ECW Hardcore TV

ECW Hardcore TV
Also known as NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling (1993-1994)
Extreme Championship Wrestling (1994-1999)
Created by Tod Gordon
Eddie Gilbert
Starring See Extreme Championship Wrestling alumni
Narrated by Joey Styles
Opening theme "Closer"/"Thunderkiss '65" mix by Nine Inch Nails & White Zombie (1994-1997)
"This Is Extreme!" by Harry Slash & The Slashtones[1] (1997-2001)
Country of origin USA
2 Specials from Japan
No. of episodes 401[2]
Executive producer(s) Paul Heyman (September 1993 - 2000)

ECW Arena,[3] South Philadelphia

Burt Flickinger Center, Buffalo NY
Camera setup Multicamera setup
Running time 58 minutes (with commercials)
Original network Syndication[4]
Original release April 6, 1993[5] – December 31, 2000[6]
Followed by ECW on TNN

ECW Hardcore TV was a professional wrestling television program of Philadelphia-based promotion Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) composed of footage from live shows and recorded interviews. It ran in syndication from 1993 until 2000.

Even after ECW gained a nationally-available television program on The Nashville Network (TNN), Hardcore TV was considered ECW's flagship program. The rights to the show now belong to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The show was voted as Best Weekly Television Show in the 1994, 1995 and 1996 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards.


Hardcore TV was edited from footage of ECW's live events from the ECW Arena and other house shows. It also included backstage promos & vignettes, which were not shown to the live crowd or included on home video releases of the events. A segment called Hype Central advertised upcoming events and ECW merchandise in a tongue in cheek manner.

Music videos from major musical acts were sometimes shown, interspersed with footage detailing the history of current feuds, as well as spectacular spots. Frequently, the ending of the show would feature a montage of several different promos, with Dick Dale's cover version of "Misirlou" as background music. These became known as "Pulp Fiction promos". The purpose of these promos was to maximise the show's limited airtime in order to keep the fans up with all the current wrestling storylines.

In keeping with ECW's unconventional approach, episodes were not structured with a build toward a main event as with typical professional wrestling programming. Any given week's program could feature any number or type of matches. Owner/producer Paul Heyman's intent was to keep things fresh by providing variety for the viewers.

Censorship and content

Hardcore TV showed graphic violence (including blood), sexual frankness, and harsh language, all of which were key elements of the ECW product itself. Due to the late night time slots, expletives and violence were not edited from early broadcasts, and this helped to get ECW noticed. After the ECW on TNN program became available, this was a major difference between the syndicated Hardcore TV and the more mainstream program on TNN.[7]

Broadcast history

Philadelphia market

Hardcore TV aired in permanent time slots in ECW's home territories of Philadelphia and New York City, and was also syndicated.[8] Shows were broadcast on a Philadelphia local cable sports station, SportsChannel America's[9] local affiliate, SportsChannel Philadelphia, on Tuesday evenings at 6pm until January 9, 1997 when the show moved to Thursdays at 11pm. In April 1996, the ECW SportsChannel airings were upgraded to 6pm and 11pm on Tuesdays, with a late night Friday replay at 2am. After SportsChannel Philadelphia went off the air in 1997, the show moved to WPPX-TV 61 on Wednesdays at 9pm. It later moved to a former independent broadcast station, WGTW 48 in Philadelphia, on late Friday or Saturday night broadcasts.

Chicago/Northwest Indiana market

In the Chicago and Northwest Indiana market, the show traded back and forth among WCIU 26 on Saturdays, and UPN station WPWR 50, broadcast in both Chicago and Gary, on Friday nights, a week behind. Meanwhile, KBS Chicago (a Korean station that also carried Big Japan shows at midnight) broadcast Hardcore TV on Friday nights.

Orlando market

WRBW in Orlando aired Hardcore TV in a very late night timeslot on Saturdays. Also, WNFM (then known as WSWF), a cable only WB affiliate in Fort Myers, aired Hardcore TV in a primetime slot on Saturday Nights. The rest of Florida got Hardcore TV on regional sports network the Sunshine Network[10] very late on Friday nights. WRBW invoked syndex, meaning ECW was blacked out in the Orlando market on Sunshine.

New York area

Shows were aired on the MSG Network in New York City and the surrounding area on Saturday nights at 1 am. Empire Sports Network (western NY) and WBGT-LP (Rochester) also carried the show.

Other markets in the United States

Shows were aired on KJLA in Los Angeles on Saturday nights, WUNI in Worcester-Boston very late on Friday nights, WBVC TV-61 in Traverse City, Michigan late Friday Nights, WUCT TV-52 in Dayton, Ohio and WGMB Fox 44 in Baton Rouge. On Saturday afternoons and late night, and WPTT TV 22 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania late on Saturday nights. It also aired very late on Friday nights on KTSF TV-26 in California, and on SportsSouth in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Additional networks

Episodes available online for download

Episodes were also available download from the internet at various times, from the websites of some affiliate stations.[11] The show can now be seen on the WWE Network starting from episode #1.


  1. ECW Music
  2. RF Video - Hardcore TV listings RF Video - official ECW videographer
  3. ECW Arena Results
  5. ECW TV - 4/5/1993
  6. ECW Hardcore TV - 12/31/2000
  7. Question: Paul do you see ECW getting a network deal so it can be seen nationwide? (RRitter72) Paul Heyman: I hope so, and would like to encourage any viewer or even potential viewer to write, fax, call, and e-mail any national network, be it E!, be it Fox sportsnet, be it FX, I don't care if it's The Family Channel, one look at Beulah or Francine, might make a man want to start a family after all, and ask those networks to carry, or at least consider carrying ECW. This type of campaign helped us get on PPV, it definitely scored us Cablevision. It kept us on America One, It got us back on Sunshine and with no corporate sponsorships, and no big name advertisers, we quite frankly need your support. And we're not so big and we're not so arrogant that we feel its beneath us to ask for your support. When you work with the group of guys that I am privileged to work with, you understand the value of humility. So I have no problem admitting that we rely on the support, indeed the aggressive support, of our audience.
  8. ECW ran shows mostly in Philadelphia and was syndicated on television by various stations before it was brought to TNN in 1999.
  9. Of all the remaining NWA members Eastern Championship Wrestling was the most recognizable due to their TV programming on the regional SportsChannel America cable network, and on August 27, 1994 the NWA held a tournament to crown a new NWA Champion at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia.
  10. According to The Tye Dye Guy, his initial exposure to the extreme brand occurred when the original ECW’s programming became syndicated outside of Philadelphia on the Sunshine Network.
  11. 1 2 The Wrestling Oratory "As a footnote, I never attended a live ECW show. Even further, I never participated in a Strictly ECW e-mail campaign. I never got to see a live version of Hardcore TV on MSG, the Sunshine Network, America One (though, there was that one time I almost crashed my 28.8 modem trying to download the show off of the America One website) or even WUNI-27, Worcester-Boston at 1 AM on Saturday mornings when I was in college. However, I still, in some way feel a profound love and attachment to the company."
  12. The America One Network aired wrestling on Saturday nights from ... aired on the America One Network in the past included ECW Hardcore TV and TNA Xplosion. ...
  13. "Team ECW" was a group of hardworking people ... ECW's reputation spread. ... it was televised nationwide on the America One Network, as well as on other ...
  14. News and Rumors for Tuesday, January 2 The People's Wrestling Website

External links

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