Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1991 WCW as told by Barry Windham

This was released in November 2012

The interview was conducted by Sean Oliver

It runs at one hour and thirty-three minutes long

 

JANUARY

On January 11th in East Rutherford, NJ, Lex Luger defeated Curtis Hughes. Luger had Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants in his corner in what was billed as a “Football Challenge Match.” Windham said that the WCW office had been talking to Taylor and paired him with Luger, who had played in the USFL. He then said that it was just a one-shot deal to boost attendance and did not have any long-term plans for Taylor in the company.

 

At that same show, Ric Flair defeated Sting to become the WCW World Champion. Windham talks about how Flair was the man and everyone wanted to be like him. He also talks about growing up around him and the company was at its best when based around Flair.

 

Windham talks about teaming with Arn Anderson and said they always got along and were both “ring generals.” They worked against Doom at that show in New Jersey and said that Butch Reed could be difficult to work with at times.

 

He talks about the party at Lawrence Taylor’s club. They celebrated Flair’s win and hung out in the VIP room as Windham said there was nothing more than drinking going on there.

 

Sean asks Windham about WCW wrestlers appearing on the Family Feud and how Hollywood makes a mockery out of wrestling. Windham says they do but its all entertainment and as long as they get paid, everything is fine.

 

Dusty Rhodes returned after a two year absence at “Clash of the Champions XIV.” He had recently replaced Ole Anderson as head booker. Windham says that in between the period that Ole was fired and Dusty came back, he was the one who was booking. Windham confirms that most wrestlers’ problems with Dusty stemmed from the fact during his last run as booker he put himself over just about everyone.

 

Alexandra York (Terri Runnels) started the York Foundation. Windham said she was a makeup girl for Georgia Championship Wrestling at one point and does not know who came up with the idea. When asked, Windham said that she did not display any ability to be an effective on-air personality and said she got on TV because of who she was dating at the time.

 

 

FEBRUARY

Dustin Rhodes made his WCW debut. When asked if he was pushed too hard, Windham did not think he was and said he got flak because his dad was the booker.

 

Windham said he likes Larry Zbyszko personally but that he was really tough to work with and said his style was too slow and did not fit in with the company at that time.

 

On El Gigante, Windham said he was under contract for the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA and got sent to WCW when he was not able to play. Windham said he was a nice guy but lacked as a performer and everything he did hurt and the only thing you could do was bounce off of him.

 

They talk about Nikita Koloff returning as Windham said he was a “headstrong” guy who believed his own gimmick and you had to work around his limitations. Windham said he is a lot more down-to-earth today as back then he was difficult to work with.

 

At WrestleWar 91, Brian Pillman got a “concussion” in the War Games match. Windham said that Pillman had an injury coming in and this was a way to work around that. He then talks about Sid being another person whose limitations you had to work around and how he had is own ideas on how to do things. Windham said he was huge and had a great look so you had to do something with him.

 

 

MARCH

Owen Hart made his debut as part of his brief WCW run. Windham said he thinks Owen was trying to use WCW for leverage to get a contract from Vince, something he learned from his brother Bret.

 

When asked about Ric Flair dropping the NWA World Title to Tatsumi Fujinami, Windham said it was a way for WCW to get rid of that belt. He also added that NJPW had ties to the NWA and wanted the belt so it made both companies happy.

 

 

APRIL

Windham talks about his broken eardrum. It occurred in a match against Brian Pillman, who slapped him in the air. Windham was unable to fly, per the company doctor, and could only go to shows within driving distance from his house. He then talks about how he was known as a driver and would drive as far to Chicago from Florida. He talks about any trip within 500 miles is quicker by car because by the time you got to the airport and waited until you took off, you could almost get to your destination.

 

On April 21st, the show at the Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill, SC was cancelled because the ring never showed up. Windham said WCW had a ring crew and believed it was just an oversight.

 

Jim Herd answered his critics on April 27th. When asked about his problem, Windham said that Herd tried to be a “bully with bullies” and would try to be a hard ass and guys were not putting up with it and he had no clue how to run a wrestling company. Windham said he seemed angry at the world and was running the company as a favor to some higher up at TBS, not because he wanted to work for the company.

 

 

MAY

The “Bull Drop Inn” talk-show segment made its debut. Windham does not remember this but talks about the first guest, PN News. Windham said that News never should have been in the business and got his ass kicked after getting caught stealing from someone in the locker room. Windham said he was an enhancement guy before getting the rapper gimmick.

 

Johnny B. Badd made his debut. Windham said it was Dusty’s idea and wanted Badd to look and act “black” just like Dusty did with his character. Windham said that Mero hated the character but still went out and was able to get it over.

 

Bobby Eaton defeated Arn Anderson for the TV Title at Superbrawl. Windham said Eaton was one of the best workers ever then said when they worked together at spot shows, they would get down on their knees to wrestle and see who could stay on them the longest, as they would do things like backdrops and dropkicks.

 

Windham is asked about the Hardliners (Dick Murdoch & Dick Slater). He said they were all business inside of the ring but out of control in real life. He said that Slater had a bad problem with alcohol.

 

 

JUNE

Ricky Morton turned heel at Clash of the Champions XV. Windham said he was one of the all-time great babyfaces but thinks he just did not have it in him to be a heel. Windham says he was small and that works better as a face too.

 

Pillman got pinned in a “Loser Leaves Town” match from the Clash and came back as the “Yellow Dog.” Windham claimed that Pillman wanted to do the angle so Dusty let him. Windham felt the story was lacking as they did not get to do it as well as his own feud in Florida against Ron Bass.

 

Danny Spivey quit the company when he was told he’d be jobbing to PN News on a nightly basis after refusing to job for Tom Zenk in a tag match. Windham thinks Spivey was ready to move on but says a lot of times stuff like this happens it is part of a hidden agenda.

 

 

JULY

On July 1st, Ric Flair was fired by Jim Herd. This came after negotiations in which Flair was offered a massive pay cut that offered him $350,000 a year, less than both Lex Luger and Sting. Sean asks about Flair bringing the title belt with him to the WWF and how Herd had no clue you do not fire someone while they are holding the title. Windham talks about how Flair has to take the blame for that, because he thought the belt actually belonged to him. Windham then talks about how he was supposed to be the next Champion with Flair putting him over. Windham then talks about the reported $350k salary for Flair and does not think that was right as Luger & Sting were both making $750k per year.

 

Windham talks about the War Games matches and said he really enjoyed them and liked how it was a change from a regular match and a draw to the fans.

 

Eric Bischoff came in as an announcer. Windham said he was a great “idea guy” and was well-liked at that time and remembers him at the bar with Dusty and Flair.

 

At the Great American Bash, Luger defeated Windham for the vacant WCW Title. Windham has no clue why he did not get the title and did not even get the finish to the match until right before he went to the ring. He mentions how there was a lot of jockeying for position and the company needed a heel to replace Flair so they went with Luger with Harley Race as his mouthpiece. Windham said he went with the plan like always. Windham talks about Luger and how is in-ring work was lacking and at this his promos were rough too.

 

 

AUGUST

 

Windham is asked about Bill Kazmaier and said he was a friendly guy and willing to learn but too mechanical and he was rushed through training so they could get him on TV as he had prior notoriety.

 

Cactus Jack returned to WCW. Windham said Jack’s style was not anything that hadn’t been done before but he was a new face and ran with the idea. On how he rates Jack as a worker, Windham gives him an 8.5/10 and puts hom over for always being able to think on his feet and how he was good on the mic.

 

Windham did not mind when he was not given the U.S. Title at the time because he felt it was really just added weight to your bag and he was focused on the World Title. When asked about the bump in money between the World and U.S. Title, Windham said everyone was under a contract anyway and it did not have much meaning in terms of extra money.

 

On Sting as a worker, Windham said he was not comfortable in his own skin and never felt the persona of the gimmick. Windham said they were all still teaching him how to be the Sting character in the ring night after night.

 

When asked about the Lex Luger/Ron Simmons racial angle and his thoughts about them in general, Windham said he did it with Simmons in Florida and looking back they are not something that is needed in wrestling because wrestling fans are smart and know it is not real and you need to have something believable in the ring and is not going to draw money or should draw money at all today as its unnecessary.

 

 

SEPTEMBER

On September 6th at a show in Arizona, another show was cancelled as they had an 18-foot ring with 16-foot ropes. Sean asks if the guys were getting the sense that the office was falling apart. Windham was at that show and they were using a third-party ring and heard Vince McMahon paid them not to show up. Windham said at the time, WCW was talking about making their shows similar to the WWF shows and that Vince did this to mess with competition.

 

 

OCTOBER

On October 7th, Paul Heyman was suspended by WCW for leaking information to Eddie Gilbert about a planned angle by Jerry Jarrett between Lex Luger and USWA Champion Jerry Lawler. Windham said that Heyman always had his hands in everything but does not know if what he did was true and it might not even have been malicious if it was as sometimes you just talk briefly in the car from town-to-town.

 

Windham is now asked about the “squeegee incident” that took place at the Atlanta Ramada Inn. Sid Vicious had words with Mike Graham and Brian Pillman then left and returned with a squeegee from his car. Windham said Graham took the squeegee away from Sid, not Pillman, and that he told Sid he’d shove it up his ass. Windham said Sid’s look was mean but he was not a mean guy in real life and thinks he was probably drunk at the time.

 

When asked about the Arachniman character, played by Brad Armstrong, Windham said that he was originally going to be called Spiderman but that Marvel Comics owned that name so they switched it up. He talks about Armstrong’s talents in the ring and how they always tried to figure out something for him to do as he was well-loved by everyone and incredibly witty but cannot figure out why he never made it big and said its not his size because there were guys smaller who made it bigger.

 

Windham broke his wrist in four places in an enhancement match while attempting a bulldog. He missed four months as a result and said the kid’s head rolled up on his wrist and how it was a bad injury. They had to figure out an angle to cover up his injury so they used his car and came up with an angle.

 

On the Chamber of Horrors match at Halloween Havoc, Windham said he always wanted some degree of believability to what he did but the company was going in a new direction and he was getting paid so he went along with the company.

 

Gene Anderson passed away on October 31st during a law enforcement training seminar. Windham tells a story about teaming with his father, Blackjack Mulligan, against Gene & Ole Anderson. Windham said his dad and Ole never got along and during the match, Ole started beating the crap out of Windham as Blackjack screamed at Ole to get off of him so he got into the ring and started beating the shit out of Ole as Gene pulled Windham to the corner and told him to sit here and just watch as his dad was destroying Ole. Blackjack then came over to grab his son after knocking Ole out and they left the building.

 

 

NOVEMBER

On where the Dangerous Alliance ranks among wrestling stables, Windham said they were loaded with talent but did not have the longevity or memorable feuds to rank near the top. When asked what makes a stable great, he said its tough to pull off but when they become a hit, they really take off.

 

 

DECEMBER

Sting defeated Lex Luger to win the Battlebowl. Windham said at this point, WCW was really trying to market to a younger crowd and based the company around Sting so it was logical he won the title.

 

Final Thoughts: Well, Barry Windham seems like a nice guy and you never hear a bad thing about him. However, this Timeline was extremely dull. Windham looked exhausted here and even Sean seemed off his game a bit too. 1991 WCW was not interesting on screen and had turmoil behind the scenes, which was not really touched upon much here at all.

Windham really did not elaborate much about anything. He also seemed to distance himself when it came to backstage politics. It would have been nice to hear just what he did while booker of WCW.

Overall, I’d pass on this Timeline. There really is not a whole lot to recommend here.

 

I’m on vacation next week and will return in two weeks with a recap of the new Santino shoot interview from RF Video.