Recently on E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness, professional wrestling legends Edge and Christian spoke with former WCW announcer and current MLW announcer Tony Schiavone. Among many other things, Schiavone weighed in on the downfall of WCW. Additionally, Schiavone explained why he always knew WWE Chairman Vince McMahon would win the Monday Night Wars.
According to Schiavone, the downfall of WCW was having to produce WCW Thunder, a second weekly live broadcast. Apparently, WCW Executive Producer Eric Bischoff would tell staff that there would not be another WCW show unless Ted Turner himself ordered it. Thunder debuted shortly thereafter.
“Obviously, things went downhill and there [are] many things you can point to to it, but I really think that because they wanted us to do a new show, which was Thunder, I think that’s what started our trend downward,” Schiavone opined. “I remember Eric saying he had a meeting with production and that they want us to do another show for TBS. Nitro was great on TNT, so they wanted a weekly show for TBS and he said, ‘I don’t think we can do it – I don’t think we have the manpower to do it.’ And he said, ‘unless Ted Turner comes to me and says we have to do it, we’re not going to do Thunder.’ And so, we all left the meeting feeling like we weren’t going to do it. It wasn’t called Thunder at the time, but there was no way we were going to do a weekly TBS live show. And I guess Ted came and said we’re going to do it because it wasn’t long after that, a month or so after that, we started doing it.”
While WCW had plenty of talent, the promotion did not have the production staff to produce a second show.
“I think we were spreading ourselves too thin and I think that’s why it declined,” Schiavone explained. “I think it really spread us thin because I really don’t think we had the budget for it. I think, all-of-a-sudden, you’re doing a second live show and that’s expensive and so I think it thinned us our money-wise too. Then, all-of-a-sudden, we’re not doing it live. We’re taping it. And now, instead of going out there and doing a live Nitro on Monday and a live Thunder on Thursday, we started taping Thunder the next day on Tuesday. And then, things got so bad money-wise we had to tape Thunder the same night as Nitro afterwards. And so, I think talent, we had plenty of talent, but we didn’t have the production personnel of the funds to be able to stay up and do that, so we made a mistake there.”
Schiavone shared that he always knew McMahon would win the Monday Night Wars because WCW was a TV company doing a professional wrestling show, whereas WWE was a professional wrestling company doing a TV show.
“Here’s the thing, that’s the difference between Vince McMahon running a wrestling company and us working for a television company!” Schiavone said. “And to me, I always knew if there was going to be a winner in this war, and I didn’t know that there was going to be a winner and a loser if you want to call it that, but I always knew if there was going to be a winner in the war, it was going to be Vince McMahon because it was his company. The buck stopped with him. And we had to answer to a television company and they didn’t care.”
Check out the pod here or via the embedded player below. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness