INDUCTION: Vince McMahon, ECW Champion – Crap…to the EXTREME!

22 Submitted by on Thu, 22 March 2018, 20:00

WWE ECW, 2007

If you weren’t a wrestling fan in the late 1980’s, I don’t know you can appreciate just what a revolutionary force Paul Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling truly was. I say the 1980’s, not the 1990’s, because to really understand ECW, you need to know what ECW was in its heyday, but rather what the landscape was in the WWF (now WWE) and WCW before it hit. For those of us who lived it…I mean, we all knew what a clown show pro wrestling was.


Boy did I HATE Dink. Ruined a great heel act.

But I digress, and I don’t need to recap that all again – in less than two weeks it’ll be 18 years I’ve been telling the world about how horrible the early 1990s were. In many ways, wrestling as a whole was absolutely horrible, and pretty much every week, there’d be some new stupid character that had us all questioning why we were still watching this junk. Then, out of the blue, this happened:

It was ECW. And it was completely different than anything wrestling fans had ever seen. While many skeptics today would tell you ECW was nothing but a hardcore promotion built around guys hitting each other in the head, that couldn’t be further from the truth. ECW was unique because it was so…well…unique. Heyman brought in folks from all over the world, be they luchadores from Mexico or top talent from Japan, and they gave us matches the likes of which no one in the USA had seen unless they were die hard tape traders. We got adult oriented storylines that made sense, we got smoking hot women (Beulah!), we got comedy that actually worked. We got something different, and while sometimes it definitely crossed the line, it was awesome.

Of course, it didn’t last. Paul ran out of money, and the company was forced to fold. And here’s an RD Reynolds FUNFACT: when I originally was asked to do a sequel to the first WrestleCrap book, my publisher pitched me to do The Death of ECW, feeling it was a great story I could tackle (and I think they thought it was funny that their company was in fact ECW Press). I passed on it, and went with The Death of WCW instead. Long-time Crappers know this story, and also know the reason for the change. This site was designed from day one for one purpose: to make people laugh. (Really, sometimes it actually even happens.) The story of WCW I knew would be rife with comedy. ECW? That was a company with folks who stayed far past the bitter end, people who were owed a LOT of money, and stuck around solely to try to help the company succeed.

The fact that folks still chant those three initials to this day, seventeen years after the company went under, should tell you just how much this company meant to so many people.

So in 2001, ECW dies. The scraps are picked up by the very man who Hawaiian shirt guy and the guy with the hat and all the rest of the ECW front row hated the most: Vince McMahon. To those fans, it had to have been the ultimate insult.

Or so they thought.

Before we get there, though, I give you another bizarre segue, featuring the current president of the United States, Donald Trump. This man decided a good use of his time would be hanging out in WWE during the build toward WrestleMania 23. Not as a fan, mind you, but as an active participant, in a match in which he could lose his hair. It was the Battle of the Billionaires, and featured Umaga, championed by Vince McMahon, taking on Trump’s charge, Bobby Lashley. During said promotion, our now commander in chief called his protege, “Lindsey, a black gentleman who happens to be the strongest man I have ever seen.”

Screw wrestling – this WORLD sure is weird sometimes.

The match ended the only way it possibly could: with Lashley winning, Trump standing proud, and Vince shaved bald. All we were missing was David Crockett jumping up and down yelling about how he was a BALD HEADED GEEK. Talk about a missed opportunity.

Not to worry, however, as while Vince was now follicle challenged, he had plans.

Plans that involved wacky hats at every turn!

I’ve said a lot of bad things about Vince over the years, but by golly, that hat makes me want to retract every last one of them.

Better yet, Vince told us these were in fact “surgically cemented” to his noggin.

Beyond his newfound love for bonnets, he had other plans as well – he was going to take down the man who had caused his life to go into shambles. Sadly, not Donald Trump, but rather Bobby Lindsey.

I mean Lashley.

So on the Raw following Mania, McMahon explained that he was going to make sure that Lashley would no longer be called ECW Champion. McMahon, completely furious that folks backstage were laughing at him, decided he would take out his frustrations on Lashley, taking the most ludicrous swing ever at him…

…and then paid the price, having his chrome dome displayed to all the world.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever wanted to see Vince McMahon acting like a complete over the top idiot, this was the show for you. It may have been Vince’s finest hour, and yes, that includes his legendary battles with Steve Austin. You see, so ashamed was Vince of his baldness that he hid everywhere – under towels, under Jerry Lawler’s crown, Jim Ross’ cowboy hat, and eventually even Lillian Garcia’s skirt.


It was the ultimate in humiliation, but again, Vince had a PLAN.

He was going to steal Big Bully Busick’s derby!

Or maybe he knocked over Mr. Fuji. Take your pick.

Regardless, we got more fantastically goofy hats, but sadly it wasn’t just time for a fashion show – we had to have matches as well. Sigh. So Vince partnered up with son Shane as well as Umaga once more.

And this time he had a clearly defined end game: he was going to win the ECW title himself! To do so, he booked his terrible trio into a 3 on 1 handicap match against Lashley with the ECW championship on the line.

Just how legendary was this match, you may ask?

Does the fact that the WWE Network synopsis doesn’t even mention it tell you anything?

If not, I will. It was a far too long, far too dull encounter wherein Vince, Shane, and Umaga beat down Lashley over and over, finally culminating in a belt shot to Bobby’s head, with Vince falling on top for the win.

The fact that I am sparing you from additional screenshots should tell you I shared WWE Network’s enthusiasm for the match. Consider yourselves lucky.

So yes, Vince not only bought the remnants of ECW, he was now its champion as well.

In so many ways, when Vince bought ECW he effectively killed it.

This? This was him literally pissing on its grave.

(Did I ever tell you I learned how to use the term “literally” from Gorilla Monsoon? God bless that man, I still love to think back about how he would tell me folks were “literally hanging from the rafters in the Boston Garden!”)

Our new ECW champion also went through a makeover of sorts, as the new Doo Rag Vince was now a jive talkin’ neer do good, showing off his title to everyone he could find, including John Cena as pictured above here. Sadly we never got a RAP BATTLE between the two. That would have rocked. Or at least been further induction material.

But while there was fun to be had trolling Cena and his fellow WWE co-horts, you know where the real joy was to be found?

Going nose to nose with ECW originals!

So we got Vince talking down Rob Van Dam…

…and Sabu (“And you,” Vince growled, “well, maybe we’ll get your comments later on!”)…

…the Sandman (“What’s the smell?” Vince bellowed in a No Holds Barred flashback)…

…and Tommy Dreamer (“Your shoes are FLY, Tommy! That’s FLY RIGHT THERE!”).

So yeah. Vince had all these men now under his employ and could do anything he wanted, and thus he shoved his ECW title belt in their faces. To be fair, this was a pretty great way of generating serious heat with fans who remembered just what each of these men meant to the original ECW. And truly, what a tremendous payoff it was going to be.

One could just imagine Rob Van Dam springing to the top rope, clobbering Vince with that five star frog splash to bring the title back home once and for all!

So of course that didn’t happen.

Instead, we got Vince in a STREET FIGHT once more with Lashley.

And once more, it turned into a three on one battle with Vince directing traffic and Umaga doing all his dirty work. Which was probably a good idea, since Vince’s stuff looked…

…well, kinda how Vince’s stuff always looks.

For a guy who arguably knows the business almost better than anyone who has ever lived, his actual wrestling was atrocious beyond belief.

Skippy also got into the act, and in this match, he missed his Van Terminator by a good 24 inches. Despite this, Umaga somehow got hit in the head with the trash can targeted for Lashley. I’d note how this also looked horrible, but pretty much everything on display this night was equally bad.

Ok, maybe not EQUALLY bad.

Regardless, the screw up by his son and Umaga allowed Lashley to grab a chair and go to work on McMahon, eventually hitting his own spear and ending the final title reign of Vince’s legendary career.

As for Lashley, he left the WWE roughly a year later following a blow up backstage between WWE management and his wife. Do you remember his wife?

Her name was Kristal Marshall, and she was literally a smoke show.

(Did I do you proud there, Gorilla?)

Anyhoo, rumor has it at the time of this writing Lashley is set for an imminent return to WWE. Apparently, folks are excited about this. I mean, other folks, I’m not. Unless he brings Kristal with him, which I am guessing he won’t, since they are now divorced.

But you know whose return would have me interested?

Yep, Vince McMahon’s wacky hats.

Admit it – you want that too.

Listen to the people Vince!

Bring them back!

This induction took you to the EXTREME! Well, I don’t know, maybe it didn’t. But if it made you laugh even just a little, would you consider pledging a couple bucks to our Patreon? It helps keep the site alive…and ensures new content is always on its way! So yeah, give it a looksee, won’t you?

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22 Responses to "INDUCTION: Vince McMahon, ECW Champion – Crap…to the EXTREME!"
  1. Lee W. says:

    Hat’s off t……………. nah I’d better not

  2. Christopher Haydu says:

    Is Vince in the Hall of Fame yet? He deserves it. ECW was a joke from the moment Vince brought it back. Vince in a doo rag is comedy gold. I hope whenever he retires/sells WWE, he’ll go into the Hall of Fame on his way out.

    For what it’s worth, in Foley’s first book, he seems to be of the opinion that ECW fans, at least in the mid nineties, respected Vince despite their hatred of WWF style programming, and that it was Eric Bischoff and WCW that they detested. Anybody remember that? You think he was just kissing up to Vince by saying ECW fans respect him or did he actually garner a modicum of respect from them? If he did, he probably pissed all that away with this angle. Not that he cares, I’m sure.

    Finally, since I don’t know the details of the downfall of ECW, I’ve always wondered why Paul Heyman even sold it to Vince. Did Paul own ECW or was it still Todd Gordon? If it was Paul, I don’t understand what he thought he’d gain from selling it to Vince. I’m sure he knew what Vince would do to ECW’s legacy (i.e. the InVasion storyline). It’s too bad there aren’t more multi-millionaires out there who will back wrestling promotions.

    • Chris says:

      Paul was the owner, but he didn’t sell to Vince. He filed ECW for bankruptcy in 2001, and WWE bought the ECW trademarks and footage in 2003 through the bankruptcy proceedings.

    • Chris V says:

      I can’t believe this angle had never been inducted until now.

      I’m not sure if fans respected Vince, but they probably thought of Vince as the lesser of two evils. Vince was willing to bargain with ECW, while WCW was solely interested in raiding the promotion of all of its top wrestlers.
      WWF was number two at the time, certainly, but they were also something of the underdog compared to Turner and WCW at that time.
      There might have been some thought of WWF as the “lesser of two evils”.
      I’d say Foley probably overestimated it, with Vince being his boss.

      I would assume that Paul Heyman would sell ECW to Vince as a way to make money, plain and simple. Heyman had no problem running out on ECW to work for WWE, at the same time as a number of ECW employees were still owed back-pay by Heyman, due to working for free as long as they could to try to keep ECW in business.
      Heyman had no problem jumping ship and taking s paycheck from Vince, so he could still have a livelihood in the wrestling business.
      I don’t think Heyman cared that much about the ECW brand at that point, since it was bankrupt.
      Perhaps there was the idea that WWE would at least keep the video library alive, so that his promotion wouldn’t be forgotten.

    • Dan Sheldon says:

      Vince is actually in the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame that used to be in New York, now in Texas. It’s a much better Hall of Fame.

    • jerm says:

      ECW filed for bankruptcy and Vince acquired the company’s assets on the cheap.

    • Kareem Ofweet says:

      Also, in regards to ECW fans respect of Vince, part of it was that they respected him because he put his own money on the line to build up and run his company, as opposed to Bischoff, who was spending Turner’s money to steal talent just because he could.

  3. #OPC says:

    Don’t forget that Trump also made an appearance at the “Ring Royalty” PPV!

    Oh, and JR described Vince ducking under Lillian’s skirt as him going into “No Man’s Land.”

  4. Gerard says:

    i remember the scene of a bald vince trying to hide his head from everyone by wearing different hats and eventually hiding under lillian’s skirt!! jr got into a bit of trouble by saying the area under her skirt was no-man’s land!! jr had to post an apology to lillian on twitter that all he meant was lillian was married and not a lesbian!! i remember also bobby taking lillian’s skirt off to reveal vince hiding but also that lillian just happened to be wearing shorts under her skirt that showed off her impressive bottom!! so now i wonder lashley is supposedly done with impact is he coming back to wwe and how will they use him this time???

  5. Bubbafan2 says:

    I think it probably says something that I attended Backlash 2007 live…and I forgot that’s when Vince won the ECW title. I remember the 4-way main event, Taker vs Batista, Hardys vs Cade and Murdoch, hell even Mickie James vs Melina…
    But that? I guess I blocked it from memory.

    Pretty good PPV overall, though. Taker and Batista tore it up, even after Taker ripped an arm muscle off the bone.

  6. Jugs McPhee says:

    As much as I like The Donald, I never want to think of him “standing proud”, especially with all these allegations of indecent affairs and so forth.

  7. Captain Obvious says:

    Guess Vince could add the ECW Title to his resume. He had already won the WWE Title which should also be inducted on this site if it hasn’t been already. He missed out on his opportunity to hold the WCW Title once he had it in his company, which makes The Big Show the only Superstar to hold all three – WCW – WWE – ECW Titles.

    I also seem to vaguely remember that Vince was also USWA champion at some point as well.

  8. Guest says:

    “It was ECW. And it was completely different than anything wrestling fans had ever seen. While many skeptics today would tell you ECW was nothing but a hardcore promotion built around guys hitting each other in the head, that couldn’t be further from the truth. ECW was unique because it was so…well…unique”.

    You’re not really selling me on the idea that ECW wasn’t more than people going through tables, pushing guys (some of whom would never be top guys in other promotions), cheap looking TV productions, and just plain being edgy for the sake of being edgy. And mind you I’ve watched ECW more than a few times even before the TV deal with TNN.

    “(Really, sometimes it actually even happens.) The story of WCW I knew would be rife with comedy. ECW? That was a company with folks who stayed far past the bitter end, people who were owed a LOT of money, and stuck around solely to try to help the company succeed.

    The fact that folks still chant those three initials to this day, seventeen years after the company went under, should tell you just how much this company meant to so many people.”

    But yet this didn’t apply to WCW even with guys like Ric Flair and Tony Schiavone sticking around for the last Nitro?

    This is kind of a weird double standard you’re imposing.

    • Trench R says:

      To be fair ECW had more than just hardcore matches. Seek out the series of matches between Dean Malenko and Eddy Guerrero. To me, these matches were the pinnacle of ECW.

      • Knyte says:

        Most people don’t remember that most of the “Work Horses” that WCW was best remembered for, were almost all introduced to the US by ECW first: Rey Mysterio Jr, Psychosis, Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guererro, Chris Jericho, Juventud Guerrera, etc. They were all wrestling for Heyman, before Bischoff and Turner’s checkbook, stole them away.

        Paul Heyman, had an incredible eye for talent, as well as being able to find and bring out the best in workers. He helped turn “Stunning” into “Stone Cold”, “Cactus” into “Mankind”, let Scotty The Body find his wings, and even somehow managed to make Al Snow into a star. The dude, knew how to use talent to the fullest, and that’s why ECW worked so well. Just imagine if it was Heyman who took over WCW, instead of Bischoff. With, Turner’s resources, and Paul’s mind, Vince and the WWF would have been toast.

        • Guest says:

          Which isn’t really saying much as the AOL Time Warner merger would still have happened and Paul would still get funny with people’s checks.

          Difference being there’d be no major wrestling promotion in the U.S. at the end of it all.

          Also Jericho got his start in the U.S. wrestling scene in Smoky Wrestling whereas Malenko had already been wrestling in the U.S. long before he made brief stop in ECW.

    • Jinx says:

      Yep and also people still talk about WCW wrestlers, matches, promos and even entrances whereas nobody really talks that about ECW.

      ECW mid-carders also ended up having better careers than top-carders like Tazz, Tommy Dreamer, Sandman, Justin Credible, Raven, Shane Douglas who never got to be top guys again. WCW top carders in comparison became icons and legends.

      I honestly feel that ECW chants are nothing more than just chants that crowds caught up and refuses to let go , like those “What” chants.

  9. Hulk6785 says:

    Here’s a fun fact: when Vince won the ECW Title, he broke Terry Funk’s record as oldest ECW Champion.

    Did I say “fun”? I meant, ” depressing.”

  10. Al Lobama says:

    I’m sure I’m in the minority, but I don’t see any difference between Vince winning the ECW Title and Jimmy Hart beating Jerry Lawler for the Southern Heavyweight Title back in the day. It was angle designed to get heat by having the least deserving person in the world cheat the babyface out of the champion. It was SUPPOSED to be a disgrace, and the fans were supposed to want to see the undeserving champion get his when the former champ came calling back. It’s classic wrestling booking, and I can’t fault Vince for doing it because WWECW was dying a slow death. Something drastic needed to be done to get eyeballs back on the product, and this was the road he chose to take. It’s a sound idea on paper, as the angle is less about Vince being the ECW Champion and more about people wanting to see the payoff of Vince getting murdered by the babyface and honor being restored to the championship. The only problem in this instance is that Vince did the angle with the wrong babyface, as Bobby Lashley (at that time) was no Jerry Lawler.

  11. lipe from chile says:

    The Wacky Hats Vince reminds me of Don francisco from Sábado Gigante, at the “Chacal de la Trompeta” (Trumpet Jackal) contest

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