Former WCW Star Banned From Locker Room Ahead Of Iconic Championship Match

The WCW & ECW Alliance vs WWE

Professional wrestling is full of many weird and wonderful moments. One such occurrence went down this month 23 years ago.

The moment in question took place on April 3rd 2000 and involved all three major US wrestling promotions, WWE, WCW and ECW in 93 chaotic seconds.

In 2000, the hardcore powerhouse Mike Awesome was the ECW World Heavyweight Champion. Due to his power, agility and penchant for blasting his opponents through tables, he was hugely popular with the ECW faithful.

In April of that year, while still holding the ECW title, Awesome made a surprise appearance for World Championship Wrestling on its flagship programme Monday Night Nitro. The fallout from the shocking departure was messy, to say the least.

In reaction, Paul Heyman filed an injunction to stop his promotion’s championship from appearing on a rival’s show. While Eric Bischoff’s-led company adhered to the court order, they did regularly refer to Awesome as the ECW Champion. Something had to be done and after weeks of legal back-and-forth, eventually, a compromise was reached.

Awesome would appear on the April 3rd 2000, edition of ECW on TNN to drop the title in one of the most unique inter-promotional matches in wrestling history.

WWE’s Taz Defeated WCW’s Mike Awesome For The ECW Title

The match saw WCW wrestler Mike Awesome go head-to-head with WWE wrestler Tazz, for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship on an ECW show.

In a post on social media the account Wrestling from 80s/90s, commemorated the special moment in wrestling history. The account wrote:

On This Day in Wrestling History – The first time a WWF contracted wrestler faced a WCW contracted wrestler for the ECW World Title! @OfficialTAZdefeated Mike Awesome to become ECW World Heavyweight Champion 23 years ago today (4/13/00) @OTD_in_WWE

In response to the tweet, Lance Storm, who was a member of the ECW roster at the time, shed further details on the crazy situation.

Mike Awesome was not allowed in the locker room. He changed in his hotel room and was driven to the building by Doug Dillinger (I believe) and was called via cell phone when his music played, to do his entrance in the front door. After the match he left the same way.
Following the win Taz then appeared on WWE television as the ECW Champion. On the April 18th, 2000, episode of SmackDown he wore the title before a match against then-WWE Champion Triple H.