Friday, January 20, 2017

Independent Wrestling Spotlight

One of the oldest operating independent wrestling companies in North America today, ECCW opened its doors in 1996. Back then it was called Extremely Canadian Championship Wrestling, a parody of the South Philadelphia based Extreme Championship Wrestling.  However, over time  ECCW would develop as a company and eventually dropped the “ly” rebranding itself Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling; carving out a name for itself with its own brand of harrdcore wrestling in the process.

ECCW closed out the 1990’s running successful shows throughout British Columbia, but the most revered of all of them were those held at the Eagles Hall in New Westminster.  Matches held at this venue often times broke down into wild, uncontrollable brawls that could not be contained inside the ring or, at times, the building itself.  Often the matches would spill out into the middle of Columbia street.

ECCW had a healthy roster of colorful young upstarts like Adam Firestorm, Ladies Choice, Moondog Manson, Disco Fury, Abbadon, Tony Kozina, Chance Beckett and the monster Juggernaut, mixed with great veteran talent Gorgeous Michelle Starr, Dr Luther, Johnny Canuck, Billy 2 Eagles & “Rocket” Randy Tyler.   The promotion also boasted several internationally recognized stars who came in to the area such as,”Maniac” Matt Borne, The Honkytonk Man, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Tito Santana, Greg Valentine, Bushwacker Luke, Leatherface, Jason “The Terrible”, and Christopher Daniels. After ECW closed it’s doors in 2001, ECCW ran a series of tours featuring an “ECW Invasion” with stars such as Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, Steve Corino, & Nova.


After a while ECCW stopped being the place that established wrestlers came to and became the place that helped the future stars become established.  ECCW has hosted a number of today’s stars in the early days of their careers including: WWE’s Natalya & Kharma (a part of ECCW’s SuperGirls sub-promotion), Kyle O’reilly, Ring Ka King’s TheBollywood Boys, ROH World Champion Davey Richards & former WWE World Heavyweight Champion “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson.


In the year 2000 ECCW held the first installment of what has become one of it’s biggest profile shows of the year: The Pacific Cup Tournament.  That first year was the last wrestling show ever held at the famed Eagles Hall in New West and was a 12 man tournament with a 3-way final between Kozina, Havoc & Japan’s Asian Cougar, who walked away with the trophy.  In 2002 the tournament officially became annual with winners reading like a who’s who of ECCW talent over the years:  Black Dragon (‘02) Scotty Mac (‘03) Major Hardway (‘04)  Aaron Idol (‘05) Memphis Raines (‘06) Kyle O’reilly (‘07) Billy Suede (‘08) El Phantasmo (‘09) Artemis Spencer (‘10) RICK (‘11) and Bishop (‘12).


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In 1997 ECCW joined the National Wrestling Alliance. The ECCW Champion & Tag Team Champions were then also recognized as NWA Pacific Northwest titleholders; and in 2004 the NWA Canadian Championship, which has a lineage that can be traced back to 1978, was won by ECCW’s Vid Vain in Winnipeg, MB.  The title was brought to ECCW where it has been regularly defended ever since.


In 2000 the company began touring Washington State and ECCW became one of the only independent promotions to ever run 2 shows featuring 2 different rosters on the same night, something the promotion did regularly for a period of time with one crew in Canada and the other in the US.

The ownership of ECCW has changed hands a few times throughout history.  The company was founded by Michelle Starr & John Parlette, however later Dave Republic would come on board as well.  In 2005 ECCW bought out another BC based indy promotion called Top Ranked Wrestling, which was featured throughout the Province and into Washington on KVOS TV 12. Shortly after the show went off the air, Starr left ECCW and Republic became the sole owner.  Perennial star Scotty Mac joined Dave in the day to day operations of the promotion before finally taking over full control in 2010 along with The Natural & Mary Diaz, forming the ownership company: ECCW Entertainment, LTD.

ECCW officially changed it’s name from Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling to Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling in January of 2012.
See videos here: Independent Wrestling Spotlight

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