At the same time Mr. McMahon and Eric Bischoff were signing multi-million dollar checks to grab sports-entertainment’s top talent during The Monday Night War, Paul Heyman was overseeing a veritable “Island of Misfit Toys” in the ECW locker room. Among those competitors who had either burned every bridge in professional wrestling or never had the opportunity to cross one stood Justin Credible.
The smug kid who flopped in WWE as “The Portuguese Man O’ War” was reborn in Philly as an unapologetic iconoclast who traded in his yellow tights for the unofficial ECW uniform of a sleeveless T-shirt and jean shorts. Flanked by an oddball posse of female bodybuilder Nicole Bass and “The Sexiest Man Alive” Jason, Credible won two ECW Tag Team Titles alongside Lance Storm and dispatched Extreme icons like The Sandman and Sabu all while thumbing his nose at the audience. Credible’s mere presence was enough to incite a near riot in the ECW Arena, but the self-righteous jerk truly enraged the ECW faithful when he beat Tommy Dreamer for the ECW Championship only minutes after Tommy’s emotional victory. — RYAN MURPHY