Source: Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard

On episode 19 of Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard, the professional wrestling veteran talked about the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro and the sale of WCW in general. Apparently, WWE's interest in WCW began when it was assumed WCW would be kept on Turner networks, with the idea being that WCW would operate as a totally separate brand from WWE. Apparently, ECW owner Paul Heyman was not in favor of WWE purchasing WCW. Also, Prichard talked about what became of the WCW wrestling rings that went to WWE as part of the sale of WCW.

According to Prichard, there was originally interest on Vince McMahon's part to purchase WCW based on it being on TNT and having an existing time slot. Apparently, WWE's focus shifted to WCW's tape library when WWE learned that WCW would not stay on Turner television.  

"The interest, just so it's clear, what we were interested in was if there was a possibility that it could remain on TNT. The time slot was interesting. Being on another network was interesting. Being able to take the brand and expand it on an already established time slot, on an already established network. So that was attractive at that time. When we found out that wasn't really going to be a possibility, it changed to the library."

Prichard stated that the idea was to run WCW as a completely separate brand from WWE.

"Preliminarily, the whole idea was to have two completely different, separate brands, with different creative teams, actually, different marketing teams, the whole nine yards. That was the pie in the sky, 'oh my God, if we could only do this and pull it off.' Obviously, that didn't happen."

Moreover, Prichard claimed that many ideas were thrown around as to how to make a standalone WCW television program, including talk of giving WCW RAW's TV spot and making SmackDown the WWE branded show.  

"There was discussion of having the Monday Night RAW slot be WCW and the SmackDown spot be WWF. There were a lot of different plans discussed, and, obviously, a lot of them scrapped and different things that came up." Prichard continued, "we didn't have a lot of talent we ended up taking from them that was marquee talent."

During the podcast, Prichard recalled that Heyman buried the idea of WWE buying WCW when McMahon asked him for his opinion. In Prichard's estimation, Heyman wanted the money for ECW instead of WCW.  

"'Well, sir, WCW is a dead brand. It's dead!' And he just kind of… Yeah, Paul did kind of [s--t on the idea]. He buried it. I think in Paul's burial, I think that, and this is Bruce saying it. This is not what Paul said, nor did I have any conversation with Paul. My interpretation of Paul's burial was that I think Paul felt that Vince should have done that with ECW. 'WCW is a dead brand,' but ECW was a dead brand. Invest whatever kind of money to pay for WCW, take that same money and give it to keep ECW alive. And that's my interpretation. That's my conjecture."

Finally, Prichard noted that WWE got wrestling rings in the sale of WCW and used them for smaller venues and in developmental. Also, a few talents got rings.  

"Some of [the rings] went to talent. I believe Rock got one in Florida. I think Taker got one in Texas. I think Booker T ended up with one, but Booker T ended up with his, I think, for Mark to work with Booker." Prichard continued, "I think Booker ended up with some of those rings, eventually. But it was there. We figured we might be able to use them and we did use some of them for shows where we needed smaller rings and things of that nature, used them for developmental, some of the places that had smaller venues."

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