[WWE] News on Hart, ECW, A Backstage Rib, Heat (Spoilers) & More

Some quick newsbits from around wrestling:

– PWInsider has posted the following Heat/Dark Match results from last night in Rochester: Harry Smith over unknown (dark match), Matt Striker over Jason Static by submission, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch over Jeff Starr and Matt Danger in a match which featured Cade and Murdoch taking turns doing commentary over the house mic throughout the match, Val Venis (in his return from injury) over Rob Conway by pinfall after the Money Shot, and John Cena over Edge in a post-show streetfight (dark match) via pinfall after an F-U following Edge accidentally spearing Lita.

– The Hart mansion is safe for now, according to this story.

– According to the Wrestling Observer Web site, as of last night, ECW was going to be live from now on, with Smackdown taped first, as they are no longer concerned about lewd chants getting on TV, and tonight’s show should be completely different. WWE is well aware of how last week’s debut on SCI FI was received, so changes are scheduled, including a long, solid match between Angle & RVD vs. Orton & Edge, Heyman getting a LOT of leeway, and a lot of internal pressure to deliver. John Cena will be there (ECW.com is teasing as much, and PWInsider has reported that Cena has arrived at the Pepsi Arena with a bruised up face), and SCI FI is reportedly very happy with ECW so far due to last week’s high ratings.

– More on ECW, via the Observer: the July 4 show in Philly was originally going to be at the ECW Arena, but is now instead happening at the Wachovia Center, only one day following the RAW/SD supershow in the same venue. PWInsider says that the move was made due to production concerns, particularly pyro not being safe in the smaller venue. ECW will still be doing a house show at the ECW Arena.

– ECW.com now calls ECW wrestlers “Rebels” — they were listed as “Superstars” and then “Wrestlers” in the past.

– WWE.com has posted a profile of Finlay’s Little Bastard.

– A new wrestling site has launched, according to PWInsider: Dean Madden has started this Web site designed to show free legal video clips of wrestling promotions around the world. He only hosts video clips that he has been given permission to host by the respective promotions, including ROH, Chikara and Irish Whip Wrestling.

– PWInsider has reported that there is a picture on Trinity’s Web site of ECW celebrating RVD’s win at One Night Stand, where the wrestlers in the ring seem to be drinking soda instead of beer. This is because of a rib played where the beverages were swapped backstage.

– In other ribbish news, PWInsider says that Torrie Wilson throwing water balloons at JR last week was a planned rib on Ross. There is some speculation that Mickie James stealing his cowboy hat was also planned by the agents backstage.

– PWInsider has also posted this news from The Licensing Show in NYC:

World Wrestling Entertainment gets into the ring with national casual apparel retailer Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear, which will create a direct-to-retail apparel line—the first for the sports entertainment property.

Product will include WWE-branded polo shirts, button-front shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants/ athletic pants, jerseys, jackets, wind shirts, shorts, hats, underwear, pajamas, sleepwear, loungewear, and footwear. Apparel will be designed for all sizes, including men’s, women’s, youth, and infant. WWE product will be available at Steve & Barry’s locations in limited quantities this fall, with a full product line to be launched in spring ’07.

“Steve & Barry’s has developed a reputation for high-quality products at affordable prices, something that fits well with our own philosophy for serving our fans,” explains Donna Goldsmith, WWE senior vice president, consumer products.

Going forward, “one of our key initiatives is further development of our consumer products business in international markets, with an emphasis on Europe, particularly Spain and Germany,” Goldsmith says. “In North America, we are looking for new partners in niche categories, such as barware, Halloween costumes, comic books, and home furnishings.”

We’ll have more news tonight as ECW on SCI FI: Take Two airs, Smackdown tapes, and all of us die a little bit more inside.