Issue # 376
Sunday October 31st, 1999 12:41 pm
The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Taylor, McMahon at impasse
By Mike Mooneyham
Sunday, October 31,
Terry Taylor, who is
lobbying for the WWF's main
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
Taylor and McMahon met
recently to discuss
reluctance to sign a
one-year, non-compete clause
that McMahon, on the
heels of several key departures,
front-office employees sign.
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
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
that he was considering heading
back to WCW, which
hasn't won a ratings week since
former WCW president
Eric Bischoff took
the booking committee
Aug. 28, 1998.
"I haven't spoken to
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
Taylor, who initially
was hired by McMahon to help
former Russo and
Ferrara write television,
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
him his "whipping boy"
and claims he was verbally
underappreciated in WCW.
"It was the same thing
that happened to me in January,"
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
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
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
"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
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
"Nobody can fill their
shoes. Vinnie Ru and Ed
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
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
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
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
• 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
• 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.
• Vampiro re-signed
with WCW last week after being released
from the company a
week earlier. Vamp's original
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
deal did not fall within the new
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
• Hardcore Hak (Jim
Fullington) was released by WCW and
made his return as
Sandman to ECW last weekend at ECW
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
since his return to WCW.
• This week's
"Hollywood Squares" will feature Diamond
Dallas Page and wife
• 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
tour and is scheduled
for an interview with the
• 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.
air date is Nov. 15.
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
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.
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
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
Hotline. The number is 1-900-903-9030.
Calls are 99 cents per
minute, and children under 18 must
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:
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
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
argument), and you will benefit by being
exposed to his
knowledge of the business.
Ultimate Pro Wrestling
is very proud to let the Wrestling
world know that Big
Time Tom Howard has gotten the call
up to Monday Night
Raw...Tom Howard, who used to wrestle
as KGB and who has
been Ultimate University's head trainer
is one of the best
workers in the business....and on
November 8th will
start working on Monday Night Raw as a
regular performer. We
are very proud of him and support
him in his quest for
the WWF championship belt..
UPW Manager and School Director...
KURT ANGLE’S DEBUT
Written by reader:
Christopher Hill (chill)
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.
Written by reader:
I hear everyone
complaining about the Big Show angle. I
guess nobody remembers
the angle of Chris Jericho bringing
up Dean Malenko's dead
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:
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
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.
roleplayers! The nFw is looking for talented and,
experienced roleplayers to fill out our roster of
kick butt talent. If
you need a new challenge, come check us
out. We really need
tag teams to come spice up the lack-luster
tag team division, but
singles are always welcome. Contact
Miseryzway, or check us out
on the web at:
The staff of The
Wrestling Booking Sheet
Columnist: Rick Phelps
Columnist: Josh Hewitt
Columnist: Tom Misnik
Columnist: Nate Pelley
Columnist: Robert Troy (Osiris)
Columnist: Ryan S. Oaks
Columnist: Darren Kramer
Appy of The Wrestling Booking Sheet ©1998, 1999, 2000
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"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
spirit after you come crashing into the limits of the real
world." - Bruce Springsteen