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The Extreme Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship was a World Heavyweight Championship in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was the original world title of the Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion, later used in WWE as the world title of the ECW brand, complementing the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship. The championship also briefly appeared as the only world title featured on the Raw brand in 2008. It was established under ECW in 1994 but was originally introduced in 1992 by the precursor to ECW, Eastern Championship Wrestling.

Original ECW

The ECW World Heavyweight Championship was introduced originally in 1992 as the NWA-ECW Heavyweight Championship with Jimmy Snuka becoming the inaugural champion on April 25. However, its origin is attributed to events that began in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), an organization with many member promotions. In the early 1990s, Eastern Championship Wrestling (ECW) was a member of the NWA and by 1994, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, the world title of the NWA, was vacant. Consequently, a tournament was organized to crown a new NWA World Heavyweight Champion and on August 27, NWA-ECW Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas defeated 2 Cold Scorpio in the finals to win the title. However, Douglas immediately relinquished the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and instead proclaimed himself the new ECW World Heavyweight Champion. ECW subsequently seceded from the NWA and became Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). The ECW World Heavyweight Championship was thus established, spun off from the NWA title. It remained active until April 11, 2001 when ECW closed and World Wrestling Entertainment subsequently purchased its assets.

Recommission in WWE

By 2005, WWE began reintroducing ECW through content from the ECW video library and a series of books, which included the release of The Rise and Fall of ECW documentary. With heightened and rejuvenated interest in the ECW franchise, WWE organized ECW One Night Stand on June 12, a reunion event that featured ECW alumni. Due to the financial and critical success of the production, WWE produced the second ECW One Night Stand on June 11, 2006, which served as the premiere event in the relaunch of the ECW franchise as a third WWE brand, complementary to Raw and SmackDown. On June 13, Paul Heyman, former ECW owner and newly appointed figurehead for the ECW brand, recommissioned the ECW World Heavyweight Championship to be the brand's world title and awarded it to Rob Van Dam as a result of winning the WWE Championship at One Night Stand 2006. Heyman had originally stated that either the WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship would "become" the ECW World Heavyweight Championship if a competitor designated to the ECW brand became WWE Champion or World Heavyweight Champion at the event. However, Rob Van Dam later declared that he would hold both titles simultaneously instead. The title became known as the ECW World Championship in June 2006, and later simply as the ECW Championship in August 2007.

Championship Lineage

Original ECW

Deactivated and Vacated — April 11, 2001 — ECW closes


Vacated — June 11, 2007

Deactivated — February 16, 2010