Extreme Wrestling Championship (ECW) was one of the biggest wrestling promotions back in the 90s. Headed by Paul Heyman, the company were tough competition for WCW and WWF/E. Whether it was in terms of rivalries, action or storylines, ECW left Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon's promotions behind.
One of the most unique things about Paul Heyman's company was its showcasing of different wrestling styles. The company didn't just display one form of wrestling, it let fans enjoy everything from technical to hardcore wrestling.
The North American promotion not only shined the spotlight on its big stars but it also didn't fail to give importance to new talents. Stars like Jimmy Snuka, Tazz, Tommy Dreamer, and many others got opportunities to make a name for themselves in the company and went on to become prominent names in the history of wrestling.
In this article, let's check on a few former ECW stars and see what they've been up to. Are they still lacing their boots and stepping in the squared circle? Or have they moved on to something else?
#6 in our list of former ECW stars - Rhyno
Rhyno has been in the wrestling business for a long time after making his professional debut with ECW. Throughout his stint with the company, he portrayed the gimmick of a deranged, psychotic and ferociously aggressive wrestler. Even though his run with Paul Heyman's promotion wasn't very long, these traits helped him make his name in the wrestling scene.
After ECW went out of business, Rhyno signed with WWE. While he wanted a long career in the company, he was let go in 2005 after a backstage altercation. After his release, Rhyno signed with TNA. He spent a few years there and then on the indy scene before making a surprise comeback to WWE in 2015.
Since walking out of WWE in 2019, Rhyno has been working with IMPACT and is currently in an alliance with Heath Slater. But Rhyno's life isn't just about wrestling anymore. The 46-year-old is managing a marina named "Big Daddy's Boat Yard", which he bought in 2018 and is also trying to get into politics. He has contested in two elections, one of which he won.
#5 Former ECW Star Sabu
After working in Japan and Mexico's wrestling scene, Sabu inked a deal with ECW in 1995. His hardcore wrestling style helped the promotion gain popularity in the North American region and bring more revenue to the house.
Sabu gained a large following and learned a lot during his stint in the company. But like most stars, his time with Paul Heyman's company came to an end after it halted its operations in 2001. Sabu then had no choice but to decide where to continue his wrestling career. He chose TNA after he was offered a lucrative contract.
Sabu worked there for four years before his contract expired and he inked a year-long deal with WWE so he could be a part of the freshly revived brand ECW. While Sabu had a great time working for Vince McMahon's company, he never extended his contract. Sabu favored working on the indy scene over big-time promotions. However, he's not in the fighting business anymore.
Just two months ago, the 57-year-old hung up his wrestling boots after being a part of the business for three decades. While Sabu is currently finding it hard to figure out the next steps in his life, he hasn't been completely absent. The former WWE star is making regular appearances on podcasts, where he gives his opinion on the current wrestling scene. He's also occasionally done autograph signings.
#4 Former ECW Star Dawn Marie
Former ECW star Dawn Marie had no aspiration to be in the wrestling business. She only once joked about working in the wrestling industry with a pro-wrestling agent who offered her a job managing some stars in the indies and she accepted the job. From there, she soon found herself working in ECW.
Marie was initially offered a three-week gig but was later handed a multi-year contract with the company. During her time there, Marie wasn't just the voice of Lance Storm and his tag-team partner, she also helped the duo win tag-team titles twice. Marie also worked as a commentator on some weekly shows and pay-per-views.
While Marie wanted to do more for the company, she was forced to pack her bags after ECW ran into money problems. For a year, Marie worked as a stock trader. During this time, she also trained as a wrestler and got offered a contract by WWE.
Marie restarted her wrestling career there and made a name for herself. However, after a three-year-long stint, her time with Vince McMahon's company came to an end due to some controversial reasons. Marie then went on to work on the indy scene for seven years before deciding to leave the wrestling world behind in 2012.
Marie has since come a long way. The former WWE star has completed nursing school and is now working as a professional nurse in the state of New Jersey. She is one of many health workers who are helping people fight the coronavirus.
While Marie's professional life seems to be is going well, her personal life is even better. Marie is currently married and a proud mother of two adorable kids.
#3&2 Former ECW Stars D-Von And Bubba Ray Dudley
Soon after making their ECW debut, D-Von and Bubba Ray Dudley became a hot topic in the company. They formed their own faction and dominated the tag-team division like no one else. While the two men were among the most hated teams at the time, they helped put ECW's tag-team division on the map.
The Dudley Boyz had the potential to do more at ECW but the duo parted ways from the company after a pay dispute in 1999. Following their exit, the two men inked a multi-year deal with WWE. There, they made their way to the top in a short amount of time and bagged the tag team titles multiple times.
D-Von and Bubba Ray had a great time with WWE but their five-year tenure with the company came to an end after they were let go due to budget reasons. Following their release, The Dudley Boyz jumped mainly between TNA and the indy scene. However, they're not making in-ring appearances anymore.
D-Von is currently retired and working as a backstage producer in WWE. He's shaping today's talent there while also making appearances at his own wrestling school and helping students refine their technique. For the rest of the time, he's either busy spending time with his family or managing a smoothie shop in Florida.
Whereas for Bubba Ray, he hasn't hung up his wrestling boots just yet. He's enjoying his time away from the squared circle though. Bubba Ray is currently co-hosting the pro-wrestling show Busted Open on Sirius XM Radio. As for the other things happening in his life, Bubba Ray was involved in a serious relationship with Jamie Szantyr but they broke up just two months ago.
#1 Former ECW Star Rob Van Dam
Rob Van Dam made his way to ECW in 1996. His five-year-long stint was better than most of the stars in the company. RVD was ECW's poster boy for the latter half of the 90s, he got the main event spot at almost every show and pay-per-view. While RVD had a monumental career with ECW, his career with the company came to an end after it went bankrupt. As a result, RVD went ahead and signed with WWE.
He made his debut through the invasion storyline. After it ended, he embarked on his singles run and became a very prominent star. Due to a rigorous schedule, RVD got burned out and decided to take some time away from WWE in 2007.
A few months later, RVD made his in-ring return through the indies and then subsequently signed a deal with TNA. Since then, the 51-year-old has spent the better part of the last decade with TNA while also briefly working for WWE.
However, RVD isn't currently signed to any promotion. In fact, RVD hasn't stepped his foot inside the squared circle for over a year and it seems like it'll be like that for some time as RVD is focused on other things.
Van Dam has long believed in the benefits of using cannabis. He has founded a brand that specializes in CBD and cannabis paraphernalia called RVDCBD. He's also the chairman of United American Petroleum Corp, which recently merged with RVD's cannabis brand. Apart from this, the former ECW star is planning his future with the love of his life, Katie Forbes, whom he married last year in a private ceremony.
Q. Do you miss ECW?
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