WWE vs WCW - Bulking Up | 2
In its March Nineteen Ninety and Dr George the Horrigan his treating one of his regular patients in his Harrisburg Pennsylvania office like many visitors to doctors a Hawaiian. This patient is a wrestler. Four hundred hundred pounds of steroid inflated muscle. The wrestler looks at the Chubby bespectacled doctor and pleads for help duck. I'm about to go on tour in Europe for weeks. I'm going to need a load of steroids and painkillers to get through doctors. A hoary nods understanding Lii in nineteen seventy seven the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission made him the house doctor a WWF weekly TV shoots in Allentown. He's been playing Dr feelgood good to the wrestling community ever since even though the WWF kicked him out in nineteen eighty nine. He's still the go to guy for wrestlers in need of affixed doctors are Horrigan unlocks his medicine cabinet and pulls out box after box of medication okay. I'll help nope but only because I trust. You'll be careful out there. A. Here the FBI's watching wrestling very closely doctors are hoary in Hanover more than two thousand thousand pills including Halcion Xanax Vicodin and more boxes of Syringes Vials of testosterone twenty ninety five thousand dollars a performance enhancing drugs and painkillers enough to last a lifetime. Thanks Doc. This should keep me going doing just seconds after the wrestler leaves. FBI Agent Storm into doctors a hoary reception area doctors are Hari and please stand aside. We we have a warrant to search the premises. The color drains from the doctor's face. His heart is pounding. He stashed his wrestling patients records off-site but he's still got receipts for steroid shipments in his office. Oh Oh my may I call my attorney before you begin the agents not in doctors a Hawaiian rushes into his office but instead of picking up his phone he opens the filing cabinet hands shaking Geico he rummages through the files and pulls out a handful of Fedex receipts he glances at the half open door to make sure he's out of sight and starts tearing up the documents the F. B. I. agents here the noise and I into the room doctors a hurry in stop what you're doing immediately. You're under arrest. The doctor freezes is is torn pieces of paper flutter from his hands onto the floor. The doctor is marched out of the building and into the parking lot from across the way he sees the wrestler. He just left his office removing a wire. F- from under his shirt as doctors a Hawaiian is driven away back in his office. FBI agents or already piecing the torn documents back together their receipts for illegal steroid shipments to two familiar oh your name's wwf wrestling stars Lord Alfred Hayes and Rowdy Roddy Piper. It's a brand new lead in their investigation it points directly to the WWE APPS front door. Hm Shipping and mailing from your desk has never been simpler than with Centro online from Pitney bowes with central online from Pitney Bose is just click sent and save for his lowest four ninety nine. That's four dollars and ninety nine cents. A month sent envelopes flats and packages right from your desk and you are back to business in no time and for being a business wars listener you'll receive a free thirty day trial to get started and a free ten pounds scale to ensure that you never overpay starting at four ninety nine per month. You can also qualify for special. USPS rates for letters and priority mail shipping calculate exact postage online and print postage right there from your pc save time and money on mailing and shipping with WPRO online go to PB DOT COM slash vw to access this special offer for a free thirty day trial plus a free ten pounds scale to get started. That's PB DOT com slash. BWI W experienced shipping made simple with a free trial of Centro online from Pitney Bowes from wondering I'm David Brown. This is business works on the last episode. Vince McMahon took charge of the WWF and crushed the wrestling sling old guard and cable TV mogul Ted Turner bought the floundering WCW promotion but now scandal is threatening man's wrestling empire. Could this be just the break. Turner needs to take him on this is episode to bulking up. It's June nineteen ninety-one and WWF headquarters in Stamford Connecticut Vince McMahon Stares in horror at USA Today's front page. The headline reads hope both from a bottle Dr George the Horan's trial for illegally dispensing steroids to wrestlers starts tomorrow since his arrest fifteen months ago the identities of the WWF stars he supplied haven't become public but now the secret's out breath. McMahon knows these revelations could destroy Hulk Hogan's wholesome image and threatened WWF's reputation as a family show McMahon needs to neutralize this scandal fast he grabs his phone punches in the number for WWF chief attorney. Jerry McDevitt a few hours later in Harrisburg Pennsylvania McDevitt steps into the office of the federal judge overseeing doctors a hoariest trial trial. Thank you for seeing me at short notice. Judge my client the WWF is very concerned about the prosecution's decision to call Hulk Hogan as a witness the judge piers at McDevitt over his thin rimmed glasses. Let me guess you're going to ask me not to compel Hogan to to testify on what grounds the federal attorneys do not need Hogan to make their case. He's only listed in the doctor's fed ex logs six times. That's less than the other wrestlers called a court also the logs that include him predate. The steroids restrictions that this case depends on. I I still don't hear why he shouldn't be testifying. McDevitt leans forward Hulk Hogan is the most famous wrestler in the world world. Your honor and critical to my clients business. If Hogan is put on the witness stand it'll create a media circus that will do untold damage to. WWF's reputation station and you're under the WWF is not on trial here. The judge presses palms together okay Mr McDevitt. I accept your argument. I won't require Hogan to testify the WWF quickly issues a media statement emphasizing how Hogan isn't accused of wrongdoing and won't be taking the stand but it doesn't quell the media storm when doctors a hoary and is found guilty two days later the papers are full of stories about the WWF wrestlers who used steroids to build their massive passive mussels McMahon ramps up the damage control. It's July nineteen ninety-one and the WWF is holding a press conference in the tastefully decorated terrace room of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan dressed in a grey suit and green tie the six-foot-three McMahon addresses reporters at the WWF. We take the issue of steroids extremely seriously that's why today we are announcing a new drug testing regime for all aw WWF wrestlers a reporter raises his hand messed him McMahon. You look like you work out. Have you used steroids. McMahon decides honesty's the best policy. I did use a steroid. I got from Doctors Ahora in about four years ago but I used it only once as the scandal rumbles on. WWF's popularity takes a beating viewers and advertisers desert. It's TV shows you pay per view buys and ticket sales for live events tumble. The only comfort and it's cold comfort is that Ted Turner's World Championship Championship wrestling is failing to capitalize on. WWF woes since the nineteen eighty Turner Buyout WCW boss. Jim Heard just can't seem to catch a break the former pizza hut regional managers try gimmick after Gimmick to get people watching. He's lit up. WCW's TV shows with indoor fireworks. He's introduced a wrestling duo call the Ding dongs who wear bright orange SPANDEX bodysuits covered in tiny bells. He's even sent a a movie star law enforcer into the ring in the WCW's also plagued with infighting heard has fallen out with his chief booker who writes the scripts for each wrestling match and his top wrestler Ric flair over the WCW direction and now heard and flares disagreements are about to explode it's August nineteen ninety-one and flares in herds private office in WCW's headquarters in Atlanta the forty two year old wrestlers contract is up for renewal and and he's expecting a big pay hike after all he's WCW's biggest star and its current champion. Flair runs his hand through his wavy blond shoulder length hair POPs the question okay Jim. What are you offering me to stay heard frowns rick. We're we're losing money and the ratings are down. My offer is three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. A year for two years. Flare leaps to his feet in anger. You are not cutting my pay in half Einder champion. I'm on your star wrestler. You cut someone. Else's pay heard crosses his arms. If you were as good as you think you are a ratings eatings wouldn't be down. You can take the deal or you can cough flare clamps his fists on his hips. Give me back the twenty five five thousand dollar security deposit. I put down the championship belt plus interest and I'm gone heard sneers. You and the bell flare explodes. It's not me it's you unless you return my deposit. It's my belt with that layer stumps out of her office half an hour later. Vince McMahon gets a call thence. It's it's Ric flair. I want Outta. WCW If you want me outcome wwf this is music to McMahon's man's ears Rick Wreck of course. I want you fantastic something else to oh yeah. I've still got the WCW championship belt. They will give me my deposit so I'm keeping it. I could bring it with me. If you like a mighty grin breaks across McMahon's face he knows exactly what to do with that. Big Gold Belt. It's Monday September Ninth Nineteen Ninety one and then is Atlanta home. Gym heard sits in front of the TV beer in hand. He's watching prime time wrestling. WWF's flagship show on the USA network tonight is a big night for the show because Rick Flares cares about to make his WWF debut keen to see what the competition's going to do with his former champion just moments after the show starts arts herds jaw drops off crap on the screen a WWF commentator tator is hyping up flares imminent arrival and in his hands. The commentator is brandishing flare solid gold. WCW Belt Bird's not just lost WCW biggest star. He's also let the belt WCW tout's is the most prestigious prize in wrestling become a prop crop on their rivals TV show and it's my pleasure to introduce you got it the real world champion the following morning heard is fired. It's June nineteen ninety two and in the center stage H. Theater in Atlanta. WCW's wrestlers are meeting their new boss. He's a thickset former wrestler called Cowboy Bill Watts and of course he wears a Stetson. The wrestler study Watts Torso. They've heard he always carries a gun. They're wondering if if he's packing heat right now they've also heard a rumor that he urinated in the CNN parking lot but what's isn't here to clarify rumours instead. He's come to give. WCW Big kick in the ass with his snakeskin boots. There ain't no way to sugarcoat this. Here's the truth. WCW SEE W is a shambles since turnabout you pissed away nineteen million dollars to wrestlers glance city each other did watch just break wind he did but he's not breaking his diatribe the TV shows you've been filming here an embarrassment limit all these bright lights looks like your wrestling and a shopping mall so we're going to fix things and we're fixing the my way. I don't want any bullcrap. Oh crap for many of y'all for the next hour watch lays down the law he wants to rewind the clock take wrestling back to the days before the WWF WF started putting wrestlers and Polka dots and other outlandish costumes. I want real wrassling namby-pamby dance routines. No More Matt's outside the ring that looks fake. No more lewd hand gestures. Neither no more acrobatic leaps off the ropes. Come out. I want blood. I won't Violence Spontaneity Gimme that we're going to win. Big Watts is settling in. WCW The W. W. F. is in turmoil since the steroids scandal erupted the bad news hasn't stopped coming Hulk Hogan's taking a break from the ring to focus on acting reading McMahon's also fallen out with the ultimate warrior face painted rest or he hoped would be wwf next superstar on top of that to WWF WWF staffers have been fired after claims that they've been using their position to sexually exploit young men who wanted to get into the wrestling business there there are also to potentially crippling lawsuits pending one from a rookie wrestler left semi-paralyzed effort match the other from a former a commentator demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid royalties and it's all hammering the ratings of WWF TV shows including prime time wrestling. It's October nineteen ninety-two and Vince McMahon is top lieutenants are meeting in WWF's headquarters in Stamford Connecticut for months. They've been trying without success to revive. Primetime wrestling's ratings now. McMahon wants to start over. Let's forget about overhauling prime time wrestling come on. It's time to create a new showed replace it. I want something more in in your face one executive riffs on McMahon's idea. Why don't we take the fights out of the arenas and back into small intimate venues news put put the audience ringside and have the wrestlers doing their skits right there instead of taping them separately. It would feel like it's live to the viewers at home. Dick Glove Vice President of business operations picks up the baton. Yeah we put mics in the ring so the viewers here every grunt and crash on the Mat. It'll feel unscripted likes something uncooked raw McMahon points at glove Rau-. I liked that sounds dangerous. That should be the name of the show in January nineteen ninety-three Monday night raw debuts. I and it's like nothing wrestling fans have ever seen before with its small venues live by up close over the top action. Raw is a world away from the orchestrated atmosphere of most wrestling. TV shoots reaction is huge draws. I episode attracts more than two million views to the shows drawn people back to WWF. Raw Success is a bitter Peter Blow for WCW's boss Watts. He thought Gimmick free back to basics. Wrestling would work wonders instead viewers are choosing the WWF energetic energetic and crazy action over his dimly lit TV shows but the cowboy has bigger trouble on the way and that's because his passed. I is about to catch up with him. Hiring can be a slow process. Nobody knows that better than cafe tourists. CEO Dylan Moskowitz when he needed to hire a director of coffee for his organic coffee company he was having a lot of trouble finding finding qualified applicants so he switched Ziprecruiter Ziprecruiter doesn't depend on candidates finding you. It finds them for you. 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VW THAT'S ZIPRECRUITER DOT COM slash VW ziprecruiter dot com slash VW Ziprecruiter the smartest way to hire business wars is sponsored by audible audible has the world's largest selection of audio books and audio entertainment including audible originals audible originals are stories created exclusively for audio including documentaries exclusive audiobooks and scripted shows that you can't hear anywhere else that's right now. I'm listening to an audible original called it burns the scandal plagued race to breed the world's hottest Chili. Sometimes you just need to hear a story that completely jolts you out of your own head and this one is really doing that for me. It's wild. It's funny. It's about so much more than Chili's with a convenient audible APP. You can listen listen anytime anywhere and on any device Mobile Alexa Enabled Bluetooth and more as a member you can easily exchange any title you don't love at anytime plus plus. You get to keep your library of listens. Even if you cancel start listening with a thirty day audible trial choose one audiobook and to audible originals absolutely absolutely free visit audible dot com slash. BWI or text B W two five hundred five hundred that's audible dot com slash vw or text vw to five hundred five hundred uh it's February nineteen ninety-three and in CNN center in Atlanta WCW executive producer cowboy bill watts lots is riding up the elevator. Turner Broadcasting's executive suite he exits the elevator strides down the quarters of the buildings fourteenth fourteenth floor and enters the Office of Bill Shaw. Shaw is the senior executive at Turner Broadcasting who oversees WCW and he's not happy as what's takes. His seat shop pushes a sheet of paper across the desk him. You want to explain this breath. Watts picks up the sheet of paper. It's a faxed copy of an interview he did for a wrestling newsletter in Nineteen ninety-one. A paragraph is marked with yellow highlighter the part where watts defends in nineteen sixties restaurant owner who opted to shut down his Atlanta eatery rather than comply with a court order to serve African Americans well. I don't deny that I said that but anyone who thinks I'm a big is an idiot. I believe in freedom. He should have the freedom to discriminate. Shaw glares. What's the cowboy gets gets the message. You know what I'm done with this. Damn business. I'm out its May nineteen ninety-three and and there's a new face in Shaw's office guy who resembles a bulked up Ken doll he's Eric Bischoff and he wants to fill the cowboys now empty boots on paper. Bishop shouldn't stand a chance at becoming. WCW's executive producer. He's their promotions backup announcer a guy so low in the pecking order that Shaw had never heard of him until his resume landed on his desk but shaw's curious. He wants to know why Bischoff reckons he could run the show a ride Eric. This is your moment. Tell me how are you going to fix. WCW BISCHOFF straightens up and makes his case the old ways won't work if they did all those regional promoters the WWF wiped out would still be around. We need to you think like a TV production company not a wrestling promotion. We need production values to match. WWF and we can't just focus on the south to beat WWF. We've got to think and Act National Shaw Notch P agrees wholeheartedly with Bishops Analysis Alice's okay. So how would you take. WCW Out of the red and into the black we cut back on live events every time we do one. We lose money. That's going to continue until we sort out the TV shows. Maybe we stopped live shows altogether shaw smiles. He's impressed by bishops bold old ideas although he feels that stopping live events completely is a step too far a few days later. Bischoff gets the job but now that he's talked his way into. WCW's driving seat. He's got to deliver its fall. Nineteen ninety-three and Bischoff is is at Disney World in Orlando Florida but he's not on vacation instead. He's touring Disney. MGM Studios. He's been hunting for a permanent TV suit location for WCW for weeks and now he's found the ideal home. It's facilities are first rate. It's Disneyworld location means. There will always be a studio audience on hand. Bischoff also loves that. WCW's TV shows could open with the words coming to you from the Disney Disney Mgm Studios in Orlando Florida but he's getting ahead of himself he might wanNA bring wrestling to Disneyworld but Disney isn't sure it wants this is muscle heads hanging around the magic kingdom a couple of weeks later bishops back in Orlando trying to convince a conference room full of Disney executives to let WCW through their gates but it's not going well. Several of the executives have turned around in their seats putting their backs to him bischoff soldiers on. I promise you that. WCW is very much a family friendly production. It won't be out of place in Disneyworld the Disney any team looked doubtful bischoff can sense the opportunity slipping away from him but then out of the blue one Disney executive. You've come to the rescue. I know this is outside our comfort zone but I think this could be good at the studio will be in constant use generating income plus. I think it will be an added attraction for guests. The intervention defrosts the room after more discussion. Russian the Disney executives agree to let. WCW used the studio but there are conditions. We don't want wrestlers wandering around the theme park frightening our guests they get bussed in and out each day and they don't leave the studio when here and the curtains on the bus windows must be drawn so people. I don't see them arrive. Bischoff interrupts noted the curtains. I'll accept the rest but I that's going too far. The Disney executives confer briefly fine fine no curtains. I think we have a deal getting into Disneyworld is a big boost for Bischoff but an even bigger boost it is just around the corner thanks to Rick flair earlier that year he quit. WWF to rejoin w will you see W after McMahon started pushing younger wrestlers to the four fifths December nineteen ninety-three and flares in the living room of his Atlanta home putting bags of ice on his strained muscles last night the brash wrestling star foot in one of the greatest performances of his career a roller coaster championship ship fight with rival wrestler Baiter that had the audience of WCW Star Kate pay per view on the edge of their seats as he applies another the rice bag his phone rings. He reaches over and grabs the handsome. This is rick. Hey records the huckster last night brother. Wow Wow you nearly had me crying. It was so good they suck. Tell me brother what's going on in. WCW That's creating shows. How's that good flare sinks back into the couch well? We've got this new guy in charge names Eric Bischoff. He's got some really great ideas. After a moment of silence Hogan response. You should give me his number. It's two in the morning. The following day and and Bishoff is awakened by a phone call her Eric Bischoff speaking. He recognizes the voice on the line immediately Brunner honor. We should talk it's Hogan and he's about to give Bischoff in the WCW the Lego. They Been Frayne for on the next episode. hulkamania comes to Atlanta Vince McMahon Vases prison and Ted Turner declares all out war from wondering this in business wars hope. You enjoyed this episode. Please subscribe on spotify stitcher apple podcast Google podcast iheartradio or wherever you get your podcast casts you'll find a link on the episode notes just tap or Swipe the cover art and you'll see some offers from our sponsors. You can support our show by supporting them. We hope you yeah well. If you like what you've heard we would love it. If you give us a five star rating and tell your friends how to subscribe to another way you can support by answering a short survey at wondering dot Com. Tom Slash survey and don't forget to tell us what business war stories. You'd like to hear a quick note about the conversations. You've been hearing. We can't know exactly what was said but this dialogue is based on our best research. I'm your host. David Brown tristen Donovan wrote this story Karen. Low is our senior producer and editor Donna. Hi edited the story. Our editor and producer is jenny lower beckmann sound design by bay area south. Our executive producer is Marshall Louis created by Annan Lopez or wondering drink.