An article by Mike Mooneyham
Published Oct. 26, 1997
The war of words between World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation continues to accelerate.
Jim Ross, in response to recent remarks by WCW executive vice president Eric Bischoff, lashed out at Bischoff on a recent hotline report. Bischoff recently said that the best thing to happen to WCW was Jim Ross and Jim Cornette going to the WWF. Ross, a senior vice president of Titan Sports and former vice president at WCW under Cowboy Bill Watts, said Bischoff worked for him at WCW and “poured him coffee.”
[ad#MikeMooneyham-336×280]Ross, the highest-ranking non-McMahon in the WWF, claimed Bischoff’s biggest contribution was using Ted Turner’s money to steal the stars the WWF created. Bischoff earlier had revealed that Ross once called him and asked for a job at WCW. Ross, who is in charge of contract negotiations and talent recruiting in the WWF and plays a major role in booking in addition to his announcing duties, admitted that he contacted Bischoff some time ago in regards to future employment. He said that both he and Bischoff agreed that those conversations would be kept confidential and off the record, and that by going public, Bischoff was a liar.
The verbal battle, however, has not been limited to the front line for both companies. Even Fred Blassie, a longtime WWF employee and one of the sport’s legendary figures, quipped at a recent Cauliflower Alley gathering that since WCW had a wrestling school, Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall should go the school to learn how to wrestle.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan defends his WCW world crown against Roddy Piper in a cage match in the main event of tonight’s Halloween Havoc pay-per-view at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Look for plenty of interference at the end of this bout, with Diamond Dallas Page and Sting likely confronting the NWO forces.
The highly popular Rey Misterio Jr. is expected to lose his mask in his Havoc match against Eddie Guerrero in which Guerrero will put his cruiserweight title up against Misterio’s hood. Misterio, however, has been adamant about losing the mask and has made his feelings known to Eric Bischoff.
WCW officials believe that Misterio would be even more effective without the mask and would be able to display facial expressions, although the opposite side of that coin is that the 5-4, 140-pound Misterio looks like a teen-ager and wouldn’t be taken seriously in matches against larger and much older-looking wrestlers. There also would be much more impact with much higher stakes if the mask removal came a couple of years later.
Alex Wright, who recently signed a two-year contract extension with WCW worth more than $200,000 a year, is expected to be Debra McMichael’s “big surprise” tonight against Steve McMichael.
Ric Flair, who isn’t yet 100 percent since his face is still tender from recent surgery, will meet Curt Hennig in a U.S. title grudge match that could build to a tentatively planned world title bout between Flair and Hogan at the World War III pay-per-view in Detroit on Nov. 23.
Also on the Halloween Havoc lineup: Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall with Larry Zbyszko as special referee; Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage; Jacquelyn vs. Disco Inferno; and Ultimo Dragon vs. Yuji Nagata.
Last Monday night was the most-watched night of wrestling in the history of the Monday night wars.
Nitro registered a resounding 4.54 rating (4.65 first hour, 4.47 second hour), while Raw recorded a respectable 2.96 rating (2.88, 3.05). The combined audience was a record-breaking 7.4 rating and 5.6 million homes. The previous mark was a 7.1 rating and 5 million homes that was set on Aug. 4.
The Nitro replay did a strong 2.24 rating and 4.69 share.
Weekend ratings: WCW Main Event 1.4, WCW Saturday Night 2.0, WCW Pro 1.3, WWF Live Wire 1.4, WWF Superstars 1.8.
Owen Hart suffered a serious concussion at the Raw tapings Tuesday night in Oklahoma City as a result of a kick from Ahmed Johnson during an Intercontinental title match, but he is expected to return in time for the Survivors Series pay-per-view on Nov. 2.