Heyman’s ECW Feelings, ECW Only PPV’s Coming Soon

The following are highlights from a Paul Heyman interview with The Sun in the UK:

The Return of ECW: “ECW wasn’t meant to be as big as it is right now. This was going to come back as an Internet-only show. It was going to be this tiny little spin-off, almost like a boutique promotion to satisfy the niche. Then as we started going down that path, the enormous response to the rumours that ECW was coming back opened the floodgates. All of a sudden we heard there was network television interest and worldwide syndicated television interest in this. People in Japan, Italy, Germany, Australia, South Africa and the UK were saying they wanted it on their TVs. We realized it was a lot bigger than we thought and instead of this Internet-only show, ECW was going to be a prime time cable network television program.”

Responding to Old ECW Fans Who Don’t Like the New ECW Product: “The bottom line is ECW is going to move forward with this audience or without, with Paul Heyman or without and with Rob Van Dam or without. If the audience likes certain things it’s in their best interest to let everybody know. And if the audience don’t like something they should also be very vocal about it. But being vocal sitting on your couch doesn’t help! You have to be there and say: “Hey, I don’t like this direction. It sucks. I want it to change.” You have to be in the game to win the game. And if the audience wants ECW to go in a certain direction you can’t just sit at home and b—h about it. You’ve got to step up and let your feelings be known. Because it’s going to move forward with us or without us.”

WWE Stars Headlining in ECW: “Yes, Big Show vs. Undertaker could have been a match on Raw or Smackdown – but again this is a different concept. A lot of people forget some of the main events we had in ECW. One of our most popular matches was Terry Funk & Arn Anderson against Sabu & Bobby Eaton. Arn and Bobby were wrestling in WCW and you could say the same thing about Terry Funk as you could about The Undertaker or Ric Flair, he had wrestled all over the world. The only newcomer in that match was Sabu.”

The ECW Creative Process: “In this company the buck stops with Vince McMahon. You could have one person pitching to Vince or 100 people pitching to Vince& it all stops with him. So it’s not how many people are pitching – it all depends on what is the best pitch. I don’t mind if I’m putting my ideas up against 50 other people, because I understand the audience better than anybody else so my pitches should be better than all of theirs. And if they’re not then we’ll go in that other direction. The way things work with ECW is that I have a staff, but I am the person responsible for presenting the ideas – whether they’re mine or not – in a concise form to Vince McMahon. Then we discuss the show and take it from there.”

The SciFi Channel Debut Episode: “We were all disappointed with how the first TV show went. But that was to be expected going in. We were taking a concept that revolutionized the entire industry in the 1990s and had achieved the status of urban myth. Now you’re bringing ECW fast-forward into 2006, with only two shows since its collapse at the beginning of 2001 and the rebirth in June 2006. So that’s five and a half years with only two shows and not enough time for anyone to adjust to the new concepts and direction of ECW. This is beyond the old expressions of “growing pains” or “a work in progress”, this was a dramatically different concept. Of course coming out of the gate we were going to stumble on that first night, because even those with a clear vision of it had so much baggage attached it makes things very difficult. Any other television show would take a year just to put a pilot on the air. And we went from being an Internet concept to a big television show in under two months. So we lacked that time to adjust.”

Credibility of the ECW Title: “If you look at the history of the original ECW and all the people who came in to challenge for the ECW world title, it’s a very impressive list. It includes people like Steve Austin and Rey Mysterio. And now you have guys like Ric Flair and The Undertaker vying to be the ECW world champion – and coming up short. When was the last time The Undertaker got laid out by a champion, came back for a match and didn’t win the title? When was the last time Ric Flair got his punk card pulled by a champion and then came up short chasing the belt. That puts enormous credibility on Big Show as our champion and the title itself. Because you’ve not only got superstars like CM Punk, Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, Sabu, The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and Shannon Moore trying to become the ECW champion – but also legends with multiple world title reigns behind them.”

Future PPV Plans: “The four big interpromotional PPVs each year – Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series – will include ECW matches and we are scheduling ECW-standalone PPVs as we speak.”

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