In the '90s, WCW and WWE were battling tooth and nail during the Monday Night Wars. While they were fighting for brand supremacy and the biggest television ratings, a third company was building a lot of momentum in ECW. While not on a major television network until the very end, they had pay-per-views that earned them more and more fans as time went on.
However, much like WCW, by the end of the decade, ECW was also failing and soon went out of business. Similarly, just like WCW, WWE purchased the company mostly for its assets. While some ECW stars went on to see massive success in WWE, the truth is that their style of wrestling was not what WWE was looking for and many ECW stars never made it big, even though they should have.