From the desk of Eric Bischoff:
Originally Posted by Between Nitro and Thunder
“Hey, what’s going on back here?!”
I yell over the commotion and found my way to where both Steiners and Johnny the Bull were crowding around, of all people, Shane Helms. Everyone’s voices are screaming at one another so loud that I’m surprised the live audience hasn’t heard them out there. Helms, to his credit, even with his back to a wall didn’t seem like he’d backed down very far from them; must be some sort of North Carolina pride or something. I tell Scott and Rick that it’s time for them to head to the gorilla position, that I’ll deal with this all later when I find out what happened. Scott makes a quick move toward Shane, who puts his hands up, but it was just a flinch, so I tell him to keep moving. Scott stares daggers at me, but he complies without much complaint.
Later on, when cooler heads seem to have prevailed, Shane meekly comes up to me to talk about it. “Hey, thanks, Mr. Bischoff,” he says. “Look, I’m sorry to make you come back here like this, but the three of them just came up on me, saying I wouldn’t be anything higher than some cruiserweight jobber to the stars, that I should thank them for keeping the company alive to give me my fifteen minutes. I… guess I lost my cool, I told them that I’ll still be wrestling when they’re too broken down to get off the couch, and it escalated from there.”
I rub my temples, telling Shane that just because he has lost to a few heavyweights here and there shouldn’t matter, because he’s one of my young stars. “I’m not going to spill everything, but I have some plans that are in the works, and you’ll be a part of it – and it’ll be pretty far away from where guys like Rick, Scott, and Johnny are, but it’ll be just as big a part of the show. But the Steiners shouldn’t be still hazing rookies – for lack of a better term – in the locker room like that, so I’ll be fining the three of them.”
“Really? You’re taking my side in this?” He beams with a big smile, obviously people are used to the idea of me taking action against main eventers. “Thank you so much, Mr. Bischoff!”
“It’s a new WCW,” I tell him, and he leaves with a smile on his face.
After the show, I let Rick, Scott, and Johnny know as well that for their actions, they would be getting fined a week’s wages. The brothers rolled their eyes and walked off, but after they had left earshot, Johnny let me know that he thought I had “one helluva ball to tell them like that,” letting me know that he’d keep an eye out for me. I’m not sure what that means. But he says that while he is happy being under Scott’s wing like he is, he doesn’t always agree with what he does, and verbally attacking Helms was one of them.
So it looks like that crisis went pretty well, all in all.
I also found out that Tony Schiavone tried playing a rib on the locker room, paying someone to go into the locker room and remove all the towels from the arena showers. It was met with a group of highly sweaty, highly upset wrestlers, so once I found out it was Tony behind it I issued him a stern warning that this was his second prank like this that didn’t have a good outcome. He didn’t seem very bothered by my words. I don’t think I can do a whole lot more about it than that, but Tony and his tasteless pranks are getting a bit irritating.
Rey Mysterio Jr. was asked by me about a month ago if he would consider bulking up a little, and man did he listen! Don’t get me wrong, he’s still pretty obviously a cruiserweight, we aren’t talking Tom Billington levels of bulking up to the point that he’s like ten pounds of muscle in a five pound bag of skin, but he has definitely gotten a lot more muscle. I’m hearing some people question how he got so muscular in such a short time though, and that isn’t good… but he does look more like a star we can push now as opposed to a twelve year old kid.
Midajah also seemed to decide to change herself, going from a pretty average body size to being positively skinny. I don’t know if she’s trying to do that or if she perhaps developed some anorexia. Terry Taylor as well has been looking noticeably different, but his is going the opposite direction; his usually toned frame has started giving way to a more average appearance. That “middle aged spread” is a tough one to get past at a certain age.
There were a few guys who I heard talking about moving recently. Mark Jindrak had been staying in Mexico during his off days, probably with some senorita? But whatever that reason, he moved into Atlanta. Chuck Palumbo moved from his home out in the south west to live back where he went to university at in Missouri. Lance Storm also moved out of Calgary… Alberta, Canada, opting to not have to deal with visa issues anymore by finding a place in Philadelphia that he must have liked from his time in ECW. But we won’t be changing where he’s announced from, because him moving into the US would throw wrinkles into his character that we don’t want to deal with.
I also understand from reading up on some dirt sheets that both Jack Lanza and Dave Hebner have retired out of wrestling altogether. They’ve had some long careers, as both were working for the WWF as agents, and must have both decided within last week that now was the time to hang it up – or, in Blackjack Lanza’s case, ride off into the sunset.
I have some things to finalize for Greed, which is as complete a card as I feel I can put together. I wasn’t sure whether to add on the match with the Mamalukes against Disqo and Wright, but I think I’m better off leaving that for Nitro. I did, however, get some preliminary contracts out for the guys I plan on using as Glenn’s “self help guru” so after I get a signature on that they should be debuting shortly after. Unfortunately, some of the guys I was hoping to pick up from ECW are heading directly to the WWF. Rumor has it that Paul Heyman has joined the WWF, but no word on what he would be doing there yet. But hopefully he and Vince will leave me a few scraps to sign up to help freshen up our product.
ring, ring, ring, ring
It’s a number I don’t recognize. Hopefully this isn’t Shane again… why do I keep getting calls this late?
“Eric! I hear you’re the new big shot huh?”
What a surprising voice to hear from!
“Where the hell have you been?! I’d been calling and leaving so many messages, you never got back to me! I’ve been calling you since January when I took over!”
“Really? Man, I’d been moving! I tried to get things set up as fast as I could with the new number and all, but apparently you never got my message.”
“Well, where are you?”
“Sue and I moved to Maine. Figured the north east air would help both of us. We feel so close to God here, it’s amazing. You should come visit! It really helps clear your head and spirit.”
“I wouldn’t mind, but I’m on the road here. When I say ‘where are you’ I didn’t only mean where did you move to, I meant where are you as far as coming to television?”
“Well… I can come in.”
“You don’t sound very convinced for yourself.”
“No… no, it’s fine. Tell you what, let me get back into some fighting shape. All I’ve done for the past while is carry boxes, so I need to hit some weights. I’ll give you my address, send me a travel schedule, and I’ll be there as soon as you need me. Eric, I gotta tell you, part of the reason I took time off was because I thought WCW was dead. I’m glad you’re trying to fix the ship. I’ll do whatever you need me to do.”
“We are still in some hot water, but we’re trying. Knowing that you’re coming back soon will help give everyone a shot in the arm. I’ll send you a schedule. I don’t have anywhere I can fit you onto the card until after the pay-per-view, so you work on getting ready for TV again and I’ll get it set up. Thanks for getting in contact, Steve.”
“You just let me know, and it’ll be show time all over again!”
Thanks for all the predictions so far! I have one Nitro and one Thunder to go before Greed, so plenty of time for others to get some picks in. And Gungner, feel free to start your own diary up; jump on in friend, the 2001 waters are fine! Everyone who has started a game of it have done such drastically different things with it that none of us have seemed all that similar, and that trend looks to be continuing with each one that occurs.
Thanks for still reading, everyone!