In honor of the upcoming Extreme Rules PPV, this week’s High 5 will be looking at the original ‘House of Hardcore,’ Extreme Championship Wrestling. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating… The 90’s were a weird time, man. We were all hopped up on Surge, playing Goldeneye, and watching Tank Girl. I myself owned no less than three Dr. Suess, Cat-in-the-Hat hats, and several pairs of pants that had a bigger opening at the leg than at the waist.
Please, don’t judge us too harshly. We obviously had no taste. Since the 90s are about as close as America came to an actual Purge, it makes sense that Paul Heyman ultra-violent brand would find its niche, hardcore audience. The ECW wrestlers put their bodies on the line in a way not seen in the major brands. The men in that ring had a chip on their shoulder. Whether they were stating out or spurned by one of the big brands, ECW wrestlers had something to prove and they did it every night.
There’s a reason why so many of us who were alive to experience it speak about ECW as some mythical, lost thing. It’s our Paradise lost, and people have tried to replicate or resurrect it to no avail. It can’t be duplicated, as ECW was a product of its era and the mad mind of Paul Heyman. So as we gear up for WWE‘s version of extreme, let us pay homage to the real ‘House of Hardcore’ and the men that carried the banner. Here are the ‘Top 5 ECW Heavyweight Champions of All Time’.