Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1989 WCW as told by Jim Cornette

This was released on May 19th, 2015

The interview was conducted by Sean Oliver

It runs for three hours and thirteen minutes long

Before they start discussing the topic at hand, Cornette shows us all the materials that he brought for the interview: booking sheets, TV formats, contracts, and books among other things.

JANUARY






The first question asked is about the “Bunkhouse Stampede” series, which started on Christmas in 1988 and ran through January of 1989. Cornette said that it was Dusty’s idea and it was great when it started (1986). When asked if the guys liked working the Bunkhouse Battle Royale matches, Cornette said it depended who it was as some guys did not like putting extra clothes in their bags to wear for the match. Cornette won the Manager’s Bunkhouse match on New Years Day 1989 after tossing out J.J. Dillon. He said that only Oliver Humperdink and himself were babyface managers at the time so they decided to give it to him.

On the Midnight Express vs. Midnight Express feud, Cornette starts by saying they were making a lot of money feuding with Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson but they left for the WWF. The Midnight’s and Cornette went back to working with the Fantastics then Cornette went to Dusty and asked him to bring back Dennis Condrey, who just got back into the business and was managed by Paul Heyman, and also bring in Randy Rose. This was back in November of 1988. They devised an angle to have the original MX managed by Heyman attack the current version on TV. Cornette said they were not supposed to “get color” on TBS but Dusty told him he could get a little bit. Cornette tells the story of how he took a wild bump, suprising himself that he was not hurt, then swiped his forehead with the blade but nothing came out. Cornette said afterwards he learned the studio was only 55 degrees so it took a while for the blood to come out but at the time he was clueless about that so he swiped the blade several more times then after that a “waterfall” of blood was pouring down his face. He then turned toward the camera and had the blood all over his white jacket and after that everyone backstage was talking about the blood as Cornette said it helped kickstart the angle. However, Dusty got axed as booker when TBS got mad when Dusty booked the Road Warriors to stab himself in the eye with a spike as he was bleeding all over the place, saying it was too violent, so when Dusty was replaced, the Midnight Express feud was relegated to the bottom of the card.

Still on the Midnight Express feud, Cornette said that the company no longer wanted to pay for the managers to be at the House Shows. Cornette said Heyman and himself were integral to the feud, especially Heyman as Condrey and Rose, who were not as over as the other team. Cornette then proceeds to tell us a great match is like a “hand job.” He said if you are already hard, you can just grab it and go but if not hard, you have to do all sorts of things to get it hard. Cornette then said that Heyman and himself also offered to pay their flights to make the shows but Turner denied their request. He then talks about how Jim Crockett was the interim booker from when Dusty was fired to when they brought in George Scott and how he hated Randy Rose and wanted him to eat the pin in a “Loser Leaves Town” match then have Condrey get a new partner, which Cornette thought was awful because they were the original team. When that happened, Condrey no-showed as he knew he would be in trouble with a new partner and that was the end of that. Cornette then said when George Scott came in he was going to have the current version of the Midnights. Cornette then tells a story about Scott, who said he never heard of them when hired as booker, walked right past Bobby Eaton as he held the door for him one day. He said that when they first met with Scott, he told them he did not know what to do with them as Cornette goes on about how they were one of the top drawing teams of the past few years in the NWA at that point. Cornette said they all thought he either had Alzheimer’s or was the biggest goofball ever due to the way he presented himself.

On the Western States Heritage Title, Cornette said that Dusty loved flying out to Texas and wanted to have a belt for when they toured there but they barely ran in that area as he talks about how no one gave a shit about the belt and it got phased out as a result.

Jim Herd was hired on January 3rd as the Executive Vice President. Before that, Herd was a regional manager for Pizza Hut and a station manager for KPLR-TV in St. Louis. Cornette said that it wasn’t until Turner bought the company when they got involved in backstage politics as before that, they were all making money and just did what they wanted after the show. He said TBS officials brought in top guys in for a meeting to ask about Dusty, under the pretense that it was confidential but it was not as Tully talked badly about Dusty, who found out by those conducting the meeting, so Dusty kicked Tully off of the Crockett’s plane and as a result, Tully & Arn Anderson left for the WWF. Cornette said that Herd was the station director when his station played “Wrestling at the Chase” but his wife was close to someone higher up and he got the job.

On January 17th, Dusty Rhodes resigned from WCW after being removed from the head booker role. Cornette said it would be awkward for him to go from the head booker to a regular guy in the locker room. Cornette said he loved  Dusty and still thinks that he is a great booker despite repeating finishes and puts him over for making him a shitload of money too.

Ricky Steamboat returned to the company on January 21st after he was revealed as Eddie Gilbert’s surprise partner. Cornette said that he believes this was when Scott became the booker as he had close ties to Steamboat from the Carolinas. Cornette then drops a whole lot of knowledge about the Carolina territory and how Scott took it from a primarily tag team territory to a top one as he brought in all sorts of guys like Ric Flair.

FEBRUARY






On when Hiro Matsuda bought the contracts of Barry Windham and Ric Flair from J.J. Dillon, Cornette said that J.J. was leaving for the WWF and saw the writing on the wall when Dusty was removed from the head booker position. He puts over Dillon’s book then puts over the accomplishments of Matsuda but how he was not a good promo and wrong for that role as Cornette then said that Scott was 10 years behind the times and starting to bring in guys he worked with over 20 years ago.

Cornette talks about Tony Schiavone leaving for the WWF. He said he wasn’t there for everything but heard that Schiavone was upset over being passed over by Jim Ross for the top commentator position as he had been there for several years. Cornette calls Schiavone a friend then tells a funny story of when he was with the Midnight Express and Arn Anderson as Schiavone as his family pulled up in their station wagon to drop him off so he could head on Crockett’s plane. When the doors opened, Cornette said you heard all of the kids screaming and Tony slammed the door as he got out. Arn then went over to Tony and told him that he had “enough cum in him to shampoo a buffalo.” Cornette then goes back to Tony, saying he was a good announcer but that Ross was just above everyone else and it wasnt a slight on Tony because everyone else saw that. He then said when Tony came back to WCW the following year he was miserable.

Ricky Steamboat defeated Ric Flair for the WCW World Title at the “Chi Town Rumble.” Cornette said they both were the gold standard in terms of ring work. He also said he would order the PPV’s so he could watch them at home as that way he could hear the commentary. Cornette then talks about how every Wednesday was promo day as he then pulls out a script that the camera shows us as he said that he would write down every opponent, city, and spot on the card for that particular match for the promo itself.

The Iron Sheik came back as Cornette said that Scott brought him back as they worked together in the 70’s but Sheik’s star power had faded greatly and could no longer go in the ring as he talks about how people say he is out of touch for instilling old school logic with today’s talent while Scott wanted the same exact people he had on top in 1978 in 1989. He also said that Sheik only wrestled about 10-12 matches and got sent home for the rest of his contract, which was $100,000 for a year. Sheik then came back after the year ended as they forgot to send the notice to cancel his contract so as a result it rolled over as the Sheik got paid for another year but is work was still so bad that they sent him home again until his contract finally ran out.

MARCH






The “Danger Zone” talk show segment with Paul Dangerously made its debut on March 4th. Cornette said that he was a great talker. Jack Victory was brought in as the bodyguard as Cornette talks about all of the different roles Victory had in wrestling. Cornette said he was a great guy.

On the debut of the Great Muta and if the company missed an opportunity with him, Cornette said yes and no as he was talented and caught on quickly but did not get a lot of heat as a heel because the fans reacted to his cool moves. They were going to turn him face but Cornette said that Gary Hart convinced him to stay heel.

He talks about Don Glass, who was hired from the WWF where he was the assistant under Ed Cohen, who booked the arenas. Cornette said Glass was an idiot and basically a go-fer for Cohen then talks about how he decided, for the first time in history, to book a show in Greensboro, NC on a Wednesday night and it only drew $19,000, the lowest ever for that city. Cornette asked Joe Pedecino why they booked that night and he was told they were saving the weekend shows for the bigger cities as Cornette went through his book and showed him they usually drew six-figures there has Pedecino had no idea. He then said that Glass booked a show in San Antonio on Easter Sunday, in a predominantly Catholic city, that took place in a 15,000 seat arena and ended up drawing 600 people.



APRIL

Cornette is asked about WCW putting on the Clash of the Champions opposite of WrestleMania 4. He said they drew 5,300 fans in a 70,000 seat arena and how that area was facing tough economic times so no fans came. Cornette said it looked like a “pisshole in a snow bank” on TV as there was no way to hide the amount of empty seats. He then said that Scott did not want to promote the show because it would kill the house show business if people saw them on TV as Cornette talks about how ridiculous that notion is as they had ran these specials for over a year. He said the ratings were shit as it was not promoted, which was insane as WCW was owned by a television company.

After the debacle that took place at Clash of the Champions, George Scott was fired and replaced by a booking committee. At that time, it featured Jim Herd, Jim Barnett (who Cornette credits for inventing “studio” wrestling), Jim Ross, Eddie Gilbert, and Jody Hamilton (Who Cornette said was in charge of the jobbers and the ring crews).

Cornette then talks about how they gave notice after Scott told them he had no plans for them and there contract was expiring in May but Scott got fired before that and Jim Ross asked them if they would reconsider. Cornette talked about how they had arrangements to work a few shows in Memphis for Bill Dundee but told Ross he would go on TV and cut a promo about how they were hurt and needed to heal up so they could perform, allowing them to go away for a few months as they could re-build their image as they were losing a lot of matches at that time. So, Cornette met with Herd for the first time and talked about wanting to be loyal and help the company as they moved forward so Herd offered him $100,000 a year while Stan & Bobby received $75,000, which were significant pay cuts across the board. Cornette told Herd that Stan & Bobby deserved more as Herd kept telling him that he would get more because he could also do color commentary. He left after declining the deal then Herd countered with $125,000 for him and $90,000 for Stan & Bobby. Cornette then told Herd he would take the $100,00 for himself, as that was a lot for a manager,but Stan & Bobby needed to get $150,000. They went back and forth as Cornette said he would offer Stan & Bobby a little more each time but he kept raising Cornette’s amount, when he said he would accept the initial offer as Herd then came back with $150,000 for Cornette, $50,000 more than what he asked for and offered Stan & Bobby $125,000. He asked his team if they wanted that as they said yes, as Bobby also had three kids to support.

MAY






The Dynamic Dudes made their debut at the May 6th TV tapings from Center Stage. Cornette said that Jim Ross wanted to re-create the Rock & Roll Express and saw that Skateboards were popular and thought it would work but the gimmick was awful. He also said that Johnny Ace had two left feet and could not even ride a skateboard then talks about how they were the only team Herd liked less than the Midnight Express and that was why they worked a program together.

Cornette talks about Terry Funk returning and how he wanted to show everyone that he could still go in the ring. He even worked with a broken tailbone and even had to fly by kneeling into the seat and hunching over the chair due to the pain but still wrestled. Funk also brought in Eddie Guerrero to a TV taping attempting to get him a job during this time.

He talks about losing the Tag Team Tournament Finals to the Freebirds but the air conditioning in the building was broken and it was over 100 degrees in the building. Cornette talks about this version of the Freebirds as at that time, Terry Gordy was willing to work here but wanted to keep his Japan dates. However, the company wanted a full-time Freebird so they got Garvin. Cornette said that Haynes wanted to re-create the Freebirds of old and that Garvin, who was 5’10 and 210lbs started to take “supplements” and wanted to work like a bad-ass so they both didnt want to sell. Cornette said that Garvin flipped out on him once because he didnt sell a punch enough as Cornette talked all but said he was on steroids and wanted him to be carried to the back after getting punched once as Cornette also brings up how Garvin was  chickenshit heel is whole life. He said Haynes refused to sell the tennis racket because he said they had to get over huge, despite teams like the Road Warriors selling the racket. Cornette goes into his book and how during a Bash Tour at the Boston Garden and how after working a six-man teaming with Dr. Death, the Freebirds beat them, barely selling during the match, then decided to all of a sudden attack them afterwards to get more heat so Dr. Death got fed up and grabbed a chair then whacked Garvin repeatedly for trying to fuck with him. After the match, they went to the locker room as Garvin was all busted up as Eaton yelled at the Freebirds for not just being there to get them over as things were tense and that seeing Eaton, who rarely ever yelled, got the Freebirds to think a bit and they started to sell more for them after that.

JUNE






Cornette confirms that the Ding Dongs were a Jim Herd idea. He said that the idea of this gimmick was that the WWF had all the kids as fans so they thought this would attract some. Cornette even said Herd once said if he had a 6’5 one-legged guy he would have his “Long John Silver” as Herd wanted to turn wrestlers into movie characters.

On Lex Luger turning heel at “Clash of the Champions VII,” Cornette said that Luger was a tremendous athlete and a nice guy but never a wrestling fan growing up and had no idea he was insulting people in wrestling when he was there as he always made money and was the focus so he did not know better. Cornette said that Luger was not a natural worker and had a hard time feeling out wrestling but was a solid heel.

JULY






He is asked about the “Great American Bash” PPV but first talks about the tour and how it was making no money as he lists off the meager house show draws. Cornette said that the PPV was heavily promoted and sold out Baltimore. He talks about his Tuxedo Match against Paul E. Dangerously and the night before he tore cartledge in his knee in a house show match. He iced the knee the rest of the night but it was stiff when he got up in the morning. They both wanted the match to be a grudge instead of comedy then talks about how he was the most experienced worker of the two and how that was a bad thing. He gathered up a Percocet, Vicodin, and an anti-inflammatory then decided to walk down the aisle and not limp, which was painful, then said he wanted Dangerously to hit his knee as hard as he can because his brace would absorb most of the it but Dangerously hit the wrong leg as Cornette says you can see him tell Dangerously to hit the other leg.

AUGUST






Cornette is asked about Ricky Steamboat leaving for foot surgery. He talks about Ricky’s wife Bonnie and how she was vocal behind the scenes and how she once did not allow him to attend a Smoky Mountain Show because she had something to do with him. Cornette then goes on about how no one wanted to see Steamboat the family man and that he looked lame in comparison to Flair, who was cool and fucking all of the women.

Ric Flair became the booker at his request as Cornette said that Flair had enough and went in after the disaster that was the “Great American Bash” tour. Cornette names off the ratings for the shows, which were bad, and said Flair was promised full control. Flair then called Cornette at that time that he wanted him on his committee but first he had to take care of something, which was getting rid of Eddie Gilbert. Flair did not like Gilbert’s Memphis-style of booking and that Gilbert once changed a finish to put himself over Ron Simmons in Memphis which pissed Flair off so Cornette was going to replace Gilbert’s spot. Cornette then pulls out some of his booking notes, shooting formats, and announcer’s notes, and even the list of job guys as Cornette said he always wanted to use Louie Spicolli as Bobby Eaton’s younger brother as they looked alike. Flair also wanted a lot of interviews but Herd did not want that as Sam Mushnick in St. Louis did not use them much and would change the shows as Cornette said that Flair would keep the original notes Cornette wrote. He said Herd was dividing the guys as he put word out that Jim Ross changed the scripts, which he did after being told to by Herd himself and that caused a lot of problems.

SEPTEMBER






When asked about the angle in which Funk put a plastic bag over Flair’s head, Cornette said that it got over as Funk was convincing in his role. Cornette said that it brought in complaints but TBS was not prepared for calls from wrestling fans actually calling and believing that Funk was trying to kill Flair and the corporate guys took the complaints seriously.

About Paul E. Dangerously got fired, Cornette said that back then you were told in your promos to get yourself over so Dangerously cut a promo appealing to the “sheet readers” as Flair was next to Cornette backstage and said “fuck this guy” and Flair told him he was done. Dangerously thought he meant done for the night but Flair told him he was fucking done for good. Cornette said that Dangerously’s rendition was incorrect as Flair slammed the door after yelling at Heyman then a little bit after that, Dangerously tossed the garbage can while Flair was behind a closed door.

OCTOBER






On October 6th, TBS Executive Vice President Bob Levi and Vice President of Programming Jeff Carr sent out a memo that said there would not be anymore violence on their shows, due to the plastic bag angle and mugging of Scott Steiner. Cornette reads some of the new guidelines at that time. He then talks about the awful tension at the booking meetings and how no one got along and nothing got accomplished as Herd suggested stuff that would hurt the product and wanted to change what Flair wanted to do.

Ole Anderson returned to the company. Cornette said that Ole could still cut a promo and contribute so he was brought back.

He said that the bit were he was in the hotel room with Woman was his mother’s favorite angle.

Cornette talks about the Thunderdome match. He said they thought the match would look cool but when they got there, the special effects were set up terribly as Muta was trying to blow out the fire with his mist as Tommy Young went over to put it out and it came off terrible. On Bruno Sammartino as the special referee, Cornette said that having him brought into Philly would draw a good house.

NOVEMBER






On the “I Quit” match between Flair and Funk, Cornette said Funk was not happy about quitting and said how he was told about the match before he agreed to it as Cornette said Herd wanted to make Funk a color commentator.

He talks about the angle when he tricked the Dynamic Dudes after they were feuding with the Midnight Express, culminating in a match at “Clash of the Champions IX.” Cornette said that it was his idea for the finish but then said he underestimated the sympathy the Midnight Express got from the fans for being booked like shit and how the fans loathed the Dynamic Dudes.

Flair wanted to defend the title against Bobby Eaton as Flair thought he was the best wrestler and did not want to even beat him as it ended in a DQ. Cornette said the rating for the match was the best in a year but Herd was pissed that Flair did not beat Eaton. So, Flair booked a rematch then Cornette booked a finish in which he and Stan tried to interfere but it backfired as Flair beat them all up with the racket and that rating topped the show that featured their initial match.

Cornette talks about Tully & Arn coming back to WCW for $250,000 a year but when Tully failed a drug test, Herd found out and rescinded the offer as he said it looked bad. Cornette suggested all sorts of things such as Tully going to rehab then come back as they could say TBS helped him out but Herd said no then cut Arn’s deal for $150,000 a year because he was less valuable by himself and Arn already gave notice to the WWF had to take the deal for $100,000 less than was promised to him.

DECEMBER






On the Round-Robin Tournament for “Starrcade,” Cornette said that it was problematic choosing who would be in there and who would job and they all struggled to come up with finishes.

Cactus Jack made his debut. Cornette said that Continental was closing and Jack came over to a show. Cornette and Sullivan liked him and brought him in and said the more he dropped the elbow from the apron the more crazy the fans got and it caught on so he got a chance to get in full-time. However, most guys at the time saw nothing in him.

Cornette talks about how he fought Shane Douglas but before that in a match the crowd was yelling “Johnny sucks dick” at Johnny Ace as fans draped a bedsheet over the balcony that read “Johnny sucks Shane’s dick.” He then said that he came up with the idea that he would accidentally sign a contract to wrestle Shane. Cornette said he likes Shane but at the time he was young and told him in the airport he was not going to sell any of the “Memphis stuff” as Cornette said that while he was a Jr. member of the booking committee, Shane was a Jr. member of the talent roster and did not realize he was doing him a favor as this was a chance to get him over. After the match, Herd said that a wrestler should not sell for a manager after Shane called and complained so Herd ordered them to re-tape the match in a different city with Stan Lane wrestling on his behalf as they baited-and-switched the fans.

Flair resigned from the booking committee as Cornette tells us Flair sent a memo to everyone about how he had Herd changing his ideas and was not promised full control as promised and would go back to being a wrestler full-time.

Final Thoughts: I thought this was good but nowhere near as wonderful as his 1997 WWE Timeline. Cornette enjoyed himself and was in good spirits here. And for those wondering, there were no mentions of Russo or politics as he stayed on the topic at hand.

There were some entertaining stories and you got a good picture of what it was like to work on the booking team. However, the major angles were not discussed all that much, and Cornette himself was away from the company for several weeks when he was between contracts. The Midnights also did not work near the top of the card at the time either so he does not have much to say about being directly involved in the key feuds either.

Cornette loves wrestling and that shows here. As far as the WCW Timeline installments are concerned, this is probably the best one. I do recommend this as it is entertaining but again, do not expect it to be as great as his 1997 WWE Timeline.

You can purchase this On Demand for $20.99 or the DVD, which is a Two DVD set for $25 by clicking on the link below.

http://kayfabecommentaries.com/DVD_TW_1989.html

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1986 WWE as told by George “The Animal” Steele

This was released in 2012

The interview is conducted by Sean Oliver

It runs for two hours and fifteen minutes long

The interview starts with Steele joking around then Oliver asks him about the landscape of the company at this time. Steele talks about he came back to the full time in January of 1986 (he was wrestling part-time for the past few years) as he was teaching and coaching football and got burned out by that. Steele then talks about when he turned babyface on the first ever episode (during the first match too) of “Saturday Night’s Main Event” and how he started to eat the turnbuckles after the match and they sent Capt. Lou Albano in after him and then Steele put his head down in his stomach as the place went nuts for the turn, which Steele never thought would work, and when he saw that it did, he figured that he should come back for a full-time run. He then talks about how he was a cartoon character at that point and how they were selling toys and memorabilia rather than wrestling.

JANUARY

George is asked about Vince’s infatuation with hillbillies as Steele said that it was due to Hillbilly Jim’s popularity and how they decided to give him a family. Steele then tells the story of how Cousin Junior quit. Junior showed up to the arena in a limo, wearing a white tuxedo and smoking a cigar. He got out of the limo and told the agent that he had already made enough money needed for the rest of his life and that he was retiring as he stepped back inside of the limo and drove away.

He is asked about Hogan’s relationship with the rest of the locker room. Steele said he separated a little bit out of necessity but remained “one of the boys.” Steele said that Hogan was the guy Vince dreamed about as he had the look and the charisma and a good but not great worker. Steele said that he would build a company around Hogan as well.

Sean asks Steele about Terry Funk and if he struggled to fit in with the cartoonish product of the WWF. Steele laughs and said that Funk was always a clown and fit right in as he did his character well with the company. When asked if Funk should have been given a title run, Steele said no. Sean asks why as Steele talks about Hogan being so good that it was tough to do return matches at arenas with him because it has not believable that you could leave him laying twice. Steele then goes on about how great workers, like Funk, do not need belts and that the marginal workers do to help give them a jump start.

He talks about “Saturday Night’s Main Event” when he was at the water park as Steele tells a story about how he accidentally called NBC Executive Producer Dick Ebersol “Dave” and how that became a running joke whenever he saw him. Steele said he did it at first by accident because he is dyslexic. Steele then talks about Ebersol changing wrestling as he gave input into the shows such as scripting the matches themselves as he wanted the cameraman to know where the wrestler would be at a certain point in the match. Steele said he always called everything in the ring and how it was a struggle to adapt to this change, even saying that he just did what he wanted most of the time. He also puts over the announcing and guys like Gene Okerlund for helping make them all bigger stars.

On Lou Albano, Steele laughs and tells a story of how in his first run back in the 60’s, he rode around with Albano, who paid for his meals and took care of him. On the last day of his run, Albano gave him a bag filled with all of the bills that he took care of for Steele as a rib. Steele then talks about how Vince loved Albano, especially when he was wild as Steele recalls Vince telling him to get Albano a large bottle of vodka to liven things up when they were quiet.

Steele is asked about Adrian Adonis changing to the “Adorable” gimmick. He talks about how they were close and Adonis came up to him backstage at a “TNT” taping and told him to pay attention as he walked out and gave away his signature leather jacket. Steele said that Adonis thought of the idea himself and while he took a lot of ribbing from the locker room he loved the attention.

FEBRUARY






About his feud against Randy Savage over his love of Elizabeth, Steele said it was Chief Jay Strongbow’s idea. Steele talks about how it was natural as Elizabeth was gorgeous and Randy was extremely jealous in real life. Steele then talks about how difficult it was to work with Randy but not before putting over his work ethic and talent. Steele said he always improvised in the ring and Randy planned everything out. Steele says they clashed over that but part of that was due to the wrestling business changing towards the way Savage was operating. He then tells a story at a SNME taping where Savage gave him a notebook that had pages filled with details for their match as Steele ripped them out one by one and threw the pages in the trash as he told Savage to listen to him and they would have a good match. He talks about how Savage would even step between anyone talking to Elizabeth, during segments or backstage, just so they would not be looking at her.

On Savage becoming the Intercontinental Champion, Steele said that Tito would have made the better champ as Savage was such a good performer that he did not need the belt where as Tito was a great worker but needed a bit of a push. Steele then talks about how Randy and Tito were going to have a long feud but because of the popularity he had with his infatuation of Elizabeth, Tito ended up losing his run to Savage in favor for Steele.

When asked if it was Savage’s idea to make Elizabeth his valet, Steele said that the WWF wanted to bring in a model for Savage, who nixed the idea and said that he already had a model in Elizabeth. Steele then recalls how the first time Elizabeth came to the “Championship Wrestling” tapings in Poughkeepsie, NY, Savage made her practice how to get in and out of the ring without revealing too much of her legs and body about 200 times as Steele said it was brutal and that he felt bad for Elizabeth as he goes into how much Savage controlled her.

Sivi Afi, billed as the cousin of Jimmy Snuka, made his debut this month. Steele recalls standing next to Vince backstage during his Madison Square Garden debut as the place was going crazy as they thought it was Snuka but when the lights came on it revealed Afi and the crowd booed loudly as Vince commented how Afi’s career was now ruined. Steele then talks about how you can never replace a talent, who is over with another talent acting as a replacement, no matter how good a worker they as he says it is also a disrespect to the talent too. Steele said Vince Sr. never made that mistake but Vince Jr. has many times.

On Dory Funk coming into the WWF as “Hoss Funk,” Steele said that it was a case of Vince wanting control as he would tell the guys they could make a lot of money but it had to be done his way. Steele said it never worked and Dory knew that and left rather quickly. Steele then talks about how the business was changing as it was geared more towards television that all of the talent would come in as the TV would act as a monster and chew and spit them up as if you were not able to get over through TV, you were gone. He says the guys that lasted a long time, like Jake Roberts, were able to overcome all of that. Steele then talks about today’s wrestlers and how they are great athletes but lack the showmanship talent.

MARCH






The first ever “Slammy Awards” air on March 1st. When asked if he had fun, Steele said while he resented it at first, he started to have fun and was making more money than ever. When asked if he received any royalties for the “Wrestling Album,” Steele said that he received nothing for both the recording or from royalties but it did pay in the long run as it got them more notoriety.

On Mr. T, Steele said that he had an attitude and did not respect the wrestlers or the business. He even believes that if he came along a few years earlier the wrestlers in the locker room would have destroyed him but at that point the business was changing. He also said that Hogan shielded him away from others in the locker room as well.

Steele talks about King Kong Bundy and how he challenged Hogan for the Belt at WrestleMania 2. He recalls a story of how Bundy, at this time, talked about how he was one of the top guys in the WWF as Strongbow started to laugh as he said top guys had 4-5 years while he had one shot at a top feud. Steele then tells another story of how when Bundy appeared in the WWF in 1985, he was standing next to Don Muraco and asked where they got this guy as Muraco told him that he used to do jobs for the WWF in the early 80’s with his brother and back then did not have a shaved head or eyebrows. It was after that when he went to Texas and Gary Hart managed him and suggested he shave his head and eyebrows when he became a star.

Ricky Steamboat and Bret Hart faced off against each other at the March 8th house show at the Boston Garden. Sean asks Steele why we do not see matches like this, between two great workers, happen more often. Steele said the answer is that they do not sell tickets as you need a hook to draw the crowd in and that babyface matches do not draw and that the Hart Foundation were not strong heels at that time.

Steele is asked about the “All-Star Wrestling” tapings being held in Brantford, ONT as he had no idea why the chose that location but tells a story about the Junkyard Dog taking a job guy and smashing his head off of the wall after a match. Steele and Albano grabbed JYD and asked him why he did that as JYD was pissed about the guy not selling his finisher. Steele said he saw the tape later and JYD was right then when the custodians went to clean the blood off of the wall, Steele told them to leave it there as it was a good reminder for people to see what would happen if they did not want to sell any offense during the match. He talks about how it stayed on the wall for about three shows.

APRIL






They talk about WrestleMania 2 and how it was broadcsted from three different locations as Steele mentions how Vince was ecstatic that all of the different satellite feeds worked as he had a lot of money riding on the show and that he would have been broke if it did not go off. Steele then credits Vince for actually putting his profits into the product, specifically the production values as most promoters did not do that. When asked why Vince chose to have it take place at three different venues, Steele said that he learned a long time ago that in wrestling you have to make people talk and cites an example of how Vince had the Fabulous Moolah win a battle royal once by sneaking behind Greg Valentine and dropkicking him over the top rope as his point was that Valentine winning wasn’t going to garner any buzz and that Moolah would.

Sean asks Steele about the celebrities (as a scroll listing off all 18 of them appears on the screen). Steele had no idea who handled them. He starts laughing when asked about Ray Charles as he went into his room to meet him and turned on the light as Charles told him that he did not need that. Steele said that he was a great guy. On which celebrities got wrestling, Steele said Lou Duva and Joe Frazier got it but he was not around all of them. Steele tells another story of how his wife was at the hair salon and when asked why she was there, she said that she was going to a wrestling show as the hair dresser put her hand on her shoulder to feel sorry for her then a few years later, at the same salon with the same hair dresser, she was asked why she was there as she told them that it was for WrestleMania III as the hair dressser asked his wife if she could get her some tickets.

Steele is asked about his match at WrestleMania 2 against Savage. He said that it was originally supposed to be Savage against Tito but he got into the match due to the popularity of the Elizabeth angle. He is also asked about the main event, King Kong Bundy vs. Hulk Hogan in a cage match for the title as Steele said that he thought Bundy was in over his head. He said the match was alright overall but nothing he would go buy a ticket to see or anything.

He is asked about the Rougeaus as Steele said they were good workers but Jacques could be difficult to get along with. He said Raymond was great to get along with and talks about how he worked with their father.

MAY




He talks about Adonis again and how wonderful he was as the “Adorable” one but got carried away with the “nose candy” and couldnt help himself after that. Steele tells a story of how he wrestled Adonis, who took a bump to the floor and landed hard on his hip, then in the locker room, Adonis was crying due to the pain and had his makeup running down his face and as Steele tried to console him, Pat Patterson would walk up and make it seem like he was about to laugh, which would get Steele to laugh himself, then Patterson kept doing that as Steele talked about how Patterson pulled a lot of ribs in his day.

When asked about Jake Roberts hitting Steamboat with a DDT on the floor during “Saturday Night’s Main Event,” Steele said it was a great angle and talked about how George Scott was booking and overpushed some of the guys he brought in, like Steamboat, who were not getting over and once they held him back a little and started a feud with Jake he began to get more over with the fans.

JUNE






George Scott was demoted from his role as head booker. Steele recalls once during a taping of “TNT,” Scott became disgusted over a segment then told Steele that Vince was going to do things to hurt the business and if he saw something that would in fact hurt it to pull Vince aside and tell him as Steele was close to Vince. Steele said that he wasn’t going to tell Vince then talks about the business was changing and that you could not knock success.

King Tonga (Haku) bodyslammed John Studd on an episode of “Championship Wrestling.” When asked about any stories about his toughness as Steele recalls a story while at a bar in Canada when some guy kept taunting Tonga about how he was not able to slam him. Steele said that a cop was there near the guy but Tonga picked him up anyway and slammed him near the cops foot. The cop then said that the guy was asking for it as Steele noted he didnt want any part of Tonga either. Steele said that he was a good guy who also loved his scotch. He also said that for some reason whenever they went all went out Tonga was the guy that would get challenged by bar patrons.

Steele talks about the Komodo Dragon that Steamboat carried with him as he said that the British Bulldogs would mess around with it and burn it with cigarettes and as a result Steamboat hated to pick it up because he never knew what the dragon would end up doing. Steele also tells a story of how the dragon escaped while in Connecticut and when it finally got caught it was several pounds heavier and the area had calls for missing cats and dogs.

On June 17th, Andre the Giant lost to Antonio Inoki in Japan. Sean asks Steele if Japan had to get permission from Vince for Andre to lose and he said that they did. Steele then tells a story about during a match Andre asked him to try a slam. Steele said he went over and attempted to pick him up but then acted like his back hurt and after that, Steele said that Andre came up to him backstage and put him over and always respected him for that. When asked about guys that Andre disliked, Steele said that he did not like Big John Studd, as Steele said Studd was dumb as Andre would tell him to not do certain spots that he did but Studd did them anyway. Steele said that Andre also hated the Iron Sheik and the Ultimate Warrior as Steele tells a story that happened a few years later when he was the agent for a Warrior vs. Andre match at a house show in Florida that was booked to have Warrior beat Andre in 14 seconds. When that happened, the fans booed as they felt cheated out of a match and started to rip up their Warrior posters and throw them at the ring. Steele called Vince to tell him what happened as he felt this would hurt both guys but Vince told him that they would shove this match down the fans throats and after three months of the same reactions it actually ended up getting Warrior over at the end.

Steele said that Billy Jack Haynes was a tough guy and had a good look but the machine swallowed him up. He then tells a story of how he ribbed Haynes once when he asked him if he was gay as the night before he saw Haynes’ girlfriend in the hotel lobby alone then asked Haynes would he had in his room. Steele said that Haynes blew up and talked about how he beat the shit out of a TV producer in Oregon to which Steele once again asked him if he was gay as Hillbilly Jim was cracking up in the car but also warning Steele that Haynes might actually act violent towards him.

JULY

Harley Race won the “King of the Ring” tournament in Foxboro, MA. Steele said giving Race the king gimmick was one of the biggest ribs in the history of wrestling as Race had to carry the crown and the robe everywhere he went.

About Paul Orndorff turning heel on Hogan, Steele said that he was much better as a heel then talked about how Orndorff was bipolar and always an inch away from going off of the deep end.  Steele does have a lot of respect for him. Steele then talks about how at one point Danny Spivey was going to be considered as a protege of Hogan then end up turning on him as Steele talks about how he helped devise an idea to have Spivey team with Hogan then one day come out with his hair dyed black and slap Hogan as he would then say how he was sick of being in his shadow but the story then went to Orndorff as Steele said that Hogan used some of their idea and brought it to that storyline. After being asked if Orndorff being difficult to work with cost him a run as the champion, Steele said that he gets a kick out of “smart marks” needing to think that the best worker needed the belt and that being in multiple territories also made you great as Steele said that just means you were unable to get over and stay somewhere and that you could put the belt on anyone and have them beat people but you cant make them into a good worker so he feels it is a waste to give a great worker a belt (The World Heavyweight Title).

AUGUST






Steele laughs when asked about Slick as he said the character was a joke but also gives Slick credit for doing a great job with the character.

On whether or not Roddy Piper returned to the WWF with an ego, Steele laughed and said that he had one before he left the questions to find a superstar who made it in wrestling without having a huge ego.

When asked about the Machines gimmick, Steele said they outright stole that from Japan and they were trying all sorts of things at that time.

SEPTEMBER






He is asked about the change from taking the TV tapings from Poughkeepsie to on the road, Steele joked about how there were wires everywhere for cameras and everything else. Steele also talks about how the company was all about the production.

The final episode of “TNT” aired as Steele recalls how much fun he had doing those shows and joked that Vince backed out as host and put Mean Gene in charge so it would fail without him as the host.

Steele then talks about Superstar Billy Graham returning and how that did not work out. He then goes off topic and talks about how when Graham thought he was returning for a run on top, no one could follow Hogan without a big drop then brings up one guy who he thought could have followed Hogan with just a slight drop off years later was Sid Vicious, prefacing that comment by stating how people will probably laugh at him for saying that.

Steele said that the Honky Tonk Man brought in as a face was an instant failure and even thought coming back as a heel would fail as well but credits him or being the best at his gimmick and talks about how he had a ton of heat with the fans and nearly caused a riot in Panama City, FL as a result at a house show.

OCTOBER






When asked about Vince proclaiming Tom Magee as his future World Champion, Steele talks about Vince being one of the best TV people there and great at merchandising but wrestling his just not his thing as he witnessed so many mistakes. Steele said Magee with a nice guy and a good “beer drinker” but thought Vince was on drugs when he thought Magee could be a champion then even questions if Vince said that as a rib as you never knew what he was doing.

Steele said that the Danny Davis as a heel referee worked then talks about how even though it might sound egotistical, Steele himself believes he was responsible for the far out and cartoonish ideas in the 80’s as when he turned and got over by acting ridiculous, Vince took things farther with other performers.

NOVEMBER






Steele laughs when asked about Outback Jack but did say he got over a little bit due to the vignettes but the TV ate him up quickly and also said he began to date one of the girls in the office and that was looked down upon and was the beginning of the demise. Steele also joked how the girl he dated was as attractive as Jack and wouldnt want to see what their children looked like.

He is asked about Tom Zenk as Steele said that he just didnt fit in with the locker room and was the type of guy who blamed everyone else for his failures.

On the start of the Savage/Steamboat feud, Steele said that he had his heart broken a bit being the manager for their WrestleMania III match because that was his hometown and he wanted to wrestle in front of the home crowd.



DECEMBER






He is asked about the finish at “Saturday Night’s Main Event” (filmed in December 1986 but aired on January 1987) where both Orndorff and Hogan hit the floor at the same time after escaping the change and said that Orndorff’s feet really hit the ground first.

Steele talks about how at that same taping, he took Elizabeth backstage during their match but a few nights before, Vince wanted Steele to grab Elizabeth by the ankle and capture that on photo but Savage flipped out and thought that Steele and Vince were trying to rib him by doing that then JYD started to egg on Savage by telling him he should be asking if Steele would be laying on his belly or on his back, looking up her dress as Savage went ballistic. Savage also went nuts over Steele taking her away in the match as he wondered what the fans thought he would be doing to her. Steele then talks about how Savage being off of the wall made him a great worker.

Final Thoughts: Excellent interview. Steele was fantastic throughout and gave great insight mixed in with funny stories and gossip. Steele also displayed a great mind for the wrestling business too. He came off as a personable guy and did not have an agenda or an ax to grind.

As someone who recently watched all of the WWF TV and major house shows of 1986, Steele really was a huge part of the company and the crowd did love him. I thought he was a fine choice as the subject of the timeline. His close relationship with Vince also gave us some details that I have never heard before.

Overall, I highly recommend this interview. It is another fine installment in the KC Timeline Series and you will not be disappointed. Steele is an entertaining guest in general and keeps things moving along.

You can purchase this interview for $20 by clicking on the link below

http://kayfabecommentaries.com/DVD_TL_1986.html

Next week, I will be reviewing the classic RF Video Al Snow shoot interview from 1998.

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1996 WCW as told by Kevin Sullivan

With all of the 1996 WCW reviews and whatnot, I figured why not get some insight from the Bookerman himself, Kevin Sullivan. This was originally posted in July of 2013 but figured why the hell not read it again tonight.

This was released on June 25th, 2013.


JANUARY
Sullivan is asked about Bischoff giving away the results of the RAW Bowl, including the Smoking Gunns winning the Tag-Team Championship. He thought it was a horrible idea, as the fans who want to see what happened. He said that this really came back to bite WCW in the ass when they announced Mick Foley winning the World Title. He said at that point, he told everyone they were in deep shit but no one believed him.
On the January 13th edition of “WCW Pro” Sullivan squashed Damon Striker, who would go on to the WWF a few years later an become Edge. Sullivan is asked if he saw the potential in him and he stated that he did and should have courted him at the time.
The Public Enemy debuted, defeating the American Males. Sullivan said that he liked them and did not look down on them because they were from ECW, as he wrestled there at one point. Sullivan puts over Heyman as one of the brightest minds in wrestling and would always call him several weeks ahead of time when his talent was joining WCW, so he could make the best of the situation. Sullivan then compares wrestling to the circus, saying that there is stuff for everyone. This is one of the many analogies that Sullivan makes throughout the interview.
Oliver reads a legal letter from Bischoff, threatening to sue the WWF over the Billionaire Ted Skits. Sullivan said that he loved those sketches, as he is a fan of parodies. He then says that the American public is not stupid and does not want to see their stars and heroes become destroyed when a corporation or business says so, but rather on their own.
Sullivan is asked about a few things from Clash of the Champions XXXII. When asked about Elizabeth debuting in WCW, he said that believes Hogan’s wife wanted to get involved in the program. He is then asked about the three-way feud between Hogan, Dungeon of Doom, and the Four Horsemen. Sullivan said that the Dungeon of Doom was his idea of making Hogan relax, as it gave him cartoon heels to wrestle instead of the cooler heels, like the Horsemen. He also mentions that Hogan was getting booed a lot at this time and fans were starting to like the cooler heels. He then states how anyone can book but you need to have a strong personality to make it work. He brings up another analogy, this time about a sabermetrics argument on the MLB Network in which one of the ex-managers appeared to have won, because he had a forceful personality.
Sullivan is asked about the incident in which Brian Pillman grabbed Bobby Heenan’s jacket, causing him to swear. Sullivan believes that it was a shoot, then goes on to talk about how Pillman and Steve Austin went from being in a tag-team to breaking up on their own and developing “loose cannon” personas and got involved in a controversial angle in the WWF. He says that all the guys who drew money in the business magnified their own personality to get over with the fans.
Sullivan is then asked about the luchadores. He brings up his circus analogy, stating that they were missing the acrobats at this time. He said some of the workers complained about them, but those were usually the guys who used five minute restholds. He thought they would not be accepted at the top of the card but made for a great mid-card act.
FEBRUARY
Oliver brings up the debut of Loch Ness. Sullivan said he was a fan of European wrestling. He thought the guy could work and claimed he was the highest draw on “WCW Saturday Night” for that year. He then brings up another analogy, stating that if you eat steak every day for a long time, one day you are going to just want a taco. I guess this makes Loch Ness the taco of professional wrestling.
Sullivan is now asked about the “I respect you bookerman” comment made by Pillman at Superbrawl VI. He said it was a work and that Pillman came up with the whole idea by himself and he was just along for the ride, knowing that what he was doing had never been done before. He mentions how some of the workers thought that Pillman was being legit with all of his antics and told Sullivan how they wanted nothing to do with him, thinking that he was completely insane. He then says how guys like Kevin Nash in the WWF were buying the PPV to see Pillman shoot.
He is then asked about Elizabeth turning on Savage an aligning with Flair. He says that it might have been Hogan’s idea, as he and his wife were trying to get them back together in real life.
Sullivan is then asked about Arn Anderson beating Hogan on Nitro, giving him his second loss in three weeks. Sullivan brings up there was the pro-Hogan and the anti-Hogan parties in WCW. Hogan was told that he was getting heat for not putting other guys over and did this to shut up the anti-Hogan camp.
The first non-televised house show in a few years draws 11,000 in Baltimore, MD. Sullivan said he knew they would draw there and it was great for Hogan’s ego because he would think that he was the reason for the large crowd. During this show, Lex Luger defeated Johnny B. Badd for the TV Title but lost it the next night on Television. Sullivan claims that he was vetoed against shooting angles at house shows. He brings up how running everything on PPV ruins business.
The “Baywatch” episode featuring himself and other wrestlers is brought up. Sullivan said the actors hated the wrestlers and David Hasselhoff refused to be on that episode due to his hatred of Hogan.
MARCH
Johnny B. Badd wrestles his last match for WCW, losing the TV Title to Luger. Sullivan said that he wasn’t missed and thought it was ridiculous for a white guy to impersonate a black guy then compares the Badd character to Al Jolson.
The Doomsday Cage Match at Uncensored is discussed. Sullivan said that the original idea was for himself and the Giant to face Hogan and Savage but everyone else was brought in and it became a debacle. He said that at the end, it worked out as it made Hogan happy and he was able to be steered towards more serious angles.
APRIL
Hogan was written off TV on the April 15th episode of Nitro. The original plan was for Hogan to leave on a stretcher but that got changed to Hogan no-selling chairshots and a chokeslam from the Giant, after beating Sullivan and Anderson in a handicapped match. Sullivan said that Hogan took a shit on the company by doing that and said Hogan was too smart to not sell during this segment but he was very unsecure in WCW.
The Giant beats Flair for the World Title on the April 29th edition of Nitro. Sullivan said that they needed a heel champ for Hogan to face when he was going to come back but compares the Giant to a guy batting 8th in the lineup, thus not ready for the belt.
On the same day as the title change, Bischoff was attending a show in Japan in which the UWFi invaded NJPW. He said that Bischoff did not get the nWo idea immediately afterwards but rather called Nash and Hall to join WCW.
MAY
Diamond Dallas Page wins the “Lord of the Ring” at Slamboree. Sullivan calls DDP one of the hardest working people in the business but being friends with Bischoff helped him tremendously.
The Road Warriors wrestle their last match in WCW. Sullivan said that Hawk could have been a draw as a singles wrestler but was trapped in his gimmick. He thought that he should have went to Japan to revamp his character.
The first two hour Nitro starts on May 27th. Scott Hall returns and Sullivan claims that some of the guys in the locker room thought it was a legit invasion by McMahon. He said with two of Vince’s biggest stars and Waltman, who was a great worker, he just needed a seed of an idea to make this work.
JUNE
Kevin Nash returns to WCW on the June 10th edition of Nitro. Sullivan also confirms that Shawn Michaels was offered a contract with WCW at this time but turned down the deal. Sullivan puts Michaels over as one of the five greatest workers of all-time.
Sullivan mentions the WWF lawsuit against WCW for using Hall and Nash. They were sued for likeness of character. He said he spent four days in disposition, where he told prosecutors that he was not using Hall as Razor Ramon, because he was not portrayed as a Hispanic drug dealer and wouldn’t because he is white.
Kevin Greene is brought up. He teamed with Steve McMichael against Flair & Anderson. He said that Greene had a mind for wrestling and said Mongo’s personality fit in well with the Horsemen. He tries to make another athlete analogy but in a funny momeny, mistakenly refers to Karl Malone as Moses Malone.
JULY
Hogan joining the nWo is mentioned. Sullivan said that Hogan and his agent were so nervous about the turn that he had them both stay over his house the night before the PPV and had Hogan arrive to the show He claims his agent was attempting to talk him out of the turn. Sullivan said he booked it at Daytona Beach due to the high concession sales and that it was surrounded by bars, so it would get a good reaction.
When asked about Flair beating Konnan for the US Title, Sullivan said it was beneath Flair but did this to show Hogan that he was going to book him and the nWo strong.
The moment in which Nash launched Rey Mysterio like a lawn dart into the production truck is brought up. Sullivan originally wanted him to be tossed through a window but was afraid Mysterio would get too cut up.
AUGUST
The black-and-white nWo promos are brought up. Sullivan believes that Nash and Hall came up with that idea. He also said how some in the locker room were really thinking that it was a legit invasion by the WWF and would come up to him, stating that they heard them talk to Vince. He also puts over Hall and Nash for getting on board with this promo style and making him comfortable.
Up next is the Hog Wild PPV and Harlem Heat getting attacked. Sullivan mocks the state of Wyoming and states the PPV was so Bischoff could ride his motorcycle. He said that having Harlem Heat show up there was akin to showing up at a wrestling show in Nigeria with a plantation owner gimmick.
Juventud Guerrera debuts and Mean Gene conducts an in-ring interview after the match but Juvy did not speak English at the time. Sullivan said that it might have been a rib on Gene. He then brings up Juvy walking through the hotel lobby in Australia naked, stating that he was Jesus.
Chris Jericho debuts defeating Alex Wright. Sullivan said that he knew Jericho was talented when he was in Smoky Mountain. He said that he was vocal but offered a lot of ideas and knew the business well.
SEPTEMBER
The Giant is introduced as the newest member of the nWo, as he turned on WCW during a run-in after the Horsemen defeated the Dungeon of Doom. Sullivan said that this happened because negotiations with Davey Boy Smith fell through. Sullivan thought that only ex-WWF guys should have been in the group but even felt that Davey was a bad fit a he had been a face and didn’t need to be brought in as a heel. When Oliver brings up the rumor that Hogan nixed the idea of the Horseman making a comeback during the segment, Sullivan confirms and says that at that point, they were sucking the blood out of the company.
Glacier debuts. Sullivan said that this was the creation of DDP. He then states how a lot of Eric’s friends were giving ideas at this time.
The Fake Sting is brought up and Sullivan said that this was from Jason Hervey. He was against it as he felt it muddled up everything.
Waltman debuts as Syxx. Sullivan said he was planned for the original part of the group but legal issues delayed his debut.
OCTOBER
Bret Hart turns down a three year, 8.4 million dollar deal from WCW. He thinks that Vince promised in carte blanche in the WWF and that is why he stayed.
The Outsiders defeat the Harlem Heat for the WCW Tag-Titles at Halloween Havoc. Sullivan is asked if the nWo was taking over the whole company and Sullivan completely loses me with an ice cream sundae analogy to explain the situation.
Piper’s debut at the show is discussed. Sullivan said that Bischoff thought he could put Vince out of business by bringing in all of his stars.
On the October 28th edition of Nitro, Sting is seen in the rafters wearing his crow makeup. Sullivan says that the idea was Scott Hall’s. He said he was kept off of TV because he was trying to get work as an actor.
NOVEMBER
Curt Hennig meets with Bischoff. Sullivan said that JJ Dillon was very helpful for them as he dealt with the contracts in the WWF before going back to WCW, thus knowing when they were close to expiring. He puts over Dillon for having a photographic memory.
Bischoff joins the nWo. Sullivan said that it was the idea of Hall and Nash.
Sullivan attacks Chris Benoit. He says that Benoit was always professional in the ring. Sullivan said that he and Nancy were not getting along at this point anyway, so the divorce was inevitable. Oliver then asks Sullivan about the murders, and he says he had no idea that would happen and nearly breaks down as they quickly switch to the next topic.
Giant wins World War III. He said that Bischoff always thought bigger was better. He also said that when he booked the match, he only really cared about the last ten guys in the ring. He said the entire concept was a bad idea.
DECEMBER
Piper beats Hogan at Starcade. Sullivan said that this was Hogan’s favor to Piper for not putting him over in the WWF.
Sullivan is then asked about the dangers of a wrestler being given creative control. Sullivan said that they will always be about themselves but puts over HHH as the exception to the rule, because he has to think in terms of the company and puts over his program with Brock Lesnar as an example. He then puts over Hogan for making wrestling what it is today, stating he was powerful enough to replace SNL once a month.
Final Thoughts:  I would recommend this but beware that Sullivan tends to stray off topic at times. He also loves to use analogies so be prepared for that as well. He does offer a lot of insight to this period, especially from his position as the booker, although his justification of Loch Ness comes off just as someone who cannot admit failure. A lot of this is focused on the first few months of the year and if you are interested in the stuff that Pillman did, there is a ton of that here. Its available on demand at KayfabeCommentaries.com if you want to check it out.

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1988 WWE as told by Jim Duggan

This was released in 2010

The interview was conducted by Sean Oliver

It runs for two hours and four minutes long

JANUARY


Duggan is asked about all of the animal mascots in the company and how miserable the guys who had them would be as they had to handle them on the road. Duggan said that he recalled one of the British Bulldogs yelling at the dog to take a dump while outside in the freezing cold then talks about how the Bulldogs gave the dog beer and also some “downers” when it was barking to loud then talks about how the dog also probably got a few steroid injections from them as well. He then talks about how Jake had a few different snakes play Damien and recalled one night they partied all night at a few strip clubs in Detriot. First, Duggan tells the joke about wrestlers and strippers by saying that strippers are wrestling fans, have good drugs, and a bisexual, which are three things that wrestlers always looked for back then. After a night of partying, they woke up and there was 4-5 inches of snow on the ground and they opened the trunk where Damien was frozen to death as Jake forgot to take him out of the trunk. Duggan also said that a lot of guys disliked Jake and would purposely fuck with his snakes by abusing them.

He is asked about battle royals and Duggan said he enjoyed them. Duggan tells a story about being in one with Curt Hennig, Big Boss Man, and the Ultimate Warrior. Boss Man and Duggan beat on Warrior in the corner while Hennig slides out and ties Warrior’s tassles to the top rope. Warrior tries to leave the corner but can’t break free so Chief Jay Strongbow came out and had to cut them off with a knife. Duggan then said Boss Man, Hennig, and himself had to go up to see Vince after that. Oliver then asks Duggan about ribs they pulled. Duggan said the guys know travel by themselves and use laptops where as they would travel 4-5 in a car and would split hotel rooms.

When asked about the Royal Rumble and how the concept was created Duggan said that he believes it was Pat Patterson who started it and calls him a genius. He then talks about how he can hang his hat on being the first ever winner of the Rumble and how fans today still talk to him about that. He then discusses the differences between how he cut promos back then and the way it is done today. Duggan said the way they did promos were all different and today it feels homogenized as everything is scripted by the same people.

Duggan is asked about the Dynamite Kid as he had a seizure on January 30th. He said that he was a bully, as was his partner Davey, and hated that. Duggan puts him over as a wrestler. He said that guys like the Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage got lost in their characters to the point that they became them outside of the ring.

Oliver asks Duggan about the WWF issuing a fine policy for certain things like throwing your opponent into the guardrail. Duggan said that was true as it was a liability issue because fans were starting to sue as the guardrails moved and could hit fans. He said that they did issue a dress code but that they only had to dress up “a little bit.”


FEBRUARY

When asked about Andre the Giant, Duggan said that he met him early in his career while in World Class in 1979. He said that he got along well with him but others didn’t and noted how he could be irritable. Duggan tells a story about Andre and how he sometimes had poor hygiene. During their match, Andre told him to come closer and they were about to do a spot where Andre choked him out with the strap of his singlet but instead Andre put the strap around Duggan’s mouth and squeezed it as the sweat was going into Duggan’s mouth and laughing. Duggan said that he actually vomited after that. He also said that he would sometimes step on your hair then pull you up by the arms and how he did that a lot when he wrestled Jake Roberts.

Duggan is asked about Honky Tonk Man refusing to drop the Intercontinental Title to Randy Savage at “Saturday Night’s Main Event.” Duggan said that Honky could be tough to do business with and while he didn’t need a belt, some guys started to become obsessed with the belt, like Terry Taylor. He then tells a story about Savage and how overprotective he was of Elizabeth, even writing down the mileage on her car when he went out and checking it again when he returned. Anyway, they were in Europe at the airport when a fan wanted a picture. Jerry Sags then walked by and ripped a huge fart as Savage went off on him for doing that in front of his wife then put Elizabeth on a plane back home. Blackjack Lanza, who was an agent, told Vince that Savage sent her back home so Vince then put her on a plane to take her back over to Europe and reportedly told Sags that was the most expensive gas he has ever passed.

When asked about Bruno Sammartino leaving the company, Duggan said that he never understood where Bruno was coming from when he was complaining about the company’s direction as if it was not for wrestling he would have probably been working at a steel mill. Duggan said that he made more money wrestling than he would have at anything else before talking about himself and how an investment in a pair of boots and wrestling trunks led to a 31 year career that allowed him to put his kids through school.

Duggan is asked about the Iron Sheik returning and the incident in which they both got arrested together. Duggan tells the arrest story. He just came into the company and the Sheik came up to him and asked for a ride because he forgot his credit card. Duggan agreed and during the drive Sheik had him stop over for beer. Duggan said that he was not a big beer drinker but had a bag that consisted of 3-4 joints and they smoked that then Duggan cracked open a beer and they drove by a state trooper who pulled them over. Duggan said that he was used to living in Louisiana and their almost non-existent open container laws so didn’t think anything of it at all. The cop asked if they had anything in the car so Duggan said that he had a few joints, expecting the trooper to take it then give him a ticket or tell him to leave but the trooper ordered him out of the car and frisked him. More cops arrived on the scene as they put Duggan and Sheik in separate cars and took them to the station. When they pulled out the Sheik’s wallet, they found cocaine so he went in front of the judge and they let them off and they went back to the car and went to drive to the show. Duggan then called his wife to tell her that he got arrested and didn’t think anyone knew about it but the next morning she called him back and said that everyone knows about the arrest. He said that his dad, the Chief of Police in Glens Falls, NY, got a lot of shit from people about his arrest After calling his dad, he called Vince and immediately got through to him. Vince asked “What have you done to us” then told Duggan to turn in his plane tickets and go home as he was fired. He reports that someone told him about Vince telling the talent that he would never work there again as the business was bigger than a “six pack and a blow job.” Duggan said that he hung out at home for a few weeks and was going to have a meeting with Dusty Rhodes but Bruce Prichard called him up and told him to hang tight and not sign anywhere and sure enough he got hired back. Duggan talks about all of his success and how that he still believes he has never recovered from the arrest on a professional level.

MARCH

He is asked about the TV angle that kicked off his feud with Andre the Giant. Duggan said that Andre accidentally jabbed his thumb in his lip and busted him open. Duggan said that she still has the scar to this day. He said that elevated him from a midcarder to a main event talent.

When asked about the Jake Roberts/Rick Rude feud and how bringing in your wife or girlfriend never ends up well, Duggan joked that Rude wasn’t the only one in the locker room kissing Cheryl then talks about her wife had been on camera a few times and even once beat Sensational Sherri in a match when Sherri was the champ. Velvet McIntyre missed the show due to a blizzard so Lanza asked him if his wife would fill in because she had been in the ring a few times in Mid-South.

Duggan is asked about WrestleMania IV and goes on about how the event has evolved into a whole weekend then talks about how WCW turned him into a janitor but he did not care as he was on TV. Duggan then said that they wanted him out and was surprised that got over so decided to turn him against America to join Team Canada. Nothing at all to do with 1988 WWF.

On interactions with the celebrities at WrestleMania, Duggan said they had little interaction with them but said hi to Donald Trump a few times, who knew the wrestlers but the rest usually sat in their own dressing rooms. He said the celebrities were usually respectable expect for Mickey Rourke at WrestleMania 25. Duggan tells the story of how he was at the hotel the night before the show and went upstairs to check on his daughter and said after a few drinks and without his glasses he saw three guys walking towards him and figured they were all WWE people as the floors were secured and he brushed by them then joked if they had enough room. Well, Rourke got heated and yelled at him so Duggan called him an “asshole” then after that realized it was Rourke. Duggan said he told Rourke to stand up when he talks to him, which is something he claims to say to short people who confront him, but Frank Shamrock and some other UFC guy were there with Rourke and calmed things down. Duggan then said that most of the celebs are respectful, especially the ones who bring their kids to the shows.

APRIL



Duggan is asked about touring overseas. He talks about the plane rides and recalls a trip where Ric Flair said he had a big day and did not want any ribs or anything other pranks being pulled so when everyone woke up, their eyebrows were partially shaved by Brian Knobbs, who shaved off his own to sell the prank. Duggan said they got Knobbs back on a red eye flight where they tied cans to his shoes and painted his fingernails with Steve Keirn writing “I’m a dick” on his forehead with lipstick.

He is asked about wrestling Hercules and Duggan said that he always a troubled soul who got into a lot of fights. He then tells a story while in Europe when a bartender approached him so say that Hercules was hitting on a transvestite and Duggan told him that Hercules probably didn’t care.

MAY




On whether or not families were allowed in the locker room back then, Duggan said that they were and how wrestlers generally accepted other people’s families.

When asked about Vince’s locker room speech on the dangers of steroids, Duggan said that guys were going to do what they wanted to do without testing and how Dr. Zahorian was giving out steroids. Even when asked by the FBI during McMahon’s trial, Duggan said that he told them he was young and naive and the doctor was handing them out. Duggan did admit that the steroid use was rampant back then.

Duggan says that now the biggest marks in wrestling are the wrestlers themselves as they believe if you are not going all out with cool moves then you are not doing anything. He said that he could start a few chants and have the whole place cheering.

JUNE




He is asked about Haku being crowned King. Duggan said that he is one of the toughest and how he would grab guys trying to fuck with him by saying he would first kill them then eat them afterwards.

JULY




Hogan returned to team with Savage to face off against Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase. Duggan said that he always got along with Hogan even though they were never very close.

On July 25th Duggan wrestled against Andre the Giant in a Lumberjack Match at Madison Square Garden in the main event. Duggan said that was the pinnacle of his career.

Duggan talks about Curt Hennig, who made his debut at the WWF in July. He said that Hennig took the best bump he ever saw during a hockey game in Minnesota. The crowd booed him and he walked on the ice and slipped then fell as the crowd went nuts.

AUGUST




He is asked about the talk show segments and if they are scripted or done on the fly. Duggan said that you would follow the host’s lead most of the time then talks about promo skills are a lost art today.

SEPTEMBER




Duggan talks about Terry Taylor, who made his debut as the Red Rooster. Duggan said that he was talented but always ran his mouth and thinks the gimmick was a rib on him but also said that Taylor half-assed the gimmick and could have gotten it over if he took it over the top.

On the Akeem character, Duggan believes it was created as the One Man Gang wanted to take time off but was going to have a feud with Hogan. Gang went home and came back then Duggan believes that the gimmick was punishment for that but also said that Gang embraced the Akeem gimmick and that is why it got over.

OCTOBER




Duggan is asked about the Jacques Rougeau/Dynamite Kid confrontation. Duggan said that the Bulldogs picked their spots and thought that Dynamite had it coming because he always fucked with people.When asked, Duggan said the Bulldogs never fucked with him then said that they an Outback Jack out of the company.

NOVEMBER

In November, Ted Turner bought out Crockett Promotions and renamed the company “World Championship Wrestling.” Duggan said that they were not getting offers right away and he did not get one himself until Hogan signed with them.

DECEMBER

Big John Studd returned to the WWF. Duggan said that he teamed with Studd against Haku & Andre the Giant, who did not like Studd. Duggan said that Studd was leery of Andre and there was a lot of friction there.

Duggan closes by saying a lot of guys are bitter about the business and how people remember the bad stuff from wrestlers but that he is not bitter and wants to be a reminder of how guys like him, Bob Backlund and Tito Santana saved their money and do not hold any resentment.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed the stories that Duggan told here. He is an engaging storyteller who is not bitter at all and has a great sense of humor. And Duggan did go off topic a ton in this interview but luckily he was entertaining a majority of the time. But one complaint I have is that you didnt learn much of anything that took place in 1988. This was one of the earlier timelines and interviewer Sean Oliver was not as polished as he is now so he just let Duggan talk and had little command of the interview. Oliver also seemed to be in awe of Duggan’s presence too. They might want to revisit this year in the future.

In closing I recommend this interview but for those you want to specifically learn about 1988 WWF, you might be disappointed. If you want to be entertained, then by all means watch this interview.

You can purchase the video for $20 by clicking on the link below

http://kayfabecommentaries.com/DVD_TL_1988.html

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1992 WWE as told by Bret Hart

This was released on July 31st, 2014

The interview was conducted by Sean Oliver

It runs at two hours and fifteen minutes long

JANUARY


The first question asked to Bret is about the “Inside Edition” piece that aired on January 3rd on steroids and wrestling that primarily focused on Hulk Hogan’s apparent lying about his steroid use on the Arsenio Hall Show. Bret said that he recalled that a lot of guys in the locker room felt that if he just answered the question honestly, the whole issue would have gone away but when he lied, Bret said that it brought on a whole tidal wave of criticism and business went down significantly by the end of the year.

On January 5th, the first match between Hogan and Ric Flair at the Omni in Atlanta only drew 4,500 fans. Bret is asked why didnt the feud between Hogan and Flair work. Bret said it was due to ego problems as each guy were set in their own ways and had doing their same matches for years. When asked if someone tried to step in and tell these guys to go out their and deliver, Bret said he believes that Vince would have done that then talks about his own problems with Flair. He said that they were having really good matches at the beginning of the year but once Bret won the belt, the matches started to get sloppy. Bret said that Flair told him that he was having problems at home thus was distracted. He said that very well could have been the case but Bret also said that he went up to Vince and told him that he believed Flair was intentionally sabotaging their matches as the finishes would constantly get screwed up. He said that they had meetings with Vince and Pat Patterson to work things out as well. When Flair left, Vince came up to Bret a few weeks later and told him that he believes that Flair can only work his style of match and was not doing anything to purposely screw things up. Bret talks about how Flair called it in the ring and tried to be like Dory Funk and Harley Race were in the 1970’s and he came from a different era and they had a bit of a styles clash.

When asked about Shawn Michaels turning on Marty Jannetty and sending him through the “Barber Shop” window, Bret said that he believes they were split up as he believes that Shawn was tired of babysitting Marty, in the same way that he was tired of doing the same to Jim Neidhart. Bret also said that he did not travel on the road with the Rockers so he cannot say for sure. Bret then talks about Neidhart and how his night did not begin until 2am and that he had to stay with him to make sure he would make the flight the next day and how that got old after a while. When asked out of the Rockers which one he would have picked for a singles push, Bret puts over both guys for being exceptional workers but says that it was clear that Shawn was the better athlete of the two and picks him. Bret then says that Shawn and Curt Hennig were the two best athletes he has ever wrestled against. Bret then talks a bit more about Shawn and how he thought he was a better character and worker when they feuded against each other in 1997.

On Jaunary 17th, Bret dropped the Intercontinental Title to Jacques Rougeau. When asked if he was okay with that, Bret said that he was fine with dropping the belt to Jacques but upset in the fact that he was unsure which direction the company was going with him and thought he was doing a good job as the IC champion. He felt that he was going to get discarded but then Vince told him what was going to happen and he was not sure that it was going to happen as he had been promised many things in the past that did not happen. Bret also added that he was sure that the WWF knew what they were doing too. Sean then asked how far in advanced was Bret told that he was winning the World Heavyweight Title and he said that he was told that around Christmas time in 1991. Sean then asked Bret if it was true that he was talking to WCW and Bret confirmed, even saying that he had a few deals in place with the company. He then said that at the time, Brian Pillman called him and said that he was making more money in WCW than Bret was in the WWF. Bret said he called WCW and spoke with Jim Barnett, who told Bret that they could not pay him what he had been told by Pillman and was better off staying in the WWF. Bret said he wondered if they just did not see a lot in him or if they were doing him a huge favor. Bret said that it bothered him that all of the news about his negotiations were all over the “shit sheets” and the Observer and that pissed him off.

Now, Bret is asked about the 1992 Royal Rumble Match that Ric Flair won and became the WWF Champion. Sean asks Bret if Flair made a good champion for the WWF and their identity at the time. Bret then talks about how he is baffled when people tell him that Flair was the greatest wrestler of all-time, even saying that he is a fan of his and puts over his work ethic. When asked why do people consider Flair the greatest of  all-time, Bret said he was flamboyant and had one of the greatest characters but as far as a worker, Bret said that he had an older mindset when it came to in-ring work and could not break out of the 1970’s style and do stuff in the ring that his generation was doing. Bret then talks about the three things that make you a great wrestler, your look/presence, workrate, and promo ability and how you would rate them in each category out of ten. He said that Hogan was 9/10 in presence and promo but 1/10 as a worker. He then said that the Dynamite Kid was a 0/10 promo, 9/10 wrestler and a 7/10 presence. Bret said that his biggest weakness were his promos and could do something good if he had an issue, like he did in 1997. Bret said he was either a 7 or 8 in presence, on his best day 7 or 8 in promos and close to a 10/10 as a worker. Bret said that he was impressed by good bodies but as a fan, he was impressed with who could work and wanted them to look and sell themselves as athletes. He then goes into how business tapered off in 1992 due to the steroid scandal.

Bret then skips ahead and talks about a match at a “Saturday Night Main Event” taping between Flair and Randy Savage. After they came through the curtain, Vince yelled at them to go back out and do it all over again, this time the way he wanted them too and they went back and did the same match and when they came back through the second time, Vince just yelled and told them to get the fuck out the way. Bret also said that those two were having meetings behind closed doors about their matches and when they failed, Bret believes that was the nail in the coffin for Flair as he could not wrestle the way they wanted him too.

FEBRUARY


Bret is asked about Kerry Von Erich, who was arrested for prescription fraud, and if his drug problem was known throughout the locker room. He said that it was known before he arrived to the WWF that Kerry had a severe drug addiction but does not recall seeing him that out of it while in the WWF. Bret then talks about how Kerry was a hard guy not to like and that everyone had some sympathy for him due to everything that happened in his life. Bret said he was one of the sweetest, kind-hearted wrestlers he has ever seen.

Jim Neidhart was fired on February 16th for “unprofessional conduct.” When asked how he got fired, Bret recalls that he stalled the company for drug testing him and that he somehow snuck out of the building and never got tested the night before. The next night, Neidhart got pissed and shot-putted a TV monitor that ended up hitting a WWF TV executive and breaking his ankle and that was what got him fired. Sean was asked if there were any discussions for him to team with Owen at that time and he said there was not and that was not the time to do it as he was getting a singles push.

When asked if it was the right time to turn the Undertaker face, Bret said he thinks so and puts over the Undertaker for constantly evolving and talking about how the gimmick was not easy to pull off. Bret then said that the Undertaker came up to him and said that he was happy to work together as he wanted to show what he could do in the ring. Bret puts over the Undertaker for being the only person to pull off that gimmick and said that he was smooth in the ring.

MARCH


Bret is asked about Terry Garvin and Pat Patterson resigning on March 2nd due to allegations of sexual harassment and how the locker room reacted. He said that at the time, with this coming right after Hogan lying about his steroid use, a lot of them were worried about the state of the business. Bret said that about the allegations of harassment, he said he never witnessed anything personally but does not doubt that some shenanigans took place.

APRIL


On April 2nd, former WWF referee Rita Chatterton went on Geraldo Rivera’s talk show and claimed that Vince McMahon forced sexual intercourse upon her. Bret said he had no idea if this took place but said that he had trouble buying that Vince would jeopardize everything he had to do that to her. Bret also hints that it is ridiculous to believe due to Rita’s looks then talks about how the lady Arnold Schwarzenegger cheated with was a 2/10 and Tiger Woods’ girls that he was with were “3/10 skanks.” When asked if Vince was showing any strain during this time and Bret said that he never saw any of it but also heard from the office that he was preparing for the worse and heard a rumor that Vince would be doing the booking from jail if he was convicted.

The “WBF Body Stars” made its debut on April 4th. Bret said that the wrestling business was changing and talks about how less people were watching and advertisers would no longer air commercials for their toys and calls it a real dark time in the company. He then talks about how bodybuilding is a waste of life and how he does not see any ability or skill in bodybuilding, even comparing them to fashion models. He then talks about how the WBF guys were making more than the top wrestlers and got paid their full contracts when they folded. Bret then said that the WBF guys got to fly in first class ahead of the wrestlers on the same plane, which he did not feel was right. Sean questions why they decided to launch this after the steroid scandal came about and Bret said it was doomed from day one then talks about Lex Luger and how he was totally clean at that time (from steroids), as were most wrestlers he said in the 1990’s due to steroid testing, but that even less people would care when the bodybuilders were not doing steroids. Finally, Sean asks Bret about IcoPro as Bret said it tasted horrible and had no benefits then said that they sent crates of it to his house which he gave to his neighbors (With Bret joking that they would return it by leaving it on his step the next day) and stacked in his garage. Bret said that the rest of the wrestlers would buy their own supplements despite the fact they could have gotten IcoPro for free.

At WrestleMania VIII, Bret defeated Roddy Piper for the Intercontinental Title. Roddy helped Bret to his feet then put the belt around his waist. Sean asks Bret if it meant anything for Piper to put him over and Bret said that it did and in his own way, Roddy passed the torch to him. Bret said Roddy would have only done that for a few people. Bret said that he was worried about not being able to get the belt but said that as the Intercontinental Champion, he got a bit of a push and had good people to work against, unlike when he was a Tag Team Champion. When asked about bleeding heavily and the WWF having a no blading policy at the time, Bret said that it was a gut call on his part and recalls a time in Moncton, New Brunswick with Piper before WrestleMania. They had not seen each other much and talked about the match. Bret first talks about how hard it can be to discuss a match you will have with someone you look up to as you have too much respect and sometimes are not true to yourself as a result. They went to a restaurant and Piper laid out the match and Bret said that what Piper laid out was exactly what he wanted to do himself. Roddy then told Bret that if he got some color that it would enhance the match. Bret said it wasnt a question of whether he could do it but if he could get away with that. Bret said that Flair and Savage planned on getting color in their match and did that and got fined but Bret did not when he did. Bret then talks about how Flair did it openly and mocks a little kid saying “daddy why he is cutting himself: but Bret said that no one even knew that he bladed and they passed it off as hardway. Bret also said how he and Piper did a pull-apart in the locker room that Strongbow broke up and the rest of the office was unsure whether or not Bret cut so he did not get cut.

When asked about Jake Roberts quitting before WrestleMania VIII and only going out for the match if Vince gave him his release, Bret said that it was his understanding that he would be working with Jake Roberts at SummerSlam after Patterson told him that he was going to put him over Jake at the show.

Bret is asked about Savage defeating Flair for the belt at WrestleMania. He talks about how they were looking for someway to replace Hogan at the time then talks about how they tried that with the Ultimate Warrior and he tried about as well as anyone could have in that position. Bret said all of the boys in the locker room respected Savage for his work and how he was a steady and reliable guy for the belt.

Sean asks Bret about Hogan and if they really thought he was retiring after his match against Sid. Bret said that he made a giant cartoon drawing of all the wrestlers, who signed it as well, to give to Hogan as he thought he was done and leaving for Hollywood. Sean then asks why wasn’t Hogan vs. Flair at WrestleMania as Bret speculates that they might not have had an ending.

Sid Justice quit on April 26th, after losing to the Ultimate Warrior in the Boston Garden. Sid allegedly falsified a drug test prior to WrestleMania. Sean tells Bret that he heard a humor that Sid had Harvey Whippleman’s urine in a Visine bottle so he could pass the test. Bret said he was not privy to any of that. Sean then asks Bret if Sid took wrestling seriously. Bret said that Sid was naive and how you could easily rile him up then talks about how Owen would have had a field day with a guy like him. Bret said that Sid could destruct if you encouraged him then tells a story about how in Canada, they had a match in which CFL players were lumberjacks and how he was flipping out about football players touching him but Bret explained how they were just going to roll him back into the ring and says that he sensed if could have gone badly if he riled him up. Bret then talks about how he seemed easy to manipulate.

MAY

High Energy (Owen Hart & Koko B Ware) made their debut on May 2nd. Bret is asked how Owen felt about his ring outfit and being paired with Koko. Bret laughs and said how Owen hated his ring attire then talks about Owen teaming with Neidhart and how Owen actually embraced the babysitter role he had with Neidhart as Bret said the day Neidhart actually got fired was when Owen was not there to look after him. Bret said that Owen felt the whole thing was a rib. Bret also said that they did what they could do make it work.

Now, Bret is asked about Papa Shango putting a curse on the Ultimate Warrior. Bret said it was the second worst idea they had, with the Gobbledy Gooker being the absolute worst. Bret said that “only a Bret Hart” could clean up that mess then said that even Vince knew it was horrible after it happened. Bret then puts over the Papa Shango character and said that adding a mouthpiece to the character could have helped him out. He believes that Pat Patterson hated Papa Shango, both the gimmick and as a wrestler, and killed the gimmick.

Bret said that he thought Nailz was a good gimmick and that he did look like a bad-ass prisoner. He then said that a better worker could have made it worked. Bret said that he had a legit reputation as a tough guy and how he was typically quiet and a good guy but no one messed with him.

JUNE

On June 13th, the second and Final WBF PPV aired. Bret said that a lot of the locker room was resentful over the fact that the bodybuilders got all of that money instead of it going down to them. Bret then said that 1992 was the hardest year for him in wrestling regarding the travel.

When asked about Rocco: The Wrestling Dummy, Bret said that it totally messed up Hawk and how he cracked at SummerSlam that year because he hated the gimmick. Bret said that Vince wanted to make the Legion of Doom appear more “fun.” Sean then mentions how Bruce Prichard defended the Red Rooster gimmick with a passion during his “Guest Booker” shoot and Bret said that is why Bruce is where he is today. Bret said that Paul Ellering was a cool guy and thinks that he might have been brought in to help Hawk, who was battling drug addiction.

JULY

Bob Backlund made his return on July 1st and defeated Skinner. Sean asks Bret if Bob is relevant in 1992. Bret said that in the Northeast he was and if you remember him from his era too. Bret then talks about how cool it was when both Backlund and Flair locked up in a battle royal.

On July 21st, Bret Hart defeated Shawn Michaels in the first ever ladder match that took place in the WWF. Bret talks about how he kept explaining the concept of the match to Vince and it happened for eight years until it finally happened. Bret talks about the first ladder match that they had at a house show. He then talks about how Curt Hennig and Jim Duggan came up to him and said that SummerSlam was either going to take place in England or in Washington D.C. at the Cap Centre. Bret thought about it and said that he was probably gonig to lose the belt and said if it was in England, then he would drop it to Davey and how it would make sense. If it was in Washington D.C, he was hearing that it would be against Shawn and if that was the case, he wanted to try to get Vince to let them do a ladder match. Bret then talks about telling Vince these two ideas and at that time, Vince told Bret to show him the idea for the ladder match and to pick someone for it and suggested Shawn. Bret told Shawn the idea and how he was confused about the concept. They then went out and had the match as it was just a demonstration then Bret said he was pissed about Shawn and “them” stealing his idea ldown the road. Bret said that Vince initially promised that he would not do the ladder match without him being involved but that was not the case.

AUGUST

Bret is asked about Scott Hall, who made his debut as Razor Ramon. Bret said that Razor did well when he first came in and was always a good guy who was focused and fun to be around back then. Bret talks about how Hall did a great job with the gimmick then talks about how he was going to “Cowboy” Bret Hart in 1985 and at the last minute, realized that he could not do the character and make it work.

Bret talks about Jerry Lawler and said how he was one of the best heels he worked against. He said that he had a basic moveset and could still get more heat than anyone in the company with a move like a thumb to the throat.

They now discuss Bret’s SummerSlam match against Davey Boy Smith. Bret said that Davey went home in July due to a staph infection. Bret said that Davey’s drug problems were out of control then too. He also said that he had a match against Davey just prior to SummerSlam and it was terrible and backstage, Vince told Bret that he hoped it would be better at SummerSlam and that he planned on having them go on last. Bret also talks about how that match took place at a TV taping and how those are usually long days and it is not the best way to judge someone. Bret thought if Davey followed him they could have one of the best matches ever and put themselves on the map. Bret said he kept on thinking about the match and would think about it the whole month of August. He tried to call Davey but he was never available as his drug problem was out of control. He even recalls when he got to London for SummerSlam, he saw Davey and took him aside to ask why he had not returned his calls. Davey told him that he was on a two-day long cocaine binge and had not slept in 48 hours. Bret talks about how Davey was out of shape and not going to the gym during this time and was a total wreck. Davey told him that he was going to stink out in the ring and Bret laid out the match for him and they went over it for two days but after the first move in the actual match, Davey told Bret that he was fucked as he forgot the match then says how it is the only match you can hear him talk (Bret spoke in the third person here) and that he had to call it, which he hates and sees as an automatic fail. Bret said that he was furious at Davey for being in the condition that he was as he wanted to see him rise to the occasion. Bret then puts over Davey for sucking it up and performing in the ring as Bret calls it his greatest match for carrying Davey. Sean asks Bret if him dropping the IC title to Davey was to free him up for the Heavyweight Title, Bret said no then talks about how it was like being a Beatle when he went overseas, getting mobbed and grabbed by female fans and said that after a match in which he wrestled the opener, he was mobbed by females and came through the curtain to prove to Strongbow that he was over here, he went on last during matches overseas afterwards.

SEPTEMBER

Bret is asked how he felt the WWF was marketing him at that point. He said the company was slowly pushing him at first and talks about how when you get the push through merchandise, you have power in the company because when you talk about leaving, they try to get you to stay because you are selling merchandise and that is how you can make yourself more money.

OCTOBER




Bret is asked about Sgt. Slaughter appearing on television in a suit, stating that he was acting as the enforcer of the WWF and going to instill law and order, and if he was an agent at this point. Bret said he thinks he was just an on-air talent and not an agent at that point. Sean then asks Bret about the transition from wrestler to agent and Bret said not just anyone could fill that role and that you need the right guys to do the job. He said that Rene Goulet was great at it as he understood the travel and business. Bret said that he thought Tony Garea was good as he did not have an ax to grind but calls George Steele one of the worst. Bret said he remembered Steele partying and blowing coke one week then the next he was an agent and Bret likened it to an inmate turning into a prison guard and said he was basically an asshole after that. He then tells a story about Steele getting his Haliburton stolen.  One day he arrived to the building two minutes late, with Owen and The Berzerker, and was fined $500 by Steele. Bret said that no other agent would do that. Bret then said Owen and Savage took Steele’s Haliburton, containing all of Steele’s stuff, and they snuck it out of the building and Owen ended up tossing it out of the car and into the Manhattan River. Bret then said that Steele was not a good guy and called him a snitch.

On October 12th, Bret Hart defeated Ric Flair at the Superstars taping to become the WWF World Heavyweight Champion. Sean then asks Bret to talk about who laid out the plans for him to win and when he was told. Bret first talks about how a memo went out that if you changed your plane ticket, you would be fined $2,000. Bret had just changed his ticket to go to Italy with a girl he barely knew then went up to Vince to say that he already changed it but told him it was to go see a friend. Vince told him that he would not have to worry about that. A few days after Bret got back from Italy he was on the road and was told that he had to fly to Saskatoon Monday morning and could not change his ticket and that he had to see Vince. Bret thought that he was going to be in trouble and said that he probably should have realized that he was going to get the belt as a few days prior, Strongbow told him that there was a list of five guys to be a champ and Bret was on the list and Strongbow told Bret that he and a few others put a good word in for him and not to fuck anything up along the way. Bret got there and saw Flair leave Vince’s office and shake his hand then saw Vince wave him over and made it sound like he was going to fire him and Bret thought that he might actually would fire him, even despite the fact that they were flying him his dad to be in his corner, but after everything, Vince told him that he was going to be the champ and Bret said he felt like jumping for joy but did not give a reaction. Sean then asks Bret why the match was only made to be available on Coliseum Home Video and Bret said that he never understood why that was the case. Bret then speaks about when he became the champion, Vince wanted to be called every day and when asked why by Bret, Vince said that he always wants to talk with his champion. Bret said he would call him and wondered if Vince wanted him to “stooge off” guys to him but never did that and he was cool with what they were doing. He then says that the reason he went back to work for Vince is because he took a chance on him and gave him his first break. He also believes that Vince loved his work and would tell Bret not to tell him the finish of his matches and wanted Bret to just go out and show him in the ring.

Yokozuna made his debut on October 26th. Sean asks Bret if anyone had pegged him as a champion. Bret puts over Yoko for being a great athlete and a pro in the ring. He then talks about how Vader was stiff and terrible to work with, unlike Yoko and Bam Bam who would take care of you in the ring. Bret also talks about Kamala and said that he would never have a problem giving offense to a smaller guy and said working with him was like a night off and always fun to work with.

Doink the Clown made his debut on October 31st. Bret puts over Matt Borne for being the best at the Doink gimmick, which he loved. Bret recalls how Davey had a problem working with Doink though. Bret then talks about how Balls Mahoney and said his Xanta Klaus gimmick was great too.

NOVEMBER

Bret is asked about the cancellation of “Saturday Night’s Main Event.” He said that between all of the scandals and the guys on steroids going away, the casual fans disappeared and the wrestling fans wanted wrestling matches instead of the cartoon stuff. He also said that the direction the company went with his face-to-face interviews with Yokozuna and making it seem like a shoot was the way he thought the business should be like, along with having more athletic matches. Bret then talks about how he heard the guys down in NXT were recently watching his 1993 Royal Rumble match against Razor Ramon.

The Ultimate Warrior got fired on November 21st and Sean throws out rumors of him holding out for more money and having to work with Nailz as the reasons but Bret shakes his head and said he knows what happened. Bret said that he got a call from Vince, who told him that he was going to have to fire Davey. He then told Bret that he had to fire the Warrior as well. Bret says that he was originally supposed to work against Warrior at the Rumble in 1993 and beat him with the Sharpshooter. Vince told Bret that Davey and Warrior were buying either steroids or HGH from a guy in Europe and having them shipped over to the States. Well, that guy got busted and Warrior panicked when that happened and called Vince, without telling Davey, that the guy they were getting the stuff from got busted and their names were on the list and this was when the trial was going on so Vince told him that they were toxic and that is how they got fired.

Bret talks about his match with Shawn at the Survivor Series. He said they had wrestled together all throughout the year on house shows and didnt feel like it was fresh when they went out. He did they had great matches and thought this match holds up today but they could have done more. When asked if the competitiveness between each other was going on at this time, Bret said no and that even Shawn felt they could have done a better job if there was more build on TV.

DECEMBER




Jerry Lawler made his debut as a commentator on the December 12th edition of Superstars. Bret talks about how Jerry pissed off the locker room as he would constantly play tapes of the current WWF guys who jobbed to him in Memphis. Bret said that Curt Hennig was especially pissed off at Lawler, which also had to due with poor payoffs while he wrestled for Lawler in Memphis. Sean asks Bret about Lawler’s crown and if he knew who shit in it as Bret laughs and said that it happened at a TV taping in Sacramento. Bret saw the crown in the shower and saw that multiple people had shit inside of it but did not know exactly who they were. He then said that Lawler was in a panic looking all over for the crown but Bret, when asked, said that he had no idea where it was.

He is asked about Nailz getting fired for attacking Vince McMahon. Bret said that he did not see it happen but that he was right outside of the door when it went down and could hear it all happen. He recalls Nailz shrieking in anger that he had been lied to and had enough of Vince’s bullshit. He then heard a bang and a gurgling sound and didn’t know what to do and recalled how Vince had a lot of heat with guys over a period of time. He remembers that Blackajck Lanza was the first guy there and waved Bret to come over as a few other agents broke it up. He then remembers the police arriving and Nailz saying that Vince tried to molest him.

Final Thoughts: A great installment in the Timeline series. Sure, Bret is in love with himself but Sean Oliver did a fantastic job with the interview and kept him on the topic at hand more often than not. He deserves credit for that. Despite all of that, Bret gave a lot of great insight and did hold not back at all, making this a must-see interview.

As far as where this ranks among the other WWE Timelines, I would say that the Nash and Cornette are the only ones that are better than this and you could make a case for Sammartino’s as well. They ran through a lot of subjects and hit on all of the important topics of the year.

I highly recommend this interview and encourage all of you to watch this for yourselves.

You can purchase the interview On Demand for $15.99 (It stays in your queue forever) and the DVD for $20. If you get it On Demand, you can watch it from just about everywhere, including Roku. Click on the link below to see how to get the DVD

http://kayfabecommentaries.com/DVD_TL_1992.html

No poll for next week as our contest winner selected another Bret Hart shoot, his RF Video Voulme #1 edition.

Here is my schedule for the next week:

Friday: WWF Championship Wrestling 8/30/86 (Final Episode)
Saturday: RoH Unscripted 9/21/02
Sunday: WWF Superstars 9/6/86  (Debut Episode)
Tuesday: WWF Challenge 9/7/86  (Debut Episode)
Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Bret Hart, Volume 1




Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1993 WCW as told by Vader

This was released in February 2014

The interview runs at two hours and ten minutes long

Sean Oliver conducted the interview

JANUARY

On January 8th, just nine days after Vader defeated Ron Simmons for the WCW World Championship, Ron Simmons challenges him to another match. Vader claims that he thought that title was the number one title in America at that time, because Sting, Ron Simmons, and himself were all great workers. Sean asks Vader if there were any plans for him to hold the title for a long time and Vader said Dusty Rhodes gave him “free reign” at the time and that he would tell them if he could work around their schedule.
Vader talks about riding with Harley Race at this time and how he would always hit the governor in the car, which was around 115mph and that Harley always had a beer and a cigarette in his hand and his job was to make sure that he did not run out of either.
When asked if Cactus Jack was better as a face or a heel, Vader said he didn’t think it mattered and feels the same way about himself. Vader, speaking for himself, said that he did not work any different between heel or face.
On January 15th, Paul Heyman was fired from WCW by Bill Watts via fax after Watts claimed that Heyman faked expense reports from April-July of 1992. Vader said that Heyman had him sold about coming to ECW and calls him a great salesman. On the subject of Watts, Vader said that Watts once saw him do jump presses in the gym and after that, Watts was impressed and that he never had a problem with him.
Sean asks Vader about Bill Apter, after the 1992 PWI award show. Vader said that he liked him as a writer and someone who was important to wrestling for providing inside knowledge to the serious fan. Sean then talks about how now the curtain has been drawn back, exposing the business, and how they now know everything that will happen, stating the mystery is gone.
Vader is asked about Erik Watts and if the heat he had on him was warranted or not. Vader said that he always treated him good but the fact that he was a son of a very dominant booker and didn’t have what it took to be a star brought on the resentment. Vader did add that he believed Watts could have been a decent middle-of-the-card guy.
He is now asked the same question about Dustin Rhodes. Vader said that Dustin was a whole class above him as a wrestler and said that he is very talented and can wrestle.
Sean now goes over the “White Castle of Fear” video that aired on the January 30th episode of “WCW Saturday Night.” When asked, Vader said he did not know who came up with the idea but looking back, people remember it well.
FEBRUARY
The Tazmaniac received a tryout at the February 8th “WCW Saturday Night” tapings defeating Joey Maggs but did not get hired by the company. Vader said that he remembered him briefly at that time and said that he had power and explosiveness that made him popular. When asked about the tryout process in WCW, Vader said that it was a tough situation because they had a stacked roster. He goes back to talk about the AWA when he broke in until Sean reins him back to talk about WCW.
Bill Watts resigned from WCW on February 10th. When asked if Watts’ tenure was good, Vader just talked about how he agreed to drop the belt to Ron Simmons, claiming that it was by his choice, as he could have jumped ship to WWF or Japan if he wanted.
Ole Anderson took over for Watts on February 12th. Vader said that he was confrontational then talks about he was the first 400lbs person to perform a moonsault and after that, people tried to imitate him. Vader said that Ole did not want him to do the moonsault because he was 400lbs and did not need to fly around like “Peter Pan.” Vader said at that time, he was drinking and doing other things, so he told off Ole. Vader claims that he is not that person anymore (he is full of shit).
Davey Boy Smith debuted on February 21st by defeating Bill Irwin after being fired from the WWF due to receiving shipments of growth hormones. When asked about the difference between the companies, Vader talks about how he always put legal stuff into his body and never had a problem with tests. Sean asks him about the steroids and if the “black market” stuff was different from what you would get from doctors and what steroids they used and Vader said he was naturally big since birth and used stuff that would help his body produce naturally because if you put other stuff into your body, it can stop producing.
At SuperBrawl III, Barry Windham defeated the Great Muta to win the NWA World Championship. When asked if two belts diminished the WCW World Championship, Vader said he didn’t at the time but looking back thinks it did. He also said that was Ric Flair’s decision as he was running things then talks about how he saw Reid Flair right before he died at an independent show in Rhode Island and from that he talks about Japan for a bit.
Speaking on Flair’s return to WCW, Vader said that at the time he did not understand the politics of the business like he does now. He talks about his feud with Cactus Jack and how it was the hottest in the business and they ended with Cactus having amnesia. He then said that Flair was the best in regards to political savvy.
He talks about his strap match with Sting at SuperBrawl III. Vader talks for a while about building a match and how too much scripting hinders the match and how he did everything on the fly and now the business has changed because they now receive a piece of paper on what do to at all times.
Jim Ross quit on February 25th, shortly after a demotion to a position that had him sell TV syndication. Vader said that it was a big loss, especially for him as he really liked his character. Vader then said that the announcer matters a lot more than the average fan thinks. He also believes that the company was going into a new era and that they wanted to move away from JR’s style of announcing and looks.
MARCH
On the subject of the Hollywood Blonds team, Vader said that he once teamed with Steve Austin against Ric Flair & Steve Austin in a TV match that lasted 27 minutes and how they tore the house down. Vader said that he and Austin had instant chemistry. When asked if Brian Pillman was the best choice as Austin’s partner, Vader said that he was not but they still had a good run.
APRIL
He is asked about the WCW debut in New York City on April 14th at the Paramount Theatre. Vader said that the locker room treated it as another show and did not get excited that they were in WWF territory.
On April 17th after a match on WCW Saturday Night, Cactus Jack wound up in the hospital, requiring 24 stitches and suffering a concussion, after his match with Vader. When asked, Vader said that before the match, Cactus came up to Harley and himself and told him to not wear his gloves and when he hit him, to turn his hand and cut him on each side then puff his nose and slice up his forehead. Vader said that parts of the match were edited off of TV.
MAY
On May 1st, the “Flair for the Gold” segment made it’s debut on “WCW Worldwide.” Flair introduced his wife Fifi and interviewed Harley Race and Vader. He thought that the segment didn’t work and looking back, Vader said that was on him because he kept grunting and growling so Flair had nothing to work with.
Vader defeated Tatsuo Nakano via KO at 3:35 at the UWFI event in Japan. He is asked if WCW management took issue with him taking the match. Vader said that it was in his contract with Bischoff that he could go to Japan a few times a year. He said that eventually, he gave WCW the rights that prevented him to go to Japan when he restructured his own contract but he got more money as a result. When asked about the UWFI “shoot fight” match, Vader said that he was confident in his ability but was legit scared about a guy from Russia who was 6’1 and 340lbs. He said that he only did it for the payday as he was building a shopping center at the time and needed the money to make that happen.
He is asked about Paul Roma joining the Four Horseman but first asked about what happened between Tully Blanchard and WCW. He just said there was friction between cliques within the company. When asked why Roma was considered, Vader has no idea and wonders if he was a friend.
Sid rejoined WCW on May 23rd. Vader tells us that Sid was originally considered for the Vader gimmick but that was over once they saw him wrestle. He could not do a long match with a smaller guy as he could not keep up with them.
JUNE
When asked about Kevin Nash showing up on WWF television after wrestling just three days earlier for WCW, Vader said that he was not much in terms of star power when he left the company but became a major player in WWF then came back as a huge star. Vader said Kevin is a friend and a very smart businessman.
He is asked about the “Masters of the Powerbomb” gimmick when he teamed with Sid. Vader said that was Bischoff’s idea but that the gimmick did not work, citing it was just “too much.”
At the Clash of the Champions, Ric Flair & Arn Anderson defeated the Hollywood Blonds for the Tag Team Titles in the lowest rated Clash of all-time. Vader talks again about how he teamed with Austin and had great chemistry together and thought they should have gotten a chance to feud with Arn & Flair
JULY
On July 7th, WCW taped several months worth of WCW Worldwide shows at the Disney/MGM Studios, revealing future champions to the crowd in the process. He said that the WCW did it to save cash but the crowds were not wrestling crowds and that they did not take into consideration the fact that guys involved in the shows had contracts expiring later in the year.
AUGUST
The Nasty Boys returned to WCW on August 14th. Vader said he always got along with them and they were a pretty good tag team who partied more than they trained but still did a good job in the ring.
On that same day, Harlem Heat made their WCW debut. Vader said that he got along with them and says that he grew up in inner-city Los Angeles around a lot of minorities and played sports, using a rough style. When asked if he saw any star potential in Booker T back then, Vader said he is very good and once he got to show his own personality, he started to shine.
Vader is now asked about the Shockmaster debut. When Vader said it was over once he fell through the wall and starts to laugh for a bit.
He is now asked about the Road Warriors returning to WCW at Clash of the Champions. Sean asked if the gimmick was passé and Vader said their physical presence was awesome and that they were built for power. He adds that their time away from the company may have hurt them.
SEPTEMBER
After New Japan Wrestling took him to court claiming his costume and name, he became “Vader” after originally being called “Big Van Vader.” He talks for a long time about how he was as a star in Japan and then ended with how no one gave a shit about the name change as it meant nothing. A waste of four minutes.
OCTOBER
Vader is asked about Bret Hart burying Ric Flair on a Sports Radio Station in Toronto. Vader said that Flair is a great wrestler and that was not a fair criticism. He also says that Bret is extremely good but not the “Best there was….” He then talks about hearing horror stories about Vince McMahon and said that he was always treated like a gentleman in the WWF, by the employees and Vince, and that the WWF had a lot to do with them being allowed to say anything.
Now he is asked about the incident in which Sid Vicious stabbed Arn Anderson. Vader said that the whole company were all at this lounge, drinking and exchanging a lot of pills. He said that not everyone was doing this but they were all doing this before getting on a plane and he said that one wrestler, who Vader refused to name, got up and fell face-first onto a chair. They get to their destination and they get someone to open up a bar and guys are drinking as the sun is coming up. The next thing he knows, a fight breaks out and that Sid was going into shock and did the “Frankenstein” walk towards him so he grabbed Sid and had blood squirting out of his side. Vader said that he did not know what to do so he stuck is thumb there with a towel and sat him down until the ambulance came. Vader claims to have not seen what happened before that. Sean asks if they were reprimanded about what happened and Vader said he was actually praised for saving Sid’s life.
NOVEMBER
Gene Okerlund makes his WCW debut on the November 6th edition of WCW Saturday Night. Vader said that Hogan was surrounding himself with his people and that the talks of Hogan entering the company were happening. He says that Okerlund is very good.
Vader won the BattleBowl on November 20th. He said that the year before, Sting got a nice ring after he won the tournament but he did not get one when he won, which ticked him off. Vader said that the reason was that Bischoff asked him to take photos for six weeks straight and he didn’t, which he did, then did what Bischoff told him to, which meant he was late to the other place he was supposed to be at and Orndorff flipped out at him, leading to the fight, which Vader said cost him a shitload of money and that if Bischoff had told him where he was at that time, this could have been avoided. Vader then wishes Orndorff well.
DECEMBER
He is asked about the Title vs. Career match against Ric Flair. Originally, Vader claimed that Dusty told him he was going to regain the belt six weeks later in a cage match and that Ric was getting the belt because it was his hometown and the company needed a boost. He said that a five weeks later, Flair took over the booking job and the rematch never took place.
Sean asks Vader about being named the “Wrestler of the Year” in 1993 from three different publications. Vader then promises to tell Sean about his exercise devise which is patent-pending that strengthens your upper body as long as he invites him back for another video. He said the device is tentatively called the “Vader Pump.”
Final Thoughts: This was awful. Vader, who just mumbled through the video, kept going off-topic to talk about himself or something else that was not involving anything that happened in 1993 WCW. I learned next to nothing about this year and everything else I heard from his RF Video Shoot interview from 15 years ago. The purpose of these pieces is to learn about the entire year. This failed at that miserably.

I really like Sean Oliver but he did a terrible job with Vader, letting him go off-topic and not bringing him back to the topic. I also think he got played a bit by Vader, who seemingly used this as a vehicle to promote himself. I mean they all do but this guy didnt even say a single thing of note. He let Vader consume the whole interview with his own ramblings. I thought this was about 1993 WCW and throughout the the two hours and ten minutes of this piece, I heard very little of what happened this year other than Vader harping on the fact that he and Steve Austin would have been the best tag team.

As far as these Timeline interviews go, this was easily one of the worst. I thought the Barry Windham 1991 Timeline was the worst but at least he wasn’t in love with himself like Vader, who was not willing to discuss anyone but himself. He would say that he was “good friends” with people that he liked and if something came up where he acted like a jerk, he would not talk about the situation in detail and just said that he is a different person now, which is full of shit based off of he acted recently while in Europe. My recommendation for this is to avoid at all costs. 

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1993 WWF as told by Lex Luger

This was released in the Fall of 2013. It runs for one hour and fifty minutes.

Your host is Sean Oliver

JANUARY

Sean asks Luger about Vince’s initial plans for him when he signed him away from WCW. Lex said at that time, he had a year remaining on his contract and felt that the company was struggling. Before Flair left for the WWF, Lex was going to feud with him for the belt and when Ric took the belt with him, WCW scrambled together to get a fake belt and got Harley Race there and for Lex to use a piledriver on the belt for the win. For the rest of the year, Lex felt that WCW did not have a direction and he saw a lot of guys leaving and always had aspirations of joining the WWF, because they were number one. He then called Vince and asked if he took a year off and focused on the WBF before wrestling, just as an idea to throw out to Vince so he would listen. A week later, Vince called him back and was ready to pursue the idea. Lex said he was burned out from wrestling and wanted to sign a WBF contract for a year and because WCW was in a cost-cutting mode, he gave WCW the chance to let go of his contract, which was one of the biggest, and he would go to a body building company.
Lex said that he developed a great relationship with Vince. They worked out together at his home. Lex also said that Vince thought he should be a heel and the aligned him with Bobby Heenan, who at first was hesitant about the deal, stating that he didn’t know anything about bodybuilding, but he went out and did a great job anyway.
He now talks about his motorcycle accident. He was on a country road at dusk and he didn’t see the guy coming and tried to go off the road but got hit anyway and was flung “150 feet” into the woods without hitting a tree. Lex said his bone was sticking out of his arm and he lost a lot of blood.
Lex is asked about Doink the Clown and if people in the company were surprised that it got over. Lex said that when Vince wants to get someone over, he is very persistent. Lex said that Matt Borne got into character for the role.
“Monday Night RAW” debuts on January 11th. Lex said that Vince picked the perfect atmosphere for the show. He said it was like a hand-picked studio setting, something you would see in Hollywood. He did not see it as a big step-down from the arenas that the TV shows were usually taped from.
Lex makes his debut at the “Royal Rumble.” He said there was no mention of a turn down the road at the time. When asked, Lex said that the idea to carry around a mirror was either from Vince or his team. Sean asks Lex if he was known to stand in front of the mirror. Lex said that when he was trained by Hiro Matsuda, he told him to stay with the basics and do not do anything high-flying and stick with what makes you unique, which was his body, so that is what he did for his career.
Sean asks Lex about Yokozuna. He calls him one of the best big men ever. Lex then goes off topic for a bit and said how the Big Show is one of the easiest guys to put in the Torture Rack because he was so tall and could just put himself on his shoulders. Lex then said it was like a night off working with Yokozuna as he was a light worker and a great guy overall. He said at house shows, Yoko would pick him up and place him on the turnbuckle like he was a little child. Lex said he and Yoko played cards all the time.
When asked about Giant Gonzalez, Lex thought that they were searching for the next Andre the Giant but it didn’t work out. Lex said when he first saw him, he was sitting down holding what he thought was a 4oz fruit juice can but when he stood up and put it on the table, he saw that it was a 12oz can of cook. Lex tells a story from WCW about Flair trying to train Gonzalez to use a delayed vertical suplex as his finish from the corner, because when he landed the ropes would shake and it would come off more powerful but he had trouble with the move.
On January 25th, Ric Flair left the WWE. Lex said that no matter what he did, people still saw Ric as a WCW/NWA guy and the fans felt more comfortable with him there and he believed that Ric felt the same.
Andre the Giant passed away on January 27th. Sean asks how the company reacted and Lex said that Vince took his death hard and it was felt throughout the company. Lex tells an Andre story while at the St. Louis airport in the late 80’s, he hears a beep then a deep voice say “hop in boss” as Andre in a golf cart, takes his arm and pulls Lex in the cart and they hung out at the terminal for a bit. Lex said he was very nice to him.
FEBRUARY
Lex made his in-ring debut on the February 1st edition of RAW. Sean asks him if he had to modify the style that he used in WCW. Lex said not really and that he just had to play the narcissist role, which Lex himself admitted wasn’t very hard for himself to pull off at that time. Sean asks about ring rust and Lex said he was sent to Memphis to work with Lawler for a few matches before debuting on TV. He said at the time, there was a lot of drug testing and he had to build up his physique without any gimmicks and working in Memphis built up his confidence, which he was worried about after getting hurt and not wrestling for about a year.
Lex then talks about how frequently they were tested at that time. He said once during a three-week trip that went overseas and across the states, they were tested four nights in a row. He also said you had to take your shirt off and pants below the knees as someone stood in front of the urinal looking at you so there was no way to provide a false sample. Sean asks what they were looking for and Lex said he thought it was for marijuana, cocaine, and steroids.
Seans asks Lex about Vionce getting sued by Kevin Wacholz (Nailz) for sexual harassment. Lex said he never got a hint of that about Vince, stating he liked the ladies and was a man’s man but after that, Vince always had another person in the office with him when he met with others.
On February 18th, Kerry Von Erich committed suicide at his father’s ranch. Lex said he only met him once and was shocked about his death. He also recalls Ric Flair always putting over Kerry as a great worker.
Lex said he was thrilled that Hogan came back because he was a fan of his before getting into the business. He said there was no talk of a feud between them at the time. He also said that he and Hogan always got along great.
He said he loved working with Bret as you knew you would have a great match. He then said that he and Bret are friends then tells a story of how Bret got him hooked on Starbucks Coffee while they were stranded at the Seattle airport and he has been a Gold Card member ever since. He said when they went to Europe, he and Bret would make plans to meet and drink coffee and espresso before going to the gym. He said that he always loved being around Bret.
MARCH
On March 11th, Dino Bravo was murdered at his home in Montreal. Lex said he was shocked when the news dropped but some of the guys knew of his criminal dealings.
On March 22nd, the “WWF Hall of Fame” is formed with Andre the Giant getting inducted. Lex thought it was a great idea and they were wondering if there was going to be a physical location following. Sean asks Lex about the Hall of Fame today and if the “right” people are getting in as Lex takes a diplomatic route and thinks that is cool for celebrities to get inducted too and does not diminish the careers and efforts of wrestlers because everyone knows they are there just a separate part of the Hall of Fame.
APRIL
Lex is asked about knocking out Bret Hart from behind at the WrestleMania IX preview brunch. He said that Vince and his people put this together and lay it out but you get a bit of input. He then said Matsuda taught him to be seen and not heard when starting out but he struggled to do that himself at times.
When asked about his WrestleMania debut, Lex said he was sitting backstage and relaxed as he was working with Mr. Perfect, one of the best workers there is and said that he could walk him through the match. Before they started, they briefly discussed the match. Well, when they locked up to start, Curt asked Lex what they were doing and Lex thought Curt was ribbing him but it turns out that Curt forgot the match layout so Lex had to call the entire match himself. Lex said he was no longer relaxed as he was trying to remember everything. Sean tells Lex he believed that Curt was in fact ribbing him and Lex said if he did, he really pulled it off because he sincerely apologized to him backstage after the match.
On the April 5th edition of RAW, Jerry Lawler made his in-ring debut. Lex said that Jerry is a very insightful and intelligent guy and believed his role was of a commentator who occasionally wrestled. He thought Lawler seemed pleasant and was a good addition to the roster.
MAY
Sean Waltman made his debut on May 3rd as the “Cannonball Kid.” Lex said he could work but did not look like a wrestler. At that time, Lex said he didn’t care for smaller guys who did not look like wrestlers but now says that it has diversified wrestling with different skills. He said he was prejudicial towards those guys at that time in his mind and admits he was wrong.
He is asked about losing to Tatanka at a house show in Hartford, CT. Lex doesn’t remember but mentions that when he was training under Matsuda, he was told that its all a work and to never question the finish because if this was real there would not be too many guys in the business. Lex then said if it was real, either Haku or the Barbarian would be the champion because they would destroy everyone else.
At this time, the WWE was scaling back on expenses and mainly filming TV shows at smaller venues in the Northeast. They also had to come in on days off and cut promos. Sean asks Lex if he was getting the rumored $150 payoff for RAW and he said he wasn’t paying attention to that and always looked at the big picture but made money from the house shows and back then, wasn’t the most sensitive guy to those struggling financially.
During a segment taped for RAW, Mr. Perfect jumped Shawn Michaels and threw him on a windshield of a car and it cracked. The car belonged to Howard Finkel who had just bought it. Lex said he heard about that and how it was a rib by Curt. Sean asks Lex about the relationship between Howard and Vince and he said it is genuine.
Lex tells a story about the Steiners and prefaces it by saying he didn’t mean to have it come out the way it did. The Steiners were concerned about their payoffs and Lex told them that they were splitting their pay in half because they were a team and he was a legitimate singles star and looking at the card, the tag team matches were basically garnish to the main event singles matches. Lex said that he was lucky he had a good relationship with the Steiners then talks about how tag team wrestling is good for the fans but as a wrestler, the payoffs are a lot less.
The Nasty Boys get suspended then fired after a tour of Europe. Lex talks about how they were crazy and instigated bar fights all over the place. He said they were hilarious but also would go wild on you when they pulled a rib until you fought back and after that, they would start laughing.
Sean asks Lex about Vince constantly bringing back Marty Jannetty. Lex talks about Vince giving guys a chance to come back who are struggling and has done that many times over, putting over Vince’s compassion.
Lex is asked about the 1-2-3 Kid upsetting Razor Ramon on RAW. Lex said that Scott always liked to make new stars and said it was the right way for veterans to put over the young guys. Lex says that Hall is a good guy.
JUNE
Diesel makes his debut on June 6th when he distracted Marty Jannetty, allowing Shawn to regain the Intercontinental Championship. Lex said he was thrilled that Vince was giving him a chance after seeing him in WCW. Lex said he was a legendary bouncer in Atlanta and thought he would be an asset. Lex said he had a good attitude and wanted to learn.
Yokozuna pinned Hogan at the King of the Ring to win the Championship. Lex felt that Hogan’s heart wasn’t in it anymore at this time and felt he was not fully committed to wrestling. Sean asks if Hogan’s departure led to his babyface turn and Lex said he didn’t know but was shocked when Vince called him in the office to tell him about his babyface turn. He thought Vince was crazy but said that it worked.
JULY
When talking about slamming Yokozuna at the bodyslam challenge, Lex said it was all very well done. He said he was scared on the helicopter as the pilot was a Vietnam vet who kept showing off his skills and did a lot of stunts. When asked, Lex thought the Narcissist gimmick was going well but was surprised how well it came off at the end. He was also surprised that he was going to continue with the “USA” gimmick and the bus.
Lex talks about the schedule he had while on the bus. He would wake up at 5am then have breakfast. After that, he did radio and TV with an autograph session sandwiched in between. He did another signing in the afternoon then would leave and do evening media sessions until he finished and ate dinner around 8pm then would try to go to the gym before going to bed. He slept in hotels most of the time but did sleep on the bus occasionally. He had a driver and a PR guy the whole Summer with him.
He thought that Ludvig Borga had a good look but did not feel that they were a great pairing in the ring. Lex thought that Ludvig should have gotten a big “Squash push” before moving on to bigger feuds.
AUGUST
Sean asks Lex about Razor Ramon being an odd choice for a babyface. Lex said that if the fans want it, then why not go with it and then talks about how merchandise can factor into giving someone getting a babyface push.
He now talks about the “Who is Lex?” segments that aired. Lex himself said he never saw them but from what he heard others say that they were well produced. Lex then calls Vince innovative for producing the segments.
Jim Cornette made his debut on the August 2nd edition of RAW. Lex is asked if Cornette was ever happy working in New York. Lex said that the Northeast can be really tough on Southern boys. He talks about his first match in the Nassau Coliseum, a beer bottle flew right by his face, which never happened to him in the South. Sean asks if Cornette was brought in for Yoko because Fuji was such an ineffective mouthpiece for Yokozuna and Lex said that probably was the case and jokes how Fuji and Cornette probably balance each other. Lex said that Fuji ribbed him once while at the bar at the Marriott in Philadelphia. Fuji would piss into bottles at the bar instead of going to the bathroom and went all over Luger’s shoes.
Luger is asked about how he went on TV and said he had used steroids in the past but was not now and neither was anyone else in the company. Lex said he was not on steroids in the WWF and was not worried about his physique because even though he was a bit smaller than before, he still had a better body than anyone else there because they couldn’t use steroids either.
Sean asks Lex if he ever saw the evil side of Vince. Lex said he liked a good joke and rib and thought he felt that the wrestlers should be the stars but he had a personality and had a good body and thought he held back more than he should of at times.
He is now asked why he didn’t win the title at SummerSlam. Lex said ask Vince because he didn’t know why. He thought it was good idea for him to win but was a good foot soldier and was never promised the title at that point but Vince told Lex if he decided to put the belt on him, it would happen at WrestleMania X. Lex also puts over Yoko as being a good champ, citing his presence in his matches.
SEPTEMBER
On September 27th, Shawn Michaels quit the company after he was reported to have been asked to drop the Intercontinental Title. Shawn stated that he quit because he felt out of shape after getting up to 240lbs after being told by the company to “gain weight” naturally. Lex said that Shawn always expressed his opinion but thought that he was professional and never saw him tell the office what to do.
OCTOBER
On October 16th, Randy Savage went on Jim Ross’s radio show and blasted Hulk Hogan, stating that he and his wife played a role in his separation from Elizabeth. When asked about their relationship, Luger said that he saw them hang out all the time but would hear that they would get mad at each other so he didnt know if they worked up controversy and fooled everyone or really had a difficult relationship. Lex said he got along great with Savage, even despite the fact that he was volatile

On October 29th, Curt Hennig was pulled off of the road, reportedly over being angry that he was bypassed for the IC title but was announced as him needing to take care of family problems. Lex is asked about titles and if they are really important to wrestlers. Lex said that at times, it was difficult to carry through the airport and they pay difference wasnt that much so he didnt really matter that much if he was a champion. He said belts do not defy whether or not you have talent, as Matsuda taught him that as well, but he does respect the lineage of the belts.

NOVEMBER 


At the November 9th “Wrestling Challenge” tapings at the Carbondale, PA high school, the prinicipal and school board were irate at the conditions of the facilities after the tapings, which included human feces, whiskey bottles, and chicken bones all over the place. Lex is asked who brings own the hammer about this and Lex said it gets back to Vince then back down the chain of command to carry out the orders. When asked who would shit on the floor, Lex guesses the Nasty Boys as they lived up to their name.

Vince McMahon was indicted for possession and conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids on November 11th. He pled not guilty and a trial date was set for May 2nd, 1994. Lex said a lot of the guys thought it was unfair and said that no one ever forced or pressured him to use steroids and said that one of the prosecutors had a hard-on for Vince and wanted to get him. Vince told Lex that he was affected by the trial and that it caused him anxiety.

Then, on November 12th, Jerry Lawler was indicted in Kentucky for one count of second-degree statutory rape, three counts of second-degree sodomy and one count of harassing a witness, to which Lawler pled not guilty. Lex said the locker room was in disbelief when this news broke. When asked about anyone having info about Lawler having a penchant for under aged girls, Lex said he didnt hear that about him.

Lex is asked if he liked the Survivor Series match and he said he would have rather did a tag or even a six-man tag match because you do not get much in-ring time in those matches. Lex said he was reluctant to having his family on camera but trusted Vince. Lex said he was living a double life and was starting to party on the road at that time.

When asked about Dink the Clown and if he thought it was ridiculous. Lex did but said Vince liked to have  a few ridiculous guys to push for either his own entertainment, the boys, or to anger the fans. He couldn’t figure out why. Lex had no problem with the character personally.

DECEMBER


Lex was surprised that Heenan left the WWF. He never talked to Bobby about his contract either. When asked, Lex said that Vince didnt care if you talked about someone who left the company but at the same time, he never felt the need to explain anything he did to the locker room.

Sean asks Lex about how 1993 ranks in his career. He said it was up there, with the Horsemen and nWo stuff. He had a lot of fond memories of the bus tour, despite being tough, but did appreciate the opportunity. Lex now travels across the country doing evangelical work and says he is approached by people stating they met him at autograph sessions during that time. He then says that he feels great now, despite all of his health issues. He is now thankful for what he has instead of wishing for things he does not have. He also has a new found appreciation for all things wrestling and wishes he felt that way when he did wrestle.

Final Thoughts: This timeline went a lot better than I initially thought it would. Lex seemed pretty relaxed, even if he looks a lot different than when he was in wrestling. Looking at him now, you would have never, ever guessed that he had one of the best physiques in wrestling. He is lucky though as intially it was expected that he would never be able to walk on his own ever again.

The beginning of this is slow, as he talks a lot about the WBF, but it does pick up the pace from there. Lex also shows remorse form his past behaviors and was not afraid to call himself out for acting like a dick when he was in wrestling. That shows to me that he is truly at peace with himself and is genuine in regards to his religious beliefs.

Lex did keep to himself a lot so he really did not have a ton of dirt to dish on the main eventers but did give pretty good insight to his “Lex Express” schedule, amongst other things. Actually, I felt that Lex had a good sense of the business and seems like a fairly intelligent guy. I do recommend this timeline and found it to be a surprisngly decent installment.

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1987 WWE As Told By the Honky Tonk Man

Poster “Randie” selected this shoot to be reviewed

This was released in 2009. It is an hour and fifty minutes long.

JANUARY

Honky is asked about all of the vignettes that featured him at various Elvis-centric locations. He said that they filmed a bunch of stuff at the gates of Graceland. It was a freezing cold day in January and he was wearing his knit Elvis jumpsuit, freezing his ass off. He had to stand around and wait for a long time between takes. He said that it was horrible and if you look back at the videos, it was a dark, cloudy day with no leaves on the tree and the grass was dead. He said that the vignettes were thought up by Vince and thinks that vignettes in general are a perfect way to build up a character, as they show a wrestler outside of the ring.

January is the month when Honky first became a full-fledged heel. He was wrestling guys like S.D. Jones, George Steele, and Koko B Ware at the house shows. He is asked if he realized at first that he was going to get a big push. Honky said that he was unsure whether or not if he was going to get pushed at that time but did state that the vignettes helped him and promised to Jimmy Hart that if he got a chance to get pushed, he would make it work.

Honky is now asked if they knew at the beginning of the month that they would go with Andre vs. Hogan at WrestleMania. He said that you could tell they were going that way through the television shows. He believes that the feud started right around Survivor Series. Honky is asked if there was a fear that Andre wouldnt show up due to a bad back and Honky said no, because he had been wearing a back brace for a year prior. He doesnt know about any behind the scene struggles but thinks if there were any, it was over money.

Sean asks Honky about January 10th, when Crockett ran at the Philadelphia Civic Center and the WWF ran at the Spectrum, with the WWF outdrawing the NWA by a few thousand. Honky almost remembers that they tried to book Baltimore the same night as them but could not find an available arena. Honky also said that they didnt pay much attention to that but were happy that the NWA sold well because if they were thriving, it could give them another place to go. Honky then talks about how those guys usually left to join the WWF, and not the other way around. He then says that the NWA’s problem was that their television was not as strong and they lacked the merchandise and games that the WWF had made popular. They also lacked the personal appearance machine that Vince had created and the main thing, the WWF had made their performers household names.

Next, is Jim Neidhart is arrested for allegedly assaulting a stewardess. Honky remembers the incident and said it was a big deal at the time. At one point they thought Neidhart would be gone for good. Honky then puts over how Vince took care of his people, as he put up money to take him out of jail and for his lawyers. However, Vince took the money back from his paychecks and Neidhart got pissed over that and during a TV taping, started to break furniture.

Honky is now asked about Howard Finkel. He said that he was the hardest working guy in the company, doing several jobs at once, and put Finkel over for never having to read off of cards and always knowing everything about the wrestlers. Honky also said that he was a great finder of talent and believes that it was Howard who brought in Jimmy Hart, Elizabeth, and Randy Savage into the WWF after watching tapes of the Memphis territory.

Sean asks Honky about the tour schedule. They were running at least  three separate shows a night. On January 19th, the “A” show was headlined by Hogan vs. Kamala at MSG, the “B” show was headlined by Steamboat vs. Savage at the Atlanta Civic Center and the “C” show, headlined by Tito Santana vs. Butch Reed in a Steel Cage match in Lincoln, NE. When asked who arranged the travel, Honky said it was Vince and Pat Patterson. There was a guy named Ed Cohen who booked the buildings, who oddly enough discovered Honky while looking at a building in Calgary and saw Honky, putting in a good word to Vince. On Jan 19th, Honky worked against Pedro Morales at the “C” show. Honky said Pedro was extremely bitter at this point in his career and tells a story of how Billy Jack Haynes almost fought him in the locker room, when Pedro told Billy he wasn’t going to make it in wrestling. Honky does a pretty funny impression of Pedro. He said the “C” show payday was about $300 but said they were a good way to test guys that were just starting with the company.

Andre’s heel turn was completed at the January 26th TV tapings. Honky thought that the angle turned out better than he thought because Andre was extremely over as a babyface. He gives Andre a lot of credit for being able to be a great heel and said that Hogan also did a fine job making himself turn out as the good guy. Honky said that he couldnt believe how big WrestleMania III turned out to be. Honky then puts over Heenan as a great mouthpiece, especially since Andre wasnt very good at cutting heel promos.

Honky is asked about the Dynamite Kid’s back injury. He didnt work much with him but was told that he needed help getting off of the airplane and could barely use one of his feet and it finally reached a point in which he simply could not perform anymore. When asked about the WWF advertising the Bulldogs as champs after they lost the belts, Honky said that the TV tapings were three weeks in advance so all of the promos and everything else was done then too.

Outback Jack also debuted at the January 26th tapings. Honky said he was found by Jim Troy, who was the International guy at the time. Honky said they saw him and he looked like a guy that had never been in a gym before and said that his being Australian rubbed the English guys the wrong way then said that he eventually rubbed everyone the wrong way. Honky said that everyone gave him a rough time, as he believed that he was just as big as Hulk Hogan when he started. Honky then rags on Troy, saying this was the only person he had ever found. Sean asks Honky what to do after all of the vignettes and effort put into a guy who cant work at all. He said that you can put him in a position to get someone else over.

Honky is asked about the retirement angle with Piper. He said it was a good way to sell tickets as he went off to make movies. He is then asked about Adrian Adonis and Honky said that he had his problems outside of the ring. He then said during the “Flower Shop” segment, they used real flowers that were fresh-cut and brought in from a florist daily.

At the January 27th “Challenge” taping, Honky hits Jake Roberts over the head with a guitar on the “Snake Pit” segment. Honky said he was happy to have a run with Jake at the time, as he was almost a main event guy and thought it would be a great opportunity. He said that Vince and Pat came up with the angles then. Honky says the guitar was heavy but gimmicked. He said that Jake did not go to rehab due to the guitar shot and said that it bothers him because Jake said it, people think it was true. Honky disputes the fact that Jake said this is what led to his drug use because he abused cocaine, not painkillers. He said that they are friends still though. Jake wound up in rehab a few weeks after WrestleMania and Honky ended up wrestling Bruno Sammartino in the Northeast and Crusher in the AWA cities and he would job, to make the crowd happy and because it was non-title. Jake went back to rehab shortly after returning.

FEBRUARY




Andre beat Hogan at the battle royal on “Saturday Night’s Main Event.” Honky was eliminated first in that match. Honky says it was filmed in Detroit and the building didnt sell out and he was actually shocked that WrestleMania drew as much as it did in that market as they struggled to draw a bit in that area.

MARCH




Tom Magee makes his TV debut on March 16th. Sean asks if he was hired to be the next big thing as reported. Honky says he was groomed to be the next Hogan but was another “Outback Jack” story. He said he worked against Tom in Calgary, doing boxing matches on occasion. Honky said that he wasnt that bright and couldn’t work in the ring worth a shit. When asked why it didnt work, Honky said that he had no charisma and could not project his character, noting the Ultimate Warrior could do that. He said Magee would show up to TV, wearing a suit and walked around taking notes. Honky believed he should have been learning in the ring instead.

Honky is asked about the angle in which he and Jimmy Hart tried to get the DDT banned. Sean asks if the mail-in vote was just a way to get people on the mailing list. He confirms that the “Vote of Confidence” thing with him was all bullshit. He did say that “Cyber Sunday” was legit when he was there.

He is now asked about Jack Tunney and how someone with such a lack of charisma could be featured on TV. Honky said he looked like a legitimate authority figure though, like a school principal.

Honky is asked about the week leading up to WrestleMania. Honky said that he didnt have to do much promotion as he wasnt in a major match. He said back then, no one brought their family or guests. They treated it as just another show. The atmosphere backstage was that everyone was burned out and exhausted, from the non-stop touring. He said that he didnt have much interaction with the celebrities.

In regards to the match between Hogan and Andre, he thought it worked well. He saw the ending their live and had watched the match since and thought it was good. He also thought his match with Jake was good an puts him over as always being a professional in the ring. He then said that Jimmy Hart was petrified of the snake and was so tense at the end that his neck ended up getting hurt afterwards because Jake had to hold him still. Honky puts over Harley for being able to carry the Junkyard Dog to a good match, stating that Harley even put the whole match together.

When asked if celebrities understood wrestlers, he said that Bob Uecker and Steve Allen did, mentioning that Allen once was involved in wrestling in California. He also said that Morton Downey was good.

Honky is asked about the match between Steamboat and Savage at WrestleMania. Honky said it was a good match and thought the match going on made Savage look better because Steamboat had been known for going longer in the NWA. He then says that it wasnt out of the ordinary for him because he had seen them wrestle so many times. He then claims that what he did with Jake was almost as exciting for the fans and they did far less than those guys. When asked if people were huddled around the monitor backstage, Honky said no one did that back then, or at least the guys he hung around with, saying guys were playing cards or probably getting Andre wine. Honky said when he was at Cyber Sunday and RAW the night after and didnt watch one match. He did his job, got undressed and left the building. When asked if Savage always scripted his matches heavily, Honky said that if there was any changes or a different match style, Savage would re-script everything. Honky liked working with Steamboat, saying it was easy and he could feed his comebacks and bump for him no problem.

He is asked about the Piper vs. Adonis match. Honky said Adonis went nuts in that match and thought Piper should have lost his hair then in a rematch, have Adonis lose his. When asked about Piper getting electrocuted, Honky disputes that, claiming that he was in the building and that the dressing room lights were around the mirrors and does not know how you can break the bulb and get electrocuted touching the filament, because when the bulb broke, the filament is useless. He then asks what Piper was on if indeed he stuck his finger in the outlet. He then laughs about those stating he had electricity running through his body then says that what he was doing was practicing for a film role.

APRIL




Honky is asked about Ken Patera’s return. He said that he thought Patera did good with the vignettes. He then said that he had a match at the tapings that was so bad that he was told to go out and wrestle again.



MAY



“Superstar” Billy Graham made his comeback. Honky said that the business outgrew Billy at this point and he was deteriorated.

He was asked about Jim Barnett attempting suicide over job stress. Honky said that he heard Barnett made the attempt after learning he was about to lose his job. he was let go after the attempt.

Honky sings a song mocking the Iron Sheik and Jim Duggan getting caught together with drugs. He said that the angle was going to get Duggan pushed to the top then after the arrest, Vince gave them a meeting and said those two would never work in the WWF again. Honky said he looked over to Jimmy Hart and said that they would be back, because they got caught with a little bit of grass and some beers.

JUNE




Honky is asked if Butch Reed no-showing led to him getting the Intercontinental Title. Honky said Butch was AWOL for a while but did appear at the show before Honky won the belt. Honky said that Butch was a good worker and would have made a good champ. Honky said that Hogan saw him walk by and suggested that Honky win the belt. Honky thought that Steamboat believed he was in a good enough position to ask for a few weeks off. Honky brings up how Steamboat mentioned he didnt want to lose the belt to an “Elvis Impersonator.” Honky jokes about that , saying Jake impersonated a snake handler and that Hogan impersonated a body builder from Venice Beach, CA.

When asked about Ted DiBiase and his first-class travel arrangements, Honky said that it got him a lot of heat in the locker room.

JULY




Honky is asked about a returning David Sammartino, who had bleached-blond hair and a leaner physique. He was gone by the end of the year. Honky said that he was out of place with that look, stating that it did not fit his personality at all.

In regards to the Muraco face turn, Sean references Honky’s YouShoot and how he said once they give you the baby blue trunks, it was all over for you. Honky said that Muraco wasnt a good face and much better suited as a heel.

AUGUST




Honky now talks about the angle that turned Randy Savage into a face, when Savage got upset over Honky cutting a series of promos stating he was the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. Honky said that he started and finished the match as the heel and also said that there was no long-term investment into making Savage a face, just the one segment on “Saturday Night’s Main Event.”

SEPTEMBER




The “Piledriver” album was released. Honky said he filmed his piece of the video after a show in San Francisco at a construction site down the street from the Cow Palace then they filmed him driving the Cadillac. They finished the video in Stamford, CT. Honky said it was a difficult video to shoot and said the editing was great but there was a ton of takes and it was filmed in between their travels. He says that Jimmy Hart wrote the song and Rick Derringer and David Wolfe were involved.

Honky said the Mega Powers were formed as a result of him not wanting to drop the belt to Hogan. He said that DiBiase got the Million Dollar Belt as a result, instead of the Heavyweight Title as planned (This was the result of Honky seeing the writing on the wall when he was told that his character was going to be “repackaged” after dropping the belt and Honky did not want to end up back on the beginning of the card making no money so he asked Vince to give him a chance to let him earn some money for him and if it failed, he would do whatever). When asked about Ted’s thoughts on what happened, Honky joked that he should pray for him

OCTOBER




Nick Bockwinkel was brought in as an announcer and a road agent. Honky said that Nick took his agent job a little bit too far, telling people how to do everything. Honky thought he was fine. He then said that he was the “pecker checker” as he had to supervise the drug tests. Honky said he likes Nick as a person.

NOVEMBER




The “Survivor Series” PPV concept makes it debut. Honky said it was good to push the guys you want and to take the guys you are done with and use them to get others over.

DECEMBER




On December 26th, Honky Tonk Man vs. Randy Savage sells out Madison Square Garden. Jimmy Hart was suspended above the ring in a cage. Honky said that was Hart’s idea and puts him over for giving a lot of guys ideas, especially when it came to get his own guys over. Honky said that Hart came up with the Peggy Sue angle. He calls him innovative.

Final Thoughts: Not bad. This was the first Timeline that was released by Kayfabe Commentaries. Since this was released, Sean has done a much better job in formatting. I’d say about 65-70% of this was focused from the beginning of the year through WrestleMania, with the rest of the year barely covered at all. I know Honky has told the story of him getting and refusing to drop the IC title on several other shoot interviews so I understand why that wasnt covered but they glossed over the last quarter of the year in about ten minutes. Honky was game here and he really does have a great understanding of the business. He gets it that it is just that, a business, and that you have to stand up for yourself in order to not get completely buried. I would recommend this, it does provide insight into how hectic the schedule was, but it was actually weaker than I remembered. There are a lot worse Timelines that you could watch over this.

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1999 WWE as told by Sean Morley

This runs at just under one hour and forty-five minutes long.

I am referring to Morley by his character, Val Venis, as he has the same first name as the interviewer, thus making it easier.

JANUARY

Shawn Michaels announces his retirement on January 12th at the advice of doctors after undergoing surgery to repair herniated discs. Sean asks Val how the locker room reacted to his retirement. Val said he was disappointed, as he wanted to work with him, but did not pay attention to everyone’s reaction. When asked, he said the injury was legit. He did state that some were happy and others didn’t care all that much.
At the Royal Rumble, Rock defeated Mankind in a “I Quit” match. Parts of the match were filmed for the documentary “Beyond the Mat.” Val said that he saw pieces of the documentary and thought it was decent, although he never saw the whole thing. He then adds that the locker room consensus was mixed towards the film. When asked about the chair shots, Val said back then, he thought you shouldn’t be in the business if you couldn’t take one but looking back now, he realizes that it is stupid. He then compares it to the UFC and how fighters constantly get punched in the chin. In regards to Mick Foley putting his body on the line, he said he was concerned for him and that was what led to his early retirement.
Val is asked about Vince McMahon winning the Royal Rumble. He said it was fun to watch, especially when it came to bumping. He didn’t care that Vince put himself over, saying that the crowd responded well and Vince knows what the crowd wants to see.
On January 26th, Mankind defeats The Rock for the Heavyweight Championship in an empty arena match in the Tucson Convention Center that aired on MTV during halftime of Super Bowl XXXIII. Val is asked about the popularity that the WWF was seeing at the time. Val said that they rode on the wave of popularity caused by the Rock and Steve Austin.
Val is asked who came up with his feud against Ken Shamrock, when he learned that his sister starred in one of Val’s films. “Saving Ryan’s Privates.” Val said that it was Vince Russo’s idea. When asked what it was like pairing with Ryan Shamrock, he said that it was entertaining. He is asked about the rumor of a proposed incest angle that was nixed by Ken. Val never heard about that and said that he would be turned off by that as well.
FEBRUARY
On February 5th, Bob Backlund announces that he will run for the Connecticut First District Congressional Seat. When asked if he thought Bob was crazy, he said that anyone that would work out nonstop for two hours every night in his hotel room. In regards to Backlund as a politician, Val said that he would be the same as any other, if Republican he would give money to the military industrial complex and if a Democrat, he would give it to friends running safety net projects then talks about how we are all getting plundered.
Val is asked about the WWE acquiring the Big Show. He calls him a great athlete and said he was fun to work.
At the “In Your House: St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” PPV, Val defeated Ken Shamrock for the Intercontinental Title. When asked if he felt that it was an important achievement, Val said yes and lists the guys who have held the title before him and how the best workers in the company were in contention for the belt. He said he found out he was winning by Pat Patterson, four hours before the show. Val then said all of the writers were kept on their toes and storylines were changed at the drop of the dime. Val said that the belts changing hands too frequently does devalue the belt a little bit.
MARCH
Jim Ross returns to TV after a three month absence due to his Bells Palsy. Val said that he rarely ever dealt with JR but felt that he was a huge asset to the company and that he and Lawler were a great commentary team. He said that they were cordial but also never had anything in common as JR liked football and he was into politics. When asked about any animosity between JR and Michael Cole, Val said that he believes that Cole thinks he is better than JR, which Val disagrees with.
Val lost the IC Title to Road Dogg on the March 15th episode of RAW. He said it was disappointing, especially since there was no follow up storyline. He said that he was told then he was dropping the belt and they did not have a follow up plan. He liked the Road Dogg and had no problem at all dropping the belt to him.
He is now asked about Jerry Lawler getting arrested on March 16th at the Memphis Airport after running over the foot of the airport officer who gave him a ticket. Val said that he vaguely remembers this but does not recall Lawler ever having a temper. Val then says that he should of backed up and drove over the officer’s other foot because he gets paid through tax dollars, which Val calls “the theft of our money.”
Val is asked about WrestleMania and the week leading up to the event. He said it is nonstop appearances all week long and that you can feel the buildup too. He said that he keeps himself in check by stopping and taking a deep breath. He wrestled in a four-way match and Val said when you get more than one opponent in the ring, the match becomes a little more difficult. He is then asked if the match is booked more closely during WrestleMania and Val said that several people are involved and it is hard to screw up as you are in the zone and you have been rehearsing everything the whole time.
Next, he is asked about HHH and Chyna attacking X-Pac then aligning with the corporation. Val said that he is good friends with X-Pac then jokes that he has “burnt a lot of brain cells with him” in the past. He says they have a lot of good memories together.
When it comes to the boxing match between Butterbean and Bart Gunn, Val said that it is tough for a wrestler to box, when he has been wrestling his whole life. He recalls that Butterbean was respectful and nice but in the locker room after he won, Butterbean thought that he would get a full-time job in the WWF as a result.

APRIL




On April 20th, Rick Rude died of a heart attack. Val said he has lost a lot of friends due to prescription drugs abuse and that in the minds of those that abuse them, they never see that they can die from that. When asked if it is noticeable in the locker room, Val said sometimes it is but other guys can abuse everything and somehow manage to stay alive. Val then talks about how the WWE is currently doing everything within their power to prevent the abuse from happening and talks about how prescription drugs are the most abused drug in high schools.

The Rock turned face on the April 26th edition of RAW after Shane McMahon fired him from the corporation. When asked about the qualities that made the Rock such an effective face, Val said that the Rock is one of the best ever on the mic and also puts over his intelligence and wit.

MAY

On May 10th episode of RAW, Commissioner Shawn Michaels awards Debra the Women’s Title after losing an Evening Gown match to Sable, who quit the company shortly after this happened. Val said Sable was a good champion during her brief run. When asked why she was so despised, Val said he heard the stories of her attitude problem but that he always got along with her and used to travel with her and Marc Mero.

Val is asked about going back to England. He said that he wrestled there before going to the WWE and said that he heard the eruption from fans while at the airport when heading to the baggage claim. Val is asked if anything happened during the flight but he said the ribbing usually occurs on the plane ride back. He also said that when he travels overseas, he would travel but at this time, he was partying hard and would go out to the bars with A-Train and Test.

They now talk about the death of Owen Hart that occured at the “Over the Edge” PPV. Val said that he was the next match and behind the Gorilla position warming up. Bruce Prichard was near him then got up and yelled for the EMT’s and that someone fell. He didnt know that it was Owen until after a minute. Jeff Jarrett was doing a pre-match promo and had no idea that Owen fell. Val said that they wheeled Owen backstage and the EMT’s were doing heart compressions and his eyes were open but said you could tell that there was nobody home. After that, he headed out for his match and said he went out and looked at how high up he was and thought to himself that there was no way he was going to survive that. Val said that he started to calm himself down with deep breaths. Jeff then came out and did not know what had happened and after the match, they went backstage and found out that Owen had passed away and Val said that Jarrett broke down. Val said that he was pretty much the only person who knew that he was not going to survive, because he was covered by the time he was wheeled past everyone else. Val said that believed that Owen would have wanted the show to go on and puts over Owen for being a good guy. He tells a story while in St. Louis, several wrestlers were waiting to check into the Marriott. A bunch of kids come over for autographs and Val signs them. Then, a guy with a stack of photos asks Val to sign them for him and he said no, because he knew the guy was just going to go sell them. When Val gets to his room, he gets a call from that guy who said he better come down and sign his pictures, liked he promised. Val hung up and the guy called again and said that he better sign his pictures and that he is a big guy and won’t be able to get buy him. So, Val goes down to the lobby and sees Owen and Jarrett sitting on stools at the bar and Owen tells Val that the guy went around the corner. Val went looking for him but was unsuccessful so he went back to his room and it took him an hour and a half to calm down. Six months later, Val was in Canada and just about to film “Off the Record” when Edge asks him about the guy in St. Louis and tells him that Owen was pretending to be the guy on the phone. Apparently, Owen called Edge and told him to tell this to Val right before he went on the air. Val said he was seething

Next, is the RAW tribute show to Owen. He said that they day felt slow and that everyone was quiet and still in shock. He then said that a sheet was passed around for guys to sign up if they felt like working that night. Val is then asked about the problems between Owen and Steve Austin but said he never heard Steve speak about Owen after his death.

JUNE




Val is asked about the lawsuit filed by Sable. He said that being a Libertarian, he is against frivolous lawsuits and said that it was frivolous.

He said that he never had a problem losing to Chyna. He thought that it was something different. He was sure that there were some objections from guys losing against women but said if done right, can be entertaining and make sense.

They bring up Martha Hart’s wrongful death lawsuit. Val said that it was not a frivolous lawsuit but that people die daily in accidents and that the company that made the harness should be sued if it was faulty.

AUGUST




The WWE files for an initial offering of public stock, changing the name from “Titan Sports” to “World Wrestling Federation Enertainment.” Val said there was initial excitement but it dropped down to $9.00 and guys were getting worried. Val confirmed that there was a meeting with talent and that they were told they could buy IPO’s at a discounted price. Val said it took him a few years to break even but points out that Bradshaw sold after a few days when the prices rose from $17 to $34. He puts Bradshaw over for knowing the stock market.

Chris Jericho made his debut on the August 9th edition of RAW. Val said that he didnt know Jericho that well before his debut. He said that the locker room was accepting of him. Val also said that before the WWE, he had a tryout match with WCW and said that the locker room environment was bad and clickish before stating that Jericho told him that if he had an offer for the WWE, that he should go there. Val puts over the WWE locker room for being much better.

Val talks about Jesse Ventura appearing as a special guest referee at SummerSlam. Val said that he is against Jesse for attempting to unionize, because he is anti-union.

On August 24th, the first “Smackdown” taping is held. When asked, Val said that his did not mean an extra paycheck, as they would have been working a show besides another TV taping.

Val is asked about Shawn Michaels appearing on the August 26th edition of “Byte This” when he badmouthed Steve Austin for not putting over HHH at SummerSlam, leading to Shawn Michaels getting sent home by Vince. Val that said it is all up to Vince whether or not he should have been sent home.

SEPTEMBER




He is asked about the skit in which Venis saw Big Show in the bathroom stall and joked about him being called the Big Show. Val said that Bruce Prichard came up with the idea for that.

Val is asked if there was too much of Vince during 1999. Val said that he believed that Vince wanted to be part of the biggest era of pro wrestling ever and thought it was entertaining to see him in the ring. He said that if Ted Turner had that same passion, he would probably still be in business today.

Val is asked about the Kennel from Hell match between Al Snow and the Big Boss Man. He tells a story about during the storyline when Boss Man stole Al’s dog Pepper. Al was backstage doing a pretape with Russo and heard Al say “it’s Val’s” and when asked, they both said it was nothing. Several hours later, he heard the promo on-air while cooling down backstage and saw a phone number flash on the screen and didn’t think nothing of it at all. A minute later, his cell phone rings and someone called him stating that he found Pepper. Val just thought that it was someone messing with him but the phone rings again and it was a little girl talking to him and he looked around and the whole locker room starting to laugh. He powered his phone off and was driving home with Test and A-Train. He then said that in the car, he would pick up the phone and tell the people that called they won $10,000 due to being the 1,000th person to call Pepper and would turn the phone over to A-Train, who would ask them questions. Val said he changed his number the next day.

OCTOBER




On October 3rd, Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara jumped ship to WCW. He believes that Vince took them leaving personally, stating that he believed that Vince put a lot of stock into Russo. He then puts over Russo for being able to fit the entire card into meaningful storylines. He said that Vince made sure that Russo did not push the envelope too far. Val is then asked how much of the success should be applied to Ferrara and Russo in terms of how hot the company was at that time. Val thinks 40%, stating that the Rock and Austin were so hot at that time. Val also claims that at one point, Crash Holly was a bigger star than Goldberg, due to Russo’s writing. That is one of the most laughable claims I have ever heard.

Next, he is asked about Droz getting paralyzed in a match with D’Lo Brown. Val said that D’Lo broke down backstage after the match. He also said that it was hard to say who was at fault and that the locker room did not blame D’Lo for the incident.

He talks about Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. He tells a story about Mae when before she went out to give Eric Bischoff a Bronco Buster, she was backstage with him and called his name. Shen then showed him a bunch of sardines that she had stuffed in her pants as a rib on Bischoff.

Jeff Jarrett returns to WCW a day before wrestling on a WWE PPV. Val said that Vince didnt show his anger but that Jarrett did burn his bridges with the WWE.

On October 21st, Mick Foley’s “Have a Nice Day” autobiography is released. Val said that he read bits and pieces of it and is not into “storybooks,” just books about politics. He puts over Foley for being a talented writer and says he gets along with him but doesnt like the fact that he is a democrat.

NOVEMBER




Val is asked about Kurt Angle, who made his debut at the Survivor Series. He said that Angle was open to learning pro wrestling and had the attitude and commitment to make it to the top. He also said he could work the crowd and would get blown away while watching him perform. However, some of his psychology would bother him, bringing up an example of after getting frog-splashed by Eddie Guerrero, shortly after that he put him in an ankle lock and how that is the stuff that would drive him nuts if he were an agent.

DECEMBER 




On December 2nd, Smackdown was changed from TV-14 to TV-PG. Val said that Vince was worried about losing the advertisers due to the Parents Television Council. He said that he hated being in the Right to Censor, stating that he hated the uniform. He also said that when Russo left, there was no one behind the character and if he had an idea, they told him they were not going in that envelope-pushing direction.

Val is asked if she saw he chemistry between Stephanie and HHH at this time. He said he did not but there were a lot of rumors going around at the time.

Final Thoughts: This is the worst of the WWE Timeline installments. Val, who was a questionable choice to begin with due to not being involved in the main storylines, offered little insight into this year. He told a few good stories but seemed to be more interested into discussing his political beliefs rather than the subject at hand. He came across as an asshole when talking about the parking attendant that got his foot run over by Lawler. He also either didn’t know or just didn’t care to discuss much of the gossip and rumors at this time. I wonder if he was trying to get re-hired by the way he came across at times. Don’t waste your money on this DVD.

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1989 WWF as told by Brutus Beefcake

This interview runs for two hours and eleven minutes.

Your host is Sean Oliver

Before the interview begins, Sean runs down all of the non-wrestling things that were happening in 1989, with one of those things being the top song of the year, which was “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” by Poison. Brutus then mentions that he knows the lead singer (Brett Michaels) but could not remember his name. He said that they were both living life on the edge at the time and trying to clean themselves up. When asked about the life on the road, comparing it to Rock Stars, Brutus claims that the rock stars all wanted to be like them, not the other way around.

Before the interview begins, Sean brings up that Brutus mentioned to him when this idea was approached that he wasn’t sure how well his memory would hold up.




JANUARY

On January 7th, Beefcake defeated Ron Bass in a hair vs. hair match. Beefcake talks about how when he broke in the business in the Pensacola territory in the early 1970’s, he first matches were against Ron Bass and his partner, Pete Austin, who was also from Boston. Beefcake said that Bass was a good guy and a great worker. Beefcake said no one wants to get their head shaved in a match but Bass did what he had to do.
Next, is the Red Rooster. When Beefcake is asked about how the gimmick was created. Beefcake laughs and said he could never figure out how it came about. Beefcake brings up Pat Patterson and how he had a weird sense of humor. During this part, he brings up how Patterson and even Vince were big on being subtle. He then goes into how his “Barber” gimmick came about from his “sick sense of humor.” Brutus said that Pat’s boyfriend Louis, who was a hairdresser that actually ended up hanging himself. Beefcake then talks more about the Barber gimmick and how it was unheard of at that time, because a hair match was usually only done once a year. Sean goes with this and asks if that added to his popularity. Brutus said that he took it to another level and that it was never done before. He also said that he had no clue that it was going to happen. During the TV tapings in Rochester shortly after WrestleMania III, Brutus was handed a white coat with scissors and a comb then was told he was going to be “The Barber.” Brutus’s first response was “fuck you” when approached with the gimmick and he was freaked out because he believed that prior to that, he made himself  a “household name” and the crowd loved to hate him. Brutus then says that no one knows this but he went nuts backstage, kicking the lockers and breaking stuff, threatening to quit over the gimmick that he believed was going to kill his career. Brutus says that the gimmick was created by Patterson to fuck with him and since he was Hulk’s friend and he couldn’t fuck with the top guy, he was the target. Sean asks why and Brutus says that Patterson was jealous of them. Brutus then said in the midst of his tantrum, Hogan went over to him and said that when you go into the ring, you put them out with the sleeper then cut their hair. Brutus thought about it and said if he did that everytime he went out, it would help get the gimmick over.
Brutus is now asked about Steve Lombardi and his long tenure with the WWF. Brutus laughs a lot and said that he never physically witnessed anything but heard a lot of stuff and said that he was a good guy and always nice to him but did hear some stuff throughout the years that made him wonder what is really going on with him.
On January 21st, the Bushwhackers made their debut on “Superstars.” Brutus said that Butch’s ankles were messed up from rugby. Sean asks them about switching from the Sheepherders to the Bushwhackers. Brutus puts them over as the original hardcore wrestling team and said they were tougher than nails. He also said how the people loved them and it is all about finding your niche with the crowds
He is now asked about the Rougeau Brothers and if they were better as heels or faces. Brutus laughed and said that they were not good at anything. He did say that he liked them though. Sean asks Brutus about the French Canadian guys sticking together and Brutus confirms that but said that Rick Martel would branch off away from them at times. He talks about Dino Bravo and how he got up tied up in the mob. He then said that he was shot and killed in his home with his family present.
On January 26th, the Michigan sports commission barred him from wrestling. He was scheduled to wrestle against the Ultimate Warrior. Brutus laughed and said that the reason he was barred was due to the fact that he was supposed to win the match, strongly hinting that the reason for this happening was to prevent certain finishes from happening. Brutus then says he was supposed to get the belt off from Honky at SummerSlam but that didn’t happen and that was how he wound up feuding with Ron Bass. Brutus said that Warrior through a tantrum and said he was going to quit and because he was Vince’s boy, they had to switch all of their plans and give him the belt.
FEBRUARY
Brutus is asked if the jobbers got paid extra for getting their haircut. He confirms that and said those guys would usually get $50 but when they wrestled him and got their haircut, they would get about $300. He even said how some of them would face him every few months to get the extra money. When asked, Brutus said that the main roster guys did not get extra for their hair getting cut. Sean then asks him how you cut the hair of someone who you are feuding with for a month and cutting their hair nightly. Brutus takes a detour and said that this business is all about psychology and that a lot of guys now go to wrestling school, a notion that Brutus laughs at and says that you learn nightly by working with veterans and getting your ass-kicked, saying that moves are all bullshit. Back to the haircutting, Brutus is asked if he ever gave someone an extra cut. Brutus said that he would take care of guys that would work with him but some who didn’t would be crying in the barber chair backstage, as they all got their haircut by a professional after the match.
The Megapowers Explode angle begins on Saturday Night’s Main Event. Sean is asked if this was based off of Randy’s real-life jealousy. Brutus said that Randy was crazy and jealous and would legit lock her in the dressing room. He would even chase other wrestlers and agents around who looked at Elizabeth the wrong way. Brutus said that he worked with Randy a lot, replacing Hulk, at the time and he had Elizabeth in his corner. He then talks about he had to replace Hogan and was nervous about that but since his character was so hot, he was able to slide right into the role and the fans did not complain. Brutus tells a story of how one night in Indianapolis, a fan threw an egg and it hit Elizabeth in the head, splattering all over her hair. Sean brings up how George Steele said Randy was not jealous of him and Brutus said that it is bullshit because Randy was jealous every minute of every day.
Next, Brutus is asked about the athletic commission. He said that they would basically just take your blood pressure but at least they are monitoring you a little bit. He also puts over the brutality of the travel schedule and the fact that they did not have any health insurance of retirement fund.
MARCH
Brutus is asked about Jake Roberts snake, Damian. Brutus said that sometimes, Jake would let it loose in the shower and it would shit after it ate and it was the worst smell ever. He is asked who was the most afraid of the snake and he said it was Andre. He then says that Jake knew that and said if you told Jake he wasn’t supposed to do something, he had to do it and Jake would put the snake on Andre. After that, Andre would make it a point to rough up Jake in the ring. He said that Andre would step on his hair and legit rip the hair out of his head when he would lift him back up. Brutus questions as to why you would ever piss off Andre.
Tony Schiavone makes his WWF announcing debut at the March 18th show at Madison Square Garden. Brutus shits all over him, questioning what function he was supposed to have and said that he guessed everyone needs to have a job.
The next subject is Haku’s bar fights. Brutus said he was present for the one that happened in Baltimore. He was with Haku when a few marks started to mess with them. Haku grabbed one guy by his head and bit off his nose, spitting back into his face. From that, a brawl erupted and Brutus was able to sneak Haku out of a backdoor as the cops filled the scene. The cops approached them and Brutus said that he negotiated a surrender for him with the cops, who were about to shoot Haku. Brutus bailed out Haku and one of the bouncers at the bar testified that the other guys were the ones who instigated the brawl. Brutus says that Haku is a “killer” and his life long friend, joking that he is his protector.
APRIL
Brutus is now asked about WCW countering WrestleMania V by airing the “Clash of the Champions 6” on cable for free, specifically if the competition was talked about in the locker room. Brutus said it was not. Sean then asks Brutus about the venue being difficult, due to a non-wrestling crowd and bad acoustics. Brutus said that some of that happened but that he felt that it was electric for his match.  Brutus said that Donald Trump was a fan of wrestling.
Still on WrestleMania V, Brutus is asked about how celebrities fit in with the wrestlers. Brutus said that early on, the celebrities didn’t feel that wrestlers were on their level. He personally did not have any interaction with Morton Downey Jr. He talks about Bob Uecker and how he would walk around with a huge smile and kept on saying “fuck baseball, this is great” and would treat the wrestlers with respect.
They talk about Brutus’s match against Ted DiBiase at WrestleMania. Brutus said that Ted’s hair was protected from his scissors as he was a top guy. He puts over DiBiase for being good in the ring. When asked about him living the gimmick, he did say that they were a bit jealous of him getting to ride in first class. Sean asks if Virgil also got a first class ticket and Brutus said he did not.
When asked how Warrior agreed to lose to Rick Rude, Brutus doesn’t know how they got him to do that. Brutus talks about Rude being an arm wrestler and said that he was a dynamic individual. About Hogan winning back the title, Brutus said it was tough to follow the success of Hogan. He is asked if guys got along with Savage. He said to a degree but on several occasions, they almost came to blows and that was due to Randy’s jealousy.
On the April 8th episode of “Superstars,” Lanny Poffo debuts the Genius character. Brutus is asked about Lanny and he said that he is a decent guy then tells a story about WrestleMania VI, when he ended Mr. Perfect’s winning streak, the office never told Lanny that they were going to cut his hair and when he went to grab him during the match, Lanny was panicking and trying to scramble away so Brutus himself started to panic a bit and had to legitimately drag him into the ring and cut his hair. Backstage, Randy went to attack Brutus because Lanny was crying. Brutus said that this was all due to the sick mind of Pat Patterson and how he never told Lanny the finish.
Brutus refers to Sherri as “Scary Sherri” on the Brother Love show and gets slapped. Brutus said that he came up with that in the spur of the moment.  Brutus said that he and Hogan knew Sherri from the 70’s when she was in Memphis. He then starts laughing, implying that she was a worker, but not a wrestler.
Brutus talks about Bad News Brown. He said that he was a good guy but a lot of the others disliked him. Brutus said that he was a legit badass. He even recalls the story of Bad News calling out Andre on the bus in Japan, noting that was how crazy he was.
MAY
Brutus is asked about dealing with the crowds at this time. He recalls a story out in California when the Hell’s Angels surrounded the ring, with one of them being Hogan’s brother, Alan. He said that even the cops were scared and that they had to fight their way out of the ring and that Hogan was laughing the whole time as he was dragging him to the back.
Next, they talk about Piper and how he had his first match in two years subbing for Jake Roberts at a house show in Los Angeles. Brutus said that he was always a big party animal before going off to Hollywood. He didn’t notice a bigger ego but stated that he deserved to have one after leaving the WWF and going to make movies. When asked about his work as a babyface, Brutus said that he couldn’t recapture what he did as a heel.
Danny Davis returns to being a referee. Brutus said that he was trained but not a great wrestler, or even a good referee for that matter. He chalks it up to another Pat Patterson crazy idea. Sean then asks about how much credit Patterson deserves for the 1980’s. Brutus said that he also had some very good ideas too and was in position to make them happen.
Brutus is asked about Zeus and if the plan was always for him to come in and wrestle Hulk. Brutus said that Zeus was a great guy and that he looked like a monster and had a great presence. He did say that he wanted to be involved and had a good attitude. He also said that Zeus had a one-day rehearsal before SummerSlam to prepare for the match and that he and Hogan were the ones who basically trained him.
Sean asks Brutus about the spot in which Hogan superplexed the Big Boss Man off the top of the steel cage. Brutus said that it probably was not Hogan’s idea and thinks that it was Pat Patterson’s call. He then recalls that one time, Patterson asked Dynamite Kid to superplex him off of the top rope in a match in Toronto. Patterson told him the move was easy to take and Brutus then said that he should do the spot instead.
JUNE
Sean asks how Hogan dealt with the schedules of wrestling and filming “No Holds Barred.” Brutus said he did sub for Hogan at times. Sean asks if Vince was around the house shows at the time and Brutus said that he rarely ever attended house shows.
The first Dusty Rhodes vignette debuts on June 6th, with Dusty portraying a pizza delivery man. Sean asks if there is heat with Dusty from guys that he dealt with when he was booking. Brutus said that in wrestling, it comes down to being able to do business and separate your emotions and be a business man. Sean asks if Dusty was humble and Brutus laughs at that, saying he is never humble but was somewhat respectful. Sean then asks if the polka dots were the idea of Patterson and Brutus laughs at that, not really answering the question and talks about Pat Patterson flags.
Kevin Kelly (Nailz) defeated Tim Horner in a dark match at the June 6th TV tapings. Kelly testified at trial that he overheard Vince McMahon tell Rick Rude “I suggest you go on the gas.” Sean asks if this was something that Vince would say in public and Brutus said probably not. Sean then goes back to the subtleties and if Vince would do that in order to get you to get bigger and Brutus talks about how the FBI called him on the grand jury, thinking that Hogan was their star witness. He said that he was Hogan’s best friend and that he knew everything that Hulk knew. Hogan called his attorney, who met Brutus in New York at the FBI office. They pulled out the 3-D scan of his head with 32 screws, 100 feet of titanium wire, along with documented concussions, memory loss, and brain damage. The lawyer asked the prosecutor what they wanted to ask him and the prosecutor didn’t say a word and left. Since Hogan did not testify, they thought Brutus would work. Brutus said he protected the business, Hogan, Vince, and himself and if they don’t stick together, they all done. Brutus said that steroids were legal at a time and that he did take them as prescribed by a doctor, while being monitored, for medical reasons. When they were illegal, Brutus said that people took it upon themselves to do what they had to do and Vince did not publically encourage anyone.
JULY
The “Bobby Heenan Show” debuted. Brutus talks about Heenan and how sad it is today to see him in poor health but he still maintains a great attitude. He said there was no one better on the stick than him. Brutus said there was no reason not to like him.
The Brainbusters won the Tag Team Titles. Sean is asked if they had an attitude when they came into the WWF. He said that he never got along with Tully (then again, most people don’t) and remembers some stuff said about him by Arn when he was in WCW. He then said he never saw anything special in them, jokingly refer to the Horsemen as the “Horses Asses.” He tells a story about wrestling Tully Blanchard in the early 80’s in Louisiana and how Tully and his partner, Gino Hernandez, beat the living shit out of him. He gets off topic a bit and says that Ivan Koloff was nice to him and would by him dinner.
AUGUST
Brutus is asked about the matches between Andre and the Ultimate Warrior that lasted ten seconds. He said that Andre hated the Warrior and did not want to be in the ring with him at all and thinks it was his idea. Brutus said that he got along with him but he absolutely hated Jake and the Warrior. He also said that Andre liked Hogan too and that was why he passed the torch to him.
They now talk about the main event at SummerSlam, which featured Brutus & Hulk vs. Savage & Zeus. Sean asks him how they prepared for this match. Brutus said that on a live PPV, there are not multiple takes like they have in movies so they kept him calm. Brutus said that there key word to calm him down when he was in the ring was “free James Brown.” That was used because it got him to chuckle a bit. Brutus recalls using that as Zeus was choking him out during the match and he could barely breathe. Brutus said the match was as close as perfect as you could get, considering the situation.
In regards to the ‘Macho King” gimmick, Brutus said that it was another Pat Patterson creation. He also said that Savage did not want the gimmick but went along with it anyway.
SEPTEMBER
The eight-inch rubber LJN figures came to an end. Sean is asked how much he received from the merchandise, citing the Iron Sheik told him he got a check for $90,000 when the dolls came out. Brutus said that he hasn’t received a dime since he left the WWF. He tried to get a lawyer to get some of his money. He said that he didn’t receive anywhere close the amount of the money they should have back then for their merchandise. He also said that your check would also depend how the office felt about you, if you were in the dog house, you barely got anything. He said at his peak, he had around one hundred merchandise items but in comparison to Hogan, it was nothing as he probably had close to a thousand. Brutus then tells a story about Hogan having him hold his WrestleMania check backstage as he had to do something quickly. When he looked, he saw the check was for $1.2 million dollars. Brutus also said that Hogan had his own merchandise deal.
OCTOBER
Koko B. Ware was fired for fighting WWF executive Jim Troy then rehired shortly after that. Brutus was not there but from what he heard, Jim made a racial remark and Koko beat the shit out of him. Koko was hired back when an investigation was conducted and from that, Troy had to resign.
Brutus talks about the Rockers, who were fired on October 13th during the European tour but re-hired the next day. Brutus laughs about that a bit then recalls at that time, the Rockers would put Halcyons in girls drinks, bring them up to their room passed out, “take their laundry off” then finish it off by tossing them out of their room naked. Brutus said that the hotels got sick of this and that is why they got fired. He also said that sometimes they would shave off their eyebrows or write on them with markers before tossing them in the hallway.
Sean references how on October 29th in Toronto, Bret Hart broke some ribs and his sternum in a match with Dino Bravo and asks how you deal with an injury like that. Brutus said that never happened with him in a match but in the Georgia Dome, DDP hit him in the head with a chair that required twelve stitches and preventing him from bring involved in the angle with Karl Malone. He said that he told DDP not to hit him in the head and to hit on the back, you swing it from the side. In the locker room, Brutus said he had a problem because DDP was making excuses instead of taking responsibility and that Paul Orndorff had to hold him down on the table as he was about to go after him.
NOVEMBER
He is asked about Rick Martel as the Model. Predictably, Brutus “waves the Pat Patterson flag” as the reason for this idea. Brutus puts over Rick as a person and for being able to take things in stride.
Sapphire makes her debut on the November 19th episode of “Challenge.” Brutus said that she was a mark who was thrown into the business.
Sean asks Brutus about working on Thanksgiving and being away from your family. He says it is tough but for fans, holidays were big shows for most companies. He said every year, they used to go a big show at the Cap Centre in Washington, D.C. that was a major draw.
Brutus is asked if there is a lot of confusion during the Survivor Series matches due to all of the pinfalls. He said it wasn’t because you had to deal with stuff like battle royals all the time. He said that you have to know where everyone is at all times to prevent injuries. Sean then asks Brutus about the Survivor Series payoffs and if they are greatly reduced due to the multi-man matches. He said that he probably got $10,000 at SummerSlam and about $5,000 at Survivor Series.
Sean asks Brutus if Hogan was upset with Vince when he had the Ultimate Warrior wrestle in the main event at Survivor Series. He said that Hogan knew that Vince was trying to replace him and that at the end, it didn’t work. When asked if it caused friction between Hogan and Vince, he said it probably did a little bit and that Vince loves to hold power over people but Hogan broke out and was above Vince’s power. When asked about the Warrior, Brutus calls him a “piece of shit” and that he couldn’t tie their boots. He also said that he did not respect anyone and Vince pumped up his ego to the point that he thought he was invisible.
DECEMBER

On December 1st, Linda McMahon issued an interoffice memo to Pat Patterson asking that Dr. George Zahorian no longer attend WWF events. Sean reads from the memo (that is also displayed on the screen), which Linda writes about the state of Pennsylvania was most likely going to launch an investigation into the use of illegal steroids. An officer from the state department mentioned this to WWF attorney Jack Krill at a fundraiser, knowing that Krill’s firm represented the WWF, and also said that he knew about the relationship that Zahorian had with the WWF. The memo also mentioned that Vince thought it was a good idea to keep Zahorian away and tell him about the possible action that the Justice Department would be taking. It also ended with Linda telling Patterson that the talent would be having a meet and greet with State Athletic Commission on December 26th and they definitely would not want Zahorian to be there. Brutus is asked if he remembers Zahorian and he said yes, while laughing. Brutus said that he took care of them and that the wrestlers would line up to get stuff from him. Brutus then talks about how a man has to know his limits and mentions that Rick McGraw probably died due to all of the access to pills he had from Dr. Zahorian. He also points out how Dr. Zahorian didn’t force the drugs upon anyone and also says that Vince wasn’t responsible for what the doctor was prescribing.

On December 26th, the WWF promoted 6 shows, three matinees and three evening shows, in six different cities.  Sean asks about how much talent they had on the roster and how much money they were making. Brutus said that Vince was a genius because he could make superstars out of just about everyone on the roster, through vignettes and interviews, along with other features. Brutus also adds that Vince probably wishes he could do that now. Brutus said that there were probably 25 people in the office that coordinated all of the travel and plane tickets.

On December 30th, Beefcake won a nine-man battle royal at a house show in Wisconsin. Sean calls it the worst battle royal ever then lists of the other eight competitors: Jake Milliman, Tom “Rocky” Stone, Brooklyn Brawler, The Genius, Jimmy Snuka, Jake Roberts, Ted DiBiase, and Rick Martel. Brutus said that it was probably the only battle royal he had ever won in his life but does not recall the match.

Final Thoughts: A highly entertaining timeline. Brutus kept it fun, no matter what you think of him. He also coined the term “waving the Pat Patterson flag.” Sure, it might not be the most insightful timeline and he went off topic at times, but when he did, it was entertaining. Sean also asked some follow up questions that led him to go off-topic as well. For all I know Brutus was on drugs during this, after all he has quite the history of using, but the guy also survived an accident that caused a traumatic head injury and admitted that he has some memory problems (like not remembering Brett Michaels name after saying that they were friends). Brutus certainly had a problem with the Ultimate Warrior and the Four Horsemen and it showed here but did not have an agenda with this timeline. Sure, he might have thought of himself a bit too highly but most people do in these interviews anyway. He certainly came off as likable in this and he ended up being more insightful than I would have imagined. Brutus was a good choice for 1989 because he was huge that year, which was probably the best of his entire career when I look back. I give this a very high recommendation. 

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1995 WWF as told by Kevin Nash, Disc Two

This disc runs at one hour and thirty-two minutes long

JUNE




Skip (Chris Candido) makes his debut, defeating Scott Taylor during an episode of “Superstars.” Sean asks Nash about him, who said he never spent much time with him but that he took one hell of a powerbomb. Nash said that Waltman put him over for his work. Sean reminds Nash that Waltman told the story on his “YouShoot” DVD of Sunny wearing a mohair sweater with Shawn coming out of her room with it all over his face as Nash says that was his story to tell. Sean then asks if Chris knew about Sunny and Shawn as Nash said he heard many stories about Sunny. Sean asks if Sunny ever came on to him and he said no. When Sean asked why, Nash said because he wasn’t a prick, implying that was the type of guy Sunny was into.

Nash introduces Antonio Rocca into the “WWE Hall of Fame.” He was chosen because he was the champ. sean asks about the early days of the HOF as Nash said that Andre was the only guy in it for a few years, joking that it was the “Wall of Fame” as all it contained was a plaque of Andre on the wall inside of Titan Towers. They talk about the HOF today as Nash said he wouldn’t want to go up and make a speech. Sean asks him how he and the ohter wrestlers feel about the legitimacy of the HOF, as Nash said that he cant believe how guys like Rick Rude are not in but Koko B. Ware is then says that he would decline the opportunity if he got the call until guys like Rude get nominated.

Mabel defeats Savio Vega to win the “King of the Ring” Tournament. Nash joked that Mabel won as Vince wanted to go back to guys with good bodies. Nash then compares the rapping from Men on a Mission to guys using blackface. Nash liked the group but couldn’t believe that the best rapper the WWE could find then was Oscar.

JULY




On July 8th, Vince McMahon announced that President Jack Tunney had stepped down and was replaced by Gorilla Monsoon. In reality, the WWE was shutting down their offices in Toronto in a cost-cutting move. Nash calls Tunney a “fucking crook” and said that his friend, Billy Red Lyons, would always have a new Cadillac whenever they went to Toronto. Nash said the payoffs were shit and that after the conversion rate, it seemed like you owed the company money. Nash did put over the atmosphere in the Maple Leaf Garden. On the subject of Gorilla, Nash said he was a great guy and would no-sell everything bad that happened to him while maintaining an upbeat attitude.

Nash tells a story of when he was told that he was dropping the belt to Shawn. Vince took him to the sound studio, with Jim Ross off on the side looking through the glass to see if Nash would go off. Anyway, Vince spends 35 minutes pitching an idea to Nash about fighting Mike Tyson in Central Park for charity, then at the end, casually dropped that the was going to drop the belt. Nash said that he couldn’t believe that Vince, who owned the company, made up a bullshit story to soften the blow about him losing the belt. Nash said he wasn’t pissed about the story, stating that Vince has to deal with a lot of bullshit anyway, but felt that he was close enough for Vince to be honest with him and just say that business was down and he wasn’t drawing with the belt.

Next, is when Jeff Jarrett and the Roadie quit the company after Jeff lost the Intercontinental Title to Shawn at the second “In Your House” PPV. Nash said that Jeff got along with everyone and that when the Kliq were split up on the road, Jeff would ride with them. Nash then talks about how as champ, he had to work house shows with Backlund and then King Kong Bundy. He then talks about his last run and how they put him in a ladder match, which was probably the last match anyone would ever want to see him wrestle. Nash then says that it is a business and if you are not a mark, they cannot fuck with you. From this, he brings up the “Fingerpoke of Doom” and how people bitched at him for beating Goldberg, saying he was more over than him, then sarcastically points out how how he put himself over just to hold the belt for twenty-four hours. Nash then asks for someone to try to find a time in which he gloated about ending Goldberg’s streak. Nash then brings up how the crowds were chanting “Goldberg sucks” and they had to pipe in the Goldberg stuff. He then talks about the show in Salisbury, MD and how he told them that this was a WWF town and that they would be cheering for him and Hall, which they did, and Hall went with the crowd.

On July 24th, the Dark Match before RAW, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels teamed up for the first time to face the Blu Brothers. Nash is asked if they friendly here and Nash said no, that they never were. Nash said they had a mutual respect then and that there was a running joke that Shawn said he was better than him. Nash himself admits that Shawn was the best he ever wrestled. Sean then asks Nash what Shawn would tell him about Bret. Nash tells a story of how he was having difficulty with Bret, after the whole powerbomb deal at the “In Your House,” and that he was with Shawn and told him that he was not going to drop the belt to Bret. Shawn, who was pissed, told him he had to drop the belt to him because he was going to get it next. Nash points out it was the only fight that the every had. This was prior to the Kliq meeting with Vince in Indianapolis.

AUGUST




“WrestleMania: The Arcade Game” is released. Nash is the champion but did not make the game. Sean brings up how Doink was in the game then also mentions how Matt Borne said on one of the Kayfabe Commentary releases that Nash should have never been broken into the business. Nash responds in a hilarious manner by how devastated he was hearing that come from someone like Borne then jokes about how Borne got the last laugh by making the arcade game. You have to see this for yourself as Nash was a fucking riot explaining all of this.

During a match in Ohio, Sid defeated Razor Ramon and dropped him on the railing, legitimately injuring Hall to the point that he was coughing up blood. Nash is asked if he ever hurt anyone in the ring and he said one time when referee Jack Doan told him he could bump and he threw him out of the ring. Doan went through the ropes like he was Superman and fell on the floor, injuring his wrist. He then said that he was surprised he didnt hurt Big Show and said when he powerbombed him, he was close to 600 lbs. Nash originally suggested that he hit him with a gimmicked pot of coffee then just pin him. Nash said that he was more hurt than him from the move and also claimed that Big Show told him that Hogan went to him afterwards, stating Nash dropped him on his head on purpose.

Next, is the ladder match between Hall and Michaels at SummerSlam. Nash said that since they were going up against not just WCW but also Disney, the office told him that they were not allowed to use the ladder as a weapon. He said they were up to 4am trying to put the match together. Nash also credits HHH for putting together half of the match. Sean tells Nash that Sid was originally supposed to face Michaels in the ladder match and asked if he new what happened. Nash said he didny but can imagine that when they approached him with that, Michaels probably told them they were crazy for wanting him to carry Sid in a ladder match and requested to face Hall. Nash also says that “Crazy Shawn” developed from this match as he injured himself greatly and went nuts with drugs.

Nash then talks about his SummerSlam match with Mabel. He said that going into the match, his back was hurt and he asked Mabel to take it easy on him but he ended up crashing down on his lower back with a sitdown splash. Nash said that Mabel hurt one of the Samoans prior to the match, which is a feat in itself, and that he ended up straining his abdomen. After the match, he asked him “what the fuck” and claimed that Vince gave him his papers on the spot but Nash told Vince not to fire him and that he just made a mistake. Mabel was constantly injuring people at the time and wasn’t around much longer.

They now talk about Tatanka and how he was suspended after a woman named him in an incident. Nash said it was the “Helter Skelter”incident as there was blood smeared all over the walls in the hallway. He then recalls sitting with Taker one time and a goth girl came by after one of the boys “H-Bombed” her and she was with the cops in the lobby the next morning. When asked about the Tatanka incident, Nash carefully says that he thinks it was Jimmy Del Ray who gimmicked the girl and that Tatanka was with him that night and knows for a fact that he did not do anything.

SEPTEMBER




The “B” house shows are eliminated. Nash said that he didn’t cut his pay but it prevented him from going to Erie, PA three times a year. He calls the building a piece of shit and that you couldn’t draw 3,000 people if you were giving money away.

Nash is now asked about the debut of WCW “Monday Nitro.” Nash points out how they were doing it from a mall and that it was such a WCW move. Nash said that he was watching the show with his boys and that the WWF production truck was playing the show. Nash also brings up how before the nWo, WCW was doing monster truck angles and stuff with King Curtis.

Dean Douglas makes his debut. Nash said that it didn’t matter what Douglas did, as he was DOA, due to the fact that he was an “indy guy.” Nash said that he never had heat with him and that he liked Douglas, Sean also brings up his YouShoot and how Shane said he liked Nash when he was alone. Nash liked Douglas for realizing that there was a world outside of wrestling and calls him smart. Nash then said when Waltman gave him the thumbs down after the match, it was the end.

On September 25th, RAW and Nitro are on live at the same time. Clearance Mason debuted and Nash said he wasn’t a real attorney. When asked about the race angle, Nash said that you have to commit 100% if you want to work and compares to how they approached the situation to being “half pregnant.”

Marty Jannetty returned on the same episode. Nash said that Marty and Shawn were definitely distant and compares it to a guy meeting his ex-wife at a party after several years. Nash also says it was an uncomfortable situation and that he never brought it up with Shawn.

OCTOBER




On October 4th, the WWF began a tour of Europe in England and on this date, the incident in which Man Mountain Rock brought his video camera and recorded what went on backstage and on the bus. Nash confirms that this happened and that you could actually hear him in the background on one clip but that he never rode with them.

On October 8th, the Harris Twins confronted Shawn Michaels. Nash said that Shawn legit needed a bodyguard as he wouldnt back down. Nash said that he likes the Harris Brothers and when he came back, they told him what happened. Nash said while he didnt want anyone beating on his friend, Shawn got over the incident so Nash was okay. When asked if he would retaliate if Shawn asked, Nash said yes. He also said that Shawn did deserve what happened to him at times. Sean asks Nash if this is what got them fired and Nash said that at the time, most of the roster was starving and they were letting guys go at the time. Nash brings up how Chief Jay Strongbow told himto never live above your means and to buy the place you live in, because they cannot take that away from you. He also said why buy a new car when you drive a new rental daily and that you do not need 7,000 square feet if you are only there three days in a row at most.

Bill Watts quit on October 13th. Nash calls him a bully and a “fucking dick.” He recalls one time in WCW, Watts told him to bend over and he hit him in the face, after being pissed about how he did in a match. Nash said he no-sold the punch and after three weeks later, Watts was telling him about making him a face a giving a push. He then tells a story of how he was having a dark match with Yokozuna, which was in of the old blue cage. Nash said the guys putting it up struggled and they do the match. Nash said he told Yoko he was going to charge him and to hit a Samoan drop. Nash then told him to drag him in the corner and try the sitdown splash but he was going to grab his leg then go out the cage. The match lasted twenty seconds. Backstage, Watts was pissed and that Nash referenced something Watts told him in WCW about being higher up on the food chain than he was. Nash was pretty damn funny telling the story about Watts.

Up next is when Shawn gets assaulted by several servicemen outside of Club 37 in New York. Nash said that when he read Meltzer’s column of the story and laughs at him calling Waltman a “legitimate tough guy.” Nash jokes that you shouldnt book Shawn without him. Nash says that he was told that Shawn was absolutely bombed and hitting on a girl that belonged to the Marine. He then said Shawn was half-passed out and heard he got assaulted while he was sitting in the car.

Goldust debuted on October 22nd, defeating Marty Jannetty. Nash is asked if the guys were freaked out by this and Hall said that during his feud with Goldust, it was getting tough explaining the show to his kid with the homosexuality involved in the storyline. Nash then jokes how they had to counter the red-hot Dungeon of Doom feud in WCW that was going on at the time by taking a risk.

Dean Douglas gets awarded the Intercontinental Title, then lost it to Razor Ramon. Nash said that Hall would always tell Vince that he was going to go to Japan and would ask Vince for a little more of the merchandise cut and thinks Vince gave him the belt to appease him.

Nash talks about the dirtsheets and how if you were caught having one, you would get crucified by the locker room. He then said that they had no idea about who guys like Ahmed Johnson were or any international stars. Nash then joked about an idea for an Ahmed vignette that featured Karen Black and would recreate a scene from “Mandingo.”

NOVEMBER 




1-2-3 Kid turns heel on Razor Ramon. Nash said at that point, they wanted to work with the guys they wanted to instead of some of the slugs. Nash said he believes Hall gave notice at this point and back then, you needed to give a 90 day written notice.

Nash talks about Mr. Perfect. Nash said he was the man and that he smartened up Hall and Shawn in the AWA.

Bret defeats Nash at Survivor Series to win the Title. Nash said he wanted to have a good match and could have one with Bret. Nash is asked about the announcer’s table spot. He said that he was speaking with Bret on the phone discussing the match and they were basically finishing each other’s sentences going over the match. They got the idea for the cable-tying spot after Owen ribbed Bret after tying him up with a telephone cord. Nash said he told the camera guys to make sure they caught him turning around and swearing. Nash said he got over from the Rumble and wanted to get back to being an ass-kicker. He then talks about after being portrayed as an ass-kicker at the Rumble, they cut his balls off. Nash then goes over all of the shitty gimmicks he had before becoming Diesel.

The following night on RAW, Diesel interrupted a match and cut an interview stating that he was no longer had to be the “corporate puppet” he was as the champion. He said that he watched the movie “Heat” and that DeNiro is the clear-cut heel and Pacino the face and despite being the heel, everyone in the theater wanted DeNiro to go over and from a psychology major point of view, saw that and knew how that was the fucked up part of our society. He then says that Vince will always see the American-flag waving guy as the face. When asked if he watched ECW, Nash said no and that the anti-corporate guy would get over. Sean brings up how it was a precursor to the Stone Cold character and Nash said that Steve is his friend and that he was able to do better with the character. Nash finishes by stating that he doesn’t need validation for being creative or for being successful in wrestling as he can wake up every morning and sip coffee while looking at the ocean and realize that he is doing pretty good.

On the Novembe 25th house show, Shane Douglas and Scott Hall got into a backstage argument due to the Kliq believing Douglas was faking a back injury for a built-in excuse to lose to Hall. Nash said that was not the correct story. He said that Shane was hurt in Europe and HHH had to work twice. So, Nash said that Yokozuna yelled at Dean on the bus, saying that he should have watched the match with HHH to see what Hall needs in the ring then told Douglas that there are no days off and to get out there. Yoko apparently threw in a lot of f-bombs. Nash said that Yoko was a “BSK” guy and adds that the undertaker was going out there with a mask after his face was nearly caved in and he still wrestled.

DECEMBER




At the In Your House PPV, Bret defeated Davey Boy Smith and bled throughout the match at a time when blading was banned in the company. Nash is asked if Bret was going into business for himself and Nash said that he did the same in a cage match with Owen. Nash said it couldnt have been hardway because after a few minutes of bleeding, it swells up and stops.

Nash talks about how Alundra Blayze showed up on Nitro and tossed the WWF Women’s Title in the trash can. Nash jokes that his wife was glad that Alundra was gone and when pressed about the issue, Nash denied that he was ever close with her.

On the December 18th edition of RAW, two factions of wrestlers were in the locker room. The “BSK,” who would wear the initials on their baseball hats. They consisted of the Undertaker, Yokozuna, Fatu, Duke Droese, and Owen Hart. Another group led by the Smoking Gunns, Davey Boy Smith, and Goldust all wore red handkerchiefs. Nash jokes about the red handkerchiefs being over and references the film “Cruising” and how it San Francisco it meant that they wanted to be pissed on.

The “Village Voice” reported that Vince McMahon offered his former assistant, Emily Fineberg, a six-figure sum to take part in a movie about his life that would have Sylvester Stallone play the part of himself.Nash jokes that he would have James Garner play Vince.

On December 30th, Bret Hart defeated Nash in a ladder match. Nash said he liked gimmick matches, as the smoke-and-mirrors helped him out. He then questions why have a cage match if you can’t juice and how it makes no sense. He then brings up his “Hell in a Cell” match with HHH and how it was set up to fuck him. He says that when you leave you can come back but they will book you first then fuck with you later. He then said after that, he told his wife to get the clippers and wanted to shave his head and come back on his terms.

Final Thoughts: Another great disc. Nash is one of the more engaging storytellers you will ever find on a shoot interview. Even though he went off topic a lot, he still entertained whenever he spoke. As far as painting a picture of the year(s) in question, I thought that Bruno Sammartino’s Timeline from 1963-1969 was better in that aspect but you cannot go wrong at all in picking this up. It is lenghty but the time will fly by. I give this one of my highest recommendations.

Also, please vote on which shoot you would like to see reviewed next week. The votes are all very close so click on the link below and see which recap you would like to read on Thursday:

http://poll.pollcode.com/8491198




Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1995 WWF as told by Kevin Nash, Disc One

Disc 2 will be posted tomorrow. 
The length of the first disc was an hour and forty-five minutes


JANUARY

 

Nash is
asked about Jim Ross being named the Executive Producer of RAW and to help out
with the storylines. Nash brings up that Ross broke into the business as a
referee and that Ross became a fan of his by having him on his radio show when
he was in WCW. Ross realized that Nash was funny, Nash saw him as an ally and
it helped him out. Sean asks Nash if Ross was a creative guy. Nash says that he
doesn’t know but he did know what worked and what did not. He then says that
when he became booker himself, no matter how good of an idea you have, if two
guys botch it completely and do not do their jobs, you lose money and get
labeled as a bad booker.

 

Sean brings
up Bob Backlund. Nash puts over his strength and recalls a story during a match
against him in Sacramento in which Backlund called for Nash to perform a sunset
flip. Nash said that he went along with it as Backlund was the heel. When the
match ended and they went backstage, The Undertaker jokingly told Nash that if
he ever saw him do that move ever again, he would put the boots to him in the
middle of the match. Taker said it looked ridiculous as he was way too tall for
the move. Nash is asked about guys calling the match. He says there are guys
like, Steve Regal, who he calls a great hand, but would want to grapple. Nash
said that watching him work that style is like watching paint dry and that he
needs a guy who can move around him. Nash says that Bret Hart could work both
of those styles.

 

Next, they
are asked about William Shatner hosting the January 9th edition
of RAW. Nash says that he and Scott Hall took a picture with him. Nash says
that Shatner caught on after a couple of scotches.

 

Mantaur
debuts on the January 16th edition of RAW. Nash says that he
was a fan of a Moose character in the Sheik’s territory and saw where the
gimmick was coming from. Nash then tells a story that took place during a dark
match when Mantaur took off his mask, Hall slapped him as hard as he could.

 

Kama debuted
on the January 28th edition of Superstars. Nash is asked if the
Kama character was a result of UFC starting out. Nash said that it was not and
a creation of Kama himself, who worked as a bouncer at a strip club in Vegas,
where a lot of UFC fighters hung out.

 

He is asked
about Matt & Jeff Hardy as enhancement talent. Nash said that they used to
call Jeff “Vanilla Ice” but that Scott Hall saw something in them and
would give them a little bit of offense, which would drive Vince McMahon crazy.

 

At the Royal
Rumble, Jeff Jarrett defeated Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental Title. Nash
recalls a story that Scott Hall told him about him breaking into the business,
no one wanted to help him out because he was a big, good looking guy and they
were afraid that he would take his spot. Hall wrestled in the AWA and had a
match against Larry Zbyszko. During the day, Larry blew off Hall but during
their match, Larry went ten minutes with him, because he saw something special
in him. Hall told Nash that he never would forget that and wanted to give that
chance to someone else. Nash calls Larry a class act.

 

Nash calls
his match at the Royal Rumble with Bret Hart as his first match of any
importance. He says that going into this match, they had been on the road for
22 straight days. He remembers walking past Lawrence Taylor at 4am at the “Doll
House,” and Taylor was surprised that they hung out that late when they had to
work the next day. Nash then says that back then, they always went into a PPV
hungover, because if you went in feeling miserable, you could maintain focus
easier than if you came in happy.

 

Back to his
Rumble match, Nash talks about how three years prior he was almost out of the
business. He then says that he did not go over on his first PPV, comparing it
to a manager holding him to a 30 pitch count. He said that when he first got
the belt, Vince told him that he wanted him to keep the belt for three years,
stressing the fact that it was Vince who came up with this. He also said that
Shawn Michaels was lobbying for the belt at the time too and with the trial
going on and people getting off of steroids, he was clean the whole time. He
said that one night backstage, Lex Luger told Nash that they were going to give
him a big push and shortly after that, he got the Intercontinental Title.

 

Still on the
Royal Rumble show, Sean asks Nash when he heard about the angle between Bam Bam
Bigelow and Lawrence Taylor. Nash said that back then, the company was much
smaller and said when he came back for his last run, he compared the backstage
atmosphere to an Eagles concert, with tons of buses and guys running around. He
said that back in 1995, there were a few production trucks and guys driving
Chevy Lumina’s. He also said there was no downside guarantee back then and said
he recently looked at his first WWF contract, which said he was guaranteed ten
shots for $150 per appearance. He puts over how Lawrence could keep up with the
craziness of the wrestlers and that was how it worked.

 

He is asked
about the Blu Brothers debuting at the Royal Rumble, which Uncle Zebekiah
(Dutch Mantell) as their manager. Nash recalls meeting Dutch during his first
ever road trip in the business. In the car were Nash, Mantell, Sid, and the
Iron Sheik. Sean asks Nash to talk about this as Nash said that Sheik lit up a
joint as soon as they drove and would always stop and get Heinekens. Nash does
a funny impression of the Sheik. He said that they would go to the gym and
Sheik would have the Persian clubs going wearing a stocking hat, benching 130
lbs. He then looked over at Sid, who was doing an intense workout then at
Dutch, who was in the lobby reading the “USA Today” and at that moment, Nash
realized that these are the people in professional wrestling. Nash then talks
about how when you are starting out and green, you would always feel good after
the show having a few beers listening to the boys swap stories. Sean asks him
about the stories and Nash said that if he had to break into the business like
guys did in Calgary, he would have went home.

 

They now
discuss the Rumble match and if Shawn blew the ending. Nash said they showed
the replay and thinks that he might of. Sean asks him about Pamela Anderson,
who was the guest ring announcer. Nash said that she was nice and they did a
photo shoot in Malibu. He said that Tommy Lee was with her and that her dad was
a nice guy.

 

Sean brings
up a radio interview in which Nash said that he did steroids once in 1986 but
when he signed with the WWF, he knew that they were clean there, unlike when he
was in WCW. Sean asks him about this and Nash said that he was brainwashed at
the time and that it was bad. He said that there would be guys collecting urine
specimens at the Philadelphia Spectrum then when they worked in Hershey the
next day, they would have to produce another sample.

 

 

FEBRUARY

 

Eddie
Gilbert’s death is brought up, as he died on February 18th due
to a heart attack. Nash then uses this to bring up how he looked at pictures
with himself and several other wrestlers from years ago and he is the only one
who is alive. He then talks how he looks back on what he did back then and
doesn’t want to be remembered as a drug abuser when he passes. He says that his
dad passed away at 36 and he did not use any drugs at all. Nash himself says he
doesn’t expect to see 70 years old. He then talks some more about the lifestyle
and how you would have to fly from Boston to Anaheim, the longest flight in the
continental United States, and you better make sure you are ready when the bell
rings and have your gimmicks in your system before the landing gear goes down.
Nash said that you would be lucky to even get a cup of coffee in the arenas,
joking that you couldn’t get coffee in Madison Square Garden if you had a winning
lottery ticket. He said catering then, you had ham sandwiches and if you go
today, it is unbelievable how much that you have.

 

On the
February 20th edition of RAW, Sid returns as the bodyguard of
Shawn Michaels. Nash said that they had to lobby for Vince to bring in Sid due
to his stabbing of Arn Anderson. Nash then claims that they had a meeting with
Vince in the locker room and sold Vince on the idea of bringing in Sid. Nash
recalls how Vince once told Sid that he was going to give him Hogan’s spot as
the top face but Sid declined and wanted to be a heel instead and how Vince
soured on Sid from that situation but told Nash and the others they had to care
for him.

 

Sean asks
Nash about his involvement in the NBA All-Star Weekend. Nash said it was fun
but that there were no more limos left in Vegas to take him around. He then
blames Lisa Wolfe for that, then calls her a bitch and says “fuck you” to her
if she is watching. He then goes on how people from other entities have no idea
how wrestling works. Nash said that she had power and was third in charge and
they all tried to get her gone as soon as possible. He then brings up how Vince
got pissed at him for showing up on “Regis & Kathy Lee” wearing a suit,
instead of his gear and belt. He said they got her to quit after an appearance
at the NFL 50th anniversary, when she got Nash a cheap suit
that was three sizes to big and he refused to go out dressed like that, so they
had to bring in tailors to fix it up. 

 

Nash talks
about Lex Luger. He says that they liked Lex the person but as a wrestler, he
was no good.  He tells a story how backstage at a show, Lex
accidentally knocked over a bunch of equipment. Sean brings up and interview in
which Shawn Michaels knocked Lex for having crappy punches and that he could
only clothesline. Nash calls Shawn passionate and that he was not afraid to
make you look back if you screwed up.

 

Nash is
asked about Chief Jay Strongbow. He said that he helped him out and thought he
did good as an agent. Sean brings up how most people usually have bad things to
say about Strongbow. He then asks Nash if Strongbow was good as an agent and
Nash said that in his matches, he did shit, but the fans never sat on their
hands in his matches and ate everything up. Nash brings up how he once told
Lawler that he was happy to learn from him and Lawler said “fuck you” to him
and that he has been wrestling for 25 years and still learning, so he could
learn on his own. Nash then jokes about the match with him, saying he was sorry
for the “potato.”

 

Next, is the
WrestleMania press conference. Sean asks if the press was snarky to them and
Nash said yes then jokes how they will gush over the Masters Tournament for six
hours, stating they should be sponsored by Ambien.

 

 

 

MARCH

 

On March 12th,
Brian “Crush” Adams was arrested for possession of steroids and unregistered
guns. Sean goes back to the press and Nash said that the WWF was lucky that he
was a mid-carder at the time so it wasn’t that prevalent in the press. Nash
said he was a great guy and had a sense of humor similar to Bob Newhart. He
then talks about how they would go to the gym and said that no matter how many
bad addicition you have, you at least had one by going to the gym.

 

Sean brings
up an in-ring interview with Shawn Michaels conducted by Vince and how Shawn
said that he was “going over” at WrestleMania. Nash said the Kliq was trying to
push the envelope because at that time, every wrestler was based off of an
occupation and how that doesn’t sell tickets. Nash brings up boxing and how
guys fighting against guys will always sell. He says that if Mayweather fights
Pacquiao, no matter how impressive of a card UFC could run against it, everyone
will buy the fight. Nash also brings up the angle in which Owen Hart knocked
out Shawn with a kick, saying that they went over it in the car the night
before and Nash said that he wanted to make it seem as real as possible and
suggested the announcers not say anything so the moment could sink in with the
fans. 

 

Nash talks
about fans, stating that they will always have smarks but that they need to
appeal to other fans. Nash has fun with smarks, joking that he is a darling to
them before making fun of how they will say how a certain PPV was the worst
ever and they will never buy another one, until next month. 

 

 

APRIL

 

At
WrestleMania XI, Diesel retained the belt against Shawn Michaels. He said that
for the first time in five years, his wife saw him wrestle. He said that Linda
McMahon wanted her there as Nash did not, because he didnt want his wife near
the “Pirate Ship.” He also said that he knew Shawn was going to try
to blow him up. Sean asks Nash what they talk about before the match. Nash said
that back then, they only had an hour of TV on RAW and rarely was it a match of
any significance. Also, they would work with each other for a month at house
shows and when they wrestled at a major show, they knew what to do. He also
adds that he watched him from ringside as his bodyguard for several months. He
then said that Shawn was lobbying for the top spot but Nash joked how he was
the biggest guy at the airport and Vince still thinks it is a big man’s sport.
After that, Nash brings up how Shawn took the worst bump off of a powerbomb in
the history of wrestling on purpose. Sean asks why and Nash said why not as
they were both “1099’s” and had to protect their brands. He also adds
that if you cannot fuck with the guys you ride with, then who can you fuck
with? He also denies that there was an incident between Tommy Lee and
Shawn. 

 

Nash is
asked to compare Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Nash said that Bret was born
into wrestling and bought into it as it was real, saying that he wrestled that
way and was genetically engineered to be a wrestler. He also brings up
 how Shawn was suplexing is friends in a pool as a kid and even John Cena
made his own title Belt at age eight. Nash said he was different as he saw it
as a way to make money when he could no longer do his first love,
basketball. 

 

Sean asks
Nash about the match between Bam Bam Bigelow and Lawrence Taylor. Nash said he
and Shawn should have been the main event at Mania, as it was the title match
and you didn’t know what type of match they were going to have. Nash credits
Bam Bam for the match being a success and calls him a great worker, despite the
fact that he was “anti Kliq.” 

 

Nash then
tells a story about how he and Hall found out that Shawn got $60,000 for his
payoff at Survivor Series while they only got $45,000 despite doing most of the
work in the match. Nash then calls J.J. Dillon all pissed off so, according to
Nash, J.J. puts him on hold and tells Vince “They’re fucking talking”
so Vince gets on as Nash does a funny impersonation of him and after their
conversation ended, Nash said that he immediately called his wife and told her
that a package containing $15,000 was arriving to the house and to put it in
the bank. 

 

He also
tells a story of the Kliq meeting with Pat Patterson and Vince McMahon, after
they flew in when the Kliq voiced a lot of complaints, and they hashed it out
and finished by drinking beers at Chili’s. He said that they told HHH to sit in
his room that night, as he was new and didn’t want him to get major heat. When
asked if the meeting took care of their grievances, Nash said they did. 

 

Nash tells a
story of when he knew he was done with the WWF. At the IYH show in Louisville,
Nash was supposed to beat Bret clean with the powerbomb, before the Undertaker interfered, but Bret refused. in
the locker room,  Bret kept saying that it didn’t make him look good so
the Undertaker, who Nash said was generally mild-mannered, got up and told Bret
“Motherfucker, it isn’t always about you.” After the match, Nash said
that he got in the shower then told Hall that he was calling Bischoff. 

 

Next, is the
angle from the April 3rd edition of RAW when Sid ran out and powerbombed Shawn
three times, leaving him out for six weeks. Sean asks Nash if it was legit and
he said no and that Shawn “lost his smile” again at that point. He
calls him a teacher saying he worked nine months with the Summer off, because
business was slow. 

 

Sean asks
Nash about the overseas tour and the flights. Nash said if you fell asleep on
the plane, you were fucked. He recalls a time when Savio Vega cut a little
piece of hair from both Shawn Michael and Scott Hall, who brought Savio into
the company. He asked if they flew first class. They said no and one time, he
flew sitting between Undertaker and Yokozuna. Nash said Yoko would have to take
up two seats. Nash then said they bused through most of Europe and would be
exhausted from that. One day in the locker room, Waltman brought in a full
bottle of Phenobarbitol and no one had a clue as to what they did but Nash saw
they had caffeine and came to the conclusion if they took 4-5 pills, they
should at least feel awake. When asked what they did, Nash said he had no idea
as there was so much stuff in his system. 

 

Hunter
Hearst Helmsley debuted at the end of the month. Nash said that HHH was always
different, he wore slacks and dressed nice while they were wearing fanny packs
and gimmick t-shirts. When HHH worked his first match, Nash said that they all
watched on the monitor and were impressed, then went up to him and asked who he
rode with before saying that he could ride with them. Nash said that you could
immediately tell that he was money. He puts him over for being really
intelligent and for knowing the business. Sean asks him how did he fit in,
seeing as he did not party at all. Nash said they were relieved that someone
clean could drive and that HHH saw it as an opportunity to align himself with
powerful people. 

 

 

MAY

 

The In Your
House PPV starts. Nash said they were branching out at the time, doing stuff on
MTV and Nickelodeon. He also puts over Shane McMahon for pushing it in a more
realistic direction instead of a cartoon. 

 

He is asked
about Sid. Nash thinks that he is a better worker than him but that their
styles are too similar and the match was boring. He says there was no
excitement at all. 

 

Nash hurt is
elbow in a double clothesline spot in a match against Kama. Nash said that he
got up in the middle of night and took a piss and put his arm up and in
tremendous pain. He put on the light and was black and blue all over and even
bleeding out. He then said that he decided to do some incline presses, like an
idiot the next day then went to see Dr. Andrews and was initially told he tore
his triceps and would be out for nine months but was back working in three
weeks. Nash said that he couldnt take time off as he was on top and wasnt going
to get paid at home. Nash recalls talking to Paul Orndorff in WCW, asking him
why he never took time off when he hurt his elbow and Orndorff said that he was
on top working with Hogan and that they were printing money so he didnt want to
miss out. 

 

On May 18th,
WWE had a meeting at Titan Towers with all of the wrestlers in an attempt to
show them how impressive their facilities were. Nash said it turned into a
grievance meeting and recalls how Bam Bam stood up and yelled at Shawn for
traveling on the same bus and cars as Nash, the person he was wrestling , and
how he wasnt protecting the business. Shawn stood up and started to yell and
swear then Nash said that Hall stood up and told Bam Bam that the same cars
following the wrestlers have been traveling around, seeing the same matches for
the past two weeks and that they probably get it by now and getting into same
buses aren’t going to stop them from buying tickets. 

 

Final
Thoughts:
Well, this
was excellent. Nash goes off topic a lot but is such an engaging story teller
that it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Half of the disc was spent on
January and February too. A few of these stories have been told before, from
his other shoot interviews, but if you have not seen a Nash shoot, pick this up
by all means. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1994 WWF as told by Sean Waltman

This interview was conducted this year and released four months ago. It is hosted by Sean Oliver and last two hours and fifteen minutes long

 
 
JANUARY

 

On January
10th, Sean and Marty Jannetty defeated the Quebecers for the Tag
Team Titles. One week later, they lost the belts back to the Quebecers. Waltman
is asked if Marty was a suitable partner and immediately said that he was. He
then said that he learned a lot about tag team wrestling by teaming with him.
He is then asked how the one-week title run was proposed to him. Waltman said
that Vince was under indictment at that time and was bringing in guys like
Jerry Jarrett and Bill Watts at the time incase he had to go to prison. Waltman
said that it was a Jerry Jarrett idea. He didn’t get why they lost a week later
and when they lost it was the main event at Madison Square
Garden. Sean said that
they sent the fans home angry that night.

 

At the
January 17th house show at Madison Square
Garden, Owen Hart won a
30-man Royal Rumble match. During this match, Waltman injured his leg. He said
that he did a spinning head scissors, he believed it was on Adam Bomb, and he
did not know how to take the move so he tore up his knee. He said that he had
to share an ambulance with Ludvig Borga that night as they only two of them at
the arena and one of them was for Ivan Putski so he could get a ride back to
the hotel.

 

Up next is
the 1994 Royal Rumble PPV and when Owen kicked Bret’s injured knee. Waltman is
asked if there was any doubt if Owen and Bret could have a good feud and he
said that there was some doubt amongst the other wrestlers as they did not
think Owen was a big enough star to feud with Bret. Sean said that Owen turned
and it didn’t matter about cheers. He also said it was much easier being a
heel, due to not having to worry about fan response as much. Waltman said they
were happy for Owen but business was bad at the time and they were worried about
the gates. Waltman said that they would get home after being on the road and
come home to a tiny check.

 

Still on
the Royal Rumble, Waltman is asked about the angle of the Undertaker’s casket
exploding and him being lifted to the rafters. Waltman said that it was silly.
He is asked if Undertaker took time off because his wife was having a kid and
he said his son was already born and that he was working through a lot of
painful injuries and could barely get around. He also adds that they wouldn’t
even let you wrestle today if you had the same injuries.

 

Waltman is
asked about Lex Luger and Bret Hart being the co-winners of the Royal Rumble
match. He said that the office was behind Lex, joking that the first clue was
that they gave him a “huge, fucking bus” and brings up the angle on the
aircraft carrier. Waltman said at that time, Vince wanted to keep on pushing
Luger but the fans just wanted to see Bret. He brings up a tag match that
featured both guys and how Bret came out for his entrance and went to the
middle of the ring and the fans cheered while Luger went to the corner and
yelled and you could hear his voice echo due to the lack of crowd noise.
Waltman also adds how Bret told him to never go into the corner after his
entrance, because everyone else already does that. According to Waltman, even
Luger brought up his lack of crowd noise in the locker room and soon after
that, the decision was made to put the belt on Bret.

 

Waltman is
asked if Kevin Nash’s star-making moment was when he eliminated several people
in a row during the Rumble match. He said that it was and before that, he
usually looked bad in the ring. Waltman then is told about the fact that Nash
was getting cheered, despite being a heel, and Waltman talks about how the fans
let you know what they want and it makes it a lot easier on everyone, instead
of pushing a wrestler down your throat.

 

Waltman is
asked about Bob Holly, who debuted this month. He said that it was quiet and
when he was in the WWF, he always craved knowledge, especially about other
wreslters, promotions, and even television ratings. Waltman tells a story about
one time, he brought up to the other wrestlers that RAW received a 3.2 rating
and for a while, he was known as the three-two Kid.” Waltman was asked if Holly
was stiff and he said that he wasn’t anymore stiffer than himself. He adds that
they add good matches.

 

 

FEBRUARY

 

On February
6th, during a tour of Germany, Marty Jannetty was fired
for the fourth time by the WWF. Waltman did not recall how he got fired that
time, saying he wasn’t around, then is asked why Marty kept on resurfacing in
the WWF. Waltman said that he always had good matches. He then said he could be
sleeping under a table and wake up in ten minutes and go out and have a great
match. He is then asked if it was a personality conflict with management of
partying. Waltman said that it was partying and Marty was like a kid who
wouldn’t grow up, even adding it sounds hypocritical coming from himself.

 

He is asked
about Jim Ross and his contract not being renewed. Waltman said that it was
cold, as he just suffered a Bells Palsy attack. He is then asked about the
relationship between Ross and Vince McMahon. He tells a story about being in
the office with JR and Vince. JR was eating a plate of food while Vince and
Waltman had a disagreement. Vince told Waltman that sometimes, you have to
learn to like the taste of shit then spoke to JR and said “isn’t that right,
Jim.”

 

Waltman is
asked about how he would work guys who were having tryouts. Waltman said that
he didn’t tryout guys but would work with the new hires and would get a feeling
for their personality and workrate. He talks about the Shane Douglas matches
during his Dean Douglas run. He said it was a rotten gimmick and wasn’t in
shape but worked with him later on and he was much better.

 

During a
February 22nd taping of “Superstars,” Lex Luger was announced as the
WWF Champion and came to the ring with the belt. This show was airing right
after WrestleMania. Waltman was asked if Luger winning was the original plan or
were they just trying to throw people off. Waltman believes that they were just
trying to see how the crowd would react to Luger being the champion but doesn’t
know which reason was correct.

 

Up next is
Jerry Lawler and how four criminal charges of statutory rape and sodomy were
dropped in exchange for him pleading guilty to harassing a witness. Waltman
said that there was talk about the charges in the locker room. He is asked if
Lawler had a well-known reputation amongst the boys for liking underage girls.
Waltman said that people did not act surprised when it happened.

 

Waltman is
asked about Mabel and if he was hurt by him. At this time, he fell on Fatu in a
match and ended up hurting him bad. Waltman said that he got roughed up a bit
but nothing bad. He also brings up how he hurt Nash bad one night and almost
got fired as a result but claims Nash did not want him to lose his job.

 

 

MARCH

 

Waltman is
asked about Chief Jay Strongbow as an agent, who is unpopular amongst most
wrestlers. Waltman said Strongbow liked him and his friends and people did not
like him because he was a hardass. Waltman brings up how Strongbow tried to
teach him when he first got there and called him “trailer,” because he was the
last to arrive to the building. He then took a liking to Waltman when he found
out that he was trained by Boris Malenko, who helped out Strongbow a lot when
he first broke into the business.

 

He is then
asked about a joint show between the WWF and Smoky Mountain.
Waltman is asked about the pay and he said it was shit and that he made about
$200 from that show.

 

Waltman is
asked about the first “meet & greet” before WrestleMania and if they got
paid any extra. Waltman doesn’t believe that they were but that it was expected
of you. He is asked about WrestleMania paydays but at the time, Waltman said he
was on the bottom of the pay scale and didn’t get much anyway.

 

Next is
when Bret won the title from Yokozuna. He is asked about the decision to go
with Bret over Luger. Waltman said that it was not only the fans, but also the
boys. Waltman is asked how someone approaches Vince to tell him what to do,
asking if you have to be blunt or subtle. Waltman just said that they let Shawn
Michaels take care of that stuff.

 

Waltman is now
asked about the ladder match between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels and if they
knew before the match that it was going to be a classic. Waltman said they did
a little bit but most people do not know that those guys had much better ladder
matches at house shows before that. He is then asked if they practice ladder
moves before the match as Waltman tells him you never, ever practice using a
ladder as you could easily injure yourself before the match.

 

He is then
asked if he got paid for his ten-man match at WrestleMania that got bumped off
the card due to time restraints. Waltman said that he got $10,000. He then said
that he was bummed out as it was his first time at WrestleMania. He confirms
that it was the ladder match that ran long.

 

Waltman
then talks about the celebrities that appeared at Mania. He called Burt
Reynolds “whiskey nose” as he was royally shitfaced that night. He is asked if
he got the business. Waltman said that he did and William Shatner did as well.
He said that it was cool meeting Little Richard and Jennie Garth.

 

The tuxedo
match between Howard Finkel and Harvey Whippleman is brought up. Waltman said
that Howard was a whipping boy for a lot of people. Waltman said that he always
liked Howard. He is asked about Howard’s position behind the scenes. Waltman
said that he would tell you what was said in the dirt sheets and was a source
of information.

 

He is asked
why they brought back Capt. Lou Albano to manage the Headshrinkers. Waltman is
asked about Albano. He said that he was funny
after two weeks but after that would just repeat the same jokes. Waltman said
that he was always a little drunk.

 

 

APRIL

 

Waltman is
asked about the “Heartbreak Hotel” segments hosted by Shawn Michaels. He said
that it went with his persona at the time and thought it was good. When asked
if Shawn was dealing with injuries at the time, Waltman smiled and said “sure.”

 

He is then
asked if he heard about Vince’s reaction to Jesse Ventura being awarded money
in his videotape lawsuit. He said that he didn’t but ended up getting the same
lawyer as Jesse. He also thinks that the only reason Vince worked with Jesse
again was due to him being governor and going beyond wrestling. He did recall
one time before the gym, Vince muttered “that’s my fucking money.”

 

Up next is
when Charles Austin was awarded $26.7 million dollars after getting paralyzed
from taking a Rocker Dropper. Waltman said that it was sad and that Austin had no business
being in the ring. He is then asked about all the money problems at the time in
the WWF and if he or the other wrestlers considered jumping over to WCW or
somewhere else. Waltman said no, that they were in it for the long run, but he
did try to see if he could get into movies.

 

On April 30th,
Diesel defeated Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental Title. Waltman is asked if
the Kliq were all friends at this point. Waltman said that they were and there
was no resentment from anyone about Diesel winning the belt.

 

 

MAY

 

Next, is
the WWF Tour of Japan. Waltman thought he would be able to make his mark at the
show. He said that he tried to school the others on how to work in Japan but no
one would listen. He said the first night he had an awesome match with Rick
Martel. The second night, they wanted to have a DQ finish and Waltman brings up
how the Japanese hate that. Waltman said the fans were happy to see the stars.
He also said that he got the second best reaction on the show, first was the
Undertaker, due to wrestling with Hakushi. He is asked about the agents that
went over. JJ Dillon went and Waltman said that he and Owen Hart were ribbing
him all night. He also said that Vince did not make the trip.

 

Waltman is
asked about Don Muraco, who was a guest ring announcer during his match in Hawaii against Adam
Bomb. Waltman joked that he spoke “Muraconese” and mentions that he didn’t get
to know him well but heard stories, including that he was part of a clique in
the 1980’s WWF with Roddy Piper, Bob Orton, and Adrian Adonis. He is asked
about being in Hawaii.
He said that he hung out with Bret and almost missed their flight and was
nearly fined by Jack Lanza.

 

Waltman is
asked about Earthquake being upset about having to job to Yokozuna and leaving
the company shortly afterwards as a result. Waltman says that it was true and
that he was one of those guys who wouldn’t job. He brings up a story in WCW of
how Hacksaw Duggan stiffed him in a match because he was pissed that he had to
job.

 

Next is the
angle that saw Ted Dibiase buy Nikolai Volkoff. Waltman is asked if this was
Vince sending a message and having fun with a character. Waltman said that
Vince did do stuff like that. He then said that he wanted to shoot himself in
the fucking head because he had to work with Volkoff on the road and he was
awful in the ring. He did say he was a nice guy but would never take a bump.

 

He is asked
about the Duke “The Dumpster” Droese character and if anyone thought it was a
good idea. Waltman said at the time, that was the mindset for the company, to
have wrestlers with characters based on occupations.

 

Waltman is
asked about the Hardy Boyz, who debuted at the RAW tapings as enhancement
talent. He said that no one thought to give a look at them, saying the agents
responsible for eyeing talent were terrible. They referred to Jeff as “Vanilla
Ice” at the time due to his haircut .He recalls locking up with Jeff when he
was an enhancement guy and thought he had no fucking clue what he was doing but
could do all of the highspots. He tried to do a new finisher on him, an Indian
Death Lock with a front facelock, bur it fell completely flat. He also said
that Scott Hall gave Jeff a bit of offense in one of their matches and went
over to the agent and told them that he had talent after the match but nothing
happened as a result.

 

 

JUNE

 

Waltman is
asked about the 1994 Hall of Fame class. Waltman talks about James Dudley and
how he was very old and broken down when giving his speech but Waltman said it
was great. One time, Dudley was in the corner backstage and pissed himself and
just sat there. He said that Vince honored his dad’s promise to care for him
and that Vince really did honor that promise. He now speaks about the creremony
and how Bret Hart put him over in his speech as part of the young guys who are
going to be the future.

 

Up next is
the fake Undertaker (Brian Lee). Waltman said that they hope it worked and believed
that the actual Undertaker made the suggestion to use Lee in the angle.

 

Waltman is
now asked about the locker room reaction to the WCW parade for Hulk Hogan. He
said that Vince was not vocal about that situation but later on, Vince held at
meeting with talent and told them they were “not fucking going anywhere” during
the time WCW was handing out big contracts. Waltman said that you can take that
however you want

 

Oliver
brings up the WWF attempt to push the next generation and asks if it was
mockery of older stars that were elsewhere or serious attempt to position the
company. Waltman said it was a serious attempt to transition the company into
the future.

 

Next, is
the King of the Ring. He is asked about Art Donovan and Waltman impersonates Donovan’s
“how much does this guy weigh” quotes. Waltman said he was watching and just thought
to himself that this was a fucking disaster. He is then asked about Randy Savage
and a rumor that he was pissed because he had to do commentary with him.
Waltman said it was hard to tell with Savage because he always had the same
expression and tone.

 

Waltman is
now asked about his KoTR matches with Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart. He said it
was great. He then said he saved himself in his first match so he could have an
awesome match against Owen. Waltman then said that Bret complimented him that it
was the best match he had seen in that time period.

 

He is then
asked about the debut of the Cubans, Ricky Santana & Dave Sierra with
manager Bill Alphonso, and how they were gone after a few matches. Waltman said
that he did not want to discuss what happened then Oliver tries to probe but
Waltman did not discuss any more of the situation.

 

Waltman is
asked about the rule against violence acts (chokes, eye gauges, weapon shots)
and threats made in interviews. He thought it was a rib then brings up how
Shawn and Razor were supposed to have a ladder match at SummerSlam with these
restraints. He then says how they were having to work around  everything and it took a lot of effort to
come up with that match.

 

 

JULY

 

Next, is the
resignation of Vice President Basil DeVito and Ann Bojack, who headed PPV’s and
International relations. Waltman said that it was a result of the steroid
trials. He then talks about Lisa Wolfe, who was brought in and very negative
and miserable to be around. Waltman said he never dealt with DeVito and Bojack.
He said that Vince never told anyone why people like Watts and Jerry Jarrett
were around. When asked about Watts, Waltman said that he liked him and thinks
that Watts lied him due to being a disciple of Malenko and Gotch. When asked
who could serve the WWF better, Watts or Jarrett, he said Jarrett.

 

He is then
asked about the death of referee Joey Marella, son of Gorilla Monsoon, who died
in a car accident at 3am. Waltman said that they just finished a long tour and
this was the first time someone close to him died. He then said that Marella
was well liked by everyone. He said that this broke Gorilla and that you could
physically see him decline from that point on.

 

On July 5th,
after the jury deliberated for sixteen hours, Vince McMahon was acquitted of
steroid distribution. Waltman said that Vince and Titan sports were not guilty
of distribution or pressuring people to take steroids. He then said that you
can take a look at reasons for why a person gets pushed then says that steroids
are just the nature of the beast that is the wrestling business. Waltman is
then asked if Vince acted differently after the acquittal and he said yes, then
mentions that night, they were all at a late night diner a little bit fucked
up.

 

Waltman is
asked about his 25 minute match against Bret on RAW. Waltman said at that time,
despite being in the “Kliq,” he was driving with Bret. Waltman said that at the
time, he was influenced by the Calgary-style of wrestling. He got word of this
match after KoTR and had a few weeks to prepare. He said they were mutual fans
of each other and he was proud to have the match. Waltman also mentions a kid
with cancer who visited them before the match and felt he made an impression on
him with the match. Waltman is now asked about working with the “Make a Wish”
foundation. He said when someone’s last wish on earth is too meet you, you try
not to let the kid see you cry and even if you might not feel worthy of the
honor, you suck it up because it is that kid’s wish. Waltman says there is no
right thing to say to a kid. Waltman gets pretty emotional talking about this.

 

Waltman is
asked about Bob Backlund turning on Bret after a handshake. He said that
Backlund was a nice guy but there was a major styles clash. He is then asked
why Bob was involved in this angle and Waltman 
thought Vince believed that Backlund’s name would resonate across the
fanbase and that Vince still thought he was a big name. Waltman also said that
it spoke volumes about their lack of talent.

 

 

AUGUST

 

Next,
Waltman is asked about Bruce Hart. He said that he was crazy and was definitely
going into business for himself. He said that Bret was pissed about Lawler’s
insults about his dad and that it was never discussed beforehand. Waltman said
that when Bret applied the sharpshooter to him, he really tried to break him in
half.

 

He is now
asked about Virgil, who had his last match in the WWF after getting hurt
against Nikolai Volkoff. He thought he was a nice guy but terrible wrestler and
says that they would give guys tryout matches against Virgil, who would have no
interest in putting over anyone.

 

Waltman is
now asked about Johnny Polo (Raven) giving notice. He calls him a brilliant guy
but could rub people the wrong way.

 

During a
match on Superstars, Shawn Michaels slapped a fan who was heckling him. Waltman
said that he had a short fuse but you took the good with the bad.

 

Waltman
suffered a herniated disk in a tag match. He said that the ring was very hard
and not made for guys who were taking a lot of bumps. He goes into the differences
between rings in the North and in the South. He said the ones in the North were
made of steel, while the Southern rings were made of lumber and had cable
ropes, which were better for guys using them for highspots.

 

He is asked
about Walter Payton and his involvement in SummerSlam. Waltman said that he was
a fan and the crowd would erupt when he moved near Shawn Michaels. HE then said
you are given concrete rules when dealing with celebrities in a match or
segment to make things a simple as possible.

 

Next, is
the return of Davey Boy Smith at SummerSlam. Waltman said that he gave him a
ride to the building that night and said he was all jacked up and juiced to the
gills. He also said that Bret was not fond of him returning, thinking that he
would take away some of his momentum.

 

Waltman is
asked why the Fake Undertaker angle was dropped at SummerSlam. Waltman said
that Bret and Owen took as much time as they wanted in their cage match. He
even said that Bret told him so before the match. He said that it would happen
a lot, with guys taking time on purpose to screw over the other guys. When
asked why Lee wasn’t repackaged, Waltman said that Lee was fucked up a lot of
the time.

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER

 

Next,
Waltman is asked about Syndicated TV stations dropping wrestling shows
altogether and if TV squash matches ending would hurt the business. Waltman
said not really and when the competition is putting on PPV quality matches on
TV, you have to match them. He said when the product is hot, it doesn’t matter
how much you give away on TV as the people will keep coming back.

 

Waltman is
now asked about the passing of his trainer, Boris Malenko. , following a battle
with Leukemia. This is when Waltman gets pissed off. He said they were
traveling the Midwest and found out he was dying and asked the office for time
off to see him before he died. J.J. Dillon told him that he needed to stay on
the road. He said when he got home, he was supposed to get on a plane to see
him but his wife told him that he already passed. Waltman said that J.J. ran
the company like Johnny Ace did. He said that Randy Savage picked him up from
the airport and they went to the funeral together. Waltman is asked what it is
like having a successful mentor. He said that the training and wisdom he got
from Malenko was invaluable and he learned real wrestling and even made the
tickets and flyers for his shows, which is how he worked off the money for the
school as he didn’t have the money. He attributes his technique in the ring to
Malenko. He brings up a story of how Strongbow would always people to guess his
real name and everyone said that it was Joe Scarpa but he told them they were
wrong so Waltman called Malenko, who told him that it was actually Luke, and
the next day at TV, Watlman called him Luke and Strongbow was shocked.

 

Waltman is
now asked about a letter that Linda McMahon wrote to “TV Guide” after they
described the WWF as an “Eternal struggle between good and evil with steroids
used to up the ante.” Waltman said that Linda was head of the legal department
at the time, as she was an attorney, then states that she never was around the
locker room. Waltman is asked if wrestling is the bastard child of the
entertainment industry and he said that it was and occasionally feels like that
but was not embarrassed when he was in the nWo, as they were the coolest people
on television. Waltman then brings up how every professional sport has their
issues with PED’s and tells people that there will always be cheating in sports
as long as there is money involved.

 

Waltman is
asked about the time he filled in for Samu, who bolted from the company, and
wrestled with Fatu against Shawn and Diesel. He said that it was at a house
show in Boston and dressed up as an Islander. He said he did that on his own
and enjoyed the match, even doing the Superfly Splash off the top rope.

 

 

OCTOBER

 

Next is the
return of King Kong Bundy. Waltman said that it didn’t work out with him
because he was a mark. He said that he refused to submit to Hart’s
sharpshooter, stating he wasn’t tapping to anyone. Waltman said that he definitely
got Visine in his water bottle last night. He then brings up how little people
respected Bundy then when he went to the referee and tried to have him bring back
the five count gimmick he used in his debut with the company and the referee
blew him off.

 

He is asked
about a push for young announcers, with the debut of Charlie Minn. Waltman is
then asked if it was a decision by Kevin Dunn then is asked about his role in the
company at the time. Waltman said that he makes the guys look good and that
some of the angles were his idea and sometimes the boys would smarten him up.
He said that when Razor wrestled job guys that would screw up, he flashed two
fingers into the camera, signaling for a second take, and they would repeat the
move.

 

Waltman is
asked about Jacques Rougeau. He said that he liked him but that a lot of people
had problems with him. He said at the time, Rougeau would barely leave his feet
but when they were up in Canada, he would use dropkicks and planchas.

 

Next, is
his tag match with Razor Ramon against Shawn Michael and Diesel on the Action Zone,
which is considered one of the best TV matches in WWF history. When asked about
which member of the Kliq he enjoyed working with the most, he said Scott because
he was the best at laying out the foundation of the match. He then said that
Scott is the reason why Shawn and others, including himself, became so good in
the ring.

 

Waltman is
asked about Luna Vachon, who got fired right after her marriage. He believes
that it was due to substance abuse issues and also says that she was on some
heavy anti-psychotic medications. He said that she had Disassociative Identity
Disorder as well as Bipolar Disorder.

 

 

NOVEMBER

 

Next, is
Vince McMahon revealing on television that the WWF was not able to come to
terms with Randy Savage. Waltman said that they were all shocked, as he was the
guy after Hogan left. He recalls taking a leak with Vince and Arnold Skoaland,
who made a comment about Randy and Vince’s face turned white. He is then asked
if it was known that he was going to WCW and Waltman said of course, because it
was the only place to go. Oliver brings up how Lanny Poffo told him that the
WWF told Randy that they were going young at the time.

 

Waltman is
asked about Diesel as a babyface, when he turned at Survivor Series and if it
was something he wanted. He said that Diesel didn’t mind that Vince wanted it
after his performance at the Royal Rumble earlier in the year. He is then asked
about match layouts and who was responsible. He said that there was a hierarchy
amongst the agents, with a lot of them who couldn’t even put together a finish.
He is asked why guys like Tony Garea became an agent and Waltman said it was
due to him being loyal.

 

At the MSG
show in November, Diesel wins the belt from Backlund in eight seconds. Waltman said
the match would have been horrible if it went any longer. He did say that
Backlund did an awesome job selling the finish. He tells a story about
Backulund going up to Vince during a MSG show and wanting to put him over.

 

Henry
Goodwin debuts after weeks of vignettes. Waltman is asked what was in the
bucket. He said that it was usually lettuce and oatmeal. He also said that they
were warned to not put stuff into the bucket. He asked if someone got any “extra
ingredients” and Waltman said that it happened to Sunny one night but he did
not participate. He is then asked about the debut of Hakushi and his tattoos.
Waltman said that they were stenciled and it would take hours. He said that he didn’t
do them during the smaller house shows. He is then asked if he had a hand in
him getting hired and he said that he gave the office the thumbs up after their
match in Japan.

 

Next, is
the WWF RAW video game. Waltman is informed that his strength rating was 4,
while Luna Vachon was 6. He said that he didn’t make much money from video
games then but while in WCW, received a check for $50,000.

 

Waltman is
asked about Gerry Brisco, who became the director of road agents. Watlman said
he was good. Oliver then asks him about the term “stooge” as Waltman said it is
a horrible term then said the term didn’t apply to them until they started to
refer to Pat Patterson and Brisco as Stooges on RAW.

 

He is now
asked about the report that WWF wrestlers would be fired if they were found to
be talking with anyone from WCW. He said that Vince hinted at this in a group
setting. Personally, he didn’t talk to anyone but recalls that Jack Lanza
stopped talking to Bobby Heenan as a result.

 

Tammy Sytch
makes her debut as Tamara Murphy on the Action Zone. Waltman is asked if was
unpopular amongst the locker room right away. He said that happened over time
but at the beginning, most of the boys were trying to get into her pass.

 

He is asked
about the company’s view of UFC at the time with the debut of Kama. Waltman
said that they acknowledged it a little but that UFC derived from wrestling. He
then said that he did not like the gimmick and Papa Shango was better for him.  

 

Waltman is
now asked about the company and how they were wrestling in tiny high school
gyms and it came across as minor league on camera. Catering got cut down a lot
and he compares it to the spread that TNA had when they first started. He is
asked if the locker room was angry at the end of the year and he said it was “Disgruntled.”

 

 

Final Thoughts: I thought Waltman did an excellent
job with this timeline. The WWF was doing poorly at the time and Waltman went
into specifics about that. Even though he was not part of the main event scene,
he hung around people who were and made it a point himself to seek knowledge
about the company. I give this a high recommendation, as Waltman offers good
insight and I wonder what happened to the firing of the Cubans that led to Waltman
not wanting to discuss the specifics.

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 2000 WCW as told by Vince Russo

This interview was released on August 27th of this year. It is a two-disc set that clocks in at just over two-and-a-half hours long.

JANUARY

On January 3rd, Nitro goes back to two hours. Russo is asked about that and he said the decision was made before he got to WCW. He also adds that three hours was difficult even back then, when wrestling was more popular, stating how it is ridiculous today for RAW to be three hours long. When asked if this was a financial decision, Russo said he was concentrating on the product rather than the finances.

Up next is Bret Hart suffering a concussion from Bill Goldberg then working a hardcore match with Terry Funk on the January 6th edition of Thunder. Russo says that thirteen years is a long time to go back and remember stuff (a phrase that he repeats throughout this interview) and said that Bret never came up to him at that time and told him about a concussion nor did anyone else for that matter. He adds that had he known about that, he would have never booked him in a match.

Russo is then asked if he booked Tito Santana, George “The Anima” Steele, and Jimmy Snuka to face Jeff Jarrett on the January 10th edition of Nitro due to his fondness of those guys when he watched wrestling growing up. Russo said that was the reason and said that those guys could still draw a rating in 2000 then talks about how back when those guys were in their prime, wrestling was based on personalities. Russo then switches things up and adds how when he and Ed Ferrara first arrived, they could feel the bullseye on their backs. He adds that talent and management disliked him and he knew that it would turn out bad for him in WCW but he was still trying to do his job. He then goes on to state how at the upcoming Souled Out PPV, he was told at the last minute that Bret had a concussion then recalls how Jarrett’s late wife, Jill, called him behind Jeff’s back to tell him that Jeff suffered a concussion from when Snuka gave him a splash from the top of the cage. Russo puts over Jeff for keeping himself in great condition and how he could still go in the ring for an hour today and not miss a beat.

Now, Russo is asked about the “Evening Gown” match were Madusa defeated Oklahoma for the Cruiserweight Title. Sean jokes if it was always Ferrara’s dream to wrestle in a dress. Russo then uses this as an opportunity to talk about how there are fewer and fewer characters in wrestling today and goes off on a tangent about how everyone has lost the art of being a character and how everyone thinks that they are a wrestler, pointing out that it is all fake and they are just performers. Sean asks him if the internet and dirt sheets play a part with guys being obsessed over workrate in matches. Russo then promises us that this is his last interview and says how his kids would go up to him and ask why he was not telling the truth and he said that he never believed in burying anyone or putting people down in order to build yourself up. He then adds how after working in TNA the last five years, he dealt with young guys in TNA who are marks for themselves to the point that he wanted to “vomit in a bag.” Russo goes on another tangent about guys only caring about star ratings in their matches and getting wrapped up in their moves that their “fake match” would not have any psychology and adds that Chief Jay Strongbow never did any highspots and how **** matches never draw any ratings and marks for the business who give matches * star ratings do not appreciate what the average fan thinks. Russo then buries Generation Me for thinking they know everything and how they would never listen to anyone, including Bully Ray, who was trying to teach them. Sean then ask isn’t it the fault of those who hire these guys and Russo says that there are guys still in TNA who should have been fired five years ago because they suck and are the reason that no one watches the product. He says that Dixie Carter doesn’t get the business and runs it by what she reads from the dirt sheets, instead of listening to him, Bruce Prichard, or even Hulk Hogan. He then gets back to the Madusa/Oklahoma match and says that Ferrara was an entertaining character and that Madusa could take half of the TNA roster today in a shoot, especially guys who like **** matches such as Christopher Daniels. Russo has a real hard-on for Daniels and that is shown throughout this shoot. Russo also mentions how Ferrara used to do the Oklahoma character to entertain Vince McMahon, putting over Jim Ross as the greatest announcer of all-time. He claims that there was no malice towards JR with the character, although states that he would never do that today and has talked with JR since and apologized.

On January 14th, Russo was demoted and part of a booking team with Kevin Sullivan and Kevin Nash. According to Russo, he contacted is lawyer that same day and asked him to do whatever it took in order for him to be released from his contract. He said that everyone was out to get him, noting the veterans hated him for using the undercard talent and guys like JJ Dillon and Kevin Sullivan would constantly talk behind his back. That day, he was supposed to go meet with Ric Flair but was instead met by Bill Busch, who apparently looked white as a ghost and told Russo that they were changing direction and he will now be part of a committee. Russo adds how he was telling his lawyer to get out of his contract earlier that day and Busch was breaching contract with this decision, which shocked him, so he told him he did not have any interest in a committee and told Busch to call Brad Siegel and figure out the money part then left the building. Russo then said he yelled “free at last” in the parking lot. Sean asks Russo to describe Busch and Russo calls him a nice guy and would be friends with him outside of the office but was in way over his head when it came to wrestling, comparing him to Dixie Carter.

The Souled Out PPV is discussed next. Russo confirms that he had a plan for Tank Abbott to win the Heavyweight Championship in a battle royale due to Bret having a concussion. He said that he was going to have Sid be the first entrant and last until the end and Abbott would finish him off with a punch. Russo claims that Abbott was on fire in the UFC at that point. Russo then goes on to stress that you need unpredictability and goes back to the “Attitude Era” where you had to watch each week and says that people would have tuned in the following Monday on Nitro to see what would happen with Tank. Russo then goes off topic and adds how wrestling has been shit for the past five years due to being predictable then tells us to look at the ratings. He says that people today do not need to watch each week as all the shows are the same. Sean asks if people were on board with Tank winning the belt. He said that Busch asked him why put the title on Tank and Russo replied by stating why couldn’t he before claiming that either Dillon or Sullivan went to Busch and complained about his decision. When asked if Tank was a wrestling fan, Russo said he was unsure but mentioned that Tank was a character and willing to do anything and was not a mark for himself like Christopher Daniels.

Back to the PPV, Russo is asked about Benoit winning the belt then quitting the company along with Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, and Eddie Guerrero. Russo was glad for them. When asked about Mike Graham, Russo said that he would go behind his back a lot but was okay on the surface.

Sid wins the Heavyweight Title on the January 26th edition of Thunder. Russo is asked why Sid couldn’t sustain ratings and Russo thinks it was political as when Sid had a problem with things, he would get really upset. Russo puts over Sid as being his favorite person to work with in pre-tapes and had intensity through the roof.

Ric Flair returns to TV on January 31st calling out Terry Funk. Ric was last seen getting abandoned in the desert by the Filthy Animals. Russo said that this story pisses him off. He said while watching WCW when working for the WWF, he was pissed off in the way that they were treating two of their legends, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, stating they were coming across as ninety-year old guys who couldn’t move. Russo says that when he came to WCW, his plan was to put them on the shelf for three months and bring them back and put them in the right spot. Russo claims that he was trying to protect both guys but due to their giant egos and inability to understand what he was trying to do, they wanted him gone. Russo even confirms that Flair had no problem with the desert angle when approached and Russo adds how he even got the Filthy Animals over in the process.

FEBRUARY

On the February 7th edition of Nitro, Scott Steiner cuts a shoot promo on Ric Flair. Russo confirms that there was legitimate heat between the two and thought if the ywere professional enough, they could parlay that into a great angle but their egos could not make it work out. Russo said he was not there when Steiner went off script but guarantees that Steiner would have killed anyone who went out there and tried to stop him.

Up next is the racial discrimination lawsuit filed by Sonny Onoo, Bobby Walker, and Harrison Norris. Russo calls it a joke and that they only wanted money. He said he never had a single conversation with Onoo in his life but after watching Ernest Miller and him on TV, he went to Miller and asked why he needed a manger since he was great on the mic. He then adds how Mexican wrestlers are tough to get over in the U.S. as they do not speak the language and wear masks and adds how he is racist when he put the tag-title son Rey Mysterio & Konnan on his very first episode of Nitro.

Russo confirms that Goldberg wanted to kill HHH after he made comments about him being a “primadonna” on Mancow’s radio show. He also said it was stupid for WCW to not advertise James Brown’s appearance at SuperBrawl.

Next is the decision for Jim Duggan to become the TV Champion after finding the belt in the trash. Russo said that he was always a mark for Duggan and despite being past his prime in the ring, he was still entertaining. Russo adds that he put him on TV and made him money in a role that did not have him constantly put his body on the line while making him relevant again yet hears Duggan bash him a few years ago. He then adds how he always did everything for Flair and he bashed him in his book. He then mentions Christopher Daniels and how he used to tell him that no one cared about matches and he would never listen.

MARCH

On March 22nd, Brad Siegel sent home Kevin Sullivan, Bill Busch quits, and Siegel names Bischoff and Russo the heads of creative and has them become on-air characters. Russo tells us a story of how when he was writing for WWF magazine, before writing for TV, he was watching WCW kick the crap out of the WWF in the ratings and called Bischoff about a job opportunity as a TV writer and was promised a callback but that never happened. After that, he said that he went to Linda and Vince McMahon and said that he had more to offer than just being a magazine writer and if they did not feel the same way, he wanted them to tell him that. He then claims that Vince basically cut a promo on him as Russo said he remained cool and told Vince that he shouldn’t be upset and that he only wants to help his company and one week later, got an opportunity to write for TV then adds how when that happened, we knew what happened to the ratings. He then states he had a hand in Bischoff losing his job in WCW due to the WWF ratings at the time. He said that Siegel initially proposed the deal to Russo as him being the head of creative while Eric was the consultant. Russo points out how in his first three months, the ratings went from 3.0 up to 3.5 and fell back to 3.0 when he was removed, adding that people never came back to the show due to the constant booking changes .

APRIL

Russo is asked about his opinion on the film “Ready to Rumble.” Russo said he brought his thirteen year old son to the premiere and he was embarrassed. Sean follows up by asking if he saw a future WCW Champion in David Arquette and he said never.

On the April 10th edition of Nitro, the “reset” button was pushed and all the champs were stripped of their titles. He thinks that it was Bischoff’s concept but said that he was okay with it but also thought that Bischoff might be setting him up in the event that it failed. Russo adds how Bischoff asked him to become an on-air talent and that he didn’t have a problem with it, claiming that half of the roster at the time sucked, and that his New York accent and big mouth alone could be entertaining. He is asked about other wrestlers being upset and said that they were complaining to his back, never to his face, about him stealing a spot from another wrestler. Russo finishes by saying that they could have taken his spot if they wanted it that badly.

During the Spring Stampede PPV, the New Blood vs. Millionaires Club feuds ends with the New Blood winning all the belts. Russo said that it was important to have them win and knew at the end of the day the Millionaires Club would end up being the faces as the fans would have sympathy for the veterans while the New Blood would become cocky and arrogant over time.

On the April 26th edition of Thunder, David Arquette pinned Eric Bischoff to win the Heavyweight Title in a tag-team match with the stipulation that the person who scored the pin would become the champion. Russo is asked about when Arquette was first brought up as a potential champion and he uses the line about thirteen years being a long time ago and thinks it might have been DDP’ idea to bring him in the company due to his passion for wrestling but not his idea to make the champ. Russo said that wrestlers were pissed at him behind his back to DDP didn’t have a problem with the idea when told and that the agent told Arquette he would be winning the match, not himself. Russo said it accomplished what he wanted, which was to get viewers to turn in and mentions the publicity from “USA Today” and other media outlets. Russo explains his booking philosophy as whatever he did that week, he had the confidence to top it the following week then goes into all the criticism he received. He said he was surprised to see how many people thought wrestling was real and calls them imbeciles.

MAY

When asked about Randy Savage returning to TV in his last appearance in a battle royale, Russo said that he had plans for him but Savage didn’t get the money he wanted and left. Russo said that he wanted to put Savage in the spotlight again and wanted to put the legends on a pedestal.

At the Slamboree PPV, Jeff Jarrett defeats David Arquette for the Heavyweight Title. Russo said that Arquette was not nervous at all about having a match, stating that he was nuts. He then calls Jarrett one of the best workers in the business and was great at protecting people. Sean asks Russo about his opinion on Chris Kanyon. Russo calls him a great worker who was easily coachable but was always putting others ahead of himself, which was a rare thing in wrestling. Sean then asks Russo about having someone getting tossed off the top of the cage in the same arena that Owen Hart died in and he said that never crossed his mind.

Russo is then asked about how the belt changed hands five times in a two week span. Russo then says how the UFC title changes hands constantly so why couldn’t it happen in wrestling then goes back to the unpredictability factor. Sean interrupts and asks him about the WWF he grew up on and the long title reigns but Russo said that was before the internet and dirt sheets exposing the business so he had to change it as an entertainment business. Sean counters by asking Russo about the fans being able to suspend disbelief again then Russo goes on about the internet and dirt sheets some more.

Booker T switching to GI Bro is discussed and Russo said that Booker told him about the character with great passion so Russo went with that. He then added how when Booker was getting pushed to the next level, he had to go back to being Booker T again.

Goldberg’s return is discussed and Russo mentions how he and Bischoff were never on the same page about him. When asked if Goldberg was the guy to build the company around, Russo said no and that they needed a consistent year of booking to elevate the ratings.

JUNE

On June 5th, SFX Entertainment CEO Roert Sillerman hinted that he was in negotiatons to purchase WCW. Russo is asked about how he and the rest in the company felt around this time. Russo said that everyone knew WCW was going to be sold. He then goes on about how all wrestlers are paranoid and that he was disconnected from the product at this point, noting how he probably would have been glad if a nuclear bomb hit the locker room. Sean asks Russo if he had any confidant in WCW and Russo said he just wanted to be left alone. Russo is then asked if he was reading the dirt sheets at this time and he said that he learned from Vince to never, ever read stuff on the internet because they are just a small percentage of the audience. He then says that he knew to never read the internet again when Dave Meltzer wrote that he would never watch wrestling again after the Rock’s “This is Your Life” segment on RAW, which he said was the highest rated segment in wrestling history. Sean then asks if Bryan Alvarez ever reached out to him about his “Death of WCW” book and he said no.

Russo is now asked about Bischoff defeating Terry Funk for the Hardcore Title on Nitro. He claims that Bischoff did not want to do the match but Russo said that it was a ratings draw and believes people would tune in for that match if it took place tomorrow before going on about the paranoia within the wrestling world.

On the June 12th edition of Nitro, Ric Flair lost a handicapped match to David Flair and Vince Russo and as a result, had to retire and get his head shaved. Russo said that he never would have Flair get his head shaved and even tried to talk Flair out of doing it but he insisted that it happen. Again, Russo goes on about paranoia in wrestling and how Flair blamed Russo for what happened. Russo is then asked about wrestling Flair and he said that the chops killed but his main concern was not to make Flair look bad, stating he would have rather died than let that happen. Russo says he got a concussion in that match after forgetting to tuck in his chin during a Russian leg sweep. He said the next morning he woke up and could not see straight and had to crawl upstairs then drove to the show the next day and doesn’t remember how he got through the day. He said after that he experienced terrible vertigo and would see a head specialist, which he didn’t mind as it gave him an excuse to miss work.

Russo says at this time, he was working on the shows but not attending and Bischoff would piss him off by criticizing the shows after they aired but not saying anything negative beforehand. He said that he wanted to bring some UFC-type flavor to WCW and wanted to create something for Scott Steiner. After another disagreement, Siegel told Bischoff and him to fly out to California for a meeting. Russo claims that he told Siegel to let Bischoff write the show and that he no longer cared. After this, Siegel has them work together at Bash at the Beach. Russo said that he was still suffering from his concussion yet put himself in the ring because he had too much pride. He then says a few of the guys that he refused to name took shots at his head knowing that he had the concussion.

JULY

Russo goes into the Bash at the Beach and how everything went down. Before the show, Russo said that he was at a creative meeting between 8-20 guys and when asked who should be the champion, they unanimously selected Booker T. Russo then said Hogan wanted to win the belt but in the back of his mind he was thinking whatever happened, Hogan wasn’t leaving with the belt. Russo said that he came up with a script that had did not have Hogan winning the belt and gave it to Johnny Ace to present to Hogan. Ace came back and said Hogan hated it so Russo changed the script and it had Hogan taking out everyone and looking strong but still not winning the belt. Ace called Russo back and said that he liked the idea. A few hours before the match, Bischoff came up to Russo and told him that Hogan wasn’t going to do the match. Russo then went to Hogan and was that if this was real, he would be walking out as the champion. Russo said in the back of mind he was having Booker walking out with the belt. Russo then said if it was real, the way it would work out would be Hogan telling him that he is not jobbing and Russo telling Jarrett that Hogan refused to job for him and he would be pissed and would then tell Jarrett to lay down for Hogan and make it look bad. Russo claims that Hogan liked the idea. Russo then said that Hogan and Bischoff would leave and rip apart Russo in a promo. Russo points out to Hogan that they would have to leave because Russo would have to cut a scathing promo on Hogan and if he was in the building, he would come out and kick Russo’s ass, then Russo would book match between Booker and Hogan for the title. He said that Hogan liked that and added that he would have a title and Booker another title. Russo said that he appeased Hogan by saying they will do something with two titles down the line. Hogan agreed to the whole idea. Russo then tells Jarrett that Hogan is refusing to do the job for him and claims that Jarrett was irate but wasn’t told that it was a work. The match happens, Hogan and Bischoff leaves, Russo said he was playing this up and saw Jimmy Hart and started shooting as Hart had no idea it was a work. Booker wins the belt afterwards and after the match, Russo said he was reading the internet comments and they all bought the angle. Russo said his mistake was telling Hogan they would discuss the belt situation later and he would call him tomorrow but he did not call him and Hogan was at home reading the comments about how Russo got one-up on him. Siegel called Russo and asked what happen. Russo claims that Siegel told him to not call Hogan because they could not afford to have him on the show. Russo said he still should have called Hogan back because he gave him his word and after that was the Defamation of Character lawsuit. Russo said that he learned later on that Hogan’s lawyer sent in a fax late on Friday, after everyone in the office went home, stating that he did not agree to the original plans of the match and he had creative control at the time. He then added that he told Jarrett about the angle the next day but never told Jimmy Hart.  

AUGUST

When asked about the Judy Bagwell on a Pole match at the New Blood Rising PPV, Russo said that everything sounds funny on a pole and claims that a “mild-mannered” fan at home would tune in for a Viagra on a Pole match. Sean asks about the relationship between Judy and Buff and Russo thought Buff liked having her around and said Judy was up for anything

Sean asks about Team Canada forming and Lance Storm holding three belts. Russo can’t believe that years later, after giving him the biggest push of his career, Storm continues to bash him. He also mentions why bash him behind a computer years later but not tell him in person while it happened.

SEPTEMBER

On the September 4th edition of Nitro, the Insane Clown Posse got a title shot. Russo said that the ICP would be at TV all day then suddenly disappear at 6pm. Russo said he didn’t care that they couldn’t work because they were entertaining.

Russo is then asked about the marriage between David Flair and Stacy Keibler with a returning Ric Flair that drew a 4.1 rating. Russo then goes after Christopher Daniels and Generation Me who like **** matches but nothing draws a bigger rating than a wedding. He even said that even TNA drew a good rating with the wedding between Jeff and Karen. Sean follows up by asking why the DNA angle between Buff and David Flair was dropped without conclusion and Russo said that he wasn’t around and that bookers cannot write and when they do not know what to do they end up bailing. He then gloats about the Attitude Era and how everyone thinks that they can master the art of writing and performing but in reality, they cannot.

Sean brings up Jim Duggan turning on the USA and joining Team Canada and follows up by asking Russo if there are certain wrestlers that are impossible to turn heel. Russo said no and that it is all in the writing but adds if the wrestler does not want to turn heel, it will fail. Russo then admits fault and says that he takes all the blame for the failure of Goldberg’s heel turn.

On the September 25th edition of Nitro, Russo wins the World Title from Booker T. Sean then asks Russo to step outside of himself and say why he should have been the champ. Russo said that he guaranteed it would do a good rating and kept the unpredictability factor going strong. He then said that he believed people would tune in to see what would happen next week. Sean then asks about his concussion and asks why he took the risk being in the ring. Russo said that he cared too much, even though it was a sinking ship. He then goes on to say how winning as a fluke would make the viewer at home tune in and how he would say the next show how he was quitting as he had nothing to prove then goes on to blame the internet for saying that he put the belt on himself. He also said he wore the helmet as a legitimate form of protection and not as a gimmick.

OCTOBER

He is asked about the incident in Australia regarding Juventud Guerrera. Russo was not there, as he decided to go to a San Francisco Giants playoff game with Jeremy Borash, but said that Juvy was over-the-top and funny then adds how making Juvy a commentator was one of the greatest things that he has ever done and cannot understand how someone could not be entertained by that.

On October 23rd, Terry Taylor and Johnny Ace take over the TV booking. Russo said that he was seeing a head specialist that performed a battery of tests and at that point his biggest concern was his paycheck. Russo then notes how he signed a two-year deal with WCW and only worked for nine months and asks how could he have done all the damage himself in that time. He added that he signed the two-year deal at the time with the belief that he would be finished with wrestling at the end of the contract. The only reason he came back was due to the fact that Jarrett was starting his own promotion.

Sean asks Russo if he had any involvement with the “WCW Backstage Assault” video game. Russo said he did not but when he was writing for WWF magazine, he did the stories for the video games and wrote the trading cards.

NOVEMBER

Russo is asked about the incident on Worldwide during the “Ask WCW” segment where Disco Inferno said his duck would get more over than half the roster, including Sting and Goldberg. Russo puts over Disco for being entertaining, on camera and behind the scenes, and says most in wrestling are too uptight and cannot realize that wrestling is all play-fights and they cannot handle someone like Gilbertti, who knows that it is not real and absurd. Sean brings up the fact that some wrestlers might be clinging to the reality of the business and Russo says that wrestling is a fake world and most guy today have never seen Bruno Sammartino and if they want to make money they should watch his matches on YouTube but if they do not want to make money, they should not watch and concentrate on Meltzer giving you **** matches.

On November 22nd, Scott Hall is arrested for driving the wrong way down a street and having a blood alcohol level that was three times over the legal limit. Sean asks if Hall was showing up to work intoxicated and Russo says that as the night progressed, Hall would get more impaired. Russo is then asked if a guy like him should have the spotlight taken away from him sooner and he said that he was guilty of remembering thegifts that he had and gave him chances.

DECEMBER

Mark Madden is fired on Christmas Eve for leaking info on the sale of WCW and lobbying for the return of Scott Hall. Russo said that he never drank or did drugs then says that he was drunk twice in his fraternity days? Russo goes on to state how he doesn’t know how it feels to be under the influence and is pissed that Bobby Heenan blamed him for his firing, stating that he was drunk. Russo claims that people would come up to him within the company and pointed out to him that he was drunk but Russo said he as the only one who fought for him, stating that he didn’t think he was drunk, and remembered him for his glory days in the WWF. Russo then adds that he wasn’t even around when Heenan was fired. He then says that during a TNA PPV, Heenan came to visit and Russo told Mike Tenay that he wanted to say hello and he ended up speaking with Heenan, who he said was very gracious towards him.

At the end of the year, WCW ended up losing $62 million dollars. Sean asked how could that happen so quickly and Russo said that the suits at Time Warner/AOL did not want wrestling and that those in wrestling cannot understand how others are actually embarrassed by professional wrestling. He then claims that TNT does not have a show today that outdrew Nitro (Mike Johnson from PWInsider.com debunked that by posting the ratings for an episode of “Rizzoli & Isles”).

Sean asks Russo what his goal was when he went to WCW. Russo thought he did all he could in the WWF and they couldn’t go any higher and told Vince McMahon that they had a year to ride this wave of popularity. He said that he is a “challenge guy” and that he saw the younger guys in WCW as having a lot of potential. He then rants about being sick of others accusing Vince McMahon of filtering him and getting all the credit by stating how Vince would take one small thing he came up with and make it better. He said that he was never underpaid in the WWF and recalls a time when he got on the elevator and Vince was there and he told Russo that business was good and handed him an envelope. Russo said that he opened it up and it was a check for five-figures. Russo closes by stating that he helped change the business and that people want to make his legacy as one of a failure.

Final Thoughts: This was certainly some interview. In regards to 2000 WCW, the whole company seemed toxic and it was bound to fail so blaming Russo as the main reason of their downfall is a bit absurd to me. A bad mix of veterans, incompetent management, bad booking decisions, and a company (Time Warner/AOL) that did not want to feature wrestling are all to blame equally. On the subject of Russo, he clearly had an agenda and that was to clear his name of any wrongdoing during his tenure in WCW. He is quick to blame everyone else and constantly contradicted himself throughout the interview. He does this about the internet a lot. He went off topic a lot and that was usually when he was asked about one of his ideas that bombed. When that happened, he would go off on a tangent about needing to be unpredictable and blaming the internet for everything about wrestling. He was obsessed over Meltzer’s star ratings and had a need to bash Christopher Daniels constantly, who now has a highly entertaining character by the way since Russo left TNA, which had very little to do with 2000 WCW. I will say that I agree with Russo about their needing to be more characters in wrestling but some of his ideas are truly awful. And Tank Abbott being the WCW Champion would have probably flopped too. As far as a recommendation, I would recommend this, especially if you haven’t seen any shoots from Russo, but if you have and were sick of him in those, I do not know how much you will enjoy this. Also, I thought Sean Oliver did a tremendous job with the interview. He asked good questions and would even ask follow-up or counter questions when appropriate. I will also add that after one of his several mentions throughout the interview about how this would be his last ever shoot, when asked by Sean if we could consider coming back to do the 1998 WWF Timeline, he said that he would.

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1997 WWF as told by Jim Cornette

Just as a warning, this is a lengthy review, as the interview was nearly three-and-a-half hours long. I tried to make it as short as possible without leaving out any important details. Hope you guys enjoy.

JANUARY

Jim is asked about “Shotgun Saturday Night,” which debuted on January 4th. Sean asks if it was an attempt to mirror the small, homegrown feel that ECW had going on. Jim said that they wanted the grittiness from ECW to combine with the live shows Memphis had on Saturday nights from the 70’s. Jim then goes on to say how it was a hard show to organize, as you had to fly in everyone to New York. After several weeks of that and other priorities getting in the way, it quickly fizzled. He then tells a story of how Vince wanted to film a piece with him and Mini Vader. It would have Mini Vader get off the bus from Mexico at the Port Authority and attempt to use the bathroom but find out that the urinals were too tall for him so Cornette would be there with him, yelling at him to jump. However, once they saw the bathroom, they found that the urinals were short enough so the plan was ditched but they decided to have Cornette announce the mini’s match and get stripped at the end. Cornette said that he tried to block that, along with other stuff that happened to him in the WWF, out of his mind like someone who survived Auschwitz or a rape. He goes on to say how even though he was going to look like a buffoon, he was going to do it right so he bought a pair of oversized white, fluffy boxers and drew red hearts with a sharpie himself.

Still on the debut of “Shotgun Saturday Night,” Sean asks about Marlena flashing her tits during a match between Goldust and the Sultan. Jim said that she had band-aids over her nipples and it was just done for shock value. Jim also calls Todd Pettengil extremely talented, crediting him for writing and producing the song number himself, but that he didn’t show shit from apple butter when it came to wrestling.

Sean asks Cornette about the Fake Diesel and Fake Razor Ramon team, who wrestled their last tag-match on January 6th. Jim thinks this happened as a result of Vince realizing that he still owned the names. He adds that no one but Vince thought this was a good idea. He also had to teach them how to work like the originals, and adds that he watched a ton of Kevin Nash matches and came up with just six moves, including a hair flip. He claims that he is not knocking or criticizing him, just stating a fact.

Jim is asked about the Royal Rumble. He pulls out his ledger to check Sean’s attendance figure of 60,525. Jim says that the figure was right but just over 47,000 were paid and the rest comped. He said that the original plan was for Vader to win the belt from HBK at the 1996 SummerSlam PPV then have another match at Survivor Series before HBK regained the belt in his hometown. Cornette then adds how he was supposed to wear a cowboy hat at the press conference but HBK bitched about Vader being stiff in the ring and the whole thing was scrapped. Cornette also questioned having the event in San Antonio, as it was not a tourist destination.

Going over the Royal Rumble card, they talk about Austin winning the Rumble match. Cornette said that they all knew he would be a star but had no idea it would get to be that big. Sean asks about Vince Russo saying he helped get Austin over. Jim compared Russo to an idiot savant, who would rattle off a bunch of shit and McMahon would take two ideas out of his hundred and make them work. Jim also says that Russo was not yet writing TV at this time (He started either March or April) and was working on the magazine. They also talk about HBK beating Psycho Sid for the title, with Jose Lothario at his side. Cornette says that HBK was great in the ring, but horrible for business, citing his mood swings, the “lost my smile” deal, then cracks some jokes about him. Cornette also says that Bruce Prichard came up with the Jose Lothario angle, which was supposed to be similar to what Mick was to Rocky in Rocky III. However, HBK would never put Lothario over, often looking away from him and even yelling at times so the angle did not work out that well.

On January 24th, Dr. Jerry Graham passed away at age 65 due to complications of a stroke. Sean asks Jim if Vince was affected by his death, as Graham was one of Vince’s idols as a kid, with his flashy wardrobe, cars, and how he would light cigars with one hundred dollar bills. Jim didn’t know if he was or not.

FEBRUARY

Sean asks Jim about the February 13th edition of RAW, where Shawn “lost his smile.” Cornette said that everyone was pissed off at him and when HBK got upset, he would play up his knee injury. Sean then asks Jim about the “lost my smile” line and if he was given that or made it up on his own? Jim said that Shawn mostly used his own stuff and would usually ramble on and on. Jim says that when RAW was taped, he would usually go about thirteen minutes and they would have to edit that down to about six. Jim goes further down the timeline and said that D-X was an excuse for Shawn to “jack-off”, by creating a group of “jack-offs,” then closes by stating how he was not a fan of the group.

Also on that same edition of RAW, Rocky Maivia defeated HHH for the Intercontinental Title. Jim looks at his ledger and said that it was a last-minute decision, as he had Rocky originally going up against Steve Austin and HHH facing Bob Holly. Sean asks Jim if it was too soon for Rocky to get the belt and Jim says that it was. He then adds how the debuted only a few months prior and the fans saw right through that. Jim says that he saw him in a dark match in Corpus Christi and saw that he had all the instincts and was far more advanced than anyone else for his level of training. Jim also goes more into Rocky, how he trained with his dad and not at a wrestling school. Before his debut, Jim was really high on him and suggested that he booked like someone who would be the champion in five years, adding he should also have cool music and a good look but instead ended up having cheesy music and looked like a goof, as Pat Patterson made the call for him to debut as a smiling babyface. When Sean asks Jim about the backlash, he said Rocky was smart enough to see that the character worked against him and turned it around so he could become a successful heel. He even gives Russo a compliment (although it was backhanded) by stating he had a hand in helping him get over more by letting him become anti-social, but that Russo wants everyone to be anti-social.

Jim is asked about Chyna, who debuted at the “Final Four” In Your House PPV. He said that he never paid much attention to her and that she was originally just going to be used as a body-building monster but once she got political allies, she then started to beat the men, which he blames on Russo and hints at his psyche.

Jim is asked about the return of the Legion of Doom. He said they came back because talent was in short supply but Hawk had his issues and it didn’t work out, as they had younger and bigger guys doing the same things that they did.

Up next is the ECW Invasion. Jim says that Bruce Prichard was a fan of ECW but that he was not, citing the stupidity of the constant hardcore matches. He says this was done in response to WCW finding a lot of new talent. He then talks about how Heyman kept RVD and Sabu away from the rest of the locker room and that the WWF guys were pissed at RVD for dressing in his car. He mentions that the relationship ended when one of the agents went to Vince and asked why they had an ECW guy (RVD) beat their own guy (Road Dogg) in a match. Heyman then got pissed because Road Dogg was an opening match guy and RVD was his top guy so they left. Jim said they should have just agreed to do a double DQ then go on their way. He then mentions how Vince decided one day at his pool to put Heyman on their payroll, who would go into his own locker room and trash the WWF, stating that they were against him as he was collecting a paycheck.

MARCH

Jim is asked about how on the March 10th episode of RAW, it became known as “RAW is WAR” and started to go two hours. I t was also live, had a new format and pyro, along with Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People” as the theme song. Jim said that before, when RAW was one hour, they taped for the month on a Monday night and then taped a month of Superstars o Tuesday’s. This would allow them to plan everything between tapings but when it went live and they added an extra hour, it added a ton of extra work and hassle. He then said how back then, before spoilers were rampant on the internet, the taped shows did the same as the live shows, ratings wise.

Sean brings up how Steve Williams was arrested on felony charges after being found in possession of several boxes containing steroids and painkillers. He was about to be signed by the WWF before this happened. Jim said that he wasn’t officially signed then but probably wished he hadn’t when he came in later.

Up next is when New Jersey governor Christie Whitman signed a bill that recognized professional wrestling as entertainment and not a sport, thus eliminating the tax it had for being a televised event. Jim is asked if he was pissed and he said that he was, because it led to the wrestling industry announcing that the matches are staged and pre-determined, but that Vince was doing this several years prior when he was trying to get rid of the athletic commission. Jim also said that Vince believes wrestling does better when people know it is scripted. Sean then asks Jim if getting rid of the athletic commission was bad for the health of wrestlers and Jim starts to laugh, asking Sean if he was ribbing. He then tells a story of how the Louisiana Athletic Commission required a physical for $100 if you didn’t have a doctor that could do one for you so he called his cousin’s wife, who was a nurse, and got a bunch of answers for the form he had to fill out then found a doctor in the phone book and mailed that in, along with $10, and got his license. He finishes by stating the athletic commission was just designed to take money away from the wrestlers.

Up next is the edition of RAW were Bret Hart shoves Vince down and cuts a profanity-laced promo against WWF management after losing to Sid. Jim said it was not scripted and they told Bret to go out there and act pissed off, but make it seem real. Sean then asks if they had to clear that with the USA Network and Jim said that was Kevin Dunn’s job then does an impression of him at Sean’s request.

Next is Wrestlemania XIII at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago. Jim remembers that he was sick as a dog with bronchitis. He said that they made $837,000 with the rent being $75,000 but the week after, did poor at the house shows. He talks about the submission match between Bret Hart and Steve Austin, calling it his favorite WWF match, comparing it to a match you would see in Mid-South or the Mid-Atlantic region as it was dirty, bloody, and gritty. They wanted Ken Shamrock as the ref, instead of a regular referee and said that Ken was more experienced than you think as he worked with him on an Independent show in North Carolina several years later.

On the following episode of RAW, Bret Hart reforms the Hart Foundation with Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith. Sean asks if it was designed to have them be heels in the USA but faces in Canada. Jim said it was not but it happened to end up that way so they decided to go that way. Jim then talks about everything that happened to help the company build to their hot period happened in 1997, citing that he had just as much involvement in the product as anyone else did that year. He said that a lot of it was perfect timing, which is the key to getting a company over. He said when you are hot, you can’t fuck it up but when you are cold, it cannot be resurrected.

APRIL

Jim is asked about what happened to Vader in Kuwait, when he attacked the host of “Good Morning Kuwait.” Jim says that Vader grabbed the host, like he did with most people, and the host got pissed and that was highly frowned upon in Kuwait so he wasn’t allowed to leave the country until ten days after the incident. He then says he saw the incident recently on “Botchamania.”

Sean then asks about Rockabilly, asking who came up with the idea. He said that it wasn’t him and that when he got to the WWF the year prior, he told Vince that he needed to be more realistic if he wanted to compete with WCW. Jim also said this was too gimmicky to work.

Jim is then asked about the IYH match where Undertaker threw a fireball at Paul Bearer after beating Mankind. Sean asked on tips for throwing a fireball. Jim says that you do not actually throw it but rather light it then reveal it and it would go up in the air.

Up next is when Henry Godwinn broke his neck taking the Doomsday Device on the April 21st edition of RAW. Sean asks if they were known to be careless in the ring. Jim says that they were stiff but not careless and let once let them hang him off of a scaffold. On that same RAW, Ken Shamrock made a challenge to Mike Tyson. Cornette said that it was just an attempt to get Shamrock over and not to lead to an actual feud with Tyson. Jim notes that when Tyson came in later in the year, he was initially against spending two million on a guy to not wrestle but that he was wrong about that as Tyson got them a lot of press.

MAY

Jim is asked about the shoot interview from Goldust on RAW. He said this was Russo trying to be real and tells a story of how they taped a RAW from Germany while on their international tour. He said the show sucked and the arena was poorly lit and the matches were cold. No one thought it was a good idea to air this show but Vince wanted it so they did. After it aired and did a shitty rating, Vince called a meeting early in the morning the next day and was pissed at everyone. Russo then speaks up saying that he knew it was a shitty idea, despite having no involvement with that show, and Vince took a liking to him and started to listen to his ideas.

Sean asks about the May 12th edition of RAW, where Rob Van Dam beat Jeff Hardy. Lawler referred to Van Dam as “Mr. Monday Night” on commentary for the first time. Cornette said that Heyman fed that line to someone else, so they could give it to Lawler. Sean then asks Jim about the Hardy’s and if they saw potential in them. He said that they did, seeing them as a Rock & Roll Express type of team, and that they started doing jobs for them because of the Italian Stallion, who would lie to agent Chief Jay Strongbow about their ages.

We are now on the May 26th edition of RAW, where the video of Mick Foley jumping off his roof as a kid was shown on TV for the first time, as well was his “Dude Love” character. Cornetee said that Foley was doing his Dude Love character in that clip, which was his tribute to Jimmy Valiant. Cornette said that he had fun helping Foley with Dude Love, stating he would find old interviews from Valiant and write down quotes. Also on this RAW, HBK & Austin teamed up to win the Tag-Team Titles from Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith. Sean asks Jim if HBK had a lot of heat with the office when he came back and Jim confirms. He then states how Vince would let his top guys get away with anything, unlike any other promoter. He then calls out HBK for being a prick towards him.

JUNE

HHH ddefeats Mankind to win King of the Ring Tournament. Cornette said HHH scheduled to win in 1996 but the curtain call at MSG with the Kliq fucked him over. He said HHH went to apologize after that, recalling how Gerry Brisco wanted to stretch someone when that happened. Jim said that he was throwing stuff around backstage and said that the Kilq took a giant shit on Vince, in his building. He said that incident probably cost HHH around $200,000 but jokes that he probably made that back already. He said at that time he told HHH that the heat would pass and he was still young and talented. They then go into the clip of that shown on television, which was Russo’s idea, that gave HHH a push. Sean asks if Vicne okyed the curtain call, like Nash claims. Cornette said Vince looked piss when they walked by him backstage and doesn’t think that he would work all of his gents like that. He then says the Kliq were smart but acted like assholes around people who let them, because they were fools.

Next is the backstage fight before RAW in Hartford between HBK and Bret. Cornette starts by saying Shawn was 0-Life in fights, recalling how Ron Harris picked him u by his throat and talks about the Marine, or Marines, that kicked his ass. He says he came out of the office and saw Steve Lombardi running around like crazy. He doesn’t know how it started but they fought in the bathroom, where Lawler was in the stall taking a shit. He then finished up quickly and ran out to break things up. Cornette then went into Vince and told him about the fight when Shawn ran in, holding a clump of his own hair, and told Vince that it was an unsafe working environment then threw the hair on the ground and left. Vince then went out after him and Cornette took out a paper bag and put the hair inside. He took it home to his now ex-wife, where she put it in a plastic bag. She still has it somewhere.   

We now talk about Sable, who won a swimsuit contest at a house show against Sunny, Marlena, and Chyna. Jim tells a story of how Vince loved Johnny B. Badd and brought him in when his contract was about to expire. They also flew in his wife, Sable, and Vince became smitten with her. They signed Mero but the problem was that WCW owned that character and Mero was only trained to wrestle as Badd. Cornette thought the idea of pairing her withMero, a face, was a terrible idea because the focus would only be on her, not Mero. Cornette then trashes Able, saying her only talent was her plastic surgeries and calls her an “Undercover Cunt,” as she was two-faced, unlike Sunny who was an “Outfront Cunt,” as she was upfront with you. He also said that in the offices, his mailbox was right next to Jim Ross and the mailman must have accidentally placed Sable’s Playboy contract in his slot. He looked at that and said that his best year in the business was five times less thanwht Sable got that year.  He then aid later on, the nail in the coffin for Mero was when he got powerbombed by Sable and shortly after that was booked in a house show main event against Austin, who called Vicne and said since he just got powerbombed by a girl, there was no point of wrestling him for more than fifteen seconds.  

Jim is then asked about his appearance with Jerry  Lawler at an ECW house show in Philadelphia. He said that Chris Candido asked him to appear, as they had a surprise every month at their Philly show. Lawler was already appearing so Cornette said that he would do it for free, as long as Heyman and Dennis Coraluzzo buried their hatchet in regards to the argument over the NWA Title Tournament in 1994, which ended up being the Birth of Extreme Championship Wrestling. Heyman sent him a limo and he and Coraluzzo met Heyman at Morton’s Steakhouse. The limo then took them to the arena, where Heyman instructed them to wait, as they were going to run out when the lights went out. Heyman came in the limo and apologized to Coraluzzo and told him he would take care of everything and tell his boys that they could work his events after the show. He and Lawler run in and the fans are throwing trash and they hit the guys in the ring, with Lawler accidentally whacking Tommy Dreamer in the nuts so hard that they swelled up to the size of a grapefruit. They run though the crowd and are rushed back into the limo, with Heyman handing an envelope to Cornette, containing $750. A few days later, Heyman denied the agreement he promised Coraluzzo.

Michael Cole makes his WWF debut on the June 30th edition of RAW, interviewing the Legion of Doom. Cornette liked Cole but he knew nothing about wrestling. He also says that he was a Kevin Dunn project and his choice to eventually replace Jim Ross on commentary, who Dunn disliked due to his Southern accent.

JULY

Jim talks about the Canadian Stampede. Said that $212,000 they earned for this in Calgary, set  a record there. He said one of the best “In Your House” PPV’s of all-time. He recalls that it was a very emotional show with all of the family there for the Hart Foundation.

On July 14th, the Patriot makes his debut. Sean asks him about the character. Jim doesn’t remember how he came in but calls him a good promo with great body and they needed new top babyfaces. He says he pushed for him but that he did not bring him in but did want to use him in a good spot. He tells a story of how he was at a production meeting. The Patriot was getting over but the Hart Foundation did not like working with him and he had no political allies. Jim asks why should the Patriot come out and get booed in Halifax, where the Hart’s were loved. The others in the meeting more focused on Sable T-Shirt spot, but he wanted to know about what to do with the Patriot. He kept asking then Dunn told him that he found him tiresome, causing Cornette to snap and threaten Dunn. He went up to his room and got out of production meetings for three weeks because of Dunn. Vince told him to apologize, in his house, and he left them alone. Said that he did begrudgingly apologize and Dunn started to cry, saying that he was made fun of because he had buck teeth. Cornette also said how Dunn would make fun of him for his Southern wrestling too. Anyway, Cornette said that he couldn’t stay mad when he saw him crying then yells at him to get his teeth fixed, as he makes a few million dollars a year now.

AUGUST

Jim is asked about Pillman losing to Goldust at SummerSlam, thus having to wear a dress on the next RAW as a result. Cornette said Pillman had no problem wearing a dress. He said that all of the stipulations on SummerSlam were a takeoff of the Memphis Dream Match night shows. He also said that Vince started to listen to him then for a few months and this was his idea. Sean asks why they didn’t do half of the stipulations as promised. Jim said that the most frustrating thing about being on the WWF creative team was that you had someone else’s roster and everyone had a shot, thus watering down the angles.

Also on SummerSlam, Owen Hart broke Steve Austin’s neck during a piledriver attempt. Jim said that he always liked to ban the piledriver and bring it back sparingly, as it was a dangerous move.

On the August 18th RAW, HBK & HHH team up in their unofficial D-X debut, losing to Undertaker and Mankind by DQ. Cornette said that HHH was great at learning backstage manipulation then talks about how much he hated the D-X faction, as they buried a lot of the other talent and only wanted to get themselves over.

SEPTEMBER

Uncle Cletus (Tony Anthony) debuts as the manager of the Godwinns. Sean asks if Anthony can ever get a break and Jim says no and goes on about how always has to make hillbilly cartoon characters that are based off stereotypes from the 1950’s.

Sean asks Cornette if the angle with Pillman calling in stating he will not return until the WWF can provide a safe working environment was a rib on Shawn. He said that the verbage was but that this was part of a storyline.

Jim is then asked about Terry Funk’s retirement match against Bret Hart. Said Terry called him and Bret wanted to but neither guy wanted to win. Also, he wanted Mick Foley to appear on the call. He said that Vince had no problem letting them appear.

Up next is when HBK beat Davey Boy Smith for the European Title in England, with Davey’s mom and sister, who was sick with cancer, sitting in the front row. Jim confirms that this was because of Michaels, who either refused or came up with another story to turn it to win winning the match. Cornette said that if he was Davey, he would have beat the shit out of Shawn.

Jim talks about how Vince told Bret Hart before RAW that he could not afford his 20-year contract. He goes over the grosses for the house shows, which were not good at all. Vince then allowed Bret to be released and negotiate with WCW to get his old deal. Bret did and Jim says how he doesn’t know all of the details unlike the Wrestling Observer, and said how he had millionaires fighting with each other, meaning Shawn and Bret, and sarcastically states how he felt bad for them.

OCTOBER

Brian Pillman passes away at age 35. Cornette said that everyone was there at the Badd Blood PPV besides Pillman. He calls the hotel and asks to see when Pillman checked out and immediately get put on hold. A few minutes go by and the guy at the desk tells Cornette that he passed away. Cornette wasn’t sure if this was Pillman pulling a prank or legit. After a few minutes, he realized that it was legit. He says the told Harvey Whippleman to get Bruce Prichard, were Cornette told him that Pillman was dead.

At the PPV, the legends of St. Louis wrestling are introduced by Jim Ross. Before that happened, Cornette had a fight with Dunn, who wanted to show the highlight package before the show, thinking that no one would know who they were. Cornette said that they will tell them who they were and he organized video packages, using his own memorabilia.

They talk about the first ever Hell in a Cell match between HBK and Undetaker. Cornette said the idea came about when they needed HBK to remain champ as he was the heel and it was a blowoff match to their feud. Cornette initially wanted it to be called “Rage in a Cage.” He then said that Undertaker’s brother was being talked about and this was a good time to have him debut, with him ripping off the cage door, like Doug Furnas did years prior when he made his debut in whatever territory that was. Cornette said they kept the idea intact and that he was very happy, especially for Kane, who was booked as an evil dentist then the fake Diesel. He also says that Kane was very close to getting cut, as Vince didn’t think he showed enough aggression in his previous matches.  

Cornette is then asked about his shoot-like rants that were going on at the time. Kevin Kelly asked him if he wanted to do “Byte This,” stating no one pays attention to the show. He was asked about the nWo parodying the Four Horseman. After that, the show got more feedback for that than all the other shows combined. Vince thought it was cutting edge and wanted him to do this on RAW. He went back and wrote down what he said and cleared it with a lawyer. He said he had to put in on a teleprompter as he was afraid he would get going and say things he wasn’t allowed to say. Cornette said that even thoughRusso thought he was stuck in the 80’s, they would play this in front of the crowds, thinking he would come across as old and out-of-touch but the fans loved what he was saying, cheering when he said Flair should be respected and that he wanted to see wrestling. As they went further, Russo turned that into the reforming the NWA stable, that says he will save for the 1998 Timeline.

He was asked if Vince interviewing Melanie Pillman, Brian’s widow, was a mistake. He said it was and only about ratings.

Up next is when the NoD locker room ransacked with “Malcolm X” and “Uncle Tom” spray painted on the lockers with a Canadian flag left behind. Jim said this was another attempt to boost ratings, as Vince hated losing to WCW. He said at this time, he was trying to book Survivor Series with Bret and Shawn and he was having an awful time. He started to overeat because he was miserable and was up to 280 lbs at one point. He blames this for having to work with Russo. He said they got along at first then references how Russo, after a few months of writing TV, told Cornette that it was cool how he got to be inside of the barricade during a match, with drove Cornette crazy. Jim says Russo was never a fan of wrestling, just angles and highlights and that he had no idea how they were done. He claims he tried to teach Russo but he wanted no part of that and wanted to revolutionize wrestling into a giant clusterfuck. Said that since Russo left the WWE, he has killed everything else he touched. He then talks about the Undertaker/Kane feud and how Russo wanted to blow through the angle before the match, with Cornette telling him that he could not do that.

Sean asks Jim about Jarrett returning from WCW, in which he buried Bischoff. Jim said that he could not figure out how Russo and Jarrett became friends, as Russo had a thing against Southerners.

NOVEMBER

Sean asks Jim about the discussions in creative leading up to days before the Survivor Series match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. He said that they would have to wait or Vince to finish his phone calls with Bret and Shawn before they could work on planning things. He talks about Shawn told Bret in the past he would never put him over and Bret did not want to put Shawn over and he was still pissed at him for refusing to job to Davey. He then says how Bret was leaving to go to a job that paid him one million dollars a year more than he was making with the WWF and Shawn was pissed that he was making less than Bret. He said Bret was being childish too and refused to let Shawn beat him in Canada then did not want to lose before the PPV, stating that he was a Canadian hero. Jim then wants to know why Vince didn’t take the belt off of Bret before he let him out of his contract so he could negotiate with WCW. Everyone else was working on ideas and Cornette said he should drop to Shamrock, as he would rough him up then suggested a double cross. Cornette said that it was not Russo’s idea, like he claims. He said that the night before the show, they didn’t go through that match and he asked Vince if they had a finish and he said yes. Jim said he watched the match and knew what would happen once he saw the finish so he went into the car and left the building. He calls it the first ever worked-shoot double cross. He said Vince thought he would be the babyface when he came out then calls out Bret for giving Vince free publicity for the loss, stating he never lost it. He says how WCW was so bad that they fucked up the hottest wrestler in the world and Vince went with everyone calling him an asshole for what happened and became a huge heel and the rest was history. Cornette said Russo did not start the Attitude Era and this was how it happened.

Now Cornette is asked about when Rick Rude was shown on RAW, which was taped, then on Nitro the same night, which was live. Cornette said that Rude was not under contract at the time and that it was an error on the part of the WWF.

DECEMBER

After Survivor Series, Davey and Owen were taken off the road. Davey Boy Smith paid the WWF $150,000 to let him out of his contract. He was taken off the road after the Survivor Series and he got knee surgery. He said that the WWF was a more controlled environment than WCW and that led to Davey’s downfall.  However, WWF saw Owen as a star and wanted him to come back (he was also taken off the road) but Shawn refused to put him over. Jim talks some more about Owen, saying that he was funny and loved his family and wrestling but also did not want to walk away from guaranteed money.

At a house show in Memphis on December 14th, a riot breaks out when D-X refuses to wrestle Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett. He said that D-X did not want to put up with the raucous crowd, unlike just about any other wrestler.

 Cornette says at the end of the month, he was told he didn’t have to make that creative meeting this week, then the next week, told by Vince’s assistant that he was not needed to come to Vince’s house for the meetings anymore and that was how he found out he no longer was on the creative team. He said that he hated Russo and if unfiltered, would book wrestling just like he predicted. He said that he became a producer and was happier, as he would have killed Russo. He brings up Ed Ferrara and about the time he asked him why they did the angle with Marlena getting shoved off the apron while pregnant and how he thought it was a bad idea. Ferrara replied that no one thogut that she really was, referencing Monica from “Friends” and how no one thought she was pregnant in real life either. Cornette said Ferrara was a fucking moron and that no one watched wrestling and thought they were playing characters, even though they knew the matches were pre-determined. He also said that the angle sold no tickets, as no one was going to tune in with excitement to see what would happen with Marlena the next week. He calls Ferrara a piece of shit who would carry around Russo’s paper. He then tells a story of how Ferrara and Russo flew to Atlanta while Vince was in England and was able to convince WCW that they were the guys who got the WWF to become popular again.

Cornette close by saying how 1997 was the year that set up the WWF for their successful run.

Final Thoughts: A very good interview. It was long, clocking in at just under 3.5 hours but definitely worth a listen. Cornette was good but his rants against Russo can get a little old. The guy needs anger management therapy like you wouldn’t believe. However there were some questions that I felt were a waste of time. There were a bunch of questions about guys like Rod Price and Tommy Rogers and how they got tryout matches, which Cornette had no idea about.  He also hints that he might do the 1998 timeline, which would be something I would love to see.

Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: WCW 1996 as told by Kevin Sullivan

This was just released on June 25th.  
For those not familiar with the “Timeline” series, I will give you a quick rundown. Host Sean Oliver asks the subject about the year in question in chronological order. Topics include feuds, PPV’s, and various workers. In this review, I will be running down each month.

JANUARY
Sullivan is asked about Bischoff giving away the results of the RAW Bowl, including the Smoking Gunns winning the Tag-Team Championship. He thought it was a horrible idea, as the fans who want to see what happened. He said that this really came back to bite WCW in the ass when they announced Mick Foley winning the World Title. He said at that point, he told everyone they were in deep shit but no one believed him.
On the January 13th edition of “WCW Pro” Sullivan squashed Damon Striker, who would go on to the WWF a few years later an become Edge. Sullivan is asked if he saw the potential in him and he stated that he did and should have courted him at the time.
The Public Enemy debuted, defeating the American Males. Sullivan said that he liked them and did not look down on them because they were from ECW, as he wrestled there at one point. Sullivan puts over Heyman as one of the brightest minds in wrestling and would always call him several weeks ahead of time when his talent was joining WCW, so he could make the best of the situation. Sullivan then compares wrestling to the circus, saying that there is stuff for everyone. This is one of the many analogies that Sullivan makes throughout the interview.
Oliver reads a legal letter from Bischoff, threatening to sue the WWF over the Billionaire Ted Skits. Sullivan said that he loved those sketches, as he is a fan of parodies. He then says that the American public is not stupid and does not want to see their stars and heroes become destroyed when a corporation or business says so, but rather on their own.
Sullivan is asked about a few things from Clash of the Champions XXXII. When asked about Elizabeth debuting in WCW, he said that believes Hogan’s wife wanted to get involved in the program. He is then asked about the three-way feud between Hogan, Dungeon of Doom, and the Four Horsemen. Sullivan said that the Dungeon of Doom was his idea of making Hogan relax, as it gave him cartoon heels to wrestle instead of the cooler heels, like the Horsemen. He also mentions that Hogan was getting booed a lot at this time and fans were starting to like the cooler heels. He then states how anyone can book but you need to have a strong personality to make it work. He brings up another analogy, this time about a sabermetrics argument on the MLB Network in which one of the ex-managers appeared to have won, because he had a forceful personality.
Sullivan is asked about the incident in which Brian Pillman grabbed Bobby Heenan’s jacket, causing him to swear. Sullivan believes that it was a shoot, then goes on to talk about how Pillman and Steve Austin went from being in a tag-team to breaking up on their own and developing “loose cannon” personas and got involved in a controversial angle in the WWF. He says that all the guys who drew money in the business magnified their own personality to get over with the fans.
Sullivan is then asked about the luchadores. He brings up his circus analogy, stating that they were missing the acrobats at this time. He said some of the workers complained about them, but those were usually the guys who used five minute restholds. He thought they would not be accepted at the top of the card but made for a great mid-card act.
FEBRUARY
Oliver brings up the debut of Loch Ness. Sullivan said he was a fan of European wrestling. He thought the guy could work and claimed he was the highest draw on “WCW Saturday Night” for that year. He then brings up another analogy, stating that if you eat steak every day for a long time, one day you are going to just want a taco. I guess this makes Loch Ness the taco of professional wrestling.
Sullivan is now asked about the “I respect you bookerman” comment made by Pillman at Superbrawl VI. He said it was a work and that Pillman came up with the whole idea by himself and he was just along for the ride, knowing that what he was doing had never been done before. He mentions how some of the workers thought that Pillman was being legit with all of his antics and told Sullivan how they wanted nothing to do with him, thinking that he was completely insane. He then says how guys like Kevin Nash in the WWF were buying the PPV to see Pillman shoot.
He is then asked about Elizabeth turning on Savage an aligning with Flair. He says that it might have been Hogan’s idea, as he and his wife were trying to get them back together in real life.
Sullivan is then asked about Arn Anderson beating Hogan on Nitro, giving him his second loss in three weeks. Sullivan brings up there was the pro-Hogan and the anti-Hogan parties in WCW. Hogan was told that he was getting heat for not putting other guys over and did this to shut up the anti-Hogan camp.
The first non-televised house show in a few years draws 11,000 in Baltimore, MD. Sullivan said he knew they would draw there and it was great for Hogan’s ego because he would think that he was the reason for the large crowd. During this show, Lex Luger defeated Johnny B. Badd for the TV Title but lost it the next night on Television. Sullivan claims that he was vetoed against shooting angles at house shows. He brings up how running everything on PPV ruins business.
The “Baywatch” episode featuring himself and other wrestlers is brought up. Sullivan said the actors hated the wrestlers and David Hasselhoff refused to be on that episode due to his hatred of Hogan.
MARCH
Johnny B. Badd wrestles his last match for WCW, losing the TV Title to Luger. Sullivan said that he wasn’t missed and thought it was ridiculous for a white guy to impersonate a black guy then compares the Badd character to Al Jolson.
The Doomsday Cage Match at Uncensored is discussed. Sullivan said that the original idea was for himself and the Giant to face Hogan and Savage but everyone else was brought in and it became a debacle. He said that at the end, it worked out as it made Hogan happy and he was able to be steered towards more serious angles.
APRIL
Hogan was written off TV on the April 15th episode of Nitro. The original plan was for Hogan to leave on a stretcher but that got changed to Hogan no-selling chairshots and a chokeslam from the Giant, after beating Sullivan and Anderson in a handicapped match. Sullivan said that Hogan took a shit on the company by doing that and said Hogan was too smart to not sell during this segment but he was very unsecure in WCW.
The Giant beats Flair for the World Title on the April 29th edition of Nitro. Sullivan said that they needed a heel champ for Hogan to face when he was going to come back but compares the Giant to a guy batting 8th in the lineup, thus not ready for the belt.
On the same day as the title change, Bischoff was attending a show in Japan in which the UWFi invaded NJPW. He said that Bischoff did not get the nWo idea immediately afterwards but rather called Nash and Hall to join WCW.
MAY
Diamond Dallas Page wins the “Lord of the Ring” at Slamboree. Sullivan calls DDP one of the hardest working people in the business but being friends with Bischoff helped him tremendously.
The Road Warriors wrestle their last match in WCW. Sullivan said that Hawk could have been a draw as a singles wrestler but was trapped in his gimmick. He thought that he should have went to Japan to revamp his character.
The first two hour Nitro starts on May 27th. Scott Hall returns and Sullivan claims that some of the guys in the locker room thought it was a legit invasion by McMahon. He said with two of Vince’s biggest stars and Waltman, who was a great worker, he just needed a seed of an idea to make this work.
JUNE
Kevin Nash returns to WCW on the June 10th edition of Nitro. Sullivan also confirms that Shawn Michaels was offered a contract with WCW at this time but turned down the deal. Sullivan puts Michaels over as one of the five greatest workers of all-time.
Sullivan mentions the WWF lawsuit against WCW for using Hall and Nash. They were sued for likeness of character. He said he spent four days in disposition, where he told prosecutors that he was not using Hall as Razor Ramon, because he was not portrayed as a Hispanic drug dealer and wouldn’t because he is white.
Kevin Greene is brought up. He teamed with Steve McMichael against Flair & Anderson. He said that Greene had a mind for wrestling and said Mongo’s personality fit in well with the Horsemen. He tries to make another athlete analogy but in a funny momeny, mistakenly refers to Karl Malone as Moses Malone.
JULY
Hogan joining the nWo is mentioned. Sullivan said that Hogan and his agent were so nervous about the turn that he had them both stay over his house the night before the PPV and had Hogan arrive to the show He claims his agent was attempting to talk him out of the turn. Sullivan said he booked it at Daytona Beach due to the high concession sales and that it was surrounded by bars, so it would get a good reaction.
When asked about Flair beating Konnan for the US Title, Sullivan said it was beneath Flair but did this to show Hogan that he was going to book him and the nWo strong.
The moment in which Nash launched Rey Mysterio like a lawn dart into the production truck is brought up. Sullivan originally wanted him to be tossed through a window but was afraid Mysterio would get too cut up.
AUGUST
The black-and-white nWo promos are brought up. Sullivan believes that Nash and Hall came up with that idea. He also said how some in the locker room were really thinking that it was a legit invasion by the WWF and would come up to him, stating that they heard them talk to Vince. He also puts over Hall and Nash for getting on board with this promo style and making him comfortable.
Up next is the Hog Wild PPV and Harlem Heat getting attacked. Sullivan mocks the state of Wyoming and states the PPV was so Bischoff could ride his motorcycle. He said that having Harlem Heat show up there was akin to showing up at a wrestling show in Nigeria with a plantation owner gimmick.
Juventud Guerrera debuts and Mean Gene conducts an in-ring interview after the match but Juvy did not speak English at the time. Sullivan said that it might have been a rib on Gene. He then brings up Juvy walking through the hotel lobby in Australia naked, stating that he was Jesus.
Chris Jericho debuts defeating Alex Wright. Sullivan said that he knew Jericho was talented when he was in Smoky Mountain. He said that he was vocal but offered a lot of ideas and knew the business well.
SEPTEMBER
The Giant is introduced as the newest member of the nWo, as he turned on WCW during a run-in after the Horsemen defeated the Dungeon of Doom. Sullivan said that this happened because negotiations with Davey Boy Smith fell through. Sullivan thought that only ex-WWF guys should have been in the group but even felt that Davey was a bad fit a he had been a face and didn’t need to be brought in as a heel. When Oliver brings up the rumor that Hogan nixed the idea of the Horseman making a comeback during the segment, Sullivan confirms and says that at that point, they were sucking the blood out of the company.
Glacier debuts. Sullivan said that this was the creation of DDP. He then states how a lot of Eric’s friends were giving ideas at this time.
The Fake Sting is brought up and Sullivan said that this was from Jason Hervey. He was against it as he felt it muddled up everything.
Waltman debuts as Syxx. Sullivan said he was planned for the original part of the group but legal issues delayed his debut.
OCTOBER
Bret Hart turns down a three year, 8.4 million dollar deal from WCW. He thinks that Vince promised in carte blanche in the WWF and that is why he stayed.
The Outsiders defeat the Harlem Heat for the WCW Tag-Titles at Halloween Havoc. Sullivan is asked if the nWo was taking over the whole company and Sullivan completely loses me with an ice cream sundae analogy to explain the situation.
Piper’s debut at the show is discussed. Sullivan said that Bischoff thought he could put Vince out of business by bringing in all of his stars.
On the October 28th edition of Nitro, Sting is seen in the rafters wearing his crow makeup. Sullivan says that the idea was Scott Hall’s. He said he was kept off of TV because he was trying to get work as an actor.
NOVEMBER
Curt Hennig meets with Bischoff. Sullivan said that JJ Dillon was very helpful for them as he dealt with the contracts in the WWF before going back to WCW, thus knowing when they were close to expiring. He puts over Dillon for having a photographic memory.
Bischoff joins the nWo. Sullivan said that it was the idea of Hall and Nash.
Sullivan attacks Chris Benoit. He says that Benoit was always professional in the ring. Sullivan said that he and Nancy were not getting along at this point anyway, so the divorce was inevitable. Oliver then asks Sullivan about the murders, and he says he had no idea that would happen and nearly breaks down as they quickly switch to the next topic.
Giant wins World War III. He said that Bischoff always thought bigger was better. He also said that when he booked the match, he only really cared about the last ten guys in the ring. He said the entire concept was a bad idea.
DECEMBER
Piper beats Hogan at Starcade. Sullivan said that this was Hogan’s favor to Piper for not putting him over in the WWF.
Sullivan is then asked about the dangers of a wrestler being given creative control. Sullivan said that they will always be about themselves but puts over HHH as the exception to the rule, because he has to think in terms of the company and puts over his program with Brock Lesnar as an example. He then puts over Hogan for making wrestling what it is today, stating he was powerful enough to replace SNL once a month.
Final Thoughts:  I would recommend this but beware that Sullivan tends to stray off topic at times. He also loves to use analogies so be prepared for that as well. He does offer a lot of insight to this period, especially from his position as the booker, although his justification of Loch Ness comes off just as someone who cannot admit failure. A lot of this is focused on the first few months of the year and if you are interested in the stuff that Pillman did, there is a ton of that here. Its available on demand at KayfabeCommentaries.com if you want to check it out.