Previously on the Flashback… http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2017/05/17/wrestling-observer-flashback-02-15-93/
I don’t wanna overstate WCW’s situation this week, but…
– So, you know, worst case scenarios all around.
– Cowboy Bill Watts resigned his post as head numbskull of WCW on 2/10, leaving Ole Anderson as new numbskull in charge and Eric Bischoff as Executive Producer of TV. (See, this is an interesting clarification, because the assumption from fans was always that Bill Watts begat Eric Bischoff, when in fact the power structure was much more complex than that. Well, until 1994.)
– The official company statement on Watts’ exit was “Turner Broadcasting does not, by policy, comment on personnel matters.” Turns out that Bill was about to be roasted over the coals for comments made 18 months previous that were along the same lines as what Marge Schott said.
– The interview that sealed his fate took place in the Torch 1991 annual, and was faxed to Hank Aaron on 2/9 by…wait for it…Mark Madden. Aaron took the fax to TBS President Terry McGuirk, and Watts had tendered his resignation by the next morning. This was going to be a MAJOR embarrassment for Turner had Bill not fallen on his sword.
– So of course, in case you’ve never read Bill’s take on discrimination before:
“If you own a business and you put the money in, why shouldn’t you be able to discriminate? It’s your business. If free enterprise is going to make or break it, you should be able to discriminate. It’s your business. It should be that, by God, if you’re going to open your doors in America, you can discriminate. Why the f— not? That’s why I went into business, so that I could discriminate. I mean, really. I mean I want to be able to serve who I want to. It’s my business. It’s my investment. So they come in and say no. I can’t tell a fag to get the f— out. I should have the right to not associate with a fag if I don’t want to. I should have the right to not fire a fag if I don’t want to. I mean, why should I have to hire a f—in fag if I don’t like fags? Fags discriminate against us, don’t they? Sure they do. Do Blacks discriminate against Whites? Whose killed more Blacks than anyone? The f—in Blacks. But they want to blame that bull—- “Roots” that came on the air. That “Roots” was so bull—-. All you have to do if you want slaves is hand beads to the chiefs and they gave you the slaves. What is the best thing that has ever, ever happened to the Black race? That they were brought to this country. No matter how they got here, they were brought here. You know why? Because they intermarried and got educated. They’re the ones running the Black race. You go down to the Black countries and they’re all broke. Idi Amin killed more Blacks than we ever killed. You see what I mean. That’s how stupid we are. But we get all caught up in all this bull—- rhetoric. And so, it’s ridiculous what’s happening to our country. Lester Maddox (former Alabama Governor who was most famous in the 60s for blocking a school door and not allowing Black children into a formerly all-white school) was right. If I don’t want to sell fried chicken to Blacks, I shouldn’t have to. It’s my restaurant. Hell, at least I respect him for his stand.”
– Naturally, Hank Aaron wasn’t terribly impressed with reading about that sort of thing from Bill, being that he’s black and all.
– Meanwhile, Bill’s resignation brought the expected subdued, calm reaction to the WCW dressing room.
– Or that.
– In fact, people were so irrationally overjoyed at Watts leaving that they actually were HAPPY to see OLE ANDERSON put in charge of the company again. The guy who did everything that Watts tried, but did an even worse job at it.
– One off-shoot of the Watts resignation is the end of the SMW talent trading, because Jim Cornette has no desire to deal with anyone but Watts.
– Meanwhile, Jim Ross is basically out of the company against his wishes as well, removed from all TV appearances and soon to be kicked off the WCW hotline as well.
– Dave does a business comparison, and the numbers don’t lie: Business dropped a staggering 21% across all measurable statistics under Bill Watts. (When you make Jim Herd look like a shrewd wrestling businessman, you know you’ve done something horribly wrong.)
– Ric Flair officially received his release from the WWF on 2/10 and he starts on the WCW payroll as of 2/16, but he can’t be advertised for SuperBrawl because the WWF AMAZINGLY managed to drag out the release debacle until two days after the final TV taping before the PPV. He won’t be wrestling at the show anyway. Rumor is that Flair signed for three years at $425,000 a year.
– Davey Boy Smith will be wrestling Bill Irwin at the show, by the way.
– Also, Ron Simmons’ shoulder is more messed up than previously thought, so he’s off the show.
– To Japan, where Vader signed a MAMMOTH contract with UWFI on 1/30, with the announcement coming on the 2/14 show at Budokan. The deal is supposed to be that Vader is the first World champion man enough to step forward and try to unify his title with Takada. Vader got $200,000 for eight shows, plus a $50,000 signing bonus, which is crazy money for that small amount of dates.
– There is a major snag in the proceedings, however, since New Japan is claiming that they invented the Vader gimmick and own all the rights to it, with WCW just renting it from them. So this could get into some ugly legal wrangling.
– Hulk Hogan is set to debut on RAW at the 2/22 tapings, and his deal will include all PPV shows and even a rumored 3/7 Saturday Night’s Main Event. Dave’s not 100% certain that the FOX show will happen, though. (That is some wise hedging of the bets.) They might even add another PPV show this year to cash in on Hogan’s return!
– More legal troubles, although this time Titan is on the good side of it. The WWF is suing Kevin “Nailz” Wacholz for slander, and there’s more lawsuits coming against him! The district attorney’s office refused to even prosecute Kevin’s ridiculous sexual assault claims against Vince due to lack of evidence.
– Next up, Vince & Linda filed a lawsuit against Geraldo Rivera and several others involved in his show, with the claim being that they were attempting to extort $5 million from Vince in order to keep the Rita Chatterton story quiet. Geraldo’s publicist replied to the suit by noting “We repeatedly asked Mr. McMahon to appear on the program to counter the allegations. He repeatedly refused.”
– I’m skipping over the allegations made by Vince’s legal team, although the far-ranging conspiracy theory that they’re proposing is pretty hilarious, but my favorite is the summation of Vince’s issues stemming from the accusations: “Vince McMahon has suffered severe emotional distress and/or other injuries including but not limited to mental anguish, anger, embarrassment, shame, humiliation, depression and loss of sleep. The same basic complaints were made regarding Linda McMahon.” You’re telling me that the guy who pissed his own pants on national TV to get an angle over would be suffering from “anguish” over this Rita bullshit?
– More legal troubles! Paul Heyman is now suing WCW for wrongful dismissal, and ethnic discrimination, and was fired because Bill Watts was solely looking to cut costs. (You could say he really got … you know what, actually this issue has taught me that it’s best not to go there.)
– Dave attended a WWF house show at the Cow Palace! It kind of sucked. Moving on.
– WAR drew a legit 11,000 sellout on 2/14 at the Tokyo Gymnasium, running a New Japan v. WAR main event of Tenryu v. Fujinami for the first time ever, albeit in a tag match, with Fujinami’s team doing the job to keep Tenryu strong. The WAR v. New Japan feud is said to be super-hot, with top NJPW guys like Hashimoto and Choshu issuing challenges to Tenryu after the match to keep things going into the future.
– Lex Luger showed up to face Jerry Lawler in Nashville on 2/13 and drew the largest crowd there in years, about 2000 people. The match wasn’t very good, but Luger was crazy over as a babyface the whole time.
– Jim Cornette, hero of free speech for all, aired the unedited rant against Bill Watts from WCW TV on his own SMW TV this week, without all the corporate bleeping. Just in case you wanted to hunt it down.
– Johnny Gunn is on thin ice with WCW, and Erik Watts probably won’t be around much longer either now.
– Sid Vicious has signed with WCW, although one of his provisions is that they NOT have the right to send him to Japan. (Maybe he should have asked for a provision that he couldn’t be sent to the UK, either…would have made Starrcade go a hell of a lot more smoothly)
– And finally, Max Moon has been fired again, and hopefully it’ll stick this time.
Next week! …oh, shit.