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Who Killed WCW?
Eric Bischoff
Hulk Hogan
Vince Russo
Jerusalem
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MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA



Since I don't want to derail the Most Important Match thread, it seems fitting to create a thread dedicated to how stupid WCW was. So, let’s discuss the insanity that was WCW.

The WCW (as many former WWF workers would call it) was born in 1988 when Turner Broadcasting bought Jim Crockett Promotions. JCP was still a pretty hot business in 1988, but spending had gotten out of control. On top of that JCP had been trying to expand into things other than wrestling along with their nationwide expansion. Ric Flair, looking back on things saw the death of JCP starting when they moved their offices to Dallas and forgot about their core territory.

WCW did well creatively after the sale, at least until the summer of 1990 when Sting was getting primed to win the belt.

Maybe it is just a coincidence, but in August of 1990 the Black Scorpion storyline started. If you can't remember the Black Scorpion, here's a good primer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt7EXn5zOcI

In WCW's defense, it started out looking to be a good idea. A mysterious masked man from Sting's past was gunning for him. It is a pretty simple, basic storyline. Then they added in things like magic, multiple scorpions, and some of the stupidest stuff you can think of. And when they couldn't come up with anyone good to be under the mask they just put Ric Flair in the role for the blow off match.

From here WCW went into a tail spin. Jim Herd tried to play hardball with Ric Flair over his desire for a contract extension and it ended with Flair going to the WWF. When his $25,000 deposit on the belt wasn't paid back, he took the belt with him too. This led to the infamous WE WANT FLAIR match at Great American Bash 1991. If you want to watch that one get the History of the World Title DVD since there's a lot of great matches on there.

This one wasn't one. Lex Luger and Barry Windham had a loving awful match as the fans chanted WE WANT FLAIR. And it wouldn't stop there. WE WANT FLAIR chants would happen at WCW shows over a year after Flair had debuted on WWF TV. Jim Herd in retrospect admits he was a total dumbass and has a really good sense of humor about his stint with WCW. He comes off as totally likeable and hilarious on his Wrestling Observer Live interview.

1991 was a pretty big mess overall, and in 1992 WCW came under new leadership, Kip Frey who had no real experience with wrestling but had some great ideas. He instituted a MATCH OF THE NIGHT bonus (which the boys worked him into giving it to certain guys, but it was a good idea) and started trying to highlight young exciting wrestlers. He signed Brian Pillman to a big contract and planned to make him a top star in WCW.

However, spending which had been high before was now out of control and WCW was losing several million per year. So Frey was sent packing after just a few months and Bill Watts was brought in with one instruction: CUT SPENDING.

So Watts did. He immediately had meetings with talent he felt was overpaid such as Pillman and told him "You can either work out a new deal, or you can job every match." Pillman decided to keep making money. The Steiners were told that when their contracts ran out they'd be signed to 1,000 a night deals. They responded by leaving the company and ending up in the WWF. Sting was told his contract was too expensive and didn't take kindly to that, but Watts couldn't do a thing about it since Sting was their biggest star at a time when they were bleeding talent.

Watts would be removed in 1993 and with this came one of WCW's usual embarassing idiocy. Jim Ross was Watts' #2 and was taken out of his position of power when Watts was removed. However, he was also removed from his position as announcer. This constituted a contract breach, so his lawyer immediately went to Vince looking for a job.

However, WCW wasn't too bright. As this was happening they left JR in his duty as host of a WCW sponsored radio talk show. After signing with the WWF, JR had Vince McMahon on as his guest on the talk show, and announced JR would be starting with the WWF and would be the lead announcer for Wrestlemania 9. Bischoff's memory of the incident is horrible as he claims JR blamed Bischoff for firing him when that was never the case. Or Bischoff is just a liar, as he's said he despised JR at the time and wants to claim JR is bitter. Who knows.

While Watts was a disaster in some ways, WCW did lower their losses substantially. In fact, if he had worked the same deal Bischoff did to have WCW paid a rights fee for their TV by Turner, it would have shown a profit. But, Watts wasn't as savvy at corporate politics as Bischoff.

Bischoff is the guy who revolutionized WCW TV, but one of his first acts was to hurt it. He moved the syndicated tapings to Orlando and taped in front of a studio audience of a few hundred who were given signs, and prompted who to cheer for. He then taped weeks and weeks of TV at once. Title changes were spoiled, but more importantly, guys would get injured. So you'd have guys who had been off the regular TV and PPVs for weeks working jobber matches on the syndicated shows. Storylines were always out of whack, and WCW's syndicated business went down at a time when WWF was still doing well in syndication and had yet to debut one of their syndicated projects: Shotgun. This hurt doubly since syndication was one of the best ways to promote local house shows on local channels, and by making the TV irrelevant, WCW's already weak house show business got less exposure.

Bischoff now claims that the initial idea for Nitro came from Turner. His story is basically Ted asked him what he could do to be competitive and on the spot he said "Uh... go head to head?" to appease Turner, and Ted thought it was a great idea and left Bischoff to figure out how to do it.

At the time, it was indeed thought to be an insane move. But in retrospect I think we can see why WCW Nitro was able to go toe to toe with Raw from the start.

1. Hulk Hogan had been brought in the year before, and despite only rarely being on WCW TV and even only on certain PPVs, he'd wrestle on the first Nitro.

2. Ratings were already competitive. In a worse timeslot on Saturday from 6-8, WCW Saturday Night was doing low 2s. Clash of the Champions did low to mid 3s before Nitro debuted. So, people were aware of WCW TV. At the same time, Raw was doing low to mid 2s. So in theory, WCW just had to retain their audience to stay competitive. At the time this wasn't seen as too realistic.

3. Nitro would debut in a week when Raw wasn't on. They'd do so with a live show with a hot opener between Liger and Pillman, the surprise return of Lex Luger, and all of the stars. At the time Raw was taped and featured several jobber matches and a main event. It was a pretty stark difference.

So in retrospect, it was a pretty good idea to go head to head, at least the way Bischoff decided to. They became immediately competitive with Raw and won more than their share of nights even before the nWo debuted.

But let's get back to the idiocy.

Hogan's buddies had become to populate WCW and replace the younger guys. Duggan beat Austin in seconds for the US title. Guys like Kamala were brought in to feud with Hogan, Beefcake faced Hogan at Starrcade, the Honky Tonk man was brought in, and Hogan even wanted to bring in Yokozuna after he left the WWF so he could get his win back. Hogan also dominated everything with the Dungeon of Doom being dedicated to destroying Hogan, Flair and the Horseman wanting to do the same, and both stables forming THE ALLIANCE TO END HULKAMANIA, resulting in Hogan and Savage winning a 9 on 2 triple cage match against the Alliance.

So fans slowly got very sick of Hogan, making his heel turn at Bash 96 that much more perfect for the fan base.

From the start of the nWo storyline until early 1998, WCW seemed to be doing everything right. But in early 1998 problems began emerging. Really major ones that didn't start to affect business for a full year later because of the insane momentum the company had. Realistically the problems started at Starrcade 1997 with the slow fast count, but it could have been saved. They could have put Sting over clean in the rematch. But they didn’t. Instead he only won after Macho Man’s help to set up a Savage vs Hogan feud. The focus of the company was on nWo vs Wolfpac, not on Sting as the top babyface. Bret Hart was cut off at the knees. After his program with Flair did big business, someone with influence got Bischoff to change the storyline to a tag team between Flair and Hart, which was then dropped, and soon after Bischoff sued Flair and that whole mess began.

In May, as the WWF began to overtake WCW Bischoff pulled one of his most notorious and stupid stunts, challenging Vince McMahon to a match at Slamboree. This led to another legal challenge from the WWF, something Bischoff had been warned to avoid after two WWF lawsuits in 1995 and 1996 over Medusa throwing the WWF Women’s Title in the trash and the nWo storyline.

And then came the Goldberg title win for free on Nitro that inspired this thread. WCW was going to return to the Georgia Dome where they had recently done 23,000 paid when Sting was at his peak. With a couple weeks to go, the advance was already 20,000 for a Nitro with no announced matches. Zane Bresloff told the number to Hogan, and said they were expecting at least 35,000. Hogan then pitched the idea that he’d face Goldberg in a non title dark match and put him over clean. They began running ads with that match in the Atlanta market. Hogan was aware Turner brass would be in the audience, and with him on top it would look like he drew the crowd and he’d be more valuable to them. This is at a time when Turner was still behind him for made for TV movies too, so he wanted to keep the gravy train going.

Then Raw did a 5.4 rating for the Steve Austin vs Kane rematch. Bischoff flipped out even though Nitro did a 4.1, .8 higher than they had done in the same week a year before. On Thunder that week JJ Dillon was sent out to announce Goldberg vs Hogan for Nitro, for the title. At the time WCW was shooting angles to set up future Hogan vs Nash and hinting at Hogan vs Hart title matches. But they threw it all out the window and put the title on Goldberg. Nitro did a 4.8 to a 4.0 for Raw. So interestingly enough, the biggest match WCW could come up with didn’t do close to the rating Austin vs Kane did, which was a rematch involving a guy in Kane who wasn’t nearly as hot of an act as Goldberg.
They won the ratings, and everyone expected that momentum would carry them to a win the next week. Not just everyone in WCW, but dirt sheet writers, internet fans, etc. But they lost, 4.7 to 4.5.

But, business was still good. Bash at the Beach with Malone and Rodman did one of the biggest buyrates in WCW history. Road Wild with Leno, while being a big letdown for Bischoff did an above average buyrate. But, the mistakes kept piling up. Bischoff devoted 15 minute segments to his nWo Nightcap parody of Leno’s show, stroking his own ego while doing some of the worst wrestling TV possible. Then the Ultimate Warrior was brought in with an absolutely insane contract. But what was worse were the no-shows. Big stars would constantly skip house shows. Matches would be advertised and totally different matches with lesser stars would replace them.

Then there was the Halloween Havoc 98 fiasco. The idea was kind of nifty. Bischoff hated how every PPV ended at the same time and felt this hurt the finishes. So he decided to shake things up. A week before Halloween Havoc, he had an employee contact cable companies and tell them the show was going to run until 11:20. The employee hosed up, and the company was left to scramble the night of the show to try and get the show on the air past 11.

But things still looked good business wise. WCW ran a series of stadium shows in December and January each doing nearly (or over) 30,000 paid. They even set their record gate for the January 4th Nitro at the Georgia Dome doing 36,000 paid for nearly 1,000,000 dollars. Bischoff was let down they didn’t pass the million mark and tried to hush up the figure despite it being huge! They were still beating the WWF in adult viewers ratings wise, and their PPV business was still strong. They even had a deal in the making with NBC to run WCW specials against WWF PPVs in 1999 when the NBA strike looked to be going on forever.

Then the Finger Poke of Doom happened. All of the mistakes seemed to be leading to one night where business fell apart. Nitro did a 5 that night, but lost to Raw doing 5.7 with the Foley/Rock match that would put butts in seats. This time they actually sustained some momentum for a few weeks, managing to do a 5.7 the week Raw was pre-empted for the dog show. But that would be the last hurrah. They never did above a 5 for the night again, and in fact dropped to a 3.9 the next week. By May they were averaging a 3.5. Buyrates also fell at the same time. They did a 1.10 buyrate for Superbrawl 99, the same buyrate the Hogan/Sting rematch from Superbrawl 98 did. This dropped to a .72 for the rematch at Uncensored, and a .6 for Spring Stampede the best PPV quality wise that year. Slamboree fell to a .48, the Great American Bash to a .43, and Bash at the Beach a .39. Starrcade in December would end up doing a .32 under the Russo promoted Goldberg vs Hart title match. Starrcade 98 had done a 1.15 with Nash vs Goldberg.

So by the spring of 1999, Bischoff was at a point of panic. While he was desperate in 1998 when the WWF pulled ahead, he was downright insane by 1999. He decided that WCW needed a face lift. WCW needed a new logo, and Nitro needed a new set. He predicted Nitro would win the ratings that week because of the new set internally, and externally WCW surrogates did the same. In 1999 I was still active on the Prodigy Classic BB and chatroom which Bob Ryder who worked for WCW ran. He was very active plugging that Nitro and how big the new set would be. They even ran a media campaign including ads in USA Today.

You all are likely familiar with this quote from the Observer from that list of insane WCW quotes:

quote:

"WCW took out a huge ad in USA Today with the new logo which read [/b]"Looks like something a bird left on the hood of my car", and never mentioned wrestling once"[/b] - The Wrestling Observer Newsletter: April 12, 1999.
The logo of course was:



Yep, that is what Bischoff thought would turn things around. At a time when he was trying to sign Scott Hall to a six figure deal that would see him working only 5 dates a month, and had given Sting the same deal. At the same time when he had just brought in Ricky Rachmann

Things just got worse and worse. The White/Black Hummer storyline began and WCW started just randomly destroying cars for no impact on the ratings and wasting thousands of dollars. WCW had been known for quality wrestling on the undercards, but in late 1998 and early 1999 that began to vanish. Fall Brawl 1998 is one of the most infamously bad PPVs of all time, and World War 3 would not be much better. The cruiserweight division was de-emphasized as Jericho was given the TV title, and Mysterio “pushed” with the heavyweights and de-masked. I use quotes since he never really got a push. He lost his feud with Nash and his mask, and from there mostly farted around in tags with Kidman and the Filthy Animals, never being elevated. By the summer of 1999 WCW didn’t even bother putting a cruiserweight title match on any of the summer PPVs. So before Russo could kill the belt with Evan Karagias, Medusa and Oklahoma winning the belt, it was pretty much forgotten about. Bischoff himself admitted he hosed up the cruiserweights in this period, and in 2001 promised he’d do better and rebuild the division on Wrestling Observer Live. If you need any more evidence for how little they mattered, Mikey Whipwreck has told a story about Heenan that I think is telling. While he was backstage he was talking to Heenan, and Heenan seeing his plight told him to enjoy himself and just collect a check because he wasn’t going anywhere. Of course Mikey decided he hated not being used or just being squashed and asked for his release. This period would lead to Bischoff being sent home, and the coming of Vince Russo.

Russo’s first tenure was full of stupidity. But Russo kept promising everything was going places. He went on Wrestling Observer Live and said he understood the complaints but to give him a chance and he had big ideas. One of the things he kept saying was his story was being told to climax at Starrcade 99. The idea of course was his second recreation of Montreal with Roddy Piper screwing over Goldberg as Hart had him in the Sharpshooter.

Russo’s wave of stupidity would continue through the first half of January, but would be stopped when he proposed his solution to Bret Hart vacating the title. He wanted Tank Abbott to win the WCW title in a battle royal.

Kevin Sullivan was given the book and he put the title on Benoit who had promised to leave if Sullivan became booker. Benoit won the belt, and then asked for his release the next day. He, Eddie, Saturn and Malenko would get their releases and go to the WWF. Sullivan would then put the title on Sid with no one else to go to and would pit Sid against the nWo 2000. He’d bring Hogan back to TV and put him with Vampiro, and booked some really terrible TV which I honestly find understandable since he lost a bunch of wrestlers in his first day. But it was some really bad stuff that featured Jeff Jarrett title shots and nonsense.

It also featured lots of stupidity and backstage nonsense. Dave Meltzer was backstage at the February 14th Nitro and reported these two incidents that I found hilarious.

Jim Duggan was booked to do SOMETHING, and refused. He was seen storming out of the meeting saying he’d been humiliated enough.

But the best came when Sid thought Mark Madden called him a monkey. Sid flipped out on Mark Madden, thinking Madden called him a monkey when Madden said the three way made Sid the monkey in the middle. Sid freaked out on him saying “I’m the world champion and you are calling me a monkey!”

But then Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff teamed up, Sullivan was kicked out, and the Russo/Bischoff era was born with this Nitro: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3204157
The big idea was the New Blood vs Millionaires Club feud. Except, nothing made sense. The old guys were painted as heels for holding down the young guys, but the young guys acted like heels. But the old guys also did heelish things, like Hogan pinning Kidman by hitting him with brass knuckles. But, Hogan always does that stuff. The other aspect of this feud was, the young guys didn’t go over the old guys. Hogan was put over Kidman in both of their PPV matches, and cost him a shot at the US title. And made Torrie Wilson see Hulk was a bigger man than Kidman was when he kissed her. Jarrett was only able to beat DDP by having WCW Champion David Arquette turn on DDP, and only beat Kevin Nash when Goldberg speared him. Oh by having Konnan, Rey Jr, Disco and Juvi were all at ring side as time keeper, bell ringer, bell keeper and announcer. So for those of you who were shocked Russo booked 4 special guest refs at New Blood Rising, he had done something nearly as dumb two months before!

The Goldberg incident was a part of something so dumb people could not believe it at the time. Leading up to the PPV, Russo promised a HUGE surprise at the Great American Bash, something so big that Vince McMahon could do nothing about. People speculated they were buying ECW. People speculated about an ECW/WCW invasion. People thought it might be cross-promotion with Japan.

Instead, Goldberg turned heel.

And this all led to Bash at the Beach 2000 where Russo’s first love came back, the worked shoot. After Hogan beat Kidman the second time there were rumors circulated that Hogan had invoked creative control, and would do so again in a title match against Jarrett. You can see what happened here.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7...an-bash-a_sport

Of course, it was all a work. It all came out in the court case that followed when Hogan sued for Russo going too far in his worked shoot comments. The worked shoots weren’t over though as those of us who watched New Blood Rising recently remember.

This is THAT show. That show with Judy Bagwell on a Fork Lift. 4 Special Guest Refs in a 2 vs 2 vs 2 vs 2 tag title match. It also had a mud match where Stacy turns out to be pregnant, and where Goldberg “refuses to co-operate” and Steiner and Nash have to work out a new finish on the fly according to Russo’s stupid booking. And lots, lots more!
Russo would then put the World Title on himself in a steel cage match with Booker T (Goldberg speared him out of the cage), and suffer a concussion in the process, vacating the title in what would become an endless cycle of title changes. Booker T would win the WCW title 5 times between July 2000 and the end of the Invasion, three of those wins coming before November of 2000. Did I say endless cycle? Whoops, I meant that cycle ended. Because it did with the last Nitro!

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3229172

Russo’s concussion happened in the early of 2000 and saw him leave WCW at the time of Fall Brawl 2000. From October of 2000-March of 2001 WCW was booked by Johnny Ace and Terry Taylor and varied between decent and terrible. There were just so many problems, and the company was bleeding money. They would lose 60 Million in 2000, and were losing over half a million a week in 2001 despite huge cuts being made in talent costs. During this period AOL-Time Warner decided it was time to dump WCW. Vince McMahon attempted to buy the company, but couldn’t because his deal with Spike TV meant he couldn’t own a company with TV on competing stations. Eric Bischoff then re-emerged backed by Fusient Media Ventures. Bischoff seemed primed to buy the company and began running operations to an extent before anything was signed or agreed upon. Only in WCW! He decided who was hired and fired, and gave ideas for the creative direction, and tried to prepare the company for a re-boot in the Spring of 2001. The idea was WCW would go dark for several weeks and Nitro would re-launch with a new look, and new owners. However, the date kept being pushed back. Originally they wanted to go dark at the end of February, but the sale hit a snag. Then they wanted to go dark in late March, and the sale hit another snag. Frustrated, Jamie Kellner cancelled WCW programming on the Turner networks and sold the company to Vince.

If you need more WCW insanity, there is always the famous Observer quote thread with lots of news, quotes and TV reports from WCW as it happened: http://board.deathvalleydriver.com/...p?showtopic=294

MassRafTer fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2014 around 22:13

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LividLiquid
Apr 13, 2002

BITCOIN BATMAN

A few things are out of order and you perpetuate a few unfounded rumors, but that's actually a really awesome right up. Thanks for this.

rotinaj
Sep 4, 2008



The picture for the "birdshit" logo doesn't load for me. Is it working for anyone else?

LividLiquid
Apr 13, 2002

BITCOIN BATMAN

I'm not getting it either, but nobody can even substantiate the birdshit ad rumor. Nobody has it, nobody remembers seeing it, and nobody can find the issue of the observer that quote was supposedly lifted from. I wouldn't put much stock in it.

That being said, tons of workers have verified the story of Bischoff thinking the new logos and sets would save the company.

Talk about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

edit: from the old thread.

MassRayPer posted:

It is easy to make mistakes when trying to find logic in what WCW did. I've tried to argue the finger poke was a totally logical storyline in the past and well... you can imagine how well that went.
I've done the very same. It was a decent idea with loving terrible execution.

LividLiquid fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2009 around 02:04

FishBulb
Mar 29, 2003

Marge, I'd like to be alone with the sandwich for a moment.

Are you going to eat it?

...yes...


Its funny to me because until Hogan coming in none of that stuff concerned me at all. Backstage stuff with Herd and Watts? Didn't care. Taping 8 million shows for Saturday night? That was my favorite show! Black Scorpion angle? It was dorky but no worse than what WWE as doing at the time.

I guess I was less informed back then but still.

STONE COLD 64
Oct 20, 2006

austin 3:16 says shut up. shut hte fuck up. where is my beer. i need hel

LividLiquid posted:

I'm not getting it either, but nobody can even substantiate the birdshit ad rumor. Nobody has it, nobody remembers seeing it, and nobody can find the issue of the observer that quote was supposedly lifted from. I wouldn't put much stock in it.

so if you actually saw the observer with this quote you'd finally believe the truth?

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


I just fixed the logo. Waffleimages was down.

LividLiquid posted:

I'm not getting it either, but nobody can even substantiate the birdshit ad rumor. Nobody has it, nobody remembers seeing it, and nobody can find the issue of the observer that quote was supposedly lifted from.

I have that issue on my computer. Here's a screen cap. There's so much ridiculous stuff from that issue. Also a funny note about Lou Sahadi writing a biography of Mick Foley for the WWF. I can only imagine when that turned into the autobiography.



Also, the tapings in Orlando weren't for Saturday Night. They were for WCW Worldwide. Worldwide was the syndicated show, Saturday Night was taped, but it was for TBS. Jim Mitchell has some hilarious stories about the quality of the rats from the Worldwide tapings, I guess it was a lot harder to find a quality rat at a taping in a studio than a typical show/taping.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.


Great OP, good Lord even though I lived through most of it I'm still blown away by the reckless, relentless stupidity of it all.

For some reason I always think of WCW starting in the mid-80s (like 85/86) and obviously I'm thinking of DCP or some previous incarnation of a NWA show. The level of money they were making in the late 90s was simply insane, but even at their "best" in the late 90s I always felt their presentation seemed shoddy and substandard in comparison to the well-oiled machine that was WWF.

tzirean
May 1, 2007



Grimey Drawer

It's impressive how there's so much stupid poo poo that you can just glaze over 1993, a year in which the company posted losses well into in the eight-figure range and probably would have died if not for Turner's affection for wrasslin'.

FishBulb
Mar 29, 2003

Marge, I'd like to be alone with the sandwich for a moment.

Are you going to eat it?

...yes...


MassRayPer posted:

Also, the tapings in Orlando weren't for Saturday Night. They were for WCW Worldwide. Worldwide was the syndicated show, Saturday Night was taped, but it was for TBS. Jim Mitchell has some hilarious stories about the quality of the rats from the Worldwide tapings, I guess it was a lot harder to find a quality rat at a taping in a studio than a typical show/taping.

Ohhhhh that makes sense, I never watched Worldwide.

Saturday Night was the bomb.

Jerusalem posted:

For some reason I always think of WCW starting in the mid-80s (like 85/86) and obviously I'm thinking of DCP or some previous incarnation of a NWA show. The level of money they were making in the late 90s was simply insane, but even at their "best" in the late 90s I always felt their presentation seemed shoddy and substandard in comparison to the well-oiled machine that was WWF.

They were the NWA before they became WCW but it was the same basic promotion.

And them being slightly lower rent than the WWF didn't bother me, it made it look more real!

rotinaj
Sep 4, 2008



That was the logo that's been so much ballyhooed?

That logo was fine and this whole mystery has been over something super-stupid.

FishBulb
Mar 29, 2003

Marge, I'd like to be alone with the sandwich for a moment.

Are you going to eat it?

...yes...


rotinaj posted:

That was the logo that's been so much ballyhooed?

That logo was fine and this whole mystery has been over something super-stupid.

Its not the logo that matters its the quote.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.


rotinaj posted:

That was the logo that's been so much ballyhooed?

The point was that the logo was allegedly shown in an ad that didn't mention when the show was on, and actively mocked the logo!

Rousimar Pauladeen
Feb 27, 2007

I hate the mods I hate the mods I hate the mods! I HATE THE MODS I HATE THE MODS I HATE THE MODS! Hey wait a minute why do the mods hate me I'm contributing to the conversation I HATE THE MODS I HATE THE MODS I HA


Jerusalem posted:

The point was that the logo was allegedly shown in an ad that didn't mention when the show was on, and actively mocked the logo!

USA Today Ad Rep: "What would you like the ad to say?"
WCW rep: "I don't care. The thing looks like something a bird left on the hood of my car."
USA Today Ad Rep: "Okay thanks we just made the deadline!" *click*
WCW Rep: "Hello? Hello?"

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


Moose Bigelow posted:

USA Today Ad Rep: "What would you like the ad to say?"
WCW rep: "I don't care. The thing looks like something a bird left on the hood of my car."
USA Today Ad Rep: "Okay thanks we just made the deadline!" *click*
WCW Rep: "Hello? Hello?"

I think it was more a part of the edgy advertising of the Attitude Era. WWF just had that risque ad during the Superbowl, so Bischoff figured we'll have to have our ad campaign be edgy!

The logo itself was lovely as hell, especially when you realize it was designed to be part of the Nitro set. The C was the door the wrestlers would come out of, with half of the C being on the ground. So wrestlers would keep slipping on the loving thing.

Since my TNA Impact graphs were popular, and since Fish Bulb mentioned that sure the Black Scorpion was dumb, but WWF was just as dorky then, I figured a WCW vs WWF graph would be a good idea. This isn't the quality of the products, but rather an attempt to show how their business was at the time. The funny thing is if you tried to graph the state of chaos both promotions were in, it'd look almost the same, except the WCW graph would tail off about a year earlier and dip much faster.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

LividLiquid
Apr 13, 2002

BITCOIN BATMAN

dusty udder smoker posted:

so if you actually saw the observer with this quote you'd finally believe the truth?
Nope. Now I just know it's something that's been printed in a dirt sheet, which while it does give it a tad more credibility, proves approximately dick.

With backstage stories, you always have to take them with a grain of salt, but with something like this, there's the possibility for real and tangible proof and nobody has a scan of the ad, nobody remembers ever seeing it, and I've never heard it even mentioned outside of this board.

It's really not a big deal. I don't have to believe it and you can if you like, but posting about it as absolute fact is a bit ignorant.

Dragging Iron Feet
Nov 10, 2007

by T. Finn


MassRayPer posted:

I just fixed the logo. Waffleimages was down.


I have that issue on my computer. Here's a screen cap. There's so much ridiculous stuff from that issue. Also a funny note about Lou Sahadi writing a biography of Mick Foley for the WWF. I can only imagine when that turned into the autobiography.



Also, the tapings in Orlando weren't for Saturday Night. They were for WCW Worldwide. Worldwide was the syndicated show, Saturday Night was taped, but it was for TBS. Jim Mitchell has some hilarious stories about the quality of the rats from the Worldwide tapings, I guess it was a lot harder to find a quality rat at a taping in a studio than a typical show/taping.

Worldwide tapings were the bomb. There was always a kickass Cruiserweight match and Hugh Morrus Moonsaulting some worthless jobber good times. As for the poll you can't say one man killed WCW, it was really a combination of all three.

LividLiquid
Apr 13, 2002

BITCOIN BATMAN

How could you not include Jamie Kellner in the poll seeing as how he's the guy who actually killed WCW?

Dragging Iron Feet
Nov 10, 2007

by T. Finn


LividLiquid posted:

How could you not include Jamie Kellner in the poll seeing as how he's the guy who actually killed WCW?
It was a mercy killing. He basically put down a horse with three broken legs.

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


LividLiquid posted:

How could you not include Jamie Kellner in the poll seeing as how he's the guy who actually killed WCW?

Because that would be legal precedent for any doctor who pulls the plug on a brain dead vegetable to be tried as a murderer. And all he did was cancel the shows. WCW lived on after that. Realistically Vince McMahon belongs on the list, but I selected a four option poll and all of my options were taken.

LividLiquid
Apr 13, 2002

BITCOIN BATMAN

Had he not pulled the shows, the company would have been sold to Fusient and Eric Bischoff, leaving the huge contracts such as Nash Hogan and Hart with AOL Time Warner.

Without Jamie Kellner, WCW may have survived and become much, much better.

Dr. Ass
Apr 21, 2008



I just bought The Death of WCW the other day and I'm starting to read it. I'm glad I finally got around to this book.

tzirean
May 1, 2007



Grimey Drawer

LividLiquid posted:

Had he not pulled the shows, the company would have been sold to Fusient and Eric Bischoff, leaving the huge contracts such as Nash Hogan and Hart with AOL Time Warner.

Citation? Only source I can find says the opposite.

quote:

During a conference call between Bischoff, Bedol, Siegel and media reporters, Bedol said that Fusient has purchased the contracts of everyone involved in World Championship Wrestling.

The Fusient deal certainly would not have followed the same rules as the deal Vince signed.

STONE COLD 64
Oct 20, 2006

austin 3:16 says shut up. shut hte fuck up. where is my beer. i need hel

LividLiquid posted:

Had he not pulled the shows, the company would have been sold to Fusient and Eric Bischoff, leaving the huge contracts such as Nash Hogan and Hart with AOL Time Warner.

Without Jamie Kellner, WCW may have survived and become much, much better.

WCW killed WCW. It brought itself to the point where Jamie Kellner had to kill it. All he did was give it a mercy kill.

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


LividLiquid posted:

Had he not pulled the shows, the company would have been sold to Fusient and Eric Bischoff, leaving the huge contracts such as Nash Hogan and Hart with AOL Time Warner.

Without Jamie Kellner, WCW may have survived and become much, much better.

Bischoff and Fusient had been trying to buy the company for three months, and by March it had become obvious that Fusient was not what Bischoff had made it out to be. Fusient hadn't made close to the level of an investment before and the company was less than a year old when this whole thing went down. The whole thing was sketchy and AOL-Time Warner got sick of Bischoff and his flakey backers.

Rusty Shackelford
Feb 7, 2005


MassRayPer posted:

Bischoff and Fusient had been trying to buy the company for three months, and by March it had become obvious that Fusient was not what Bischoff had made it out to be. Fusient hadn't made close to the level of an investment before and the company was less than a year old when this whole thing went down. The whole thing was sketchy and AOL-Time Warner got sick of Bischoff and his flakey backers.

This is the truth. All Vince did was buy the WCW name and the video library; he didn't even buy the rings or trucks.

GrimGypsy
Mar 27, 2007



observer quotes posted:

Quote #39

"Hogan did the first huricanrana of his career" - The Wrestling Observer Newsletter: May 15, 2000


If you really, really picture this - I think it more or less sums up the dueling silliness, sadness, unintentional hilarity, and tragedy of late WCW.

STONE COLD 64
Oct 20, 2006

austin 3:16 says shut up. shut hte fuck up. where is my beer. i need hel

GrimGypsy posted:

If you really, really picture this - I think it more or less sums up the dueling silliness, sadness, unintentional hilarity, and tragedy of late WCW.

By "did his first huricanrana" they mean he received, not gave.

weekly font
Dec 1, 2004


Everytime I try to fly I fall
Without my wings
I feel so small
Guess I need you baby...



The OP is a really great post summarizing the death of WCW but I can't believe you didn't mention Watt's ridiculous old school mentality of having over-the-top-rope DQs and no climbing the turnbuckles.

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


weekly font posted:

The OP is a really great post summarizing the death of WCW but I can't believe you didn't mention Watt's ridiculous old school mentality of having over-the-top-rope DQs and no climbing the turnbuckles.

I was going to as I wrote that part but forgot.

Watts main mandate when he came in besides cost cutting was that top rope moves were now banned in the "rules" and guys should keep matches in the ring and to only go outside if it was asolutely necessary.

The idea was, that top rope moves didn't mean anything now, and if you banned them they'd actually mean something the rare times they were done they'd mean something. But, since WCW also used NWA titles, and NWA rules allowed top rope moves you had guys in NWA tag title matches doing them anyway, and there was a whole tournament to crowd NWA Tag Champions during that period.

So the whole thing was a loving mess.

There's honestly a ton of things that needed to be mentioned. Like Russo's lovely tournaments that he always ran, or Rick Steiner shooting on Konnan, or the Ernest Miller getting his job because he was Bischoff's kid's karate instructor, or a million other things.

Like the original idea behind the Ding Dongs! Instead of being covered in bells they were supposed to just have a bell they'd ring whenever they made tags!

MassRafTer fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2009 around 07:10

Coffey
Sep 9, 2003

by T. Finn


The idea of the Ding Dongs wasn't nearly as bad as the idea of the Hunchbacks. See, they had humps on their backs, so you couldn't pin their shoulders to the ground! They couldn't be beat!

*sigh* Poor WCW.

I voted for Russo by the way.

Sionistic
Apr 22, 2008

We don't need your money!


The best part of the new logo was all the wrestlers who slipped on it

Rusty Shackelford
Feb 7, 2005


Coffey posted:

The idea of the Ding Dongs wasn't nearly as bad as the idea of the Hunchbacks. See, they had humps on their backs, so you couldn't pin their shoulders to the ground! They couldn't be beat!

*sigh* Poor WCW.

I voted for Russo by the way.

The Ding Dongs were the ones with the hunchbacks.

Coffey
Sep 9, 2003

by T. Finn


Rusty Shackelford posted:

The Ding Dongs were the ones with the hunchbacks.

They were? Are you sure? Pretty sure the Hunchbacks never made it to TV as (I think) Ole just said he'd slap on an armbar and make them submit.

Here's a Ding Dongs match, hump free:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-pCo0CMIFA

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


Since people have asked and don't know who these people are:

Riki Rachtman was an Mtv VJ who WCW hired in 1999 as a backstage interviewer to make the product more hip and edgy. He really sucked and would gently caress up promos and no one knew who he was since he had been on Mtv like, five years before.

DJ Ran was the DJ WCW hired for its TV events. They also brought him to house shows for a little while. Here's a clip, personalized by DJ Ran highlighting the typical DJ Ran Nitro segment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59BfrSpNEkM

It amazes me what a time in wrestling the first three months of 2001 were.

ECW's last PPV aired January 7th 2001. They ran two house shows later in the month.

On January 11th 2001 Fusient Media Ventures was announced as having purchased WCW.

In February of 2001 The Kat was released by the WWF, and Jerry Lawler quit in protest.

Paul Heyman then appeared on Raw to replace Lawler, wearing an ECW hat.

March 16th 2001, WCW is cancelled on the Turner networks, and the WWF buys WCW on March 23rd. March 27th the final Nitro airs.

On top of this, in January 2001 Zuffa purchased UFC and Dana White became president of UFC.

MassRafTer fucked around with this message at Dec 28, 2009 around 08:36

LividLiquid
Apr 13, 2002

BITCOIN BATMAN

tzirean posted:

Citation? Only source I can find says the opposite.


The Fusient deal certainly would not have followed the same rules as the deal Vince signed.
Whelp. That ruins my point entirely. I just remember the buyout rumor for Fusient was that Bischoff was going to launch with DDP and Shawn O'hare as top stars. I figured that meant they'd not have the bigger names.

MassRayPer posted:

Bischoff and Fusient had been trying to buy the company for three months, and by March it had become obvious that Fusient was not what Bischoff had made it out to be. Fusient hadn't made close to the level of an investment before and the company was less than a year old when this whole thing went down. The whole thing was sketchy and AOL-Time Warner got sick of Bischoff and his flakey backers.
I've never read that part. Where'd you hear this?

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


LividLiquid posted:

Whelp. That ruins my point entirely. I just remember the buyout rumor for Fusient was that Bischoff was going to launch with DDP and Shawn O'hare as top stars. I figured that meant they'd not have the bigger names.

I've never read that part. Where'd you hear this?

When this happened what I had always heard was the reason the January deal fell through was one of the financial backers, whether it was Fusient or some other partner backed out. So they had to come up with new funding, but the deal was still presumed to be going on, they just needed to sure up their financing. This was a company that was brand new and hadn't done a deal close to this magnitude before. This was just the talk of the time, and a quick search shows the same basic story, but I have no idea where I first heard it. It was just what WCW fans talked about at the time.

On top of this, there had always been talk that TBS would cancel Thunder as the deal was progressing. The ratings were getting awful for wrestling, and TBS was trying to secure Seinfeld and Friends to be the station's prime line up, instead of its old staples. This is before Kellner came on board. (This is from old WOLs at the time of the sale)

On top of this, AOL-Time Warner was looking to cut costs across the board. Meltzer reported after the deal was completed AOL execs immediately went to the Braves and told them to cut down on their scouting costs. So this was a company looking to trim costs. It wasn't just wrestling, but wrestling was an obvious target. The appeal of wrestling before the Monday Night Wars was it was cheap programming that never took a hiatus and did good ratings for the price. When the Wars started, it became pricier programming that delivered huge ratings, but sold lovely ad rates. Look at the WOW women's promotion. They had no touring costs and paid their talent poo poo. But in a period of 3 months they lost three million dollars. They were a TV centric product, and the costs of producing TV killed the promotion.

UndergroundHero
Feb 1, 2005

Throw reason right out the fuckin' window.


MassRayPer posted:

When this happened what I had always heard was the reason the January deal fell through was one of the financial backers, whether it was Fusient or some other partner backed out. So they had to come up with new funding, but the deal was still presumed to be going on, they just needed to sure up their financing. This was a company that was brand new and hadn't done a deal close to this magnitude before. This was just the talk of the time, and a quick search shows the same basic story, but I have no idea where I first heard it. It was just what WCW fans talked about at the time.

Bischoff talked about this in his book. Basically Fusient was looking through the books and examining WCW's numbers, and when they saw not only how much money they had tied up, but also how much they were losing, one of the top financial backers freaked and bailed out on them.

MassRafTer
May 26, 2001

Fundamentals as sound as the WNBA


UndergroundHero posted:

Bischoff talked about this in his book. Basically Fusient was looking through the books and examining WCW's numbers, and when they saw not only how much money they had tied up, but also how much they were losing, one of the top financial backers freaked and bailed out on them.

I picture a man in a suit seeing the WCW books, and literally freaking out, ripping out hair and running SCREAMING from the meeting. Possibly tripping over the C in the WCW logo on the way out.

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Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.


During that interview with Kevin Kelly posted a couple of weeks back, he talks about how nonchalant Vince was pretending to be as he strutted into a meeting and said,"Oh hey, I just bought WCW.... including their entire video library. For only 3 (?) million dollars," and how they just sat there going

There's also a really good bit about how the video library showed up in cardboard boxes with absolutely no index/catalog and Kelly got to crawl through it all and was finding the most utterly amazing stuff just slammed into boxes willy-nilly because the guys who eventually sold it didn't have a loving clue of the value of what they were selling, because all they saw was the outgoing costs.

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