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Stuck in a limo with Vince

Hey Scott,

I think your readers would enjoy this interview I conducted with former WWE Magazine editor Brian Solomon to promote his new book, PRO WRESTLING FAQ.

Solomon shared some funny stories about being stuck in a limo with Vince McMahon and wearing Freddie Blassie's slippers. He also discussed working for Shane McMahon, why Smackdown Magazine failed, and the problem with getting advertising on RAW.


Thanks!

OK, but if my readers DON'T enjoy it, I know where you live.  

Comments

  1. Anyone else humming Stealers Wheel?

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  2. Adam "Colorado" CurryMay 5, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    Didn't Pillman's car wreck happen after he left WCW?

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  3. Douglas
    Scorpio
    Foley
    Pillman
    Austin
    Dudleys
    Spicolli

    I think it's fair to say Vince raided his share of ECW talent.

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  4. Why would vince want ecw around?

    Al Snow! Granted he didn't do.much after his return, but it gave him a place to send guys, when they needed it.

    What happens, if pillman signs with wcw and dies in October 97, right before their biggest ahow ever?

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  5. It was April 96, so during his limbo period. He was supposed to be in the Doomsday Cage at Uncensored and was in ECW at the same time.

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  6. Yup, about two days after his contract expired in April.

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  7. Pillman and Spicolli were not in ECW when they went to the WWF. We believe Vince paid for Scorp (that's what Paul says) and Dudleys and Taz were paid for by Vince IMO. Shane, Cactus and Austin were the only ones that "jumped" but even then I believe it was with Paul's knowledge and some money exchanged.

    The circumstances of Shane going back to ECW are very fishy and I wouldn't doubt Vince and Paul had an agreement, maybe Paul gets Shane and Vince gets Austin or Cactus or maybe both.

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  8. Foley and Austin were barely WCW guys, just issuing it as an Indy feed until they got contracts with WWF

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  9. Foley not an ECW guy? Mick was in ECW for most of 1994, after he was let go by WCW, and all of 1995 and until March of 96. His ECW work was amazing.

    Austin, yes.

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  10. Seems like Solomon is alluding to Meltzer being a total douchebag to deal with (unless he's talking about Basil DeVito, which seems unlikely in the context). Not exactly difficult to believe that little tidbit.

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  11. If he signs with WCW, his workload is considerable less and his abuse of pain pills, nesseciatated by harsh WWF road schedule, is limited. He probably lives past Oct 97.

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  12. The Ghost Of Meekin's MoobsMay 5, 2015 at 1:27 PM

    "One time we had a cover where Vince and Hulk Hogan were staring each other down from WrestleMania XIX. Shane was asking us if we could turn their heads around so you could see the other side of their face. And we would have to tell him, Shane, it’s a 2-dimensional image. (laughs) We can’t really turn it around—there is no other side of the face. So those were the kind of requests we would sometimes be pulling our hair out about.”
    Thick as fuck!

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  13. Meltzer wrote the forward to the book so it's not him.

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  14. My bad. Hmm...at a loss to come up with other wrestling historians whom he didn't already name as having been helpful. Regardless, I really enjoyed the interview, John. Glad Scott posted the link here. I'll probably pick up Solomon's book.

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  15. Pillman and The Outsiders happening around the same time is way cool. Hell, if Pillman ended up back with WCW I can see him being the 3rd man

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  16. Can't imagine Vince ever letting someone out of their contract so easily. But if so, Paul has to ask Vince personally. The relationship between Paul and Vince is one that will takes a hundred million years to decipher.

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  17. You still think his back injury was legit? The same back injury that everyone said he would have to retire because of it? Or the back injury that prevented him havin to job to the rock?

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  18. Apter perhaps?

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  19. Ah, that's in play. Good call. Or...Cornette?

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  20. They talk about it on the "Triumph and Tragedy of World Class" DVD, saying they had hopes Kerry would clean himself up better now in the big leagues but it soon became obvious he was too lost to his addictions to properly rely on.

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  21. No matter how many times you read about it or watch that "Loose Cannon" DVD, it still amazes you how well Pillman played everyone around him only to play himself even bigger. Like Arn Anderson says "He was either the craziest smart man I ever knew or the smartest crazy man I ever knew."

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  22. Paul E's explanation for Vince's support of ECW was an especially beautiful piece of bullshit that I don't even want to argue with him because how can you beat his reasoning?

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  23. Doinks to the left of me, Fujis to the right, here I am stuck in a limo with Vince.

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  24. Harlan Leverage IIIMay 5, 2015 at 2:32 PM

    Paul Heyman is the Jewish Eddie Guerrero: he lies, he cheats, he steals... but at least he's honest about it!

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  25. They could just reverse the image.

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  26. Good for you Dunkin Donuts Guy.

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  27. Go fall on a knife, retard.

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  28. When was he supposed to job to The Rock? He did miss over four years of ring time, including the company's hottest period - the edged attitude era that he was pushing for years earlier. And he was very hesitant to get back in the ring even when he did four years later. Unless he was exiled because of his drug problems I don't see why he'd fake an injury for four years.

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  29. He did borrow half a million from WWE. The blu-ray exclusives of "My Name Is Paul Heyman" includes a brief story where he says that ECW needed a loan in the summer of 2000 or else the company wouldn't be able to afford to hold its next PPV (Heat Wave 2000 in Los Angeles). Vince ended up giving ECW the money as a loan, so that's where most of that debt to WWE was created.

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  30. I wouldn't call Pillman, Spicoli, or Austin ECW guys and Foley is iffy. Foley already had a name in WCW but he did work the monthly shows for almost a year and a half. Spicolli on the other hand worked a handful of matches at most. Austin did some promos and worked two matches. Pillman never worked a match and did some promo work and a few in ring segments.

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  31. ehh, never underestimate how difficult Shane can be to work with and how annoying he can be to have in your locker room. The Dean Douglas character was already dead. Can't imagine Vince saw letting Douglas go as a big loss and he saved some money in the meantime.

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  32. was just going to type that. Heyman's expansion ended up costing the company far more than the added revenue. He took a 500k loan from Vince and also loans on future revenues from Acclaim (trying to keep their video game franchise alive).

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  33. They can barely put a competent story together, not like I'd expect them to know photoshop.

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  34. Tend to agree with Paul on this one. They'd just gotten their national TV deal, and Vince signs his heavyweight champ and his tag champs in one fell swoop.


    Can't blame them for leaving, but that put ECW behind the 8-ball right away. I imagine Vince might've thrown Paul a little extra cash for his trouble, but probably not enough to offset some of his main-eventers.

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  35. Apter also contributed quotes. Cornette is a good pick, I'm thinking maybe Mike Mooneyham.

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  36. That wasn't very nice.

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  37. If they could have afforded Tyson with Bret on the roster, imagine Tyson joining the Hart Foundation and Bret coming off like a huge hypocrite after he criticized America worshipping their "heroes".

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  38. "Paul never lied to the fans. He lied to the WRESTLERS but never the fans." Tommy Dreamer.

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  39. AverageJoeEverymanMay 5, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    "MY NAME WASNT ON THOSE CHECKS!!"

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  40. Because wrestlers never fake injuries. HBK didn't fake it without vince knowing. His drug use and attitude were apparently out of control at that point. They even tried the commissioner role later on and he was too fucked up for that. The next year was rehab, then he found god and its a miracle! he can work again! What back injury?

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  41. Concerning point 2... In late 1999, Vince McMahon raided Tazz, the ECW World Heavyweight Champion and the Dudley Boyz, the ECW World Tag Team Champions, in a matter of 2 weeks. I wouldn't call that bankrolling a wrestling company...

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  42. Those defections pretty much put the nail in the coffin for ECW. And don't forget the Blue Meanie.

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  43. Keep in mind, they went to the WWF. A few months later Mike Awesome jumped ship to WCW and caused all sorts of problems. Paul and Vince had an agreement when it came to guys going to the WWF, in my opinion.

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  44. It wasn't necessarily a "raid". Their contracts expired and Heyman couldn't match the offers. Heyman was so in debt that even signing the TNN deal couldn't give him enough cash flow to keep them.

    If your current employer can only offer you pennies compared to another employer, that's not a raid to go to the bigger pond.

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  45. This is true. ECW wrestlers were not begrudged for going to WWF unlike, say, ECW wrestlers going to WCW, which always seemed fraught with some sort of scandal or accusations of raiding talent.

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  46. In Foley's first book he goes over the psychology of that. To him, the ECW fanbase respected Vince, but resented Bischoff, because Vince is self-made and Bisch is seen as a corporate stooge who asskissed his way to being in charge.


    Also, historically ECW was built on shitting on WCW/NWA's legacy. What with Shane Douglas throwing down the big gold belt and ECW arena circa 94 chanting Flair is Dead, etc

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  47. According to Chris Jericho, Pillman wanted to form a new age Horsemen stable to feud with the original Four Horsemen.

    That could have been epic.

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  48. I'm aware of that. I remember hearing rumors of Pillman leading the Rouge Horsemen, but that was around the time he was running around WCW and ECW as the Loose Cannon, pre-dating nWo. If the timing had worked out (and no auto accident) he could have been a nice fit.

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  49. If the deaths of Louie Spicolli and Bobby Duncam, Jr. are any indication, Pillman's death would have been acknowledged only briefly and then quietly swept under the rug.

    Then again, maybe Bischoff would at least have enough dignity not to trot out Pillman's grieving widow on live television barely a day after Pillman passes away.

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  50. And just think of how hot he would have been if the rumored plan for him to chain himself to the goal post during the SuperBowl would have come to fruition.

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  51. I also think the Northeastern aspect plays into that, too. I imagine a lot of ECW fans back in the mid-90s were "divorced"/disgruntled WWF fans who already saw WCW as the enemy anyway.

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  52. Which is odd, b//c wouldn't late 80's NWA have fit their taste better than late 80's WWF?

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  53. If I were stuck in a limo with Vince, I imagine lots of blow and hookers.

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  54. Pillman's legs always creeped me out during his final months. Very much the poster child of "skipping leg day". But in Pillman's defense, you know, the fucked up ankle.

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  55. Big Dirty MurphMay 5, 2015 at 6:05 PM

    And put it on his fucking DVD! I mean Melanie Pillman had to agree to it but holy fuck maybe just don't? Asking her how she was going to feed her family the day after her husband was found dead is poor taste no matter who you are.

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  56. You can go down the line: Benoit, Eddy, Public Enemy, Sabu, Stevie, the Mole incident, Awesome; their was always hurt feelings from Paul's side. And even Sandman, he was highly involved with the Mole situation, so I'm sure when he jumped there was issues too.

    But when it came to WWF, Paul always seemed to split amicably.

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  57. I can only hope that Vince agreed to pay Melanie the remainder of Pillman's contract before getting her on live TV and asking a cruel, inhumane question like "how do you plan to feed your family?".

    I have been a wrestling fan since 1986 and had seen plenty of tasteless angles / characters in that time, but putting a grieving Melanie Pillman on RAW really made me feel embarrassed to be a fan.

    Yeah, Melanie agreed to it, and as you alluded, when it comes to stuff like that, just because you can does not mean you should.

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  58. In retrospect Austin could have gone over Bret finally at Summerslam - he avoids having his neck broken. Shawn can go over Undertaker, show Bret the door, avoid Montreal, and Austin goes over Shawn at WM14 with the win over Bret already under his belt.

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  59. Shawn's back was so fucked up during that match that, if there actually was an issue with him jobbing, Austin probably could've pinned him in a shoot (even with Austin's bad neck).

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  60. Would you consider Jericho an ECW guy?

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  61. Why have Vince be so polite?


    Was he so kind to the other promoters he gutted?

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  62. ECW always seemed to have a good relationship with WWF.


    You didn't see a ECW invades WCW angle, y'know.

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  63. Although SMW invaded both.

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  64. But where does that put me, brother? Nah, I got creative control - we ain't doing that.

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  65. We were all convinced for about maybe thirty minutes that Pillman's death was a work and Goldust had killed him. Well my dad thought that, but then he thought Owen was s work for about 15 seconds too. By 2003, they actually did work a death with Alfred Wilson - unless you count the 1999 death of Lex Luger - which you wouldn't really count.

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  66. Yes, which is the argument made by all three Dudleyz and Taz themselves on the Rise and Fall of ECW documentary. However, at the same time, the two top acts of ECW left with the debut in ECW on TNN around the corner, leaving Heyman in a tough spot. As Bischoff said it himself, it may apply, "one man's raid is another company's acquisition"

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  67. So what's the catalyst for the Shawn turn then, and when does the belt change hands to Michaels?

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  68. Shawn sounds like he was a dick, but at least he's grown to admit his wrongs.

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  69. I'm sure Jim Cornette has a great working relationship with Vince.

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  70. wouldn't that essentially mean that he is just cheating and stealing?

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  71. even if Vince wasn't technically "bankrolling" ECW, there was obviously some kind of deal (I mean - duh - they even appeared on WWF television as part of that quasi-Invasion angle).

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  72. Then blame Heyman for not being able to afford them, not Vince.

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  73. That 2 Cold Scorpio thing sounds a little BS-y to me. Not saying Heyman is lying, but sounds sketchy. I was watching the Heyman doc when he mentioned that and was surprised that a music label would spend $1000/week for a wrestler to promote their music. That's not a lot of money for a business, but most of the time labels want to have money paid to them for using their music. Why would Tommy Boy Records pay money for a guy to use their music on what was essentially cable access television? ECW was on various time slots on regional sports channels. I remember it used to be on at 5 pm on Thursdays and then moved to 11:30 pm on Tuesdays on my local network with no real notice. Just seems like a really bad business move and an easy way for Paul to justify getting paid by Vince.

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