From the desk of Eric Bischoff:
Originally Posted by OOC
Wow guys, this ended up being a REALLY long post of just Eric talking about what is going on in the world right now. It is great world building, don't get me wrong, but just warning you now, this has my Sorry For The Very Long Post seal stamped on it.
It was a pretty big week in WCW this past week, as Shane McMahon became a stockholder in World Championship Wrestling. This is information that only
I am privy to; the last thing I need is this news getting out to the rest of the locker room. It would only get overblown, people would be thinking that the McMahons have bought WCW (because it was way too close to actually happening) or would think I sold them out. The truth is, Shane is only a 10% stockholder. Now when you account that I’m the only other shareholder with 90% that doesn’t amount to a lot, but I know how word of mouth and gossip can go. So in April, we saw a loss of $468,770, which is our lowest amount of loss since I bought WCW from Ted Turner. I’m chalking that up to the two event pay-per-views that we put on, The Big Bang and Pride, as well as people tuning in for the new Friday Nitro. Hopefully that novelty won’t wear off very soon, because even with that being our least amount of loss, it was still very close to a $500k loss. But the $12 million loan that Shane lent me has our bank account at the beginning of May at $4,159,163 to the good. I am very hopefully at being able to pay him back quickly, which is why I only asked for enough that should sustain us for an amount of time. It’s troubling, but that’s business, right?
Friday Nitro saw the WCW debut of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka at the side of his son, Jimmy Jr. We have Jr. propped up to be used as a very wholesome second generational star, which fans seemed to react to with average enthusiasm. But on the other side of the spectrum was “The Superfly” himself, who we treated as a legend. But the crowd did not take to him at all, almost reacting hostile toward the idea of the red carpet we rolled out for Jimmy. This below average turnout for Snuka was only compounded by the fact that when Jimmy Jr.’s match began, we saw that the Snukas have some very bad chemistry as manager and client. Plans will be to keep them together and hope for the best, but something long term is going to have to give or else this may not be the long-term pairing that we may have hoped for. At least Dustin Rhodes seems to be adapting to his character better, which is another one that we had higher hopes for that didn’t pan out very well to begin with.
Kid Kash was a talking point among the wrestlers backstage of Nitro, but it wasn’t for good reasons. Both Jeff Jarrett and Bryan Clarke called him out for being clumsy and unable to connect with fans, saying that they weren’t sure if he was going to be released for hurting someone or just not getting over first. Scott Steiner also left me a message saying that Shawn Stasiak couldn’t sell water to a man dying of thirst and that he shouldn’t be pushed until that’s dealt with. I can’t say I disagree with Shawn not being the best at selling, but for Scott Steiner to call him out for it makes me laugh… not that I’d bring it up to his face, of course.
Kevin Nash has finally finished his regimen of losing some weight, something I had asked him to do a few months ago. He now looks like a skinny big heavyweight, which looks like it should make the girls scream a little louder when he takes his straps down. That he actually did it makes me wonder if he did it because he’s dedicated to doing what I say in WCW, or if he’s going to use it as a driving point to try and nab a WWF contract for he and Scott if he feels I can’t deliver on my promise from February? I can’t think too hard on it, I’ll just assume the former.
An article came to my attention when Bret “Hitman” Hart did an interview for the Calgary Sun recently. Apparently in it, he described himself as “poorly used” in WCW, calling his time with us “really sad”. I was hoping to perhaps get back in contact with Bret about making a return, albeit not an in-ring return, perhaps as some sort of authority figure or manager, but I can’t just ignore his words here. Sure, mistakes may have been made, but he didn’t help himself very much either, so perhaps this potential contract will just have to be routed to someone else if he doesn’t feel we can use him properly.
The Rock was seen this past week on the red carpet for The Mummy Returns. While it pains me to see that one of Vince’s guys is doing so well for himself, I’m begrudgingly glad for Johnson, who is currently out of action filming The Scorpion King. Unfortunately, there’s next to no way we can catch up to the sheer star power that the WWF have over us until Rock makes his return, so all I can do is hope that he would start feeling the “acting bug” more than what he wants to go back to Vince.
On Wednesday, former WCW midcarder Chris Jericho appeared on a national TV show to promote the WWF. I must admit that he did an excellent job representing the company and wrestling in general, in both a charismatic and professional manner. Where was that enthusiasm at when you were working here, Chris?
Another of Vince’s follies was wiped under the mat this past week as well, as the XFL died with a whimper. Reports say that UPN would have continued to carry the games if Vince had dropped a half an hour from SmackDown, but nothing was going to happen to his baby, so the XFL is just another WBF incident all over again. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, right?
Reports from backstage in the WWF this past week have talked about a lot of injuries being picked up. Test got some chronic upper back pain that is expected to plague him for a few months while wrestling Gangrel in a Raw dark match. At the UK pay-per-view Insurrextion on Saturday night, Bradshaw got a fractured cheekbone while wrestling Eddie Guerrero, Paul Wight fractured his jaw while working against Crash Holly, and William Regal got a chest injury in his match against Billy Gunn. None of them are taking any time off, and all the UK injuries will be healed up in a few days, but it was pretty strange seeing all these guys pick up so many aches and pains at one time. Eddie Guerrero came up with a new catchphrase on SmackDown, something similar to his old WCW “Cheat 2 Win”. It was something about lying, cheating, and stealing, but it seemed to really take off with crowds. Meltzer reported that Bruce Pritchard has said that he thinks Albert is going to be a star and that Paul Wight thinks Scott Taylor is turning into a good worker and is worth getting behind. I guess we will see how Vince falls on both guys, but he’s seemed pretty high on Albert anyways.
Probably the biggest thing that was reported on was that The Undertaker was walking around with a huge smile on his face when he asked for and was given upwards of a whopping $20,000 a month raise! The source who stated this said that Taker still isn’t the most highly paid wrestler on the WWF’s payroll, but this certainly puts him into the top bracket of the company.
Some other rumor site has talked about how a bunch of wrestlers have been seen with changing physiques. Young Jack Evans, after we had Sid squash him, started showing up looking more toned, as well as future European star Jody Fleisch. Greg Valentine looks like he is starting to let himself go, looking more obese than bulky. Charles Robinson and Paul Heyman are also starting to go to more of an average size rather than the small and flabby sizes they respectively were at. Charles is just age catching up to him, the so-called “middle age spread” as he is 36 now. Heyman at 35 seems to be him trying to look a little better for his national TV gig on Raw. Good for him. The site also mentioned that Trish Stratus and BG James were seen working on perfecting new wrestling styles as more entertainers than regular wrestlers like they were previously.
Finally, a slew of wrestlers are said to be retiring within the next few months. Terry Gordy is one of them, as well as Jimmy Golden, who portrayed Bunkhouse Buck in WCW in the mid-90s. Butch Miller, who was given a spot in the WWF’s Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-7 to pair up with Luke in the Bushwhackers, is also hanging it up soon. I wish them the best in their future careers, as even if I had the funds to bring any of them into the fold, I wouldn’t have an opening for them anyways.
I turn my attention to WCW Envy, coming up very soon. Almost too soon, because even as I look over my scribbled, jumbled notes, it feels like we forgot to set up a decent card. Even I will admit that this show looks like the junk that we didn’t bother to put on Nitro. The biggest question is do we run with Tully Blanchard in the main event of a pay-per-view in 2001? But the problem is what else can
we run with? The only other matches with enough star quality to main event the show is Sting and Animal or Totally Buff and Kevin Nash, and neither of those have been built up as well. At least Scott and Tully have all the build that we gave them in February to play off of, as this will close the chapter on them as we move Scott elsewhere. We are booked into a bit of a corner as I don’t have the time to bring in someone to have a title match against Scott with, nor do I have the time to build up someone else to take that spot. All the other main eventers are off in their own feuds; Sid with Awesome, Booker with The World, and Goldberg solidifying his streak. To be honest, I watched Blanchard in a little training bout, and he isn’t quite as far gone in the ring as I expected. So maybe the best thing I can do is to trust in the roll of big main event matches that Scott Steiner has been giving me, and see what happens.
I just hope he doesn’t mess it up and accidentally break Blanchard in the process.