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ECW News: Heyman comments on ECW PPV buyrate - 5 Yrs Ago

Jun 6, 2003 - 4:30:00 AM
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The following is a reprint of the Torch Newsletter ECW Newswire from five years ago this week.

-Jason Powell, Torch assistant editor

* * *

Torch Newsletter Archive
By Wade Keller, Torch editor
ECW Newswire
Originally published: Pro Wrestling Torch Weekly newsletter #496
Cover dated: May 30, 1998


ON THE ROAD
May 22 in Cleveland, Ohio at the Masonic Auditorium (1,500): ECW made their Cleveland debut just 4 miles from downtown. The event began 25 minutes past the advertised time. The arena was about half full. ECW did commercials on WWF and WCW television shows and did some radio spots. Some of the commercials were trade-outs. ECW is broadcast on a Youngstown, Ohio station which is carried by a downtown Cleveland cable system, but it's not available to most area residents since it was taken off SportsChannel after the Fox sale. Security frisked fans as they entered the building and actually confiscated pens. There was no alcohol on sale. Concessions consisted of Domino's Pizza and soda. The tapes for sale were dubbed onto over-the-counter videotapes.

In the opener, Axl Rotten & Balls Mahoney beat The FBI (Little Guido & Tracy Smothers, w/Tommy Rich). Originally Super Nova & Blue Meanie were FBI's opponents, but Nova took a chairshot early and came up bleeding, so he and Meanie wandered back to the locker room. It was then announced Axl & Balls would take on FBI. After several minutes of brawling, Axl & Balls won after chairshots to FBI's heads. FBI teased breaking up at the end, but left the ring together. By far the most stalling and downtime of any match of the evening.

Taz beat Chris Chetti in about five minutes with a Tazmission.

Al Snow beat a wrestler managed by Lance Wright who was never announced to the crowd. There were about 100 heads in the crowd. Snow was over with the fans.

Ulf Hermann (w/Lance Wright, Jack Victory) beat John Kronus. Hermann was billed as holding four different European and Asian belts. Kronus hit the 450 splash off the top rope onto Wright. Interference, though, by Victory gave Hermann the upper hand and the victory.

Lance Storm & Chris Candido beat PG13 to retain the ECW Tag Team Titles. PG13 did a nice job of getting crowd heat right away, picking on an attractive blond in the first row. The comments aimed at her were brutal, but it was pretty funny. Candido had his pants pulled down on a sunset flip and ran around the ring with his ass hanging out for a minute or two. Storm had one of PG13 pinned, but Candido piledrove Storm and scored the pinfall himself. They had their usual post-match break-up.

Shane Douglas and Francine came to the ring. Douglas said he was tired of those two fighting and it was time for them to settle it. Douglas and Francine were both clearly pro-Candido in their comments. Douglas shoved Francine's chest into the ref's face, then nailed Storm with a chair. Candido covered Storm and got a quick singles victory over his tag partner.

Rob Van Dam beat Jerry Lynn. One of the longest matches of the event. They traded move for move throughout the match and had good chemistry. Van Dam came across as the new franchise wrestler of ECW. Lynn looked good, but could use an angle or mic time to get his personality across.

Sabu beat Mikey Whipwreck. Sabu powerbombed Mikey on a table set up between the ring and guard rail. In the end, Mikey submitted to a half camel clutch.

Big Dick & Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley (w/Joel Gertner, Sign Guy Dudley) beat Tommy Dreamer (w/Beulah) & Sandman & Spike Dudley. Gertner woke up the crowd with a series of cracks at Cleveland. The Dudleys challenged audience members to come to the ring. Some accepted the offer, but security held them back. Sandman came out to "Enter the Sandman," walking through the crowd beginning in the upper seats.

By the time he got to the ring he drank three beers and was bleeding from smashing a can on his forehead. Dreamer poured beer over Beulah's breasts and Spike licked beer off of them. When the match got going, it saw a lot of brawling outside of the ring and in the crowd. Spike worked a lot of the match in the ring and took a lot of punishment. They ended up getting the four Dudleys (including Sign Guy) hung upside down in each corner and then the three babyfaces joined by Beulah slidekicked all four simultaneously with chairs.

Beulah did a double-DDT on Sign Guy and Gertner. Sandman and Dreamer got knocked out of the ring and all three Dudleys attacked Spike and piledrove him for the win. New Jack then came out with a trash can full of weapons. He used a toaster, a sheet of clear plastic (which shattered), and a variety of other objects against the Dudleys. After the match new Jack thanked everyone for coming and said it had been one of the best ECW debuts ever with 1,500 in attendance. Sandman brought a fan into the ring and had him drink a beer. Beulah, Spike and Dreamer celebrated with them. [John Bowers]

May 24 in Rostraver, Pa.: Super Nova & Blue Meanie beat The FBI (w/Rich) when Nova pinned Guido after Novacaine (reverse Russian leg sweep). Meanie and Smothers had a dance contest in the middle of the match, before Smothers attacked Meanie from behind. The FBI teased a break-up which included Rich taking his shirt off (what a sight!), but ended up leaving together.

Snow beat Mike Lizinski (w/Jamie Dundee). Dundee did some classic USWA style mic work. A virtual squash with Snow winning with the Snowplow. After the match Snow beat up Dundee. In a last hurrah with the ECW fans, Snow ran through the crowd. The crowd was into Snow despite his imminent departure from ECW.

Chetti beat Doring (w/Lance Wright). It's amazing how useless Wright has become. During the match there were several chants of "boring," and no it wasn't "Doring." Chetti used his signature double-jump moonsault.

Herman (w/Wright) beat Kronus. Kronus has put on considerable weight and is sporting a sizable gut. Kronus hit the 450 splash, but Wright's bodyguard Jack Victory interfered. New Jack ran in with his objects afterward.

Storm & Candido beat Balls & Axl to retain the ECW Tag Team Titles. Axl did some mic work ripping on Sunny. A typical tag match with Candido and Storm in-fighting throughout. In the end, Candido pinned Axl while Balls pinned Storm. The crowd popped, figuring that Balls and Axl won, but the referee gave the match to Storm & Candido because Candido was the legal man.

Douglas came out and asked the crowd if they wanted to see Storm and Candido finally wrestle. Storm and Candido began to fight in what turned out to be a decent match. Storm went to the top, but Francine shook the ropes and Storm crotched himself on the top rope. Storm had Candido pinned, but Douglas came in and gave Storm a reverse DDT and put Candido on top of Storm for the three count. The crowd chanted, "Show your tits" at Francine during the match.

Van Dam beat Lynn in easily the best match of the night. Van Dam continued to show that he is the most entertaining wrestler ECW has left. Lynn was impressive also and with Snow leaving, Lynn could get a decent push. Van Dam tried to hit the Van Daminator, but barely grazed Lynn with it. The crowd started to boo and Van Dam muttered to Lynn, "again." Van Dam hit a solid Van Daminator and scored the win.

Sabu beat Mikey Whipwreck. Sabu got a huge pop, second only to Sandman. Sabu tried for a triple jump moonsault, but messed up the fist attempt. He tried it again and hit it. Mikey hit his Whippersnapper and the crowd, in unison, yelled "stunner." Sabu won with a sick looking Arabian facebuster. Mikey clearly needs six months off to heal from injuries.

Buh Buh Ray & D-Von & Big Dick Dudley (w/Joel Gertner) beat Tommy Dreamer & Sandman & Spike Dudley. Before the match the crowd chanted, "F--- you, D-Von." D-Von and especially Buh Buh insulted an overweight fan, known to local fans and wrestlers as "55 Chevy." Buh Buh got a huge pop after telling the fan to eat a salad once in a while. He asked him if he needed to buy two seats. Sandman's entrance lasted longer than the actual match. Buh Buh also told Spike that he must be on LSD because he thought Sandman was a good wrestler.

Overall, a boring and lackluster show with the exception of Van Dam vs. Lynn. A few local wrestlers, including T-Rantula and Lord Zoltan were in attendance. No Taz, no Bigelow, no Justin Credible, and no Douglas. [T. Combetti]

ECW NOTEBOOK
Paul Heyman says the buyrate for ECW's WrestlePalooza on Request TV and Viewer's Choice is coming around 0.24 percent, and that's without several northeast cable systems not reporting yet where ECW would do strong numbers. Heyman says he expected the buyrate to finish above 0.25 and over 80,000 buys grossing over $750,000, a 50 percent increase in revenue over any previous ECW PPV. There were earlier independent reports that pegged the event about 30 percent less than those figures...

ECW had an outdoor beach show scheduled July 7 in Wildwood, N.J., but the city government cancelled it, worried that problems could occur...

In the early years ECW got most TV clearances on barter agreements and splitting ad time. Now they are paying for several timeslots in key markets (including $3,000 per week in Chicago), but with PPV and an expanded house show schedule, they can afford it...

ECW's announced attendance for May 14 in Queens, N.Y. was 900 and May 15 in Hamburg, Pa. was 2,200


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