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ECW Title, April 2000

Hi Scott, random question for you.

April 2000, Mike Awesome defects to WCW while holding the ECW title. Heyman makes legal threats, WCW compromises by agreeing for Awesome to drop the title at the next ECW show. Heyman puts the belt on Taz. What was THAT decision all about?

I know by this stage there was a lot of 'arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic' going on in both Atlanta and Philly so nothing would have changed long-term, and it's also common knowledge ECW was being bankrolled by Titan by then, but why did Heyman stick the belt on someone under contract to the WWF? If he had any interest in keeping afloat, literally anyone else would have made more sense. Dreamer? RVD? Sandman? Credible? What's the story?


​A lot of desperation and bad decisions, I guess.  I still don't fully understand Heyman's reasoning behind it, but then it's not like he was known for solid decision-making when it came to his World title in the first place.  ​

Comments

  1. I remember the ECW fanatics being all "OH MY, PAUL HEYMAN HAS DONE IT AGAIN, UBER GENIUS MOVE, ECW IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL!!" Like really, they got excited about everything. Kind of funny. Total denial mode.

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  2. Uhh they never were bankrolled by "titan". Paul tries to clear up your errant misperception in his DVD (available now wherever DVDs are sold). You might want to watch it nameless emailer.

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  3. Is it common knowledge that Vince was bankrolling ECW? Vince has said he did but IIRC Heyman said on his DVD that he didn't...

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  4. Yet another situation that could have been avoided if Paul had actually, you know, paid the guy what he was owed. Awesome himself even said later on that was pretty much the only reason he did what he did, because Paul was stiffing yet another worker.

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  5. That's what I thought... the 2 Cold Scorpio story... I guess it is a matter of who you want to believe because on the ECW DVD Vince said he was bankrolling them.

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  6. HE SOLD OUT! HE SOLD OUT!!

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  7. I'm thinking it probably was meant to make the headlines. Like holy shit Tazz jumped back from the WWF and won the title. Really it worked, it got Tazz a mini push in the WWF and it did call attention to ECW.

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  8. Am I a bad person for laughing about HHH beating him just days later?

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  9. Well he gave them money for Scorpio like you said. It's more paying them money they'd lose by losing him I guess but the money wasn't all that much so they weren't actively paying for the companies day to days or anything like that, which would be the literal definition of bankrolling something.

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  10. I used to be an ECW mark (I was like 12, give me a break), but even then (and at that age) I could see what a stupid fucking idea this was. I still do not understand it, and I'd love for someone to ask Heyman what his rationale was. Only then might we get a vague understanding of what the fuck he was up to. The only reason I can think of is that Vince wanted HHH to beat the ECW champion to baptise the notion that all his competitors were totally beholden to his prowess, superiority and dominance. Like a moose's head on a wall, or something.

    So, Awesome becomes ECW's heavyweight champion and marquee draw by beating ECW's heavyweight champion and marquee draw, who has defected to the big leagues - Awesome does the same, and you bring BACK the original defector he beat, making a title match between two people who traded up for the big leagues. In one fell swoop, you hand your title to someone who doesn't actually wrestle for you in the first place, and basically mint the perception that ECW had to go off-roster to find someone good enough to get the belt off another person so obviously head and shoulders above the rest of the roster that they got snapped up by a direct competitor.

    Worse than the decision making less than no sense, it could *only* have hurt ECW's brand. There is no possible universe it could've done *anything* but damage an already damaged company.

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  11. Pretty much? It was the only reason. Man with family to support is taking harsh bumps for zero pay from dishevelled indie company, gets offered a significant guaranteed contract by another company backed by a publicly owned institution. No brainer.

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  12. The Love-Matic Grampa!September 2, 2014 at 7:32 AM

    No, it was pretty funny.

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  13. I believe Heyman was put on $1,000 a week by Vince - that's what Cornette says. You're right though, the idea that ECW was bankrolled by Vince is bullshit (it would not have gone under if he had a significant stake in it - although it is timely that they crashed and burned at roughly the same point WCW did). I've seen dweebs posting articles in markier corners of the net alleging that Vince 'owned' ECW, and did so from day one. Pfft.

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  14. The Love-Matic Grampa!September 2, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    Sounds very familiar...

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  15. Yes, WCW1987 and TNA. (and yes, i know you're referring to me supporting the apparently dying WWE.)

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  16. I mean, what were they going to do, have HHH lose? The ECW champion getting a match with the WWF champion was a pretty big deal in terms of the general public's perception of those two titles against each other.

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  17. The Love-Matic Grampa!September 2, 2014 at 7:36 AM

    I think the story going around at the time was that Heyman picked TAZ in case Awesome tried something in the ring, TAZ being a noted shooter and all.

    I*cough*

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  18. It was Heyman's attempt to create major buzz as ECW was slipping into oblivion month-by-month. It was a HUGE news story among wrestling fans, but ultimately didn't bring eyeballs to ECW (I'm sure Triple H squashing Taz at the next available opportunity didn't help).

    Regardless, it's a very noteworthy historical moment in context of the Monday Night War: a WWF contracted wrestler pinned a WCW contracted wrestler for the ECW world title.

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  19. Mike Awesome was on record as to say he was using ECW for a big money WCW contract. Him jumping ship without notice was more the shock.

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  20. Vince would help out every once in awhile, but he was hardly bankrolling him.

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  21. Six months ago I lost my job and after that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great website which literally saved me. I started working for them online and in a short time after I've started averaging 15k a month... The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start... This is where to start>http://www.googleonlinework/2014/1/9....,..

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  22. And the best part is, Hunter had defeated Chris Benoit a short while earlier, who was sort of the uncrowned WCW champ at the time. HHH with the clean sweep!!

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  23. I think Paul's big point on his DVD was that Paul himself wasn't getting money from WWF. It was all directly going to ECW. I guess Paul feels like people accused him of personally getting money from WWF or something?

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  24. The Love-Matic Grampa!September 2, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    Well, they could have had a draw...no, that would have been ludicrous, too.

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  25. If only Heyman would have read that 14 years ago....

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  26. I found one-half of our challengers for next week Brian!

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  27. The Love-Matic Grampa!September 2, 2014 at 7:39 AM

    No, I was referring to the TNA defenders.

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  28. In ECW's bankruptcy paperwork, WWF is one of the biggest creditors at $587,500 Source: http://slam.canoe.ca/SlamWrestlingECW/apr11_ecwwoes-can.html

    On the Heyman doc, Heyman claims WWF only paid ECW something like $1000 a week. Something doesn't gel here.

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  29. Honestly, it should've been RVD, as he never held the original ECW world title, and was still hugely over; Was he still out with the broken ankle? That's why he vacated the TV Title, right?

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  30. Explain why ECW owed WWF $587,500 in its bankruptcy paperwork then.

    Source: http://slam.canoe.ca/SlamWrestlingECW/apr11_ecwwoes-can.html


    Heyman is definitely leaving a piece of the story out.

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  31. Paul Heyman not telling the whole truth?

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  32. Then you have Joey Styles on commentary at One Night Stand 2005 trying to bury Awesome for jumping ship and saying that he was hoping he killed himself (and the guy ended committing suicide 2 years later).

    Yeah Joey, what a bastard for wanting to get a paycheck instead of vague "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today" promises.

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  33. I know, shocking, ain't it?

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  34. One Night Stand is certainly not one of Joey Styles' shining moments because of the commentary during the Awesome match.

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  35. The Love-Matic Grampa!September 2, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    If you can't believe a professional wrestling promoter, who can you believe?

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  36. Wrestling promoter and son of a Jew Lawyer lies!?! WHAAA.

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  37. Especially since approximately 90% of the people on the card jumped to WCW or WWF at some point during their ECW careers. Awesome's was obviously the messiest, but I'd argue that the Dudleyz jumping to WWF in 1999 was a much more crippling blow to ECW than Mike Awesome leaving in 2000.

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  38. Personal injury lawyer, no less.

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  39. Yep, both Taz AND the Dudleys leaving right when the TNN show started killed them right off the bat.

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  40. They seriously missed the boat with RVD, even before this. He was by far the most over guy on the roster and the fans wanted him as champ badly. Wouldn't have mattered long term (probably), but still puzzled as to why they never went with him.

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  41. They could've not had them wrestle at all, since they have probably a hundred guys under contracts

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  42. I don't know specifics, but it was pretty well known by this point that they were working together if I recall.

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  43. I think it's essentially the plot of Charlie Wilson's war. ECW is Afghanistan, WWE is the USA, and WCW is the Russians. WWE helps ECW kill Russians, then the WWE grows bored and fucks up any and all chance to do anything remotely constructive.

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  44. Where does Rambo fit into all of this?

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  45. WCW DREW FIRST BLOOOOOOD!

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  46. But then it wouldn't have been as funny.

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  47. Loans. Personal payments to heyman. Cost of talent sent by wwe to wrestle in ecw. 587,000 is a drop in the bucket, not near enough to bankroll a comand ironically enough just about the value of the ecw tape library that the wwe acquired.

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  48. On Heyman's DVD, I believe he said Vince gave ECW $500,000 so that they could run one of their PPVs. So that's where a large chunk of that number may come from.

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  49. I never thought that HHH beating Taz was that big of a deal. The ECW guys mostly took themselves way too seriously (Tommy Dreamer takes the cake by a mile on that). ECW was done for at this point anyway, and I thought having a WWF guy beat a WCW guy was sort of cool actually.

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  50. Wow. RVD gave ECW $150,000?

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  51. The decision to use Taz seemed simple t me at the time. There is no way in hell WCW was going to let Awesome get in the ring with an ECW guy. He would have gotten legitimately hurt and there would have been no way for WCW to recover the money because it was ECW and that's just part of the show.

    But if you put him in there with a WWF guy? That's different. No way is Vince going to let one of his guys take out a WCW worker.

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  52. CruelConnectionNumber2September 2, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    They were in the middle of an Awesome/RVD feud when he got hurt, what do you want?

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  53. The TV title was long considered the top belt in the company.

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  54. Shane Douglas left in April 1999
    Dudleys left in August 1999
    Taz left in November 1999

    All three leaving were bigger problems than Awesome leaving, even though both Sandman and Raven returned from ECW by the end of 1999.

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  55. CruelConnectionNumber2September 2, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    Taz winning the title from Awesome was the LAST time I, an original ECW fan, cared about the company. I went to the Arena and Justin Credible won the World Title. I never cared again.

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  56. I am 'nameless emailer'. Scott has both my real name and screen name on the email and omitted them, either for brevity or privacy. What a bastard, right?

    I think other replies have indicated WWFE (at the time) paid a few cheques for ECW. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but I'm not taking Heyman at his word on finances.

    Anyway, discussion at hand: my best guess is Paul E. wanting the WWF vs WCW dynamic for a talking point, but yeah, bad idea in my opinion.

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  57. More likely ECW neglected to pay RVD $150k

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  58. The Love-Matic Grampa!September 2, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    That makes a lot of sense, actually.

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  59. But $587,500 is far more than the "$1000 per week" that Heyman claims on his DVD.



    You're right -- $587,500 is nowhere near the amount Heyman would've needed to run ECW. But to pretend he only got $1000 per week from WWF is flat-out wrong considering the lawsuit paperwork.

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  60. Never said his numbers were right. Just said they didn't bankroll ecw, you agreed. This conversation should be done, but here we are.

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  61. What I'm always surprised by was how close ECW was to STAYING in business. Heyman went into really good detail on Austin's podcast about the end of ECW. They were only about $7 million in the hole when they went under, and they were owed more than $3 million from the PPV company, who told Paul flat-out that they knew that ECW was going under, so they weren't going to pay him.

    All Paul needed was a tv channel that was willing to give them a real chance and they could have done at least as well as TNA has done. They probably would have ended up with a lot of the ROH and TNA guys.

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  62. Between his comments on that night, and all the borderline racist crap he posted about Barack Obama, I have lost what little respect I had for him.

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  63. Still not sure how that small amount is bankrolling a company though. Can you elaborate?

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  64. Giving a company half a million dollars (about $200,000 a year for three years) isn't bankrolling them?


    "Bankroll" doesn't have to mean you're paying all the expenses. Look at the adjective -- "bankroll"

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  65. It was a WWE guy and a WCW guy fighting for the ECW title. So it was somewhat historic, if nothing else.

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  66. It's a small amount. It was a small company. I'm making an assumption. Vince said what he said. Heyman obviously had a close relationship with him (bearing in mind the jump in Feb 2001). Makes sense to me.

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  67. Did Heyman get anything from WCW outside of having Awesome not trash the title and him dropping the title to Tazz? He should've held out for money or Jeremy Borash.

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  68. I'm sure Heyman was just in love with the fact that a WWF wrestler just beat a WCW wrestler for the ECW title.

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  69. Paul Heyman's credibility when it comes to the financials of ECW is unimpeachable

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  70. I'm not so sure. The talent pool wasn't there and by 2002 wrestling began to really cool off. The ECW product just wasn't as exciting anymore, either. With WCW gone I'm not sure Vince would still have the friendly relationship with Heyman now that he was his biggest competitor.



    I also don't believe Tommy Dreamer's claims on Austin's podcast that he had investors willing to buy the company for $110 million (!) with that caveat that Heyman be removed from being in charge. Consider WWF bought WCW for a fraction of that, it has to be bullshit.

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  71. On Dreamer: What was Fusient's offer before WCW TV got pulled? It was less than that number, right?

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  72. WCW had to plug ECW's PPV.

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  73. TNA has never been on the level of ECW.

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  74. $75 million was the official figure, but Tom Zenk said it was $48.3 million (who knows where his info is coming from).

    Either of those are obviously far larger than Dreamer's "offer".

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  75. Except for the whole not paying people thing.

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  76. TNA hasn't been known johnny on the spot with paying people either.

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  77. on the extras he revealed like 8 months before ECW folded Vince gave him a huge loan of i forget how much.

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  78. F'N Body Slams - Dan SelbySeptember 2, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    Yup - Was going to happen then, but he got injured. Then he was going to feud with Rhino for the title, but they folded.

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  79. That was my point -- that's one way TNA is on the same level of ECW

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  80. F'N Body Slams - Dan SelbySeptember 2, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    People feel Heyman made money out of ECW and stiffed the boys, yeh.

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  81. ECW was building to RVD finally winning the belt from Mike Awesome... and then RVD got injured at the end of January 2000 and wasn't back until May.

    Obviously if RVD was available, this all would've been avoided.

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  82. Couldn't they have put the belt on RVD way before though? I don't remember he and Awesome feuding, but will trust the memories of everyone here on that. He was over enough to get the belt as early as 98. And was the TV title really considered higher than the regular? I don't remember that, but again, I'm probably forgetting.

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  83. Plus he made Dreamer look like a jobber too... and he was the guy to face Taz next for the belt.

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  84. In the ECW doc, the Dudleys claim that they didn't want to leave... but that Paul as but forced them to go to WWE. That was when Bubba Ray learned that ECW was the feeder system for WWE... and watching the doc at that point was when I learned.

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  85. Vince says on the ECW doc that he had Paul on the payroll. There was one specific promo on RAW where he threw out the $500,000 number to Paul because he was trying to recoup on that loan.

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  86. Funny how that just happened to work out for the guy who clearly was dealing with some insecurity issues..

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  87. Well, let's be clear here: the Dudleys left because WWF gave them an offer and ECW couldn't match it. Nobody forced them to go to WWF, except Heyman's inability to give them a raise.

    So sure, Dudleys didn't want to leave, but it's not like they weren't going to leave the WWF money on the table.

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  88. Caliber joke, etc etc etc.

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  89. According to ECW Unreleased Vol. 1, WCW paid ECW $75,000 to Awesome leave.
    The only mention of ECW by WCW was Schiavone and Hudson mentioning that Awesome was ECW champion when he attacked Nash.

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  90. Bubba says he asked Heyman for "one dollar more" than their current contract and Heyman refused.

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  91. It was $1 more than the WWF offer, I believe. Heyman couldn't match it.

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  92. Yeah, I know I worked the joke in there but the point still stands.

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