Jerry Lawler Could’ve Been ECW’s Biggest Heel Ever

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Jerry Lawler Could've Been ECW's Biggest Heel Ever

In 1997, there was an ongoing feud between Rob Van Dam and Sabu and the team of Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman. That feud evolved into ECW vs. USWA when Jerry Lawler challenged the company. 

I’ve been rediscovering this feud via the old RF Video compilation ECW vs. USWA: Civil War of the 90s. It runs for almost three hours and features matches, promos, and angles. 

Most of it can be found YouTube, just use the tape listing as a guide. It was presented as an inter-promotional feud but was a talent exchange where ECW reaped more. 

Remember, ECW was rapidly on the rise while 1997 would be USWA’s final year. There was no turnaround for Memphis at this point. 

Double Dipping In Memphis-10 and Philly 

The main thing here is Jerry Lawler’s work as a heel and how if he moonlighted in ECW as a competitor and did commentary on RAW, he could’ve been ECW’s biggest heel. 

At the time, both companies had TV in local markets. Neither was national so Lawler could still the old territory thing of playing both alignments. 

In Memphis, he could be the babyface hero who defended the old school Memphis Fire style and traditional wrestling against this new wave of hardcore wrestling. 

Traveling into the north to Philly, he was an invading heel who trashed the style and fans as “Extremely Crappy Wrestling”. He did the same on WWE RAW as WWE had agreements with both companies. 

Come to think of it, there was more issue with Jerry Lawler being a heel on RAW which had national TV and a face in Memphis than him being a heel on ECW Hardcore TV. 

Jerry Lawler: The Extreme King 

If he continued his work in ECW chances are high that he wouldn’t even have to hit the house shows, could just send in promos, show up at a couple of tapings, and do PPVs. 

I’m not going to say that’s light work because he would still have to be on the road with WWE. However, that’s lighter work than the guys who were with ECW and appeared weekly. 

Plus, territories like Memphis, Amarillo, Florida, and Puerto Rico’s WWC were all the grandfathers of both hardcore wrestling and the TV booking style. 

Just look at roughly any Memphis show from the 80s and 90s then look at Hardcore TV once Eddie Gilbert and then Heyman took over. It’s the Philadelphia version of Memphis only with better matches on TV during the mid to late 90s.

You got a couple of matches with most of the time being dominated by promos and angles. Oh yeah, we’ve got a music video with copyrighted music in there too. 

Jerry Lawler was a hyper charismatic brawler and wasn’t out of place in ECW. As a matter of fact, with his national TV exposure, he would’ve been the company’s biggest heel and biggest star. 

That would mean Heyman would have to be quick and accurate with what ECW wrestlers got the rub from Lawler. Again, ECW was growing rapidly in the 90s and it would be presented as a competitor soon. 

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