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Their name derives from their affiliation with the original independent Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion, with "ECW Originals" being wrestlers who first came to prominence during the first ECW's run. Members of the ECW Originals faction have held the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, Television Championship, and World Tag Team Championship during their tenure with the original company. In July 2010, the group debuted in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling under the name EV2.
World Wrestling Entertainment
When World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) revived Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) as a third brand, they did so by having a number of wrestlers from the original promotion appear on the June 5, 2006 WWE Raw to attack WWE Champion John Cena. From there, the new ECW was given its own weekly show, with the tagline "A New Breed Unleashed" appearing in TV advertising, on the Sci Fi Channel.
On January 30, 2007, when Vince McMahon appeared on ECW on Sci Fi to, in storyline, take a more hands-on role in running the brand, he started by taking stock of the roster. In doing so he degraded the "ECW Originals" he ran into backstage while calling newcomers a "New Breed." He lavished praise on Elijah Burke at the end of the night, prompting Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, Balls Mahoney, and The Sandman to rush to the ring and attack Burke, leaving him lying in the ring as they taunted McMahon.
Over the next weeks, the war continued with Burke and a number of other "new" stars becoming "the New Breed" and promptly starting a feud with the Originals, who lost Balls Mahoney but were joined by Rob Van Dam (Mahoney was still an active performer and still recognised as a member of the stable, however, he would never become involved in any match related to the stable). The New Breed got off to a hot start in the feud, picking up win after win with no ECW Originals pinning New Breed members until three weeks in to the feud, when Rob Van Dam pinned Kevin Thorn. The teams continued to clash in singles and tag matches, trading wins on the weekly ECW show. The Originals won a standard-rules four-on-four match at WrestleMania 23, but lost an extreme-rules rematch on the next Tuesday's show.
CM Punk had been brought into the storyline as a coveted free agent, with both the Originals and the New Breed attempting to recruit him. Punk made it clear to both sides that he was not interested. Members of both stables would interfere in Punk's matches, with the ECW Originals costing him multiple wins. On the April 10 episode of ECW, after a match between Van Dam and Burke, Punk came down to ringside, looking like he was about to check on Sabu. Instead, however, he shook hands with Burke and the rest of the New Breed, showing his allegiance to them. Ofter the next few weeks, Punk showed his loyalty to the members of the New Breed, playing the role of a valet instead of an actual team member. While he openly supported Cor Von, Thorn and Stryker, he openly disrespected Burke, constantly questioning Burke's ability to lead the stable or win matches alone. A few weeks after joining, however, Punk turned on the New Breed, and helped the Originals to defeat them in an 8-man elimination tag team match. This marked the end of the feud as the New Breed started to fall apart during a feud which saw all four members target Punk exclusively (and unsuccessfully).
With the common enemy defeated, the ECW Originals seemed to have quietly disbanded, with all members concentrating on their singles careers. Following Mr. McMahon winning the ECW World Championship at Backlash, the Originals were shown to still be a stable when McMahon teased them with the title. The quartet later made comments about Vince McMahon becoming the new ECW Champion and killing the ECW spirit on WWE's official website. (It should be noted that Mr. McMahon won the title while teaming with Shane McMahon and Umaga, and every title defence saw the trio compete as team, however, Mr. McMahon is the only on recognised as the title holder). This led to an "Extreme Rules" Four Way Dance between the Originals, with the winner getting a chance to face Mr. McMahon for the ECW World Championship. Van Dam won this match with a Five-Star Frog splash to Sandman, but was it was later announced that his championship match would be a three-on-one handicap match with Mr. McMahon, his son Shane McMahon and Umaga, which Van Dam lost.
On May 15, 2007 Sabu was released by the WWE.
At One Night Stand, Dreamer and Sandman teamed up with CM Punk to defeat the remaining New Breed members in a Tables Match. The same night, Van Dam was involved in a match versus Randy Orton and, in storyline, suffered a concussion which removed him from television. This would be Van Dam's last match under a WWE contract On June 5, 2007 Bobby Lashley defeated another ECW Original incarnation of Tommy Dreamer (a returning member), Balls Mahoney, and Sandman in a 3-on-1 handicap hardcore match.
The stable was fractured even further when Sandman was drafted to Raw on June 17, 2007, and released on September 11, 2007. In mid-2007, Stevie Richards teamed with Tommy Dreamer against the New Breed on house shows, replacing Sandman in the ECW Originals. As commentating teams announced Elijah Burke as the "former" leader of the New Breed, it signaled the end of the New Breed and the ECW Originals, and their feud.
After the releases of Rob Van Dam in June 2007, Balls Mahoney in April 2008 and Stevie Richards in August 2008, Dreamer was the last remaining member of ECW Originals in WWE, until his release was announced in January 2010, ending the ECW Original blood line. Eventually, ECW was cancelled on February 16, 2010 and replaced with WWE NXT.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
On the July 15, 2010, edition of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's Impact! television show former ECW wrestlers Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer, Mick Foley, Raven, Stevie Richards, Rhino, Brother Devon, Pat Kenney and Al Snow came together to form the stable "EV2" and assaulted the TNA locker room. The following week, TNA president Dixie Carter agreed to give the ECW alumni their own reunion pay–per–view event, Hardcore Justice, which took place on August 8, 2010. On the following edition of Impact!, Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer, Team 3D, Mick Foley, Sandman, Sabu, Bill Alfonso, Rhino, Raven, Stevie Richards, Guido Maritato and Tony Luke were assaulted by Abyss and A.J. Styles, Kazarian, Beer Money, Inc. (Robert Roode, James Storm), Douglas Williams, and Matt Morgan of Ric Flair's Fourtune stable, who thought the originals didn't deserve to be in TNA. The following week TNA president Dixie Carter gave each member of EV2 TNA contracts in order for them to settle their score with Fourtune. Team 3D's contracts with TNA expired shortly thereafter and they have made no more appearances as members of EV2, nor has Bill Alfonso or Sandman, who no-showed an Impact! taping on August 23. Guido Maritato and Tony Luke made their final appearance for TNA on the August 26 edition of Impact!, in a squash match, where they were defeated by Beer Money, Inc. On the September 2 edition of Impact! EV2 was joined by Brian Kendrick, making him the first member of the group with no past with Extreme Championship Wrestling. At No Surrender EV2 lost all three of their matches, when Sabu unsuccessfully challenged Douglas Williams for the TNA X Division Championship, Rhino lost to Abyss in a Falls Count Anywhere match and Dreamer was defeated by A.J. Styles in an "I Quit" match. On the following edition of Impact!, Dreamer appeared on the Impact! Zone alone, admitted EV2's defeat and attempted to reach a truce with Fourtune, but was beaten down. The following week he returned with Raven, Stevie Richards, Sabu and Rhino and announced that Dixie Carter had given the five of them a Lethal Lockdown match against Fourtune at Bound for Glory. Later that same night Sabu lost to A.J. Styles in a ladder match contested for the advantage at Bound for Glory. On the October 7 live edition of Impact! Mick Foley defeated Fourtune leader Ric Flair in a Last Man Standing match. At Bound for Glory Dreamer, Raven, Rhino, Richards and Sabu defeated Fourtune members Styles, Kazarian, Morgan, Roode and Storm in a Lethal Lockdown match. Shortly after the event, Rhino's contract with TNA expired and he left the promotion.
World Wrestling Entertainment
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
- Al Snow†*
- Bill Alfonso
- Brian Kendrick‡
- Brother Devon*
- Brother Ray*
- Guido Maritato
- Jerry Lynn†
- Mick Foley*
- Pat Kenney / Simon Diamond†*
- Rob Van Dam*
- The Sandman
- Stevie Richards*
- Tommy Dreamer*
- Tony Luke
(*) - Had contracts with TNA Wrestling prior to the storyline
(†) - Were part of the stable only for the Hardcore Justice pay-per-view
(‡) - Not part of the original ECW, but still part of the stable