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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Source: End is near for ECW
By JOHN POWELL
--SLAM! Wrestling

Though hardcore wrestling fans are hoping that ECW owner Paul Heyman will be able to swing a deal to pull the financially troubled underdog wrestling federation out of its present tailspin, an inside source says Extreme Championship Wrestling's days are numbered.

 "I think it (the promotion) is all done," the insider told SLAM! Wrestling.

 With TNN opting to pull the plug on their weekly flagship television broadcast last year when the World Wrestling Federation signed a multi-year deal with TNN's parent company Viacom, ECW has seen their coffers dry up. So much so that ECW can't afford to pay its talent and was forced to cancel all of their February house shows. The scene of their unofficial final house show in Arkansas earlier this month was described as mournful with the talent and other ECW employees sharing a farewell drink and bidding each other a tearful goodbye. Since then, Paul Heyman has agreed to allow everyone to actively search out other employment opportunities elsewhere.

 "I mean they (ECW) can't pay anybody. Nobody's making any money," the source confirmed. "They can't run shows. They can't advertise those shows. They've had problems for such a long time now. Paul (Heyman) has kept it (the federation) on life support for years. All the problems just kept snowballing and he can't do any more. In good faith he's tried his hardest to keep the company afloat for him and the talent."

 According to the insider, though most of ECW's employees are thankful for the refreshing working environment Paul Heyman granted them, not receiving a pay cheque for their work has taken its toll on everyone concerned. Some just can't go on not being able to pay their monthly bills.

 "He (Paul Heyman) provided us with a place to work and we all enjoyed working there, no doubt. But, I think the bottom finally fell out. I don't think he has any money. I know ECW is in a lot of debt," said SLAM! Wrestling's source.

 There have been rumours that Heyman has been working feverishly on a television deal with various networks to try and breath new life into ECW. According to the insider, Heyman's chances of striking a deal are remote at best. ECW's Living Dangerously pay-per-view will go on as planned but it will be the federation's swan song. Shortly thereafter, it is expected that the company will fold barring a last minute miracle.

 "You know, I don't see it (a deal) happening. The writing's on the wall," said the skeptical source.

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