Storm Blog: WCW
June 12, 2014
I'm inspired to share a few absurd WCW stories with you today. I'm inspired by news of the re-release of The Death of WCW book, written by my friend Bryan Alvarez. In truth he co-wrote it with R.D. Reynolds but I don't know R.D. so I like to give all the credit to Bryan. The re-release is actual a new and greatly expanded edition that is available for pre-order now on Amazon. The older shorter version is a tremendous read and I've already pre-ordered my copy of the new edition. If you haven't read it I highly recommend it and if you have the WWE Network you can use it to accompany the book and search out some of the great and absurd things mentioned in the book. I was not in the first edition but have been assured I at least get mentioned in this new one. Well on with a few absurd WCW stories of my own.
- There is a photo floating around on twitter of Rey Mysterio dressed up like me on WCW TV. Few people remember this great angle so let me refresh everyone's memories a little bit. I debuted in WCW doing a run-in in street clothes. I did a couple of these most notably attacking the Filthy Animals. It was eventually revealed that I was working with Billy Kidman to attack the Animals and eventually had my first match in WCW again in street clothes. Vince Russo being a big fan of redoing past angles and gimmicks decided that it would be a great bit if Juvi and Rey dressed up like Kidman and I for our tag match to redo the popular parody gimmick that the Nation of Domination did in WWE. There were 2 major problems with this, the first and most important was that up until this point I had worn my wrestling gear exactly 1 time on WCW television. I pointed this fact out by stating matter of factly that when Rey goes to the ring tonight he’ll have worn that gear on TV as many times as I had and added that it was incredible stupid for them to mock my character and gimmick when I hadn't yet even established what that character was.
They of course went ahead with the idea anyway and to make matters worse, because they always over booked the shows, they tried to send Kidman and I to the ring before the Filthy Animals had gotten in the ring and done their promo to explain why Rey and Juvi were dressed like us. When they tried to send us early, I refused pointing out that they hadn't yet explained why they were dressed like us. I waited as long as possible and let them do most of their promo before heading to the ring. Just complete crap. MIA also did a parody gimmick of me, but at least that was after I'd been in WCW for a while and had fully established myself. The fact that I was only on WCW TV for 10 months and they did the parody gimmick twice tells you how badly Russo and Ferarra were for retreading angles and gimmicks.
- The Kidman and Storm team didn't last long and the break up feud I believe holds the record for the shortest wrestling program in wrestling history. Someone had decided, at the last minute, that I was going to be in the US Title tournament so they needed to wrap up my tag team with Kidman. This was so last minute that we did the entire program in one show. In I think segment 3 of Nitro, Kidman and I had a tag match and, if memory serves, I for no reason what so ever, decided to ask for the Canadian National anthem. Yes we'd started my next angle before we even started wrapping up the old one. Kidman joked and screwed around behind me back during the National anthem and I ended up walking out on him during the match leading to him get pinned, breaking up the team. Our blow off match was then booked in I believe segment 7 of that same show. Yes the tease of dissension, the break up, and the blow off match spanned a total of maybe 1 hour. To better illustrate their well thought out plans I was originally booked to win the blow off match, because I was the one going on to the US Title tournament (a tournament I would win) and Kidman had nothing going on of any significance. Somewhere between segment 3 and segment 7 someone realized that if I won the blow of match Kidman would be getting pinned and losing 2 matches in less than an hour on 1 show. This seemed a little strong so they switched the finished and Kidman pinned me, to send me off to my big push with no momentum what so ever.
- This next story is another great example of how overly booked and over written all of the WCW shows were in 2000. There was an Ambulance match booked between Mike Awesome and Booker T on Nitro. An Ambulance match is usually a blow off type match to end a big feud because one man has to beat up the other guy so bad that he is able to stuff him in the back of an ambulance and send him off to the hospital. I was in Guerilla (backstage area right behind the curtain where they send time cues to the refs, cue music and send the guys for their entrances). Mike Awesome went to the ring first and I was standing backstage with Booker. As Mike is standing in the ring Booker is waiting for his music to hit and I hear Ed Ferrara, who was the one giving time cues, send word to the ref to tell Mike Awesome to "Take it home" (go into the finish to end the match) I looked and Booker, Booker looked at me, and I asked him, How is Mike going to do the finish with you standing back here? Booker of course had no idea and just shrugged. His music finally hit so he could do his entrance, with the realization that the people in charge already wanted this match over, and it hadn't even started yet.
- I will be the first to admit that a lot of the heat I had as a heel in WCW was cheap heat. The pro-Canada / anti-USA gimmick is an easy one and it generates a lot of what is essentially cheap heat. That said heat is heat and in 2000 WCW the prominent weather trend was leaning towards frost. Again due to over booking and over writing the show segments were always getting cut short. At one point before going to the ring for a promo, I was specifically told to ignore the crowd reaction and talk quickly in order to get the promo done quicker. They said if the crowd reacts to what you are saying just ignore them and talk over them. I believe this was Ed Ferrara again, so I felt the need to ask him if he understood why we cut promos in wrestling. I pointed out that we cut promos in order to garner a reaction from the crowd and that if I ignored them and talked over them not only would I be defeating the purpose but they wouldn't be able to hear what I had to say either. In response to this I was told, it doesn't matter we just need to get all of these segment in.
- I didn't intend this to be an Ed Ferrara bashing Blog and in fairness the over writing of the show and the timing issues were not all his fault, he was just the guy I dealt with more one on one.
- One last WCW tale, which again involves poor ED and once again illustrates why Bookers are better than Writers and could also be a warning to all who are producing pro-wrestling currently. One afternoon at TV I was walking with Ed Ferarra who had the format sheet for Nitro in his hand and he was organizing what seemed like 100 pre-taped segments backstage. I half jokingly commented to him, "Damn, you aren't afraid to write a thousand pre-tapes are you?" To this he responded, "Well, we have to tell these stories." in rebuttal I pointed out, "You know, if given time some of us can actually tell these stories in the ring." This got no verbal response from Ed, all I got from him was a look of befuddlement like this concept had never occurred to him before and he didn't really believe me.
- It was experiences such as this that lead me to comment publicly after TNA released Jim Cornette to make it possible to bring Ed Ferrara into the company that: "Trading Jim Cornette for Ed Ferarra in the wrestling business would be like trading your house for a tent, when looking for a place to live." This comment did garner a response but from Jim Cornette rather than Ed Ferrara where JC stated that I was most definitely his favourite Canadian. This is of course akin to being the smartest kid on the short bus (Jim has issues with Canada and isn't even allowed back in the Country), but favourite is favourite.
Well that's all my WCW stories for now, be sure to pre-order Bryan's book on Amazon, it's available in a limited edition Hardcover as well as Paperback and eBook form.
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