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  Aug 27, 1999



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Heyman's ready to rumble
By KEVIN NIELSEN -- SLAM! Wrestling

Paul Heyman is promising a lot for the new Extreme Championship Wrestling show on The Nashville Network.

ECW's "the premium product in pro wrestling today," said Heyman, the owner and executive producer for the promotion. We have "the most athletic and gifted performers in the wrestling world."

The first show set to debut this evening at 8 p.m. was taped two weeks ago in Toledo, Ohio, and the company's website carried all of the results.

When asked why the company would seemingly try to usurp the show in that fashion Heyman said, "We never try to pull the wool over our audiences eyes." He said there were 4,00 people at the show and word of the results would reach people regardless.

"You can find out what happened. This is the age of new media," Heyman explained.

Heyman was not completely satisfied with everything that occurred during the taping in Toledo.

His expectations were very high going into the tapings according to Heyman and not everything in Toledo managed to meet those expectations.

"There are some things that we planned out that I felt fell short of expectations but there are some things that far exceeded expectations," he said.

Bob Ryder of 1wrestling.com is reporting that ECW will be using very little of the Toledo show and the show will be more of a recap show than expected. The footage for the second show was taped last night in Queens, NY, and Raven made his surprise return to ECW claiming the tag belts with Tommy Dreamer.

Over the past few years ECW has been consistently forced to rebuild their roster because the two majors signed many wrestlers from the companies roster such as Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn and more recently Shane Douglas. Right now ECW's roster seems rather small but Heyman said changes were in the works and they began with the return of Raven. Some of the names floating around are the Ultimate Warrior, Frank Shamrock and Mark Coleman. The Warrior went so far as to put a nine page letter talking about how he would like to be with ECW on his website.

Heyman had not talked with the Warrior but he had read the letter.

"I read what he wrote and i don't understand what he is trying to say except that he'd like to come to ECW. 'It looks hot.'"

Heyman said that they are in discussions with top Asian talent and a lot of the major independent names in North America but he would not give any further details.

The wrestling world is full of stolen gimmicks and ideas but it seems like no one has had it occur more than ECW but this does not upset Heyman.

"I think it was an intelligent business decision and I would have been insulted if they didn't try to copy our ideas and steal our talent because that would mean we weren't doing something right," he said.

"These guys had international exposure and they had a much bigger market to play to therefore they could blatantly copy not just steal our ideas move for move, word for word, stunt for stunt and take credit for that to a public that didn't know any better."

This evening on TNN Heyman says the playing field will be levelled. And wrestling fans will be able to decide for themselves whether ECW is "the premium product in pro wrestling today."



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