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Issue # 289

Date:  Sunday August 29th, 1999  9:09 am

The Wrestling Booking Sheet

Bischoff is playing a mean fiddle
By Mike Mooneyham
Sunday, August 29, 1999

Anyone notice the growing similarities between WCW boss Eric Bischoff
and the Roman Emperor Nero? Yeah, I know, Nero's been dead for
centuries. But who can argue that Bischoff's playing a mean fiddle
these days.

Just like the emperor who fiddled while ancient
Rome burned, Bischoff
has appeared just as arrogant overseeing the rise and fall of the WCW

Bischoff, who has juggled intimidation with an "I'm your buddy"
approach, tried another tact prior to last week's Nitro in
Las Vegas,
calling his beleaguered crew's bluff at a closed-door meeting. His
ill-timed strategy, though, backfired.

Bischoff, who lambasted several of the more disgruntled and vocal
performers in front of their colleagues, declared that he was tired
with the whining and complaining and that he would grant contract
releases to anyone who wanted one. Raven (Scott Levy), who was singled
out for recent anti-WCW comments he made on the Mancow radio show in
Chicago, immediately took him up on the offer and walked out. At least
three other WCW performers - Billy Kidman (Pete Gruner), Konnan
(Charles Ashenoff) and Rey Mysterio Jr. (Oscar Guiterrez) - initially
joined the group, but
backed down later when Bischoff deviated from his original offer.

Raven wasted little time, signing his release papers and making a
surprise appearance at an ECW TV taping Thursday night in Queens, N.Y.,
where he and Tommy Dreamer won the ECW tag-team belts from the
WWF-bound Dudleys, who earlier that evening had captured the title from
Spike Dudley and Balls Mahoney. Matches from the
Queens show will air
on the next two editions of ECW's new weekly Friday night show on TNN.
Raven's in-ring schedule will be limited, however, as he is still
recovering from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in June.

Raven, who also had liposuction performed on his chest and stomach,
suffered complications, including five pints of of lost blood as a
result of internal cuts opened up during the surgery. As a result,
doctors gave Raven several blood transfusions and notified him that he
would of died if he hadn't admitted himself into the hospital when he

Bischoff had blasted Konnan for language he used over the PA system at
a house show Aug. 21 in
Reno, Nev., and Rey Jr. for an off-color
comment he made in describing
Lenny Lane and Lodi at a recent Thunder.
Bischoff also scolded Buff Bagwell, who has vigorously complained that
his current program with Ernest Miller is a step down from his previous
ones with Randy Savage and Roddy Piper, and Public Enemy, who balked
about doing a handicap job to Sid Vicious at Thunder and were angered
by a remark made by a WCW road agent after a rather competitive match
with Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn in Amarillo, Texas, on Aug. 18. The
road agent had chastised Benoit and Saturn for not "squashing" their

Bischoff's offer, though, had strings attached, as he later amended his
open-door proposal and told those individuals who asked for their
walking papers that he would only grant them conditional releases,
emphasizing they would not be allowed to work in the WWF. "Basically,
where we're at today, there will be no release," Kidman, one of the
most talented and underrated workers in the business, said on a
national radio show Wednesday night. "I have been told that I could go
to work anywhere except WWF. It wouldn't have been an unconditional
release, so I don't really want it."

The WWF has stated that it will not negotiate with any WCW performers
unless they have unconditional releases from the company.

Kidman, who recently signed a three-year WCW contract extension, ruled
out going to ECW.

"I have no choice but to hang in there now," said Kidman, whose current
$300,000-per-year salary in WCW would likely be halved in ECW despite a
bigger push. "I wouldn't mind going to ECW, but three years is a long
time to be there. Being that I just re-signed my contract, I wouldn't
be able to work for Vince for three more years under the release I
would have been given. If it had just been a year or a year and a half,
I probably would have left and just stuck it out at ECW for a little
while. As of now, I'm going to be here for the next three years unless
something changes. I just hope they do the right thing."

Kidman, who added that Rey Jr. didn't actually ask for his release but
was willing to go if the others left, said Bischoff didn't anticipate
anyone standing up to him and asking to be released from their contract.

"We were also calling his bluff when we wanted to leave. He may have
expected Raven to walk out, but I don't think he expected anybody else
wanting to leave. I think the way he looks at it, is just because he's
paying us a lot of money...

"We need a complete overhaul, from the leader to the production to
everybody who's on top. We need to overhaul everything, because
obviously the formula we have is not working. Everybody can see we need
a change, yet Eric keeps looking to all the top guys, and of course
they don't want to change because they won't be in their spot anymore."
Dallas Page. a longtime friend and neighbor of Bischoff, said
last week that he respected Raven for making a stand and leaving, but
"if you don't like it somewhere, don't take the six-figure (or better)
money ... leave. I don't care what position you sit in, first match or
main event."

Konnan, who has been in the WCW doghouse for pointed, albeit truthful,
remarks in a USA Today interview several months ago, likely will see
his role further diminished as a result of his recent actions. Konnan
told USA Today that WCW was "getting stale" and that "fresh faces are
being held back."

"You have a lot of wrestlers that wield a lot of power. If you don't
conform or be part of their clique, if you're not drinking or training
with them, you get cut out. That's just bad business."

Konnan's woes, however, are symptomatic of much deeper problems in WCW.

Give Eric Bischoff credit for turning the company around when change
was needed. He had the vision to take the company to the next level and
the moxie to open up Ted Turner's checkbook. But its clearly time for
another change, and that change appears imminent. Turner execs
reportedly are taking a long-overdue close look at the WCW president.

• The Ladies International Wrestling Association will hold its second
East Coast Convention Sept. 23-25 in Myrtle Beach. A casino dinner
cruise is planned on Sept. 23, an autograph session and the Golden
Girls Extravaganza on Sept. 24, and a benefit dinner and awards
ceremony on Sept. 25. Those planning to attend are asked to write the
LIWA at P.O. Box 42081, Columbia, S.C. 29206. For more information,
call (843) 916-0699 in Myrtle Beach or (803) 791-5506 in Columbia.

Mike Mooneyham can be reached by phone at 937-5517. He can be heard
every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on "Ringside Wrestling Talk" on WQNT ESPN
Radio 1450 (call in at 566-1340). For wrestling updates during the
week, call The Post and Courier Info Line at 937-6000, ext. 3090.

Mike Mooneyham can be reached by phone at (843) 937-5517 or by e-mail
at mooneyham. More wrestling news with Mike
Mooneyham is available every Monday on The Wrestling Observer Hotline.
The number is
1-900-903-9030. Calls are 99 cents per minute, and children under 18
must get parental permission before dialing.
Reported by Wade Keller of The Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter
The Torch contacted Paul Heyman to get his opinions on the WCW
wrestlers he's rumored to have spoken to following Eric Bischoff's
offer to release anybody.

While he wouldn't confirm or deny that he talked to any of the
wrestlers, he indicated that he was especially open to working with
Billy Kidman (Pete Gruner). '

"My God, what a talent. Quite possibly the most unheralded talent in
wrestling. If I had a draft pick, he'd be my first pick. If just
saying any of this makes Bischoff realize it then more power to him.
He hasn't even scratched the surface with this guy and there's no
telling how far he'll go," Heyman said in regards to Kidman.

On the other hand, Heyman didn't sound enthusiastic about working with
Public Enemy again. "They should've showed up in Queens to do the
favor for the Dudley's," Heyman said. The only thing Heyman said about
Konnan is "He's pretty miserable for a guy who makes an awful lot of
money." Heyman didn't go on record with any comments about Mysterio
but did sound interested if the price was right.

To subscribe to The Pro Wrestling Torch, send $36 for 20 issues to:
The Pro Wrestling Torch
P.O. Box 201844
Minneapolis, MN 55420

ECW Arena Results, Philadelphia, PA, 8/28/1999
Reported by Chris Woodward at:
Roadkill, Danny Doring, & Angelica defeated Nova, Chris Chetti & Jazz
Masato Tanaka was announced as Taz's opponent at the 9/19 Anarchy Rulz
Simon Diamond pinned Vito "The Skull" Lograsso
Johnny Smith pinned Little Guido (w/Big Sal)
Spike Dudley pinned P.N. News
Super Crazy pinned Yoshihiro Tajiri
Axl Rotten pinned Balls Mahoney
Uganda pinned Tom Marquez
ECW TV Champion Rob Van Dam defeated Lance Storm via disqualification
ECW TV Champion Rob Van Dam pinned Jerry Lynn

New Japan 8/28 Tokyo, Jingyu Baseball Outdoor Stadium (48,000 paid
Reported by Zach Arnold at:
IWGP World Heavyweight Champion The Great Muta defeated The Great Nita
(Onita) in 13:32
Masahiro Chono defeated Shinya Hashimoto in 15:46
Don Frye defeated Scott Norton in 7:53
Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi defeated Tatsutoshi Goto & Michiyoshi
Ohara in
16:01 to win the IWGP World Tag Team Championship when Nagata pinned
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima defeated Shiro Koshinaka & Tatsumi
Fujinami in
8:38 when Tenzan pinned Koshinaka
Kendo Ka Shin defeated Koji Kanemoto via submission in 14:45 to win the
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Shinjiro Ohtani & Tatsuhito
Takaiwa defeated Jushin Liger & El Samurai in 15:00 when Ohtani pinned
Kazuyuki Fujita defeated Brian Johnston via submission in 3:55
The Wrestling Guys Radio Show Preview For August 30, 1999
This is our LIVE
SHOW. its broadcast EVERY Monday from 6-7pm on WMVB
(1440am) You can listen to this show in Real Audio, if you click the
link above, or click on our Live Show from the menu on our Main Page.
National in scope, we bring you the guests who deserve national
attention. Some of our guests have included, Bruno Sammartino, Stevie
Richards, King Kong Bundy, Captain Lou Albano, The One Man Gang, Harley
Race, The Pitbulls, Reckless Youth, John Kronus, Rocco Rock, Nikolai
Volkoff, The Iron Shiek, and many many more.

We record 3 shows a week that air several times every 2 days on WLFR
(91.7fm) in Atlantic County, NJ. A bit more regional in scope than our
SHOW, we feature many wrestlers & promoters from the area, as well
as others from different parts of the country who are contributing to
the business of pro wrestling. We are currently working on archiving
these shows on our website, but in the meantime, you can still catch us
every morning at 2-4 and 6am. Great for insomniacs!!!

Well folks this week is going to be one for the record books as once
again we are going to have non other than the Editor-In-Chief of Pro
Wrestling's Between The Sheet, Fritz Capp. The last time Fritz was on

From Fritz Capp: "What kind of show do you have there? You got
pre-empted for a girls softball game last week? Your lucky I wasn't on
because I would have sued everyone there at the station. Let's call it
like it got fired the last time I was on...but they HAD TO
rehire you after they saw the ratings didn't they? I broke every rating
your show ever had! If you think I'm going to "tone it down" this time
just to save your precious little jobs your crazy. Hopefully you
finally have some listeners who aren't afraid to go "
ONE ON ONE" with
the most electrifying, the most controversial wrestling columnist is
the business today. I must give a word of warning though, if you are a
mark DO NOT listen to this show because I will ruin the little fantasy
world you live in! There isn't a topic I won't or can't talk about and
I invite any and all of my so-called critics to get the testicular
fortitude to call the show and debate me on any topic they want."

Also appearing on the show this week will be Indy Manager Big Daddy,
The Guardian of Chaos!! Be sure to listen On August 30, 1999 to a show
that will surely fill you in on the inside of the business like no
other show would dare to do.
PWBTS now has an Interactive Fan Messageboard where you can post your
views on your favorite promotion or just join in the debates already
going on, the choice is yours. Just go to the main page of the PWBTS
2000 site, hit that Fan Interactive section, click on Messageboard and
your there. Easy to sign on to, easy to use and just what the doctor
ordered if you have something you want to say.
"Until you've walked a mile in my only know half the story!"
-- Jim Ross
Coutesy of

By Jim Ross
For the week of August 30, 1999

Stone Cold's physical therapy for his injured knee is progressing along
very well. Austin should be able to return to action in a few weeks,
and if not, it will not be because of the Rattlesnake's efforts to
heal. Austin's role at TV, be it RAW or SmackDown!, has yet to be
determined. However, I would be very surprised to not see Stone Cold
this Monday in Boston or Tuesday in Worcester. Austin could be back in
the ring by the end of September if all goes well.

The Rattlesnake personally sampled and endorsed "J.R.'s BBQ Sauce"
recently at my home. My wife Jan made a big batch of sauce (from
scratch, of course) and the Texan loved it and even had seconds. By the
way, this sauce is virtually fat-free and I'm told that we will be
receiving samples in late September and hope to have the products in
the stores in December or January.

Madison Square Garden in New York City is sold out again Saturday
night, making it seven sellouts out of the last eight events in the
World's Most Famous Arena.

Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley officially signed their WWF contracts today
and could be on the scene for Monday's RAW and/or Thursday's SmackDown!
This young team from ECW has a lot of talent and potential and will be
given every opportunity to succeed.

The Rock will make a personal appearance in Memphis on Wednesday,
September 1 for Jerry Lawler's Mayoral campaign. The Rock is friends
with the King's son, Brian Christopher, who is rehabbing his surgically
repaired knee in Memphis. Lawler's election is October 7.

Happy to see Raven back in ECW where his skills and abilities will be
better utilized. Scott Levy is a very bright young man who could be a
major player for years to come in this business.

Look for some humorous vignettes in the future from the Blue Meanie and
Stevie Richards on WWF TV. These two seem to have excellent chemistry
and should provide entertaining content for future WWF TV programs.

The Road Dogg is not expected back in action for 6-8 weeks at this time.

Mick Foley is going to attempt to get down to approximately 250, down
from 300 pounds.

The WWF will be adding some selected Fridays to the new schedule that
now includes events Saturday to Tuesday. This will enable talent to
earn more dollars than with just two house shows and two TV days weekly.

The Rock and The Big Show are rumored to be making personal appearances
in London on either Thursday, September 30 or Friday, October 1 at the
Virgin MegaStore. Details have not been finalized for these appearances
in support of the October 2 "Rebellion" in Birmingham, England on Sky
Box Office.

This Sunday's HEAT TV format will be very unique from what I'm told and
will feature a special look at Hell in the Cell with Mankind and the
Undertaker. I personally will never forget that match if I live to be

Because of USA Network's coverage of the US Open tennis tournament, RAW
airs Monday at 11/10 central and at our regular time on the West Coast
at 9pm. Same thing next week, too. J.R. doesn't care for the tennis!!

The WWF is pleased with how their prospects are doing in Memphis and
Louisville (OVW). Jim Cornette is doing a good job thus far working
with these young competitors.

Strong remarks by Shawn Michaels on Byte This! Thursday night regarding
the WWF Title. HBK said that Triple H is the only person since HBK to
actually earn the WWF Title. That doesn't speak too highly of Stone
Cold, the Undertaker, Mankind or The Rock, does it?

Kurrgan has not re-signed with the WWF.

The WWF has had no discussions with ECW's Sabu about coming to the WWF.

The WWF Attitude video game is the #2 ranked game on the rental charts,
behind Pokemon Snap.

Don't expect to see J.R. and the King broadcast SmackDown! next
Thursday night. A separate combo should be doing that show it can
develop its own identity. I thought SmackDown!'s first effort was very
solid and a a fun show to watch. Hope you did, too. Prelim ratings in
the 44 metered markets had the rating up slightly over the two-hour
special back in April. More on this next week.

I miss Mr. McMahon on WWF TV. He's fun to hate (insert ass-kissing
sound effect here).

Don't know exactly when the British Bulldog's controversial interview
will begin airing. However, I do expect it to raise some eyebrows when
it is finally seen. No in-ring debut date has been set for Davey Boy,
but October 2 in England sounds good to me.

That Kiss idea was a real beaut, wasn't it?

I had a nice phone conversation with Scandor Akbar early on Friday.
"AK" is one the business' true gentlemen… a real pro with lots of
class. Hope to see the old Longhorn fan on September 21 in Dallas at
Reunion Arena.

The Undertaker is nursing a torn groin muscle but is attempting to work
through it.

Val Venis and Edge will soon be moving to the Bahamas from their native
Toronto. Nicer winters, for sure.

Extra will do a feature on Debra next Tuesday, August 31.

Chyna and Tori will both be attending the Emmy Awards Show in visible
roles. Check out their dresses!

Take good care of yourself, and thanks for reading!

Flair/Rhodes Old Time Heat Utilized
Written by reader: Cris2ferJ
I recently read an article in your newsletter where someone suggested
story lines/booking for WCW...I got to thinking. Let's say Shane
Douglas and Perry Saturn were to leave the Revolution to form a WCW
version of the Triple Threat (Three the Hard Way) with Sid. That would
lead to a reunion of The Four Horsemen with Malenko, Benoit, Dustin
Rhodes, and Lex Luger. Flair could manage, therefore still taking
advantage of the "pop" he always seems to get when he isn't given
stupid story lines.

I can see Dusty Rhodes being pissed at his son's association with the
Horsemen and Flair, and aligning himself with Three the Hard Way. That
could take advantage of oldtimers like myself who remember the heat
between Flair and Rhodes...(and also the reported heat between father
and son Rhodes). Maybe all of this could lead
to some form of Stable Wars with different factions participating in
War Games.

I can imagine a new version of the nWo with Nash and Hall...some sort
team-up with Hogan, Sting and Goldberg...the First Family in the mix. I
bet it would make for one hell of a pay-per-view event. If only WCW
had a clue.
The staff of The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Editor: Steve Appy
Columnist: Mark George
Columnist: SamJerry
Columnist: Fritz Capp
Columnist: Rick Phelps
Columnist: Cindy Barnes
Columnist: Josh Hewitt
Columnist: Swami
Columnist: Tom Misnik
Columnist: Nate Pelley
Columnist: Robert Troy (Osiris)
Tom Kirkbride
Columnist: Ryan S. Oaks
Columnist: Darren Kramer

Any submissions sent in by readers or columnists become the property of The Wrestling Booking Sheet, and are subject to editing due to grammar, spelling, or content. Any information taken from The Wrestling Booking Sheet must be credited properly, with our E-Mail address listed. We have no problem if you want to use our stuff; just credit it properly.

Copyright- Steve Appy of The Wrestling Booking Sheet ©1998, 1999, 2000


"When you're young and you pick up a guitar, it feels so powerful. It feels like you pulled the sword from the stone. I used to believe that it could save the world. But I don't really believe that anymore." - Bruce Springsteen

"The greatest challenge of adulthood is holding on to your idealism
after you lose your innocence and believing in the power of the human
spirit after you come crashing into the limits of the real adult
world." - Bruce Springsteen


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