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Vandy! (September 1996)

 

Beer!  (February 2006)

Issue # 376

Date:  Sunday October 31st, 1999  12:41 pm

The Wrestling Booking Sheet

Taylor, McMahon at impasse
By Mike Mooneyham
Sunday, October 31, 1999

Terry Taylor, who is lobbying for the WWF's main
scriptwriting position recently left vacant by the
loss of Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara to WCW, is taking
a two-week sabbatical after reaching an impasse with
WWF owner Vince McMahon.

Taylor and McMahon met recently to discuss
Taylor's
reluctance to sign a one-year, non-compete clause
that McMahon, on the heels of several key departures,
demanded most front-office employees sign.
Taylor
refused to immediately endorse the pledge that would
bind WWF employees from working for WCW for one year
after the conclusion of their employment with the WWF.

"He needs to shut up, sign the paper and get back to
work," said one WWF official. "It's not too much to
expect some degree of loyalty."

Taylor was sent home following his meeting with
McMahon and placed on a two-week leave.

Taylor, a former booker with WCW who is now the
head of New Talent Acquisitions in the WWF, recently
discounted reports that he was considering heading
back to WCW, which hasn't won a ratings week since
former WCW president Eric Bischoff took
Taylor off
the booking committee on
Aug. 28, 1998.

"I haven't spoken to anybody,"
Taylor said. "I've
had a lot of people tell me they heard I was coming
back to WCW, but I'm perfectly happy here. There's
no reason for me not to be."

Taylor, who initially was hired by McMahon to help
former Russo and
Ferrara write television, often
tempered some of the WWF's more bizarre storylines
with his logical, "make-sense" booking approach. He
said he easily related to Russo's situation, since
Taylor also was working without a contract when
Bischoff canned him.

Taylor recalled how word had leaked in a "dirt sheet"
and on the Internet last year that he had been talking
to people in the WWF about making a move. He said
Bischoff called him into his office and said: "If you
don't want to be here, then I don't want you here. If
you're talking to the WWF, then you need to go." Taylor
said that wasn't the case, and that he had only talked
to some of the WWF performers - like Hunter Hearst
Helmsley, who he had helped train while Triple H was
working in Atlanta.
Taylor said Bischoff considered
him his "whipping boy" and claims he was verbally
abused and underappreciated in WCW.

"It was the same thing that happened to me in January,"
said
Taylor. "Eric said he read on the Internet that
I didn't want to be there. He told me to get out. When
I asked him if I had asked for my release, he told me
no. When I asked him if I had complained, he told me
no. Then he told me if I didn't want to be there, to
get out."

Taylor, however, doesn't believe that same scenario
played out in the case of Russo and McMahon.

"It's not Vince's (McMahon) style to talk to someone
like that. He's gracious. I don't see him telling
someone to get out."

Taylor, who was asked to sit in on the scriptwriting
sessions and pitch ideas in the wake of the departure
of Russo and Ferrara, added that nearly half of the
36 WCW wrestlers already cut or projected to be soon
released have made calls to him looking for work.
Taylor's first two weeks of doing television, however,
was heavily revised by Bruce Prichard and McMahon,
who ended up doing the bulk of the writing.

Taylor, in a recent interview with The Post and Courier,
predicted that his former WWF colleagues would make a
major impact on WCW and speculated that Russo would be
put in charge of all creative aspects of the company.

"There's no doubt that Vince Russo will be in complete
control," said
Taylor. "Could you have anyone else (in
charge) in light of their (Russo and
Ferrara's) track record?"

Taylor, who worked for WCW for six years before his abrupt
dismissal, said the quest for power and control in WCW has
seriously damaged the company.

"A title should be the last thing these guys are worrying
about. The product should be No. 1. And I think that's
what these guys (Russo and
Ferrara) will instill. People
who are insecure and seeking status are the ones
interested in titles. That place (WCW) is a mess. The
patient is sick. Someone needs to heel it. Whether you're
a doctor or a nurse, it needs to be fixed."

Taylor said the WWF will be hard-pressed to find
replacements for Russo and
Ferrara.

"Nobody can fill their shoes. Vinnie Ru and Ed
revolutionized the business. I was lucky to have been
there when Eric helped change the face of the wrestling
world. And then I come here, and Ed and Vinnie were on
the best part of their run. They redefined what sports
entertainment was."

Taylor admitted the WWF's loss would be WCW's gain.

"They are the two most prolific writers in the business.
It's going to be exciting. Ed and Vinie are a good team
and compliment each other very well. Vince Russo is very
strong-willed and opinionated, and Ed is very good about
keeping things calm. They'll do very well down there."

Taylor admitted that their departure took the company by surprise.

"We kind of got caught with our pants down. We're just
trying to adapt and improvise. There was never an inkling
that they were going to leave. I work pretty close with
these guys, and they never said a word to me. Maybe not as
close as I thought."

• Nitro slightly closed the ratings gap last week with a
5.60-3.51 loss to Raw. Raw registered hours of 5.53 and 5.64,
while Nitro posted hours of 3.91, 3.34 and 3.20.

WCW vice president Bill Busch announced last week that Nitro
will be cut to two hours beginning in January. The show is
expected to run from
8-10 p.m., leaving Raw with no
competition in the 10-11 time slot.

Thunder will be taped on Tuesday beginning in December,
and the show's air date will be moved to Wednesday since
Thunder is being hammered in the ratings by WWF Smackdown
on Thursday.

• WCW announcers have been ordered not to mention Hulk
Hogan or address his status in the company in order to
advance the Hogan retirement angle. Hogan is expected
to return under real name Terry Bollea.

• Ron and Don Harris are playing the role of bodyguards
for new WCW bookers Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara. The twins
also have appeared as DOA's Skull and 8-Ball, Jacob and
Eli Blu, and The Bruise Brothers.

• Several WCW world title tournament matches have been
scheduled for this week's Nitro at the
Target Center in Minneapolis:

Sid Vicious vs. Scott Hall; Jeff Jarrett vs. Booker T;
Buff Bagwell vs. Stevie Ray; Curt Hennig vs. Disco Inferno;
Madusa vs. Evan Karagis; Lash LaRue vs. Ernest Miller;
and Vampiro vs. Berlyn.

• Vampiro re-signed with WCW last week after being released
from the company a week earlier. Vamp's original
$350,000-per-year contract was dropped when WCW exercised
its 90-day clause to release him from the deal.

Vince Russo later told Vamp that the company had big plans
for him and could offer him slightly more money, although
Vampiro's previous deal did not fall within the new
boundaries established by WCW VP Bill Busch.

Vampiro has drawn heat within the company for allegedly
working stiff with some of his smaller opponents (such
as Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Rey Mysterio Jr.) and not
protecting them.

• Hardcore Hak (Jim Fullington) was released by WCW and
made his return as Sandman to ECW last weekend at ECW
Arena in
Philadelphia where he made the save for Tommy
Dreamer and Raven. Paul Heyman previously had said he
had no interest in Fullington due to Fullington failing
to give notice when he jumped to WCW last year.

• WWF-bound Taz (Pete Senerca) reportedly has two more
matches left with ECW, culminating in a final showdown
with Sabu (Terry Brunk) at the November to Remember PPV.

• The recently divorced Kevin Nash is dating Chae of
The Nitro Girls.

• Scott Hall already has notched an AWOL stint and
motel disturbances since his return to WCW.

• This week's "Hollywood Squares" will feature Diamond
Dallas Page and wife Kimberly.

• ABC's "20/20" is scheduled to air a story on "the
making of a pro wrestler" on Nov. 4.

• Bill Goldberg will be featured in an upcoming article
in the Jerusalem Post and Golf magazine.

• Rolling Stone is planning a series of stories that
will appear in a special wrestling issue in February.

Bret Hart will be in
England Nov. 2-6 for a promotional
tour and is scheduled for an interview with the
BBC.

• ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings will air a
series on "body imaging." The show talked with Bill
Goldberg and fans in
Philadelphia on Oct. 18. Tentative
air date is Nov. 15.

• A
DNA test has conclusively cleared "Dr. Death" Steve
Williams in a "deadbeat dads" case initiated by a
Sacramento, Calif., woman who claimed he fathered her
child. The test showed that there was a zero percent
chance that Williams was the father of the girl.

Williams had been indicted for failing to pay $64,000
in back child support after being charged with a felony
under the 1998 Deadbeats Parent Act for ignoring a 1995
Oklahoma court order to pay a lump sum of $18,000 and
monthly payments of $800 to support the child. Williams
requested and was granted the paternity test after
claiming that the woman had been with other wrestlers
over the years, including the late Buzz Sawyer.

Williams, 39, is still under a three-year contract with
the WWF, although that organization has attempted to cut
its ties to the former All-American from
Oklahoma. The
WWF has asked Williams to do a tour with the Japanese
promotion FMW, a rival organization to All Japan, with
whom Williams has been a headliner for most of the past
decade. It is suspected that the WWF realizes that such
an arrangement could jeopardize Williams' longtime
association with All Japan, and if he refuses to do the
tour, could be in breach of his WWF contract.

• Minn. Gov. Jesse Ventura said Friday that Republican
turned Reform Party presidential candidate Pat Buchanan
declined his offer for coffee during his two-day visit
to the Twin Cities.

Buchanan, however, didn't see it that way.

Speaking on his weekly radio show, Ventura said he didn't
snub Buchanan, who on Thursday made his first visit to
Minnesota since leaving the GOP on Monday.

The governor said he was on his way to football practice -
he is a volunteer coach at Champlin Park High School -
when Buchanan's staff called him late Thursday afternoon.
Ventura said he offered to have coffee with Buchanan on
Friday morning for 45 minutes at the governor's residence,
but Buchanan declined.

"They preferred a meeting with media and hoopla," Ventura
said. "I preferred a private meeting. They chose not to
make it happen this morning." He added, "I didn't snub
anyone. I was busy doing my job."

Buchanan was in town Thursday for a book signing and a
fund-raiser and left Friday morning. Buchanan said he was
boarding a flight to Fargo, N.D., when he heard a radio
report that Ventura was trying to get in touch with him.

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.
===========================================
DAVE MELTZER ON EYADA.COM
Most of you have heard of Dave Meltzer & The Wrestling
Observer, though many of you have not been exposed to
The Observer (you don’t know what your missing). Meltzer
is also doing a free daily internet radio show, which can
be found at: http://www.eyada.com

The two hour show can be heard live from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM
on the East Coast, and 3:00 PM-5:00 PM on the West Coast.
Meltzer & co-host Bryan Alvarez discuss all of the
breaking news stories of the day, and have had quite a
variety of featured guests (highlights include Chris
Benoit, Vince Russo, Terry Funk , & Jim Cornette).

The previous days show is available to listen to at any time;
those of you who really have a deep interest in the
inner-workings of wrestling really do need to check this out!
Meltzer is generally considered the top wrestling journalist
in the history of the business (not an exaggeration, and
almost without argument), and you will benefit by being
exposed to his knowledge of the business.
===========================================
ADVERTISEMENT
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is one of the best workers in the business....and on
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Thanks...Big Schwag UPW Manager and School Director...
===========================================
KURT ANGLE’S DEBUT
Written by reader: Christopher Hill (chill)

I've noticed throughout several newsletters and boards that
the line "Kurt Angle will be debuting within the next
couple of weeks" keeps popping up. I'm no rocket scientist
or psychic (or wrestling booker :) ), but the WWF will be
broadcasting RAW IS WAR from Angle's hometown of Pittsburgh, PA
on Monday, November 15 (yes, I have tickets!).

Since this is the town where he originally debuted on Sunday
Night Heat and, obviously, the town where he would get the
biggest pop... Just my own personal pondering.
-Christopher Hill
===========================================
THE MALENKO/JERICHO ANGLES
Written by reader: AceAkers

I hear everyone complaining about the Big Show angle. I
guess nobody remembers the angle of Chris Jericho bringing
up Dean Malenko's dead dad?

Also, whether you love or hate Malenko, you have to respect
the man. If the slackers worked as hard as he does,
wrestling would be alot better than it is today. I don't think
we would have those 2 minute matches we get to see these days.
===========================================
THE FRESH PERSPECTIVE
Written by reader: Ginasdaddy

Fritz' last "straight shooting" column in issue # 374 really
made me think. Today wrestling is all about who's winning the
ratings, who's a good "worker", and what the "
REAL story is
behind the TV angle", and I for one hate it.

I miss marking out. I miss cheering Hulk Hogan, before the
Internet revealed to me he only had 5 moves and was an old
man. I miss wondering if the wrestlers wore their tights in
the streets. I miss being an in the dark, doesn't know about
anything but what he sees on TV mark (hey, that rhymed). Why
can't we all just enjoy the product we see, and not worry about
who's booking it, who has the talent, etc.

P.S. I never noticed this before but, do you think the guy that
plays the theme music is in on things like the finish of a match,
about how long it will last, who wins, etc? Because he's so quick
to push the button or whatever he has to do after the bell and
start up the winning wrestlers music.......just a thought.
===========================================
ADVERTISEMENT
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===========================================
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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