Torch Today JAN. 13 IN HISTORY: Original ECW's final show 13 years ago - Sandman vs. Credible, plus Flashback to the finale while Heyman claimed to be negotiating TV deal
Jan 13, 2014 - 9:22:41 AM
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This Day In Wrestling History - January 13
Date: January 13, 2001 (13 years ago)
Feature: The original ECW promotion ran its final show in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. A PPV was scheduled for March, but it did not happen after Paul Heyman filed for bankruptcy and WWF/E bought the ECW assets. In Pine Bluff, the final match of the original ECW was The Sandman vs. Justin Credible...
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Torch ECW Newswire Report
ECW Live Event Results
January 13, 2001
Pine Bluff, Ark.
- SHOW RESULTS: Nova beat Prodigy, Super Crazy beat Tajiri, Danny Doring & Tommy Dreamer beat Little Guido & Tony Mamaluke, Jack Victory beat C.W. Anderson (w/Lou E. Dangerously), Rhino beat Spike Dudley to retain the ECW Title, Justin Credible (w/Francine) beat Sandman, and Sandman beat Justin Credible (w/Francine) in a rematch. After the show, most of the crew gathered in the ring. Many drank beers as the wrestlers saluted the crowd and hugged one another. [Paul Marsh]
- NEWSWIRE REPORT: A post-show in-ring celebration last Saturday night by the wrestlers led to rumors that ECW has run its last show. At the end of the Jan. 13 house show in Pine Bluff, Ark., most of the wrestlers returned to the ring for what some believed was their "farewell." In an emotional scene, the wrestlers thanked the fans, hugged one another, and shared a few beers in the ring. With no further live events scheduled between now and the March 13 Living Dangerously PPV, many of the wrestlers felt it may have been their last chance to "say goodbye," as one wrestler put it.
Some wrestlers downplayed the in-ring activity. Those wrestlers say Heyman would have been at the show if he knew it was going to be the company's finale. They also claim that it isn't out of the ordinary for the wrestlers to gather in the ring to thank the crowd in new markets such as Pine Bluff. However, others say there was more to the story than that. "That's bullsh--," said one wrestler of those classifying the in-ring scene as typical. "We've done it in other towns, but this was different. It was definitely a send-off just in case that's what it was. At the same time, the whole thing has been overplayed. It wasn't that big of a deal."
TORCH correspondent, Paul Marsh, who attended the event, reported the following: "As far as this being the last ECW show, I wouldn't argue that was the feeling it had. I had front row seats and I would almost swear that Sandman was crying when he was hugging all of the boys in the ring. It definitely had the 'goodbye' feel to it all."
Wrestlers say Sandman organized the in-ring farewell. During the show, Sandman openly expressed his fears that the show would turn out to be the company's last. Others say he was "95 percent responsible" for organizing the post-show farewell. Even Tommy Dreamer, who served as the road agent, admitted to the wrestlers that even he wasn't sure if it was the final show. Dreamer took part in the post-show activity, going so far as to carry a trash can filled with beer bottles to the ring to share with the wrestlers. Others took Dreamer's involvement as a bad sign. They say he is usually the person the wrestlers count on to ease their concerns regarding the company's future.
As expected, the locker room atmosphere was terrible at the weekend events. "Very gloomy" was the way one wrestler described the backstage scene. "Everybody is really down. There were a few optimists, but most of the guys are concerned with not only ECW, but their future in wrestling." On a positive note, there haven't been any reports of tension building among the wrestlers. If anything, the stress from the uncertainty seems to have brought the locker room closer together. At the same time, the crew is losing patience with Paul Heyman. "No one believes in Heyman enough to trust anything he's saying right now," one wrestler said.
Heyman responded to the previous quote with some choice words of his own. "Then have the f---in' balls to quit," he said. "Bitch, bitch, bitch. The offer was made, the door was wide open, everyone was given the chance. Yet someone who can't remember to identify himself to the media seems to remember to get his weekly comments, non-attributable of course, into the TORCH every week. If you're that miserable, and I don't blame anyone for being miserable... Hell, I'm miserable... But if you are that miserable and I gave you the option to leave six weeks ago, why are you still here?"
Friends say Heyman wasn't upset with Dreamer or the wrestlers who took part in the "farewell." At the same time, he told some that he has no plans to shut down the company. Heyman also assured a handful of wrestlers that he would take care of them no matter what happened to ECW, even assuring them that he would find them work in the WWF or WCW. He is maintaining that he may not schedule any shows before the pay-per-view, but is not ruling out the possibility should he strike any type of deal that would turn around the company's misfortunes.
Heyman told friends he was in Los Angeles, Calif. at the beginning of the week negotiating several potential deals. There are internet reports that say Fox Sports has officially denied having interest in wrestling, but few people are taking the statement seriously. It's common knowledge that Fox has shown interest in wrestling as recently as last year. Fox has gone so far as to negotiate with Heyman and Eric Bischoff regarding separate projects. Friends say Heyman believes that the heavily rumored-to-occur Hollywood strike will lead to a shortage of first-run programming, creating a greater opportunity for ECW to secure a spot on cable.
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