by : Fritz Capp
September 11, 1999
Ok, here we go again, another week with two issues of Straight Shooting but what the hell, I was so lame at it before with missing months at a time why not go the extra mile.
Word is that there are a lot of people in WCW who are very upset with the New Year Eve pay-per-view that is expected to be run. Do you blame them? I mean what the hell is WCW thinking? Not about it's workers I can say that. Here we are at the biggest New Years Eve as far as historical value is concerned in our lifetime and WCW wants to make a few bucks. These are real life human beings you are asking to give up that night idiots. And does WCW do anything special for them? Hell no! If I was in charge in WCW and I wanted to run a pay-per-view on December 31, 1999 believe me when I tell you I would make it worth everyone's time. How about having the pay-per-view somewhere you never go...say Hawaii, all expenses paid for by the company? This would at least compensate the workers for their sacrifice. WCW is now not only killing it's promotion but really getting everyone including managerial employees pissed as well.
I've received a few letters asking if the Eric Bischoff being replaced was a work by the company to increase interest. I have to say that I am not quite sure if WCW is smart enough to pull something like this off. While it is true that it was 1wrestling.com who broke the story (this is the same website that broke the Hogan retirement story and we all saw where that went) I am hard pressed to believe it is another work perpetrated by WCW on the wrestling fans. Here is one of the letters I received:
I may be paranoid, but....Who actually reported this ? Is there any supporting information on this news ?
Strange that Bishoff would be demoted right before a PPV, and one where Sid is supposedly going to squash Benoit, eh ? Lately, Ryder and Co. have been hyping how much Eric listens to the Internet fans, last Monday, Bishoff told Ryder that Benoit will get a title shot on the next Nitro.....now that he's supposedly not in charge...do you think it will still happen ?
Call me weird, but I would not be surprised to see Benoit get squashed by Sid on the PPV, then not get a title shot on Nitro, and finally, a week or so latter, Bishoff "getting another chance" as president...if you smell what the sock is cooking.
Makes some interesting points huh? Anything is possible and if this does happen then once again everyone will have to consider who the real "news sources" are on the net and who is just shilling for a promotion.
Keeping it on the Eric Bischoff story I have read and been sent a lot of predictions as to who would/should take over the company on both the business and wrestling side of the company. The one that brought the biggest laugh though is the one I am about to print for you all. This "mark" reporter has to have been smoking some good Thai stick to have come up with this one: I'll leave this guy nameless so as not to embarrass him.
(excerpt from whole column...you should be able to pick it up where it is started)
That person will have to be someone outside of the hierarchy of upper management who understands the wrestling business to take on a role that is a lessened version to what Bischoff has done. The question then becomes, "Who will that be?"
Word I am getting right now is that they don't have the successor picked yet. They could promote from within, but given the way that the WCW product has backslid and the way the booking has been unimaginative, that would be a huge mistake. WCW needs to bring in a man with a background in running a company.
They need to bring in a man who understands booking, and preferably someone who has done it in the past. They also need to bring in someone from the outside, who has no allegiance to the locker room and is not a party to the backstage politics.
If they could get him to forego retirement, the perfect person for the job is Tod Gordon, who has done all of the above in the past. Just look at his resume.
I'm still laughing at this one....but since he brought it up let's look at Tod's resume.
Tod would be great if you wanted the man in charge to:
1 - Allow a myriad of drugs to run rampant through the locker room.
2 - Smoke dope with the workers while waiting to go to the arena.
3 - Tag Team 50+ year old women with a co-worker, stringing them along while being married.
4 - Be totally drunk before the shows.
5 - Sexually harass employees.
6 - Allow the workers to pocket money from the door gate without ever notifying anyone.
7 - Smoke marijuana with workers outside the arena during intermission.
8 - Have sex with female co-workers while being married.
9 - Sit in hotel rooms while one of the workers has sex with a rat having her scream out his name (Tod's) during intercouse (loud enough for everyone on the floor to hear) while he (Tod) watched from a chair.
On top of all this to say that Tod has no ties with the WCW locker room is ludicrous. A lot of the locker room used to work for Tod in ECW. Tod doesn't understand booking, he sat back and watched Heyman work his magic in ECW. Tod Gordon was nothing more then a money mark and will never be anything else. He was a money mark when he was with Joel Goodheart and he was a money mark in ECW. Nothing more.
Tod Gordon doesn't have a clue how to run a real wrestling promotion. Look at where ECW went to from the time it was started to the time Gordon was "forced" out of ECW. ECW ruled the wrestling world but by the time Gordon left it was already starting it's downhill slide. The money problems were there when he left. The problems within ECW's own managerial staff were there. And the drugs were so rampant in ECW it was ridiculous. Is this who WCW needs to pick up the pieces that Bischoff has strewn around everywhere? I think not. Tod Gordon is best left alone to run his rip-off pawn shop and to take advantage of the poor and unfortunate of Philadelphia. Besides do you think his trophy wife would let her bank account run around on her? With Tod's background I am sure she would be afraid of what she would catch from him if he was once again in the wrestling business. Tod Gordon bought and paid for his 15 minutes of fame, leave the old man where he is. The proof is in the pudding, when Gordon attempted a comeback in the NWA Dennis Coralluzo lost money because Tod couldn't draw flies let alone put any asses in the seats. He flopped and subsequently Coralluzo got rid of Gordon faster than Taz can hit a suplex.
The person responsible for the above excerpt shows utter stupidity in his thinking and has to be friends with Gordon, thus accounting for him trying to put this faded memory over. It also shows he really does not understand the business or what a company like WCW needs to get back on a positive trail. It is obvious to me that the writer has nothing but personal agendas which is why he would allow himself to put out such a piece of dribble in the first place. I hope it served him well.
Last but by far not least Chris Jericho put out his column this week which is about Brian Hildebrand. While I usually do not post other peoples columns in Straight Shooting I consider Chris a friend and one of the true "real people" in this business and what he has to say should be read by all so I will leave you with that. Remember wrestling is nothing more than what it appears to be.
This picture features four of the best friends that I've ever met in this business (note: Brian Hildebrand, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit). Four guys who love and respect wrestling as much as I do, who appreciate everything they ever received from it and who strive to keep it a thriving, entertaining and well respected sport.
Four guys who take special pride in going the extra mile to be better than the norm. Four great friends...and now one of them is gone.
Brian Hildebrand knew and loved the Lord, so he's in a better place, so that's a good thing. But the fact that I'll never have the honor of being in his presence again is a bad thing. Brian was not only a funny guy who loved disco music and could cut a rug with the best of em, he was also a student of the game and it's number one fan.
Countless times, he would tell me with great delight how he had just seen a match between two guys I've never heard of from 1973, a match that would bore me to tears, but a match that would excite and captivate him. He knew what made a good match, what made a bad match and what made a classic.
If you ever got a compliment from Brian on your match being good, you knew it was genuine. He wasn't one to throw out empty praise or blow smoke. He was genuine.
He was also the toughest man I've ever met. He never complained about his disease, never put it over, never sold it. He was so full of desire and determination, that you knew he was going to beat the cancer.
For all intensive purposes, he did. He beat it twice, twice more than the normal person would've. He came back to refereeing a number of times, each time deflecting well wishes and proclamations of amazement at his return, because to him it was always a given he would survive.
One of my best experiences in wrestling came on November 30, 1998 in Knoxville. You know the story. A tribute to Brian, huge turnout, awards, ceremonies, everyone applauding and commending this fine gent.
But I knew how Brian was, I knew that he was a student of the game. I knew he appreciated the art of heeling. So that night before the main event of myself and Eddy vs Benoit and Malenko, I grabbed the mike and told Brian that he most certainly had done nothing to deserve a tribute and that the only reason the people came to the show was to see me and Eddy. I told Brian to sit down, shut up and be thankful that he had a free front row seat to watch greatness. The fans didn't like that and booed profusely.
Of course at the end of the match, after I had beaten up the ref and then had the tables turned, Dean and Chris both had Eddy and I in their finishing holds, but couldn't get the win as no ref could call for the bell. But heroically, into the ring slid Brian and signaled for the bell with his trademark two gun salute!
Needless to say it was one of the greatest roars that I had ever heard during a match. The people went nutso!! It was what pro wrestling is all about. It was what each and every one of us in the ring crave to achieve every night we perform. It doesn't happen often, but that night us five guys worked together to produce a most magical moment. After the show the gleam in Brian's eyes was worth the moon and I have never felt so good about a wrestling match before...and probably never will again.
Goodbye my friend. I learned a lot from you and I promise I will never forget it...nor will I forget you.
See you in heaven.
Fritz Capp is the editor of Pro Wrestling's Between The Sheets - for comments or opposing viewpoints please e-mail to Fritz Capp