The original ECW was a blistering blend of teen angst, grunge flavour, hardcore brawling and the best of mid-90s counter culture. Paul Heyman, the mind responsible for this intoxicating assault on wrestling's status quo, was akin to a mad scientist experimenting and laughing maniacally behind the scenes.
ECW lived up to its name. It was Extreme, and it was a much-needed departure from saccharine-soaked gimmickry found elsewhere in WCW or the WWF. Read the first sentence of this paragraph again though: "ECW lived up to its name". That was true beyond the hardcore branding.
Heyman's group often doesn't get the credit it deserves, and this article is here to explain why. It's also here to temper any and all claims that ECW was a business goldmine waiting to happen. 'If only things had been different,' people say. 'If only they'd had a major TV deal,' others cry. Not so fast.
Extreme Championship Wrestling, through the good and bad, was never meant for mass consumption. It was the renegade, the rebel and quite fitting in that role. Furthermore, retrospect makes it easier to see that ECW was misunderstood...