Scotty Riggs Talks The Monday Night Wars, Working For Eric Bischoff, Rise And Fall Of WCW
WrestlingINC: What was the feeling like backstage when you were seeing all these WWF guys come in and WCW wasn't really inserting any of the younger guys into the mix? They did put Luger and Sting in, but they were guys that were already there for such a long time. Instead of building for the future and putting some younger guys in this mix, it was just already-established stars.
Riggs: In one sense, it was a good thing that those guys came in because they had a following. You had your [Randy] Savage, your [Rick] Rude, your [Curt] Hennig. Guys that were viable options. Everybody did dig that. Then again, you had your Benoits, your Guerreros, your Malenkos, your Jerichos. All these guys. Rey Mysterio, Juventud Guerrera, Konnan, myself. Even Bagwell, who had gone over to nWo, got lost in the shuffle. He was a part of the bigger picture, but not as a separate entity. He wasn't even getting the push that he thought he was going to get when he went to nWo.
All the WWF guys seemed to take those spots. They all came in and they were doing business. The WCW guys, we had all been packaged and we got our pay. What your bosses told you and what the booker told you -- either Kevin Sullivan, Terry Taylor, Dusty Rhodes -- what they told you, we just pretty much did.
The WWE guys came in and they came in with an attitude. 'OK. We put this creative control in our contracts. If we don't like what's going on, we won't wrestle tonight. We'll just do two interviews.' Instead of being a show that was a show that was written and up on the boards at five, every Monday or every Thursday, by eight, you'd know who you were going to wrestle and what you were going to do. There were nights at 7:30 where we didn't even know who was going to be the first match. We had to scrap and rewrite everything because all these guys didn't want to do matches. They just wanted to do promos. They wanted to be highlighted at the top of the hour.
Let everybody else do the grunt work in a sense. 'Let your other guys do the work and we'll take all the glory.' That was really the downfall in another sense. Even though they came in and sparked everything, they also took at spark and squandered it. Instead of being team-oriented and saying, 'Let's do Nitro great,' it was, 'Hey, this is our way of getting back at Vince for firing us.'
The show became misused and instead of being the new item that it was, it just became old habits. People are just regurgitating everything. Then, everybody was leaving. You had, Benoit, Malenko -- Jericho was really the first one to leave and go to WWE and become a "star" in a sense. Those guys did start doing that and then you had talent just starting to leave.
All of a sudden, WCW was trying to find a way to establish these young guys. They had the New Blood in a sense start taking on the old guys. The old guys still didn't want to put over the young guys. They knew they had to do it but they didn't want to. They all had that creative control in their contract.
WrestlingINC: It also seemed like they tried to push everyone when they started pushing the young guys and no one got over. As opposed to picking a few to move to main event, etc.
Riggs: Yeah. Just like they hot shot me and Marcus. It did get us over and give us credibility. But instead of picking a few guys to do this with and do that with and establishing a team leader or an identity here, they just threw everything against the wall and saw what stuck. If it didn't stick, they'd pick it up and try to throw it another way.