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Of Possible Futures- The Monday Night Wars...

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Imagine, if you will, a world where WCW was not run by idiots, where the inmates never quite took over the asylum, and where AOL-Time Warner never were in the position to pull the plug on them. Imagine a world where Bret Hart wasn't wildly misused from Day One, and instead was able to actually contribute. Imagine a world, in short, where WCW stood a fighting chance.


Imagine a world where Shawn Michaels didn't suffer his back injury at Royal Rumble 98. Imagine if he had been able to continue to take part in the ascendancy of the Attitude Era. Imagine a world where maybe, just maybe, Stone Cold Steve Austin's success wasn't guaranteed.


You are about to step in to that world. In this diary I will be running both WCW and WWF in the Post Montreal mod. There will be some radical changes as I attempt to save WCW from its most grizzly of fates, but I will do my best to Role-Play Vince McMahon and keep the WWF as close to real life as possible, in the spirit and attitude if not every individual decision.


I tried a diary like this once before, so for the two or three of you who actually read it some of the early days here may look a little similar, though I hope better written. There will be a good bit of backstory before we get in to the Monday after that fateful night in Montreal, so join me as we explore all that could have been...

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Vince McMahon sat alone in his office, an ice-pack on his ankle, one hand trying to rub some feeling back into his bruised jaw, desperate for a few moments of solitude. Since the end of the Pay Per View roughly three hours before Vince’s night had been a succession of new hells, starting with an angry Undertaker and culminating in getting sucker punched by his now former World Champion. Gerry Brisco had stepped on his ankle, adding insult to injury, and his phone had been ringing almost off the hook.


It had been the right thing to do, he told himself. The only thing to do, really. This was the WWF World Championship, the biggest, most prestigious title in Sports Entertainment. It was symbolic of everything the McMahon family had built. It must be protected, no matter the cost. He had tried to explain it as best he could to the train of people who had barged in to the office, from Mark, fully out of character but fully pissed off, to Prichard and Brisco, who understood the reasoning but were furious they weren’t in the loop, to Ross, more concerned with the risk of a revolt in the locker room.


“We’ll deal with all that tomorrow, Jim,” Vince replied, too exhausted to muster much conviction behind it.


“I understand Vince, just thought you should know. Mick and Mark were both pretty hot, and of course there’s Owen and Bulldog…” Ross drawled. It was obvious the Oklahoman didn’t approve of the night’s events, but he possessed enough tact to hold his objections in check.


“Mark and Mick will do what’s best for business,” Vince said decisively. He trusted Mark Calloway to the ends of the Earth, and while he was less sure about Mick Foley he was banking on Mick’s lack of other options, knowing he didn’t part well with WCW, and ECW couldn’t begin to offer him comprable money. Mick was one of the cheapest men he’d ever met, and had two small children to consider. He would likely take more convincing, but McMahon knew JR would be up to the task.


“What about Owen and Bulldog…?” Ross asked.


“Damnit Ross, we can sort out the rest of them tomorrow!” Vince snapped. Ross nodded and beat a hasty retreat, leaving McMahon once again alone.


He had a plan, of course. This wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. For the last few weeks Vince and his select confidants had gone back and forth and back and forth, agonizing over the possible outcomes, before ultimately deciding such a drastic action was needed. They knew it wouldn’t only affect Hart, but the entire roster.


There would need to be an all-hands meeting before RAW the next day. He’d already told Pat Patterson to start drawing up some bullet points. The boys trusted Pat, probably more than him, more than any of the agents, Vince knew. He had to protect Pat’s image, make sure none of the stink of this got on him, even though he was in the know.

The same went for Shawn.


Shawn had played his part well. His shock, even disgust had seemed real. The touch of Brisco having to tell him to “Hold the belt up” was perfect. It was something most of the viewing audience wouldn’t have noticed but ‘the boys’ couldn’t have missed. Vince knew the backlash toward his champion would be intense and potentially undermine his long-term viability, so projecting the image that Shawn was in the dark was vital. Vince had sent Finkel with a small note to Shawn to show up early the next day so they could meet in private before the all hands meeting.


The only person who had the decency to not come knocking at the door that night had been Russo, though he had called.


“Boss, if ya need me just call. I’m already at the hotel getting ready for tomorrow,” he had said, New York accent blaring through the phone.


“Thank you, Vince,” McMahon answered. “See you tomorrow.”


McMahon was starting to contemplate heading for the hotel himself when he heard yet another knock on the door.


“God damnit what do you want?” He barked, patience now entirely gone.


“Vince, it’s me,” came the voice of Bruce Prichard, opening the door enough to stick his head in. He looked pale, shocked, which struck Vince as odd. When he’d seen Bruce last, less than an hour ago, the Texan was all business, seemingly unphased by the night’s events. “We need to talk.”


Something was clearly wrong. Something else.


“Damnit Bruce can’t it wait? JR’s working on the boys, Pat’s putting together notes for the all-hands, Kevin’s handling the production crew, what else could there possibly be tonight?” Vince demanded, exasperation taking hold. Prichard shook his head.


“I think you’ll want to hear this,” he said quietly. Vince gestured for him to get on with it. “We just got a call. Something is happening down south. Something big.”


Next time: Something Happening Down South

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Atlanta, GA- Four hours earlier.


Eric Bischoff had not been expecting the call. Being summoned, out of the blue, to Ted Turner’s office for a sit-down with the big boss was always a sign that something was afoot. Something big. Eric wasn’t the type to worry, but he spent the ride over to CNN Center going over possible scenarios in his mind. He’d been fighting some of the Turner brass lately, going back and forth over their decision to add a second weekly show to their plate. He understood their reasoning, the business was as hot as it had ever been and WCW was finally turning a profit, but what they didn’t understand was that the roster wasn’t ready to take on that kind of burden. They had been going back and forth, the decision still up in the air. Would they really go straight to the big boss over it?


There was the other, perhaps more likely possibility, that Ted had heard and developed reservations about their impending signing of Bret Hart. Barring any last minute complications Bret was expected to drop the WWF title to Shawn Michaels in the next two days, either at Survivor Series that night in Montreal or RAW the next night in Ottawa, freeing him to join WCW in time for Starrcade. Maybe, Eric thought with a small smile forming, Ted was calling him in to congratulate him on this latest coup.


The elevator ride up to Ted’s office was just long enough for his usual unflappable confidence to sag, only slightly. After being greeted by Ted’s secretary Eric steeled himself and entered Turner’s office.


Turner rose from behind his desk to greet him, extending a hand and offering him a chair. Eric smiled, still feeling a nagging sensation that something was right, and sat.


“Thanks for coming on such short notice, Eric,” Ted began. Eric nodded amicably, all smiles, projecting the calm confidence he couldn’t quite bring himself to feel. “I wouldn’t call you in, but… well…” Turner trailed off. “This is just too big, and I want you to hear it from me.”


Eric felt an entirely unfamiliar knot form in the pit of his stomach. This was not a congratulations call, that much was obvious. He did his best to remain calm.


“What’s going on, boss?” he asked. Turner smiled, but it wasn’t the gregarious, good-ol-boy smile Eric had come to know, rather a small smile, almost rueful.


“Well Eric, I knew the day would come at some point, but I didn’t think it’d be so soon. I’m getting out of the wrestling business.”


Whatever Eric had been expecting it wasn’t that. He couldn’t have been more shocked if Turner had stood on his desk, dropped trow, and slapped Eric across the face with Little Teddy. Bischoff, a man who prided himself on never being at a loss for words, floundered.


“What?” he asked, bringing a chuckle from the other man.


“Well Eric, I wasn’t planning on it, at least not yet, but the board has been chomping at me for a long time now, and I got an offer I just couldn’t refuse.”


“But Ted, we’re on top of the world. We’re making money! Hell, we’re practically printing money! You can’t cash out now,” Eric implored, finding his voice. Turner held up a hand to stop him.


“I know Eric, I know,” he said. “But there are things happening outside of that. I uh, I can’t get in to specifics, lawyers, you know…” he trailed off.


Eric sat in silence, staring at his apparently former boss. The knot in his stomach tightening as a terrible thought formed in his mind.


“You didn’t… it wasn’t…” Eric stuttered out. Turner regarded him for a moment before realizing what the younger man was trying to ask.


“Sell to New York? Hell no, Eric. I’m insulted you’d even ask that.”


Eric let out a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding.


“Okay,” he said, more to himself than Turner. “So what exactly is happening?”


Turner stood and stretched, suddenly looking more old, more tired than he had just a moment before. This pained him, Bischoff could tell. It wasn’t something he was happy to be doing.


“Basically some young pup is following in my footsteps. He loves ‘rasslin and wants to take over the world with it,” Turner chuckled. “His family is old money, banking, but he’s put together a neat little outfit, got some real celebrity behind it. I think you’ll like him, I really do. You two seem to have the same type of… vision. I think you’ll take this even further.”


A million questions were running through Bischoff’s head. Would he still be in charge? Hell, would he still even have a job? What about the network, will Nitro still be on tomorrow? Ted, seemingly able to see this, continued.


“I’ve spoken with him and he was very insistent that I convince you to stay on,” he said. Eric nodded. “ I really think you should. I know it will be… different… for you, not being the one to call all the shots, but I really do want to see you put McMahon down and out for good.”


Turner and Bischoff spoke, all told, for about half an hour. As they finished Ted shook Eric’s hand and handed him a business card in the name of Logan Jackson.


“This is the new boss, huh?” Bischoff asked wryly. Ted chuckled and thumped him on the back.


“Give him a call straight away. He told me he wanted you to come over and watch whatever show New York is putting on tonight. He’s staying at the Hilton.”


As Bischoff took the long elevator ride down from Ted’s office he pondered what the future might hold. Stopping at his office he sat at his desk (for the last time? He briefly wondered) and called the number on the card.


“Mr. Jackson?” he asked when the phone was answered. “I hear you want to watch some wrestling…”


NEXT: First impressions, chaos, and a night no one will ever forget…

OOC: So I’m just getting my new laptop set up with TEW after receiving some top notch tech support, so I’m very grateful this dairy required a little prologue action to give me some time to get ready and ahead. Stick with me, folks, the ‘rasslin (and sports entertainment!) is coming!

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<p>Later that night- </p><p> </p><p>

Eric entered the hotel room of Logan Jackson with no idea what to expect, yet somehow still found himself surprised. Jackson greeted him himself, and Eric found that his new boss did not fit the image of a banking-family scion he’d been holding on to. Jackson was average height, slender, and young. Eric thought he looked about 25 but it turned out he had just turned 31. He was dressed in slacks and a button down, sleeves rolled up, no tie. Eric had worn his standard- blue jeans, black t-shirt, and a leather jacket. Jackson smiled as he opened the door.</p><p> </p><p>

“Eric, thank you for coming. I’m sure this has all been a shock for you.” </p><p> </p><p>

Eric smiled, hoping he looked affable, well aware of his nature to come off as condescending to people he didn’t know. </p><p> </p><p>

“Life is change, right?” Eric asked, following Jackson to the sitting area of the suite. He was greeted by the sight of a spread worthy of any Superbowl party- beer, wings, chips and guacamole, and more. </p><p> </p><p>

Jackson chuckled, seeming slightly embarrassed.</p><p> </p><p>

“I, uh, hope you’re hungry. I kind of went a little overboard with the pay-per-view prep…” </p><p> </p><p>

Bischoff forced a laugh. </p><p> </p><p>

“Sounds like a party!” he said, throwing his arms wide. “Cold beer and wings? What else do we need?”</p><p> </p><p>

The two men sat down, each taking a beer. </p><p> </p><p>

“So…” Jackson began. “I’m sure you have a lot of questions.” Bischoff nodded. “I just want to start off by saying that I love what you’ve done to get WCW to where it’s at now, and it’s vitally important to what I have plans that I keep you on board.” </p><p> </p><p>

This was, to put it mildly, a huge relief to Eric. What that meant, however, was still of great concern. </p><p> </p><p>

“Well thank you. I hope to get the chance to see it through.” </p><p> </p><p>

Jackson nodded. </p><p> </p><p>

“Well, your role won’t be exactly the same, but I definitely want you to know I intend to use you to the best of my, and hopefully your, abilities.”</p><p> </p><p>

“And what does that entail?” Bischoff asked, hoping he sounded less worried than he felt. </p><p> </p><p>

“Well, I’m not entirely sure what to call it besides ‘second in command’.” Jackson replied. “I want you to be my main liaison with the wrestlers, especially at first, as they get to know me. I know they won’t trust me much at first, so I’ll need you there to keep things running smoothly. I also need someone who knows the TV side of things, and I know you fit that bill, you and your boy Hervey.” </p><p> </p><p>

“So you want me to keep doing what I’m doing, but you’ll be the final decision maker?” Bischoff surmised. Jackson smiled. </p><p> </p><p>

“Pretty much. I don’t want to rock the boat too much at first. As far as I’m concerned it’s business as usual until Starrcade is in the books. After the first of the year we’ll start making some changes, start thinking about the future…” </p><p> </p><p>

“Uh huh.” Bischoff said, unable to contain some of his skepticism. “So you’d take the lead on creative?” If Jackson took offense at the tone he didn’t show it. </p><p> </p><p>

“Yes. I still intend to keep a creative team around, probably quite a few of the same people you have now. You’d be a part of it, of course, but at the end of the day I’ll be steering the ship. I have a vision for WCW, Eric, and I think we can make it a reality.” </p><p> </p><p>

Eric was struck by the conviction in Jackson’s voice, as well as the look on his face. The younger man seemed to have air about him that Eric had only seen once or twice before, the look of the massively successful and entirely focused. Eric couldn’t help but be drawn in.</p><p> </p><p>

“And what vision is that?” </p><p> </p><p>

Jackson smiled wide. </p><p> </p><p>

“I see the future of WCW as being more than just a pro-wrestling brand. I see it as being an entire industry on to itself. And I’m not talking about McMahon’s ‘Sports Entertainment’ side show, I mean a real, viable, world-wide presence. Multiple shows a week running under the WCW banner, companies within the greater company. I want you to picture this, Eric. A WCW network.” </p><p> </p><p>

He spoke so quickly, so passionately that it left Bischoff reeling. He had expected the younger man to answer with some platitude, some empty dream of ‘kicking Vince’s ass!’ or something similar, not a serious, fully formed vision, let alone one that actually appealed to Eric.</p><p> </p><p>

Eric sat silently, rolling his new boss’ words over in his mind as the Survivor Series began. They watched the show together over beers, each picking the other’s brain, Eric trying to find out more about Jackson’s philosophy on wrestling and vision for the company, and Jackson trying to get his first taste of ‘behind the curtain’ knowledge of the business. Despite his reservations, Bischoff was impressed. Jackson seemed to have good instincts for storytelling, especially for someone without any experience. There was a lot of potential there, Eric thought, enough that he could guide and mold his young boss, with any luck all the way to the bank.</p><p> </p><p>

“I think that we need to start building for the future. Hulk Hogan is the biggest star the business has ever seen, and guys like Flair and Savage are all time greats, but we have to start thinking about what comes next,” Jackson said. </p><p> </p><p>

Eric asked who he had in mind, and the two men spent the better part of an hour discussing who the “next big thing” in wrestling could potentially be. At one point Jackson produced a small piece of paper with several names on it, ones Bischoff faintly recognized but couldn’t pick out of a line up. </p><p> </p><p>

“What’s this?” Bischoff asked. Jackson smiled. </p><p> </p><p>

“These are going to be the first signings to Power Plant Championship Wrestling.” </p><p> </p><p>

Bischoff just stared at him. Jackson pushed on.</p><p> </p><p>

“We’re opening up a developmental territory. Someplace to send the young guys to get them reps without having to rush them on to TV before they’re ready. I’ve already started the process of setting it up.” </p><p> </p><p>

Bischoff was once again at a loss for words. He was beginning to realize that this was no spur of the moment decision made by some rich kid looking to live his dream, but a highly planned business purchase. Despite his lingering, and in some case growing reservations, Bischoff was impressed. </p><p> </p><p>

“We probably have a few guys on the roster now who could use those reps.” Bischoff replied. Jackson nodded. </p><p> </p><p>

“For sure. Once we get past Starrcade we can draw up a list, get them down there. These are just a few guys from the indies I’ve been a fan of. We’ll need some experienced guys to help bring them along and flesh out the roster down there, as well. If there’s nobody we can spare we can bring them in from outside. Can you see why I need you, yet?” Jackson said with a laugh. “I don’t know everything, but I know enough to know I can’t do this without someone like you, Eric.” </p><p> </p><p>

Bischoff nodded. He found the younger man’s candor and honesty. Years of being in the business would turn anyone jaded, so Bischoff found the almost naive quality encouraging. He’d be open to suggestion and feedback, Bischoff hoped, not an iron-fisted tyrant. There was just one more thing to discuss. </p><p> </p><p>

“What are your plans for Hulk?” Bischoff asked. “You know he’s… not always the easiest to work with. You have to know how to… how to interact with him.” </p><p> </p><p>

Jackson took a long drink of beer and sat back, a small smile forming.</p><p> </p><p>

“Yeah, I’ve read as much,” he said. Bischoff bristled, about to launch in to a tirade against the dirt sheets, but Jackson continued. “That’s going to be your number one job, I think. Chief Liaison to the Hulkster,” he finished with a laugh. </p><p> </p><p>

Bischoff nodded, thinking to himself that his position was as good as it could hope to be, given the circumstances. It had been the strangest 24 hours in recent memory, he decided, but it looked like he was going to survive this transition mostly unscathed. </p><p> </p><p>

The strangeness wasn’t quite over, though. </p><p> </p><p>

Bischoff and Jackson watched the main event of Survivor Series together, tossing ideas back and forth for how best to use their new signing. Eric was on the edge of his seat the whole match, wondering how it would play out. The finish left both of them stunned. Jackson gawked at the screen in disbelief while Bischoff sat forward intently, watching Bret spell out WCW with his fingers, a small smile spreading to his face. </p><p> </p><p>

“What… just… happened?” Jackson asked slowly. Bischoff’s grin was spreading. </p><p> </p><p>

“Vince just made the biggest mistake of his life.” </p><p> </p><p>

<strong>NEXT: A Tale of Two Talent Meetings </strong></p>

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I love this so far! Can't wait to read more!


Its been really good so far - even Eric lying to Te by saying they were making money … WCW making money lol


I thought it was fairly common knowledge that WCW was making money in '97 and '98?

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I love this so far! Can't wait to read more!




I thought it was fairly common knowledge that WCW was making money in '97 and '98?


No it was always a myth. They were successful ratings wise but they had a huge bloated roster with some truly enormous contracts and didn't get the sort of house show crowds needed to make it viable. That's why everything went south so fast when the tide turned and they ended up selling to the WWE for chump change. Economically they couldn't afford a downturn. In the real world the only way they were going to make money would have been to have pruned some of the over the top contracts they had to aging and middle of the road talents. Russo for all his faults wanted to do that which is why said aging and overpaid guys were so dead set against him. WCW's success was on TV and had that continued then I am sure that they would have got their finances in order eventually but they had like 200 people on contract many of them on deals that seem ludicrous in retrospect.

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No it was always a myth. They were successful ratings wise but they had a huge bloated roster with some truly enormous contracts and didn't get the sort of house show crowds needed to make it viable. That's why everything went south so fast when the tide turned and they ended up selling to the WWE for chump change. Economically they couldn't afford a downturn. In the real world the only way they were going to make money would have been to have pruned some of the over the top contracts they had to aging and middle of the road talents. Russo for all his faults wanted to do that which is why said aging and overpaid guys were so dead set against him. WCW's success was on TV and had that continued then I am sure that they would have got their finances in order eventually but they had like 200 people on contract many of them on deals that seem ludicrous in retrospect.


I mean, even Meltzer has said they made profit in '98, which backs up Bischoff's claims on his own podcast which, at this point, I don't see why he'd lie any more.

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Oh. Oh I am into this 100%. I like a good write-up story in between the actual cards and this is no different.


You suckered me in man. Is Logan Jackson based on anybody, a self-insert, or an OC?


He's basically a stand in for me, highly fictionalized (because lord knows I'd never be able to afford a wrestling promotion!) Thanks for reading!

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Its been really good so far - even Eric lying to Ted by saying they were making money … WCW making money lol


So the reliability of the 'focus characters' is definitely going to be a consideration (this is pro wrestling, after all, a carny business...) I wasn't intending this to be a lie. As far as I've ever been aware WCW was making money for at least a couple of years while they were hot. But if you want to start doubting Sleazy E... I mean Easy E this early, you're just getting a jump on the rest of the class...


Thanks for reading!

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<p>Ottawa, Ontario, Canada- Five hours before RAW, </p><p> </p><p>

It had been a very long night. </p><p> </p><p>

“He’s selling?” Vince echoed, not believing his ears. Prichard nodded. </p><p> </p><p>

“I was with JR when he got the call from our guy inside. Turner signed everything over today. The tape library, the trademarks, everything.” </p><p> </p><p>

“To who?” </p><p> </p><p>

“Some young money mark. Banking family, old money. Don’t know much about him, really,” Prichard answered. </p><p> </p><p>

“Well find out damnit! If we’re going to be at war we have to know who we’re fighting!” </p><p> </p><p>

Prichard nodded and left Vince’s office, riding with JR and Patterson to Ottawa for the next night’s RAW, making calls the whole time. McMahon also made calls as he travelled to the next town, trying to smooth things over with Foley, Austin, and Calloway. </p><p> </p><p>

“Take tomorrow off, Mick,” he said to the New York native. “Think about what’s best for your family and get back to me.” </p><p> </p><p>

McMahon knew Foley would come to his senses. The last batch of calls on his plate, however, he was less sure about. </p><p> </p><p>

Owen didn’t answer. Vince was relieved, but not surprised. He left a message saying to call him back, then did the same for Davey Boy, not bothering with Anvil, who was on a night-to-night deal anyway. He didn’t expect to see any of them at RAW. </p><p> </p><p>

After a mere two hours of sleep McMahon and his team re-convened at the hotel to discuss what they knew.</p><p> </p><p>

“He’s keeping Eric,” JR began. “They watched the show together last night.” </p><p> </p><p>

Vince nodded slowly. This wasn’t great news. It meant this new owner, whoever he was, wouldn’t be flying blind. </p><p> </p><p>

“What else do we know?” Vince asked.</p><p> </p><p>

The answer was not a lot. There were some whispers that WCW was planning some sort of developmental arrangement with someone, but no word on who or where. </p><p> </p><p>

“We should get Davis on the phone and put the OVW deal in writing. Make it exclusive,” Cornette offered. </p><p> </p><p>

“Yeah, and start locking down some of the kids from the Funkin’ Conservatory camps.” Ross added. Brisco and Prichard nodded in agreement. </p><p> </p><p>

“Fine. Get it done,” McMahon said to Ross. “Are they staying on Turner networks?” </p><p> </p><p>

“We don’t know,” Ross answered. “My guy has heard it’s business as usual for now, but long term…” he trailed off. </p><p> </p><p>

That was the story with just about everything about WCW’s mysterious new owner. Lots of rumor, no hard facts. </p><p> </p><p>

Changing course, Vince went over the bullet-points Patterson had put together for that afternoon’s all hands meeting, those same bullet-points Vince was now dutifully reciting to the room full of wrestlers, production staff, and creatives. </p><p> </p><p>

“The important thing to know is that I didn’t do what I did out of spite, or some grudge. I did it because it was what’s best for business,” he repeated for what felt like the thousandth time that day. He saw a few heads nodding in agreement, mainly younger heads, eager to have their shot to step up in to a main event spot. That’s how he had phrased it to Dwayne, when the youngster had approached him that morning, upset and worried. </p><p> </p><p>

The meeting was easier than Vince expected, all things considered, right up until the very end. </p><p> </p><p>

“What about what’s happening in Atlanta?” Jeff Jarrett asked. Vince held his poker face but swore internally. </p><p> </p><p>

“We know about as much as all of you,” Vince answered honestly. “Turner’s sold up to some banker. Outside of that it’s all speculation.” </p><p> </p><p>

Murmurers broke out and Vince realized that this was the first many of his roster were hearing of the news. He raised his hands to quiet them and continued. </p><p> </p><p>

“All you need to know is that our job remains the same. It doesn’t matter the opposition. We are going to go out there and knock them dead tonight, and start building to Wrestlemania!” </p><p> </p><p>

There was a smattering of applause, again mostly from the younger set, but Vince was relieved to see Mark Calloway nodding in agreement. He was the locker room leader, to use the boys’ parlance, and if Vince lost him thing would only get worse…</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

Meanwhile, at Nitro-</p><p> </p><p>

The wrestlers and producers all eyed Bischoff warily. These all-hands meetings had come to hold a somewhat bad reputation in the eyes of many, mainly due to Eric’s over-the-top, bombastic nature. Bischoff noted several cliques all grouped together, Hogan and his crew, Flair and his, Paul Wight off on his own, increasingly isolated. He’d have to warn Jackson that the backstage politics were severe and precarious, remind him that he needed someone like himself to keep things running smoothly. </p><p> </p><p>

“I’m sure you all have heard by now why you’re here,” Eric began, trying to project a feeling of calm authority. “The rumors are true. As of yesterday afternoon WCW is no longer owned or operated by Ted Turner or Turner Networks.” </p><p> </p><p>

There was no low murmur of surprise, no shocked reactions, just steely-faced nods and jaded indifference. </p><p> </p><p>

“I want everyone here to know that as far as we’re concerned it’s business as usual. We have Starrcade at the end of this month, and that is our entire focus. Last night I met with Logan Jackson, our new owner, and he assured me that there will be no major changes heading in to Starrcade. Everyone’s spot is safe, nobody’s money is getting cut, everything is business as usual.” </p><p> </p><p>

“But what about after Starrcade?” Beefcake asked, causing Eric to wonder just why in the world he was even there. He hadn’t been booked for weeks. Hulk probably clued him in.</p><p> </p><p>

“After Starrcade there will likely be some reassessments. Mr. Jackson is going to be taking a hands on role with creative, but won’t be doing so alone. We haven’t sorted out the fine details yet but I expect it to look very similar to the booking committee format we’ve used before, just with someone new having the final say.” </p><p> </p><p>

“Is he here?” Jericho asked from toward the back of the room. Eric smiled. Jericho was one of the people Jackson had singled out in their conversation the night before as a potential star. </p><p> </p><p>

“As a matter of fact, he is,” Eric said. “He’s in one of the luxury boxes and will be taking in tonight’s show, so go out there and impress him!” He laughed, slightly, knowing how corny he sounded. </p><p> </p><p>

“When do we get to meet the guy?” Flair asked solemnly. It took Eric a great effort to keep his smile in place, not to react to the ‘Nature Boy’. </p><p> </p><p>

“Great question as always Ric, straight to the point,” Eric said, dripping with insincerity. “Mr. Jackson’s going to reaching out through Janie Engel to set up meetings with everyone, and he wanted me to emphasize this, everyone over the next week or so.”</p><p> </p><p>

There were a few nods around the room, mainly from younger guys, but the veterans stayed stony-faced. </p><p> </p><p>

“Any other questions?” Bischoff asked. </p><p> </p><p>

He was answered by a wall of silence. He clapped his hands together. </p><p> </p><p>

“Alright guys, go have a great show!”</p><p> </p><p>

The room slowly emptied out, save for Bischoff and a lone man wearing a PRODUCTION CREW polo-shirt and WCW hat. Bischoff approached him slowly, smiling.</p><p> </p><p>

“Told you they wouldn’t look twice at you,” he said to the man. Taking off his cap Logan smiled back. </p><p> </p><p>

“You’re one for one, Eric. Good call,” Jackson replied. “Not going to lie, I’m a little surprised by the mood of that meeting.”</p><p> </p><p>

Eric didn’t let his poker face drop.</p><p> </p><p>

“Wrestlers aren’t great with change. Give it a few weeks, start to get to know them, and you’ll see they’re a good bunch.” </p><p> </p><p>

Jackson nodded silently. Bischoff, not wanting to give him time to ruminate, pushed on. </p><p> </p><p>

“C’mon, let’s go get some lunch then you can sit in while we put the show together. I know this great little barbecue place…” </p><p> </p><p>


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<p><strong>WrestleGuide.com's Week One Monday Night War Preview! </strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>WCW Nitro</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Kidman</p><p> </p><p>

Juventud Guerrera vs Dean Malenko</p><p> </p><p>

Goldberg vs Mortis </p><p> </p><p>

Steiner Brothers vs The Flock (Hammer and Sick Boy)</p><p> </p><p>

Scott Hall vs Ric Flair</p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong>WWF Monday Night RAW</strong></p><p> </p><p>

Goldust vs Bob Holly</p><p> </p><p>

Headbangerz vs Nation of Domination (D'Lo and Kama)</p><p> </p><p>

Savio Vega vs Ahmed Johnson</p><p> </p><p>

Marc Mero vs Bart Gunn</p><p> </p><p>

The Rock & Farooq vs Vader & Ken Shamrock</p>

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<p>Of course this means Steve, Owen, and Davey are still up in the air. I can see Mick staying on but leaving the first chance he gets despite any bad blood he and Eric might have. Especially with Logan there to intervene and Eric to doll out the check.</p><p> </p><p>

Steve will stay because he owes a lot to Vince and probably still hates Eric. Though I could see Steve going to ECW for the freedom and helping them actually get somewhere.</p>

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<p><strong>WCW Nitro</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Rey Mysterio Jr.</strong> vs Kidman</p><p> </p><p>

Juventud Guerrera vs <strong>Dean Malenko</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Goldberg</strong> vs Mortis</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Steiner Brothers</strong> vs The Flock (Hammer and Sick Boy)</p><p> </p><p>

Scott Hall vs <strong>Ric Flair</strong></p><p> </p><p> </p><p>

<strong>WWF Monday Night RAW</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Goldust</strong> vs Bob Holly</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Headbangerz</strong> vs Nation of Domination (D'Lo and Kama)</p><p> </p><p>

Savio Vega vs <strong>Ahmed Johnson</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Marc Mero</strong> vs Bart Gunn</p><p> </p><p>

<strong>The Rock & Farooq</strong> vs Vader & Ken Shamrock</p>

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WCW Nitro


Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Kidman


Juventud Guerrera vs Dean Malenko


Goldberg vs Mortis


Steiner Brothers vs The Flock (Hammer and Sick Boy)


Scott Hall vs Ric Flair



WWF Monday Night RAW


Goldust vs Bob Holly


Headbangerz vs Nation of Domination (D'Lo and Kama)


Savio Vega vs Ahmed Johnson


Marc Mero vs Bart Gunn


The Rock & Farooq vs Vader & Ken Shamrock

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I mean, even Meltzer has said they made profit in '98, which backs up Bischoff's claims on his own podcast which, at this point, I don't see why he'd lie any more.


That's both true and false - it's one of those accounting things. A number of costs were put off to try to show it was making more than it was. They back ended deals, deferred costs that sort of thing. That's not uncommon in sport and business as if you can trade and show profits you can often trade out of any short term difficulties. It all started coming to a head in late 1997 and although they were still a success ratings wise they had started to lose traction and Easy E's decision making was starting to become more desperate because he knew that the illusionary financial success couldn't be maintained. Hence the celebrity infested 1998 and the somewhat desperate flailing decisions that attempted to turn things around. It's why they were going to lose about 70M the year they sold up and the contract issues meant they kept paying money for a fair while after too. They were losing around 5M a month at the end.


As to why Eric lies - his mouth is moving??? Truthfully he doesn't want to be seen as incompetent and whilst the reasons for the losses are his he'd got out of Dodge before they hit (not uncommon in business). Modern day American business practice is often guided by Randian Objectivist principals where logical self interest is all important and short term gain is more important than long term sustainability. Executives often leave companies before their poor decisions bear bitter fruit and they can then blame their successors. Eric wants to portray himself as a success and blame others for the worst issues with WCW because - well nobody wants to be seen as responsible for that sort of massive failure. The truth is that WCW never made real profits just short term gains whilst offsetting long term losses. Had they not hit a rough patch it's likely that they would eventually have turned a real profit (especially had WWF folded which at one stage was a possibility) and had they maintained their TV presence.

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Congrats on the bub. Enjoy this special time.



WrestleGuide.com's Week One Monday Night War Preview!


WCW Nitro


Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Kidman


Juventud Guerrera vs Dean Malenko


Goldberg vs Mortis


Steiner Brothers vs The Flock (Hammer and Sick Boy)


Scott Hall vs Ric Flair



WWF Monday Night RAW


Goldust vs Bob Holly


Headbangerz vs Nation of Domination (D'Lo and Kama)


Savio Vega vs Ahmed Johnson


Marc Mero vs Bart Gunn


The Rock & Farooq vs Vader & Ken Shamrock

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Share on other sites

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