I looked at my copy of the contract with a satisfied smile. Signed, sealed and delivered: I was now the owner of World Championship Wrestling.
Though I had not been employed at the time, I'd followed the months-long speculation about the sale of WCW with interest. It had looked for all the world like an Eric Bischoff-led group was going to acquire WCW from Turner. I didn't think much of that idea. I've said it once and I'll say it again to anyone who cares to listen: Bischoff is a clueless idiot. Say what you want about Vince McMahon, but Bischoff was out of his depth trying to outmaneuver him.
Everything changed when the Time Warner executives announced they were removing WCW programming from all of their stations. That killed the Bischoff deal, and without the benefit of television there was only one entity that would have any interest in purchasing WCW: the WWF. Vince wasn't going to keep it running, of course; he was going to kill it. His monopoly of professional wrestling, at least in the US, was finally going to be complete.
That's when I got an unexpected phone call from a source close to negotiations, someone who feared for their job should the sale go through and was hoping to lure someone else to the bargaining table. I couldn't believe my ears when he told me just how little Vince was going to have to pay for WCW. Hell, I'm not nearly as wealthy as Vince but even I could afford it at that price!
That set the wheels in motion. If this really was the going rate, maybe I COULD buy WCW. It had never been my dream to own or book a territory myself, but if it was within my power to stand in the way of Vince's total takeover of pro wrestling, I felt like it was my obligation to do so. I hate the way he's taken the business over the last several years, with the sleaziness and profanity and nudity. If I bought WCW, I could offer a product that was above all of that garbage, something that parents could bring their kids to without reservation.
There's also the fact that I have a personal interest in taking Vince down. He did everything he could to ruin me both professionally and personally. This is my chance to repay the favor with interest.
Once I made my decision it was honestly pretty easy. I placed a call, made my offer and within a week everything fell into place. They agreed to sell without even contacting Vince and giving him a chance to improve his offer, which surprised me. Maybe they were trying to unload the company as quickly as possible, or maybe Ted Turner used whatever influence he had left to swing things my way as a final "screw you" to Vince. Whatever the case, I signed the contract little more than an hour ago, so it's too late for Vince to do anything about it now.
I was just about to pour myself a glass of champagne to celebrate when my phone rang. I glanced at the caller ID and laughed when I recognized the Greenwich area code. Word travels fast.
He started to speak again, but I chose that moment to hang up. I'd made my intentions clear. For him this might just be about business, but for me it's more than that. This is very personal. I was loyal to that man for over a decade, and he repaid me with treachery. Yes, I believe that WCW staying afloat and bouncing back is essential for the long-term health of pro wrestling. But I'd be lying if I said I don't want to drive Vince out of business in repayment for everything he stole from me. He took my dignity, he took my pride, he took my loyalty and he flushed it all down the toilet. Now is my chance to repay him.
"Hello, Vince," I said casually.
"Is it true?" he asked without preamble.
"Straight to the point, huh?" I said. "Yes, it's true. I bought WCW."
"The contract's signed?" he asked brusquely.
"Yes. WCW's mine, and there's nothing you can do about it."
"I don't believe you're thinking clearly, pal," he said. "What hope do you have of turning that sinking ship around? You have no business experience whatsoever."
"Yeah, I've never run my own business," I admitted. "You're right about that. But THIS business is in my blood. I've been part of it all my life, and I know how it works."
"Being in the sports entertainment business all your life doesn't give you the skills necessary to run a company," he insisted. "I'm afraid you're going to bankrupt yourself in short order, and despite our differences, that's not something I want to see."
"Yeah, I'm sure you're real concerned about my well-being," I said sarcastically. "As to whether or not all my years in the professional wrestling business will be good enough for me to turn WCW around, well, I guess that's something we'll both find out."
"It's not too late to reconsider," he said. "You can turn right around and sell to me. I'll even give you a nice profit on the price you just paid for it."
"How nice of you to offer. The answer's no. I'm not going away. You're not paying me off. You're going to have to put me out of business if you want your precious monopoly."
"If that's what it takes, that's what I'll do," Vince said seriously. "I took my company national and eliminated every territorial promoter too stupid to stand back and get out of my way. I beat Ted Turner despite all the vast resources at his disposal. Beating you will be child's play by comparison. I don't want to do it, not to you, but I won't hesitate to drive you to ruin if you stand in my way. I don't let personal feelings get in the way of business."
"Oh, I know that better than anyone," I said, having to restrain myself from cursing him out. I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction. "You also don't let friendship, loyalty or even binding contracts get in the way."
"You're angry with me, and I understand," he said, adopting a fatherly tone he'd used many times with me in the past. Back then I'd bought it, but now it just made me want to punch him in his lying face (again.) "But I hope you won't let that anger drive you into doing something foolish, and going through with this would be very foolish indeed. I'll give you a few days to think it over. If you come to your senses, give me a call and we can talk terms. I'll even throw you a job and an office in Stamford if you want. You'll be set for life."
"Today, tomorrow, or a year from now, the answer will still be the same. I'm coming after you, Vince."
WCW will no longer operate under the mismanagement of Eric Bischoff, the moronic sleaze of Vince Russo, or the selfishness and greed of guys like Hogan, Nash, and Hall. This is my WCW, and my WCW is going to be all about:
Heart and Soul
Last edited by The Final Countdown : 07-18-2017 at 11:36 PM.