Love the '96 stuff on the blog.
Two (related) questions from that era –
1) Why did Vince sign Pillman to a big guaranteed contract after the accident left him basically unable to work and a shell of himself? He was pretty clearly damaged, had a fused ankle, and could barely work a match, so what was Vince expecting to get out of him? Was he just being nice and cutting the near crippled guy a break?
2) Why was Vince (sort of) bankrolling ECW? What was in it for him? This is a guy who put numerous territories out of business and raided their talent…here, he barely stole anyone from ECW, except Foley, and he's bankrolling the competition. So what gives?
Is Vince a nicer guy than we give him credit for?
Well, in the case of Pillman, Brian was basically misrepresenting the severity of the injury to everyone in an effort to secure a deal. At the time it was thought that he'd be out a few months and then return, which was actually a major sticking point in the WCW negotiations. Bischoff wanted a provision that allowed WCW to terminate him with 90 days notice just in case he was, say, unable to wrestle ever again due to reckless driving. McMahon offered a guaranteed contract, and so Pillman took that one. Plus even if Pillman was injured, it was still a major coup to get someone perceived as being hot like Pillman was.
As for ECW, although he was never actively bankrolling them, I think both he and Bischoff understood that it was better to have ECW around to develop talent for them. Heyman, on his DVD, would like to stress that Vince never gave him money, however. He was given $1000 a week to compensate the company for the loss of a music licensing deal that 2 Cold Scorpio had. And would Paul lie?