On a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman sat down with “Sitting Ringside” host and former WCW announcer David Penzer. Penzer was still with WCW when WWE bought it out and recalled what that time was like for him.
“I was lucky enough to be an employee, so that was the opposite side to me not making big time money because they’re paying everybody, referees, big time money, but I was employed,” Penzer noted. “So my raises were based on my reviews. I never had a contract in this business, not once to this day. Has anybody ever had me under contract?
“I was an employee of TNA. I’m an independent contractor with Impact right now. That worked out in WCW because you ended up getting your full severance pay plus insurance and all your benefits for as many months, as as many years as you worked for the company. So I ended up with eight months of full pay and all my benefits, which saved me because I had no plan B.”
Pezner continued as he reiterated how important that severance pay was to him and his family. He recalled what his plans were during the eight months of severance pay.
“I had two young kids, a wife and no plan B,” said Penzer. “So that saved me. Literally saved me and my family. I ended up hooking up with the XWF after that, which was the last week of my severance payment from WCW and was the first week of my XWF payment. So I only got to double dip for one week, but it’s better than not having anything going on. As far as WWE, Jim Ross set up shop at a Ritz Carlton, I believe, in Buckhead.
“He interviewed everybody, although, I just recently heard that he never interviewed Jeff Jarrett, but he interviewed most of the talent and the employees. And basically, what I was told was the plan was that moment to run it as a separate brand. The plan was, I was the ring announcer for that brand, but until they started doing so, take my severance because wrestling is a crazy business. So as we all know, that never happened, and I went to the XWF. They moved me to Tampa, and then I had to recreate myself from there.”
Penzer revealed that he was close to working with WWE. He revealed how close he was by recalling a conversation with John Lauriniatis.
“It’s funny because after the show with [Buff] Bagwell and Booker T, John Laurinaitis called me and said, ‘You’ll never guess what happened on Monday in Washington,'” Penzer recalled. “And I said, ‘What happened John?’ And he said, ‘Somebody asked Vince McMahon who he wanted to ring announce the the WCW match,’ and Vince’s response was, ‘Well, who’s the WCW ring announcer?’ And somebody said, ‘David Penzer.’ Vince’s response was, ‘Well, is he here?’ And their response was, ‘No, we didn’t think of bringing him up.’ So I think Stacy Keibler ended up doing it, which was kind of frustrating because it would have been nice to have at least gotten shot.
“The next week, it happened to be in Atlanta, where I live. So he goes, ‘Why don’t you come over, be my guest, and you never know, I’ll tell him you’re here.’ So I went over to the arena, and that’s the first time I got to meet Howard Finkel and some of my old friends and met some new ones. And the production meeting went way late. So I had a bad feeling about it, and that’s when he came out and said, ‘They’re switching the WCW thing to a WCW – ECW co-invasion. So we’re moving in a different direction.’ He said, ‘You can stay and watch the show.’ I was like, ‘Nah, I won’t watch, but thank you.'”
“Sitting Ringside w/ David Penzer” returns to AdFreeShows.com on Thursday June 10! Follow David on Twitter for more info @DavidPenzer. You can find the full audio and video from David’s interview below: