Former ECW and WWE superstar, The Blue Meanie, recently did an episode of Gerald Brisco and JBL’s podcast, Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw. During the interview, JBL recalled an incident where the WWE locker room nearly started a riot after ECW invaded at In Your House: Mind Games in 1996. The incident saw ECW wrestlers sit in the front row of the crowd and act out throughout the entire event.
“We almost had a riot when ECW invaded us in Philadelphia. With the boys, not the crowd!” exclaimed JBL.
“I was going to bring that up, John,” said Brisco. “Meanie, this is the closest to really kicking Bruce Prichard’s ass. . . You can ask Bruce; he was scared to death. I was ready to kill him.”
“It was me and Savio Vega in a Caribbean Strap Match,” recalls JBL. “Bruce smartened up Savio to what was going to happen. That Sandman was going to spit the beer on Savio, and he said, ‘The one thing you do is grab the cowboy and don’t let him get over the rail,’ because Bruce knew me.
“But right before I went out, [Blackjack] Lanza didn’t want to take the risk of not smarting me up. He turns to me and says, ‘If anything happens, don’t go over the rail’. And I said, ‘Jack, you wouldn’t tell me if anything happens, if something isn’t going to happen’. And he said, ‘Well, I’m just telling you something could happen in the one corner with Savio, and if it does happen, just understand it’s part of the show’.
“So when we went out of the ring, Savio went over there and we went on the wrong side, and he said, ‘No, we have to be over here’. And right then, I realized this is where the spot’s got to be about to happen. So when it happened, Savio put the rope around me. He didn’t know Lanza had smartened me up. And he said, ‘Just stay here with me, stay here with me. Let’s go back into the ring’. But by then, I knew it was all a part of the show. But the boys in the back had gone up to gorilla [position] and were just about to head out.”
“I did [go out],” Brisco quickly interjects. You actually see Brisco go out to confront the ECW wrestlers when watching the match footage.
Blue Meanie revealed he was not at the event. He was actually watching the event on TV alongside Raven, at his house. Meanie went on to say that was actually the moment they kind of knew that Paul Heyman had ties with Vince McMahon and WWE.
“I was not there, I was actually at Raven’s house watching it,” notes Meanie. “We had an idea something was going to happen. He was like, ‘I heard Paul E. and Tommy Dreamer are going to be at ringside’. And then, I guess for extra form of security, we had other guys placed in the building. Perry Saturn was there, a couple of other guys were there in case something, I don’t know whether the boys hit, they would come protect [them]. But yeah, we watched it and were amazed that it happened. Then the next night, in Hershey, Tazz comes down with a sign and hops the rail during the bulldog tag match with a ‘Sabu Fears Tazz’ sign.”
JBL then discusses what the atmosphere in the WWE locker room was like after the incident occurred. He says that Blackjack Lanza had smartened everyone up by then. But apparently, a pretty big name was ready to come down to help at ringside.
“As soon as we got back, Lanza had smartened the guys up when they came up,” said JBL. “Because by then, nobody was going to stooge off what was going to happen because it already happened. So, [The Undertaker] and the boys apparently were coming out of the dressing room. I was in the ring with Savio, and Lanza says, ‘Guys, it’s a work’. And right away, the guys were pretty pissed they weren’t smartened up to it. But at that point, it’s not Tommy Dreamer, Bubba, and those guys, and Paul E. It’s a part of the show.”
Brisco mentions he was incredibly close to grabbing Tommy Dreamer before Bruce Prichard ran up and grabbed him to say it was a work.
“At that time, I turned to Bruce like I was going to kill him,” tells Brisco. “I was literally going to kill Bruce Prichard.”
Blue Meanie also reveals that was the moment when he started learning that Paul Heyman and ECW had a relationship with Vince McMahon and the WWE. He began to realize that Heyman was closer to the WWE than he let on, and that Heyman was pretty much a WWE lifer. Jim Ross has noted in the past that Vince paid ECW monthly to help keep the company alive.
“That’s when I kind of started to learn, subconsciously, that ECW was a part of the WWE,” reveals Meanie. “A lot of the boys [did too]. Paul E. always did an us against them thing, but he did it more so with WCW, so to speak. WWE, he grew up with the WWE, or WWF, or WWWF. He worked for Vince Sr. and took photos and all this stuff. So Paul E. was kind of, like a WWF lifer. And we started getting talent in the locker room from Droz to [Brakkus]. We got him.”
Later in the interview, Meanie expanded on his knowledge that Paul Heyman was working with the WWE and Vince McMahon. He said a few people knew but no one outwardly said anything. For what it’s worth, Tommy Dreamer admitted that he had no idea Paul Heyman was in works with Vince McMahon the entire time.
“I had an inkling that it was happening,” admits Meanie. “But nobody outwardly said it. But if you pay enough attention when you have Droz coming in . . . Tammy [Lynn Sytch a.k.a. Sunny] comes in. Even when she was in WWE, she would do little things that weren’t broadcasted. She would just do it for the house. She’d be up near the hard cam in intermission and it’s a KISS song, and she’s dancing for the crowd, getting the crowd riled up. Everybody’s like, ‘Sunny!’ So, you always got the inkling that it happened. On the other hand, anything related to WCW, Paul would get hot. If it was related to WWE, Paul was cool.”
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.