Former WWE and longtime referee Nick Patrick was a recent guest on JBL and Gerald Brisco’s podcast series Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw. Early in the interview Patrick recalled being there when Vince McMahon and the WWF bought controlling stakes of Georgia Championship Wrestling from Jim Barnett as well as both Jack and Jerry Brisco. The incident went on to be referred to as ‘Black Saturday’ or, as Gerald Brisco calls it, ‘Green Saturday.’ Patrick went on to discuss his memories of the event, which was where he would see Vince McMahon for the first time.
“None of the boys knew anything,” remembered Patrick. “I don’t know what Ole [Anderson], [Jim] Barnett, and those guys knew. But they didn’t let on to any of the guys. [It] was like a normal business day, only they weren’t there. What I used to do when I got there. . . I used to go stand in the control room and I would listen to the director. . . I’m in the control room listening to the [director] and Vince was sitting there. And I didn’t know who he was. I had no clue. I had never seen him. I had heard of Vince Sr., but I had never heard of him. But I saw him, and I didn’t even introduce myself. I had no idea who he was. I thought he was a Turner executive or something and I didn’t want to bother him.
“What a mistake, huh? Damn. I could’ve got my foot in the door right then. But I’m a young green dumb*ss, what the hell do I even know? So I’m going on at work, and the next thing you know they had told us that they were there, that they were taking over. . . and they offered everybody a job that wanted to come and be there. But it would entail probably moving.
“I, at the time, was loyal to my people. They were starting me wrestling there too at the same time. I went ahead and stayed with Ole [Anderson] and those guys. Plus, I had no idea who Vince was. I knew he was some guy from New York, but I had no clue the significance of the role he would play in our industry.”
Later in the interview Patrick discussed the Monday Night War between WCW and the WWF, which ultimately ended when Vince McMahon bought WCW in 2001.
Patrick revealed that there had actually been rumors throughout the WCW locker room at a house show the day before WCW was purchased. Talent in the back had asked people if there was any truth in the rumored talks and were told they were false. Then suddenly the next day Shane McMahon and Jerry Lawler were at the show, a story that Shane himself has recalled.
“The very night before we did a house show somewhere and the rumor was out,” recalled Patrick. “And we point blank asked, and they said ‘Absolutely not. It’s all rumor, it’s all innuendo. We’re doing TV, we’re in Panama City, blah, blah, blah.’ So, we showed up there [and it was] just another day for us. They had, supposedly, dispelled all the rumors.
“Then all of a sudden here comes Jerry [Lawler] and Shane-O walking up. Well, actually, they were already there and had control of the truck and had the compound set up to where they could start talking to people. So when we showed up there it was like ‘Okay, so they bullsh*tted us.’ [Laughs]. Now let’s see how this plays out and see what’s going on and see if we still have a job or not.
“Everybody was just kind of anxious to hear the meeting and hear what was going to happen. Because we knew, evidently, that the war was over and that there was a clear winner. Now it’s just ‘Where is everybody going to go?’ Until the time we pulled up to the building and laid our eyes on [WWE] people, they were telling us that they weren’t selling.”
JBL went on to ask who exactly it was that told the workers that WCW was not selling. Patrick revealed it was just some Turner Network representative, not an actual WCW employee or personnel.
“I was one of the agents at the time and they didn’t even tell me!” exclaimed Patrick. “It was somebody from [the network]. It was one of their office representatives, and they had so many different office representatives that weren’t one of the boys. Some of them I don’t even know their names. It was somebody they sent down from the office.”
Brisco revealed that the WWF had someone in the WCW production truck and someone from Turner network who had pre-agreed to help the WWF take over the truck. He continued to talk about the importance of having the production people be aware of what was going on at that time in order to make sure the show properly done.
Brisco went on to say that the locker room was very respectful throughout the situation, but mentioned they had to make Ric Flair cut his match short. He said he also got the sense of a sigh of relief from the locker room and that he thinks they were happy that WCW was over with.
Patrick went on to say that he felt the same sentiment and that a lot of talents wanted to work for either company, so they weren’t particularly upset with the purchase. He then discussed how there was no actual hatred between WCW and WWF talents.
“Everybody wanted to go work for either one of them anyway,” noted Patrick. “It wasn’t like there was a real war, like ‘We hate you guys.’ Because you’ve go to always keep those door open. You want to be better than the other people, you want to win, you want to be the best. That’s just that competitive spirit.
“Hell, everybody wanted to go on and work up there. Because [the WWF] had the reputation for making stars. There were so many people down in [WCW] that had great talent, had gimmicks, had stuff. But never, either for one reason or another, got put in that mega-star spot. And [the WWF] knew how to create them, how to build them, and how to present them and make them mega-stars. So, a lot of people were happy [for the purchase].”
JBL himself went on to echo the same sentiment regarding rumored tensions between talents, saying that everyone pretty much got along. He said that no one in the WWF hated WCW, but that they did view it as a WAR. This is contrary to what Chuck Palumbo said in a recent interview. JBL says everyone was just trying to do their best for their own team.
“Yeah, exactly,” responded Patrick. “You don’t want to burn that bridge. There were so many guys there that wanted to get an opportunity that for some reason or another, like I said, they didn’t get that thrust. Boy, they went up there and got it. That made everyone else know that there was another opportunity [out there].”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.