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  April 11, 2001

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ECW's stunning money woes made public
By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM! Wrestling

To the shock of wrestling fans, ECW dirty laundry is finally being aired through documents released by the Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court. ECW President, Paul Heyman, voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 protection under the U.S. bankruptcy laws on April 4th through the parent company of Extreme Championship Wrestling -- HHG Corporation -- thereby dissolving the notoriously hardcore wrestling promotion.

Heyman was represented in court by Joseph Capobianco of the Reisman, Peirez and Reisman law firm from Garden City, New York. Judge Adlai S. Hardin Jr. is presiding over the case. Lawyers representing the World Wrestling Federation, a creditor in the case, were also on hand.

The documents obtained by SLAM! Wrestling detail an expansive list of people, companies and government bodies ECW (Heyman and HHG) owes millions upon millions of dollars to. In total, Heyman through HHG Corp. has $8,881,435.17 in unpaid bills (all figures U.S. dollars). Heyman claims to only have $1,385,500 in assets. Heyman's assets include $2,000 in a personal bank account, ECW's video tape library (valued at $500,000), unsold ECW merchandise totaling $4,000, a 1998 Ford F 800 Truck worth $19,500 (Heyman still owes $14.455.14 on it) and forthcoming payments from In Demand, Acclaim and The Original San Francisco Toymakers that total $860,000.

Some of the creditors holding the largest unsecured claims are Annodeus Incorporated -- a subsidiary of Acclaim Entertainment ($1 million), The World Wrestling Federation ($587,500), Farm Club Online Inc. ($300,000), The Original San Francisco Toymakers ($250,000), MSG Network Inc. -- America's largest regional sports network ($244,000), American Cable Productions Inc. ($243,000), In Demand L.L.C. -- an American pay-per-view network ($150,000), wrestler Rob Van Dam ($150,000), wrestler Tommy Dreamer ($100,000), Stonecutter Productions (owned by former ECW lawyer Steve Karel - $75,000) and Karel himself, $50,000.

The filing reveals that the I.R.S. claims that Heyman hasn't paid his taxes either. Also, $30,000 is still owed to the New York State Department Of Taxation and Finance for taxes on ECW wrestling events and The State Of Connecticut is making the same "withholding taxes" charge stating that Heyman should pay them $4,000. Heyman and his lawyer are disputing these claims.

Noted in the enormous list of creditors comprised of cable companies, travel agencies, media corporations (including TNN), advertising agencies, hospitals, insurance companies, financial institutions, courier companies, universities and plaintiffs with personal injury suits against ECW are these former ECW wrestlers, managers and announcers:

  • Bill Alphonso: $5,000.
  • C.W. Anderson: $500.
  • Angel (Baldies): $500.
  • Scotty Anton: Unknown amount.
  • Steve Corino: None.
  • Justin Credible: $7,990.
  • Lou E. Dangerously: $7,000.
  • Juilo Deniro: $300.
  • Devito (Baldies): $500.
  • Simon Diamond: $9,000.
  • Danny Doring: $2,100.
  • Shane Douglas: $48,000.
  • Spike Dudley: Unknown amount.
  • Francine: $47,275.
  • Chris Hamrick: $300.
  • Don Callis: $12,000.
  • Little Guido: $25,000.
  • Jazz: $1000.
  • Jerry Lynn: Unknown amount.
  • Balls Mahoney: $4,000.
  • Tony Mamaluke: $600.
  • Dawn Marie: $9,000.
  • Thomas Marquez: $500.
  • James Mitchell (Sinister Minister): Unknown.
  • EZ Money: $300.
  • New Jack: Unknown amount.
  • Nova: $4,000.
  • Roadkill: $21,250.
  • Rhyno: $50,000.
  • Sabu: None.
  • The Sandman: Unknown amount.
  • Johnny Swinger: Unknown amount.
  • Joey Styles: $50,480.
  • Super Crazy: $5,000.
  • Tajiri: $5,000.
  • Rob Van Dam: $150,000.
  • Jack Victory: $3,000.
  • Mikey Whipwreck: $12,000.
  • Chilly Willy: $500.
Other names and companies known to wrestling fans:
  • Victor Quinones (Puerto Rico promoter): $12,000.00
  • World Wrestling Federation Entertainment: $587,500.00
  • Erich Kulas (the wrestler bloodied by New Jack that went to court, listed as 'Alleged pesonal injuries': unknown
  • J-Mar Championship Belts: unknown
Serving as its President, Secretary and Director, Paul Heyman owned 85 per cent of ECW while Annodeus Incorporated (a subsidiary of Acclaim Entertainment) held 15 per cent. Last year, ECW was forced off television by the World Wrestling Federation when they moved to The National Network (TNN). Overwhelmed by debt, ECW cancelled its house shows and its final pay-per-view. Some ECW talent have since joined Heyman in the World Wrestling Federation while others have signed on with the WWF-owned World Championship Wrestling.

An analysis of ECW's Bankruptcy Petition by a forensic accountant

More on ECW

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