars to compete during a joint event featuring competitors from ECW and Mexico’s AAA organization. Konnan's tenure in ECW ended in late-1995, leaving the organization to join WCW. - KEVIN POWERS
Doink the Clown
Doink the Clown will always be remembered for his wacky antics inside the ring during his time with WWE. Beloved by the WWE Universe for his colorful ring attire and his sidekick Dink, whenever Doink makes appearances today, the crowd knows they are in for a good time.
In 1994, Doink the Clown left WWE and joined ECW, a decision he may have ultimately regretted. The circus-themed Superstar was destroyed by Paul Heyman’s chokeslamming juggernaut, 911. Following his annihilation, Matt Borne, the man behind the face paint, became simply known as “Borne Again.” An individual stuck between his true identity and an evil clown, Borne drew strong parallels to Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of The Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman film. - JOEY STYLES
Everyone also remembers the moment Shawn Michaels played some Sweet Chin Music for his tag team partner Marty Jannetty. HBK then tossed his former ally through the window of Brutus Beefcake’s "Barber Shop," ultimately signaling the end of The Rockers. The moment was certainly shocking, but it wouldn’t be the last time Jannetty would be associated with something extreme.
Following a reign as WWE Tag Team Champions with the 1-2-3 Kid in 1995, Jannetty parted ways with WWE and made his way ECW. He competed in a number of high profile contests including challenging both Sandman and Shane Douglas for the ECW World Title at different events throughout the course of the year. After unsuccessfully capturing championship glory in the Philiadelphia-based organization, Jannetty made his return to WWE in fall 1995. - K.P.
He's been known as The Diamond Studd and Razor Ramon, but Scott Hall was always an influential and controversial figure in sports-entertainment. Though he pioneered the Ladder Match with Shawn Michaels, Hall is perhaps best known as one of the masterminds behind The New World Order.
But after finding himself persona non grata in WCW, Hall made two brief appearances in ECW in fall 2000. The 2,500 fans at a sold-out Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., saw Hall compete twice, once losing to 500-plus-pound Full Blooded Italians member Sal E. Graziano in the opening bout and later defeating Justin Credible in the main event. - J.S.
Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton
WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson is known for being one of the longest-tenured members of The Four Horsemen. Former WCW Television Champion Bobby Eaton found a great deal of success as one-half of the legendary tag team, The Midnight Express. Both Anderson and Eaton have always been closely associated with Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW, but in 1994, they tested waters a bit more exteme.
On May 14, 1994, Paul Heyman used his former WCW contacts to draw more than 1,500 fans into a standing-room only ECW Arena for When Worlds Collide. The main event featured former WCW World Tag Team Champions and Heyman's “Dangerous Alliance” cohorts Arn Anderson and “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton in their most high profile of a handful of ECW appearances. The two Superstars were on opposite teams as The Enforcer teamed with Terry Funk against Eaton and Sabu. The Arabian Maniac picked up the victory by forcing Funk to tap out and following the contest, Anderson and Eaton returned to WCW. - J.S.
"The Magnificent Muraco" is well known for his legendary rivalry with Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and being on the receiving end of the famous Superfly Splash off the top of a steel cage inside Madison Square Garden. Muraco is also a two-time Intercontinental Champion as well as the first-ever King of the Ring. But what may surprise the WWE Universe is that The Magnificent One is also a former two-time ECW Champion.
Muraco followed in the footsteps of his archrival Snuka and joined ECW in summer 1992. In his second appearance, Muraco defeated his longtime adversary to win the NWA-Eastern Championship Wrestling Title – a predecessor to the ECW Championship. The man mocked as a “Beach Bum” later formed an alliance with Snuka, with whom he battled the likes of The Public Enemy before making his last appearance in October 1993. - Z.L.
WWE Hall of Famer Nikolai Volkoff is best known for singing the Soviet Union's national anthem at arenas all over the United States at the height of the Cold War. Though Volkoff is a former WWE Tag Team Champion alongside The Iron Sheik, The Hart Foundation made history by defeating the Soviet Superstar and Boris Zukhov in 19 seconds at WrestleMania VI.
A forgotten fact about Volkoff are his five appearances in ECW through 1992 and 1993, competing in both singles and tag team bouts. On Oct. 2, 1992, the Soviet unsuccessfully challenged Don Muraco for the NWA-Eastern Championship Wrestling Title. Following the defeat, Volkoff did not return to ECW until one year later when he was bested by Jimmy Snuka on Oct. 16, 1993. - Z.L.
Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart
The father of WWE Diva Natalya, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart will certainly always be remembered as one-half of the legendary The Hart Foundation. Alongside WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hit Man” Hart, Neidhart became a two-time WWE Tag Team Champion and defined tag team competition in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
“The Anvil” is recognized for his time in both WWE and WCW throughout the 1990s, but for a brief period in 1992 and again in 1995, Neidhart competed in ECW. In 1992, Neidhart had a number of memorable matches with Salvatore Bellomo, and a battle with ECW mainstay The Sandman that ended in a double disqualification. Three years later, Neidhart returned to ECW for a brief tenure, squaring off against Marty Jannetty and Ron Simmons before returning to WWE. - K.P.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Jake "The Snake" Roberts' storied career in WWE and WCW saw him battle the likes of "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Sting, "Ravishing" Rick Rude and WWE Hall of Famer Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat.
Following his departure from WCW in 1992, Roberts made his first, albeit brief, appearance in ECW on Nov. 14, 1993, defeating Mr. Hughes.
While competing in WWE in 1996, Roberts engaged in a bitter rivalry with Jerry "The King" Lawler. It was "The Snake's" personal animosity with Lawler that made his ECW return in summer 1997 completely shocking. As "The King" battled his ECW nemesis Tommy Dreamer, the lights in the arena went out. When they came back on, Roberts took out both Dreamer and Lawler and left the arena. Later that year, "The Snake" teamed with The Headhunters in a losing effort against Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka & Jensei Shinzaki.
Roberts made his final ECW appearance in 1998 at November to Remember. Revealed as Tommy Dreamer's mystery tag team partner, the duo successfully defeated Justin Credible & Jason Knight. - K.P.
The Steiner Brothers
Scott and Rick Steiner are without a doubt the most recognizable duo in WCW history. The Steiner Brothers defined tag team competition in the Atlanta-based organization in the late 1980s and 1990s. From 1992 to 1994, the brothers competed for WWE, adding two WWE Tag Team Titles to their resumes.
During a transition period between their tenure in WWE and return to WCW, the pair spent 1995 competing first in New Japan Pro Wrestling and then making their way to the raucous realm of ECW. Although The Steiners only competed a handful of times, they squared off with many extreme legends, including Dean Malenko, 2 Cold Scorpio, Cactus Jack, Raven, Stevie Richards and The Eliminators (Perry Saturn and John Kronus). - J.S
King Kong Bundy
King Kong Bundy was a competitor so powerful that he once managed to injure Andre the Giant. He also famously battled Hulk Hogan for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 2 inside the fabled blue-barred steel cage. However, before Bundy became the fourth Superstar to fall to The Undertaker on The Grandest Stage of Them All, he made a oft-forgot appearance in ECW.
The first ECW November to Remember event occurred in 1993 featuring a bout billed as a “dream partner tag team match.” Terry Funk’s ECW Television Championship was on the line as he defended against Sabu and the Arabian maniac’s chosen partner, Road Warrior Hawk.
In an ECW Arena shocker, Funk revealed his ally to be WrestleMania 2's main event competitor, King Kong Bundy. The former threat to Hulkamania often demanded referees count pinfalls of five instead of three, but it didn’t matter on this night. Sabu pinned Funk to win the TV Title, spoiling Bundy’s one and only ECW appearance. - Z.L.
Stan "The Lariat" Hansen
Stan Hansen earned his nickname "The Lariat" after breaking Bruno Sammartino's neck using the maneuver of the same name. The sheer power behind Hansen's in-ring abilities led him to become a force to be reckoned with in AWA and in Japan. But what occurred on Sept. 18, 1993, marks Hansen's most obscure — and exteme — place in history.
In front of the first crowd of more than 1,000 fans at the ECW Arena, Paul Heyman began his reign as Creative Director & Executive Producer of Eastern Championship Wrestling. Heyman celebrated his new position by treating the South Philly faithful to utter anarchy. Former AWA World Champion Hansen teamed with former NWA World Champion Terry Funk to battle Kevin Sullivan and Abdullah the Butcher. As the brawl spilled all over the building, it would be a harbinger to the promotion that would be renamed Extreme Championship Wrestling less than a year later. - J.S.
Road Warrior Hawk
Donning face paint and spiked shoulder pads, The Road Warriors conquered NWA and WWE in the 1980s and early 1990s. They were dominant, but there was a brief time that the WWE Hall of Famers went their separate ways, resulting in Hawk venturing to the Land of Extreme.
On May 14, 1993, The Road Warrior challenged Jimmy Snuka for the ECW Television Championship. The tag team icon won the match via disqualification, and thus did not win the title. Six months later, Hawk returned at the first-ever ECW November to Remember when he was selected by Sabu in a "dream partner tag team match." The duo challenged Terry Funk & King Kong Bundy for Funk's ECW TV Title. With Hawk by his side, the death-defying Sabu defeated the Amarillo, Texas, native to win the Television Title.
Hawk continued to compete in ECW throughout 1994, battling the likes of Mr. Hughes, Pitbull #1 and Shane Douglas. After declining to participate in the historic NWA World Heavyweight Championship Tournament when the "E" in ECW changed from Eastern to Extreme, Hawk quietly left the Philadelphia-based organization. - Z.L.
Lita is revered as one of the greatest Divas to set foot inside a WWE ring. A four-time WWE Women’s Champion, Lita’s memorable rivalry with Trish Stratus defined Divas competition in the early 2000s. However, before her WWE debut in 2000, Lita’s first foray into sport-entertainment came in the Land of Extreme.
Known as Miss Congeniality, Lita was the girlfriend of ECW Superstar Danny Doring. When Doring teamed with Roadkill, the future WWE Diva often found herself directly involved in their matches. At ECW Heat Wave 1999, Doring proposed to her and she accepted. But at the time, Lita was preparing to become a competitor under the guidance of Dory Funk Jr. Following her training in late 1999, Lita left ECW to begin her storied career in WWE. -K.P.