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WWE's working on ECW deal for Canada
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


Surprise ... actually it should be no surprise and has been too long coming ... but ECW is already a better product than Smackdown!

It's hard to imagine that tonight's One Night Stand pay-per-view can be anything but a success after a terrific WWE vs.ECW special TV show on Wednesday.

But there's one more fairly major detail to work out for those of us who live in that not-so-frozen tundra north of the 49th parallel: A TV deal to air the new ECW TV show which begins Tuesday on the Sci Fi network in the U.S. Right now, the ECW show is on a summer trial run in the U.S. and will need decent ratings to last beyond that.

While WWE sources are reluctant to talk about a TV deal in Canada, Canada's sports networks (are you out there TSN?) would be wise to snap this up right away.

The betting is there's a deal locked up within the next couple of weeks.

Really, how can the show miss?

Three of WWE most underrated stars -- Kurt Angle, The Big Show and Rob Van Dam -- will pack plenty of punch in the ECW project.

And with matches like John Cena vs. Van Dam; Rey Mysterio vs. Sabu; Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer vs. Mick Foley and Edge; Angle vs. Randy Orton; and Tazz vs. Jerry Lawler ... well, tonight's pay-per-view will kick ass.

I've got to admit one guy I've missed is The Sandman. I pray to The Church of McMahon that WWE coughs up the cash and uses his Enter Sandman (Metallica) entrance theme song.

- One of the many compelling moments on the WWE vs. ECW show was the ending to the 20-man Battle Royal (five Smackdown! and five RAW wrestlers vs. 10 ECW guys). After a valiant effort by Angle, the last two standing were WWE's Randy Orton and The Big Show. With Orton's back turned, Show peeled off his RAW shirt to reveal an ECW shirt ... then knocked the third-generation star out of the ring and scored the win for the newcomers.

- Sad news from the wrestling world. Earthquake (John Tenta) has died at the age of 42 after a two-year battle with bladder cancer. The 6-foot-7, 450-plus lb., Tenta debuted in WWE in 1989, then headlined the 1990 Summer Slam against Hulk Hogan. Tenta later formed a team with Tugboat (Fred Ottman), who was renamed Typhoon. Tenta left for WCW in 1994. He was called Avalanche and later became The Shark. Tenta wrestled under his real name before returning to WWF and wrestling under a mask as Golga, one of The Oddities. His last WWF appearance was at Wrestlemania 17. Tenta is survived by his wife and three children. "John was a good man and one of the most thoughtful people I have known," said Dory Funk Jr., who trained Tenta as a wrestler.

- WWE has released Road Warrior Animal (Joe Laurinaitis).

- Beth Phoenix has a jaw injury and could be out for a couple of months

- IWS Freedom Fight at Hull's Palais des Congres (200 Promenade du Portage, third floor) at 8 p.m. on June 17, looks like an excellent card. "Mr. Wrestling" Kevin Steen replaces PCO in the main event, competing in a four-way Falls Count Anywhere match for the IWS world title against Exess, Viking and The Green Phantom. Beef Wellington and Excalibur face 2.0. Kenny The Bastard takes on Don Paysan and Player Uno in a three-way dance; Dynamite Max Boyer faces Joker; The Hardcore Ninjaz face Paranoid Jake Matthews and Tomassino; Lionel Knight faces Kid Kamikaze; and Fred La Mervaile, American Idol Shane Hawke and Jagger W. Bush face Christopher Bishop, Cheech and Cloudy. Tickets are available at End Hits (407Dalhousie St., at Rideau). There is also a show earlier in the day -- by Interspecies Wrestling.

tim.baines@ott.sunpub.com