TODAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY… APRIL 13th: The First ECW Pay Per View

DATELINE: APRIL 13, 1997 – ECW ARENA – PHILADELPHIA, PA


At nearly 53 years old, Terry Funk defeats Raven to win the ECW World Heavyweight title at Barely Legal ’97, the company’s first ever foray into pay per view.

Before the show, ECW owner Paul Heyman delivered a notable ‘speech to the troops’ that eventually became part of wrestling lore, when it was featured in the documentary, Beyond the Mat.

The show drew an attendance of 1170 and the pay-per-view received a buyrate of 0.26, which is the equivalent of approximately 104,000 buys. For their initial effort, the show was considered a success, and hailed by many critics as a sign that Extreme Championship Wrestling had now emerged as the third major promotion in the United States, beside WCW and the WWF.


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