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ECW founder Tod Gordon seeks to ‘set the record straight’ as he recalls revolutionizing pro wrestling in book

The typical professional wrestling fan fondly appears again on the time when WWE was going toe-to-toe with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) every Monday evening as one program had The Rock, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Undertaker whereas the opposite present had New World Order, Hulk Hogan, Goldberg and Sting.

One upstart promotion added a brand new wrinkle to the Monday Night time Wars and pushed the professional wrestling business to undertake a extra excessive fashion to additional captivate their audiences.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) was the title that modified the sport.

When most followers look again on ECW, essentially the most recognizable names that come up are the likes of Paul Heyman, Rob Van Dam, Sabu, The Sandman, Cactus Jack, Tommy Dreamer, The Dudley Boyz and some others. However it’s Tod Gordon who was one of many major gamers of ECW and helped make the promotion extraordinarily outstanding all of the whereas WWE, then referred to as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), was going head-to-head with WCW.


Tod Gordon along with his canine (Handout)

Gordon’s new e book, “Tod is God: The Licensed Story of How I Created Excessive Championship Wrestling” is ready to hit bookstands on Tuesday. The e book was co-written by Sean Oliver and features a foreword by professional wrestling legend Terry Funk.

The e book chronicles how Gordon first created the promotion, which was initially known as Japanese Championship Wrestling when it was a territory underneath the Nationwide Wrestling Alliance, and the way it broke away from the previous regime and tackle the professional wrestling world alone.

Gordon informed Fox Information Digital in a latest interview the primary concept was to make use of the NWA initials to provide the corporate “just a little extra credibility.” As soon as ECW bought its footing and had a standalone champion who wasn’t going to be touring across the territories, Gordon stated he knew he had one thing one evening after Shane Douglas, Sabu and Funk had been concerned in a three-way match on the ECW Area.

“After the present was over, we had all of the wrestlers again within the Hilton lodge, not removed from the airport, and Paul [Heyman] and I drove over. We get out of the automobile to go the bar and faucet the blokes on the again, nice job, pat on the again, and spilling out into the car parking zone had been followers, and so they all began yelling, ‘E-C-W! E-C-W!,’ as we had been strolling out of our automobile and into the constructing. And it was, ‘Thanks, Tod, thanks, Paul.’ We had been sitting, one another, questioning what the heck was occurring.

ECW legends pose for a pic

Tod Gordon, center, poses with The Sandman, left, 2 Chilly Scorpio, proper of Tod, and Invoice Alfonso. (Handout)


“Paul stated, ‘Look, I’ve been doing this for some time in quite a lot of territories; I’ve by no means seen a fan response like this.’ We realized we had one thing right here. Perhaps lightning in a bottle, however no matter it was, we had it. And the followers had been part of the entire thing. They had been a significant driving power for making the exhibits higher and greater. And the followers turned a significant a part of the present, just like the ‘Rocky Horror Image Present.’ They’d usher in weapons at hand out to the wrestlers. That they had their very own chants they made up for every totally different man. It actually was like a household environment. They and us had been working symbiotically collectively.”

A part of the e book can be about Gordon’s relationship with Heyman. Gordon stated he met Heyman by way of Eddie Gilbert, who he introduced onto the corporate as his booker. Heyman would seem on a number of the greater exhibits as Gilbert’s onscreen managers and work with a number of the youthful expertise.

Gordon described his relationship with Heyman as “nice” and as “greatest pals” for the primary few years. Gordon stated his complete concept was to placed on exhibits that he wish to see. He stated he couldn’t stand the programming that WCW and WWE (then-WWF) were putting on on the time, describing the latter as “cartoonish.”

“We ended up turning into what I say, the Howard Stern of wrestling – actually R-rated wrestling,” Gordon informed Fox Information Digital. “No one had ever performed that earlier than.”

Paul Heyman on the mic

Paul Heyman, proper, and Tod Gordon (Courtsey of George Tahinos)


Gordon stated the unique plan was for Heyman to solely work quickly for him. He stated Heyman was planning to launch a professional wrestling channel with Jim Crockett. He stated that as the 2 bought nearer, Heyman stated he was going to spurn Crockett and the plans of constructing the separate community. However Gordon had already discovered that Crockett deserted the plans anyway.

Gordon stated he provided Heyman 49% of the corporate after Heyman left what he was doing with Crockett. Gordon stated Heyman wished to go 50/50, however Gordon maintained that “somebody needed to have the final phrase, in any other case you’ll burn the constructing down, or it’ll appear that manner.”

As the corporate started to get extra standard, cash started to change into a problem. Gordon stated he was spending 1000’s of {dollars} every week for tv spots in locations they didn’t run exhibits in. As Heyman’s star rose, funds started to dwindle.

“It wasn’t fairly, and it wasn’t sincere, and it’s been informed fully in another way for nearly 30 years now,” Gordon stated of the story of ECW. “That’s the explanation I wanted to put in writing a e book. I wanted to set the report straight.”


“We ended up turning into what I say, the Howard Stern of wrestling – actually R-rated wrestling.”

— Tod Gordon, ECW founder

Gordon praised Heyman for having a knack for the professional wrestling enterprise and marveled how Heyman remains to be going sturdy in WWE. He stated he and Heyman had been pals till about six or seven years in the past till he did a documentary for the WWE. Gordon stated Oliver then satisfied him to do the e book.

Gordon, now the proprietor of the Philadelphia-based jewellery and pawn establishment Carver W. Reed & Co., revealed what he hopes followers will take away from the e book.

“I feel, for one, to not consider the whole lot that they’ve seen or informed. Two, all of the debauchery that was the popularity of ECW was actual. I inform story after story involving the medication, the intercourse, the rock and roll and the entire bit. And who was concerned, who wasn’t concerned. What we did was fairly inclusive, and a number of the tales you’ll fall down laughing, and a few you’d say, ‘Wow, that’s form of unhappy.’”

Gordon offered his share of the corporate to Heyman in 1995 and left the corporate in 1997.

Vince McMahon purchased ECW in 2003 and at one level revived the corporate as a model underneath the WWE to compete towards the likes of RAW and SmackDown.

ECW legends pose

Blue Meanie, left, Cactus Jack, middle, and Tod Gordon pose for an image. (Handout)


ECW’s hardcore legacy lives on to today as the corporate is credited with inventing the three-way dance match sort, tables match and numerous others.

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Printed : 2023-07-21 09:00:37

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