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10. The Belfast Bruiser – His first pay per view appearance, and a memorable one it was in a brutally physical match with Lord Steven Regal. Both deserve kudos for some of the hits, but I'll give Bruiser the edge given that he broke Regal's nose with a lovely left hand.
9. Johnny B Badd/"Wildman" Marc Mero – Can your stocks rise during your absence? While Badd had departed at this stage, he was sorely missed as DDP and "The Booty Man" had a disastrousmatch at Uncensored. Badd off course, had left for the WWF, where he had a nice debut brawl as "Wildman" Marc Mero against Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
8. Chris Jericho – A name everyone reading this is familiar with, March 1996 saw the debut of Jericho within ECW – he and Cactus Jack had a very nice match in New York where Jericho won, and then he and Taz had a nice if short match where Jericho was awarded the win after Taz kept a submission locked in for too long. A very encouraging pair of debut matches.
7. Roddy Piper – We may be 10-15 years removed from Piper's peak, but boy has he still got it. A great promo on Raw, before he and Goldust had an incredibly memorable Hollywood Backlot Brawl. After they left the set for an utterly preposterous car chase, they returned to the arena – the action was great and Piper had them in the palm of his hands.
6. New Jack – Swearing might not be big, it might not be clever, but New Jack has it down to a mother fucking art form. His opening monologue at the second leg of Big Ass Extreme Bash (which you can hear on March 1996 ECW show) was fantastic. It may have been 60% curse words, but who fucking cares?!
5. Cactus Jack – "RIP Cactus Jack" was the message that read on the screen on ECW Hardcore TV, the character effectively killed off as Mick Foley was soon to be joining the WWF as "Mankind". His departure week saw him wrestle Chris Jericho, before having a memorable final match with Mikey Whipwreck. His post match speech was, in a word, lovely. Read more about Jack's ECW run here.
4. Booker T – The slightly arbitrary pairing of Sting and Booker T looked odd on paper against the Road Warriors at the il-fated Uncensored, but Booker T had a star making performance, more than holding his own in with three much more seasoned talents. The 30 minute match may have dragged for most (although not me, admittedly), but Booker's talent was there for all to see.
3. Bret Hart – The hour long match with Shawn Michaels was perhaps overly ambitious, and the ending probably did make him look like a chump, but Hart deserves credit for being a part of history. In the 20 years since the WWE have rarely tried anything as abmitious – the rest of their ironman matches have all had at least seven falls.
2. Rey Misterio Jr/Juventud Guerrera – A pair of absolutely fantastic matches across the two nights of Big Ass Extreme Bash. It would be unfair to split the pair, their ability and athleticism was probably unmatched at the time, certainly in the States.
1. Shawn Michaels – Maybe it wasn't perfect, but this was a star making night for Shawn Michaels, the coronation of his ascent to the WWF Title. The match wasn't to everyone's liking, but there was no doubting who the star was at the end of the night.