Justin's a 'Credible' champion
By JOHN F. MOLINARO -- SLAM! Wrestling
This Sunday, Justin Credible defends the ECW World Heavyweight title against Lance Storm and Tommy Dreamer in a three-way dance in the main event at ECW's Hardcore Heaven pay-per-view.
Having won the title last month at Cyberslam 2000 at Philadelphia's ECW Arena, Credible is looking forward to headlining his first pay-per-view on top as World champ.
Justin Credible (left), Dawn Marie (center) and Lance Storm (right).
"It's a tremendous honour believe it or not," Credible told SLAM Wrestling during a conference call to promote this Sunday's event from The Rave in Milwaukee, WI. "To be in that position of being regarded by my peers as the top man so to speak... it's a real honour. Now, I want to do the best job I can and put on the best matches I can."
"Paul (Heyman) had been grooming me for the position for a while," continued Credible. "I've been trying real hard to improve my skills every time I go out there."
Aside from improving his own skills, Credible also wants to store some prestige back in the ECW World title; prestige it lost in the wake of the Mike Awesome debacle.
"(I want) to bring some significance to the belt, to go out there and have great matches every night and be the best performer I can be, and make the title mean as much as it can and what rightfully it is."
Credible believes the key to restoring the value in the World title is simple.
"What's good for the belt right now is to have solid wrestling around it, solid competition, the best performers in the company vying for the title."
Speculation has run rampant on the Internet that this will be Lance Storm's final match in ECW, as a 30-day conditional contract he signed last month is about to expire. Despite having talked to Lance, Credible won't speculate on his future.
"There's been a lot of speculation on what he's going to be doing. As of right now, I don't know one way or the other," admitted Credible.
"I think it's up to him to decide what's best for his family and quite honestly it'll come down to whatever the best financial decision is for him to take. I feel strongly that hopefully he can work something out and remain with ECW."
In the face of all the Internet rumours, Credible remains focused on Sunday's show and eagerly awaits the chance to step in the ring with his ex-partner.
"It's going to be real fun and real interesting to actually get in there and wrestle him. I've known him for quite a while. I actually think we broke up too early. I would have liked to have seen the team go a little more. I think the break up was premature but I think (Paul thought) that it was what he had to do at the time with Mike Awesome's jump."
"I haven't worked with Lance," continued Credible. "We've worked together in a tag team situation. But we never really wrestled against each other, not in a singles anyway. I'm really looking forward to that and I hope he stays in ECW."
Credible is also excited about his new on-air relationship with valet Francine.
"I'm really psyched about it. I think there's a lot of potential there. She's great at what she does, she plays a great role in ECW, she does a hell of job. I think we're going to really jell well together. It'll bring more depth and diversity to the storylines."
As of Thursday evening, only three matches have been officially announced for the pay-per-view: the three-way dance, Rob Van Dam vs Jerry Lynn and Rhino vs Sandman for the TV Title. The lack of a full line-up did not stop Joey Styles, who was also in on the conference call, from calling the event "on paper the best show we've put (together) yet."
"I think the Jerry Lynn vs Rob Van Dam match is arguably the best pure wrestling match in the business," contended Styles.
When asked about the status of the ECW World Tag titles, which have been vacant since Credible won the World title, Styles had an amusing answer.
"Only Paul Heyman knows for sure," joked Styles. "I would hope this Sunday on pay-per-view we would get an answer or some insight into what's going to be done, (but) only Paul E knows for sure."
Styles did have some encouraging news for Canadian fans of ECW.
"I've heard that we are thinking about running up in Canada. I've heard talks of Toronto and Montreal. I would think it's going to happen by the end of the calender year."