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Thread: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

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    Default ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    This is an alternate reality of what would have happened had the ECW not died back in early 2001. I'm going to rebook the storylines from January 2001 through the decade, and try to keep the talent availability, and roster moves as realistic as I can to the changes that occured within the industry through the decade. Lets have a little fun with what could have been of the ECW, had it never died, and lost its core fanbase in January of 2001. Lets put some of that 20/20 hindsight to use, and pretend that Vince Mcmahon actually takes Paul Heyman, and the ECW seriously.

    The following is actual fact, and a description of events that occured in January of 2001:

    January 13th, 2001: Just 1 week after the Guilty as Charged PPV, The ECW holds it's final show in Pine Bluff Arkansas. The company soon cancels its March 11th Living Dangerously PPV, and prepares to file for Bankruptcy in the spring.

    Meanwhile, SEG, parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship is also on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, after a long, draining battle to secure legal sanctioning from state athletic commisions, as well as a majority of their top drawing talent leaving the company to the rival Japanese Pride FC promotion(Vitor Belfort, Mark Coleman, Mark Kerr, Royce Gracie), retiring(Frank Shamrock, Bas Rutten), or persuing other career endeveors, such as pro wrestling(Don Frye, Ken Shamrock).

    Executives of the Las Vegas based "Station Casinos" casino chain, Frank, and Lorenzo Fertitta, and their bussiness partner Dana White approached SEG to purchase the UFC in late 2000, and in January 2001, the men purchased the UFC for $2 million under the parent entity of Zuffa LLC. Lorenzo Fertitta made this statement to Fighters Only magazine about the purchase:

    "I had my attorneys tell me that I was crazy because I wasn't buying anything. I was paying $2 million and they were saying `What are you getting? I said `What you don't understand is I'm getting the most valuable thing that I could possibly have, which is those three letters: UFC. That is what's going to make this thing work. Everybody knows that brand, whether they like it or they don't like it, they react to it."
    ...And, this is where the Fan Fiction starts:

    February 1st 2001:

    Breaking news in the Pro Wrestling industry:
    Vince Mcmahon's WWF buys the ECW for an undisclosed amount, saving the company from bankruptcy. Mcmahon was inspired by the recent buyout of the ailing UFC by Zuffa, and seen the potential threat that the company was to the WWF's PPV marketshare in the future. Zuffa's new UFC relaunch will debut on the 23rd of this month at their UFC 30 ppv, to be held in Atlantic City, NJ. The ECW will hold their first show under new management on the 16th of this month, to be held at the ECW arena in Philadelphia.
    In a statement issued to the press, Mcmahon made the following statements:

    "The ECW attracts a different brand of wrestling fans. A demographic of 18-35 year old men that we feel we can appeal to better with the ECW brand than what we can with the WWF, which is meant for a more broad, general audience. Throughout the history of wrestling, there has always been different types of wrestling for different types of fans. In the same way that the WCW apealed to the southern, blue coller, country fans of the south with their "Rasslin" style in the 80's, and early 90's, the ECW appeals to the type of wrestling fans that think they know it all. The types of fans that have all of the inside information, and a general knowledge of how the Pro Wrestling industry works behind the curtains thanks to "dirt sheet" magazines, and the rise of the internet. The ECW also has a trademark style of wrestling that appeals to people outside of the traditional pro wrestling fan base. The "Spot-Fest", weapon based violence style would never be very successfull among the majority of the WWF's fanbase, but there is a different demographic that the ECW attracts, a demographic that would not usually be interested in the WWF's brand. After the backlash from sponsers in recent years over the WWF's sleazy "Attitude" style, which was inspired by the ECW, and used by the WWF to overcome the more traditional WCW in the Monday night ratings war, we had to tone down our product to please our sponsers. Most of our sponsers are family oriented companies(Stridex, Castrol GTX, Mars Candy). With the ECW's edgier fanbase we believe we have a demographic that is attractive to edgier sponsers, which should allow us to continue to allow the ECW to push the envelope in the way that the company has in the past decade, all the while maintaining that rabid fanbase that it still has. Paul Heyman came to me like a man, and asked me for help. He convinced me that the ECW had a deep underground nationwide following. The thing that conviced me was their show in Los Angeles 6 months ago at their Heatwave ppv. I seen the biggest crowd in the history of the company, and I realized that it was a company that was about to die from bad management. I made loans to Heyman to keep the ECW alive, substantial loans of money that I knew I would probobly never see returned. Paul came to me, and told me that the loans were not enough. Paul convinced me of the potential of the three letters(ECW), and I've decided to make an investment in the brand. We(the WWF) are going to assume complete ownership of the brand."

    "I think that Zuffa has the bussiness savy, and the money to give the UFC a solid push in the PPV market, especially among the ECW demographic. In order to remain competitive among that demographic, the WWF has officially purchased the ECW."

    "The ECW will resume operations with an event at the ECW Arena on February the 16th, and will return to a bi monthly PPV schedule starting with Living Dangerously to be held as planned on March 11th. We have officially bought the ECW Arena, and the place will be undergoing some renovations. The ECW Arena will be transformed into a television studio, and will be the permanent homebase of the company. Paul Hayman will be kept on the payroll as executive commisioner, and will remain in command over most of the company's wrestling related decision making. Hayman was responsible for the ECW's trademark "R Rated" style, and we want to keep that style. The bulk of the ECW's roster will remain intact, and the company will focus on getting back in the black financially, and returning to cable tv in the year 2001. Until we find a new cable network for the program, the ECW will continue to operate in the same small scale, "grass roots" manner that it did before they debuted on TNN in 1999. ECW Hardcore TV will run in syndication with an hour long program leading up to the bi monthly PPVs, and the traditional ECW "Super Card" events at the ECW arena taking place during the months in between PPV's. ECW PPV's, merchandise, and programming will be much more widely available through WWF home video, WWF.com, and various other means of cross promotion."
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------================================================== ================================================== ==============
    Here is where we are now
    :


    November 2001
    World Champion

    Spoiler


    FTW Champion

    Spoiler


    World Tag Team Champions
    Spoiler


    Roster as of November 2001:
    Spoiler
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 07-20-2013 at 12:39 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Hardcore TV 2-23-2001
    Hardcore TV 3-2-2001
    Hardcore TV 3-9-2001
    Living Dangerously 2K1 3-11-2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 02:50 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Hardcore TV 3-16-2001
    Hardcore TV 3-23-2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 02:52 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Breaking news:

    March 26, 2001:


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hardcore TV 3-30-2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 02:53 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Hardcore TV 4-6-2001
    Hardcore TV 4-13-2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 02:55 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Cyberslam 2K1 4-14-2001
    Hardcore TV 4-20-2001
    Hardcore TV 4-27-2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 02:56 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Hardcore TV 5-4-2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 03:34 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    I've been really enjoying this. The format makes it so easy to read. I don't feel like I'm engaging in a book study by following. Keep it up!
    We ARE pro-wrestling.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Hardcore TV 5-11-2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 04:43 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Hardcore Heaven PPV 5-13-2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 08:23 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Hardcore TV 5-18-2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 09:08 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Extreme Championship Wrestling
    Championship Title Histories.

    ECW World Tag Team Championship Title History


    Spoiler

    ------------------------------------------------
    ECW Television Championship Title History


    Spoiler

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Officailly sanctioned, and recognized ECW FTW(F#ck the World) Championship Title History.


    Spoiler

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ECW World Championship Title History


    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 12-31-2012 at 10:50 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Hardcore TV 5-25-2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 10:59 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Hardcore TV 6-1-2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 07-20-2013 at 04:15 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    ECW Home Video avalable at WWF.com

    Distributed by RF Video

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 06-02-2013 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Order TODAY!

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.


    Hall Of Fame

    Class of 2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-29-2012 at 11:00 PM. Reason: True Legends.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Hardcore TV 6-8-2001

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 08:49 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    You Do Not Want To Miss The Next ECW Pay Per View!

    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 11:20 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Hardcore TV 6-15-2001

    Spoiler

    ------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 07-20-2013 at 04:25 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Don't miss Hostile City Showdown 2K1 live next week

    Main event for the ECW World Championship
    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-25-2012 at 08:46 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Really enjoying this, Shinobi. The pictures are bit excessive, but I'm probably alone in that mindset. I think in a lot of ways you've captured the Heyman-mindset. Like on the last show how Bigelow/Candido segues through a chaotic set of circumstances right into the main event. That's how it used to happen in ECW. If anything, my complaint would be that there's not as much WWE-influence as there should be. I also thought about something. Can you imagine watching TV on the Internet in 2001? Something to ponder. I can't imagine it would have worked as well for people then. Excited to read HCS2k1!
    We ARE pro-wrestling.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    You aren't alone. I'm going to be cutting back on the pic's for sure. I don't want to use too many Youtube vids either, only when necessary. I really appreciate your feedback TMMW. I'm hoping to keep improving. I just jumped into this at first, then I read a few other fan fic threads(including your WCW thread), and was blown away at what was possible with it. I am going to concentrate on some good fueds, and try to write up some great matches.

    I'm not really trying to go for any kind of WWE/F influence quite yet. I do plan to in the future, but not for some time. My problem is that I'm pretty old school. I'm going for more of an old school ECW feel, but with the WWE budget. Let me tell you right now though, I'm not going to be real strict with the reality of things. Like a mini jumbotron in the ECW Arena for instance? Come on. I don't think so, but it is fun to play around with since it is Fiction after all. I'm definitely going to stretch a few things, but I'm not going to over do anything, I promise. For example, the thread is in June of 2001 at the moment, with Dean Malenko as an active performer. If I remember correctly Malenko was retired at that point, or soon after.

    I have been ispired by TNEW, The Cuban Wrestling Crisis, and the WCW fan fic threads to start getting into some of the newer wrestling. As I get more familiar with the newer performers, I will gradually work them into the thread. At the moment though, I just have not seen enough pro wrestling after 2000/2001. I am going through, and watching it though, so the more I see, the more I'll incorporate into this fed.

    I hope with this thread it will work both ways. Hopefully I will inspire some of you guys to go back, and watch some of that classic underrated ECW stuff that nobody has seen, the same way you have inspired me to get into modern wrestling.

    Absolutely keep the feedback coming guys. I'm open to any criticism because it is the only way to improve really. One of my main goals with this thread is to improve as a writer in general. I've had a lot of oppurtunities open up for me in journalism recently, and I want to continue to advance in that area. Without a college education I know there is only so far I can go. One of the only ways for me to really improve is for someone to drop in, and say "Hey, your doing this wrong.", or "Do it like this."

    So don't hold back. I'm a big boy, I can take it, and It will make me better.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-28-2012 at 09:28 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    I hear ya. Keep up the good work!
    We ARE pro-wrestling.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Interview with Vince Mcmahon from the Wall Street Journal. June 2001 issue.



    WSJ: Vince, your purchase of the ECW has been scrutinized recently due to the poor financial shape of the company at the time. How has the decision worked out for the WWF's bottom line up to this point.

    Vince: It has been very tough. I'm not going to lie, or sugarcoat things, the ECW was almost to the point of no return when we bought them. To this day, I still have not made a single penny of profit from the company, but we have made huge strides in attracting new fans, as well as keeping the diehards that the company was, and is known for attracting.

    The surprisingly high attendance for live events, with the higher than expected PPV revenues from the 2 show's we have done has been what has kept the ECW afloat so far, but as far as turning a profit, we still may be a long ways away from the company making any significant money. The amount of debt that the company was in will take a bit more time to work down. We have stacked the ECW roster with some excellent performers that come with a hefty pricetag, but their presence in the company has boosted interest enough to bring fans out to the live shows, and get them to buy PPV's, home videos, and merchandise. We have worked down the companies debt to a respectfull figure, and we have managed to pay our performers what was earned to them from the original owners of the company, but no, as of yet we have not made a single penny from the ECW. We have a strong team of management, and some of the WWF's best accountants keeping the ECW running, and we plan to keep trucking with it until we finally get into the black.

    So far the fans, and the interest is there, but the money is just not. I am very happy with the response that the ECW has gotten from their fans, and I think the company is very close to breaking through, and becoming profitable.

    WSJ: The last ECW PPV "Hardcore Heaven" stirred a bunch of controversy, and brought a bunch of negative attention to the brand from people who thought the Violence, and nudity was just too much. In recent weeks, More critisizm has poored in about the overall nature of the ECW brand, and the WWF's decision to be associated with such a product. How much control, and influence does the WWF have over what we see on ECW programming?

    Vince: Look, with the ECW, we aren't trying to draw in teenaged fans, or sponsers like Stridex, and M&M's, we want to appeal to a completely different demographic than what the WWF does normally. We are trying to reach out to the 18-35 demographic with the ECW. My accountants, and my money are about the only influence the WWF is going to have on the ECW, other than that, I have given complete creative control to Paul Hayman. Hayman is the ECW. For me to take the creative control away from him would be to strip the heart out of the ECW, and that is something that the fans of the company would not go for. ECW fans are not the same as the average WWF fan. There are a lot of things you just can not get over them. The ECW will be run as its own entity. It is my company, but in order for it to work the way we want it to, We(the WWF) are going to have to just step back, and let Paul do his thing.

    WSJ: What strides have been made to get the ECW back on cable television?

    Vince: We have been scouring networks for a deal. We thought we were close to getting them back on TNN, but the deal fell through. We were in negotiations with several other companies, including the Fox family of networks. We were close to inking a deal with them for the ECW to air on either FX, or The Fox Sports network, but ulitmately we did not like the restrictions the network was wanting to inforce on the brand. We want to keep the ECW an R rated wrestling company, and we have not found a channell yet that is willing to take that risk. We will continue to search for a cable deal for the ECW, but it has to be on our terms. Getting a cable deal for the ECW only to have to water them down to a PG rating would be taking a huge step backward for the company, and would alienate a majority of the fans that have kept the company afloat thus far.

    WSJ: What about the WWF's new website? Fans have complained about the ECW programming available on the website that the technology is just not there yet for the internet to be a viable medium to view ECW programming. What is the WWF doing to make the ECW available to its fans until they return to cable?

    Vince: We have been working very hard to improve our online experience for the ECW. Improvements have been made, but the quality is just not there. We do not, and will not charge anything for the ECW's Hardcore TV episodes that are available to view on our website. The WWF has just inked a long term deal with former distributer of ECW home videos, RF Video. RF Video has been liscensed by the WWF to exclusively distribute all ECW Home Video's, as well as their classic events. We will invest into RF Video to get the ECW Hardcore TV episodes into the homes of wrestling fans all across America. Until we can get Hardcore TV back on cable, fans can sign up for RF Video's mail order program, which will keep each weeks episode rolling into your mailbox on a weekly basis for one flat monthly rate. Very similar to a magazine subscription. Even after we ink a cable deal, RF video will be retained as the ECW's exclusive distributor of Home Video programming.

    WSJ: You made some pretty bold statements about the UFC back in February. Their PPV's have not done as well as their new owners have expected. Do you feel like the new UFC still has as much potential to one day rival the WWF in PPV revenues?

    Vince: Absolutely. That sport has an appeal to young men like none other. To be honest I have a few deep regrets about not purchasing the UFC myself when they were up for sale in the end of last year. I really think that with proper management, the UFC will be huge in the US eventually. I'm not sure if Zuffa has the entertainment experience to get it up off of the ground, but they definitely have the money, and the bussiness savy to make it happen. Whether or not they do is to be seen, but the sport has potential that can not be denied. I deeply regret not purchasing the UFC myself from SEG. After what we went throught with the XFL this year, and the money we lost, I definitely look back with regrets, and wish that I would have done things differently. I think we could have done something special with the UFC given our track record in the PPV market, and our experience with live entertainment. It was an oppurtunity that we missed out on though, and I wish Zuffa the best of luck, but I think we have something special in the ECW, and I hope to be able to keep some of those 18-35 year olds from jumping ship from Pro Wrestling to UFC when/if the sport finally does take off on a national level. It is going to be something that is hard to compete with for us in the WWF, but I think we can with the ECW if done the proper way.
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 01-28-2012 at 09:40 PM.

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    Default Re: ECW: The 2001 WWF buyout.

    Pro Wrestling Illustrated

    2002 Pro Wrestling Almanac
    WWF ppv results for 2001(Feb-May):

    Spoiler
    Last edited by ShinobiMusashi; 02-11-2012 at 07:43 PM.

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