WCW 2001- The Trio Ownership
World Championship Wrestling was once looked as the greatest wrestling promotion in the world. Hell, it was the number one promotion in the world for quite a while, as it beat out World Wrestling Federation in the “Monday Night Ratings Wars” for 86 straight weeks. Through major angles like the New World Order, WCW propelled itself to greatness by using the older stars like Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Ric Flair, and Sting to headline Pay Per View’s while the younger and talented guys like Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Misterio Jr., Chris Jericho, Booker T, and many others were stuck in the midcard, putting in countless excellent matches, but receiving no credit for those matches. WCW started to get old, fast. Angles and storylines were stale, matches were over-done or they sucked, silly gimmicks, and mainly, the backstage politics, all led to the death of WCW. World Championship Wrestling was once the greatest thing in professional wrestling, only to turn into a complete joke. WCW had its last show March 26, 2001, in Panama City, Florida. It was a “Night of Champions”, headline by Ric Flair facing off against old time rival Sting, with both men hugging each other afterwards as WCW ended a show for the final time. WCW was dead.
But what if WCW didn’t die? What if the legacy of World Championship Wrestling continued on? Well, in this alternate reality, WCW hangs on. They fight back, under new ownership. But the problem there is, they have to find a financial backer for this new ownership!
March 25, 2001- WCW Headquarters- 3:33 PM
Eric Bischoff was roaming through the halls of World Championship Wrestling Headquarters, thoughts running through his mind at a mile a minute. What am I going to say to the wrestlers and staff? How am I going to get a new backer for WCW? Who am I going to get as a backer for WCW? How can I tell them WWF may buy out WCW? How many guys would I have to let go if WCW does survive? All of these questions were just a small amount of thoughts and questions rolling through Bischoff’s mind. In about 20 minutes, a meeting is going to be starting where all members of WCW will be in attendance. Every staff member, including the ring crew, and every wrestler, from the highest of the highs, to the lowest of the lows, will be at the meeting. Bischoff made his way to the meeting, figuring it’d be best to be there early, and greet everyone who came in. Eric made his way to the conference room of Headquarters, and walked into the room, and to his surprise, he wasn’t alone in the room. The two living legends of WCW themselves were in the room talking to each other; Steve Borden and Ric Flair, The Stinger himself and The Nature Boy.
Bischoff: Steve, Ric, how are you?
Steve Borden: Afternoon Er-
Ric Flair: Look Bischoff, I’m going to cut to the chase quick, screw all this other crap. What is the future of WCW? What is going on? And Bischoff, shoot me straight, Steve and I helped make this company, so damn it, we deserve to know now what is going on.
Bischoff: Ric, normally, I would just say wait until the meeting, but in these circumstances, I won’t. I will fill you in Ric, and you too Steve. Look, WCW is a dead fish. We have no owner, no one wants to financially back us, and worst of all… McMahon wants to buy the company.
Flair: Hell no! Hold on a God damn minute here Eric! Are you trying to tell me that Vince McMahon wants to buy WCW!? I said shoot me straight God damn it, so don’t lie to me!
Bischoff: I’m not lying Ric, Vince wants to buy WCW. He placed a bid to Turner for 10 million dollars. Ted told me I have until the end of Nitro tomorrow night to tell him I had a backer for WCW, or he was going to sell to McMahon.
Flair begins to speak again, but Bischoff cuts him off.
Bischoff: Look Ric, I’m trying to do everything I can here to get a backer. I have been calling any company I can. I almost struck a deal with Fuscient Media but the damn bastards pulled out on me at the last minute once they found out we’d have no TV deal at all. I mean, I’m in neck deep water here Ric, and the water is continuing to rise. I am trying to find a backer, but I’m not having any luck.
Borden: Eric, everything will work out in the end. I have a feeling that you’re going to find a backer.
A few staff members and lower placed wrestlers were starting to arrive, and the talk was cut short.
Flair: We’ll talk about this later, Bischoff. I want to know who you’re in contact with, everything. I want WCW to stay alive, and I am going to do whatever it takes to keep WCW alive, you hear me?
Borden’s eyes widen and he looks as if a light bulb just popped in his head. Before he can say anything though, Eric says…
Bischoff: I hear you Ric, now go sit down, the meeting’s about to start.
Ric and Steve go find a seat, as Eric goes up to the head of the room. He waits a few minutes for everyone to get settled, and begins the meeting.
Bischoff: Alright everyone, thank you for showing up, it means a lot. I am going to keep this relatively quick, so you should be out of here shortly.
Bischoff takes a deep breath, and begins.
Bischoff: As you all know, WCW, all of us, have a problem. Turner wants out, he no longer wants to back the company. After Nitro concludes tomorrow night, he will cease to exist as the ‘owner’ of the company, and the company could very well be non-existent. There are two options right now. One, WCW gets a new financial backer. Now, I have been working hard for all of this year to try and find a new backer, as Turned told me after Starrcade 2000 that if things continued to go badly, he would back out. Well, things have continued to go bad financially, and Turner is backing out. I almost had a deal with Fuscient Media, but they back out once they found out WCW would have no TV time at all. Turner and TNT have decided that even if we could find a new financial backer, Nitro would be taken off the air as TNT and TBS both look to go in a new direction for their TV shows. Option two is Ted Turner sells WCW to Vince McMahon for 10 million dollars.
There is a large amount of stirs and whispers from the group after Bischoff drops the bomb involving Vince.
Bischoff: Now no way in hell am I going to let Vince McMahon buy this promotion. WCW is a legacy that has been built by each and every one of you, and I am not going to let what you all built be ruin and destroyed by that egomaniacal jackass! I don’t know how I am going to find a buyer within the next 30 or so hours, but some how, some way, WCW will get by. WCW will move along, and by God, WCW will once again become a global powerhouse, taking the professional wrestling industry by storm!
A good amount of applause breaks out from Bischoff’s speech; the members of WCW don’t want WCW to die either.
Bischoff: But men, if we’re going to become a big threat in the wrestling industry, things are going to have to change. The politics backstage, will be thrown away with. From now on, everyone has an equal chance to be a someone in WCW. And also, if we are going to find a, no, when we find a financial backer, money is going to be tight. We’re not going to have Ted Turner’s billions to throw around to people. So when we find a backer, everyone, I mean everyone *tosses a look to the area where Nash, Luger, and Bagwell among other are sitting* will take a cut in pay. Quite a large sum cut of pay too for many of you. But if you truly love this company and care about WCW’s legacy, the cut in money won’t matter to you. You’ll be a part of this company because you love to wrestle, and because you love WCW.
Bischoff turns to his right, and grabs a thick stack of papers. He places the stack of papers on one side of the desk in front of him. He turns to his left then, grabs another stack of papers, this one thinner than the other stack, and he places them on the other side of the desk.
Bischoff: These two stacks of papers are two sets of contracts. The first stack of contracts I places on the table are a copy of your AOL-Time Warner contracts. The second stack of contracts is the new contracts for the new WCW when we find a buyer. I am going to give you all a copy of your current AOL-Time Warner contract, as well as a new contract for the new WCW. You have two options. You can either sign the new contract, making your AOL-Time Warner contract null and void, or you can sit-out the rest of your AOL-Time Warner contract and collect all the money from it. By tomorrow night before Nitro starts, I am expecting you to either give me a signed new WCW contract, or verbal confirmation that you are going to sit-out the rest of your AOL-Time Warner contract. The choice is now up to you ladies and gentleman, but let me remind you of something. Just because you sign the contract, does not mean you will still be apart of WCW.
Bischoff: As said before, money will be tight, so not everybody will be able to stay aboard WCW, and in that case, if you sign the contract but we say we can’t afford to keep you on the roster, you may then either keep your AOL-Time Warner contract and sit that out, or you may be a free agent and pursue other options. That actually reminds me of another thing, you may also just make the decision to pursue other options, like trying to go into other companies… up north. You can have your AOL-Time Warner contract ripped up, but not sign a new contract. You have those options, go home, and think about those options, make a decision, and either call me to tell me of your options, or tell me tomorrow at Night of the Champions. You are free to leave, I shall see you all hopefully tomorrow.
One by one, the staff and wrestlers of WCW stood up and left the conference room. Many men were talking amongst themselves, most likely asking each other if they thought WCW would get a buyer, and if they did, who would stay and leave WCW. The last men to leave the conference room were Booker T, Lance Storm, Ric Flair, and Steve Borden. Flair and Borden are the very last two, and Borden stares down Bischoff as Flair whispers into his ear. Bischoff wondered what was going on, and then… an idea popped into Bischoff’s mind.