Kevin Sullivan Talks About What Killed WCW, MMA Hurting Wrestling, WrestleReunion & More
On WrestleReunion: "Sal put together an excellent event. I mean, this is just as exciting for us as it is for the fans. And the nice thing is I'm teaming back up with Rick Steiner with J.J. [Dillon] in our corner against the New Age Outlaws. And Nikita Koloff is gonna be the referee (and the first time ever that Nikita refereed, he threw me out), so I have something to pick with him. But the New Age Outlaws, don't be surprised if James comes over to my side; I actually started him, gave him his first match when he was in the Marines. I said, "Kid, you got your tights?" He was a second-generation wrestler; the whole family knows how to work, so I couldn't have gone wrong there. I'm looking forward to it, looking forward to all my fans that I used to have, ones that I still have, we're gonna have a great time, and I think it will be a spectacular, spectacular weekend. I can't wait to see you guys there too!"
On The Varsity Club: "They were three of the best workers, and they never got their due working, especially [Mike] Rotunda. And Rick, he was just an amazing athlete along with Dr. Death. And I believe, at this time… timing is so crucial to this business. If this was five years earlier, they would have been on top and everybody would still be talking about them. But this is when the business started to go towards entertainment because of Vince [McMahon]. And these guys really didn't fit that role because their work was so solid. And this is at the time when [Jim] Crockett had to be trying to catch Vince, but also following his act and try to get the entertainment into it. I think these guys were so solid, and gave such hard matches that the people said Oh, those could be real. And that's what, at the time, the promotion really wasn't geared to do. They were looking for the extravaganza, the hype. The thing is about the Varsity Club that no one ever has brought up (that I know of), I was managing three guys with leather jackets on and singlets, and here's a guy with a black robe, and it's demonic."
On Start and Downfall of WCW: "What really kicked it off…when [Hulk] Hogan turned heel. I had to go to him and have him sleep at my house that night, and I came for the mattress later on 'cause I didn't want anybody to talk him out of it. (A lot of people were trying to talk him out of it.) Because there was a specific incident when we got to Chicago a couple of weeks prior to him turning. He was wearing black. They started booing him outta the building; they were sick of 'say your prayers and take your vitamins' routine. And [Mean] Gene Okerlund picked up on it and said, 'There's a solid mood here in Chicago, you can hear the people.' It was like he was covering for Hogan. And I went to him and I said, 'Hey, it's time to switch,' and everyone said no no no. That kicked it off because the NWO had come—we were rollin'.
"And then the Goldberg thing. No one else mentioned this and I don't think anybody remembers this. I didn't know who Goldberg was. And somebody said he was a football player, so we did this angle on TV where he stole Mongo McMichael's championship ring from '85. Well, the first match, I had Mongo beat him on Nitro, and then I saw what I had and I said Oh boy, did I make a mistake! So I pulled him off of television for eight to ten weeks, and then we built the Goldberg character. And people were coming to the matches three and four hours ahead of time chanting "Goldberg!" Hogan put him over in the middle of the ring for the bell, and we were having million-dollar gates on a live show on Mondays!