In the 1990s ECW developed a cult following across the country. It gained popularity with those that felt WWE and WCW were too cartoony and soft. ECW had wrestlers that looked like regular guys with realistic gimmicks. ECW also had some of the most ingenious storylines and characters of all time. The most interesting parts were the heels. So I thought we could look over some of ECW’s most unique and devious heels. I decided to leave out non-wrestling talent and this is only the first part of our countdown.
#10-Taz– Taz turned heel after a career threatening neck injury in 1995. He assaulted ECW commissioner Todd Gordon, after Gordon had just lost a match to heel ref Bill Alfonso. Taz was the special referee for that match and refused to count Gordon’s pin attempts. Taz claimed afterwards that no one helped him while he was injured and that the only reason he was able to take care of his family was because of Bill Alfonso. Taz became all about the money. He even confronted Kurt Angle with this mantra. During Angle’s ECW appearance, Taz also began developing a MMA wrestling style and became the only ECW talent to have a submission hold as his finisher. He would often force his opponents to tap out instead of allowing them to say “I quit”. Taz also developed Team Taz, a group of student wrestlers taught by Taz himself. Taz was getting tired of the fact that Sabu was back in ECW. Taz felt Sabu was too irresponsible in his wrestling style and he also didn’t like Sabu’s habit of missing events. Sabu and Taz were teasing a match for months but never actually faced each other, Taz’s excuse often being that he wanted more money if he was going to face Sabu. Sabu and Taz finally met and Taz forced Sabu to submit to the Tazmission. Right after this match, Bill Alfonso would turn on Taz. This was a double turn with Sabu turning heel and joining Alfonso, while Taz turned face. Taz had a 18 month win streak and brought in a MMA pro-wrestling style. A style used by many current young wrestlers.
#9-Rhino– The last ECW World Champ. He was brought in by Steve Corino and given the name The Taz Killer. Shortly after Rhino’s début Taz left ECW, and his ECW Title was dropped to Mike Awesome. Rhino then teamed with Corino in a number of tag matches. They were given two ECW Tag Title matches against Tommy Dreamer and Raven, but lost both times. When Cyrus created his ECW/TNN Network faction, Rhino joined, along with Corino. He began taking on big names, and even put Sandman’s wife through a table. He began leaving Corino and going out on his own. He would later win the ECW Television Title, and finally turn on Steve Corino. He teamed with Justin Credible for the vacant ECW Tag Belts, but lost. During ECW’s last Pay Per View, Rhino beat the World Champion Sandman for the belt. The event ended with Rhino staring down Rob van Damn. ECW folded shortly after. Rhino’s intensity was almost scary. He hardly spoke, and gave that uneasy feeling. He was quiet and compulsive. You knew some one was going to get hurt.
#8 Sandman– Although he is though of mostly as a face in ECW. Sandman began as a drunk deadbeat wife beater. His storyline with his wife was about the fact that she was sick of Sandman beating her. She teamed up with various men to teach Sandman a lesson. During this time Sandman made Woman his new manager and valet. Woman led Sandman to two ECW Championship reigns, and a well planned swerve that had Shane Douglas leaving ECW in disgust. As Woman faded out of ECW the fans love of Sandman grew higher. He was always cheered, but now you didn’t feel like you were cheering a guy who beats his wife. Now we were cheering for a loveable drunk badass.
#7- Justin Credible– A young Clique member hailing from WWE. Justin Credible joined ECW as an obnoxious young prick. He took Jason Knight as his manager and Nicole Bass as his muscle. He also had ties with Lance Wright’s “Wright Connection”, a pro WWE faction also in ECW. Credible was not above taking money from Wright to do the occasional run-in on behalf of various Connection members, and help with beat downs. Credible also enjoyed frequent bouts of X-Pac heat. He’d sneer at the crowd and proudly wear Hot Topic shirts with all kinds of douche bag phrases printed on them. He had a sweet feud with Jerry Lynn throughout the summer of 1998. Which saw Justin allying himself with FMW’s Mike Awesome. His rise in heel status grew higher when he joined Lance Storm. They became The Impact Players. Their early exploits included chasing Shane Douglas and Sid viscous out of ECW. Credible also had been feuding with Sandman, and took his trademark Singapore cane and made it his own. The Impact Players finally beat Raven and Tommy Dreamer for the ECW Tag Team Titles at ECW’s Guilty as Charged event. The Impact Players would feud back and forth with Dreamer and various teammates. The Impact Players even tried to walk out on a match with Tommy Dreamer, after they found out that Dreamer’s father would be watching the match from his hospital bed. In the Spring of 2000 Tommy Dreamer won the ECW World Title. Justin Credible come to the ring and started baiting Dreamer into a World Title match on the spot. Dreamer granted Credible a title match. Credible defeated Dreamer, and became the new ECW Champion. He also gained Francine as his new valet. By this time, fans started to feel that Credible was being shoved down their throats by Paul Heyman. Since joining ECW, Justin Credible fought one style of match. He would get his ass kicked and then pull his finisher out of nowhere and win, or he’d just win with a dusty finish. Fans were bored of the new champ before he ever became champ. He finally lost the belt to Jerry Lynn, months before ECW folded.
#6-Bubba Ray & Devon Dudley– In the beginning The Dudley Boys were a light-hearted heel faction. They still caused mayhem and pain if you were in their path. They were originally brought in as Raven’s shock troops. The Dudley’s were loved even if they were doing more heelish acts. People saw them as lovable lackeys that didn’t understand what they were doing. Then Devon Dudley debuted. Devon immediately began feuding with his brothers, or attacking them in the back. Devon convinced Big Dick Dudley and Bubba Ray to turn full heel. This began Devon and Bubba Ray would win the ECW Tag Titles 8 times, the most in ECW’s history. Their biggest moment of evil came in 1998 when they gave Beulah McGilicutty a Dudley Death Drop. Beulah never returned to ECW after this incident. Using someone’s body to break a table wasn’t enough for these guys. They began putting people through burning tables. As the Dudleys spread their reign of terror. It was Bubba Ray that would become the faction’s leader, and mouth piece. Bubba was given a Ecw World Title shot against Taz in 1999, but lost. In the fall of 1999, Bubba Ray and Devon signed with the WWE. They nearly left with the ECW Tag Belts before dropping them to Raven and Tommy Dreamer on their last night in ECW.
Dudleys Turn Evil
Sandman isn’t a heel here. Its just so idiotic…
Taz and Mikey Whipwreck on RAW
Tags: ecw championship, Justin Credible, Rhyno, Taz