Shane Helms Talks Final Days Of WCW, WWE Buying WCW, Early WWE Run, Rock & More
Helms: They never really had a chance either to make that a success because they didn't have the A listers from WCW. They could have done that angle 10 times better but it would never have been as good as it could have been because there was no Hogan, no Goldberg, no Sting. DDP didn't come over right away. Steiner didn't come over right away; all the top guys didn't come. They had those crazy guaranteed contracts, which is one of the things that killed WCW from an accountant's standpoint. It's like here's WCW but none of the Varsity team; we're going to bring the JV. That's what hurt it. No matter what they would have done…
WrestlingINC: Do you think it would have been better for them to wait a couple years for the bigger names or would it have been too late by that point anyway?
Helms: Yeah, it would have been too late at that point any way. I mean, they had to do something with the rest of the guys. They couldn't have just been paying those guys to sit at home and wait for these other guy's contracts to run out so they could sign to WWF contracts. They had to do something with the guys. It was just not enough. I think the only top guy we really had right away was Booker, if I'm not mistaken. I think [Diamond Dallas] Page also but I'm not sure.
WrestlingINC: Yeah, I think he was later that year. They didn't even bring him in as WCW, he was brought in with that Undertaker feud.
Helms: Yeah, that crazy sh-t.
WrestlingINC: It seemed like they were burying all the new guys that did come in. Basically the whole WWF locker room beat that tag team up.
Helms: Oh, O'Haire and Palumbo. One of the things I heard at WCW… the words youth movement come up a lot in the business. I said in WWE; we had a talent meeting one time and they kept talking about youth movement and I spoke up and said, 'We don't need a youth movement. We need a talent movement. I don't think the crowd gives a damn how old somebody is. As long as they're good they'll like them; they'll react.'
WCW tried to do one of those youth movements and what they did was they flooded the WCW market with a bunch of guys that nobody knew. You would go to these live events, these house shows and none of the stars would be there, and it'd just be a bunch of those new guys. You can trickle new guys in here and there but you can't flood the market with them. I don't care what show you like or you're a fan of. If you're a fan of Star Trek or whatever and you turn it on and there's no Kirk, no Spock, there's nobody. Just one week there's a whole bunch of new guys you're like, 'What the f-ck is this?' That hurt WCW and a lot of those guys really weren't ready for the response either.
When they came up and they started working WWE guys, it quickly came to knowledge that these guys weren't quite as good as WWE hoped they would be.
WrestlingINC: I thought that was one of the problems when they did the WCW reboot. They were trying to push too many people that hadn't been in the spotlight yet and when you push everyone, no one gets over.
Helms: Yeah I totally agree. Everybody can't win every match. You're going to have losers. You just got to do it a little at a time. They just really flooded the market with a bunch of new guys. Even if they were great it takes time for fans to get behind people. You don't want to just go out there and cheer like hell for somebody you don't know. That's not how it works.