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   Sat, July 19, 2003



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Rock solid
Movie star People\'s Champ could make Raw appearance


Raw will be rocking in Hollywood Monday, as the most electrifying man in sports entertainment is rumoured to be gearing up for a surprise appearance on the show. The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) is in the middle of an eight-month sabbatical from the ring while he finishes work on his newest movie venture, a remake of the 1973 western Walking Tall.

Rocky will also be tied up promoting his upcoming action flick, The Rundown (formerly Helldorado), which stars Seann William Scott and Christopher Walken and is set for a fall release.

With a Tinseltown schedule like this, the People\'s Champ won\'t be able to make a full-time wrestling return until the Royal Rumble next January but he has apparently volunteered to drop by any WWE show that takes place in a city he\'s shooting in during his hiatus.

Principal photography for Walking Tall is taking place in B.C., so the Rock\'s first match since the Bill Goldberg feud in April is tentatively booked for Aug. 4, when Raw is in Vancouver.

To set the storyline wheels in motion for the bout, Rocky is expected to make a non-wrestling appearance on Monday\'s show in the Los Angeles Staples Centre. The event is already looking pretty loaded, with a Wrestlemania rematch between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho and an appearance by Linda McMahon to referee the power struggle between Stone Cold and Eric Bischoff.

Add a cameo from the People\'s Champ and you have all the makings of the biggest Raw of the year.

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TALE OF THE TAPES: After two years of see-saw legalities in New York\'s bankruptcy court, WWE has finally taken possession of the ECW brand name, trademarks, assets and, most importantly, the tape library. The deal was believed to be in the $250,000 range, with WWE now free to use the ECW name in storylines if it wishes. The sale probably won\'t result in any immediate changes but expect ECW footage to gradually start filtering into the company\'s vignettes and highlight tapes. WWE now claims ownership of the vast majority of North America\'s wrestling video vault, adding the ECW footage to the complete WCW and NWA collection and their own WWE, WWF and WWWF archives. Rumour has it they\'re also chasing the AWA tapes.

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FAMILIAR VOICE: Vince McMahon lent his over-acting talents to another TNN show last week, providing the voice of Dirk McMahon on Stan Lee\'s Stripperella cartoon. The series is based around Erotica, a superhero stripper character voiced by Pamela Anderson. McMahon\'s vocal role as the aggressive owner of a rival strip club was a one-time cameo.

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TOURNEY TILTS: The quarter-final brackets have been announced in the tournament to crown a new Stampede Wrestling North American champion. Ted Hart will take on TJ Wilson, Johnny Devine goes up against Harry Smith, Karnage will duke it out with (Crazy Horse) Eddie Mustang and Dirty Duke Durrango is booked against Kid Nichols. All four matches are this coming Friday night at the Bowness Sportsplex.

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ON THE FLY: Smackdown was taped out of sequence with Raw last week to allow the SD roster the fly to Asia for a four-day tour of Thailand and Japan. The group taped Smackdown Sunday before flying to the Far East for the tour. They will make it back onto American soil by Tuesday, just in time to tape next week\'s show.

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ANOTHER BIG SHOW: According to an article in the Hollywood Reporter, WWE Films (the WWE\'s Los Angeles-based movie division) forked out a six-figure sum for an action movie script penned by Alan McElroy. McElroy is best known for his work on the comic book adventure movie, Spawn, and last year\'s Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. After huge-scale failures like WWF New York, the XFL and the World Bodybuilding Federation, I don\'t like WWE\'s chances of producing a successful non-wrestling project.