|By Raj Giri||November 16, 2012 | Comments|
WrestlingINC: When WCW went under, did you have any sort of similar connection or was that kind of a pay check for you?
Douglas: We had heard the rumors for months leading into it that Vince McMahon was buying it. I for one, and I know most of the people in the dressing room, didn't believe it. We didn't believe it was possible that, A, Time Warner would turn it's back completely on something that was still getting fairly solid ratings. In the years since they sold it -- I've gone back and checked about a year and a half ago and it may be different since then -- but the highest rating they've gotten in that time slot is a .6. So, I'm guessing they probably would have liked to re-think that position.
But, at the time, this was a company that was handing Nash and Hall $6 million a year, God knows how much to Hogan. All this money floating out the door. I know that there was a woman there, Diana something, she was an attorney, she was really upset that all these shlep wrestlers with no educations -- at least in many of their situations, not mine -- but, how dare they make that kind of money and be so disrespectful back to the company? They really were just crapping on the leg that was feeding them, you know?
Nash and Hall one time made WCW rent them a $12,000 leer jet for a 20-30 minute flight because their contracts said that they had to be flown out in first class. In Sturgis, Eric Bischoff had leased the Houston Rockets charter jet. He was afraid that after Sturgis, even though the next TV was only 90 miles, that with the party atmosphere there, many of the guys may get lost in the shuffle. When Nash and Hall walked on board and saw the 'first class cabin,' they pulled Bischoff off and said, 'If we're forced to fly on this plane, it'll be in breach of contract and we'll show up on Vince's tonight.'
What I think Bischoff should have done was call their bluff, because there was no way Vince was going to pay them $6 million. So, where Bischoff made his mistake was that he should have called their bluff because Vince was no way going to pay them $6 million. And, if they left, OK, that's $12 million saved. Instead, he went a rented for $12,000 a leer jet, which for two 7 foot guys or close, is like a VolksWagen.
So, I think that kind of attitude, from the office/Time Warner stand point, they thought that these guys don't give a damn about what we're giving them and certainly aren't concerned about helping us out. That just furthered the idea of just jettison it and get rid of it.
But we all thought with this pie-in-the-sky idealism that this was never going to happen and didn't believe it could happen. So, I for one, my wrist was broken at the time and I was watching TV. When I flipped it on, I thought I flipped on the wrong channel. I kept flipping back and forth two or three times before I realized what in the hell was going on. I, for one, was shocked.
It didn't matter to me, really, because my pay checks were guaranteed for the duration of the contract. Thinking back on it, in hindsight, how this huge company in Time Warner just walked away from it and sold it for pennies on the dollar, it just seemed to be an unbelievable thing at the time and still is. I'm still shocked that they did it. Like I said, it's something I'm sure they'd like to revisit and do over.
I think in the long run, it's hurt Vince more than anybody. When Vince had competition, someone that was giving him real competition, he was putting out a pretty strong and decent product. Once that waned and was gone and it wasn't that big company to hold his seat to the fire, then we started getting this Hollywood writer, insane, silly story line writing. Just poor presentation of the characters. The talent that they had was amazing when you look at someone like The Rock or Steve Austin or whatever. When that all ran it's course, I think you're starting to see the vestiges of that creative genius isn't so creative or genius anymore.
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