October 13, 1996
BEFORE WE LOOK AHEAD, LET'S LOOK BACK AT THIS PAST MONDAY NITRO. WE ARE NOW ONE WEEK REMOVED FROM "HOLLYWOOD" HULK HOGAN'S DEPLORABLE CONDUCT TOWARD THE LOVELY MISS ELIZABETH. WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS AS YOU LOOK BACK AT THAT SCENE?
"Quite clearly, The NWO has, as they have so many times in the past, found new lines to step over and new lows to reach within the wrestling and television industry. It was a disgusting incident that caught a lot of us by surprise, but, in other ways, we shouldn't have been surprised at how low The NWO will stoop."
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT LIZ' EMOTIONAL STATE?
"We spoke by phone for about 20 minutes on Wednesday, although we played phone-tag on several other occassions. She is very, very upset, let me just say that. Clearly, she is very intimidated by The NWO and, it's obvious to most people that she has discovered that she has a lot more feelings for Randy (Savage) than she thought she had. Clearly, her affection for Randy is beginning to show through despite all of the things that have happened between the two of them over the past year or two."
IN LIGHT OF WHAT TRANSPIRED LAST WEEK, WHAT DO YOU SAY TO RANDY SAVAGE?
"I don't know what to say to Randy. Quite frankly, Randy is an inigma. Randy is hard to figure out. He's unpredictable; he's moody, he's obsessed to a certain extent with what's going on with The NWO, and also with a lot of other issues here in WCW. To be very honest, I have a hard time talking with Randy Savage. Randy is just kind of out there in his own little world."
THAT SAID, IF YOU COULD ISSUE A STATEMENT, ONE THAT YOU KNEW RANDY WOULD READ, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
"Randy, have an open-mind as it relates to your relationships and be careful to not jump to conclusions with regard to relationships. Give yourself the benefit of the luxury of sitting back and listening to what everyone has to say before you make decisions. I do not know what happened between Randy and Liz in the past; I really don't. I've only heard bits and pieces of the break-up. But, my experience has been, no matter what goes on in your life, in your past, people often grow, people often change ... and you've gotta give them the benefit of the doubt; that's what I would want Randy to do as it relates to Liz. At least give her the benefit of the doubt, based on the way she is acting lately."
DO YOU HAVE AN UPDATE ON THE NWO TV SHOW, OR ANY OF THE OTHER FALL-OUTS FROM FALL BRAWL?
"No. Not as of right now. The NWO wants at lest half of the Monday Nitro show, but we don't want to give them that. We have offered the Saturday Night show twice a month, but they have not accepted that. We are still in discussions; that's exactly where it sits."
J.J. DILLON RETURNED TO WCW EARLIER THIS MONTH. WILL HE REVIVE HIS ROLE AS MANAGER OF THE FOUR HORSEMEN?
"Everyone is trying to put J.J. with The Horsemen and I willtell you emphatically that, it will not happen. If he is goingto be part of WCW (for the long term), he will be a part of the front-office staff, in an administrative role. He will not be involved with the wrestling product."
HAVE YOU SPOKEN WITH STING RECENTLY AND IF SO, WHAT ARE HIS FEELINGS?
"I spoke with Sting Thursday afternoon and tried to convince him to be a part of our Nitro show (on) Monday (the 14th) in Memphis, but he was not inclined to make an appearance, so, we're trying to get him to show up on the 21st."
ANY UPDATES ON RE-SIGNING MEAN GENE OKERLUND?
"As of this moment, he is not a part of WCW, but, I will say this, we are at least talking."
JEFF JARRETT SURPRISED QUITE A FEW PEOPLE THIS PAST MONDAY NITRO WITH HIS COMMENTS ABOUT HULK HOGAN, YOURSELF INCLUDED. WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT JEFF JARRETT?
"Jeff is an interesting talent ... we look forward to having Jeff be a part of WCW. There has been talk that he wants to become a part of The Four Horsemen ... I'm not sure whether or not that will happen."
THAT LEADS TO AN INTERESTING AREA: RIC FLAIR. DO YOU HAVE ANY UPDATES ON HIS SHOULDER INJURY?
"It appears that Ric will be out of active wrestling competition for anywhere from six weeks to three months."
SO THEN, WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE U.S. CHAMPIONSHIP BELT WHICH RIC OWNS?
"Well, I really don't know. If you watched Monday Nitro last week, The Giant and The NWO literally committed larceny and stole the belt. Quite clearly, The NWO is looking to collect every title it can, every way it can. I don't know."
WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS HEADING INTO HALLOWEEN HAVOC (OCT. 27,LIVE ON PPV FROM THE MGM GRAND IN LAS VEGAS)?
"Well, I hesitate to say this (phrase) because it has been said so many times before, and it's such a cliche, but, at the same time, it's so true ... Halloween Havoc will be the biggest pay-per-view in WCW history. WCW has so much to gain if Savage beats Hogan; we have a tremendous amount to gain and we also have a tremendous amount to lose in terms of momentum if The NWO prevails. So, there is a lot at stake, including financially. I think Randy's career is kind of hanging in limbo (on the outcome) because, quite frankly, if he is defeated by The NWO, his ability to re-negotiate his contract with WCW is going to be more difficult for him. This is a big match for Randy, a very big match. And also for WCW. Should we lose again, it's just that much more momentum in the corner of The NWO. All that said, Ithink Halloween Havoc is going to be an incredibly important event, maybe more important for the business of WCW than any event we've done."
WOULD YOU SAY THIS IS A MUST-WIN MATCH FOR RANDY SAVAGE?
"Unquestionably. Randy is in a pretty elite group in terms of his compensation, and he's not going to be able to command that kind of money if he's not able to maintain his status as atop, top perform. If he ends up losing, I think it's going to be very difficult for Randy to try to convince anyone that he really is a marque player."
WOULD YOU PLEASE ADDRESS WORLD WAR 3, THE LATE-NOVEMBER PAY PER VIEW?
"After listening to a lot of people comment about the idea of vacating the World Heavyweight title (after Halloween Havoc) and then putting it up for grabs at World War 3 ... well, the vast majority of responses I received are pretty negative. So,in light of that, I seriously doubt that we are going to move forward with that plan. More than likely, we will not strip the championship, but, I reserve the right to change my mind."
WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO MARK MADDEN'S NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT YOU ON HIS HOTLINE REPORTS (WEDNESDAYS AND FRIDAYS), PARTICULARLY IN REGARDS TO THE NITRO BROADCAST WHEN THE NWO TOOK YOU AS A "HOSTAGE?"
"Quite frankly, I haven't heard anything Madden has had to say about me, or anyone else, because I don't listen to him. Madden is a very opinionate, occasionally articulate, once-in-a-while-kinda-funny guy ... he's free to say whatever he wants to say. His opinion is his opinion, and we pay him for it whether we like it or not."
IS A CRUISER-WEIGHT TAG-TEAM TOURNAMENT IN THE WORKS?
"I have no comment about that."
WHAT ARE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT YOUR NEW MONDAY NITRO BROADCAST PARTNER MIKE TENAY?
"Mike is a very knowledgeable, credible, articulate wrestling fan who has worked himself into an announcer's position. In my opinion, he is doing an excellent job,especially for a rookie. Sure, he's got a long way to go, but, I will say this: I think he is one of the better color commentators in the industry today."
I SAW YOU THIS PAST MONDAY IN SAVANNAH, AFTER NITRO, HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH TED DIBIASE. AND DURING THE TWO MINUTES I WATCHED YOU, BOTH OF YOU LOOKED PRETTY HAPPY. THAT SAID, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY ABOUT ERIC BISCHOFF AND THE NWO?
THEN I HAVE A FOLLOW-UP TO THAT QUESTION, IS ERIC BISCHOFF JOINING THE NWO?
WHY IS WCW JUST LETTING THE NWO DO WHATEVER IT WANTS TO DO?
"I'd like to address all of those people who say we are just letting The NWO run rough-shot on WCW. It's not over until the fat lady sings and, believe me, she's not even warming up. I've worked hard to make WCW the leader in our industry and however it may appear to anyone, I am not going to sit by and let The NWO destroy what has taken a long time to build. It's just not gonna happen! And I'll do whatever I have to do to prevent it.
THAT SAID, HOW CAN WCW FANS BE OPTIMISTIC? LET'S BE REALISTIC... YOU CAN'T TALK TO RANDY; STING DOESN'T TALK TO ANYONE; RIC IS ON THE SHELF; OUR TV CHAMPION, LORD STEVEN REGAL, IS EATING SUSHIIN TOKYO AS WE SPEAK; SCOTT STEINER IS INJURED; JOHNNY GRUNGE ISINJURED?
"I'm not expecting people to be optimistic. I'm just telling you, the same thing could have been said about WCW two-or-three-years ago. I remember listening to all of the so-called'wrestling experts' suggest that WCW is going to be history, that there is no way WCW ever will exist, that there is no way WCW can compete with the WWF, that WCW doesn't have any talent, that Eric Bischoff does not know how to run a wrestling company, and on and on and on. I heard a whole bunch of people for a long time write our obituaries, WCW's obituaries, but, I think I've proven that WCW is a company that is viable, that it is a company that under all kinds of stress has been able to rise above the competition. We will find a way to prevail."
ERIC, ONE FINAL QUESTION AND, SINCE YOU'VE HANDLED EVERY FASTBALLI'VE THROWN, HERE'S A CURVE, A SIMPLE CURVE ... WHO IS ERIC BISCHOFF'S FAVORITE WRESTLER?
"Man, that's tougher than any of the other (questions) andI'm not going to answer that because, if I do and word gets out... I've got to deal with 67 contracted wrestlers. If I show any kind of favoritism in any way, it tends to blow up in my face. So, I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that it may incriminate me."