The Stupidity of WCW

The Stupidity of WCW

Saw this on another site, it is lengthy but I think it Is a good read

• Benoit left the company as WCW champion. He offered to lose the title to whoever they wanted but was told instead to just leave. Those backstage who questioned the move were told that Benoit was a vanilla midget who would never draw. Guerrero, Malenko and Saturn were all granted unconditional releases aswell. Despite being midcarders most of their WCW careers, their RAW debut drew a 6.59 rating to Nitro’s 2.79. The peak of Raw’s ratings was during the main event, featuring – you guessed it – Benoit, Malenko, Guerrero and Saturn, AKA The “Vanilla Midgets”. Their match drew a rating of 8.1

• WCW claimed that Three Count’s album (which didn’t exist btw) had gone Platinum. Evan Karagious also claimed their second album would be even bigger and would go Gold. (For those who are not aware, Platinum CDs > Gold CDs).

• Sid had a winning streak which contained within it 3 televised pinfall losses, 1 countout loss and 1 loss via disqualification. He even claimed an extra victory later in the same night as one of his defeats. His streak also went up by 5 on a show in which he didn’t wrestle.

• Russo’s second show in charge featured Bret running in on a Juventud/Psychosis match. Neither were told Bret was running in and nobody to this day knows quite why he ran in.

• Tony Schivone announced on Nitro that Mick Foley was going to win the WWF Title on RAW. He added “That’ll put butts in seats”. The ratings the next day showed that immediately afterwards 300,000 homes switched to Raw.

• Goldberg’s winning streak was gathering momentum and people were attending house shows in record numbers. Signs appeared in the audience with the exact number of wins Goldberg had, including at house shows. House show attendence was up, fans were excited and all of a sudden WCW added 20 victories out of nowhere. House show attendence fell and the signs soon disappeared.

• Hogan faked injury in order to miss a Nitro that was being preempted by US Open Tennis. He then used this to claim that Nitro’s rating fell because he was not on the show. He was subsequently given the WCW title soon after.

• WCW spent weeks hyping the debut of “The Machine”. He wrestled DDP, lost and was never seen again.

• Booker T and Big T (Ahmed Johnson) feuded over who owned the rights to the letter “T”.

• Scott Steiner cut an unscripted promo in which he criticised Ric Flair, said WCW “sucked” and made reference to people turning over to watch Steve Austin instead. He was punished by being suspended….from Thunder….with pay.

• WCW rigged the polls on their website so that if people voted for Kidman/Rey for example as MOTN the vote would actually go to Hogan/Sid. Hogan used this as evidence that Billy Kidman “couldn’t headline a wrestling show at a flea market”.

• Hogan claimed on TV in 2000 nobody in the industry under the age of 40 could draw. This was in the middle of the Austin era in which Austin became the biggest draw in wrestling history. He was in his mid 30s. Goldberg, WCW’s biggest draw in the year previous, was also under 40 by a distance.

• Chris Jericho’s action figures were set so that when they were bought, the receipt would say either “Sting” or “Hogan”. They subsequently got the revenue money for the sales.

• Russo’s stint as head booker saw the PPV revenue cut in half within 3 months.

• Vince Russo once claimed his booking of WCW wasn’t going to plan because Ted Turner prevented him from using angles calling women wrestlers fat.

• David Arquette became WCW champion.

• Despite the amazing amount of mask sales, Eric Bischoff decided Rey Mysterio Jr. would be a bigger draw without his mask. He then proceeded to do nothing with him.

• Vince Russo lost his job as head writer when he put forward the idea that Tank Abbott should be WCW champion.

• WCW kept Scott Hall employed despite missing a Nitro before a PPV main event he was to feature in, causing havoc on a flight to Berlin and missing the flight back…. and despite threatening to hit Terry Taylor with a guitar. They felt he was too valuable as a witness in their copyright infringement battle with WWE to allow him to leave.

• KISS performed a concert on Nitro which gained one of the lowest ratings for any segment during the Monday Night Wars. Part of the deal included the band being paid $500,000 and a guarantee that the “KISS DEMON” would be featured in main event matches.

• Sid lost a match by countout in a Falls Count Anywhere match.

• Kevin Nash ending Goldberg’s streak while booker.

• WCW gave up on keeping Scott Hall sober so told him to “pretend” to be drunk during promos. His pretending of course involved a lot of alcohol consumption and some ridiculous remarks including shouting out “Giant…that’s your cue!”.

• WCW paid James Brown $25,000 to show up and dance for 2 minutes at SuperBrawl 2000 without advertising his appearance at all. He was paid $25,000 because they felt he could draw viewers but nobody knew he was going to be there!

• Tank Abbott got legitimately p.o’d at “Big Al” during a match. At the end of their match (which was a leather jacket on a pole match of course), he pulled a knife on him, held it to his throat and told him he could kill him. The cameras cut away while Schivone tried to explain to fans that Tank Abbott was disrespecting him by trying to shave his beard. Big Al didn’t have a beard though…

• Kevin Sullivan was so disliked that 14 wrestlers asked for their release at the same time while he was booking.

• Ric Flair was burried (literally) in the storyline. Their answer to Benoit, Malenko, Guerrero and Saturn leaving was for him to be dug up on the next week’s Nitro.

• WCW made it a policy to humiliate Ric Flair any time they were near his hometown. It is not known why other than they did not feel Flair could headline shows at his age and wanted to try and prove their point by saying that he didn’t get good reactions in his hometown, nevermind everywhere else.

• Russo proposed a storyline in which Nash made Scott Hall number one contender but Hall would be unable to make it due to being drunk in Florida. Nash in the storyline would then make himself number one contender and win the title. The storyline was nixed by Kevin Nash who was scared by this point by the amount of people who hated him.

• Goldberg came within half an inch of losing his arm when he punched the window of a limo to break the glass. He was supposed to hit it with a concealed lead pipe but dropped it.

• Eric Bischoff would often book angles where wrestlers quit the company. He would tell the guys backstage they had actually quit because he felt this would make things more real. Really it just made the guys backstage annoyed that their boss was lying to them.

• Vince Russo became WCW champion.

• Warrior’s debut promo went a full 20 minutes longer than it was supposed to. He also made several unscripted comments including saying “beating Hogan was no big deal because everyone has done it”. This despite them hyping a match which fans were supposed to care about. Several changes were made to the rest of the show due to the lost 20 minutes.

• WCW’s injury policy was that if a wrestler was injured for a long period of time they were able to cut their earnings in half. The idea was to stop wrestlers faking injury and collecting money. The irony is that Hogan faked injury several times but had a guaranteed money contract. Meanwhile many wrestlers came back too early leading to painkiller addictions amongst other problems because they could not afford to have their money slashed in half.

• They failed to advertise a PPV and revealed no matches before it in 1999. At a loss it was advertised it by saying “We’re the advertising agency and they won’t even tell us who’s going to be there. Tune in!”. Not suprisingly the buyrate was shocking.

• Vince Russo hyped up a massive event that would change wrestling for Starrcade 1999. It ended up being a rehash of the Montreal Screwjob, this time with Bret taking the win. Nobody cared.

• Bret Hart’s big debut in the company was to be the guest referee for an Eric Bischoff vs Larry Zbysko match. This despite him being the hottest commodity in pro wrestling at the time.

• The original plan for Thunder was for it to be an nWo show. The plan was cancelled when a test show nWo Nitro bombed and so did the only nWo PPV.

• Vince Russo’s appearance in WCW co-incided with the end of the football season meaning that WCW would almost certainly get more viewers. He used this to claim he was turning things around. This despite the fact that WCW’s ratings increase was half of the amount WWE’s ratings increased by that week.

• When WCW cut from 3 hours to 2 they were running completely unopposed by WWE. They fully expected a ratings increase from the previous week’s 3.29 to well up in the 4s. The rating for the first 2 hour show? 3.29 again!

• Chris Jericho once appeared in a backstage segment mocking Goldberg’s entrance. He was to try and go through a door but discover it was locked. Trouble was when Jericho tried the door it opened and so Jericho had to quickly close the door and then pretend it was locked despite the whole viewing audience seeing it open.

• In 1997, Eric Bischoff told everyone backstage that he had it on very good authority that WWE’s money troubles were beyond repair and that they were going to be out of business within 6 months.

• Jericho was involved in another segment backstage where he was chasing another wrestler. The cameras didn’t cut and so the viewing audience were treated to seeing the two wrestlers suddenly stop running, turn round and walk casually towards the camera while chatting away.

• The Warrior appeared in a backstage segment in which he was visible in a mirror only to Hogan. The problem was he was also visible to everyone at home…

• WCW booked Billy Kidman and Dean Malenko in a “catch-as-catch-can” match in which if anyone left the ring they lost the match. Dean Malenko instinctively rolled out of the ring after a sequence and the bell rang. Malenko was dumbfounded. Kidman went on to wrestle two other matches that night.

• In 1999 Hogan cut a promo in which he said that “young guys” like Lex Luger (who was in his 40s at the time) needed to give in because they could never be big stars.

• WCW’s annual Road Wild PPV always lost WCW money because they generated a gate receipt of $0.00 every year for it.

• At the time DX invaded WCW and claimed they were giving away free tickets, they were actually not. They filed a lawsuit against WWE for the claim. Before the lawsuit finished the were – you guessed it – giving away free tickets to fill their shows.

• In the early 1990s, WCW shows featured a sign telling fans when to cheer and when to boo. They also filtered out real wrestling fans as much as possible from attending their shows at Universal Studios because they were scared their babyfaces would be booed.

• WCW booked an Inferno Match between Sting and Vampiro. The match ended with a stunt double dressed as Sting plummeting off the big movie screen and through a hole in the ramp which was filled with foam. WCW’s commentary team then proceeded to basically re-hash the commentary from J.R and Jerry Lawler after Owen Hart’s accident. The company subsequently received thousands and thousands of letters complaining about the distatseful nature of the incident.

• WCW management tried to release Davey Boy Smith while he was injured (due to taking a bump on the infamous trapdoor that Warrior used to “teleport” in and out of the ring). They felt Smith was faking his injury. The reality was that there were legitimate concerns he may never walk again.

• Heenan’s “Who’s side is he on?” comment when Hogan appeared as the third man of the nWo was totally unscripted. He was severely reprimanded for giving away the heel turn.

• In 2000 a fan was pictured on the screen with a sign saying “I’M AT A WCW EVENT”. He was wearing a bag on his head.

• A fan dressed as Sting ran into a match and the commentators, so used to not being told about changes to shows, assumed it was the real Sting.

• Goldberg ate Scott Hall’s contract on an episode of Nitro. The idea being that Scott Hall was a free agent because he no longer had a contract. He appeared the next week and suddenly he had a contract again.

• In a segment said to be hilarious live, (Elix) Skipper was talking trash and challenging Goldberg. Goldberg came out behind Skipper. Skipper keeps turning and Goldberg keeps adjusting his position so Skipper can’t see him. All of this is on the big screen, which Skipper is looking right at, and can see Goldberg behind him, but because they didn’t consider this when making the angle, he had to pretend – Wrestling Observer

• At Uncensored 2000 the main event was Ric Flair vs Hulk Hogan in a strap match. The commentators explained that to win you had to touch all four corners. Hogan won by hitting the leg drop and pinning Flair. A baffled crowd continued to watch as Hogan won for a second time by touching all 4 corners.

• During his second run on the creative team, Russo claimed the biggest problem with WCW was the mis-use of the cruiserweights. During his first run he built the cruiserweight division around Oklahoma (a fat spoof of JR) and Madusa (Alundra Blayze…a woman).

• Russo’s plan for success in his run in charge of the company in 2000 was to bring the Warrior back. In his own words: “there is nobody who doesn’t want to see a Warrior vs Goldberg match”.

• The Wall is one of the only men in WCW to have kicked out of Hogan’s leg drop of doom.

• Before Bischoff and Russo teamed up on the creative team, WCW aired a taped edition of Nitro that was basically a “best of” show. Schivone came out with the quote that the show was “a reminder of how good Nitro USED to be”. – Yup you read that right…Schivone outright admitted to the few loyal WCW fans left that Nitro used to be much better than the drivel they were being forced to watch now.

• Russo and Bischoff’s first show in charge saw Billy Kidman defeat Hulk Hogan. Yes, the same Billy Kidman who the same Hulk Hogan had said couldn’t headline a wrestling show at a flea market.

• In a follow-up to the fan dressed as Sting, WCW decided (for no real reason) to have a planted fan dressed as Sting attempt to interfere in another match, only to be beaten up by Hogan before climbing the barricade.

• Ed Leslie (Brutus Beefcake) played a character called the Bootyman. His finisher was the High Knee. (Hiney, get it?)

• WCW lost a perfectly good working deal with NJPW because Eric Bischoff decided it was within his right to tell them who could and could not be featured in matches with the members of New Japan’s nWo group. He then had the audacity to try and arrange for WCW and All Japan to enter into a talent exchange. NJPW were not happy.

• At the end of Nash’s stint as booker, Goldberg beat Sting in a non-title match. The commentators pointed out it was non-title and the ring announcer said it was non-title. Goldberg was inexplicably given the title after the match.

• Following the DX invasion and the false allogation that free tickets were given away, WCW filed a lawsuit, claiming it suggested WCW did not have enough fans to fill it’s shows and that was damaging their product. WCW shot themselves in the foot because on the next Nitro they claimed on air that Raw is War hadn’t sold out when in actual fact it had.

• Russo ran an angle in one of his early shows in which Bret Hart ran over Sid in a monster truck. Sid was there next week unharmed.

• Sid Vicious was told that in order to get over he needed to add high risk offense to his matches. This of course resulted in his first attempt at such a move breaking his leg in two.

• Don’t believe Russo has a fetish for “on a pole” matches? Well during his time on the booking committee he booked a leather jacket on a pole match, a lex-flexer (which was a bodybuilding instrument) on a pole match and a stun-gun on a pole match.

• Brian Kobbs’ last appearance on WCW television featured him being hit by a life-size Goldberg cutout by Meng. Knobbs sold it.

• Scott Hall cut a promo where he claimed he had been banned from saying “Hey Yo!”. The promo was unscripted and made no sense, especially because he said “hey yo” in the promo.

• Russo wanted the company to be more realistic and less insulting. He featured a backstage segment in which Buff Bagwell and Scotty Riggs discussed the planned finish of their match, with Bagwell acting shocked that he was going to be pinned. In the match later that night, Bagwell won and went onto a brief storyline where it was Bagwell vs The Writers.

• Bagwell came out and cut a promo on a Nitro in late 1999 saying that everybody knew he was the writer’s chosen one. This stemmed from comments that Russo had made about Bagwell in public. Trouble was, only 5% of the crowd (if that) knew of the comments and so nobody really knew what Bagwell was talking about. Russo believed everyone read wrestling dirtsheets daily. He was clearly wrong.

• Scott Hall came out of a stint in rehab and returned along with Kevin Nash (who just a few months earlier had “retired forever”. Hall made comments saying Kevin Nash “was working a fake retirement” and would be back “when wrestling was fun again”. Okerlund tried to tell Hall it was fun now…..Hall’s retort – “You must’ve not been in the dressing room lately”.

• Vince Russo’s idea to reduce spending was to cut Nitro from 3 hours to 2 hours. They did this and the ratings stayed the same. They did however lose out on all the additional revenue that the final hour had brought them. In other words, they were losing more money than before.

• Up until 2000, WCW had never thought of just flying the members of the roster in who were required. Every Nitro, Thunder and PPV saw them fly the entire 160+ roster members in and use only 20-30 of them. This was mainly due to the amount of times changes were made just before or even during the show. People wonder why WCW was losing money.

• Warrior signed $1 million deal to work a maximum of 5 shows a month.

• During the Giant’s induction into the nWo, Scott Hall made an unscripted comment, asking if Andre the Giant was really his dad (referring to the angle WCW tried with the Giant originally). The Giant became visibly upset at Hall’s “improvisation” and with a mean stare said “don’t go there”.

• WCW decided to issue a random drugs test. Scott Steiner claimed to have injured his back and didn’t attend. It’s speculated he was tipped off by WCW management, fully aware Steiner would fail, about the testing. In his next match against Scott Norton, the WCW fans started chanting “Steroids!” “Steroids!” and Bobby Heenan said he had “never heard a crowd so pumped up in his life”.

• In 1994, Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan would regularly take company money and go on expensive nights out. They reportedly spent over $2000 of the company’s money at a sushi restaurant.

• Ric Flair was involved in an angle where he was beaten and left in a field. He was picked up by a redneck in a pickup truck who brought him back to Nitro where he sold the beating and rather than making a babyface comeback, was treated to another ass-kicking. At the time WCW commentators were not allowed to see taped segments of the show (nobody knows why) and so they had not seen the field incident. Heenan speculated that Flair was drunk, which of course to the television audience at home, made no sense because they had all seen him get beaten and left in a field.

• Sean Waltman was fired whilst recovering from a broken neck. The decision was made to fire him after Nash and Hall had complained about being pushed down the pecking order now that Randy Savage and Hogan were best friends again. Waltman went on to make $100,000 more in WWE than he was making in WCW. Midcarders started to notice WWE’s willingness to pay them more and push them as stars and so gradually more and more wanted to leave. Nash and Hall also tried to get out at this time but were unsuccessful.

• Goldberg was arrested in the storyline for assaulting Miss Elizabeth. He was scheduled to be in the main event and was arrested near the beginning of the show. Eventually he was released but the question was, would he make it back in time? The trouble was that earlier in the show it had been revealed that the police station was just accross the road from the arena. Somehow, Goldberg did not make the 30-second walk back to the arena in time.

• Scott Steiner went on a bit of a rampage and made several unscripted comments, such as calling Ric Flair an “ass kicking, butt-sucking *******” on national television and badmouthing the company. The trouble was nobody dared to tell him to stop because at the time he had a notoriously short temper and everyone backstage was scared of him. The only person to stand up for himself was DDP, who got into a fight backstage with Steiner. Steiner took him down, punched him several times in the eye and DDP and Kevin Nash left in fear. They claimed they would be back when “there was new management”. Steiner’s punishment? None.

• Sting pinned Lex Luger for a three count after backdropping him into a swimming pool.

• At the beginning of the Millionaires Club vs New Blood storyline, Eric Bischoff asked Sid to vacate the WCW title in the storyline. He then made a joke about not having a pair of scissors. This was in reference to a real-life fight close to ten years earlier in which Sid attacked Arn Anderson with a pair of scissors. The joke got no response because hardly any of the crowd knew about the incident. Bischoff repeated the joke assuming the fans didn’t hear. They did. They heard it twice and didn’t respond either time because nobody understoof it.

• WCW paid a considerable six-figure sum to get Mike Awesome out of his ECW contract. He worked a very short angle with Kevin Nash before going on to be that 70s Guy and the Fat Chick Thriller. He was a midcarder in both but Russo had managed to convince WCW to cough up the six-figure fee because he claimed Awesome would be a huge star.

• On the April 17th 2000 edition of Nitro a comment was made on commentary that “In the new WCW there were going to be real winners and losers” because the referees “were not going to call for DQs.” The problem with that? The next three matches ALL ended in disqualification!!

• Thunder the following week featured a match between Sting and Los Villanos. Thunder was taped and due to an editing problem the finish of this match was shown before the actual match was shown!

• On the same edition of Thunder, Sting beat Harlem Heat 2000 in a NoDQ Handicap match…by disqualification.

• The edition of Thunder mentioned in the previous two points also contained the afforementioned incident of Brian Knobbs being hit with and selling a cardboard cut-out of Goldberg.

• Nitro on April 24th 2000 featured a first blood match between Sting and Vampiro. It went to a no contest when blood dripped from the ceiling onto Vampiro.

• This one isn’t stupidity at all. Arquette pushed hard to try and get Russo to change his mind on making him WCW champion. Arquette was a lifelong wrestling fan and knew fans would hate the idea. Russo wouldn’t budge. Arquette however gave all of his professional wrestling earnings to the families of Owen Hart, Brian Pillman and Darren Drozdov.

• Some people to this day still argue that David Arquette winning the title brought the company much needed publicity. The following week’s Nitro rating however was a 2.4, down from the previous week because many fans chose to boycott the show. Raw on the same night, without any major celebrities on its show, got a 7.4

• Slamboree’s PPV buy-rate was so bad it was never publicized by the company. It was believed to be around 0.14. Ticket sales were fairly good for the show up until May 1 when it was announced that David Arquette would defend the title in the main event. Ticket sales came to a screeching halt the same day.

• Sting was covered in blood which dripped from the ceiling on an episode of Nitro in 2000 during his feud with Vampiro. He showed up on Thunder still covered in blood. It would appear Sting does not shower.

• Kanyon took a bump from the second cage in the Triple Cage match onto the ramp. Many fans in attendence were appalled. Although it was not done so intentionally, the event took place in the Kemper Arena in Kansas where Owen Hart had died. Many of the fans had been in attendence to see Owen’s accident and this hit home too hard for their taste.

• One edition of Thunder saw Vampiro’s “blood from the ceiling” trick go wrong. It was supposed to hit Nash but missed by some distance and covered the front row of fans. Strangely the fans didn’t sell the blood like it was death quite like the wrestlers did. The camera cut to Nash looking puzzled and then to Juventud Guerrera who broke character by laughing hysterically.

• When Ric Flair won the WCW title in 2000 the quarterly rating was a 3.29. This was up almost 1.0 from the previous segment and was a sign that Flair was still the man people wanted to see as champion. He lost the title a week later after having a “heart attack”

• Flair had his second fake heart attack of his WCW career. Fans didn’t believe the first one so to try and make this one more convincing they tried to convince the boys backstage it was real.

• Flair later claimed this “heart attack” was a collapse caused by an inner-ear imbalance. Everyone knew though that this was another ridiculous Russo attempt to work the boys.

• They went a step further by having a funeral for Flair which, you’ll not be suprised to hear, featured Kevin Nash coming out of Flair’s casket and taking the WCW title which had just been handed to Jeff Jarrett. To make things worse, Nash had trouble getting out of the casket. That set up the following:

• Nash took on Jarrett to decide the vacant title. Russo ran in and Nash went to powerbomb him in the aisle. The Vampiro blood came down from the ceiling and MISSED AGAIN! Nash covered for this by moving into the blood, getting it on himself and Russo. For a reason never explained, the blood incapacitated Nash. Even more bizarre, it had no affect on Russo at all. Jarrett subsequently pinned Nash and won the title.

• As if the above wasn’t bad enough, the title went to Nash on the following Thunder and then on the next edition of Nitro the title changed hands twice in one night. Within a week the title had gone from Jarrett to being vacant, to Jarrett to Nash. Then Nash gave the belt back to Flair who had never lost it and on the same night Flair lost the belt back to Jarrett. Confused? You’re not the only one.

• Tank Abbott (the same Tank Abbott who Russo tried to make champion) was later made into a groupie for Three Count. Russo offered to have the company pay for Abbott to have singing lessons. Nothing quite like wasting money when the company is on a huge financial decline.

• Russo booked himself in a cage match with Flair. The end saw Flair put Russo in the figure-4. Vampiro’s blood dripping from the ceiling (yes they were still going with this!!!) was supposed to break the hold immediately but took an age to start falling, so Russo survived in the Figure-4 for probably longer than just about anyone else ever, completely de-valuing the hold as a finishing move. The blood eventually came down and once again Flair was incapacitated by it for some reason. Russo was fine. David Flair then ran into the match, put Ric in the figure-4 and Russo covered him for the three.

• Terry Funk and Chris Candido ended up having a match that saw them end up in a horse stable. Terry Funk was almost killed when a horse bucked him. Funk shouted “You ****ing horse!!! I’ll kick your ass!!”

• Despite just returning from injury and generating huge reactions from the crowds, Russo and Bischoff turned Goldberg heel. This was done because they had hyped up a major event, which was supposed to be the company SFX promoting their shows in future. As it turned out SFX actually offered to buy the whole company and Turner shot it down. Bischoff now had a problem because he had hyped something and needed an answer. He turned the only legitimate draw the company had left, heel. Fans were not happy and threw garbage into the ring. Attendences fell some more almost instantly.

• Russo defeated Flair in a match in which the stupilation was that if Russo lost, he would have his head shaved. If Flair lost, he had to retire. Flair lost, and Russo shaved his head. He went away for rotator cuff surgery and by the time he returned (despite supposedly having to retire remember) his hair had all grown back anyway.

• Elizabeth was making 6 figures a year (more than a lot of the wrestlers) for a managers contract. Her contract gave her the right to refuse to wrestle in the ring. Russo was unhappy and so decided to try and humiliate her by trying to get her to strip to her bra and panties every week. Eventually he decided she wasn’t worth the money so he sent her home – where she made the exact same amount of money for doing NOTHING.

• This one is brilliant. Scott Hall (who still somehow had a job) was scheduled for a live phone interview on the June 13th 2000 edition of Thunder. He wasn’t in to answer the phone for the interview!!! This was still not enough for him to be fired.

• By June, Russo had a tantrum and left again. He claimed it was due to his unhappiness with WCW management bringing back Luger, Elizabeth and Kimberly Page. Many believe that the real reason he left was because just prior, internal estimates had shown that WCW was on track to lose $80million for the year under his booking.

• In early July 2000 Scott Steiner was told by Terry Taylor that he would have to do a job. Steiner went crazy and threatened to kill Taylor. His punishment? Sent home again….with pay…again.

• The “sent home with pay” punishment became an in-joke. When Ernest Miller was on-screen commissioner, he told Nash that he could send him home if he messed up his show, but he wouldn’t because “someone in the office would still pay you”.

• In June 2000 WCW paid $50,000 to place an ad in a newspaper for their Monday Nitro show that week. the ad didn’t appear until the Thursday after the show.

• Matt Williams, Director of Research for WCW spent a year polling existing and former WCW fans about what they liked, didn’t like, and what they wanted to change. The results were basically unanimous. Fans wanted more wrestling and less silly storylines. When Williams presented his findings to Vince Russo, Russo immediately threw the study out because he didn’t believe it was true. Matt Williams quit the company in outrage and went to another Time Warner division.

• Many backstage and outside the company blamed the huge money loss on the to stars earnings. The facts are very different. If all of the wrestlers had worked for free in the year 2000, WCW still would have lost around $40million.

• This one takes a bit of explaining, but it’s one of the funniest of them all.
Nash/Goldberg/Steiner was the semi-main event at New Blood Rising. At the start of the match, Goldberg did not come out. Later on, he emerged and they all had a very bad match. Nash went to hit the Jacknife on Goldberg, who dead weighted him and rolled out of the ring.
Goldberg walked up the ramp where he was met by Vince Russo, who started shouting at him. Goldberg shouted back “**** you!”.
The announcers then began to insinuate that Goldberg was being unprofessional and would not allow Nash to powerbomb him for the scripted win.
Tony Schivone then came out with the following quote…and this is exact and exact can be:
“If, in fact, the jacknife powerbomb was part of the design, what are they going to do now? Improvise?”
That’s right, he was telling everyone that the script called for Goldberg to allow Nash to powerbomb him and beat him. Eventually Nash hit Steiner with the jacknife and pinned him. The announce team then congratulated Steiner for being professional enough to allow Nash to powerbomb him.
The irony of all this was that it was a worked shoot in a storyline where they were openly telling absolutely everyone that the match was fake.

• Russo booked one of the weirdest matches ever on Nitro in October. The match saw 4 boxes in the ring and one contained the vacant WCW title (Russo was champion and vacated it, meaning not only did he make himself champion, he booked it so he was never beaten for it). The other 3 boxes contained; a picture of Scott Hall (who hadn’t even been seen on WCW television in quite some time), a coal miner’s glove and a blow-up doll. The idea was that the first person to get the title won. It was bad.

• In 2000 there was a patch where the WCW title changed hands 20 times in 35 weeks. That is the same number of title changes that occured to the same (well the NWA actually) title between 1949 and 1980!

• Booker T’s 5 title reigns took place within the space of 13 months. To put that into perspective, if WCW had survived and that trend had continued, Booker would now have held the title more than 30 times.

• The October 5th 2000 edition of Nitro was advertised heavily to have a special start time of 8.35pm. It actually started at 8.00pm and so when people switched it on, it had already been on the air for half an hour!

• In one of the funniest commentary cover-ups of all time, Stevie Ray and Lex Luger were having a discussion. Luger asked Stevie Ray if what he was about to say was between the two of them. Stevie Ray replied by saying “yes, and 5,000 viewers”. Of course, even in these dying days the company had a lot more than 5,000 viewers. Schivone tried to cover by saying, and I wish I was making this up, that Stevie meant “5,000 viewers in each house”.

• WCW’s tour of Australia at the back end of 2000 was largely a success. It should have been very profitable. However, WCW signed a deal with Australian promoters to buy back any seats that didn’t sell. The whole tour, including house shows and Thunder sold out and yet WCW still ended up paying $400,000 because the deal they signed included WCW paying for any seats that could not be used due to TV production equipment.

• Bret Hart was released from his contract literally days after he signed a new 2 year contract. Strangely they had offered him a 2 year extention of his contract which would have still seen him as the 2nd highest earner (behind Hogan) in the entire company despite not being able to wrestle. They obviously changed their minds quickly and released him under a clause that they had not been able to benefit from his wrestling abilities for 9 months and so were able to terminate.

• Juventud Guerrera was (rightly) fired after the Australian tour because he, in a drug-influenced moment of madness, took off his clothes and started screaming that he was going to kill himself in the middle of a hotel near the restaurant where many of the wrestlers were eating. He was eventually arrested and was lucky not to face criminal charges. What’s funny is that WCW fired him but didn’t tell him. Juvi didn’t find out until some of his friends phoned him wishing him all the best after seeing the news on the internet.

• An edition of WCW Thunder in late 2000 featured a promo from Kevin Nash in which he basically talked about Scott Hall. Hall was arrested the week before and references to him were banned. The segment, rather than being taken out, aired with every mention of him being bleeped out. The result was a promo that made no sense to anyone.

• Wrestlemania X-7 sold 48,000 tickets on its first day of sales. Starrcade (WCW’s version of WM for those unaware) the same year sold just 900 on its first day. This next point needs confirmation but I think the total attendence for Starrcade that year was around the 3500. Maybe slightly less.

• Eric Bischoff’s plans for WCW’s re-birth included losing out on god-knows how much money by skipping Nitro for a few weeks.

• The dying days of WCW saw a lot of wrestlers not believing that it was really dying. They believed Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo were working together to fool the boys again.

• One of Bischoff’s methods of getting the guys behind him after he raised the money to purchase WCW was to claim they would push the cruiserweights. This was fine except most had seen Russo’s idea of pushing cruiserweights (Well Arquette is a Cruiserweight I guess) so nobody believed him.

• The last Nitro was not advertised as the last Nitro on WCW television. It was advertised as the “season finale”. Nobody knows why.

• Time Warner rejected an offer of $500,000,000 to buy WCW a year before they sold for less than $3,000,000 to Vince McMahon.

• Vince McMahon tried to get WCW its own TV show…on the same network (TNN I believe at the time) that Raw was on. This failed because TNN didn’t want to see their ratings for Raw potentially cut due to WCW competing for the wrestling audience. Vince immediately cancelled plans to run WCW as a seperate company.

• WCW was booked to look weak from the start. Rather than go after top talent with top talent, WCW’s invasion began with the likes of Lance Storm and Hugh Morrus attacking the likes of Bradshaw and Goldust. In the initial weeks, the only time a top star was attacked it was Kurt Angle being attacked…by….not a WCW superstar to create a dream match scenario…but by Shane McMahon.

• The first WCW sanctioned match on Raw was described by Arn Anderson as being “bigger than the moon landing”. It was Booker T vs Buff Bagwell. The match itself was awful and both blew many spots. A lot of the crowd actually left. The night ended with the focus being not on either man, but on Vince McMahon backstage in his boxers. Vince immediately cancelled the plan for a section of Raw to be dedicated to WCW every week.

• During the above-mentioned Booker/Bagwell disaster, Scott Hudson advertised the match as “history in the making” as Booker and Bagwell would compete for the “WWF Title”.

• Vince McMahon claimed he could not afford to buy out the contracts of WCW’s top talent. This despite the fact that WWE made an $84million profit the previous year. Goldberg’s contract would have cost 6 million. WWE most likely would have made that money back almost instantly if they had booked a Goldberg/Austin main event for Invasion.

• DDP wanted to be part of the angle so badly that he approached McMahon and agreed to allow McMahon to buy his contract out for 50% of its total worth. He was thanked by being put into a ridiculous storyline where he stalked the Undertaker’s wife. He was made to look incredibly weak in their matches.

• WWE’s “Invasion” PPV grossed $10million from PPV buys. Add to that ticket sales and merchandise revenue and the company generated enough money to have bought out the contracts of Goldberg, Scott Steiner and Ric Flair with money left over.

• Within 12 weeks of the Invasion PPV, Raw’s viewing audience dropped by 30%. Most likely because it became apparent after the “Alliance” focused on Austin, Angle, Shane and Stephanie that they were not going to see the likes of Flair, Sting, Goldberg, Hogan and Steiner.

• Years previous we came close to seeing WWF champion Hulk Hogan vs WCW Champion Ric Flair. It never happened. The first WWF Champion vs WCW Champion match took place in September 2001….between Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. The most historically significant wrestling match umaginable in North America was fought by two WWE guys.

• Ric Flair appeard on the first Raw AFTER the invasion had ended.

• Goldberg eventually signed for WWE for an over-inflated salary that upset a lot of the guys backstage. This was the reason given publically by Vince for not signing Goldberg in the first place…because he didn’t want to upset loyal WWE workers by paying him more. The sad thing is, he upset them anyway, just later on at a time where Goldberg was not going to draw anywhere near as much money.

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