D-Von Dudley Looks Back On ECW Invasion Of WWE Raw At Manhattan Center

The February 24, 1997 edition of "WWE Raw" will forever be remembered as the night that ECW invaded the WWE. In an attempt to draw eyes away from WCW and "Monday Nitro" which was beating "Raw" consistently in the ratings, WWE decided to collaborate with ECW, who were also looking to draw eyes to their Barely Legal pay-per-view that was to take place in April.


D-Von Dudley, who was in action on that episode of "Raw," looked back on the ECW invasion on a live edition of Chris Jericho's "Talk is Jericho" podcast.

"I remember going to the Manhattan Center when we did the invasion," Dudley said. "I remember looking at the expression on Vince McMahon's face sitting down on commentary like, 'What the f**k is going on?'" 

Dudley faced Tommy Dreamer in the final ECW match of the night before the show was headlined by The Undertaker taking on Faarooq. The Hall of Famer echoed a point made by his tag team partner Bully Ray, who stated earlier in the podcast that ECW changed the face of professional wrestling, with Dudley citing one major example. 

"If it wasn't for ECW, there would probably be no Stone Cold Steve Austin," Dudley said. "He came to ECW, Steve Austin did after leaving WCW, and then went to WWE and had a whole new persona. And it was because of ECW that gave Steve the notion to be able to come back and be himself again." 


Austin only worked for ECW for a few months at the end of 1995, but his time in Philadelphia was so important to his career that he acknowledged it by making a surprise appearance at the ECW One Night Stand event in 2005.

Please credit "Talk is Jericho" when using quotes from this article, and give a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.