ECW was founded in 1992 as Eastern Championship Wrestling. In the summer of 1994, Eastern Championship Wrestling was re-christened as the anti-establishment Extreme Championship Wrestling and for the next seven years shook the wrestling would as an extreme alternative to global giants WWE and WCW.
Under the stewardship of Paul Heyman and backed by a fiercely loyal following, ECW helped launch the careers of the likes of Rob Van Dam, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio, whilst other WWE Hall Of Famers such as Steve Austin and Mick Foley saw their careers rejuvenated whilst working for the Philadelphia based promotion.
Whilst many have drawn comparisons between ECW and AEW, one WWE Hall Of Famer and ECW alumni believes that Tony Khan’s outfit have many things they could learn from his former employer.
WWE Hall Of Famer Bully Ray Speaks On Lessons AEW Could Learn From ECW
WWE Hall Of Famer Bully Ray, known during his ECW days as Bubba Ray Dudley, spoke on a recent edition of Busted Open to give his thoughts on AEW’s current status:
“There’s always the comparison of AEW to ECW. ECW took fans from WWE. ECW took fans from WCW.
ECW did such special things that we forced viewers of two wrestling companies that were much bigger than us, and much more financially stable than us, and brought them over to our side.
So much so that both companies had to deal with ‘ECW’ chants on their live TV shows. AEW isn’t doing any of that. They’re catering to their fan. And if Tony Khan didn’t have a gazillion dollars, only catering to your fan would get old and financially [unstable] very quickly.”
The former WWE Tag Team Champion would go on to dismiss the upcoming AEW ALL IN show at Wembley Stadium in London as an anomaly, suggesting that the success of the ticket sales is due to it being AEW’s first European appearance.
The company have so far sold over 75,000 tickets to the August 27th event, with Bully Ray suggesting it is the only ultra positive thing AEW has going on currently:
“If you take a look at everything going on within AEW right now, Wembley seems to be the only real ultra-positive thing.
If you’re a fan of AEW, yes, you’re going to like their weekly TV shows. You like what they’re doing. But you know as well as I do, if you keep catering to that fanbase, you’re going to either stay where you are or never take steps forward.”
H/T: WrestlingInc for the above transcription