Kevin Dunn is likely to be in charge of production for the new ECW tapings, which will have a dimly-lit boxing show feel and a different set that will then quickly be changed for the Smackdown tapings happening immediately afterwards.
The show will now certainly be aired on the Sci-Fi Channel, but originally, when there was no TV deal in place, Shane McMahon had tried to convince his father of the value of having an internet-only brand, although Vince was not entirely convinced.
Due to the need to have recognisible WWE talent on the show in between the initial launch buzz and the new developmental talent becoming established, there had been talk of Ken Kennedy being the major heel. However, management has decided to keep him on Smackdown and has yet to settle on anyone else to take that spot. Mick Foley may appear from time to time but will not be working any regular ECW schedule.
Paul Heyman is pushing WWE to sign Minoru Fujita for the show but that has yet to happen. He wants Fujita to team with Ikuto Hidaka, who, like Masato Tanaka, has been offered a contract but has yet to commit.
The only matches finalised for One Night Stand are Rob Van Dam vs. John Cena, plus Mick Foley & Edge vs. Terry Funk & Tommy Dreamer. Chris Benoit vs. Dean Malenko is expected but not confirmed, as Malenko wants to be in the best possible shape so that the match, which would be seen as an Eddie Guerrero tribute, would live up to expectations. At the moment there are no plans for any additional ECW PPVs, but the brand is expected to run weekend house shows in addition to the weekly TV tapings. WWE also wants to tour the brand overseas, although they are wary of an increased schedule from the old ECW days perhaps leading to an increase in injuries – particularly given that the ‘classic’ ECW stars are older.
Teresa Hays-Laughlin, Tommy Dreamer’s wife and the former Beulah McGillicutty, has yet to sign a contract. She will probably appear at some point but is committed to being a mom at present and doesn’t want to go on the road.
Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter (click here for subscription information)