As seen last week on Raw, the password for the first Million Dollar giveaway was "WWE Universe," which is a marketing buzz term used by the company similar to the "Raw Fan Nation" idea WWE television producer Kevin Dunn came up with last year due to his love for the NFL's Oakland Raiders. "Raw Fan Nation" has pretty much been phased out by the company with the exception of the occasional airing of the commercial featuring 2005 Diva Search contestant Leyla Milani talking about the WWE Divas being empowering and so forth. Internally, "Raw Fan Nation" is considered to be a failed idea, quite like WWE's dismal attempt at creating buzz on SmackDown with the long forgotten "Smack Your TV" initiative in late 2003/early 2004. Anyway, Vince really hates the term "fan." At one point he actually banned the creative team members from using that particular term during meetings, feeling it's demeaning. As if that isn't enough, McMahon hates the term "mark" even worse. With that being said, don't expect "fan" to be included in any of the future passwords for the contest.
The scheduled Raw-ECW show merger won't be starting until August 1st, not later this month like originally reported. The last SmackDown/ECW show is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 29 in Hershey, PA. A live Raw taping is scheduled to take place the night before at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. with a Saturday Night's Main Event taping to air at the end of the week on NBC, so that may explain the August 1st start date. Anyway, most everyone in the company is negative on the Raw-ECW show merger, feeling that there is a lot more tension backstage on Monday nights for Raw than Tuesday nights for SmackDown, which is a considerably more relaxed atmosphere. Also, competition is going to be a lot more fierce for spots at house show events. A number of the lower card wrestlers on Raw & ECW are going to have a pretty tough time. On the positive side, the WWE production team has an extra day to clean up any embarrassing Mike Adamle broadcasting miscues instead of less than two hours on most weeks.
For the first time in six years, WWE will return to The Pan American Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico tomorrow night for a Raw brand house show. The main event is being advertised as John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Umaga in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship. If you attend the show and would be interested in sending in a live report please, email me.