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Vandy! (September 1996)

 

Beer!  (February 2006)

Issue # 318

Date:  Sunday September 19th, 1999  8:08 pm

The Wrestling Booking Sheet

Bischoff's position change a positive step
Sunday, September 19, 1999
By Mike Mooneyham

The first step in restoring World Championship Wrestling to its former
position of supremacy has been taken. The Eric Bischoff era at WCW has
come to a merciful yet long overdue end, but the most important
decisions still lie ahead.

Turner Sports president Dr. Harvey Schiller, who oversees WCW, has
promised his beleaguered crew a new beginning. It certainly won't
happen overnight. A Canadian newspaper reported last week that Schiller
himself could be leaving Turner Sports to work for
New York Yankees
owner George Steinbrenner.

Bischoff, meanwhile, officially has been reassigned to other duties in
the Time-Warner/Turner organization. He will be kept out the creative
and administrative end of the company and is not expected to be allowed
backstage at future WCW events.

Bischoff has only himself to blame. He contributed greatly to his
downfall by giving some of his top stars enormous booking control while
alienating a group of talented workers mired in meaningless mid-card
programs that lacked direction. He lost control of the company and lost
the respect of his crew. He was tough in dealing with his "non-stars,"
while he consistently caved in to demands of his favorites.

Bischoff's access to Ted Turner's checkbook and his successful
execution in copying a similar angle used by the New Japan promotion
(The New World Order) helped propel WCW to the top of the national
wrestling heap. Bischoff may have had a vision, but that vision became
blurred as he rested on his laurels and became increasingly arrogant
and aloof while his company sank in a sea of disorganization.

"Morale is rock-bottom," complained one WCW performer before the
change. "The guys in the back are very negative, and with good reason.
Certain individuals come in and refuse to do things, and they're
allowed to get away with it. You need to be able to plan this stuff out
two and three months in advance like Vince does. We aren't organized.
The company is spiraling downward and there are no indications of it
going back up."

Harvey Schiller did what had to be done. Managers and coaches of pro
sports teams are hired and fired on their win-loss performance. A coach
with the talent Bischoff had who didn't win (in this case, ratings,
etc.) would have gotten his pink slip long ago.

WCW must now confront a number of pressing questions. The most
important one is who, if anyone, can put out the fire at WCW? Is it too
late? How long will it take?

Schiller's first move at restoring stability and getting the company
back on solid financial footing was to appoint Bill Busch, a longtime
finance head in the Turner organization, as executive vice president of
WCW. Although Busch does not have a wrestling background, the job
doesn't require him to be involved in the creative end of the business.
He will be expected to play a major role in the strategic planning of
the company and paring down some of the organization's tremendous
expenses.

While an estimated 18 to 24 wrestlers already are facing layoffs, most
of those performers are on the lower end of the salary rung and
represent a very small portion of the WCW budget. Perhaps a wiser move
would be to cut the contracts of some of the company's deadweight top
talent or simply let their contracts expire without renewal.

The next step will be to name a new leader at WCW who can creatively
put the company on a competitive basis with the WWF and can boost the
morale of the crew at WCW. The problem is that few inside the company
are qualified to get WCW out of its current hole. Longtime WCW
television producer Craig Leathers has assumed Bischoff's end of the
creative duties, but is not considered a legitimate candidate to run
the company.

Hulk Hogan has expressed an interest in taking over the all-important
book for obvious self-serving reasons. Kevin Nash, Kevin Sullivan and
Dusty Rhodes also are jockeying for position, with a number of cliques
and alliances being formed as the situation unfolds.

While surely there are no simple answers and any new strategy would
involve a long-term approach, I'll offer a few suggestions.

First and foremost, the company needs at its helm someone who the trust
and respect of the majority of its performers. WCW has gone through a
number of failed experiments, from individuals with little or no
wrestling background (Jim Herd and Kip Frey) to those who just couldn't
fit into the corporate structure (Ole Anderson and Cowboy Bill Watts).

Ric Flair is not only a universally revered figure in the wrestling
business, but is an astute businessman who runs a chain of successful
gyms and has strong connections in the sports, entertainment and
political fields. He holds respect not only in the WCW dressing room,
but in the wrestling business in general. No one knows better than
Flair where the strengths and weaknesses of the company lie. Put Arn
Anderson in charge of the booking committee, and you have one of the
sharpest minds in the industry.

Flair, who returned to work last weekend after having spent the past
two months sidelined with back problems, already has been asked to meet
with Schiller to offer advice on how to better the company. He was
flown in to run WCW's
Baltimore house show the same day WCW personnel
were notified of Bischoff's removal. Flair addressed "major changes
that will be made shortly in WCW" and told the crowd that he was
embarrassed at such a small turnout at the building, and vowed to "make
WCW number one again."

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.
===========================================
ECW ANARCHY RULZ PPV REPORT
By Nate Pelley of The Wrestling Informer. To subscribe to The
Informer, e-mail
twi-newsletter-subscribe for your free subscription

Extreme Championship Wrestling presented "Anarchy Rulz" tonight live on
PPV.
The event, live from the
Chicago, Illinois, featured ECW's top stars in
action. Here are your complete match by match results:

Match #1: Lance Storm (with "His Own Personal Bytch" Dawn Marie) vs.
"The
New F'n Show" Jerry Lynn.
Lance Storm of the Impact Players began the PPV by taking on one of the
most underrated wrestlers in the world today, Jerry Lynn.
Lynn and
Storm have had their battles in the past, and this one was quite
possibly the best match the two have had. Mid way though the bout the
two did a great chain wrestling spot where there were at least 10 two
counts in a span of about 90 seconds.
Lynn was wrestling with taped
ribs, still selling the injury sustained a few weeks ago at the ECW
Arena by the Impact Players. After several high impact moves,
Lynn went
for the cradle piledriver
but Storm reversed it with a backbody drop. Joey Styles did a great job
of putting over the fact that
Lynn shouldn't be wrestling in his
condition, so it was no surprise in the finish. Storm kicked
Lynn in
the gut and rolled the man up in a 3/4 nelson to get the pin.
Winner: Lance Storm

Match #2: Simon Diamond and Tony DeVito vs. Super Nova and Chris
Chetti.
Diamond made his way out first, making his ECW PPV debut. The former
"Superstar" Lance Diamond worked the mic, saying no man had the courage
to be
his tag team partner. He offered the spot to Tom Marquez, but then sent
Marquez back when Diamond didn't say "Simon says." Finally, Jazz's
music hit as she made her way out to the ring to team with Diamond.
Simon went on a Jeff Jarrett-like tear, ripping into Jazz. Simon sent
Marquez after the Female Phenom, and with in a minute she hit the Jazz
Stinger. Diamond and Tony DeVito then jumped in the ring and attacked
Jazz, bringing out Super Nova and Chris Chetti. Nova and Chetti cleaned
house, and a tag match broke out with Chetti/Nova vs. Diamond/DeVito.
Nova carried the bout for his team, as Chetti lay on the outside of the
ring injured. Nova appeared poised to win the battle for his team, when
Danny Doring and Amish Roadkill (along with Angelica) arrived on the
scene. A huge brawl erupted, with many ECW mid-carders appearing from
the back. Spanish Angel, Vito The Skull, C.W.
Anderson, Rod Price, and others came in to try and break up the mayhem.
Then, to make things worse, New Jack's music blared and the "Original
Gangsta" brought his trash can full of weapons to the ring. Jack
cleaned house, helping out Nova. He even went to far as to put a couple
staples in the head of Rod Price. New Jack and Nova walked to the back
together.
Winner: No Contest.

Match #3: "The Extreme Stud" Little Guido (with "The Big Salbowski" Sal
E. Graziano) vs. Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Super Crazy, Extreme 3 Way Dance.
Another tremendous match up between superstars from three countries.
Guido, who is being heavily hyped as a submission expert in the mold of
his mentor Billy Robinson, was impressive in the one. With Crazy and
Guido on the outside, Tajiri hit an asai moonsault onto the two men.
Moments later, it was Super Crazy hitting a top rope asai moonsault
onto Tajiri and Guido. The "Japanese Buzzsaw" hung Guido on the tree of
woe, and Crazy went for a baseball slide, but the FBI member sat up. He
didn't move however, seconds later when Tajiri nearly knocked him out
with a kick, and then Crazy hit a moonsault off the top rope to get the
one two three, and eliminate Guido.

Tajiri and Crazy then battled once again, reliving their classic bouts
from earlier in the year. Tajiri went for his trademark brainbuster
three times, but Crazy escaped time after time. However, when the
insane Luchadore tried his three moonsault combo, Tajiri raised his
knees into Crazy's stomach. Tajiri would come to hit the brainbuster in
brutal fashion, and pick up the win.
Winner: Yoshihiro Tajiri

Match #4: Justin Credible (with "Sexiest Man on Earth" Jason) vs. Sabu
(with "The Man Who Calls it Right Down the Middle" Bill Alfonzo). The
young
sensation Justin Credible met Sabu in Sabu's "return" after being
suspended
from competing in the US (even though he has worked several matches
since the
suspension began). Before the bout, Credible tried to enforce a
restraining order against Sabu, but the senior referee declared that
"Anarchy Rules" and the match must take place. Sabu appeared and began
a brutal war with the former Aldo Montoya. Sabu tried to put Credible
through a table, but was unsuccessful. However, on the second try,
Credible was crushed through the wood and metal. With Justin bleeding
profusely, Sabu went to work. He hit a triple jump moonsault, as well
as a triple jump legdrop for two counts. However, when Sabu tried to
put Jason through a table, Credible used his Singapore cane to trip up
the Bombay native. Credible went for "That's Incredible" the twisting
tombstone piledriver, but Sabu reversed it. Credible, not to be denied,
reversed the reversal and hit his finisher. but Sabu escaped! After
battling several more minutes, the same spot was repeated, only this
time Credible hit the move on a steel chair, and got the win.
Winner: Justin Credible

Match #5: ECW World Heavyweight Champion "The Human Suplex Machine" Taz
vs. Masato Tanaka vs. "Awesome" Mike Awesome (with Judge Jeff Jones).
Originally slated to be Taz vs. Tanaka, this one quickly became a three
way dance as well. Taz was welcomed with chants of "You sold out."
Before the match could begin, Jeff Jones and Awesome were shown in the
crowd trying to get involved. Paul Heyman and ECW security held back
Awesome, while Taz worked the mic. Taz used an obscenity laced shpeel
to goad Heyman into allowing Awesome into the bout. Finally, Heyman let
the FMW star into the battle and the match began. Less than five
minutes in, after very little offense, Tanaka hit his roaring elbow on
Taz, and Awesome followed it up with a top rope frog splash. Both men
covered Taz... and pinned him! Taz was eliminated, meaning the winner
of the match would become the
NEW ECW World Champion! Tanaka and
Awesome then battled it out, like they have many times before both in
ECW and FMW in Japan. Tables, chairs, and a whole helluva lot of
powerbombs were not enough in this one. After several near falls,
Awesome finally hit the Awesome-bomb as he tossed Tanaka from the ring
and through a table at ringside. But, the reigning FMW Champion Tanaka
kicked out at two.

The two men battled more, with several false finishes keeping the crowd
on the edge of their seats. Finally, with the entire ECW locker room
looking on from the ramp, Awesome set up Tanaka on a table. However,
Tanaka caught Awesome and crotched him on the top turnbuckle, and
attempted a superplex. Awesome blocked, and it stuck Tanaka's head
down, setting him up for.. yes, an Awesome off the top rope through a
table. With that move, and a three count later, Mike Awesome became the
NEW ECW World Heavyweight Champion!

Taz came back into the ring afterwards, and presented the belt to the
new champ with a handshake. Taz then left the ring, as several fans
chanted "Taz, Taz." The former champion hugged Paul Heyman on the ramp,
and with tears in his eyes, walked out of an ECW arena for perhaps the
last time. .
Winner: And
NEW ECW World Heavyweight Champion, Mike Awesome!

Steve Corino talked in the back about how the Insane Clown Posse were
supposed to be the mystery team to take on Raven and Tommy Dreamer
tonight. However, ICP headed back to WCW, thus leaving it to Corino and
Rhino vs. the champs. Joey Styles ragged on WCW for bringing back ICP,
despite the fact the clowns tried to screw the company over.

Joel Gertner interviewed Tommy Dreamer and Francine in the ring.
Dreamer talked about how he was going to disobey doctors orders, and
wrestle anyway. Corino and his crew arrived, setting up the title bout.

Match #6: ECW World Tag Team Champions "Innovator of Violence" Tommy
Dreamer (with "Head Cheerleader" Francine) & Raven vs. Steve Corino &
Rhino
(with Jack Victory). Dreamer wrestled most of the match by himself,
until Raven finally arrived. Raven and Dreamer hit double DDT's on
their opponents, scoring a pin at the same time. Mancow appeared at
ringside, and headed to the back with Raven.
Winners: ECW World Tag Team Champions, Tommy Dreamer & Raven.

Axl Rotten got in the ring and talked about how he wants to make his
mark in ECW on PPV tonight. Rotten called out new champion Mike
Awesome, but was instead met by the Impact Players, Johnny Smith, Dawn
Marie, and Jason. A brawl erupted, with Balls Mahoney and Spike Dudley
coming in to help out Axl. Johnny Smith took a hard chair shot to the
head, the his friends bailed out. Axl grabbed the mic again,
proclaiming that Balls should get the TV title shot now against Rob Van
Dam.

Match #7: ECW World TV Champion "Mr. PPV RVD" Rob Van Dam (with "The
Man
Who Calls it Right Down the Middle" Bill Alfonzo) vs. Balls Mahoney
(with Spike Dudley and Axl Rotten).
Van Dam came out to a huge pop to take on Balls. The two men battled
back and forth in a solid bout, with Van Dam controlling much of the
action. Balls came back, and hit all of his trademark moves, but it was
not enough to put away Van Dam. However, Balls would not give up. The
Van Daminator was not enough either, as Balls kicked out at only two.
Even a top rope Van Daminator later on was good for only a two count.
But finally, it was RVD hitting his famous top rope 5 Star Frog Splash
and retaining the TV title with a three count on Balls.
Winner: ECW World TV Champion Rob Van Dam.
===========================================
Jackal's Winnipeg Sun/Thunder Bay Chronicle Column
By Don Callis
Courtesy of: http://freeweb.digiweb.com/sports/thejackal/main.html

Eric Bischoff's name has graced these pages on numerous occasions in
the past year. Frequently it seemed like I would find myself waxing
philosophic about what possible reason Bischoff could have to make the
decisions he did.

Many Tuesday morning bookers would send me their thoughts via email,
blaming Bischoff for everything from Benoits lack of push to global
warming. Well, you had better find a new object of scorn, because
you're not going to have Eric Bischoff to kick around anymore.

Just over a week ago, Bischoff was relieved of his duties as WCW head
honcho, and shuffled within the vast Turner Sports corporate machine to
become the consultant to big wig Dr. Harvey Schiller.

As the new contenders to the throne maneuver in the back rooms to try
to snatch power, I find myself left with a feeling of loss. Say what
you will about Eric Bischoff, but he changed the wrestling industry as
we know it.

Are you one of the millions of fans who love the great wrestling
programming we are treated to on Monday nights? Do you rejoice at the
fact that we often get to see for free what we previously would have
had to wait until pay per view to see? Well, you have Eric Bischoff to
thank for most of this and much more.

Until Bischoff rose from the ranks of third string announcer to
Executive Vice President, which at the time was a surprising move, WCW
was like Vichy France during World War Two, happy to be subservient,
just existing. Bischoff would change all that. He would go after the
mighty WWF with a vengeance, luring Hogan away, then Hall and Nash.

He precipitated the whole Monday night wrestling wars by having the
guts to go head to head with WWF when most everyone thought it was
going to be a disaster. Due to the evolution of Nitro and its
subsequent two year dominance over WWF in the ratings, Vince McMahon
was forced to get more creative and deliver better television, which
all wrestling fans have benefited from.

Before Bischoff WCW was a non-factor. He took the company to number
one, and having won the battle, got lazy, or disinterested or whatever,
and let the balance of power slip back to the WWF. We can now only
guess at whether he would have made good on his recent promise to
propel the company back to number one.

After hearing about Vince McMahon becoming WWF champion on SmackDown
this past week, I couldn't help but wonder if the crowning of himself
as WWF champion was not symbolic of his final victory over Bischoff.

With Bischoff gone, the question for WCW now becomes: where do we go
from here, and who is going to lead us there? And for a company that
has only known success with Bischoff at the helm, that is a scary
question.

Insider News
ECW presents its biggest pay per view ever this Sunday. "Anarchy Rulz"
will emanate live from Chicago, and features many interesting matchups,
including Rob Van Dam vs. British sensation Johnny Smith, a tag title
defense by Raven and Tommy Dreamer and Taz defends his world title
against Japanese tough guy Masato Tanaka...Speaking of Taz, it is
highly likely that he will find himself in the WWF sometime soon. Taz
is one guy who is better suited to ECW. Oh well...Chris Benoit found
himself on the receiving end of some office heat this past week for
telling the world that Sid tapped out during their PPV match. I wonder
if Randy Savage would have gotten that same heat in a similar
situation?...Vampiro has apparently moved back to his hometown of
beautiful Thunder Bay...Former IWA star Joe E. Legend has been signed
to a developmental contract with the WWF...Dr. Death Steve Williams
sounded frustrated last week when he appeared on an internet audio
show. Williams feels he deserves more of a chance than he has been
given in the WWF...Giant She-Male Nicole Bass claimed on The Howard
Stern show to be suing the WWF for 120 million. She claims sexual
harassment- insert your own joke here...Look for big things from former
IWA star Dr. Luther in the next few months...Chris Jericho should lose
Curtis Hughes. He should also ditch Finkel soon...I rocked the house at
the University of Manitoba this past week, tagging with Kurrgan.
Despite the fact that the building had to be evacuated half way through
the show, Kurrgan looked like his old self.....My NHB Wrestling Camp is
getting ready for a new class starting towards the end of October,
interested parties can call the office at (204) 488-8785...Email me at
jackal

You can catch Jackal every Sunday on the NHB (No Holds Barred)
Wrestling Call In Radio show from 6-7pm live from the Pony Corral on
Grant on 92 Citi FM. Also watch him on ECW Wresting on TNN every
Friday from 7-8pm.

Cyrus (formerly known as the...)
Jackyl
===========================================
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)
Columnist:
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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