Kevin Sullivan Discusses Radicalz Jumping To WWE
Former wrestler and WCW booker Kevin Sullivan recently spoke with Wrestling Glory Days Weekly in a two hour long shoot interview. Sullivan discussed his lengthy career, including the “devil worship” gimmick, working in the territories, as well as his time working as the booker for World Championship Wrestling during the Monday Night Wars. He went in to length about the Radicalz jumping to WWE in 2000.
Check out the full interview below:
Here are some highlights …
Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn jumping to WWF when he was named booker of WCW in January 2000:
I think it might have been personal, it probably was personal. I just made on of them World Heavyweight Champion, and it takes a lot of balls to ask did [Sid] Vicious to lose to a guy that is five foot six. But, they felt that I was going to do something, or they didn’t feel comfortable, or they got an offer from Vince. I really believe that it was either me or them, and the company stayed with me. If I was the guy running the company! I don’t know if I would’ve done that. I think it was a personal problem, but I didn’t take any problems at work personally. Plus, I knew they were the best talent that I had, why would you sh*t where you eat? I can dislike somebody, but when it’s business, put it aside. When you put the World belt on one of them and then the next week you are going to put the tag belts on them, I think I gave the olive branch as much as I could. I think they had made their minds up. Plus, prior to me coming back I think they had their minds poisoned by the other two, [Vince] Russo and [Ed] Ferrara.
The controversial “shoot” angle with Brian Pillman in 1996:
One if the saddest moments for me was when I heard he passed away, because not only did we lose a great performer, we lost one of the greatest minds in the wrestling business. Brian came up to me one day, it was his idea. So we started having problems in the dressing room, he wouldn’t do what I wanted. Guys started coming up to me and saying, kick the sh*t out if him for me. he is a real pain in the ass. Then ten minutes later, I’d see the guy talking in the corner with Pillman. Brian and I would call each other later. we’d laugh about it. Finally it blew up. We were at Disney at the time, and Eric (Bischoff) had called a team meeting, and then Brian just went of the deep end. He started knocking Eric and me, so Eric told him to leave. We were so far away from a wrestling interview that everyone thought it had to be real. Here’s the funny thing, Pillman double crossed everybody. He called me and told me what he was going to do afterwards and I thought it was brilliant and I wasn’t going to turn him in. When he went to ECW, he was getting paid by us, because he was supposed to come back. We fired him, but he was still on payroll and he was getting paid by Paul E. then I heard this, that WWE was also paying him before he went up there. So, he was getting three paychecks. He was a brilliant mind and a brilliant worker.
His relationship with and his thoughts on Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara when they were hired and came into WCW as the head writers:
Did I work with them? No, I just sat there and listened to them. I was smart enough to understand what they were trying to do. I went to J.J. (Dillon) and I said, ‘Do you know what they are laying out? A cartoon series, they are going to try to sell a television series based on wrestling.’ He said, ‘you’re right.’ Nobody could have been that stupid, and usually I’m more diplomatic than that. Did that stuff pertain to anything that had to do with wrestling? Burying Ric Flair in the desert? That wasn’t Freudian, burying him and leaving him and the young guys taking over?. I remember turning to Arn Anderson one day and saying, ‘this isn’t even a bad independent.’ You take Goldberg and make him heel for no reason, then you take an actor and make him World Champion, then Russo becomes World Champion, and they knock Dusty about his ego, please. I just look at that era and say, wasn’t anybody paying attention to the farm?.
Knowing almost two years before the formation of the nWo that he would plan to turn Hulk Hogan heel:
Hogan came to me, and he said, can you get us there? I said, ‘I can take you to the promised land, just give it to me.’ So, the Dungeon of Doom was created to relax Hulk. I was going another way, I was going to hardcore, the nWo came along later. but I knew to get Hulk’s trust I had to feed him characters like the ones he was used to beating in New York. People ask, why did you do that? I did this on purpose so that Hulk could relax. In my head, I was turning him heel two years prior to when he did. I seen people, people started booing him, say your prayers, taking your vitamins and they started cramming it down. Then it just started getting worse and worse. So, the only thing I had to figure out, is I have to get this guys trust so I can switch home heel, but it’s going to take a long time.
For those still commenting around the internet that “Kevin Sullivan killed Benoit fo realz” check out episode 2 of my Chris Benoit Files video series for a rational perspective on the theory:
Headbanger Mosh Discusses Being a Yes Man To Vince
Former WWE tag team champion Chaz “Headbanger Mosh” Warrington stepped IN THE ROOM with Brady Hicks and his crew last night to talk about his participation in a truly ground-breaking time in wrestling … living life in the WWF at the height of the Attitude Era. Topics of discussion included joining the WWF despite only having 3-4 years in wrestling … why The Headbangers connected so well with the fans … going singles and WWE’s current view of tag teams (versus years past) … the recent success of contemporaries such as The Outlaws and Goldust, and if there is a ceiling for them … today’s WWE, including how Daniel Bryan and The Prime Time Players should be handled … and thoughts on Jim Cornette, The Insane Clown Posse, and Tiger Ali Singh.
IN THE ROOM airs weekly Tuesday nights, 9 PM ET, on the VOC Nation Radio Network on vocnation.com and thebradyhicks.com. Call in live (855) VOC-RADIO.
Always saying yes to Vince McMahon:
I had the attitude – and this is probably something I [now] may have done a little differently – [that] I’m here. If I do what they want me to do then I’m here. My initial thought was always to wrestle until I’m about 40 and then retire from being in the ring and be an agent. I always thought, “I’m here. Let me do what they ask me to do. Let me show I’m a company person and I’ll do whatever’s needed. Just go with the flow.” Obviously from being there and seeing the way things happened, my opinion at this point, is [it was] not the way to go. I know a lot of guys went in and argued and said “No, I’m not doing that. I think it should be this way.” And you know what? Their careers took off and they were there longer. Some of them are still there. And then there’s other guys who did what I did and they’re gone.
If tag team wrestling can become strong again:
The only way it is going to come back is if Vince [McMahon] wants it to come back … The indies and everything follows what Vince does. If Vince wants tag team wrestling to be big again, it’s going to be big. But, if you look at the track record of it, all of the tag teams that get pushed through Vince lately – and I’m not going back as far as Demolition, The Rockers, The Road Warriors, all of them – from my time being there, it was throw two guys together to get some kind of storyline over. Then you knew those guys were going to break up. When I was there, you had some solid tag teams … but for the most part … it was singles guys you put together to create some kind of other angle with it.
Vince McMahon’s control:
Vince is a huge proponent of creating characters, creating the guys. He wants [everything] to be his idea, and my opinion is that if he didn’t create it then he’s not going to push it as much. He was trying to create his own thing. What we did, he wanted it to be controversial. The Flying Nuns would have been controversial. Controversy causes interest. That was an idea that Vince had and he tried running with it. Yeah, he got some controversy for it but it turned out to be a lot more negative than he expected, so, again, that got squashed also. But I didn’t care about The Flying Nuns or Beaver Cleavage or walking on my hands backwards to the ring shaving my [butt]. I was just happy to be there.
Beaver Cleavage’s potential:
I honestly think if that would have been let to go … that would have really gotten over. What happened was that started kicking off right when Owen had his accident, and then Sable had her sexual harassment suit. So anything controversial like that was just cut off. So unfortunately because of some other things that were going on, that’s why things got cut off. That’s the story I was given … [But] it was a fun character. People would have gotten into it. That was the whole thing back then. Everything back then was geared toward sex, and that’s exactly where that was going. The whole gimmick was insinuating I was having sex with my mother. So … you had The Godfather, you had Val Venis, you had Meat back then. It was right up that alley. So there was no doubt in my mind that it would have gotten over.
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