Spring Stampede '94
Hey, hey, it's Conrad Thompson. And you're listening to eighty three weeks with Eric Bischoff. Eric what's going on, man? How are you? I'm doing well enjoying eight uniform beautiful morning in the shadows of cover mountain here in my owning getting ready to pack my stuff and enter the UK. Well, I think is going to have a lot of fun over there. But we are going to have a lot of fun today when we cover spring stampede nineteen ninety four but before we do should circle by the last week. It was that April edition of Monday nitro from two thousand or you guys hit the reset button you stripped all the champions, you personally took the world title off of psychosis vicious, and you had joined forces for an unholy union with Vince Russo. And it turns out it was a pretty popular show to cover Eric Bischoff parody Tony shivani covered. And Vince Russo covered it we have three different perspectives on pretty monumental week. In wrestling was the feedback. You got the last week's episode. A lot of. Really noticeable that I get a lot more feedback on this. When that I thought I would get a lot more on this particular episode that I have on probably the last three or four. So it was it was it was great feedback. It was positive. I think a lot of people who either weren't around weren't wrestling fans back in one thousand nine hundred nine actually went and checked it out on the WWE network and found it to be pretty good show. So all in all good choice to cover of what we did. Let's get into a different era today. We're going all the way back to nineteen ninety four. I can't believe it. But we just past the twenty fifth anniversary of this show would have been last Wednesday. It's spring stampede ninety four and we're live from the Rosemont horizon. And Chicago man, I got a lot of great shows there and just a few years. They're going to host Brad Hart and stone cold Steve Austin for wrestlemania thirteen one of the best matches of all, Tom. And this is one of the more underrated shows in WCW history. It does one hundred twenty two thousand vase which is a point five three bar eight which means brought in about one point three seven million gross. There's twelve thousand two hundred fans in attendance about nine thousand of those paid the gates roughly one hundred twenty five grand. A Meltzer would say the paid Crowdgate was the largest WCW North America since the flair sting title change at the nineteen ninety Baltimore bash. In fact, it was the largest pay crowd to attend to wrestle. Show in the Rosemont horizon for either promotion and several years as the late ninety one flair HOGAN WBF in the same building drew eight thousand paid and hundred and thirty five thousand dollars, so a huge financial success here. And it's an interesting time in WCW because throughout this broadcast. You guys are teasing that. Ric flair has his sights set on hall Cogan. He's actually offered him tickets and left him tickets to come see him take care steamboat. What's that gas is looking a little bit past team boat? But when you know, you've got the biggest acquisition in wrestling history. Coming your way wanna promoted you have to be feeling pretty good about the numbers here, and w feels like they're probably pointed in the right direction when we're having some some records here, right? We were excited about it. I think if you go back in in look deputy time, you also have to understand that we're coming off some of the worst experiences w invent through you know, with the Bill watts mass in in. The bad PR associated with the horrible revenues associated with that era in even previous still Bill watts regime, so any little thing that was a positive indicator, regardless of how big or small was welcomed with open arms, and certainly we we were feeling good here with knowing that, you know, how Cogan was coming in feeling like we were finally at least beginning to right the ship coming off of the Bill. Watts thing. Yeah. We were excited, but it didn't take much to kit a six lighted at that point. If the wind shifted direction in was even slightly at our back. It was a good day. So yeah, we we were pretty happy about it. This is the first spring stampede admit, I don't know. So I'm just going to go into this blindly. That's feels like dusty Rhodes name, it feels like a dusty Rhodes kinda theme. He was you know. Famous among cast stamp he'd and he loved the cowboy western themes talk to me a little bit about where spring stampede come from wasn't a dusty creation. Absolutely. I mean, it was all dusty roads. And you know, it was a good paper view. There was a you do I remember I don't remember which year, it was when I remember we had matches in pins, pens, hog troughs, and all kinds of crazy. You know off the wall stuff that that dusty get a, big takeout. But yes, it definitely was a vision if envision if you will they of dusty Rhodes. Let's talk a little bit about a little cosmetic thing that. I noticed. She got started doing here. I think this is the first pay per view with the WCW. I dunno our guest, crosshairs logo it. You know? It's almost. Yeah. We'll call across as you know, what I'm talking about. Whose idea was was that from a branding perspective? And who thought it will be a cooler for the man, we started reworking graphics were WCW Saturday night, a lot of the imagery or logos and posters things like that. In sheri-, Adele, had most of that up in work closely with the graphics department over journal broadcasting to come up with different ideas. I think the locally referring to really created to be allowed to try to be consistent with the look in the feel of the WCW Saturday night open. I had that industrial kind of look if you remember. And this logo was created to be consistent with that. And try to extend that brand. Let's talk about where businesses relative to a year prior. This is one of my favorite parts of the show. We get the sort of see where the company was a year prior. And then where they are at the time of the show were covering back in April of ninety three. You guys are averaging one thousand five hundred and twenty fans you're actually down about five percent here in April ninety four to one thousand four hundred and forty fans, but your average ticket price is actually up. So your average gate in April ninety three is fourteen thousand three hundred dollars come April of ninety four. It's fifteen thousand two hundred twenty dollars and writings are actually up five percent as well from two point. Oh to a two point one. If you had to sort of categorize the way you felt this was pretty HOGAN ninety four now where WCW was say the first quarter of ninety three versus the first quarter of ninety four. Did you feel like you were still sorta? I mean like are we? Going up. Are we trending up trending down. Are we just trading water? We were treading water in many respects. But what what you don't see in those numbers with the fact that we were cutting tremendous amount of costs prior to prior to this paper in particular, but you know, through the end of ninety three all of ninety four at this point the first quarter of ninety four most of the focus was not so much on. How do we on we increase revenues? We knew that that was the long term goal, of course. But we also knew that in the short term if we didn't manage our costs better, we wouldn't be around long enough for any long-term coal. So most of the emphasis was on cost cutting not generating more revenue, although increasing ticket prices at the we may have had a paper be price increase that was either in place of being contemplated at this point in time. So we were looking at ways to increase revenue, but the majority of of our. Effort was in cutting costs. And I think if you look at those numbers of if you went accountant to our business analysts safe to say we reflect lining on on the revenue side of his. But as I said on the cost cutting side of the equation. We had made a lot of progress. I hear you just crack a beer, well, all odd, man. We're talking about of that there for breakfast. You're my man. So w w Saturday night is the the marquee show for the company this is pre nitro and leading up to this event. Gino caroline. This is saying that he's talked to HOGAN and Hogan's told him he's going to be at ringside. And this is again as I mentioned plug throughout the show, and it is a big acquisition. We know the deal was worked out earlier in the week. So Hogan's coming in. But he's not actually on the show, of course Meltzer. And everybody, you know, who who wrote about the sport back, then talk. A lot about how this was false advertising. With what was the discussion light was HOGAN ever supposed to appear here or you guys comfortable and teasing that he would or my and then not actually delivering you're a lot of conversations during the course of the week Richler on Hogwarts hockey, you know, together quite a bit. I was talking to a lot. You know, there was a lot going on as we're getting ready to close the deal. I don't think like something. I don't think I know there was no deliberate intention to this lead. Anybody we were under the impression at least for the better part of the week that hulk was going to be there. And I think he intended to be there. But as so often happens when when dealing with talent what they say in what they're actually able to do sometimes come into conflict. I don't know what the situation was with all I don't know why he ended up not coming. But originally we thought he was going to make it in. I know where this next question is probably going to go in. I would ask it. If I were you in fact, amassing myself, whether flecked gene promoted during the pay per view, if we knew it was going to happen. There's no denying that. That was a horrible decision. I would have to take responsibility for that. Even though I wasn't the one promoting it. I certainly didn't instruct Jean to do. So. But again as we've covered impasse. You know, podcasts gene was incentivized to. Generate as much revenue possibly could with with nine hundred line. I think Jean took it upon himself, quite honestly to stretch the truth that may have existed on Wednesday or Thursday when we thought we was coming in we without helpless coming in. I think Jean decided you know, what I'm just gonna pretend. I don't know. He's not here. And promote the fact that you know, he was going to be there. So I it's regrettable. You know, looking back at it. And thinking about it Bruce Willis things like gum. I wish I wouldn't have done that. Or I wish I would allow that to happen. But I do. Let's double down on the hulk HOGAN talk for a minute here Meltzer would say there's a lot of strategy involved in this because of McMahon were to believe that HOGAN would refuse to come back to tighten which would be Hogan's option. It could mites. The offer blocked babysi- w from using HOGAN, and it wouldn't cost him a cent and wherever HOGAN were to return, obviously, we're talking about a multi-million dollar offer to accompany that is taking severe financial hits. At the present time, not to mention the situation it would create internally if HOGAN were to return to the company at this point even for a short period of time. No terms have been released on the HOGAN deal, although the New England sports network ran a story on HOGAN agreeing to the deal reporting the HOGAN as receiving six hundred thousand dollars or forty percent of the company grows for every pay-per-view event. A Meltzer would even say I have no idea if those numbers are even close although that figures correct for WCW to equal its current profit. On pay per view events by adding HOGAN to the mix. He would have to. I can't believe this is real w w would have to increase its Bah for all three HOGAN events to two hundred twenty seven thousand dollars a point nine nine bar eight or else it would be a money losing the old for pay per view. So let's just take a timeout right there again even Meltzer skeptical. The New England sports network says HOGAN got six hundred Gs or forty percent of the company gross south record straight. My head is in trying to decipher what Dave Meltzer wrote not understand the latter portion of it as you read it, but. The the idea that you know, restrict beheaded McMahon had any kind of option is laughable. I don't understand. I mean, I can't even beginning to comment on that the first part of that report is you read distant comprehensible to me as far as how much hugged got. That was a close a report by New England's force network. He is deal called for four paper views a year at a half a million dollars, a pay per view. And there were in, you know, in addition to the paper the compensation for the pay per view. Those papers also included I think it was either three or four weeks of television leading into the pay per view. So I think there was a clash of champions, or to you know, in that schedule is well all under that what is essentially a two million dollar contract. That was basically the deal. Now, there were some other. You know, there was some licensing and merchandising caveats, which by the way didn't really matter because we weren't generating any revenue anyway in licensing and merchandising not enough to matter at least. But if you boiled the meat off the bone to get right down to the basic facts of Hogan's deal the original deal called for four papers year to half million dollars, pay per view. Now, what's interesting? I think revealing about Dave's reporting on this or is analysis. There's nothing wrong with his reporting. He was reporting what somebody else said in that's fine. But the analysis at the end of it, which is all Dave's was that in order for this to make sense from WCW's point of view. He's only looking at the pay per view component. What they didn't understand Dannon. I doubt he would understand. Now is that the strategy? The the approach that we took was in. We've covered some of this before having HOGAN on board. Even if we didn't cover his costs on pay per view, we believed and as it turned out to be very true in ninety six ninety seven ninety eight was at having HOGAN on board would raise the tide in all the other areas of our business, not just pay per view. So we didn't go into this thinking wealth in order for this to make sense, you know, ends up for the Hogan's deal to to make financial sense. We're going to have to do this on each one of those paper views wasn't the approach. The approach was having hulk HOGAN will get a more press or publicity that we can't afford pay for. It will increase viability internationally, both were international television distribution, which was also very big target for us. We knew that that was a way that we could really increase our bottom line revenue without any incremental costs associated with it other than having HOGAN a part of it. So we would spread opens two million dollars. Throughout the various revenue. Streams w w hat in hopes of monetize it in improving our bottom line, and as it turned out it worked. But yeah, if you were to look at it as kind of a single focus in order to to to cover Hogan's agreement and compensation, you know, if you only looked at pay per view, I guess those numbers would make sense. But that's the way you're approaching the business. You shouldn't be in the business. Furnace. I think the whole Vince McMahon conversation came into play because hulk HOGAN was going to be involved in the Vince McMahon trial. Did you ever talk about Vince being on trial, you and Hoke? A lot. You know, we we talked about it. Then in hulk was a little worried about how would as as the trial got closer. And closer in the press. Started the heat up on it. They go was a little concerned that. Chad jer myself will Shaw a mega cold feet. It circuiting nervous about the commitment. We're about to make to to to hawk. I had conversations not with Ted about this. But certainly with Bill Shaw who had conversations with Ted about it and Ted was of the frame of mind. According to Bill Shaw that was then this is now that was man wasn't Turner Broadcasting. Let's move on Ted was afraid of at ten was. Fearless. I so admire them man, by the way, I just read in article about him in variety magazine recently. In fact, I posted it on Twitter. Because we talk about ten a lot has been laying low in the media for the last several years. He's got a condition that's similar to having dementia guessing, you know, we're gonna hear less and less and less from Ted Turner. But I was so excited to read that article about him in encouraged people to try to find it because he really was a fearless entrepreneur. He wasn't freedom anything, and that was reflected in the fact that you know, he was willing to go ahead and make the deal he made with all Cogan, despite the fact that you know, hulk and been split man and wrestling in general was under a white hot spotlight. Talk about somebody else who was under the spotlight right here. Jesse Ventura is written in the observer, the only only major backstage commotion regarded Ventura arrived at the building completely unaware that he wouldn't be doing the play by play. As apparently nobody in the company had informed him winter opened the show with gene Oakland with him. Alluding to his lawsuit victory, quote, you'll like a million bucks main. Gene said they told the fans call hotline and Wednesday wherever interior would give all the details without ever specifically mentioning his court case against titan sports talk to me about Jesse Ventura. We talked to him a little bit on the show here before specifically about his firing and the rumor innuendo surrounding that. When did you decide to make the transition that he wouldn't be doing play by play for this show? And he would be sort of a backstage correspondent almost Missy Hyatt style. And how's that news received when he gave it to him? He wasn't really upset. Good. I recall he took it in stride. Just it was a pro at that point. Now, this is the beginning of the deterioration. I guess in the relationship between Jesse w w because Jesse had very strong feelings about hulk their their history had gone back to a time when Jesse was really advocating a unionization of wrestlers in WWF. Hulk HOGAN got in the middle of that. And according to Jesse lease kind of stooge doubt. Jesse his attempts to organize talent backstage stooges out to mincemeat McMahon. I don't know what's true. And what's not true? A try not to you know. Entrench myself too, deeply in a position on things that I wasn't involved in because there's always another side to an story sometimes three or four. But that was the case Jesse had a real chip on his shoulder about hall now as far as the decision to to take him out of the color commentary was never to play by play position. He was always color commentary, and there's big difference. But in terms of taking him out of color commentary. I think that was done in. That was my choice my decision primarily because Jesse could be overbearing, and it was not. He was trying to be wasn't his style was such that he got himself over a lot in and sometimes in the process of getting himself over as color commentator character. He kinda overwhelmed play by play in overwhelm the story. So it was it was a decision. I made because I wanted to try something different jussie was. Great great character. I love just just patrols work. I did when I was young growing up watching when he was wrestling than Awa I really loved his work in WWF, and I loved his work in WCW two point. But you know, Jesse is like fudge. A little bit is great too much of it can get a little nauseating. And at this point. I just wanted to try something different. And see if it worked. There was no problem with it with him others, no problem necessarily in our relationship. It's just that. I thought needed we needed to try something new try something different. Well, you definitely wear here. I guess we should remind everybody that in nineteen Ninety-seven Ventura waived his rights to royalties for videotape sales. When he was falsely told that only feature performers would receive says royalties with the WB f- in November of ninety one. He discovered that other non feature performers did receive royalties and Ventura raw Ford and action for fraud misappropriation of publicity rights, and he pursued it right there in Minnesota. And he asked titan for two million dollars in royalties based on what he believed to be fair market value. Eventually titan moves the case to federal court and Ventura one over eight hundred thousand dollars in a jury verdict and the judge awarded him eighty six hundred dollars in back pay. And this was a pretty monumental thing. In wrestling was was that an. Obviously, I realized you weren't necessarily in empowering control in November of ninety one. When the lawsuit came to be. But when the decision comes down is that disgust and WCW about how maybe you guys maybe need to change the way, you were handling some things tighten up some contracts, or is it just business as usual. No. It was business as usual Russ because the structured nature of our agreements didn't leave us baller -able for that type of thing. We were paying on a a revenue share model, which is which is what opened up the door for Jesse to sue WWF are are agreements with our challenge were very straightforward. We're gonna pay you X. This is what you're going to do. And you get no revenue share from any of the on camera work that you do it was so cut and dry that it was not it just wasn't an issue that we were concerned about because of the of agreements somebody who. Is concerned in this era is two cold Scorpio? He's fired the week prior to spring stampede. And and shoot interviews in years past. He said that he feels like he was cut because he failed to many pissed tests. Apparently he enjoyed marijuana and that was on WCBS radar. You know, better than anybody while Scorpio cut a week prior to spring stampede. I think I don't think I've ever met anybody smoke more weed into co Scorpio. Maybe rob van dam. I think robbing them like give them a run for his money. But yeah, I mean, he just he looking at even try to hide it, you know, back in nineteen Ninety-four if you if you even put in too. Goes to. After. Try to pretend maybe you know, you weren't smoking weed eight hours a day, you could probably get away with it drug testing was not really a very effective science in WCW at the time in in admittedly. It was not specially for marijuana. Nobody was you know, their their sights set on anybody that smoked weed. But. Was scarf. You. You just I mean, he'd be out a parking lot smoking weed walk in from you know, he'd wanted the catering once it got to the building in any is he smelled like a cannabis factory. Just we we had to we had to firemen. It was too bad. Because number one I liked him. He was a cool guy, and he was an amazing amazing performer at all the potential in the world, but just couldn't get them to put down the gun. Well, somebody else is. Maybe taking issue with WCW, and it's one of your personal favorites. And we sort of beat around the Bush for a long time here on the show, pardon the pun. But now we're going to double down on Macy Hyatt, she filed a claim with the Georgia. Equal employment opportunities commission, the EEOC on March twenty ninth climbing during her five years of employment with WCW she was quote, frequently sexual harassed by supervisor's cameraman and wrestlers and was paid substantially less than male answers with no greater professional talent. Of course, W doesn't comment on this. But she's suing for more than two million dollars or threatening to rather in federal district court, and she says this is due to not only back pay but monetary damages for emotional distress. And Meltzer would say the gist of the story is a photo was taking of MRI jumping into the ring where her breasts fell out of her. Outfit. And he believes it was stark aid ninety three this photo was then blown up and hung in the photo studio where several employees could see it. And. Yeah. The story goes wide. Everybody is reporting it, you know, through the AP wire even Howard Stern. Rush Limbaugh, people like that are covering it. So this is the type of thing W W likes to avoid. And now they find themselves in the middle of it. I do want to mention that she moved from Atlanta to New York once she filed this complaint, and she was quoted as saying that executives demanded that she play mimbo role and during her tenure, she endured off color remarks, and insistent requests for dates not like performances, but you know, dates and she claims, she stuck it out only for more money seven hundred and I'm sorry seventy five thousand dollars per year. But that was according to her about one hundred thousand dollars less than other male, announcers and managers, so she. Thanks. You guys were giving her the run around on her pay and asking her to do embarrassing things and humiliated her with this blown photo. That's all her claim, the, you know, the court documents and the observer you were there what really happened with Missy Hyatt. Well, she got flat in in. When she got fired. She got desperate in his often up people did back, then especially people who lived in Atlanta and were familiar with Turner Broadcasting culture, not necessarily the WCW cultured. But the Turner Broadcasting culture Turner Broadcasting was very litigation shot. They did not like lawsuits, and again, I I sound like, you know, beating Bill watts up with a crowbar here. And I don't mean to do that. But one has to again, put yourself in the time in place, the the press that WCW got over some of the comments Bill watts made to Wade Keller in other places, quite frankly, some of the things that Bill watts did internally, you know, that fortunately never leaked out, no pun intended. Turner, Broadcasting was so gun shy. You know Turner corporate again wanted to pull the plug so badly on WCW because of everything that had happened. You know, during Bill Watts's tenure that the entire company was gunshot in in everybody knew it the in all of the talent, you know, it was never. Best stage. Everybody knew in a locker room. Everybody knew if you didn't like the way things were going WCW come up with some kind of bullshit lawsuit. If you sue them for X amount of money, but willing to settle for one hundred thousand dollars or less you're gonna get your check Turner Broadcasting zone. Internal policy wasn't stated in in writing anywhere. But we all knew as, you know, division heads are operating heads that you know, the way Turner Broadcasting looked at things is that it was it was cheaper to make any lawsuit go away than to fight and win. Even if you're right. So all you have to do is file a lawsuit finds some Jag off attorney that would be willing to find files. Bogus bullshit claim as long as everybody knew going in that you were willing to settle for a hundred thousand dollars or less. You're gonna get a check. And that's what that's what it was with. Missy you know, I'm going to try really hard here. Not to be too crass and in abuse. Yousef of Missy high. But this is a person that you have to understand who Missy high. Was you know, who she was the real, Melissa? The way she conducted herself. You know, I jokingly say some of our live shows she got passed around more than fucking jointed Led Zeppelin concert. This was not a primer improper professional woman. She she carved out her own persona both on camera and often that was a lot of that was Missy as far as you know, w w demanding she play Bimbo. I'm sorry. Wasn't a lot of choice means she was not a rocket scientists in the fact that she moved to New York who in by the way went onto become a stripper and had her own porn site. I think if you look at the total picture in context most rational people would probably arrive at the conclusion that was just a desperate. The lawsuit was desperate town to cash in. Because she knew the Turner Broadcasting, you know, sensitive to litigation and be willing to write big checks to make them go away. She founded attorney in Atlanta Ellison, Bronner thicker nameless. She found in a bomb or something close to that. She founded attorney that was willing to go after big band Turner Broadcasting defendant in the the integrity in in the reputation of poor. Missy Hyatt was just freaking joke, by the way that pitcher there was a picture because it was entered into evidence depature that that was described in the litigation wasn't. Nearly as bad as Missy Mehta. Missy and her attorney made it out to be it was somewhat revealing. But probably no more revealing than anything anybody would see two beach anywhere in the United States. But there was a picture. It was blown out somehow Missy found out about it and use that as an example. But whatever it's Missy high looking she went out what she had her own porn site for while until she nobody would be willing to pay for that kind of with any logger Ives funny. Tony and I were in and wrestle com. We're in our together. Tony leaves order many says Eric did you seem to see high it? I said, no I haven't seen her. It'll be interesting to see her and say, hi, he said, she looks like the joker. Trek up like an imagine what she looked like. But whatever the you started all this month. Like, I want to beat up on messy too bad. I don't wanna be too crass. And then you just rattled off everything everything you could possibly think of about Missy Hyatt. No, I didn't I've held back. This is this is what I did this conversation up to this point was me. Try trying my best not to go overboard on MRI high because I could oh wait there's more a wicked continue. But I don't want to do that. I want to try to. Take the high road here. But that's as high as this road goes, brother. Wow. We have different definitions of how Rhode apologies to miss his. Hi, I'm sure she's listening. And you think you're going to get sued after today's podcast, you think maybe. No, she's public figure. I feel like you talking about messy high. It might mean that you don't need blue just because you enjoy talking about Missy Hyatt so much. I mean, he turned it over there right now. With all due respect to our sponsor. There is not an blue shoe on planet earth to get excited thinking about this. Well, I like the unlike the challenge you to that because you know, you has the same active ingredients as Viagra nsee, Allah. So I know that work in the chew bowl. So that means they're faster than a pill and also know that it's cheaper than those other two. So it really isn't no-brainer, especially when you consider that you don't have to go see the doctor at the, you know, Africa Santa line of pharmacy and about this. We can get you a great deal. Just because you listen to eighty three weeks, go to blue shoe dot com, and how much is their first shipment airy. Can't believe that's real. They're giving away free stuff. Here. Your first shipments free when you use the promo code eighty three weeks, then you've got to pay five dollars shipping. But that's it. Go to blue dot com and use promo code eighty three weeks and take the MRI high a challenge man looking forward to this. I think we should put this paycheck. Story I was going through the airport couple of weeks ago. And sometimes when I travel is going to be doing coming up as a head over to Liverpool. I bring my audio equipment with me. So in case we have to record something while I'm on the road. I can do that. So I pack all myself and my backpack like, my laptop my soundboard, my microphone all that. And I also break some of my gimmicks with you know, because sometimes like doing something on patriots, for example. And I'll talk about blue shoe, well, integrated into whatever I'm doing I like to pick up a package and hold them up to the camera. And as I'm talking about it, you know, show people with the packaging looks like and all that kind of thing. So I got about four or five of these blue packages in my backpack. And of course, because I had all this audio equipment in my backpack. They're going through TSA, they're tearing on my shit out emptied. My backpack guy reaches in the seas. Like these four or five packages goes I've. I've heard about these. Do they work brother? Don't take him when your work whenever you do on the jock. Don't take one here. But you know, if one happens to be missing for my backpack, probably won't recognize it. But being tried out suit, you'd think so the world is becoming very familiar with blue thanks to the fine work that you're doing. I'm doing Bruce pitcher to just about everybody else in the wrestling business. Now, I think it's great that we turn the world on to a way to improve your performance where it counts most. There are wrestling locker rooms where the guys will joke that the chew fairy came to visit them if someone is if someone has a particularly good match or segment on a show. One of the boys will go by and slip a little individual servings of Lucia into their bag and say great segment, and then later, they'll realize all that you've Harry came to visit. That's hostile. Yeah. So I'm telling you, this is the talk of the rest. Industry. Everybody knows about blue. You didn't see what all the hype is about blue dot com. Use that promo code eighty three weeks. It's free. I don't know why you wouldn't do this shipping suspicion bucks. So I I do want to ask though. Let's just pretend that what you just said was true. When you go out of town, you take blue shoe with you, and you say, so I could hold the packaging up. But then you mentioned that you took four five is there something you wanna share with us? Mrs base, Melissa MRs v's, listen, he has speak also. I always come prepared, brother. You never know. Mississippi. This is big travel. Sometimes with me oftentimes, you know, Mississippi Nile jumping the track with road, Nikki back to the trucker dog and will drive up the bozeman, for example for overnight or something like that. And I always want to have my blue to me. I took my backpack everywhere. So I I I probably got four or five packages of blue in my backpack at all times just because you never know you always want to be prepared. I didn't know where you're going retort about throwing your dog in the back. All right. Let's keep it moving here. The WCW magazine folds around this time, I can't believe this is true, but dipped below three thousand subscriptions. So it was ended are you involved in that decision to end the magazine? I mean as a kid, I love the w w magazine. But apparently, I was in the minority. Well, I don't think it was reflect. Yes, I was involved. Yes. I I was not only involved. I spearheaded the decision because as I said earlier in this. I guess the primary emphasis on WCW at this point was cost cutting in if it if it wasn't generating money or didn't have a likelihood of generating revenue. It was a target in. The magazine wasn't never did generate any revenue in nobody could come up with a proforma that would suggest that that was going to change anytime in the future. I think it was something that WCW did because WWF was doing it. And they thought. They needed to do it. But there is a lot of costs associated with it. And the in what really wasn't because the magazine wasn't any good. It wasn't good decent magazine. But there was no distribution. And there was no likelihood for distribution in. If you don't have distribution that means you don't have advertising in. If you don't have advertising in your magazine. That means everything you're doing is in the rep. It didn't really drive anything. We didn't feel that. It did a good job with what Clinton because magazines the lead time on a magazine back then especially where such that, you know, for the magazine that it's gonna come out in June. You pretty much had to put it to bed by February. So there was no real promotional opportunity to drive current programming. Whether it be pay per view or nitro there was no potential for advertising because we didn't have any distribution. There was no positive outlook for distribution to change. Change. So it was it was a dead end as much as, you know, a lot of people like the magazine internally in in his fans it just had no prospect for being profitable. Let's talk about somebody who was going to be profitable for you on Alexander Wright, an eighteen year old British wrestler, build from Germany who worked the recent German tour as a fill in dude, all the injuries was given a tryout on March thirtieth centerstage and looked really green right is the son of Steve Wright who was a scientific wrestling legend in Europe, Mexico, and Japan that comes directly from the observer. What was the early word you got on Alex, right? Well, this is the percent I've ever heard Alex Reid was British. It's interesting outing laser sharp reporting there by Miskin Meltzer. Since funny, actually, no he was Germany father was allegedly wrestler Alice right now, he's got a arrested school in Germany in in doing quite well, Rick flair was a huge fan of of Alice's. I'm not sure how Alex, you know, ended up on our radar again at that time a lot of our emphasis in terms of live events was on the European market. We WWE WWF at the time was making a lot of money in Europe the domestic. Arena business was suffering ninety four WWF was not doing very well. The numbers were declining. If I recall correctly by nineteen ninety four for WWE, how shows certainly the revenue was almost non-existent WCW for how shows so in hoping to build our international opportunities for live events in tourists. We were looking for international Russell's like Steven regal, Dave tailor fit Finlay you name it and Alex, right? Was one of the wrestlers in Germany that we were very excited about he had a great look. You know, he was very very athletic in a good good kid to work with. So everybody was excited about, but I think nobody more than reflector workflow was a huge huge supporter of Alex wet. Let's talk about somebody else who was going to get a lot of support. Steve Austin melt sword, right? The status of Steve Austin and Brian pill Mun is considered murky at this point apparently pigments contract expired a few weeks ago, but he was feeling commitments through the pay per view, but he's not on the booking sheets after this show and the signs were far apart enough on figures that seems like it's going to be difficult to come to an agreement. Apparently WBZ offer was a serious pay-cut believed to be in the fifty to sixty thousand dollars a year range, which was what a pulled him from two forty two to fifty down to one ninety. So quite pay-cut to lose fifty or sixty thousand now Austin is still on the booking shaves through the end of may his contract expires before that. But it's known. He wants a significant race from WCW and WCW was offering him a pay cut as well. Allegedly in this era, Austin film, and actually meet with the w. VF and even talked to all Japan a few weeks later Meltzer would clarify. It's believed Austen's contract calls for two hundred dates minimum per year one thousand dollars per show, which will be a slight race from. It was believed to be one hundred ninety thousand dollar base deal. Although both contracts reportedly had several bonuses worked in so comparing the flat figures could be misleading pill contract will be one hundred eighty five dates per year talk to me about pill men and Austin here because a lot of wrestling fans online believe that w w missed the boat on the Hollywood blondes, and they just you know, wouldn't get behind them. But what could have been? I mean, they were you know, still sort of this Colt icon tag team what could have been and they both go on to varying degrees of success. And we know what Austin's going to become. Also, a situation like with WCW in Hollywood blonds here. Well, again, you know, he did keep going back to this. But we were in a cost cutting. Face in WCW. And I know but fans have a perspective is fans. They don't know what's going on behind the scenes. They don't understand the financial aspects of of the company are what we were trying to do. And when strategies were our tactics were to try to right the ship. Keep in mind WCW had never ever turned a Nikola profit by this point in nineteen ninety four and we were w w head loss under all the different management that had come through, you know. You know amounts of money that range from probably three million dollars a year in losses up to when I took over the company the the previous year was ten million dollar loss. So everything that we did when you know when I got into men when I got the executive producer position. When I when I was, you know. I was made a senior vice president executive vice president all that all along the way, you know, my boss who started out being Bill Shaw ended up being Harvey Schiller constantly was we have to turn profit we have to manage our money better. We in at this time, particularly in nineteen ninety four you know, we were looking at every way possible that we could cut costs from magazine as we talked about a little bit too talent travel issues were big part of those discussions because we're just hemorrhaging hamorrhage cash when it came to travel issues, and when we looked at the Hollywood blonds, and I know wrestling fans are gonna look at it from their perspective, their perspective isn't wrong necessarily. It's just is incomplete. So if you're in management, and you're looking at a team called the Hollywood blonds who had been getting great television time who did electrify certain part of the audience to to a great. Degree and they were great talents. They were great guys of blah. There's a big, but they're they weren't generating revenue. They weren't such great talents that they were making a huge financial contribution to the company. Nobody could look at the Hollywood blonds and say, by the way, this isn't or wasn't their fault. I'm not criticizing the talent here in this case Bilman in us. But if you just step back and take your emotion in your phantom and set it off to the side in just get out, your calculator and say, okay, how long have we had these guys? However, they impact on your bottom line. How much more should is do they sell when they're on a card in house show? You know, what how how how much better do those house shows performed them? How shows whether or not on the card in other words, you look for quantifiable verifiable ways that you can put evaluation on certain talents. And it's it's sometimes more Arkansas science, I knowledge that. But when. At that time going back now ninety three ninety four were looking at our talent budget and trying to make decisions about how we can reduce our costs. And when you look at the Hollywood blonds. Yes, they were popular. Yes. They were exciting to watch. Yes. Fans liked him. But in terms of putting a valuation on that how do you do that? Because if you looked at our bottom line, you look at your pay per view number. She looked at your house show numbers. You look at your licensing in merchandising numbers. You really don't have anything else to look at those three. And they weren't you know, scanned outs. They weren't. We couldn't look at the Hollywood blonds at. Yeah. But every time there WCW Saturday night, or when we put emphasis on them WCW Saturday night, they increase ratings by acts, or when they're in a pay per view, those reviews do better by X percent. We didn't have any of that. There was nothing there to suggest that they were worth incrementally as much as they wanted in terms of race. And it's just a hard decis. That, you know, inevitably everybody has to face and at some point if you're running a real business, and you have to manage your costs. And I know the sounds, you know. Funny in the face of the narrative about the way that I manage money WCW. But that's where we were at this point. This is before nitro this before the end of UL, this is before all the Masa revenues of the ended up generating, you know, two years later, but at this point we were trying to keep the patient from bleeding to death, and we couldn't just put bandages on it. We had to we had to use sutures. And sometimes we had amputate in order to save the patients, and that was the case here not to get too graphic. But. Well, you know, feels like you know, when you're. Well, let me just get to meltzer's report. At least a few wrestlers are being asked to take twenty percent pay cuts to help balance the budget, which will do wonders for morale when the hear about all the money being spent on a new set new announcers and the new seven figures it'll take to land HOGAN as noted in the business comparisons. And February all the new sets and announcers wound up as an eight percent drop in ratings as compared with the same month last year. So I understand when you're talking about, hey, we're in cost cutting mode. We've got a Mike our budgets were determined to turn a profit. But you could probably I mean, just try for a minute play devil's advocate. See from arrests are perspective when you're asked to take a pay cut, and you're hearing we'll Huggins going to get half a million dollars per pay per view, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Now, obviously, you understand that that is an investment because it has other value beyond just how shows and t shirts and. Merchandise, and and pay per view. It's all of that stuff. It's ad sales. And everything in between. For a minute. Just pretend how would you justify that to a mid card guy asked to take a fifty grand pay cut? And you know that if you're that guy Hogan's coming in, and he's gonna make a half a million dollar bonus on every pay per view, which is more than double what you're even asking for. I would. Have to sit down and explain the decision and explain the strategy in the logic. You know, it's tough. There's I I get it. I'm not saying that, you know, anybody that fell angry or disappointed that they were asked to get cut while they were seeing money being spent somewhere else, but we were rebuilding. I, you know, I'm not, you know, hardcore sports fan or football fan or anything like that. But I guess, you know. A high altitude. It's no different than you know, a team that's been losing year after year after year that all of a sudden is going to make some big moves to bring in key players that can hopefully in a year or two or three turn the turn the the fortune of team around. That's the position where ran in. When you make those when you're in that unfortunate position of of having to stop the bleeding figure out strategic investments that would allow you to be profitable a year or two or three years down the road, the two the two guy who's amid card player or maybe a. A veteran on the team who just hasn't been really performing that. Well, that's being asked to take a cut or might get cut from the team to make room in a salary cap. Throw a higher profile younger much more expensive player. It's hard. You can't help it take that personally. But it's business in. Unfortunately, a lot of talent Beckham near some of it not a lot of them. Some of them looked at all the money we spending in hearing about HOGAN coming in reading, you know, although various numbers that were being reported at the time surely took it personally. But you know, they had the luxury of taking it personally because they didn't have the pressure of trying to run a business doesn't make it easy. But you know, it's just affected life in you have to move on to live with it. Surely where people that were upset there were a lot of people that were excited as hell because you know, if you talked to a lot of the talent back in ninety three ninety four, you know, who knew that. You know, what hulk HOGAN was the card. Everybody made more money, right? There were a lot of people who were excited about hall coming in because they believed not from a business perspective because it didn't really most wrestlers don't understand the business of the wrestling business. In fact, I dare say the vast majority of them don't have a clue about the business of the wrestling business because they don't need to they need to know the business the business of the rest of business as relates to what goes on inside of the ring as it goes to their character. And how they're publicizing promoted and things like that. But I'm talking about the business of the wrestling business all those boring, you know, line items, you know, that you have to stare at every week every month every year in project for the following year. Talent doesn't really ever get exposed to that. So they can't understand it. They can't relate to it. But generally, the real live talent who just new anecdotally. I guess. From other people in W W F at the time. When HOGAN was there that when Hogan's on a pay per view, the pay per view makes more money which means everybody on that paper makes more money. When Oakland was on a house show that have show did much better in everybody on that show made more money. So while there were some wrestlers some who were miffed or disgruntled or disappointed about having to take pay cuts in light of some of the investments, we were making ourselves long-term. I would say the vast majority of were pretty cited about it. Because it was it was a sign. It may be WCW is going to turn this thing around. Maybe we're not going to be second class citizens for the rest of our career there. There was just as many people that were hopeful backstage in excited about hoping coming in despite the amount of money. He was making and what they weren't making. There were just as many people excited about as were probably more people excited as we're angry frustrated about it. You know, you have to admit though, that you can't it's hard to have it both ways, you know, when you say, we're we're in cost cutting mode. You know, we're trying to save as much money as we can. And by the way, we're going to go out and give the richest contract of all unless you're also willing to admit that some of that cost cutting is to afford that contract, which you do believe. I hate to interrupt you Conrad. It's very rude. And I try really hard not to do that. But that's not true, we weren't robbing Peter to pay Paul that is absolutely untrue. What we were trying to do was minimize costs that we felt were excessive in areas that didn't provide any opportunity to to return on that investment because we were overpaying some of our talent in even in the mid card. We were spending way more money on travel than we should we were cutting travel. So that we had a few more bucks in the Bank to pay HOGAN, we're cutting travel 'cause it was stupid. It was a waste of money. We cut some of our talent expenses because we couldn't justify them any longer because there was no return on investment Nazi we had money left over for hall Cogan. That's absolutely untrue. It may feel that way. I'm not denying the people probably felt that way. But it's not factual. They were two separate issues the money that was you know, the money that was appropriate for hulk HOGAN was not an inner original budget for nineteen ninety four that was a special decision. That was a unique decision unique investment that Ted Turner decide to make that had nothing to do. I in fact, I'm going to take that a step further to try to help people understand why it's not true. One of the reasons at Ted, and I heard this directly from Bill show. I didn't hear from chadwell makeup very clear. One of the reasons that tad was willing to make a decision to hire. Hulk HOGAN was because of all of the cost cutting inefficiency measures that we were making six months a year in advance had finally had the feeling that WCW was being managed properly. And that there was light at the end of the tunnel. I'll go back to the Disney MGM tapings, for example. Controversial in the is it some fans because fancy didn't like the idea that we are in south beach, by the way, I didn't like it either. Tout didn't like it either. With the exception of fact that the delights got a little bit easier. It was fun working at the Disney studios in wasn't some little you know arena in the middle of nowhere. But. From a efficiency point of view, it made a lot of sense from a branding point of view. It made a lot of sense lot of front end costs. You know, it was a very fronted loaded initiative, meaning the cost of production and everything else on Fernando. It looked really excessive until you amortized thirteen weeks of television out over that looked at on episode basis. All of a sudden, Disney MGM made a less sense from a financial point of view. Those were decisions that I made that reflected at least some effort to manage costs and control costs while trying to prove the production values of the shop the cost cutting measures. I told you the story before one of the things I did when I was made by president not as an executive producer because I had to influence over the rest of the company at that point. I only add influence over the television side of things. But once I was made vice president, and I did have I. I did have the responsibility for all the other departments within WCW one of the first things I did. And it was a rear goofy kind of a moment. When I brought in all my directors in division heads in Santa Monica said, okay, when each of you to go you're offices right now in cut the number pencils in your desk. And everybody looked at me like I was high. I said not, sir. Go go to your desk. Come back and tell me how many pencils and they did in thought. I was nuts. I said, okay. That's an example. If you don't know if you don't know what you have in the way of inventory and resources either because you have too much or you have to little how can you manage your business? How can you manage your division? If you're not managing your resources in start with your pencils in work your way up and figure out a way to look at your business and find a way to cut as many obsessive classes you can. So that we can figure out a way to allocate the resources you need to possibly become profitable. And that approach. Applied to just about everything that we did. And as we were making good businesses and some of them had big back, some of them have no impact. But it was a mindset it was it was it was a culture that I was trying to create because here four that didn't exist. Nobody paid any attention to anything. I always harp on travel because it was the most obvious just glaring black hole of expense. That just kept getting is just incredible. How much money we lost in wasted in in travel because it was mismanaged so poorly. But that that was one example, there were other smaller examples of that. But through a over the course of a year or year and a half of approaching WCW's business from that point of view while trying to develop ideas and strategies that in the long-term would turn the tide of Debussy w at least give us hope to at some point turn a profit. That's when Ted Turner decided it was worth taking the risk on hulk HOGAN, he didn't say well, look, if you can go find a way to save one million dollars in talent costs than we'll bring it home Koga that wasn't it. The reason hulk HOGAN came in. And again, he wasn't budgeted for keep in mind. Again. I talk about this. Sometimes I always I know I say I'm afraid to go in the weeds. Everytime. I say it. I'm reminded by fans when they go out and do these leg events that they actually like the stuff some respect a little time on it. But our budget in nineteen Ninety-four, we brought Cogan whatever the month was I don't remember. It was April may whatever that budget for nineteen Ninety-four was approved in one thousand nine hundred three towards the end of nineteen Ninety-three. So hulk HOGAN was clearly outside of the budget. Ted Turner made that decision because he had confidence in the way the WCW was being managed in thought that there was a chance. That it could turn around. It was not the case where we had mandated or anybody else mandated that the only way we can bring hulk HOGAN is to cut a bunch of other costs. Again, I understand how it felt that way in from the outside looking in. It's not like I said down with everyone in honor washer in had to explain all of this. And even if I did they wouldn't have bought it anyway because it affected him personally. But I understand how they felt I just wanna make it really clear because that narrative of what we rob Peter to pay Paul. Meaning we rob, you know, the the talented been on Russia loyal to WCW in we were making them to pay cut. So that we could bring hall Cogan that is such a false narrative in reflects kind of juvenile knowledge of what was really going on at the time. Well, you know, we're talking about budgets. Let me make sure that everybody knows about our friends over at Steven Singer. What do you think they meant the fresh like mitt leaf freshly minted mint julep after dinner mint? Peppermint, do you know mitt is the symbol for warm failings and precious moments. Pretty think of when you hear warm feeling some precious moment sounds a lot like mom, right? We'll Stephen singer knows the most important holiday the year is mother's day. Make it a mother's day to remember with the new exclusive premium twenty four carat gold-dipped rose colored yesterday, it's meant it's a mint green color that moms are guaranteed to love, and you can order the brand new green rose exclusively. And I hate Stephen singer dot com. Stevens exclusive colors, always go past. So started bouquet or add to it and guaranteed to make this mother's day special or the brand new newly minted mint. Green rose by ordering today. Course, it's Stevens famous twenty four karat gold dipped rose, and they started just fifty nine dollars and they ship for free. And they have a lifetime guarantee and fewer wishing you had an easy way to tell the moms near life that their loved. Well, they just made it a lot easier over its thing and Steven Singer jewelers. It's at the corner of eighth and walnut in Philly, or and I hate Stephen singer dot com. We can't say enough nice things about I hate Stephen singer dot com. These guys have been with us for a while. Now where we've integrated him to be a part of all of our live shows. And it never fails. You know, we talk about this rose. And then you actually see it and the response of he will get when they see it. I mean, it takes the breath away. This is like you're like, wait a minute. Is that real let me say that let me hold that people want to hold it. They want to touch it. The I hate Stephen singer dot com. Rose is the jam and you can get one for mother's day right now in this brand new color and Eric another. This was a hit your house. Definitely I can't wait to. Lori for mint Stephen singer rose because they really are. I mean, you know, when we first got them took it out of the box. And the first thing I know I was there. Beautiful twenty four karat gold plated really cool colored beautiful their heavy. I mean, it's it's substantial and thing I love about him. Is that no when Ballantine's day mother's day any birthday, whatever anniversary whenever it. Occasion comes along where you're looking for something to get someone. You know, we kinda fall into the trout where you oh, you get a car or get Alexa, candy here. Get a bouquet of flowers. And it's the same thing year after year after year, this is a very special unique gift, and it's one that like you said last forever, you see it everyday. I think it's they're great. They're just great. I know my wife loves him. Well, the arcade recommended enough. I mean, we do it at the live shows. My mom has my wife has my grandmother had them before she passed. I've been a big fan of Stephen singer for a long time and every single week. I get somebody's Lodden. My DM's asked me pay for real. That's cool as it sounds. Yes. It is go check it out for yourself. I hate Stephen singer dot com. There's no gimmicks. There's no promo codes. You don't remember anything? Just I hate Stephen singer dot com. Look for this rose, it's cooler in real life. And the looks in the pictures, and that's hard to beat check it out right now. And how about this free shipping? Lifetime guarantee. I mean, how do you go wrong with that check it out? Let's talk about spring stampede man, while we're here the dark match is actually worth covering here. Because I'm interested to get your two cents it received a lot of national publicity because you've got Danny Bonnici. That's right from the Partridge family. But now, he's a local DJ in Chicago, which is where this shows taking place and he's going. To beat Christopher Knight. Who was Peter Brady on the Brady bunch and they're actually going to wrestling match. Of course, grist for ni- is laughing the entire time and blowing spots left. And right Meltzer. Would say, hey, this is great coverage locally, especially and I'm sure Bonna do she sold the tickets. But maybe next time they should just give him over sized boxing gloves, and not let them he's sort of an expose on boss. Wrestling spots. Probably a good idea. But maybe an execution. Not as awesome. What'd you think? Yeah. Data on that one. The the idea, you know, that was his aim Breslau off idea Zine was responsible for local promotion in. He did a great job. Now, wasn't zan's idea to have them. Russell, by the way. Was idea to get dated on duty involve, but yeah, Allingham Russell was a really really bad idea. Interestingly enough, Danny body Ducci. I don't know. Did you ever see the series that I produced for C T called hulk HOGAN celebrity championship wrestling. No, you didn't. I used serious. You should go back and watch that or wanna find it? I don't know what you find it now. But I'm sure you could I'm sure if you dig hard up maybe on YouTube, you could find it. But yeah, we had a reality show called HOGAN celebrity championship wrestling, where we put together the, you know, Danny body duty was one of them. Todd bridges was another one Aaron Murphy, the little blond bewitched, which is probably before your time was one of them. Dennis Rodman was there who we have Dustin who was a guy Dustin. Remember does dominant. Dustin diamond was a part of it. We had a bunch of, you know, be la- celebrities, and we we train them. We put him through it, and Danny Ashley ended up being they had traded. I think the nasty boys retraining hers and somebody else was one of our trainers. And they really really ended up doing a pretty decent job. But over. The course of that eight week episode. You know, they were training three or four hours a day on set and in we were controlling what we were teaching them. So that we didn't put them in a position where they would botch everything on on television headway spent more time with Danny in Christopher Knight. It might have been passable. But I guarantee you they had probably forty five minutes to figure out what they were going to do before they didn't in look like shit, and I agree with that. Once is many other ways that we could have structured them for their for their dark it with a pebble bed less offensive to people who really enjoyed professional wrestling. Yeah. I can't really we're talking about this. But you had Todd bridges tra- shell from real world dust, the dominant who was screeched on say by the Bill, Danny Bonnici butterbean Aaron Murphy who was in bewitched Dennis Rodman. Frank Stallone, Tiffany, you know, the girl who saying I think we're alone now and Nikki's earing who was a prices right model playboy model. I guess she was married to Ian. Zeroing from Beverly Hills nine oh, two one. Oh, and you had two teams team nasty and team beefcake. Yeah. So I don't know why. I miss this weird. Go back and watch for yourself, a stiff cocktail. Any go back. You'll I think you'll like it. It's it was so bad. It was great ops. Can't believe where we're talking about that if you can actually finish all of these episodes, please messages on Twitter, we would love to love to talk to you. So let's talk about the rumor and innuendo for this show here Jim Ross is in the dirt sheets and the rumor and innuendo is that he's going to be parting ways with the WB f. So he's trying to have conversation with WCW about potentially coming back. Do you remember talking to JR in this era? All right. Let's keep it moving Aaron Neville saying the national anthem. This is fucking hysterical to me. I kinda forgot that this happened. I watched the show in sweet. And I think everybody most of my friends have a fun Aaron Neville impression. And it's just hilarious to see him here seeing the national anthem and then later he's just sitting at the commentary table with Bobby Heenan Antonio shivani seemingly for no reason, how did the air naval relationship. Come to be. No, he was a big supporter of W W big wrestling fan. There was some concert that he had years ago where he was still wearing like a hog wild or road while denim jacket. Which I couldn't believe Israel a so he still apparently a big wrestling fan chat me up about how this came to be. And what you thought when he wants this back for the first time in twenty five years. You know, I I don't know how we ended up connecting Aaron in the beginning. I'm not sure that contract was it wasn't directly with somebody. Interoffice? I don't believe it might have been through his Asian because he was a huge huge wrestling fan. I think we met him. We're down in New Orleans previous to this pay per view. You came to the show met some people backstage, and I'm sure either Allen sharper, Mike, Weber or somebody who is in PR got his contact info. And it's it started from there that would be my guess. But I don't recall how the deal came together. It's pretty unbelievable that Aaron Neville was was there. I I wish they had someone a cool like Sean down this summer. Shinedown is hitting the road on their attention attention world tour with special guests bad flower dinosaur pile up broken hands. And you don't wanna miss out. He'll be blown away. All the incredible shinedown hits the incredible stage show, so make sure you're there in person to experience night of rock. You won't forget your tickets now at livenation dot com. Eric your Sean down fan. What's your favorite shinedown phone? The answer is simple man or sound of madness. You know, the my favorite is the the Remax that they did. I don't know probably fifteen years ago for simple, man. I don't think anybody it touched the original, Leonard standard, one do their version is awesome. No. And that that would be I hesitated for second. Because if you looked at my playlist on my I I have probably one of the most eclectic playlist of anybody that I know it ranges from classical music to hip hop little bit country classic rock lateral. Tremendous stuff. But I don't I don't have a favorite. It all depends on my mood. But that's all you're talking about simple man, was shinedown even the video absolutely power for powerful. I agree with you anything. Anybody could do injustice on a remained, but? If us like they, you know, they created this song for that. But it was great grits. All right. So you threw me off there. You have hip hop on your playlist. Yeah. Give me yellow wolf is probably one of my favorite. Are you serious right now? I am search do you know that? That's my best rank cashier kids. First cousin. I did not know that how how does that as from gadston Alabama? That's casio's. In a million years. I never would have guessed you were about to hit me with some yellow. Yeah. Well, thank you. Thank you. It's probably on my most frequently played with. We learn something new every day. I never in a million years. What of pegged you as a yellow fan? There's a lot. You don't know about your brother? I picked that up. And he told me, you're traveling a blue shoe. So let's. One trick. You welcome. Let's talk about the actual pay per view. We're going to skip the the other dark mass. Let's get an Johnny bad and nomin Dallas page. I feel like Johnny bad opened every pay-per-view view WCW ever had certainly feels like that. And he he's here with Domino's page. And this is before ADP was cool. He was still trying to figure it out. He like he was at a trailer park. Swap meet here. The crowd didn't wanna like this match or hoarding to the observer because of who was involved, but the work was solid with a few spectacular moves by bad, including a spinning heads as IRS and an over the top rope, tow pay that they removed virtually all crowd abuse. Good opener. Meltzer, Doug it. He gave it to and a quarter stars. Of course. Johnny bag gets the win with a sunset flip from the top. Rope that's old school baby. And just under six minutes. So even though maybe not our favorite performers to open the show, especially in this era, pretty solid opener. What'd you think? I agree. Very solid and made me get touch on this once or twice Johnny was unfortunately, saddled with a really really bad gimmick. And he never shook it, but as a talent as a performer as an athlete, he really did have a lot of potential. Actually enjoyed the match. I have been pretty hard on the Johnny bad opening of pay per views and day DP before he was cool here. But this was actually better than I remember the next match though is not I didn't enjoy this on a wanted to Steve regal and Brian filming. And when you hear that you think oh, well, this should be good. And you probably also think well Steve Regal's going over because we just heard all that about Brian Pitman, maybe leaving. But they go to a fifteen minute draw for the TV title. And Meltzer says I'd say it's a safe bet the original finish was regal going over. But was changed since film and signed a two year contract for good money, and it would be a poor investment to be in the second match. The only problem is it created another drought situation involving regal which everyone is tired of aside from that the work was very good. He gave it to and three quarter stars a drawl though on a pay per view. I'm not a fan. What'd you think? Yeah. I understand. Why you wouldn't be a phantom bat. I wouldn't either. You know that was that was a riff ler decision. He was booking at the time. I'm guessing that Davis. Probably right in terms of Wia, finish was changed. But it doesn't doesn't mitigate the fact that it's a sport finish on a paper sun and after grieve with you. Let's keep moving here. They get two and three quarter stars. I guess I should mention the next match though to me is the show. Stealer. I I'm sure you're probably gonna disagree. The nasty boys are in the Chicago street fight against max Payne and cactus, Jack. And Meltzer would describe it as non minutes of the wildest sickest. Most brutal matches. You'll ever see words. Can't describe how unbelievable this matches. These guys are pulling out all the stops. That sorta simulate the concession stand brawl where they've set up like a fake merch stand and then destroy that sags is going to try to Powell drive cactus Jag through a table. But it collapses under the weight of them Brian knobs nails cactus, Jack with a snow shovel. Like something you've never seen before cactus takes one of the nastiest nest. He plunges off the ramp onto the concrete Meltzer would say it sounded like a watermelon being splattered on concrete. It's. Too. Brutal for words, according to Dave Meltzer. He gave it four and a half stars the nasty, boys. Get the win. Ooh. What'd you think? I loved it. Yeah. I can see why you know. In nineteen Ninety-four four. This type of match wasn't as common is. It is probably was ninety six ninety seven ninety eight when it seemed to be, you know, every time you a babe review or or even a television show. There was some kind of hardcore debacle going on. But this one was not only a little bit unique for the time. But it was incredibly intense for what it was it was phenomenal. If you liked this kind of match, you will love this match. It was brutal in it was another example looking back at it. You know, Mickey nine fully night. We ended up parting ways for obvious. Well, obviously, we have been a part ways. But. Nick loved putting his body through some of that brutal shit like taking a splash on the floor. We were really concerned for for mix wellbeing. He was so determined to do this in credit, you know, to present his style in such a dangerous way in that was ultimately what led to us? Parting ways mic really wanted to continue and expand on that style. A wrestling. We felt like it was not only dangerous for him. It was dangerous for people in the arena 'cause he was doing a lot of crazy shit jumping off balconies, and he just loved it super hardcore style at that time. And you know, went onto continue to do it in WWF and really made a name for himself. You know, coming off the top of the is in other crazy stuff that he did. But it was brutal. And I don't know how MC Foley is walking around. Today. I really don't if you don't want another match this weekend or this week rather. You gotta watch this one. This is I mean, something you gotta see especially if you've never seen it. I I guess I should remind you too. This is happening in April a month prior to this is where mitt got his ear ripped off in a match with fater over in Germany. We haven't really talked about that a lot but chat me up. How did you hear about MC losing an ear? I get a phone call right after it happened in. I can't remember who call me it would have been one of the ages that was on the road. But I remember him describing, you know, what happened becoming to pick up his ear ticket to the back, and, you know, not knowing if you could have it reattached or not it was just I just shook my head. And again, I think it was one of those mishaps I think it occurred when Mick was trying to go through the ropes and get a self hung up in the middle of the ropes around snack. If something went wrong and ended up ribbon zero. But again, it was just another one of those, you know, crazy bec- fully stories in primarily because you know, Mick was just. His his style of wrestling were so extreme at that point in hardcore, and he was just putting himself in such crazy shit. But yeah, I got the phone call from from overseas almost right after it happened. It's pretty crazy in the thing about, you know, guy losing air in a match. I love the the streetfight. I think the nasty boys are in their element when they're just doing brawl like this. I think they're underrated fully really showing off while he's willing to put on the line for the business. Probably not advisable, but certainly makes for great entertainment as a fan. I absolutely loved it. Max Payne is sort of the the odd man out here. He's not on the next show. They're going to do a bit of a rematch and Kevin Sullivan is gonna take max. Payne's place at slam Bary ninety four. Why was that change made? You know, I don't know. That was a riff layer. Call. I don't I don't remember the details. If there were any. Next team is one of those guys that know he was there. I remember sort of what he looked like. But. If you had to ask me, you know, what I thought about him as a person or you know, what he was like backstage or any of those types of questions. I barely remember the guy. And like I said, I know he was there. But he certainly didn't make didn't make much of an impression. Anyway, he got a little bit of underground fame fears later when he was walking around filming guys and the WWF and he was teasing. He was going to release. It will sort of backstage breaking K Fe footage allegedly guys. We're going to be partying and all that entails. That could get you beat up or shot any notable max Payne stories at all the sides. You saying you weren't really impressed. Now, the only thing I remember about him as he smelled horribly down. And that was it. Lot of guys were on a ride. You know, they didn't wash their reindeer is often as they should out. So it wasn't completely. Onto the norm to be standing next to somebody interviewing them get a whiff of in. Ring gear that should have been washed possibly disinfected, in some cases, actually burned. But he was one of the guys who consistently every time. I had to interview him before I got into management every time. I had to interview Abbas like oh my God. Here we go again, the sky just spent like, you know, two hundred pounds a rotten garbage. Okay. Sorry about that bra. Little known fact, I don't think a lot of people know this. But max Payne would go on to podcast with of intrusive. They call it truth or consequences. He's going onto the name a shoot name now, Matt Kuhn. So there you go. Steve Austin is out next and he's going to retain the US title with a disqualification win over the great mood, and they go sixteen minutes and twenty nine seconds Meltzer would say these two had no choice after the previous mass, but to take the crowd down. So the mainly did not work for the first ten minutes with mood or doing a few hot spots in between. I kinda say this is on paper. This looks like it's going to be a barn burner of a match. I didn't love it. I especially didn't love the finish. Austin is going to charge. It mood a mood. It's going to backdrop Austin over the top rope. And that's the Hugh two and three quarter stars even mouser would say solid match. But probably didn't meet expectations going in. Would you think of this one washing it back for the first time in twenty five years? It was flat. No doubt about it. It certainly wasn't mood as best work. Either was Steve Austin special. So I'd again, find myself agreeing with Dave wage lush particular episode. But it was it was flat in both of these guys had much more potential. Not sure why they handle the match why they laid it out the way they did. Certain can explain the finish another finish on paper view. Not good booking. But you know, was with it was, but I tend to agree with you. Dave was very flat master didn't live up to expedite Moonen with mood was Muna had the potential to have amazing matches. He wasn't consistent. He didn't have consistently great matches. You know, every outing, but he certainly had the potential, and you would have thought with a guy like Steve Austin would have been different style match. But it was. While most moon abroad over just to wrestle this one match. And then it winds up him in a losing by the Hugh. I mean, I'm realizing wait on the weeds on booking here. But it doesn't feel like a one off. Are you just saying, hey, this is going to be a special attraction, but then because of the politics you couldn't negotiate a better finish? Or what led the? The politics and finishes with with Japan is. Overstated to say, the least it really wasn't that difficult. You know is people like to think it was suggested it was the idea. Why do we bring Muthu over? This is the beginning of us trying to reestablish broken relationship with Japan again going back to the previous administration got us political going back to the Bill watts era. There was you know, some serious business transgressions on WCW underbid, watts new Japan felt like they had gotten taken advantage of they did from financial point of view to the tune. I think about three or four hundred thousand dollars when when let's you know, renewed done some previous commitments. So this was my attempt to try to reestablish that working relationship and bringing some of their talent over in getting them exposure in the US was very important thing for for new Japan at that time. Their their talent became bigger stars in Japan, if they were performing here in the United States. It was a perception thing, and we were bringing Japanese over is offensive could under die not on ours. They were bringing their talent over in. We were compensating them for it for the work here in the states, but we weren't paying their air fares will that so this was just an attempt really to prop mood up getting some get him some exposure here in the United States that the Japanese would be able to take advantage advantage of over Japan. That's all it was no more. No less. What do you think of Meltzer describing mood as quote, I go to America, take steroids? Get big. Typical day metal shop. One of the things that I've always wanted to talk about here is, you know, the rumor that that this show once upon a time was discussed for flare versus moody, which I think would have been a cool attraction, obviously. Instead you guys go different route. And you go with Ricky steamboat in that spot for flares opponent, you remember that ever being discussed? Yes, it was discussed. But again Rick was booking at the time. They rigged felt for whatever reason. He was more excited about him and steamboat probably not unlike some of the examples that we've, you know, dug into in the past where you know, HOGAN would kind of go to talented he had worked with previously that he remembered having great matches with or or selling selling out, pay per view house shows with whatever I think this was feeling more confident in his ability to have a great match with steamboat. I think rid felt really comfortable given the legacy of him and steamboat that they could kind of recreate at least some of that magic in. You know, I get it. The Rix Hatteras flame what he was thinking. But my guess is that he just felt like, you know, him and boat would be a better draw. Because of the history. You didn't have the history with Moda. You might have had a better match in some respects or magic could have been just as good. But there wasn't the backstory. There was history. Do you ever is interesting? That mood is is considered for the main event here. Does that say anything about where you guys saw Austin? Did you at this point? Or did it flared that anybody on the booking committee think that Austin maybe not here, but in a year so could have been in that world title main event picture or did everybody's still see him slotted at that US spot? I don't think anybody saw him is a main better, you know. I don't recall anybody standing up and saying, wait a minute. We got we got push Steve loss because at the trajectory that you know, we're seeing him right now six months year from now he can be the guy that that conversation never took place. So I I I would say for the most part, you know, how you know the same. Familiarity, breeds contempt and I don't think there was any contempt. With regard to Steve everybody, really liked respected, Steve. But I think because he had been a w w w for so long that familiarity kind of breeds complacency, and I think people were adult complacent, maybe not the right word. But I think people were so used to Steve being in the role that he was in that they didn't look at him as being anything other than that. If that makes sense autho this if you've gotten complacent with your credit card debt, I understand how that happens in. Oh credit cards. Well, I mean, we know what's great about. I'm gonna give you the freedom to do the things in life. We really want to do. And sometimes the things we really need to do going to dinner out. Here's my card made some new tires for the car. Here's my card, but you know, what's not so great, those high interest rates must people just accept those high interest rate credit cards charge as a necessary evil, and we stayed ourselves. What are we going to do? Well, here's what you can do get a low fixed rate consolidation loan from livestream and pay off those credit card balances, you can get a loan from five thousand to a hundred thousand dollars. He can even get your money as soon as the day you apply. That's right today. 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And I'm sure they'll my, Hugh and your quest to consolidate some credit card debt loan very pleased with how easy it is. What kind of car? Did you buy about the the baby mama, a Lexus convertible Alexis? Yeah. That's a girl car. I think Alexis is I'm gonna get some tweets on that. But I think the girl cards. It's her old man and girls like every old real for no, drives, Alexis and laid what are you? Dr not elect Phil. What are you drag? Look give it not only. Come on you bust, my balls. Here. You make me open up my soul through our listeners each and every week, and you're not telling you're not going to share with me or listeners what kind of car you drive you've written in my car. I've never been in your car. S? Have I've been in your house never been in your car. How'd you get here? Let's let's talk about Rick rude. He has the international title, the big gold belt as we like to call it. He's going to be defending it against sting. I guess we should mention a month. Prior in Marty lost it in Tokyo. He wanted like eight days later before he left Japan. And so now, we've got recruited defending that Bill against ING, and I really liked his insurance here he comes out with the robe on. And sometimes he would wear the Bill around the robes sometimes he would wear under the road. But here it's high above his head almost Paul Heyman. Like, I thought that was a pretty cool little, touch and this an interesting look for staying here too. I I guess we've covered so much crow sting lately. I just sort of forget that this other version of staying existed. These guys are gonna go thirteen minutes and nine seconds Harley race comes out before the match so Vader could challenge the winner and then sting whips race over the top rope clotheslines road off the top rope, which is sort of weird. Because the last time we saw somebody over the top rope. Which was literally the match before they got a D, Hugh, but that doesn't happen here to star. I didn't think it was a bad match. But it is sort of weird at the end where we've got Vader interfering. What did you think of the match here? I liked it. Probably more much more than you did. Because I, you know, see recruit in action reminded me just fantastic he was performer anytime, I see a match like this with someone that I knew I was friends with I haven't watching a long time, but nostalgic probably Jade's might need a little bit. But I I liked I thought it was a decent match. Not withstanding the issue over the top rope. Which is a valid point. Thought the match was okay. But it is a little disappointing. You know on paper. I think staying and and rude, man. They're gonna tear it up. It wasn't really that. For me. I thought it was a little long and thirteen minutes doesn't sound long. But it could have been a little tighter from what it was. We do want to mention here that this is as we're talking we just passed the twenty year anniversary Rickard passing away. And I know you've had an interesting relationship with Rick rude to say, the least anything you want to share about Rick rude. You know, the the. Were ups and downs. There was some challenging moments for the most part we got along. Great. We we came from kind of the same area. Had a lot of mutual friends going up even before I got into wrestling and so forth talked about in the past. Rick was a really really interested, dude. He was very intense. He unfortunately, got tied up with the Lloyd's London policy which prevented him from ever getting back into the ring again because he took a big cash payout because of his disability a back injury that he sustained ethic after the fact that pre got the money in saw where things were going in WCW an even in WWF WWE, he really desperately wanted to be back in the ring. And it just wasn't in the cards for him from a legal perspective with regards to his Lloyd's of London policy. The only way that he could have gone back into the right is if he would have paid Lloyd's of London back the amount of money that they paid him. They some cashing out his insurance policy recruiting do that. He didn't have the money. He really wanted me to do it for him as part of his compensation package. There was no way I could justify that. It just wasn't possible to to pull it off that created a lot of tension between recogni it was unfortunate that he passed away under that kind of a cloud of desperately wanting to get back to the ring being frustrated that I could come up with the money to pay off his Lloyd's of London claim that would enable him to do. So it was it was really disappointed that our relationship ended. When it did the way it did under those circumstances. Suzanne thing Eric, I know you probably don't want to talk about this and move on if you'd like, but we get lots of questions about whether or not. And this is a weird thing to ask. The was there an incident. I records funeral. Yes. It was a. I went both Lloyd I went to funeral and. I'm ably Labra ten minutes after I got to the service. I, you know, visited risk casket. Said appraiser and had a few words in a moment with him and his sister. And I don't remember her name. But his sister came up to me and asked me to leave. I felt I was so embarrassed number one. I didn't certainly didn't want to draw attention to myself mean it was a funeral. I was there to pay respects. Rick was a friend of mine in a week. We had our issue about, you know, me paying off his Lloyd's London Polisena, you know, it wasn't a little amount of money wasn't a smaller my money. It was about a recall. I think it was three hundred fifty or four hundred fifty thousand dollars. Let me let me just spend a minute on that. So people understand. Wasn't London used to write policy for professional wrestlers. They were expensive policies, but if you were to become disabled as a result of your work in the ring, you sizable payoff enrich case, I think it was three hundred fifty or four hundred fifty thousand dollar payoffs someone that area. But once you took that check. You couldn't couldn't wrestle again. Getting that check means you were permanently. Disabled you had to get a doctor to examine you sign. An affidavit saying the duty your injuries, you are no longer able possibly to perform in the Ryan that was the end of your career that would trigger the payout. From Lloyd's of London. S? What exactly what happened with rich? Well, a couple of years later like I said a few moments ago wrestling's kidding hot again in in so many wrestlers especially Rick was relatively on at the time. You know, they miss it. They miss being in the ring. They they miss that connection to the audience there naturally competitive people. They know ribs case physically knew that he could get in the ring and performed that the back injury that he had whether he got over at your weather was never really serious, as you know, he made it out to be in order to collect on that insurance policy. Whatever the case was I don't know. But Rick knew that he could get back in the ring and performance, and especially when he NWF started getting hot he wanted back in that ring so badly any couldn't understand much to you know, in some ways, you know, he had the attitude that we were discussing earlier on in this podcast will have you can afford to pay HOGAN. No this. Why can't you know, pay off by Lloyd's of London policy? It's irrational, it's not really it's it wasn't realistic. But that was his frame of mind. And I'm sure Rick made that known, you know, to his family or friends or whenever any put it on me. It was like goddamn Bischoff won't write a check won't won't give you an opportunity to get back in the ring kind of left out the part where I had to pay off his life insurers Lloyd's of London policy that he had collected out probably spent by that point. But he was he was angry at me, probably because we're friends any thought that I should be able to find a way given the amount of money that was you know, w w was was generating at the time and giving the amount of money that he was reading about hearing about, you know, knowing that guys like, HOGAN savage, and so forth were being compensated. He felt like I should have been able to find a way to get. Him back in the ring. And I couldn't it was just if I would have gone to Harvey Schiller, or whomever, internal broadcasting. Okay. This is what we're gonna do. We're gonna take this guy recruit over here. We're going to pay off his leads in London policy for three hundred fifty or four hundred thousand dollars, and then we're gonna pay him to fifty or three hundred or four hundred grand a year on top of that. Yeah. Yeah. They would have my head on a stick. Despite the narrative that I could do whatever I wanted to do I had money Turner Broadcasting ATM and all that crap that wasn't true. I couldn't do it for Rick is badly as I wanted to. But I'm sure to rich media family in France. I was the bad guy. And I understood that I mean, I knew that that was the case prior to to rich passing didn't change the fact that I still have a lot of affection for reckon in valued our friendship in in our history together. But you know, I didn't think it would come up in a funeral. But obviously emotions were very raw in in in when I showed up there. I think it was Rick sister came up to me and asked me to leave and to this day. I've never been so another wrestling funeral because of that. I just I I've I've wanted to you know, but the politics in wrestling in the history in the sometimes miss. Perceptions misunderstandings, take place during the course of a relationship of business relationship. You know there. They're all have history with each other her had. And I never thought that it would it was so raw that it would come up at a funeral. But I probably never been. So I am barest isn't even the right word. I guess I don't know even know how to be -scribed away. I felt but like I said I haven't been to a funeral of a of a restaurant that I've worked with since then because I never want to be in a position where for whatever reason whether it's fair unfair be the center of attention in something as you know, emotional someone's funeral ever again. Well, the the sad fact is this is one of the last batches will see from Rickard here on this show because on may first that's where he has the injury with staying he alludes the Bill here to sting. He would win it back on may first. But this is where believe sting was doing a body press over the top rope and recruit hits his back on the raised. Pat full platform that the ring is on and that's the end of his entering career. So that's where all that Lloyd's London stuff. I came to be and I'm glad we finally got some clarity on the record thing. We get that question a lot. Let's keep it moving. And let's go to bunk house buck in Dustin Rhodes on the way here and we saw promos from both sides, Dustin Rhodes doing his very best dusty Rhodes impression here for this. Probably his best promo of his career. The match though is pretty good. I'll admit I'm biased. I can't get behind anything Monkhouse book. I haven't irrational hate he must like print psyche to me had go away heat. And I don't know why. But this is a pretty good match military. Even gave it four stars. There's lots of bleeding here. Lots of violence, fourteen minutes and seventeen seconds before. Bunk house gets the win. What did you think here of this showing from bunk house and Dustin Rhodes, probably some of bunk house bucks? Best work ever. I I was like you. I didn't problems Schnur wasn't like you. I didn't have any rational. Hey for his character. I didn't see his characters beginning at a big future. He was a good guy. It a potential having great matches. But as a character, you know, to me he was a little bit of a throwback to what was wrong with w just because there was so much of that kind of regional cowboy southern. Character. That was just so it was it was just too much of it in in WCW opinion. And therefore, I just never really saw that he had a great future ahead of him. But in this particular match, I think he in Dustin toward towns, the deterred down probably to me the second best match on the show on joy watching Dustin wrestle. Thank you was maybe underappreciated, and it's rare that melts are give one of his matches a high rating, but he did here four stars. He would not have a lot of that to come. Whenever Meltzer would review. I think my my hate of the bunk house buck character, though, was just I like you thought it was maybe a little too southern to regional and I'm from Alabama. So if you're to southern regional for me, but then the over the top cartoonist managerial performance boxer and Robert Parker. I just thought I just hate this package. Maybe if I want to say on his own. I wouldn't have felt that way. Let's keep it moving here. Let's talk about the next match which is a bit of a throw away and the match is good. But it's nother guy with an identity crisis. It's the boss, the former big boss Man, Ray Traylor Vader's going to get the pin here with the moon saw and nine minutes and seventeen seconds. It's actually much better than you. Imagine meltzer. Even gave it three and a half stars. But afterwards, the post-match is. I don't know a little ridiculous balk winkle who I guess is is the defacto boss w w at this time. He's going to strip the big boss man of his handcuffs and nightsticks and the name the boss. So this to Ted fourteen names since he's been back the vigilante the guardian angel. Buford justice. I mean, he's just he's he's trying to be all of these things in one because he just can't be the big boss man and strip him of the boss. What'd you think of the match the hard hitting match that they put together and then this post-match bit where we strip him of everything. Well, the post match was necessary because we you know, we have a season desist from WWE be trauma -nology is confusingly similar as a release the trademark law. And you know, WCW was pretty. Oh, what's the word unsophisticated when it came to trademark law? We never really had to worry about it in the past didn't really have a process to go through, you know, clear clear names before we used them. It was kinda like he can't be the big boss, man. But let's just calm the boss without consulting with an attorney or any kind of a process to make sure that we were clear to use a name like that that that's why we had the change it as often as we did. I was the one that came up with guardian angel put them in the guardian angel gimmick because back at that time critics Lihua in the guardian angels were giving ton of press in New York City, and I reached out to Curtis said, hey, you know, we'd like to to involve you in your group, you know, in in our show, and at one of our wrestlers become a guardian angel could for you and get you great exposure would be good for us or at least. I thought it would because it gave us a character. Gimmick that was kind of even at that time space in a little bit of reality. Because. Guardian angels were a real thing was getting a lot of press. You may not remember because you were pretty young at the time. But there was a period of time when you know crime was pretty bad in New York City in the guardian angels were kind of out there like I said giving a ton of press. So it makes sense to me at the time. And again, you know, Nick Baclig was doing what he had to do to help us facilitate, you know, a new gimmick character because we had to get away from the boss or anything that looked like the big boss, man. Now, totally made sense. Let's keep it moving here. And let's get to the next match. We're home and here on the show. I do feel like we should briefly touch on Bob Rogers. I mean, he is. I mean, where would you rank him all time as far as big men? You know, Ray Traylor big Bubba big boss, man. Whatever you call them. I think you could argue he's one of the most underrated big men in the history of wrestling. No doubt about it. You know, especially if you look at Ray during the peak of his career to watch some of his work watch how he sells watch on flies for a guy as big as Ray was he was phenomenal. And he was a hell of a fun guy to be around. He really was a little little side stored here. One of the percents I ever took my son deer hunting in Georgia rates myself, a guarant-, Rick Steiner and Ray healthier get his very first year. That's still got a picture that city on the back array trailers pickup truck with Ray, Rick and my son here's for steer. So fun memories of richer. But yes, he was very underrated Plummer. These guys are pulling out all the stops on people have been critical of both their works at different time as their their way would go up and down, but they're working real stiff fear. It's an entertaining match. Probably an underrated match. A bit of a sleeper three and a half stars at guy here. I would recommend watching it. If you're a fan of either one of these guys Vader suffered a broken wrist when Basu plex off the middle rope on your shoulder. And when Vader was was motivated, he's hard to be. Let's get to the main event Rick flair and Ricky the dragon steamboat this is a bit different than what we saw at eighty nine. Obviously, these guys are a little older melts. Already even say, no matter how much hard training. The reality is an athlete can't be as good at forty fives. He wasn't forty or as good a forty one as he was at thirty six and around her how much comedy and gimmicks are involved in per wrestling. Certain performers are also excellent athletes who rely heavily on their Atlantic ability. Once the Bill rings in few in these country more than these to know, this wasn't nearly as good as nine hundred eighty nine, but it was unrealistic to expect it to be they were the two best wrestlers in the world at that time both of the peak of their games complimenting styles. One against. Another doing what was at the time state of the art now, they are quote, unquote, just too great wrestlers. Having an excellent match considering the quality of the show. The so many voted as the best match on the show says just how good it really was. These guys are going to go thirty two minutes and twenty one seconds. It is a good match. It's not near as good as the trilogy from eighty nine in my opinion. But some of that is just because of you the guys differently. Like when when steamboat comes out he comes out in his WWF gear or he's got like a silly Halloween costume on lack of dragon, and he's got a torch, and he's going to blow fire, which is what the made him do in ninety one. That's not the steamboat that we had in eighty nine. But I understand the need sort of jazz. It up the match was. I mean, I guess I would say ruined by the lack of an ending Meltzer would describe it. As RIC flair was awarded a decision in a clumsy and nonsensical post-match after going to a double pin with Ricky steamboat and thirty two minutes and twenty one seconds. And the idea is, you know, we'll have more to say about this on WCW Saturday night. And it got four and a quarter stars a good match the finish fucking ruined it. What say you the? Yeah. The finish should ruin it. You know, as we've said so many times in the past when we break these shows out, especially the paper views, no television. You know? I have no problem with non-finishes decays, hot, finishes, whatever you wanna call it because you continuous story leading to pay per view where hopefully, theoretically, at least you should have the end of that story in one way should perform and to have again, you know, with this is now the third time on one pay per view. You've got a non determinative finish. It's it's just bad in. That's wasn't -arily the problem with WCW forever. Prior to me getting there while I was there after I left finishes just sacked. There was no. There was no discipline or a strategy when it came to pay per views. Nobody agreed or believed that the pay per view should be the end of the story. So K to start a new one if you have to and continue the story onto the next bay view if necessary appropriate, but you still have to have a Finnish. And I think you know, the non-finish finish in the awarding Richter title after the facts was just was bad creative. And was would do see a rematch on W every Saturday night. Rick would give the title tobacco winkle on Saturday night leading to the rematch with Rick getting the win win stained, but went for leapfrog flares hit him fires. Head hit him in the winter and staying goes down and re got the pan, which is a fun finished gas head. But to the dick a high praise finish, you know, the, I guess it was worth. Mentioning that Rick did the or steamboat did the double chicken wing thing to Rick at the two and three falls match that they did head to head with wrestlemainia and Louisiana back in India, non so they're they're going to do it again here in this match, and that sort of the story they're trying to tell if you're a long Tom viewer of this feud overall, you know, you were you've seen all the the flair steamboat matches of note, a steamboat flares. Best opponent in your opinion. Did you prefer staying Shawn Michaels Vader, where where would you rank steamboat all time? Oh. I I have to say flair. Shawn Michaels with all the respect to everybody wealth. It's just a matter of taste in. Maybe it's because I was you know. Closer to both of when when Shawn Michaels in flare happen, you know, the Steve Butler trilogy was before my WCW timer. NWEA time really wasn't a firsthand fan at that point. And of course, I've watched them back, but watching them back from a historical. Historical perspective is not the same thing is, you know, being a part of in the moment while it's actually happening. So for me, I would have to say flair Sean like us. Well, I'll tell you what everybody agreed that this was a great show spring stampede ninety four in the wrestling observer reader poll got six point nine percent thumbs in the middle. Two point seven percent. Thumbs down and ninety point five percent. Thumbs up really phenomenal show. Usually, the the undercard in WCW would be really really strong in the main event, maybe not so much that was not the case here, although clean, finish would have made it better for sure. Even though that match won the best match in the reader poll on the observer to me the match I still remember most of all from this is max Payne cactus, Jack and the nasty boys. How about you what sticks out the most? I would still go with flair steamboat just because of the legacy in it would have been better with a better finish. But I would still have to go with the main event what we hope that you guys will go with on this journey for eighty three weeks. We're having a lot of fun doing this. And we can't wait to do it again next week. But we do want to give everybody a heads up about something. That's very important. And we realized that can be a little frustrating, especially if you're in a hurry or running late to find yourself at a railway crossing waiting for a train. And even if the signals are going, and the trains not even there yet, you can feel a bit tempted to try and sneak across the tracks. Well, don't ever trains are often going fast with the new expect them to be and they can't stop even if the engineer hits the brakes rot way, it can take train over a mile to stop by that time. What used to be your car could just be crosstalkl mental? And what used to be you? Well, better not think about that. The. Point is you don't know how quickly the train will arrive and the train can't stop, even if it sees you the result is disaster. So if the signals are on the trains on its way, and you you just need to remember one thing. Stop trains can't. But this train rolls on next week, man. Eighty three weeks, I'm having fun with this. I I know you guys are and we put up a a pole, and I was a little shocked to see what one we we had some interesting poll topics, but we're we're gonna be keeping the show coming your way. And I do wanna mention that. We've already got the next several shows map down. We're going to get your slammed. Breed pole winner on may sixth. Whatever came in second place on may thirteenth but next week right here. The long-awaited often discussed beat around the Bush never in great detail Korea. Oh, what can people expect next week when we talk about the collision in Korea? Wow. I'm excited about that. What an amazing experience that was what can they expect? We're gonna take them into a world that most people don't even know existed in probably still exists to this day. And we're going to take them there through the eyes of not only myself, but RIC flair Scott Norton in a lot of guys that were there and talk about fish water. Doesn't even begin to cover it. So yeah, I'm really excited to talk about this. So next week. It's all about Korea. So set your clocks calendars, April twenty ninth. It's all about Korea on may sixth. We're gonna cover slam berry nineteen ninety seven that won the pole. And boy, do you guys love nineteen ninety seven because there's not a great show may thirteenth slamming nineteen ninety nine low more meat on the bone on that one may twentieth is a departure as is may twenty seventh guy. Couple surprises. Don't wanna spoil them yet. But we're gonna finish out April straw. We're gonna have a lot of fun in may we appreciate you being on the journey here. Eric is going to be loading up some extra behind the scenes bonus content from his upcoming travels. You don't wanna miss those? It's over patriarch dot com forward slash eighty three weeks. Only a couple of bucks. Join one of the best investments around and do want to mention that tomorrow night is the last night. It's a priori star cast on fight of save an extra twenty bucks. It's normally seventy nine. As long as you order before midnight on the twenty third. It's fifty nine and automatically entered to win our how roller contests which could get you in a friend from anywhere in the world to Las Vegas Memorial Day weekend front row and first class of everything for a hotel, suite, etc. Etc. Every meet-and-greet front road of the pay per view. It's a hell of a deal. And I don't know that you saw but over the weekend or I guess the last week we announce the roast of Rick flair. We think about that Eric I think it's going to be amazing. I would you know, the two things I'm really looking forward to is hearing on Anderson aren't is fascinating art rustling history. He's got a unique perspective. One of the smartest people. I know. So I can't wait to to to here on this panel. But obviously, you know, the roast of RIC flair own my God, it should be a three part series. There's so much there were. It'll be a blast. It will be a blast. And you're going to be there as well. We got you doing some some into bureau picks, a very rare photo op with Kevin Nash, Scott hall. Sean Waldman and Eric Bischoff. But the panel is going to be fun because we're breaking down. Well, you think is the most honest book ever about WCW guy Evans nitro book and allegedly according to the rumor and innuendo guy Evans is going to be there. So the idea that you guys get to chop it up with some of the other w w office people about what was written in the book that sounds like a good time to me. I cannot wait. I met guy Evans briefly at the last star cast very very brief just long enough to say Hello. And I put over his work until the how much I appreciate him putting the time and effort to to really right in the history of an accurate history of of WCW, let really wanna in Turner. But I can't wait to break it down because there's so much there to talk about so much. I can't I can't understate how much I learned about. What was going on around me that I'd never heard before by reading that book in s because of the interviews the guy was able to do he was able to sit down interviews with Bill Burke was president of TBS at the time. Joe Hugo ahead of ads sales at the time. So many different people who were really really critical to. W W future and its demise. I find it. Absolutely fascinating. So I can't wait to be on a panel with it. Yeah. It's gonna be fun. If forever reason can't make it to Las Vegas. You can enjoy it all star cast on fine dot com is where to check it out star cast on five dot com and be sure to order before tomorrow night, April twenty third at midnight. And you're automatically entered in their contests and save another twenty bucks until next week. He is that a bishoff. I am a, hey, it's Conrad and we are out of time see next week right here on eighty three weeks with Eric Bischoff.