Clash Of The Champions XXX
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After of the four days I spent on the Chris Jericho cruise which was kind of a blast to say the least really really had a great time. Maybe a lot of people again. You know seeing about guys that I've worked the pass and ladies that I've worked with in the past and you gotta really tip my hat to Chris Jericho and his team six men that put together that event because it was a really really well run cruise everything went really smoothly with the exception of some pretty choppy seas. On one of the mornings he lasted about a couple of hours. Everything was fine but Just get back into the swing of things here Were Mississippi and I are winding down our last week in Florida. And then we're going to be coming coming up to hang with you and Megan for a couple days and then we're gonNA make our way up to Minnesota visit family and friends and then ultimately eventually finally on our way back to cody Wyoming. So just getting geared up for all that I'm excited about coming to visit am excited about what we're doing next week here on the show with Hashtag. ASHTEC ask Eric Anything. If you haven't already go out of your way to follow us on twitter at eighty three weeks and be sure to look for an image pin near the top or you get to pick Eric's brain next week but unfortunately we're talking about a clash of the champions. That was not the best ever clash of the Champions Thirty today is our topic. Went Down January. Twenty Fifth Nineteen ninety-five Procedures Palace. And that is an interesting look for. WCW because we know that the next year we're GONNA have Halloween havoc become a staple at the MGM grand and it was a big part. And what you guys did for a long time but before you were there you were at. Caesar's how did the relationship with Caesar's come to be. I mean it wasn't really much of a relationship ship. They had a a venue. They're typically was used for boxing Some the smaller boxing cards and we reached out to Caesar's and to see if it was available in in book that venue but there was unlike the MGM grand which we developed a relationship with with that really started with zebras lofts relationship with the folks over Red Mgm. This was a cold call more or less we just knew we wanted to come for biggest nappy which if you don't know if you're listening to this nasty was the national solo associated television producers and something or another. Whatever it's called it was a real Bonani was a really big deal back in the eighties in particular In early ninety s when television syndication was a a very big part of television business in general but wrestling in particular. And if if you don't mind kyle take a moment just to kind of dig into the weeds a little a bit here because you know we often talk those of us are in the business certainly including you. Now that you've been doing what you're doing for so long and have so much knowledge inch a lot of people listening. They hear that term nappy. It's an acronym obviously don't really know what it is or what it represents. And how fit into the industry back when television syndication and I mean syndication or what I mean by syndication is where for example with WCW with we obviously actually produce the You know W W Saturday night for TBS WCW main event for TBS on Sunday right but we had WCW pro. Oh which which was a show in and it was produced on the road in in venues in arenas it wasn't a compilation show or clip show. It was it was a standalone show. Oh but WCW pro was a show that we produced specifically for syndication syndication really means up. You produce this tape and then you. You have a contractual relationship with independent television stations all around the country and you produce that show you edited down and you distribute it to your your network of Independent Television stations in the air and there's two reasons why we did that or why it was done. We went to. We weren't the only ones doing we. Meaning Turner W W W e did the exact same thing But the the reason we had to really focus on syndication invest heavily in syndication is because back in the eighties early nineties is powerful as tbs was WCBS as a superstation station. It's still the network. Didn't have ninety or ninety five percent coverage that was early early cable and did. WCBS was one of the more powerful cable super stations. Excuse me including a wgn which was also superstation nation but in order to attract advertisers. You had to have a certain percentage of the US so for example. And I don't know what the numbers were exactly exactly so please don't ask but For example if WCBS superstation had an eight percent or eighty six percents footprint coverage is available in eighty six or eight percent of the households. In the United States we needed to augment augment that percentage is close to ninety six or ninety eight percent is we possibly could because if you didn't have at least ninety six or ninety eight percent percent coverage in the US too available households advertisers weren't interested in you so WCBS strong as it was wasn't a powerful enough platform platform to attract advertisers without augmenting that network. Excuse me their cable outlet with the network of syndication stations that we had around the USO for example of these numbers. I'm pulling them out of thin air. I don't know what they really are for. Example a major market of. Let's Chicago probably you. Let's say it represented three percent of the US turtle in terms of population of households. Three percent of whatever number of households were represented ended in in that market were aggregated if you will to. TBS number which allowed us to get to ninety six or ninety eight or one hundred percent Serb coverage so that's the relationship was syndication and cable and NAPPI was the one convention that took place every year And it still takes place. But that's a one one Convention that is held every year were independent television producers enlarge television producers some very very very large Would all get together in the television networks from around the country would come together here in the television networks and the buyers for those networks program directors general managers would meet with various producers and look at new shows that were coming out specifically for syndication. One example of that is thunder in paradise which was a syndicated Television series. It was put together by writer entertainment. which was the same people apple that were behind Baywatch and I say that because thunder in paradise was a syndicated show that was developed? Strictly for syndication did it involve Hulk Hogan that's why I wanted to use that as an example but anyway you go to these conventions and for example WCW WWe Racer Entertainment lionsgate entertainment. which still one of the largest television companies around our studios now What all meet and it had this big convention of these conventions as a one time? We're really huge. I went to one In the early nineties might have been ninety. Four before this one in Miami Where they have the eagles you know one of the big? It might have been rusher. Actually because they were having so much success with Baywatch Baywatch was a cash cow for for several years ears and I think it was Russia entertainment because I got an invitation to go through my relationships with the folks over and they had the eagles come in and play for this at this convention. You know so you sit there and watch an eagles concert for free if you were part of you know. Russia entertainment invited group so it was a really really big deal and and this year it was taking place in nineteen ninety five. The nappy convention was taking place in Las Vegas. Which is why we were there? Well Andrew here to make some money One of the things that I found really fascinating. My research for this show. Is that this Tom. This is the largest gate in clash history even bigger than the first one which fans back and really remain the size. You know the forty five minute time. Limit draw the sort of made sting a household name in his match with Ric flair. That went head to head with Wrestlemania. Four this only has twenty three hundred hang fans and it's still the biggest gate ever It's more than sixty thousand dollars which we know that when the interview comes to town you're going to blow that out of the water you know ninety six ninety seven but ticket prices here meltzer Sir would call high and I guess they were at the time somewhat Fifty dollars was your highest ticket price so your price points where fifty forty twenty five and fifteen fifteen. I guess two questions I have here one. How much of the higher ticket price? The normal was based on your overhead at Caesar's palace us and how much was just based on well. thought-out Vegas we think we can get away with it was a little bit of both Actually in also you had to factor into ended. The venue we were in wasn't a very big venue. I mean we probably packed with two thousand three hundred people or whatever however many people were there. I can't remember what you said. Five hundred hundred in attendance twenty three hundred paying so some comps but some of those cops you know and again. I think some of our listeners are in the loop on this but like one of those big boxing match. That's just come to Las Vegas. And they say oh it was an immediate sell-out and we had a record gave a lot of those are what's called casino buys so they're using it as a way in Thais some of their quayle's gamblers to come in town. Hey we've got you know mayweather tickets. We've got Tyson fury tickets or whatever did a dynamic like that exist at all in. Pro Wrestling was Cesar saying. Hey we're going to need three hundred of these. We're going to need for many of these to us for our sort of high rollers whoever's in town that weekend as Bait if you will the state Caesar's and come gamble. Did they have some sort of arrangement like that with you or you all on on your own. No we definitely did. And that was one of the advantages I guess of doing an event in Caesar's palace or at the MGM grand under any any of the big casinos because they the the casinos had you know. A database of locals high rollers the people that like to come to shows so The Casino a casino actually became a marketing partner for us in many ways because remember this is nineteen ninety. Eighty five early nineteen ninety-five Hogan it only been with us for about six months. He came in and whatever was July. Nineteen ninety-four whatever. The day was so you you know there was we were still we still emerging you know we we weren't a startup necessarily because WCW had been around for a while but it had been stagnant Ignat in in in almost gone out of business several times Leading up to this point so we didn't really have a lot of momentum. We weren't a big draw. Although at this point we had Hogan we had Nash and we were beginning to create Quite a bit of a buzz The word weird. I don't think really was used back then. But in today's vernacular we we were growing. We're emerging but we still. We couldn't really draw the kind of audience audience that we needed for television. especially a special event like clash of the champions for for tbs without you know the support in the marketing partnership that we had with the casino. So it wasn't just you know that the casinos really WanNa these tickets. It's A. We wanted the casinos to want the tickets because in many respects they do much better job. Marketing in Las Vegas than we could We could buy radio time we could buy a billboard. We could take out an ad in the paper. We could do all all kinds of things but we didn't have that database relationship with the local community. The same way that the casinos do well. It's fascinating because according adding to the observer the original plan was for this show to even happen in Las Vegas. It was all about the television convention that you mentioned he writes. The reason he's the clash was moved from. Its original site of Hampton Virginia to Las. Vegas was the convention being held in Las Vegas from the twenty four. Th through the twenty six. The idea was that. WCW hold a major event get a major TV exact show off a hot product Hulk Hogan and Randy savage and while it didn't appear that there were any TV types types with the exception of two or three faces like Mitch Ackerman from Disney. That were there for big shows all the time anyway. WCW did come out strong from a psychological physical standpoint from nasty because for the first year in history they stole the spotlight from the WWF. And I think that's probably something that you and I have talked talked a little bit about but I don't know that we've hammered at home enough. The WWF had become the brand in wrestling. It's almost like and I don't know how much people pay attention to this. But commonly people will say. Hey do you have Kleenex or really. That's a tissue. Why do you have a band aid or really? That's a bandage. But it had just become synonymous with the item and so even these days when people talk about mixed martial arts that's all he does ultimate fighting or oh he does has that you have see stuff regardless of whether or not it's actually in the UFC and you struggled with that even through. I mean even once the interview call fire in mainstream mainstream. Would people will talk about Hogan or the interview. Oh they would still refer to it as WWF because it had been so well ingrained in the American pop culture psyche through the eighties that you're going to be like fighting an uphill battle and I assume that when you have now the two big stars ars you've gotTa Sorta hit the reset button on everyone's thinking and let them know now. The WWF is down there. And they've got Brad Hart and the undertaker but we've got Hulk Hogan and we've got randy savage and just sorta press the reset button almost like a men in black type moment where no no no this is. That was the end. This is now. How much of a challenge was that and how much of that sort of thinking went into these type conventions from your perspective? That was a massive challenge. And I'm glad you brought that up because is your right. You know and I'm sure we could you know. Give other examples of people referring to a product by its trademark name Rather than an actual description of the product You know people walk into a restaurant. Say Gimme a coke. Sure you coke Pepsi Pepsi but you ask for Co so There's there's a lot of examples of that but that was a big challenge for us in many ways. You know there were certain advantages that I had when I kind of took over management it. WCW clearly Being owned by the network was one of them in in the most significant one but WCW was at a really a substantial disadvantage in many respects. Because we hadn't branded. WCW Hadn't branded themselves by the time that I got there in ninety two ninety three until I started taking over ninety four there was no effort at all to really brand. WCW On a national scale and as you pointed out you know commentators in the media or sports writers or anybody else would return with Refer to professional wrestling in general as WWF. Like they were the only ones in. It was a constant battle -ironically even though we had hall Cogan and we had wwf because Hogan and savage were so well branded in the WWF that even when we brought them over to w W. W. people still thought we were WWF and would oftentimes mistakenly referred to us as such. And not that. I want to spend my Sunday morning or Monday morning. You know Running Dave meltzer through the meat grinder again just not in the mood. You know how Dave Meltzer sure. Visually recognize a television executive when he's never been in the television business and by the way. Mitch Ackerman who did recognize was only there. Because he was a friend of a lot of arrests including Roddy Piper and came to a lot of events that were on the west coast. He wasn't there as Disney representative. And by the way that's who Mitch Ackerman. Herman worked for back in one thousand nine hundred five but he wasn't in the programming content. Part of the company was a producer. He didn't by anything so he wasn't there as an executive he was there as a fan. There were a large number of television executives that came to the event and not that they've given the fact that he covered. You know the business remotely from his basement in Sacramento wherever he lives. He wouldn't have recognized them if they delivered pizza to his front door. So that we did get a lot of a lot of interest primarily because a whole coburn randy savage frankly We did get a lot of interest from TV exacts and it was a very successful Decision to to put the event on there in hopes of getting some retraction there rob Garner was vp of syndication. Of the time. In I remember having dinner with him a couple nights later and after it was over and he was beanie from ear to ear with the success of the because previously. WCW would go there and nobody would care. Nobody knew they were. I'm just fascinated by this entire thing you've got to overcome now with The WWF being such a big brand and this particular nasty convention has a very interesting. Vince McMahon Bruce Prichard story. We talked to Bruce about the Stamp D. Convention and his exchange change or conversation. He had Improv it with Vince. I did not but I'm dying to hear it because I have my own little tidbit my own little nugget my my own. Little Vince McMahon. That took place during this event. But let's your Bruce's first. I'll let I tell the full story on something wrestle but he told me years ago that that Vince was so pissed off that Hulk Hogan was here and that you guys had stolen the spotlight. You had a much bigger display display. You had more traffic you had you know. You had the momentum at this point and he felt so betrayed by Hogan and savage and he was planning ending. stunt stunt. That never actually happened. But there was going to a a Vince McMahon confrontation stunt And they were GONNA film it sort of guerrilla style and try to figure out what to do with it and of course that didn't wind up happening But I'm I'm curious to hear from your perspective perspective of Vincent when from the same convention and this is just a little a little rib if you will but when I got to Vegas and I got a couple of days as earlier and I was hanging around with my buddy at the time who has since passed away Saint Breslau off and Zane was really wired in Las Vegas. I mean he spent a lot of to love to gamble. ZANE had I don't WanNa say a problem because he was pretty successful at it But he was. He was a huge player in Vegas. He knew everybody and everybody knew Zane. And when I got there Kazan Zeh knew that I like to stir some shit and and I would do some wacky stuff and and and I were having a dinner. Whatever it wasn't a drinker he was was a partier? He just liked to gamble fact. I don't think I ever saw Zane really drank. As matter of fact he may have but if he did it was very very insignificant but for the most part he was teetotal of that love to gamble but he loved his shit up to and we're out to dinner one night and he goes. Hey I I just found out because he had some contexts over treasure island the casino on the Strip and I just found out that you know Vince. McMahon is staying treasure island. I said really. How'd you find that out? He said I've got some people I know over there which didn't surprise me new everybody everywhere I said. Wow that's really cool. Maybe we should swing by and say hi he goes. Why don't we cancel his room? I went really. Could we pull that off and I thought wow if 'cause we were there a few days ahead and and Vince I don't think it was there yet. I thought wait a minute. I knew he wasn't Zane and Zane told me he hadn't arrived yet. At the man of we can cancel. Cancel his room. There's no way he's going to be able to get another one at the last minute because Vegas during the nappy convention was like Mardi Gras New Orleans you may. They have a hotel that she booked a year in advance. But if you cancel that room in its show up day of hoping to get another one. Good luck you're going to be staying in Laughlin Nevada so so I thought what a what a better way just to kick things off than to cancel. Cancel it's his room so he's gotta find another place to stay so we yeah. We did. That cancelled his room. Yeah it sounds like the most juvenile fucking idea was it was like Highschool Shit but it was fun as hell and I was hoping to hear about a read about it. But I'm AH. I'm guessing Vince. No sold it and was somehow able to ensure customer a couple of bucks but find a way to get a room but yeah we we. We cancelled cancelled. Israel is and was able to pull that up because of the people that he knew probably misrepresentative self to a degree. I love it it was great. That's a great story. Sorry it's it's so Eric Bischoff something else that is Eric Bischoff whether we like it or not. We're coming off the main event of your biggest pay per view view of the star. Cade this one from Nineteen ninety-four that main event went down in Nashville Tennessee. All cogan the biggest wrestling starter. Ever was defending his title against Brutus. The fucking barber beefcake After that of course hawks GONNA start a feud with a real inner vader. They're going to have the first ever match at the Super Bowl pay per view in February. So that's where we're headed We should you mentioned that There's still the seeds of what is going to be with Nitro with all the international flair Starting to bubble to the surface here a little bit I answer would report. The cruiserweight tournament has been delayed for a while because nobody has gotten their act together. As far as bringing in outside talent there Bischoff in Japan this week for the Tokyo Dome at home expect that he'll request one or two wrestlers like Otani and been Wa they have verbal deal with `Antonio To Send Two wrestlers opinion is looking the sand Straw Oughta and Eddie Guerrero. Although her Bischoff didn't want Guerrero I don't know obviously even says I've heard Bischoff didn't want Guerrero. Do you remember ever thinking. Maybe Eddie wasn't ready for Prom Tom. Or is this more rumor and Innuendo. You call it rumor in anyone to I call all at pure fiction. It's just Dave meltzer being dave meltzer he wrote something because he had to. He has ten thousand word quota for his toilet paper. He called the wrestling observer and he had to fill it up and he just makes shit up. We know that anybody listens to the show. Anybody that listens to Bruce's show anybody that's even read regularly read meltzer stuff and has witnessed. How much of it is just pure bullshit? Fabrication knows that he just make stuff up to make himself sound like he's wired into an industry that he's really not that wired into he's probably got a small network of stooges that work work out there in a rustling in various wrestling companies. Still to this day who feed him the information that they want him to pair it because he they know that's basically what he is in this case he's either making it up or was stupid enough which is highly probable to just repeat. Repeat something or infer something as a possibility that some stooge fed him. Because everybody knew if you want to read it just feed at the Dave gave. He's not smart enough and doesn't work hard enough at what he does. It doesn't have enough integrity within what he did then and what he does now to second second source or confirm with any principles evolve so it was just good. You know it's just more more diarrhea for the sewage. Pipe called you know the wrestling observer server but it wasn't true at all in fact he was one of the original cruiserweights that I brought in So it it makes no sense on on the surface. But neither most of the stuff that you read and Meltzer's dirty hypothetically run into Dave on the On on the vote no and I'm glad I didn't You know I was Kinda look at first of all Dave Pussy so it's not not like I didn't want to run into him for fear of confrontation if ecstasy opposite of that knowing how fired up I can still get even at this advanced age and and clearly not physical condition To to tangle with anybody I was more concerned for my own level of reaction than anybody somebody else's And I just didn't WanNA get on a cruise ship with that kind of attitude. Because I I tend to get that way Still to this day not as often not up to the same degree but it is part of my DNA. And I didn't run into him but interestingly Enough Booker T. did now I wasn't isn't there I in an unlike Dave Meltzer. I don't give detail or description or talk about things that one guy said and the other guy said if I wasn't there to hear it but I I had heard from someone who was at this event where this scene took place there that there was this confrontation where day meltzer decided he was going to join Booker T. and Rick Flair who were sitting at a table? I think in Green Room and upset island hell hang out with hang out with the boys being the Jackson effort that he really is although he says it's not he really really is and booker. T. Tatham from what I've been told I wasn't there. I didn't see it and went absolutely awesome. and Dave being the pussy that is of course tucked tail and ran. I heard that I thought okay travel. Gurus Guerrero's the one that told me and I heard that that's really good. I I need. Hopefully I'll run into booker again before the trip is over and asked him about it and sure enough is I was getting off the boat. Actually it's a ship. Keep calling it a boat like it's a fourteen foot fishing boat. You know on a lake when as I was disembarking off the ship in Miami I I was like the fourth one off the ship Booker T. Sharma. Were right ahead of me. And I asked Booker about it. He all lit up again. It was like seven thirty thirty in the morning. I think booker sorry. I'm sorry I brought it up but you know man I like talking about it. Be a booker. Wanted to rip his head off And I think it's important important. Dave has relationships with certain people whatever The vast majority of people who have been in the industry can't stand him in booker. T's probably right at the front of the line. Yeah I learned This last year. How much Booker does not like Mr Meltzer. But I don't know man I still like the observer another bad person but no just makes you a poorly informed ha. You're still a good person. You're just a good person that likes to read a lot. And that's one of the reasons people like a lot of people like to read the national enquirer even though they know. It's even if that still exists. I don't know but you know the tabloid news people love re if they know that it's bullshit but they like reading bullshit and that's fine but you have to take it for what it really is and not put too much stock in it Did you ever I mean I can't believe we're all the way back in down the rabbit hole the health or stuff. Have you ever just like hung out with meltzer. Why social like not wrestling not not not business business? Not just the facts Ma'am reporter town subject but just like have a couple beers or breakfast or whatever ooh I don't think so. I mean if if I did it was brief or it was incidental meeting. There may have been other people around in a group group setting and you know because it was a time. When I talked to Dave I opened it I opened my you know? Open my office up to date. If he had acquire under reason I did. It is because he was so poor at your reporting facts and I understood that you know. Nobody will talk to him. Well then he's going to report whatever here's because he's not going to do any work not gonNA actually go to events in right about them. He's going to rely on somebody who bought a ticket. Who is going to tell is going to report back today? What is show was like based on you know Dave's own prejudices and agenda so I thought well what a better way to try to fix that? Just open it up and Zane. Breslau was was the person to convince me to do that and I did until pillow. Got to the point where you know. Even though I gave him access he would still right stupid shit. I don't fuck it. You can't get changes colors. He is what he is. He's never going to really do the work. He's Never GonNa have the integrity at that he should have. He's not going to check his sources. He's just gonNA write bullshit so that was the end of that so there may have been a period of time. You know when I was trying to develop a relationship with Dave through through Zane Where we may have gotten together nothing stands out in my mind? Can't you know recall one incident. But it's possible. I Guess Super Nice guys. The reason I mentioned I have been able to hang out with him and social savings and Great Guy and I just think that you guys would if you met him and you didn't know he was Dave Meltzer. You guys will be fast France but that will never happen. MELTZER would right Hogan has a meeting this week to discuss revival thunder in paradise with a new name Thunder Force In which a four person team Hogan's team Mr T.. And a female martial artists would all be equal co-stars. Of course we know. This didn't come to pass. How close was this becoming reality? A STING MR T. Hogan TV show in nineteen ninety five. This is the first. I'm hearing about it so it at. I'm not saying that there hadn't been a conversation that sounded something like. Hey what if we did this. Or because of hogs relationship with Russia entertainment the people that were producing thunder in paradise. It may be an idea. I don't know but it was not something that I was a part of a discussion that I was evolved in nor nor do I remember hearing it until just now so who knows. It could have been just chatter that they reported as fact which again at the beat it to death but that wasn't unusual or it it could could have been a conversation at somebody had at one point. What if that Like I said is somehow somehow made its way to the newsletter and somebody who needed a safety net themselves is the Honky tonk man it makes the observer here the hockey top man deal was. He refused to do a job for johnny bad. As asked stark aid hurting the one source he would have done it had he received a contract. WCW is willing to offer him one but the the two sides where about fifty thousand dollars on a price tag and it looks. As though aren't Anderson will be replacing him against Johnny bad at the clash. Monkhouse buck worked as his replacement on the house shows this week on the live show Bischoff jokes that Honky tonk man couldn't stand the heat and went back to school. Teaching hockey was is working as a physical education teacher before we went back. WC Ironic is that Honky tonk man a physical education teacher. Just I think about that. I say I never heard of this in my life. The he was a P. H.. I don't know that it's true. I I don't know what he did. But if it's it's true just define irony Honky tonk man as a physical education teacher that is IRA i Ronnie L.. Well Twenty twenty. Your favorite stories and I didn't realize was getting going researching the show that happened. You know around December number January here. This is remarkable. The job he refused to do was around star. Cade do you remember that. I don't remember the incident. I don't remember the van to the venue. I just remember the incidents you know. It's it's pretty clear in my mind but you know the background of it. I don't remember could have been one of my favorite bischoff lines ever is if I could wake up every day and fire the Hawk tonk man one more time every day it would be the best possible way to start my I know it. Would you know cup of coffee. You know stretch out a little bit. Take the dog for a walk and fire the Honky Tonk man. That'd be lots of they love it when you've got a case of the red ass. Let's keep it going here. Stop Ban. You're really going to get their. Ns here meltzer right. Supposedly W Lisa losses this year are going to be cut three and a half million. As opposed to the five to six million in previous years but that figure is misleading because Hogan Sour comes from Turner Turner Home Entertainment Sledger Rather Than W W ledger and Hogan between salary and bonuses and percentages would be no less than two point seven million in probably considerably hire for his six months so the real losses are the highest ever because of this there is considerable pressure to cut those losses by knocking about half a million off the payroll and and you can imagine the internal fighting over whose friends paycheck gets nailed. I know you're gonNA blow a gasket but they're hugging salary come from the Turner Are Home Entertainment Ledger. I've never heard that that's because it's not true. That's why you've never heard it and I look a this is so profoundly fucking stupid. I can't even really get upset about it. I mean this this is like a a six year old kid coming up and saying something to you that made absolutely no sense. You can't get mad at the six year old kid. It's just a six year old kid and in this case I can't even get mad about it because it's just meltzer being meltzer Turner home. Entertainment was barely operating. Entity was more of a pass through and and existed only to take Turner content whether it'd be WCW National Geographic any of the cartoon network materials and distribute attribute them through a home video distribution network that they had developed that's all they were and to suggest that Hogan's salary owlry or salary for of a better term you'll though he wasn't employees independent contractor but simply stated to suggest that Hogan's income income is income were the responsibility and were born on the Turner home entertainment side of the books as just profoundly. Probably fucking stupid not true. Let's keep it rolling here. Your boy Van Hammer. His real name is mark. Tim I boy. Why is he by boy? I didn't hire that was dusty. Rhodes dusty Rhodes Levin Hammer. Nothing against obviously does he love Johnny Badge Desi so a lot of talented algae a Lotta people. But he wasn't. My Guy didn't hire him now. I kept around longer than I should. That was on me by hiring of my guy. Stop that. That's that's the Dave Meltzer in you. See that's what happens when I said your boy because the aim on on because he no showed star cast see. Nobody likes Van Hammer on no-show. WCW Do this. The Larry Story. I think you're GONNA love this. I'm GonNa read this word for word. For meltzer's account Van Hammer was arrested on to cancel possession of illegally prescribed. Drugs Hammer turned turned himself in a few weeks ago while also arrested Was Lawrenceville Georgia physician Bryan Billingham. Who wrote the prescriptions? No details details on what drugs were involved however the humorous part of the story was when W W was contacted in the newspaper. A spokesperson claimed Hammer Hatton worked for the company. In two years there was a guy who looked just like him who had the same name and unfortunately wrestle just like him on. TV A few weeks ago just before he he turned himself in. I don't know why but I found this fucking hysterical the WCW would say no. I had ordered two years because really and honestly why would anyone of even fucking notice I once again. This sounds to me because once again again you know it was an anonymous source or a representative. So there's no names involved. There's no way to verify it no way to check it no way to contact somebody say hey. Did this really happen happen it which is typical. That's that's the national enquirer ask Tone of the garbage that they've produces be the but if if let's just give him the benefit of the doubt gave the benefit of the doubt in this situation and assumed that perhaps it's true that individual that representative would have been and I I made a disadvantage here because Alan sharp who eventually became. You know our ahead of PR came into WCW. But I'm not sure if he was there right at this point it may have been later a ninety five so the timeline on in his employment as our PR. Spokesperson is clear to me. But if it wasn't Alan Sharp who by the way was a very very buttoned up guy former military guy straight up. I mean really really credible guy that would have never lied. He just because he took his career very very seriously. It was true pro. Love him to death. It was a great guy. Great Asset if it wasn't Alan Sharp it would have been Mike Weber so I can't imagine Mike Weber outlying in suggesting something like that so in either case assuming that Davis reporting was true it had to have been one of those two individuals. I just can't imagine either one of them being dumb enough Unprofessional enough to think that anybody would buy something especially a newspaper. Outlet is obviously looking for source material and wants credible information is going to do a little bit of research and say well wait a minute. He was just on TV two weeks ago. What do you mean he wasn't with you for the last two years? I mean that's a that's a hard hard one you know for anybody to buy if that were true and I just don't believe it was. I think it was more nonsense. Let's talk about where businesses sort of year over year air from ninety two ninety three ninety four and we'll take a look at like December which was most recent months or complete one. Your average average house show tendons during December nine hundred ninety two nine hundred and thirty fans in December of ninety three and down to six hundred and forty thirty in December of ninety-four. It's two thousand nine hundred and seventy. It's really remarkable. Because when you look back and you see sort of where everything is ninety two flares. Not here Hogan's here in ninety three flares here Hogan's not here in ninety four Hogan savage and flair. Here twenty nine seventy. It's it's unbelievable but that doesn't seem to affect act television ratings. Let's take a look at December again. December ninety two your average rating two point two similar ninety three two point zero the summer ninety four one point nine. You know you have been critical and I'm sure you have the data to support it especially when we read some of the smaller gates. The House shows effectively warrant Profitable for WCW but it does feel like you had tremendous growth when compared here to prior years but still not enough to you know great profit. Well I mean there's a reason for that and I think think it's on the surface the way you just kinda laid out that timeline. All of it was true. I I'm obviously accurate. Do Your Research and I'm sure it's true So one thing that Meltzer does do pretty well is a report on gates and revenues and things like that because that's relatively easy thing to do Doesn't it doesn't have to crack a sweat But to suggest for example. And when you said and I'm paraphrasing you now I don't remember exactly what you said but the fact of the ninety three Hogan was there but Rick Flair was but we were probably in you know the average attendance of seven hundred or whatever. The average gate was in attendance that it wasn't a reflection on ric flair. No I'm just saying the difference of flare in Hogan and Macho that now it feels like man you've got a lot of the major stars in the business at that point and you know we've sort of talked about Hogan being a game changer from an An ad sales standpoint point when guys are are reaching for their briefcase and they've got hulk Hogan I mean that's a really cool sort of trump card to pull out but the remarkable remarkable difference of sort of a pre Hogan WCW and a post token WCW. It's night and day in every metric. Yeah and and I think again I got to slow down here a little bit because I'm on my Eighth Cup of coffee. So one unhelpful. I'm not the only one unhealthy thing I do. But it is one of the unhealthy things. I do consume vast just copious amounts of caffeine. Especially when I know I'm doing doing this podcast Look the the attendance came up because the base rustling audience. I don't want to call them hardcore. But the active passionate most loyal professional wrestling fans certainly came out to the arenas us. But there's not enough of a base there at least there wasn't wcw at the time There wasn't enough of a base of that audios the US to have the same impact on a national television ratings. So in other words we could go to a local market in nineteen ninety two or ninety three when bill. Watts was basically the architect of the house. Show business and hold on one second this Brigham More Caffeine on number nine nine Conrad. I hope you're tied to the chair because this is gonNA be crazy. Oh here we go back in the eighties. It would have been another instrument to give me going in the morning but now it's caffeine good caffeine but just be. She looks so hot in the morning. It's just crazy But as I was saying there's there was enough of a base audience for example we would go to a the Hampton Virginia which is less city that you mentioned we're clash was supposed to be I guess take place. Well Hampton Virginia. You've got a pretty strong base of wrestling fans. When when that strong base of wrestling fans found out new or became aware that Hogan and savage and others around the card? Sure you're gonNA get a significant impact in terms of your your live gate but that didn't necessarily translate to the national television audience because WCW was cut off of everybody's radar. You're number two but we were. We might as well Aben number thirty two compared to to wwe. We were so insignificant to the National Television Audience That while the impact initial impact of Hogan and savage had a dramatic attic effect on how show business it had a it took a lot longer for the national television audience. Direct react in the same wait because of national television audience is probably eighty percent what I would refer to as peripheral fans meaning. They're not as passionate there now. Allies loyal. But Hey if I'm if I'm home and there was nothing else going on flipping through the channels. Yeah I'll watch wrestling. I kind of get a kick out of it but they don't really follow it week after week after week after week unless you give them a reason listen to we. Did you know ninety six ninety seven ninety eight but we were building that audience. So you're right. You know Hogan Nash. The other people that we brought in I think you know producing our shows and Disney increasing the production values. I think some of the stunts that we pulled it got a lot more mainstream media given WCW ever had ninety four ninety five. You know bringing in Shaquille O'Neal and you know some of the other celebrities that we worked with the cumulative effect of of all those things slowly began to grow the television audience but not at the same trajectory as we were enjoying in the live event side of our business. A moment ago you talked about bringing a national but you mean randy savage. I'm sorry yeah too too much coffee. No big deal. Let's time is getting go ahead of my brain. Here's one that I can pretty confident so your boy. Your boy John Leveque gave notice on January tenth he'd be leaving for the WWF the F.. Turning down a contract believed to be between fifteen hundred nineteen hundred dollars a week. Apparently Leveque decision was based on a track record of the WWF. Compared to W W will be when it comes to creating new stars and felt that even though WCW had plans to make him and Steven Regal the tag champs well Sherri as their manager feuding with the baby face Harlem Heat Ninety five that he takes his chances without guaranteed money since Titan is obviously going to be pushing new blood this year hard as it can accompany meetings. Bischoff off was fuming over the vexed lack of loyalty because he took him from nothing. And this is the respect he gets. And after the example set with Ricky steamboat. I can't believe anyone one can question at W. W. Wrestler about making a decision and even considering loyalty to the company in Hindsight we know that the man who would go on. I'm to be hunter. Her sounds lear. Triple h made the right call but You said before the man this one really was a borough onto your saddle. What do you remember about him? Giving you notice here. I remember he did and I remember. I didn't really care. And I think that reporting again reflective of the kind of information nation either the information that was fed to to Meltzer that was completely untrue. Because people like Terry Taylor had their own agendas And others I'm not saying Terry Taylor was the one specifically but I think in this case the likelihood is pretty good because of Terry's relationship with Paulo Beck at the time. Think Terry. It was the one that actually campaign pretty hard to bring Paul in In in you know Jerry had his own issues with the truth and reality from time to time but it wasn't true to me look. I wasn't excited about hiring Paul AVEC. I really could've taken believe in them. And at the time because budgets were such a big issue with Paul all came on board in because he did live on the east coast and I was making a bid. We've talked about this before I was really trying to concentrate our rosser build a roster shirow people that lived within close proximity of Atlanta Where they did live out of state for example a lot of talent that lives in Florida? The airfares were relatively inexpensive. I DIDN'T WANNA be flying people in from New York or Boston her Seattle Los Angeles because it was just really expensive and have to do do that every week or every other week. So I wasn't excited about Paul when he came in and I wasn't that disappointed when he left Not that I didn't think that he had talent not that. I didn't think he was all that valuable but I didn't look at him as a Guy I invested in and created and I gave this opportunity that that premise premise is just so. It's just so false. It's just not true. I wasn't happy that he was leaving. I wanted him to stay. But I this idea that he was disloyal to me and I was incensed and company. Meetings is just not true. I really felt felt like you I maybe I'm confusing that story with Jericho Jericho who said that. He felt like Vince could make him a star. You're or something like that and that annoys you not AAA. Maybe I'm confusing the two. Well I don't know I I don't recall and and Chris I mean. I've never talked to Paul about this I you know I mean the truth. Is Paul Cuisine. WCW for a cup of coffee. You know he wasn't a high profile guy so there's just not a lot of concrete stories relationships or conversations or issues. Negotiations are anything that I could really talk about because he was just there for a brief time what I have heard secondhand in third hand so I don't know if it's true at all all is that Paul's original intention was to come to WCW to try to get on the WWF's radar and that makes sense to me. Paul is a very smart guy either. Really Smart Guy In being that Paul grew up in you know. I think it was Boston or wherever he grew up. I can't remember where he's from. But you know the northeastward. WWF was prominent. It was the brand was the wrestling company and Paul was just coming on. I think it was killed wall skis wrestling school and hadn't really had much exposure at the time I think he looked at WCW as a transition and in a platform and an opportunity to get noticed to go to wwf so it was a means to an end and if he did make the right decision he go back and look at it historically WCW other than sting and a couple of other characters looks Lugar. I guess W didn't have a track record of creating stars ars. I didn't really have the platform to do it. But didn't really have the history of doing it either creatively so it was a good decision but I think if you were to ask paw aw at some point either you may have that opportunity or run across them and ask them. Because I'm curious now. I'm pretty sure he came to. WCW for the soul express reason to go to the WWF. And I I heard something similar. I think. Read something similar in an interview with Chris. Jericho that that was his ultimate goal was to get the. WWF took advantage of the exposure. WCW gave him and the fact that we made him a star to go to wwf in order to become or wwe beggar bigger star and he did nothing. Wrong with that Well he made the right. Call here because you know when you guys bring in obviously flares but on top for a minute. But he's been back for a couple of years and and now Hogan's in and savage then. It's getting pretty crowded at the top. Meanwhile on the other channel they do have guys that are probably closer to his age body type and he probably has a better fighting chance to to make it there and Onsite being what is he certainly did but maybe one of those decisions that we could wish we had back was about Mark Matt. He's in the news here. meltzer would say Mark Mark Madden help promote a show in Pittsburgh and it was the subject of great controversy this past week while in the midst of promoting the show BISCHOFF threatened madden with firing on the nine hundred lines supposedly for his reporting that lex Luger would becoming the WCW or probably as much for him discussing on. They're not hundred. Line the possibility evader shooting on Hogan and then discounting the possibility that doesn't appear to be any truth whatsoever in regards to the Lugar story however since the WCW hotline gained attention. When one Oakland started hinting that Bra and Yokozuna we're GONNA job the new thing has been to say people are leaving even when they're not and that has happened a half dozen times over the last few weeks even after Madden was reprimanded for doing the same thing Oakland in a few days later talked about rumors of Luger coming in and Oakland and Heenan not the flair and Roddy Piper? Jump on television as ts to get the calls to the point that even internally people were questioning the nature of the ripoffs ripoffs the hotline. It feels like was a lightning rod for Pr Nightmares Front Office. Headaches it it it it reads sometimes like it was fucking more trouble than it's worth. It was that what you came around to. Oh really and and I think. A lot of that reporting is exaggerated in some cases not accurate. You know this particular incident. It's just it wasn't a significant enough enough of an issue for me to remember any detail of it. There were a number of occasions. And I'm I'M GONNA again give benefit of the doubt and say a portion of but maybe all of it is true to a degree. I you know the the notion that I threatened people with fire in you know I can count on on one hand and have plenty of figures. Leftover the number of people that I've fired. I know the the the narrative that I was like this bombastic tire Antonelli Antonello fire like to fire people and you know threaten people and try to intimidate people with their jobs. Whatever just nonsense? It's not true. Well yeah that doesn't mean that I didn't have an issue with mark and We should get mark on the show one time. And just Kinda recount some of these incidents because it comes up a lot with Mark Madden and the nine hundred lines but you know he could have easily said something that I had an issue with And I could have easily you know Oh had had a conversation with about it. I may even been pissed off about it but to a degree. But that doesn't mean I'm left threaten to fire anybody and let let's call it. What it is? The nine hundred line was not like legit news how he admit unlike unlike unlike the dirt sheets that call themselves journalists at the time specifically meltzer you know and the image that they try I to portray that they have this inside. Information is accurate may know the real story behind the story which is just a fig this. It's just fiction right. We embraced it. We knew what we were doing. We were in the wrestling business. The the nine hundred line wasn't extension of what we did the ring so to suggest that you know there was all these issues and reporting things that weren't true in the wrestling business only. We embraced it and we didn't try to pretend we were something that we aren't a weren't I guess at the time but there were from time to time. Because I gave Gino Gene Oklahoma. I gave Mark Mad. The reason I hired Mark Manda eventually is because I love the fact that he'd go into business for himself occasionally and STIR SH- some shit up can create controversy easy and create a buzz. I wanted that buzz to surround my brand and whether it be the hotline or create enough interest by using the hotline to get people to drop tap into the show and sample it that was a strategy that I embrace. I wanted the controversy. I didn't want to have to put put the reins on either mark or Gene Oakland. And say man you guys go to deliver you know. PBS macneil macneil Lehrer Newshour type of content bullshit it was designed to be controversial. It was designed to almost be a parody of the dirt sheets at the time and it was generated significant amount of money. Now here's what we ran and to trouble when I'm just giving an example of something that may or may not have happened but when Mark Madden would go off on a story that involve talent sometimes mark would step over the line you know mark. I love Mark Matinee. Margus to this day I love running into mark. We have a great time when we see each because I saw him last at the Tony Shabani Birthday party here. A couple months ago Thanks thanks your invitation And I love hanging with Marquees is a funny smart intelligent guy however he steps over the line from time to time as comedians often do as a lot a lot of people often do it up this is people off in every once in a while mark would piss off you know some of our upper tier talent and and they'd come complaining to me and I had you know sued them and assure them that I deal with it and that type of thing so I was. I was caught in that crossfire but the reason hired hired mark was do that exact same type of thing because it was essentially kind of we were doing the chiefs were doing but we were doing it in house and and we weren't trying to hide it. Let's let's get to the show. Let's get to the clash of the champions before we do. We should mention that was dark match. Brad and Scott Armstrong would be Dick Slater and Buck House blocking eight minutes and thirty two But then it's time for the big show we've got aren't Anderson retaining his TV TV title. Over Johnny boombats seven minutes. Thirty eight seconds. meltzer really liked it. He said this was the best match of their series of matches thus far gave it. Three Stars We should mention that. Colonel Robert Parker is here before because he's managing arn and Anderson fans are Are really getting into Hukou being rinkside. Johnny B. Bad's GonNa hit the knockout points but he accidentally gently knocks. Aren't Anderson out of the ring in the process Parker would revive Anderson by pouring a a pitcher of water on his face which is quite the visual orange sold big big and then bad starts chasing Parker around than into the ring and that allowed arn to catch him with a DVD for the pin and even though orange the bad guy and he's got all all these bad guys supporting cast characters on the outside. The fans are cheering his win in a big way. Probably like ninety percent What did you think of this match? She saw at this time for the first time in a long time it's par for course johnny be bad in the opener of ww in this era It felt like it was a legal requirement. Yeah I mean I did watch it actually a couple of hours ago before doing the show with you in My thoughts while I was watching it was man. It's too bad that that Marc Mero The character Johnny bad ended up with that character. I mean it really is I think that was dusty. Rhodes idea it was his vision and again. No no you gotta put things in context sees you to be critical twenty five years after the fact looking back knowing what we know now all that kind of thing but in this was i. Think a remnant of the kind of over the top characters that were so successful in the eighties and the nineties. That's wide Johnny. Johnny became Johnny Bad I. I'm assuming again I never talked to dusty about this but I think if Marc Mero had come in with a little less Leslie effeminate characteristic in the the what do you call the Blazer Gimmick. Did he had shut up to the bad blaster The little Richard kind of personifies that I think would have really worked well in the eighties. But now we're in the mid nineties in let's just not resonating but set that aside and just go back in and if you take it every listen to this chance to go back to the network and watch this go back and look at this match between arn and and Johnny and I think you have to recognize two things number one. The reason I think one of the reasons that mark looked so good johnny bad look so good in this match has a lot to do with our Anderson. And it's it's a dance right and guys like Arne Anderson and Ric flair and a handful of others have the unique ability to make someone who's pretty good look great. Somebody who's great look phenomenal so I think a lot of credit a in terms of the quality this match has to go to Arne Andersson number one. In as the he'll he was calling the match. I'm sure But Johnny be bad. You know to to tip my hat to Johnny are Marc Mero. I think he may have been at the top of his game right about here. He looked really really really good. And the thought crossed. My mind was well I would have really loved to see mark. Excuse me have this opportunity with a guy. Like aren't Anderson at this stage in his his life without the baggage of their kind of goofy character. That people just weren't relating to people. I think people would look back on. Marc Mero much differently differently in terms as a performer. Had He not been saddled with that gimmick that kind of just stuck with them and it's worth mentioning by the way. This guy was a golden in gloves boxer. So legit bad ass was married to the woman we would go on to know a sable who became the hottest woman in the history of the business in every metric. You could possibly imagine and then went on to be a very successful motivational speaker. What what a character? What a story to life and polar opposite to the onscreen character but he's still pulled off so credit to him for you know making the best of a bad situation and he managed to leverage Indo quite the career? But I'm with you. What could have been if it was a different gimmick almost feel that way about and totally different situation? But you and I've talked about this with this go. Inferno Furnao was a hell of a performer in fairly silly gimmick. But it's just it's amazing sor- sort of backing and fantasy but what if no I think you know to to carry this forward and other individual so that we're gonNA talk about probably in a few moments you know if you make a list of the people that had incredible potential a great look Great in ring abilities and the potential to have even greater abilities with some more experience because they were young Alex right in another character you know eight or another person. Eighteen eighteen nineteen years old. I think when he came to. WCW You know. We'll talk about him in a few minutes. I don't need to go into it now but I think he's another character that had he not been saddled with a a pretty goofy gimmick even by early ninety standards Are Mid Ninety. Sanders could have easily become a much much hotter piece of business op because he had all the tools and there are a number of guys probably fell into that category. And you know it wasn't lack of effort it wasn't like a commitment on anybody's part. It was just not really seeing what the president in the future is probably going to really react to in terms of a character and reaching back into that eighties bag of tricks hoping that it would stick and you know it wasn't just se roads. I did it oh Cogan did it. Ric flair did it when ric flair was booking you know so he not Criticizing necessarily because again it was twenty five years ago But again fantasy booking is the best way to say it what if but I think Johnny Bad Marc Mero is one those characters as you said that had he come in with different character Little bit of a different edged to him and at that silly liberace Johnny B. or excuse me a little Richard kind of gimmick he could have been people will look back at. You ought to be bad at a much different way than they do now. Couldn't agree more next up. We see main gene interviewing Kevin Sullivan. The butcher with Sullivan saying he and butcher are prepared for what lies ahead. And the Big van Vader Harley race and Ric flair being. There will work in their favor and Sullivan. Donovan also implies the Randy savage might turn on Hogan in the main event and then we get a music video of Alex right or see clips of his matches through a bunch of different TV monitors sorta cool for what it is at the time and then we get as you said a very young Alex Wright who had been previously talked about on answers sure suspicion nineteen years old here. They're introducing him as being eighteen years old meltzer would say match was okay though nobody cares about right. It's too bad he has potential. And he's got the kind of look that women would go for by shoving that down people's throat it actually works reverse The matches okay seven minutes. It's twenty eight seconds to stars is the rating that we get from Dave meltzer eight and kicked out of rights cross body off the top rope. Then Ri- kicked out of Eaton's Alabama jam before rice scored or pen. Will they second cross body. You got one of the all time greats in there and Bob Eaton and he's probably the right God put in their with a young guy trying to get over and This did a fine job to me. It showcases what he can do in the ring but something is amiss. And it's pro. I mean is it the jacket the dancing what are you. What are you hanging your hat on here? Well I think first. First and foremost he was brand new in our relatively new. It takes a long time for character. Get over very few wrestling characters. Physically very unwanted not have not been part of the business and don't have you know years and years of exposure somewhere It takes a long time to get over so I think his age in the fact that he was so new new to the audience. As part of it I do think as we discussed earlier. The Gimmick was just horrible. It was just a horrible gimmick for him and it didn't connect and it didn't resonate Y- a- and before we go too much further talking about Alex. You mentioned the interview with Kevin Sullivan in the butcher. Brutus the fucking Barbara beefcake I I encourage everybody. That's listening to the show and not because I'm showing for the W. W. E. Network. Because obviously I'm not there and never will be again but but you gotta go back and watch this for pure entertainment value. This is one of those promos. That is so bad it's awesome. It is so bad particularly the butcher the facial expressions I mean. It's it is so horrible horrible. I was laughing my ass off watching it. That's how bad it was a and look. I'm going to admit putting an I wasn't booking I wasn't the guy responsible for booking the show but I was the guy responsible for allowing the booker to go forward with it. I could have stopped it. You know what I mean. I was driving but I could have easily taken the steering wheel for a moment and said no no no no. We're not going to action. We gotta go in this direction. But I didn't and that responsibility lots ability lies solely on me but the idea was not my idea had no fingerprints on that at all. I will say however that that Pudding Brutus. The Barber beefcake in a main event while probably doesn't rise to the level level of a crime against humanity is fucking close on the list. It's gotta be there close. It was. Oh Bad oh my God. It was horrible. But you gotta go back and watch pro. I think it happens around the fourteen or fifteen minute mark on this particular. Show go back and look at this promo if you need a laugh if you really WanNa see just how campy bad things could be and it wasn't just WCW by the way there are some pretty can't be bad stuff stuff that was going on at wwf at the time to still is as a matter of fact. But that's just the nature of the business you know not. Everything is serious. Sometimes things are just so bad. They're good and this was probably like there was an award for being so bad. It was good. This would win an academy award for Alex Right. It's been written written or said rumored. He thought he had the potential to be one of your next big break out stars even saw somebody say Oh eric once said that could be as next hall. Oh cogan I call but still the international flair you know. He's a young guy he's good looking. He's in great shape. He's got an interesting move sets. If if we can you know politics some of this up you could see how this could be a very big draw internationally. Sort of the W. W. equivalent to maybe what the British bulldog was to the WWF Jeff Generation before no look. I don't WanNa be redundant and keep saying the same thing over and over again. I tend to do that sometimes when I get excited and passionate but you know it it just try if you listen to the show and you do decide to go back and watch this particular episode on the network. Watch watch Alex here. Watch this match and pretend if you can use your imagination we all have them some more than others but try to try to set aside the goofy gimmick in the in the dancing and and you know the the boy toy gimmick in by the way I think that was your father in law that was that was his vision for Alex. set all that aside and just look at the physical talent that you see in the right. Yeah and he was a great looking young kid I mean he whatever was eight thousand nine hundred twenty whatever he was. I don't remember but great looking kid amazing physique and was able to really do a lot of tremendous things in the ring for nineteen or twenty year old kid so much potential. Now if you look at this again and and try to be objective and help him out while you're watching this by losing that silly s gimmick it just look at the the the performance in the ring I I think he did have a ton of potential to suggest that I would say he could be our next Hulk Hogan now was a me. I'm not going to assign it to. I think it probably was or could have been I. I guarantee frigging tea with me but that doesn't take away from the fact that the Alex did have a ton of potential again like Merrill Johnny be saddled with a horrible gimmick. That killed him coming out of the chute that you probably couldn't recover from unless you made a concerted effort to do so and there was no effort to do so. Let's keep it moving here and let's talk about Gino Caroline he's GonNa recap the issues surrounding the Hogan Vader mask for Super Brawl. Paul before it welcomes out vader for an interview later here is going to accuse Hogan Dodge again saying it's time's running out. Race was not here with fater because he he was in an automobile accident that Herman Li ended his career as a manager. We haven't talked about that much here on the show but is a a relatively tiddly famous story In wrestling circles. What do you remember about Harley race and and him no longer being answering character for you guys I? I don't remember the details. I'm not sure that I really knew details at the time. Other than the fact that he wasn't in a serious accidents and that he you know physically he would no longer be able to to participate. I I remember that but the details of the actual accidents and how it happened where it happened and all that I am not sure ever knew certainly if I did I don't remember now It it you know look Harley was valuable for a lot of reasons and I think of all the managers that I've ever worked with you know whether it was in the AWA or WCW I think Harley race was probably the only one that was what I would consider to be a legitimate manager because Harley really was instrumental in so many occasions in helping manage combustible vader vader was A. He was sometimes very difficult to do as a lot of top talent word by the way. Not just tater but oftentimes when you guys would get to a certain level Their competitiveness invader very competitively and white. You Know College standout. Football player played for the Denver Broncos. I believe he was a competitor. He was probably a better from the time he was six years old. And oftentimes when you get people that are highly competitive and you put them. In high profile situations they can be a little bit tough to deal with and that's not only true professional wrestles with musicians true with actors. It's probably a lot of locations but Harley race was one of the few people that Leon White Decay evader was afraid of and trusted and would listen to so wouldn't ever. There was an issue with whether it be finishes or anything. That would come up. We would go to Harley to help fix whereas other managers guys Jimmy Hart in Sherry since Sherry Sherry and Robert Parker all the other you know the characters that we identify as managers were props. They were there is there to help at the they were. They were the greed shit that they the salary or whatever. It is Parsley. They put on your plate when you order a steak to make it look a little prettier. garnish. But but that was not the case with Harley Race Harley was a legitimate manager and he was oftentimes instrumental in the rank Harley could do towards the end of his career before the accident are early still whatever. He was fifty four fifty five years old at that time. Still doing some amazing taking some amazing bumps in the ring. Let's keep moving here. And let's talk a little bit about Ric flair because he's GonNa come ringside here with two women it's GonNa make peace with vader takes a seat in the crowd and Heenan welcomes flair back the WCW. You may remember He lost a retirement retirement match to Hogan back in October Halloween Havoc we see Harlem heat retain the WB tag titles beating. Marcus Alexander Zander Bagwell and the Patriot. Nine minutes and forty five seconds meltzer would say all four worked hard and he says Bhagwat was worked over most of the way a mass was better than average. But the finish was really messed up with Sherry on the Apron Holding your shoe waiting for a spot. Booker T.. Called for fifteen seconds which just is made everyone look stupid Sherry took an outrageous bump on they finally got to it as Bagwell reverse tease whip Antigua hit with high heel shoe. Bagwell Ahead T. pen but stevie ray kicked back in the face. He went over backwards. T pinned him two and a quarter stars definitely miscue here But AH otherwise decent action. I don't know why but Bagwell and the Patriot just didn't work for me as a team here. No you know del. L. Wilkes Aka the Patriot great performance. We've talked about him. You know before. The show had a lot of the ingredients. If not almost all of the ingredients to become a big star with the exception of his mic work was just never really up to up to par but again you know watching this early this morning. It was a little bit of a again. It was a throwback character. You'll throw back to the eighties type of thing. You know. Marcus Bagwell You know he's he was is always like right on the cusp. You know a little bit like Alex right good looking guy. Great Body Great Physique but was just never able to really breakthrough to that next level In terms of connection with the audience but the match was again. You know watching this. It reminded me why you know Harlem. He so deserves to be in the hall of fame because they've done so much in their careers In in again I was reflecting seeing booker on the on the on the ship almost called it a boat again talking about what he's doing he's you know he's very active given WWe Very successful as a broadcast which I'm so proud of because he's so great at it but he's also calling boxing. He's got his own radio show. He's got his own wrestling programmer school and in going on down in Houston. There's so many good things Booker T. is doing and I'm just grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him and Stevie really really Remarkable tag team one of the all time greats. Glad that in more recent years ears. They're starting to finally just to join the hall of fame. Let's talk about Gene Hoaglund on his back on the show. He's all over this one interview Hogan Randy savage. Jimmy Hart Hogan's GonNa Task Jimmy with being lookout with vader and flair earring todd And then Gene Hive Super Bowl. Five pushing it's going to happen in Baltimore and at the only match signed so far is for the world title with Hogan Invader for the WB Championship. But if you want to hear what's happening behind the scenes right now call hotline costing an avalanche. This is going to be a referee stoppage. And what mess. Recall a weird finish in five minutes and twenty seconds It is a little little interesting meltzer would write avalanche control. Early with power moves. After a collision avalanche went down stink fell against the ropes and went down accidentally accidents. headbutting avalanche in the Groin sting than us four Stinger splashes before putting on the Scorpion. Avalanche was shaking his head and tapping out concession but the special referee Guardian Angel didn't call it so nick Patrick came out and stop the match. Ruling Avalanche had submitted angel in Patrick Start arguing with angel saying hey. I'm the REF in charge. And then Angel Tax Patrick and staying starts punching angel and then avalanche and and angels Sorta Work on sting angel pulls his belt out and then of course Bagwell and patriot. Make the save sort of a weird deal here after the match two gene is interviewing angel and says something like you're not going back to big BUBBA Rogers and then of course at the end of the interview. He says he is now big bubba rogers sort of a weird way to make like a change like this. That are Guardian Angel Characters being abandoned. And now we're going back to our first gimmick that we may remember Meltzer says talk about life going full circle mass watchable but easily the worst thing on the show starring a quarter while was the Guardian crapping out here the combination of a couple of things it just it really wasn't resonating The idea of creating again people may have heard this before in the show but guardian angels still are. By the way it's an organization still exists in New York City to this day. Last time I was in New York City a couple months ago for our meeting I was walking around later in the evening looking for a Sushi bar and I saw a couple of the Guardian Angels So wore the red berets and the t shirts that identify them or jackets that identified them as Guardian Angels for people. That don't know the the Guardian Angels are It's an organization of volunteers who really patrol the streets. They're not armed. They're not law enforcement But they patrol the streets who to keep an eye out for Crimes and and and reported reported as such the police or take physical action if necessary in the heat of the moment until to law enforcement arrives. So it's a legitimate organization. It was founded by a gentleman by the name of Curtis Sliwa who back in the ninety s was getting a tremendous amount of national publicity because of his work the Guardian Angel so there was a lot of media media around the Guardian Angels. Curtis was really excited. You know to get some exposure for the Guardian Angels On. WCBS was excited about working with Ray traylor car but it. It just didn't connect and we needed We need to go a different direction with very creatively because we needed heels so it was just a it. It was an evolution. It was timing. It was the right thing to do at the right time. I agree The finish like so many finishes and WCW at the time. They almost seem like after thoughts. There's just been so many times that you and I have talked about these shows. I've gone back to watch a show and you know if it's a fifteen minutes fifteen minute match you know. Fourteen minutes of it is really pretty damn good good but the last sixty seconds kill it because the finishes are usually botched or overly complicated or almost always involve outside interference There's probably probably a race To the to the bottom to determine whether it's outside interference in general or ref bump is it was historic a WCW booking And lack of creative when it came to finishes and that was true across the boards including yours truly so Was One of the big. This is you know the WCW always had was finishes and this is not only was his match pretty bad and let's face it with a guy. I like Avalanche it's going to be hard to have you know any kind of a match that people think was a decent match or a good match great match would be probably impossible to reach reach but this one was particularly bad made only worse by a fucked up finish. Let's keep moving here and let's talk about Our main event or finally here Hogan Randy savage on one side Kevin Sullivan and the butcher on the other Absurd you to hear that. Yeah bad man. Eleven minutes for seconds As you might imagine. Here's a surprise us. It's the hot tag. It's the old boot to the face. On Butcher savage drops the elbow does the leg drop. Nobody's getting up after that one two three and after the match vader jumps in knock savage out of the Ring Hogan Punches in three times. But of course fader doesn't sell any of that yet and then he power bombs him at Hogan No cells then hops right back up and savage and Hogan of Double Team Vader some point Vader riffs his pants which is kind of funny. I guess I I notice that or if that was reported but yeah he took that big bump and all assets was pants opened up. It was kind of funny. Jimmy Hart throws each got share invader backs off and they're posing in the show monster would Ryan whatever the purpose was for flair to be there and the plans of what to do thwarted for reasons that are unclear. Although I guess maybe it was just to be t's at this point star and a half any discussion that you remember about vader and Hogan Not really wanting to sell for each other or is that all the design and everybody's doing exactly what they're supposed to get the super bowl and nobody had any issues at all. I don't know again. I didn't lay out the match. I wasn't the agent for the match. Wasn't involved in laying it out so I can't honestly suggests that I knew how people were real people meeting the principals and the match where reacting to each other. I think the whole you know vader not wanting to work with Hogan or Hogan Hogan's wanting to work with vader and the the anticipation that we were building up as to. What would happen when these two finally got into the ring? I think a lot of that was intentionally. You know a rated R. Part to create interest. I guess this is just a guess. that both Hogan and Vader were we're playing into that Again to build interest in to see what would happen when they actually did get in the ring And here's what's interesting going back to flair being at ringside invader. I really liked that aspect of this. I mean there's a lot of things about this match almost all of in having to do with the fact that Ed Leslie was in it. There's a lot of things that I you know again. Giving it a little bit of a pass because of the context of the time in in all of those things which you have to do but one of the things I really did like about this match. And the way it was laid out is that there was a tremendous potential there with with flair and Vader at ringside. And I really wish would looking back at it now with twenty twenty hindsight in twenty twenty. By the way that that we would have done something more with that because it is as bad as I was was it. Bad is unfulfilling as the finish to this match was had there been an inciting incident at the end of it involving flair and vader and Hogan and savage no one would have remembered the match or the weaknesses of the match. The match would have been a setup setup to a really cool kind of inciting moment that would have led to super bowl and we totally miss that opportunity. I have no. Did you live Yup. But I love the idea of you. Know the anticipation we story. Anticipation you know reality. Surprise action really really knocked the anticipation out of the park by having vader in flair there. And just let the air out of it which is really too bad. There's a missed opportunity overall It's been written that for whatever reason Hogan wasn't too trusting of working with Vader vader definitely work a more stiffer style a realistic style. And a Lotta Times that meant getting hit with some live rounds. I have a feeling at some some point they may have turned to you the OFA Manchu and said that doesn't work for me. Brother not really. I'm GonNa make one thing clear. I mean look the the fact in the truth is that Hogan wasn't excited about the prospects of working with vader because their styles didn't mesh and Hogan would be the first one to tell you that he had he had his own style that worked for him brother it worked for WWF rather it worked ultimately for WCW brother and that style mile and that presentation in the ring was not something that he felt. Vader was capable or interested in a accommodating and that was but that was more of a creative issue than it was any kind of fear. Hogan is a much tougher individual than people think people think because he liked to work the way he worked in his presentation was very animated and and and by the way he made tens of millions of dollars in the process and probably probably hundreds of millions for WWF in the process so it obviously was a formula. That worked very well for Terry Belaya the character Hulk Hogan but but it wasn't because he was physically afraid of anybody or not capable of going in there and hanging banging if you don't believe in if you're listening to this this and you think well the only reason eric say as because he's close friends with Hulk Hogan go back and look at some of his matches in Japan the but Ho Ho could didn't want to have those was kind of matches for the US domestic audience because he believed that didn't work so you know again go back. Look it's available. You know. Search some of his matches with Antonio Liane okay or anybody else in Japan you see a much different very physical and very capable Hogan when it came to that type of in shoot style match It wasn't because he didn't. He was fearful for himself physically. It was because he just didn't believe that vader sal would work with him in the ring so one of the reasons why hall really wouldn't have come to WCW and work with anybody else right out of the chute other than Ric flair Dr Because Hulk new that Rick flair could work hog style match and make him look phenomenal in the process. Well something that didn't look phenomenal. Is the wrestling observer reader poll for this particular clash of the champions it got seventeen point one percent thumbs in the middle nine percent thumbs up in an overwhelming. Seventy three point nine percent thumbs down. What say you went back for the first time in twenty five years thumbs up up comes down thumbs up in the middle I would say thumbs in the middle and again I'm I'm I'm look? I'm not objective. You know I'm I'm trying to be as objective as I can be but I readily admit because I was involved in it and my fingerprints are on it. I'm probably looking at a little differently than the average viewer but what I watched it back in the context of the time twenty five years ago compare it to what was going on in WWF. Twenty five years ago. It's not nearly as bad as I think the readers of you know David Diarrhea. She would suggest it would be like Conrad is like if we took a poll of all my twitter followers. Not and to Ask what is your opinion. Dave Meltzer what do you think my twitter followers the vast majority of. What do you think they're going to say these onto that sums thumbs up or thumbs down but I'm not going to do that because he's not worth the time our effort but again trying to put this context when we hear the statement well readers of the observe overwhelmingly thumbs down? Of course they did. Because they're pandering to Dave just like my my twitter followers I would probably pandered to a degree to me. Well large degree so the whole let the wrestling observer. Poll says didn't say was really fucking. Can you relevant the only thing that really mattered was the money and growth and where we were going and I think is is average breach. I think at best that this show was It was another step in the right direction in in another no indication of WCW was on the right path. Perfect not even close to perfect but certainly on the right path and it certainly helped us with you know the executives that were in the audience at nappy. It certainly helped us with advertisers is certainly helped us with our fan. Base in in our KORFF are a abroad fan base nothing hardcore dirt cheap reading you know basement dwelling types but you know the peripheral fan which was eighty eight percent of the audience not the probably ninety percent of the audience or ninety five percent of the audience now the vocal five percent that voted thumbs up or thumbs down. Well I am looking forward to next week. We're going to Hashtag ask Eric anything but before we get there we let our followers on twitter. Ask any question they wanted about this show in particular and without question the best question came from big red six three and we. I mean you've ever talked about this. Savage average wakes up Hogan from the sleeper. Bob Rudas the fucking Barber beefcake with the flying elbow who looked this shit. Ah I was wondering if that was going to come up and I was surprised. Frankly you glanced over it as you're describing that because when I saw plot this is twenty five years ago. A lot of water is going under the bridge since then so I didn't remember this match. I remember the finish of it. I remember anything about it so when when I'm watching it this morning and I saw savage Gupta time ago. Oh my God I don't remember Randy Savage at hall this is crazy. This is going to be good. He and he drops it up one from the top turnbuckle in Hogan's snaps up lucky just had a shot of adrenaline or one of those. Those paddles I put it in your heart. If they think you're having a heart attack he just Bam shut up and he was sprung into action. Wow I like a wish would have been in the room. When they were laying that one out uh-huh raising a master salesman to be able to sell you? Know savages will guarded finish as just not. Let me make it my wakeup spot brother I worked and we hope that you guys I enjoyed the show put together for fire your question off right there and stay detained next week. If having already hit the subscribe button leave us a five star review if you think we've earned it and stay tuned every Monday right here on Westwood. One for eighty three weeks with Eric Bischoff.