As the FTW Championship was defended this week for the first time since 1999, and seems to be involved in AEW Storylines going forward, Rob Troubadour takes a look at the history of this iconic championship.
We’re 10 days post ‘Wrestlepalooza’ and Buh Buh Ray has just caused a man to get so angry that he’s been retained by security and ejected from the building. Sandman is on the card, making it inevitable that beer will be spilled tonight, and, further adding to the bin fire, Sabu is continuing to goad Rob Van Dam in their ECW World Television Championship feud.
For anybody that doesn’t know what connects all of these things, I’m talking about ECW PPV ‘It Ain’t Seinfeld’ held at Elks Lodge, Queens – the scene for the creation of the FTW Championship.
Why am I digging up the past? On Wednesday, July 8, at AEW’s Fyter Fest show, Taz reintroduced The FTW Championship during an in-ring interview with Tony Schiavone alongside the man he now manages – ‘The Machine’ Brian Cage.
Shocked to think in the first instance that an ECW Championship could appear in a brand that wasn’t WWE?
The truth of the matter is The FTW (or F*** The World) Championship is unsanctioned, therefore it doesn’t hold recognition and thus is not an official belt on any brand (Sorry, Vince).
Back to the night in question ‘It Ain’t Seinfield’, and the creation of the strap itself. That night ECW World Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas was suppose to face Taz but the bout never took place due to Shane Douglas being out injured from ‘Wrestlepalooza’.
Some say Douglas had injured his elbow, and others simply say he had a runny nose, either way we were then treated to the introduction of The FTW Championship. The title itself was introduced due to Taz’s outgoing frustration with not being given the opportunity to become the top dog at ECW, but with it’s then ongoing reputation the title catapulted him to the wanted position regardless, and Taz’s ‘No s*it’ attitude gathered him multiple plaudits including Paul E himself.
A little bit of trivia for anybody should a lockdown wrestling quiz arise in the near future: The FTW World Championship is the exact same strap as used by Taz in previous reigns with the ECW Television Championship.
Also, Taz’s name is permanently added to the title and this really upset Sabu who grabbed the nearest bit of tape and a permanent marker and drew his name on it, covering up Taz’s addition during his one and only reign with The FTW World Championship, then losing it 92 days later where Taz would unify the belt with the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.
The FTW Championship also made a brief appearance due to Taz’s own cousin Chris Chetti at XPW (Xtreme Pro Wrestling) with ECW Alumni Dangerous Danny Doring winning the title to unify it with XPW’s World Championship.
I would give credit to Taz for reinvigorating a title to bring it to the modern-day era of wrestling, but sometimes some things are better left untouched.
So Taz, You dipped the chip. You took a bite. And you dipped again. That’s like putting your whole mouth right in the dip! From now on, when you take a chip – just take one dip and end it… It ain’t Seinfeld.