Solie's Tuesday Morning Report: EXTRA!

Volume 1, Issue 62
October 15, 1996

Paul Heyman on Prodigy

Normally I don't report on ECW since I don't get to see it in my part of the country, but with the impending WWF/ECW angle in the wind I figure it is relevent. Besides Paul E. is always entertaining and he is quite candid in this interview. By the way I learned about this chat while reading the Biscoff Chat I published last night. My wife's Prodigy account does come in handy sometimes! This the longest chat transcript I have published yet so be patient while it loads. Enjoy.

Will we ever see Sabu in the WWF?

Paul E Dangerously: Why would I encourage people to become WWF supporters when he is certainly something that WE exclusively offer. My whole attitude towards anything that you see regarding ECW on anyone elses television is simple. Hey, we're here....give us a chance, we'll turn you on.

Paul, is there anything (on a positive note) that you personally feel that the WWF does, or WCW does better than ECW, and what plans do you have to better them (i.e I'm sure you have learned alot from them and plan to incorporate it into ECW)... thanx for taking my question, and best of luck.. ECW RULZ!!

Paul E Dangerously: They are far more sophisticated than we are in lighting and pyrotechnics and art design. However, being an alternative product...I don't know if that's something we want to get involved in. Both promotions have strong points, and we feel we have ours. What they do well...they do well...and if we can't beat them in a certain area, I'd rather leave them the hell along and let that be part of their package, and accentuate our strong points in other areas.

What ever happened to your deal with AAA

Paul E Dangerously: Without notification or even the courtesy of a phone call, Konnan made all his talent available to WCW exclusively.

What are your plans to attempt to expand ECW to a national federation like WCW or WWF?

Paul E Dangerously: I don't know if I want their problems. I know that I want to make this company survive and thrive. There are people here who have mortgages to pay and children to support. It is my goal to produce a company that can provide them with that opportunity, but to grow to their levels of success you have to take the accompanying problems with that achievement and I'm not sure that it's necessary to expose ourselves to that environment. Snapple has a great ad campaign right now..."Happy to be #3" I would love for ECW to be the most successful and recognized wrestling organization on the face of the planet today. I would cherish that opportunity, but it's not my motivating factor. I simply want a viable organization that provides a decent, if not lucrative, living for it's employees. And provides a product that we can all point to at the days end and say 'Damn, that's a good show'.

What do you think of Ted Turner?

Paul E Dangerously: He's an amazing man. When you discuss the most powerful people in the world, besides of course Presidents and dictators and heads of state...you have to, of course, acknowledge Bill Gates....you have to acknowledge Ruppert and you have to acknowledge Ted Turner. He has built an empire that will be around a long time after he is gone. I don't know him personally. With his choice of spousal companion, I doubt if I would ever want to know him personally...but I admire what he has built, although I can question the hypocracy of his so-called 'upstanding moral judgements' simply based on my own experiences within his corporate structure I would also say that if Ted TRULY wanted the best baseball, the best basketball, the best movies, the best of everything on his stations...he should give us a call, because I think we could give him the best one hour wrestling show available today.

Any chance Bruce from Conn calls in this wknd?

Paul E Dangerously: If he does, they'll know who he is.

Paul E, without question you are extremely articulate man. What is your education?

Paul E Dangerously: I got my Associates degree in 3 semesters basically doing college radio internships. Thank you for your compliment. Any credit in that division goes to my parents who are far smarter than I will ever be, and who encouraged their only child to pursue knowledge in areas that he was interested in. I also benefited from one of the finest public schools in this country, Edgemont High School, which is more of a "get ready for the real world" house of education than a teach by the numbers Draconian imbedded in their own ideas palace of education. There, I've said it. Thirteen years after graduation...I finally have something nice to say about the F'n establishment.

Does anyone consultate with U on storylines or bookings? (i.e Paul, what is "the chain of command" in ECW other than yourself and/or Tod Gordon)... thanx for taking my question.. Best of Luck in the Future... "ECW RULZ!!"

Paul E Dangerously: We have an open door policy when it comes to ideas...and have accepted ideas from every level of our roster.

Paul E, would you rather see a Big 2, wwf and wcw, a big 3, with ecw, or just a #1, ecw?

Paul E Dangerously: Doesn't matter to me as long as we are in the game.

How about bringing ECW to the midwest like Omaha NE

Paul E Dangerously: It would all depend on our television penetration in that area. Offhand, I don't know how much response we get from that market...though I have a childhood friend who tells me he sees the show often, so I know we are on the air out there. If you feel that there is enough interest in that market to warrant ECW coming into the area, please let us know.

How come when your in Middletown NY you dont advertise and how come you can't get tickets at the door

Paul E Dangerously: You can get tickets at the door. I don't know why you would think that you can't...because Middletown has been, for us, a walkup town. We had an advertising campaign for the last show, and are implementing one for our November

Will Doug Furnas and Kroffat be around for November to Remember?

We have that option on them for November 16. The entire card is in draft stages right now. We have not finalized it, but we have our plans set. Right not we are waiting word on a couple of other projects, but they are availalbe if we want them or need them. Someone of that level is always welcome.

What are so rumored matches for November to Remember?

Paul E Dangerously: To give that away at this stage would be to ruin some surprises and would be tipping our hand. Part of the fun of ECW is that you never truly know which direction we are going in. Obviously this show being our 4th annual November to Remember is going to feature all of our present stars...and as always we aren't going to ignore history when it comes to our showcase event. By the way...the TV show leading into November to Remember, and we just closed this deal last week will feature the 9 minute November Rain video by Guns & Roses with interspliced ECW Action.

Paul- How has ECW been doing in the Boston market? I mean, the time slot and channel aren't exactly choice. What do you expect the shows to be like this weekend?

Paul E Dangerously: We're on WUNI, the Univision affiliate Friday night at 1am in Boston. We've been on now for 12 or 13 weeks, and we've seen merchandise orders from that area quintuple in the past few weeks. Calls to the 900 number have tripled from that area in the last 2 weeks. We have what we think are strong advances for both shows. I'd expect both shows to be right at sold out capacity.

Any chance we could see you in an expanded on camera role, managing in the months ahead?

Paul E Dangerously: No. If anything, you'll even see less of me...due to the fact that I don't believe bookers should book themselves. It's a conflict of interest for me to be out there when I have far greater responsibilities in producing the show. Quite honestly as a talent coordinator I don't feel that I have as much to offer as a Stevie Richards, a Bill Alphonso, even a Joel Gertner...let alone a Francine or Beulah. They have taken the managerial/spokesperson role and gone further with it than I could. I'm much happier directing and producing these people who are, in my opinion, more talented than I am than I would be trying to outperform or perform alongside of them.

What does the WWF need to overturn WCW's current momentum??

Paul E Dangerously: Stop worrying about WCW. If you can draw $100,000 in Dallas. If you can do big houses in Winnepeg...if you can get focused in what you present on television....who cares if WCW is doing better ratings or inferior ratings...as long as you turn a profit, your talent is happy and well paid and your company grows bigger than it was yesterday. The good part about competition is it drives you to do better. The bad part is it inevitably makes you worry about the other guy who left to their own faults will sooner or later fail without your help.

Paul, why would ECW lower itself to working with the WWF, a ship that is sinking fast under the pressure from WCW?

Paul E Dangerously: I don't think we have done anything to lower ourselves. I don't see how we have violated the integrity of our product. This company amongst many other things was built on the premise that you work hard..you give the people something for their money that they don't regret spending, and you stay honest with your public through good and bad...as evidenced by how clean we came Saturday night, and how the audience accepted our explanations...not that they wanted to hear them but because they understand that in this and other industries **** happens...so, I don't see but am open to suggestion how we have lowered outselves, violated our intergrity or done anything that has exposed ECW to watering down it's product.

With the current changing of restrictions on wrestling in New Jersey, when do you see ECW making its debut??

Paul E Dangerously: We are already looking at several venues and we are in the process of filling out our schedule for the end of November and December. I don't know if we are headed in there that early, but if we are not, it won't be much later than that.

I realize I'm 48 hours early, but I wanted to welcome ECW back to Boston. Will we become a regular stop from now on?

Paul E Dangerously: Based on the response we have had already, I anticipate Boston being a monthly stop for ECW.

What are your thoughts on AWF? Do you think it could actually take place in the number 3 spot?

Paul E Dangerously: If the #3 spot is based on exposure and accesibility to the public, they are probably in competition to #2 as it is. As far as being #3 when it comes to noteriety, sales, gross and net, I just don't see how in todays marketplace that concept is going to work. I've been wrong before, and will be again, but I just don't see this as being a profitable venture.

Did the Rock N Roll Express ever contact you with a reason as to why they did not attend the most recent ECW Arena show?

Paul E Dangerously: Both members of the team called up on Sunday. I was not home at the time. We have played phone tag this week. I don't think there was any malice involved on their part. There was certainly none on ours....and I await a discussion with them to find out what happened before we make a judgement as to their viability here. From what I can gather, it was a simple misunderstanding and they took another booking last minute because they didn't want to get on a plane not knowing for

Paul E Dangerously: sure they were booked...and risk missing out on a local booking.

What do you think of the WCW/NWO angle?

Paul E Dangerously: I don't know where they are headed with it...or when they are going to try to exploit it at the gate, or for a knockout television rating. If you analyze the industry trends, it's not so much that the NWO has caught on fire...although they certainly have the interest of those who have been watching...but it's that the WWF has lost more ground than WCW. They have, right now, the greatest depth and largest talent pool of any organization in the history of this industry. If they have the right scenerios in mind and the right matchups in the arenas and the right circumstances to put the NWO in on television...then they certainly have a tremendous advantage going into the Winter.

Is ECW going to continue showing up at WWF events?

Paul E Dangerously: We don't know. We certainly haven't ruled it out. We may even show up at a WCW event, since they have openly picked fights with us, such as Konnan at Madison Square Garden...but if we do show up anywhere at any time we will have both knowledge of the legalities of the situation and a backup plan in case it goes wrong. Thank you for your question, Mr. McMahon.

When exactly will Sabu and Taz finally face off?

Paul E Dangerously: On our first PPV. However long it takes for us to score the right deal...we will keep that match fresh for the largest audience we can present it to.

When will the ECW's first PPV come to fruition?

Paul E Dangerously: We are in negotiations right now involving several different opportunities. To say that we are a long way off would be a lie. To say that we will be signing tomorrow would be a lie. Some of these opportunities are for the first part of next year. Some would force us to wait longer. We are very patient on this subject because the wrong move could kill us, but the right move could make us.

Mr Heyman,I am a regular at the Arena and I would like to appaude you on a show well done,except for having Shane attacking Pitbull#1(Gary).Even though I know he is Okay,I think it is pretty sick to have to use the mans Legit injury just to get heat on Shane,Cheap heat in my opinion...

Paul E Dangerously: I'll take your criticism into consideration...and I accept it with the same understanding and appreciation as I accept your compliment on our show.

Which do you believe wll happen first - Vince McMahon will actually produce a good card or Bill Alphonso will swallow that damn whistle?

Paul E Dangerously: I think both of those scenerios are one of the Seven Signs.

Paul,Is Steve Williams a regular now?

Paul E Dangerously: We certainly hope so. He has that opportunity. He has given us that impression. After this tag match on the 26th, Doc and Gordy against the Eliminators, we will be using Steve as a single...and I think he is as credible an athlete as is available in todays marketplace. He is also a pleasure to work with. He is a man who has never broken his word to us. The best part about this question is it came just as the Yankees won the game.

Bruc..er...Paul....when are we gonna see Gertner show up on RAW and destroy Kevin Kelley? :)

Paul E Dangerously: I wish them well...but not that well.

Paul,who has more hair,Tod or Bob Ryder?

Paul E Dangerously: I believe that both men, sighting the fact that it is impossible to name five men who women would find sexier than Sean Connery, intentionally plucked the hairs off of their head in order to obtain that high testosterone look.

Paul, is there a chance Kenta Kobashi will make an appearance in ECW? And do you follow All Japan?

Paul E Dangerously: Yes, I follow All Japan...as closely as I can. I would welcome involvement from Kobashi, Misawa, or any of their regulars. It's up to them...if they don't know that they would welcome our involvement, I will be sure to let them know...but the reality of the way All Japan does business is that they may be uncomfortable with the idea, but if there were a way to quell their inhibitions...we would do everything in our power to make a deal to bring Kobashi, Misawa, etc to the ECW Arena.

Where do you see yourself and ECW 5 years from now?

Paul E Dangerously: Promoting the best product that we possibly can for the largest viewership that we can entice to turn us on. I know that that sounds almost clicheish, however cliche's become cliche's because more often that not they are true.

Paul E - the announcer formerly known as Craig Johnson here... Talk about how the style of Joey Styles has had an impact on getting your characters and angles over. And just out of curiosity, do you think Scott Hudson and I could have handled the ECW style if we had been around at the start? BTW - when I get to see the shows I enjoy them greatly.

Paul E Dangerously: Joey Styles was an agressive young smartass knowledgable wrestling fan...who had ambition, hunger, and a simple philosophy...get the points across, entertain, and inform the audience. He is essential in the marketing of our performers, and our product. His youth, his attitude, and his knowledge have all been major contributors to the ECW Television product. I don't see why Scott Hudson and Craig Johnson would have not been able to fit in...it just would have been different. I don't know if that means better or worse...just different. We would have approached it differntly. I always wanted Joey to be on his own without a color commentator because I felt he could handle the broadcast position solo. We were interested, by the way, in having Hudson and Steven DeTruth do their point/counterpoint on our broadcast, and it's certainly something which we would welcome in the future.

With Prime changing to Fox Sports Net - have you been given any indication on whether or not you will be picked up? I know the folks up here at Fox Sports Northwest were astonished at the positive feedback they got (I told everyone to be polite!). They hope to be able to give it a late night slot (post Midnight) when they program 24 hours, but with Fox making many decisions - its still iffy up here. How about a state of ECW TV report.

Paul E Dangerously: We've been assured by Prime that we are keeping several of the key markets on the network. There are also some areas which we will unfortunately lose in this transition. There is nothing that is as powerful in the broadcast industry as viewers expressing their opinions. If the viewers in the Northwest want to make sure that they have access to our product..there is no television executive, no media consultant, and no syndicator that we could hire that would have as much influence as the viewers expressing to their A: local cable station, B: station they would like to have carry our show, and C: the corporate ownership of these companies, because it certainly boils down to viewer interest. I can't express enough how powerful a viewers voice can be. If certain stations that have carried ECW despite mass viewer protest choose not to, perhaps some other cable station would be inticed to give us a try based on the vociferousness of our fans.

Paul, Do you know who the fan was that attacked the Sandman after he won the belt

Paul E Dangerously: He didn't attack him. He was just a very happy fan, very glad that his hero won the belt. Obviously, the gentleman that jumped in the ring can identify with a drunken Icon.What is Gary Wolf's future? Gary Wolf will be employed by ECW whether he ever wrestles again or not. He was told by doctors in August that he would never wrestle again. He stated that night in the Arena **** the doctors, he's gonna be back. He has never declared himself retired. He has insisted to everyone that would listen that one way or another he would recover and be back in the ring. If he makes it back, I can't wait to have him in the ring. If he doesn't....this is a company ripe with opportunity and there are several division towards which Gary Wolf could lend a knowledgable and experienced helping hand. He obviously will continue to be in Pitbull II's corner, if he doesn't return to the ring himself.

What do honestly think of Vince Mcmahon?

Paul E Dangerously: I first met Vince McMahon when I was a 13 year old photographer in the Madison Square Garden dressing room, and his father gave me $50 for some pictures I had taken of Andre the Giant. I have not had that many dealings with him....besides when my contracts were up for renewal in Atlanta several years ago. I think he is a man who has been a pioneer and architect of the most successful run, publicity and dollar wise, in the history of North American professional wrestling. He accomplished things that no other promoter even dared to attempt, and he built an empire that to this day cannot be completely disassembled even by an obviously angry, overly agressive, internationally powerful, multi media conglomerate. I never worked for Vince as a talent, so I can't pass judgement on him in that respect....I never worked behind the scenes for or with Vince, so I can't pass judgement on him there either. He has his own business...I have mine. He guards his business jealously and with his life...and I do mine. I admire what he's built, but I don't know if he can sustain it...and I can't pass judgement on the man since I truly don't know him personally. If Vince chooses to take his product more hardcore...if Vince chooses to make his product more extreme...if Vince chooses to incorporate more ECW philosophy on his telecast...I just wish Vince would acknowledge where these concepts came from.

Do you have a grudge against Public Enemy for leaving ECW?

Paul E Dangerously: If I truly resented them, I would never have given them their names. ECW owns the copyright, trademark, etc on Flyboy Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge, the Public Enemy...much like WWF owns Diesel and Razor Ramon....but there are no Jim Helwigs or Lex Lugers in our dressing room. Anybody and everybody in our dressing room wants to be there. They felt they had better opportunity...that the grass was greener. I felt no reason to make them pay for WCW's aggression towards us I have known Teddy since I was 14 or 15 years old. I appreciated their hard work here. They were the first act that performed on the first show that I booked for ECW, Sept 18 1993 and if they wanted to leave, then so be it. That created an opportunity here for others to move into their position. It gave our audience to give the Gangstas a chance again. ...and not feel that they were being disloyal to the Public Enemy by cheering the Gangstas...and certainly created an opening that the Eliminators more than filled. Had Public Enemy not left ECW, the Eliminators perhaps would never have had the chance to prove to our audience that they are among, if not the, best tag team in the world today.

Paul,how many more time are we going to be subjected to Tommy Dreamer being chokeslammed threw tables?Whats next off the roof of the Arena threw 20 tables?

Paul E Dangerously: I think Tommy Dreamer is the most underrated brawler in the business today. Four years ago, all anybody ever heard of was Cactus Jacks Nestea Plunge and they discussed it and bragged about it as if it were the greatest invention in wrestling. Tommy Dreamer works so hard and busts his ass to such a level that to describe him or what he does with anything but admiration, respect, and reverence is an injustice to the level of effort and hard work that Tommy Dreamer displays everytime he makes an attempt to make the people go home saying to themselves "I'm glad I spent my money on ECW...these guys worked hard to insure me a good time".

Paul,who will the Sandman defend the title against at the next Arena show?TAZ?

Paul E Dangerously: We haven't booked the World Title Match for October 26 yet, due to the fact that much of what you saw on this past Saturday's show happened as a result of Raven taking a leave of absence.

Mr. Heyman, can you ask Joel Gertner what the inside of Shane's ass looks like?

Paul E Dangerously: I'll be sure to pass along the message...but why on earth would you be interested.

Paul- My brother needs a job. Do you have any intern positions available?

Actually, we do. If you could send us a letter describing qualifications and how you feel you can help us...we welcome any help we can get. We are grossly understaffed, and would be stupid to turn down people offering to help us grow.

What was your first reaction when the fans started chanting refund what came to your mind? And when you found there wasn't going to be a suprise, did you expect this from them? Thanks for coming!

Paul E Dangerously: We knew walking into the Stevie/Meanie vs Gangstas scenerio that some people would be disappointed. We also knew we had a blockbuster followup by offering to our audience the Gangstas vs Eliminators. I don't blame them for being angry. I even agreed with them...which is why we offer refunds in cases like this..up through intermission. The first half of the show given to you for free as our apology, and you having the opportunity to decide whether you'd want to stay for the rest of the show or having your money back with 2 hours of free entertainment. It is a policy which I encourage all promotions to adapt, copy, and follow. It's the right thing to do for your audience, it builds good will, it's an honest approach, and it's a fair deal.

Do you expect to lose some of your fan-base because of what ever type of deal of you have with the World Wrestling Federation?

Paul E Dangerously: I expect with every move that we make to entice some new viewers...and to lose some as well. Every story line twist, every title change, every loss or aquistion of talent...turns some people on and some people off. To stay in business you must entice more to turn you on than force others to turn you off. As last minute and chaotic our decision making sometimes is...no decisions are made without the longterm future of ECW taken into priority consideration.

With the Extreme nature of ECW, what has the front office of ECW done to check its wrestlers for the AIDS virus?

Paul E Dangerously: Much like the Raven scenerio, this is a subject that involves many peoples private lives...and I am uncomfortable in violating our performers right to privacy. We have implemented, and will continue to implement as many safeguards as we find to be constitutional...but to discuss them publically is an affront to the personal lives of the guys that are out there busting their ass for this company.

Paul: After your mentioning Dave Meltzer this past weekend, and given the fact that the ECW crowd is the "smartest" in the country, what is your opinion of the sheets?

Paul E Dangerously: I respect the right of any person to voice their opinion...whether I agree with it or not. I will always take the time to consider the opinion of a person who believes in his opinion strongly enough to put it into writing.

Paul, do you think to some degree, the ECW crowd is 'too smart'?

Paul E Dangerously: No, because they pay money to see the product. How can you be too smart...too dumb...too tall...too fat...too rich....if you buy a ticket you are entitled to be entertained. Our arena is filled with people who have paid to see 4 hours of ECW entertainment. It's our job to send them home with the impression that if they could turn back the clock and have the opportunity to buy or not buy the ticket for that night...that they would buy the ticket all over again.

So, what's UP with the WWF? Have we seen the last of "Bruce from CT" and Taz at ringside, or should we stay tuned and see what's up?

Paul E Dangerously: Since Bruce from Ct has been 'exposed', it would be foolish to use that name again. My suggestion would be never to stay tuned to a product that you don't want to watch unless something is done to pique your interest and warrant your viewership. If you feel that ECW's involvement entices you to watch...then watch. It's up to the program at hand to keep your attention.

How badly would you like to have Jason Hervey one on one, in ECW arena, in a cane match?

Paul E Dangerously: Oh there are quite a few other people who deserve the caning signifcantly more than Jason Hervey...but I'll give the little runt credit...he takes a hell of a phone hit.

What is your thoughts on Shawn Michaels?

Paul E Dangerously: I think he's an amazing performer.

Will ECW ever return to Florida, via television or house shows?

Paul E Dangerously: Yes. As a matter of fact...there were discussions earlier this week involving a major push back into Florida during spring break. As a matter of fact, we are clearing through Network 1 in Los Angeles it's call letters WBOP, or something similar in Pensacola...and the same rules apply as they do in the Northwest...respectfully and politely call your cable operators. Call Sunshine and ask them to give us another look....call your local stations and inform them that you as a viewer would be willing to watch their station if they had this particular program on. What more could a broadcaster want to hear. Don't hesitate to give them our phone number.

What do you think about the job Eric Bischoff has done with WCW over the past year?

Paul E Dangerously: I think his job since taking over has been remarkable. He accomplished more with interfacing throughout the Turner empire than Jim Herd, Kip Frey, Bill Watts, and Ole Anderson did combined. He convinced the big shots to make WCW a priority more than all of his predecessors combined, and he bought himself one hell of a roster. He plucked key talent from the WWF, and even more talent from ECW...and he displayed grande cohones in spending money to acquire talent. He's not afraid to piss people off, and he is very headstrong in his belief that with the empire behind him he will take WCW to an across the board #1 position.

Paul,could you buy Joel Gertner a new computer system to get him back on Prodigy?

Paul E Dangerously: Certainly not. He pisses off enough people in our company, let alone outside of our company...but thanks for asking, and nice try Joel.

Paul, when Nitro first started, you said(onProdigy) that the flames in the beginning of the show, was symbolic of WCW going up in smoke..do you still feel that way?

Paul E Dangerously: No, they proved me wrong.

Paul, for ECW, is any publicity good publicity?

Paul E Dangerously: I don't think we would want to be tied into the Unabomber case. I don't think we would want to be associated with Timothy McVeigh. I don't think we want to get caught up in gang related violence and have ECW become a tag word during drivebys. I don't want a major drug bust to go down...and they find kilos of coke or heroin written out to the letters ECW. There are, indeed, parameters in which we desire and anticipate publicity.

If Jason Hervey, Eric Bischoff and Kip Frey were all riding in a car that crashes right in front of you - who if anyone would you save? (laughing as I type this)

Paul E Dangerously: Eric Bischoff....because just like Bischoff proved me wrong with the success of Nitro, I look forward to proving him wrong in regards to his negative attitude, commentary, and decisions regarding ECW.

What ever happened to Kimona?

Paul E Dangerously: She's back working as a stripper in New Jersey.

Paul, is there a chance we can see more pure wrestling matches in ECW?

Paul E Dangerously: With the right talent mix, yes. I, myself, am a big fan...as evidenced by the fact that we will air the entire Taz vs Johnny Smith submission match on television.

Any comments on "Glacier"? Looks like an unskilled karate guy who just trips people to me.

Paul E Dangerously: They are not marketing Glacier for my approval. They are presenting him for YOUR approval.

Obviously, it's not

Paul,Will there ever be a ECW monday night show like RAW and Nitro?

Paul E Dangerously: I don't see how we would gain by entering that environment. I'm not here strictly to counterprogram anybody. I'm here to present the product that I believe is a premium product worthy of your entertainment dollars.

Are you planning on bringing in any more 'older' stars, such as Doc and Gordy in the near future? I really miss ex-ECW champ Jimmy Snuka ..

Paul E Dangerously: Anybody that we feel can pass the torch to the younger generation of stars or can take advantage of the opportunity to impress our audience is worthy of consideration. There are no age limits in ECW. If there were, we would never have been afforded the opportunity to work with Terry Funk, who I feel is the Grand Puba of Extremee.

It's a little early to ask, but when your first PPV is a success, how often do you expect the PPVs to be, after that?

Paul E Dangerously: Let me get to the first one first....and we'll take if from there...one step at a time, cautiously, yet ambitiously. Let's get there first, see if it works....and hopefully, if it does, we'll see what kind of schedule we can implement.

I believe the key to making WWF/ECW a true success may rest with "The Franchise." He is by far the best interview in the sport, and can really generate a lot of heat... Are there plans to use more "shoot" style interviews to beat the NWO?

Paul E Dangerously: I'm not interested in beating the NWO. We try to make our interviews as much shoot style as possible. Look back to Halloween Havoc 91, and see who Eric Bischoff interviewed towards the end of the show and review that interview and you'll see that WCW has had shoot style interviews for awhile. Shane Douglas is the most under-rated talent in professional wrestling today...because he was so heavily hyped during our infancy only to have his WWF deal cave in around him. People are hesitant to sing his praises now. His work rate is up, beyond description. His match levels are up beyond description. His interviews have become a staple in Pulp Fiction. He has more heat and money drawing heat than any performer in the history of our company. A lot of this has to do with Gary Wolf's injury. A lot of this has to do with Francine. But, it's Shane Douglas that has put it all together. It's Shane Douglas who has once again emerged as a performer with very few peers. It's Shane Douglas that has come across as the 'Franchise' in ECW. He has been, throughout this year, the most motivated performer I have perhaps ever worked with.

Bob, tell

Paul I popped bigger for the Bernie Williams' home run then I did for Sandman winning the title!

Paul E Dangerously: George Steinbrenner markets his company to a vastly larger audience than I do. Sorry that you identify with a multi-million dollar ballplayer more than you do a beer guzzling, cigarette chomping blue collar champion.

What do you think of the way WCW has handled, or mis-handled, Public Enemy?

Paul E Dangerously: That's the risk Public Enemy took when they left ECW.

I was wondering if ECW decided to come to New Orleans?

Paul E Dangerously: We are in the process of negotiating a couple of deals in that market. We recently had a deal that fell through. We are working on some other deals. I know that we have television coverage on Sunday and Monday with Cox Metro 10. I don't know how strong of a clearance that truly is. We get decent response in New Orleans, but I'd certainly like to expand our audience awareness in such an open territory.

Who is your most favorite wrestler of all time to: a:)watch; and b:manage?

Paul E Dangerously: My favorite wrestler to manage in many ways was Rick Rude, because My God did I learn about psychology from him...in another way it was Sabu because we were both building our own noteriety in different positions in this business together. My favorite performer to watch as a fan was Superstar Billy Graham, because when I was a kid and didn't know any better living in New York he seemed to epitimize the big city champion. As a producer/director when you watch one of your creations dominate the people's attention and get across their message to the public there is no greater high in life. I have held it in long enough.

When are you going to recognize the talent of the greatest wrestler of the 20th century. A man whose golden locks are a true trademark. A man who screams Whooo and thousands swoon... A man who is known around the world as being a true innovator since the late 1920's. When

Paul E are we gonna see the one the only Chic Donovan???? America wants to know.

Whenever Chic gets reasonable with his price. Being the internationally acclaimed superstar that he is, I'm sure Chic has agents and lawyers in every major market. We are waiting to expand our promotion to the level at which he may be interested in plying his trade in front of our audience. The big holdup of course is that Chic wants to bring his own announcing team with him...and who the hell wants a 6'4" announcer from the Northwest. (Inside Joke)

Paul, will Sabu getting some more title shots, he has to be one of the best champs you ever had....?

We were looking at a Raven/Sabu title series...and would never rule out a Sabu/Sandman matchup for the belt either.

Any National Video Distribution deals in the works?

Paul E Dangerously: We are very comfortable with the way we distribute our video right now. It has supported this company well over the past year, but we are always open to new ways to expand our audience...and expand our opportunities in reaching new people.

Is RAVEN leaving ECW? Or did he HONESTLY leave ECW for another for another federation??

Paul E Dangerously: No. Raven took a personal leave of absence. He is under promotional contract to ECW, and I respect his right of privacy enough to simply state that he needed some time off, he took it, and he'll be back as soon as he is available.

Paul E, as someone who would like to get into the business anyway I could, do organizations have athletic trainers and physical therapists on staff?

Paul E Dangerously: We have a school in Long Island, NY that I truly believe is the best training center for wrestlers in North America. It legitimately is the equivalent to an American version of a Dojo...it's called the House of Hardcore and the phone number is 516-586-7329.

End of chat transcript

A lot of this went over my head because my entire knowledge of ECW comes from stuff I've read on the Internet. I thought some of the things he had to say about Vince and Eric were pretty interesting. He certainly seems like a different person than his on-camera personality.

Anyway, that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver,
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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