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The Figure Four - ALL Things ECW-WWF-NJPW-TNA-ROH-AEW

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http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/ecwlaunch

WWE® Launches ECW® As Third Brand

STAMFORD, Conn., May 25, 2006 - World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., today announced the official launch of ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling®) as a brand extension to its RAW® and SmackDown® franchises.

After acquiring the ECW assets in 2003, WWE spent the past few years re-introducing ECW to the global WWE audience and increasing the interest in its unique brand of sports entertainment. To date, WWE has successfully released three ECW DVD’s, all of which have become best sellers, and produced a very profitable ECW pay-per-view event in June 2005, with another ECW pay-per-view scheduled for this June 11, 2006. With consumer interest at an all-time high, WWE is introducing ECW as a complementary brand to RAW and SmackDown.

“After keeping the ECW concept alive and creating an enormous cult-like following for all things ECW from DVD’s to PPV’s to books, we feel that now the time is right to officially launch ECW as its own stand-alone franchise,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman. “RAW, SmackDown and ECW now represent a portfolio of WWE brands for fans of all ages and interests to enjoy.”

Similar to WWE’s RAW and SmackDown brands, WWE will produce, market and promote a full line of ECW products from television programs to pay-per-views to live events to licensed consumer goods.

In a related announcement, The SCI FI Channel today announced it would start airing one-hour episodes of a new ECW live television program, debuting June 13 at 10 p.m. ET. (more on this announcement)

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/scifi

WWE® BRINGS ECW® TO SCI FI CHANNEL

New York, N.Y., May 25, 2006 - SCI FI Channel today announced that World Wrestling Entertainment®, the producer of the No. 1 weekly basic cable TV series, “Monday Night RAW “on USA Network, will debut a summer series on Tuesday, June 13, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling®) will be an alternative brand of wrestling suited to fit the SCI FI Channel’s commitment to fuel the imagination.

"Research tells us that there's a healthy appetite for wrestling among SCI FI viewers," said Bonnie Hammer, President, USA and SCI FI Channel. "With ECW, we're able to deliver to those fans unique action with a twist that's perfect for SCI FI."

“ECW on SCI FI will push the boundaries of sports entertainment in new and unexpected ways,” said Vince McMahon, Chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment.

SCI FI Channel is a television network where "what if" is what's on. SCI FI fuels the imagination of viewers with original series and events, blockbuster movies and classic science fiction and fantasy programming, as well as a dynamic Web site (www.scifi.com) and magazine. Launched in 1992, and currently in 85 million homes, SCI FI Channel is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com.

http://www.wwe.com/shows/ecw/news/ecwglobal

ECW Going Global

May 26, 2006

WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has big plans for ECW. In fact, in a Friday afternoon interview with WWE.com, McMahon revealed, “We are taking the ECW brand global.”

Going worldwide with the likes of Paul Heyman, Tommy Dreamer and Sabu, however, is miles away from where ECW was prior to its closing in 2001. In fact, stationed out of Philadelphia, many looked at ECW as just a northeastern wrestling promotion. But the recently re-launched ECW will not have much of a struggle making an impact both here in the United States and overseas. In fact, according to Mr. McMahon, ECW already has plans for its own Merchandising and Licensing, International Sales, consistent Live Event schedule, as well as its own set of pay-per-views.

But with so much of WWE’s global enterprise behind it, can ECW be expected to be the same ECW it was when it developed its cult-like following in the late 1990s and early 2000s?

“We will bring forward many of the more legendary characters of ECW’s past,” said McMahon regarding today’s ECW. “But it can’t be the same. That’s pretty much impossible. It’s now five years later. A lot of the performers now have five more years under their belt, and the ECW style has taken a great deal out of them. This is something that the ECW audience already realizes. They know that if ECW was still in business today, they would be very different from what they were five years ago.”

While the re-launched ECW will undoubtedly be different from the original ECW, McMahon is adamant that the brand will not stop pushing the envelope, nor will it be like the already successful WWE brands SmackDown and RAW.

“It will be an alternative, there’s no doubt about that,” claimed the WWE Chairman. “It won’t be shot the same way we shoot SmackDown or RAW. It’ll have a different feel. It will be more gritty. There will also be more imagination put into concepts and characters. But at the same time, there will need to be a delicate balance because there are three masters to serve. There’s the small, vocal ECW audience. Then there’s the SCI FI audience that is accustomed to things more SCI FI. And obviously, you have to also be true to our broader audience in terms of what sports-entertainment is today.”

With so much of the vision of the new ECW brand already mapped out, many wonder what took WWE so long to re-launch the brand. According to McMahon, it was all about timing.

“Over the last several years, we have been busy re-establishing the concept of ECW without it having to be its own brand,” said McMahon. “Now, with the success of The Rise and Fall of ECW DVD and the success of last year’s One Night Stand pay-per-view, it just seemed right. And it feels like this year’s One Night Stand pay-per-view will be a launch to re-establish the brand.”

So with the launch of the re-established brand right around the corner, will former ECW head Paul Heyman have a role? “Absolutely,” exclaimed McMahon. “But at the end of the day, Mr. McMahon is in charge.”

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Ecw=wwf=wwe=fake! :D

ECW, fake? Maybe - but i'd challenge you to do HALF of the stuff those guys did to their bodies.

I just hope they return to the bingo halls - small crowds + anything goes = best wrestling in the world. I used to love thursday nights. :)

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Ecw=wwf=wwe=fake! :D

No :pooh:

Some of us just know how to suspend our disblief for an hour or two & be entertained.

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Sci Fi channel...that's interesting. Either way i'm glad it's coming back, hopefully it's like the old days:cool:

Doesn't seem like it'll be quite the same as it was. However, if you saw tonights RAW, then you know Kurt Angle has gone to ECW. Funny thing about that is, Heyman tried to sign Angle before Vince did & Angle was a guest at an ECW event & walked out on them.

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I wish all anti-wrestling people could/would watch some ECW events from circa 1996. Greatest wrestling EVER. Nothing like 2000 drunk fans being part of the action. :D

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Is he really expanding the category with these moves, or is he simply cutting the pie into smaller pieces?

.

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Is he really expanding the category with these moves, or is he simply cutting the pie into smaller pieces?

.

Probably this....just a way to try and make more money....a potentially smart way though.

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I wish all anti-wrestling people could/would watch some ECW events from circa 1996. Greatest wrestling EVER. Nothing like 2000 drunk fans being part of the action. :D

I'm just hoping that Heyman has alot of control in this new ECW, because when Paul is in charge, no one can touch what he does.

And yeah. ECW from around 1996-2000 was the ****.

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Probably this....just a way to try and make more money....a potentially smart way though.

Again... my question is whether he is increasing overall revenue... or simply canibalizing sales of his other divisions?

Honestly... is there a market niche that is just not being met by pro wrestling right now, requiring another sub-brand? :laugh:

...

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I liked ECW when it was a rebel outfit.....being part of the WWE loses that appeal, but Vince will find a way to keep it interesting.

Still like TNA but was always more of a WCW fan than a WWE fan.........

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I think RVD was the Raw draft choice for ECW. I have followed wrestling since the Mid atlantic championship days and the NWA and WCW. I also liked the ECW and WWF/WWE. I remember seeing all the big stars coming to town on tours. I wish they would use the old Television title. It was defended on a 15 min. time limit. I also wish they would do the all belts upmatch they did in the WCW. The tag champions belts were up but one member was also the United States Champion. The other side had the WCW title. You could pen your own partner and win that belt.

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It is going to be interesting to see Kurt Angle in ECW. There are already rumors about how bad the condition of his body is in and now he is going to go to ECW? I hope his health insurance is pretty good..

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Again... my question is whether he is increasing overall revenue... or simply canibalizing sales of his other divisions?

Honestly... is there a market niche that is just not being met by pro wrestling right now, requiring another sub-brand? :laugh:

...

I don't really think it is a niche. It is about trying to expand to possibly new viewers and most importantly, the merchandise...where the real money is made!! (subtle movie reference) :D

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E-C-DUB! E-C-DUB!

How many wrestlers are going to leave TNA for this?

That's a good point, I'm sure it's gotten a lot of their attention

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