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We've all seen the documentaries by now put out by the WWE. ECW was the small upstart promotion that got raided by the evil money bags of Ted Turner, before the WWF were "smart" enough to recognise the "opportunity" to work with ECW in exchange for some of their talent. It's all revisionist history some I will tackle here others I will leave for another time. But, for better or worse, one story that rarely sees the light of day is the occasions where ECW and WCW's paths crossed in 1994.
We can trace the first agreement between the two companies to April. WCW were setting up to promote Slamboree in May, which was being held in Philadelphia. They approached ECW wanting to promote the PPV on ECW's television. In return, Bobby Eaton and Arn Anderson appeared at an ECW TV taping to setup an main event in May between Eaton and Sabu against Terry Funk and Anderson.
There was more to this simple story, though. Paul Heyman (the last person you'd expect to hold a grudge over a dismissal from WCW) didn't want to work with them. Heyman was quoted in the Pro Wrestling Torch saying "There is nothing they (WCW) could offer me to associate with them. They have the greatest wealth of talent assembled under one roof and don't know what to do with it".
But the deal would go through. ECW made a play to use Brian Pillman and Steve Austin, but WCW rejected it on the notion that Pillman and Austin were wrestling on the Slamboree card (don't forget the ECW show they would wrestle in was in May) and they didn't want them to get injured. Also, WCW offered to put some ECW talent on their syndicated television for a few weeks - but that idea was nixed. Heyman, in a promo six months later would say words to the effect of "our talent couldn't appear on WCW, they wouldn't know what to do with them, or would be too scared as to what might happen".
The story goes largely cold for the next few months, other than Terry Funk becoming a regular on WCW shows as part of the Studd Stable, and Cactus Jack coming in to work a program with Sabu (the one that bore the famous spitting on the WCW Title belt promo) and eventually an unlikely partnership with underdog newcomer Mikey Whipreck. Oddly enough, the parallel of Funk and Jack would continue - with Funk disappearing from ECW in August while continue to work WCW events, and Jack losing a "loser leaves town" match with Kevin Sullivan at Fall Brawl in September.
The story picks up again in October, as WCW are preparing for a show they are producing in the United States called "Where World's Collide" with Mexican promotion Triple A using a lot of Lucha talent. Except ECW had already held a show called "When World's Collide" - so lawsuits were threatened and ECW and WCW became reluctant bedfellows once again.
Heyman made a second play for Steve Austin - and this time he got him. It was setup and promoted that Austin would team up with ECW Champion Shane Douglas in a team managed by Sensous Sherri (who was, in theory at least, set to take over managing Austin in WCW now Flair had retired) against the team of Ron Simmons and Too Cold Scorpio. All well and good except Austin would get injured before the match and couldn't appear. He was, at least, replaced by Brian Pillman.
The November ECW show, inadvertantly - would include a ton of current or recently departed WCW talent. Kevin Sullivan would team with Cactus Jack to take on The Public Enemy, and the show also included Simmons, Scorpio and Chris Benoit. That's where the story ends, largely. Well, until the "talent raid", but that's for another time.