TV Guide – December 5-11, 1998
By Bruce Newman
Pro Wrestling’s Outrageous Superstars Are Pinning Down The Sport’s Biggest Audiences And Ratings Ever! Here’s Why.
Before you see him on-screen, you hear him coming with the thunderously amplified sound of glass shattering into a thousand jagged pieces. It’s as if Stone Cold Steve Austin had just kicked in the front of your television set. And in a way he has. Striding into the ring for Raw Is War (USA Network, Mondays, 9 P.M./ET), the feared dreadnought of the World Wrestling Federation glowers at the red light on the top of the television camera. But rather than rushing to drop his opponent into that orthopedic hell known as the Stone Cold Stunner, he responds to the crowd’s plea to once again preach the gospel according to him, Austin 3:16. “I just whupped your ass!” he bellows and triumphantly raises his huge biceps into the air. Like Hollywood Hulk Hogan, who at this moment is doing virtually the same routine on TNT’s WCW Monday Nitro (Mondays, 8 P.M./ET), Austin’s greatest strength as a wrestler is his mouth. “I don’t read from a script out there,” Austin says. “Everything from me is ad-lib. You turn a camera on, put that little red light on me, I’m gonna go.” So turn a little red light on TV’s hottest form of entertainment, because as Austin himself might say: Hell, yeah! Professional wrestling is ready for its close-up. Continue reading
Posted in 1998
Tagged Bill Goldberg, Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, Jesse Ventura, New World Order, nWo, Steve Austin, Undertaker, WCW, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation, WWF
Scripps-Howard News Service – December 30, 2001
By Alex Marvez
Never has Ric Flair’s trademark “Woooo!” sounded so good.
Flair’s recent return to wrestling after an eight-month absence was long overdue. Flair – who is regarded as the greatest performer in wrestling history by most industry observers – debuted in the World Wrestling Federation last month as the promotion’s “co-owner” along with Vince McMahon. Continue reading
Galveston County Daily News – December 20, 2001
By Scott Williams
It’s said that nature abhors a vacuum, but the wrestling industry has been making what Ross Perot might call “giant sucking sounds” for months. A couple of would-be players are scrambling to fill the void, but scrambles often turn to stumbles. Continue reading
Posted in 2001
Tagged ECW, Extreme Championship Wrestling, Jimmy Hart, Vince McMahon, Vince Russo, WCW, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling All-Stars, World Wrestling Federation, WWF, XWF
Spy – June, 1991
By Irving Muchnick
The grim, borderline-pornographic world of professional bodybuilding – the world that gave us Arnold Schwarzenegger – has been controlled for years by two elderly brothers. Now Vince McMahon, the, uh, brains behind Hulk Hogan’s crossover stardom, is moving in on the brothers’ turf. IRVIN MUCHNICK reports on the pumped-up, steroid-fueled marketing war between the impresarios who make megabucks.
If you have remote control, a cable hookup and way too much free time, you know Vince McMahon. He’s the tuxedoed, shellac-haired, Nautilized emcee of the syndicated program “Superstars of Wrestling,” the USA network’s “Prime Time Wrestling,” and NBC’s “Saturday Night’s Main Event,” all produced under the aegis of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). McMahon’s is an uncharismatic, if he-manly, TV presence; he’s TV wrestling’s Zeppo Marx, looking on, deadpan, while Hulk Hogan and Sergeant Slaughter shove fingers in each other’s faces and pretend to argue. But like Bill Cosby and Merv Griffin, whose on-screen personalities are equally unpresumptuous, McMahon is actually a shrewd, tenacious businessman with a multimillion-dollar empire. TitanSports Inc., his $150-million-a-year company (and the parent company of the WWF), has a brand-new, $9 million office complex in Stamford, Connecticut, complete with state-of-the-art TV-production facilities. In addition to the cable and network shows, there are nightly live wrestling exhibitions and four-times-yearly arena extravaganzas, broadcast over pay-per-view for up to $30 a pop – WrestleMania V, staged in 1989, grossed nearly $21 million. There are WWF videocasssettes, posters, toys, apparel, a WWF Magazine, even WWF ice cream bars, molded in the images of WWF wrestlers. And there are WWF stars who have managed to cross over into more conventional realms: Rowdy Roddy Piper landed the lead in the 1988 movie “They Live”; Jesse “The Body” Ventura was last fall elected mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota; and Hulk Hogan has starred in both feature films (the forthcoming “Suburban Commando” and 1989’s “No Holds Barred”) and a commercial for Right Guard deodorant. Add it all up and you’ve got an entertainment conglomerate of formidable financial might. Continue reading
Orlando Sentinel – July 15, 2001
By Ric Russo
Now she’s just Joanie Laurer.
Recently in his weekly Ross Report, WWF official Jim Ross reported contract negotiations between Laurer — a k a Chyna — and the WWF had broken off. Continue reading
Orlando Sentinel – May 27, 2001
By Ric Russo
Speaking of WCW, in the time since the organization dropped from the radar screen, I have received a plethora of e-mails concerning its status.
I know as much, or as little, as you do.
No relaunch date has been set by the WWF, and the wrestlers themselves — the WCW performers who came with the purchase agreement — aren’t talking either. This much is known, courtesy of WWF official and television announcer Jim Ross: Continue reading
Orlando Sentinel – July 29, 1988
By Alan Schmadtke
MOUNT DORA — Gene Bebber can remember watching television as a child and changing channels to watch professional wrestling. It was something his friends did as well, he said, something about which they could see drama unfold with each fireman’s carry. Continue reading
New York Post – March 8, 2000
By Don Kaplan
A 20/20 profile of pro-wrestling star Mick Foley was the spark that ignited a war between WWF honcho Vince McMahon and the makers of a new wrestling film called Beyond the Mat.
The day after the 20/20 piece aired, McMahon accused Beyond the Mat distributor Lions Gate Films of using the ABC newsmagazine to promote the movie. Continue reading
Wilmingston Morning Star – December 4, 1996
By Ronald Jordan
“They have leadership, and we have none.”
Those were the words of announcer Larry Zbyszko a few weeks ago when assessing why the New World Order had been so successful in its attempts to dominate and control World Championship Wrestling. Well, now that WCW senior executive vice president and key announcer Eric Bischoff has joined the NWO it now looks like total domination. Continue reading
Posted in 1996
Tagged Bret Hart, Eric Bischoff, Faarooq, Flash Funk, Nation of Domination, New World Order, nWo, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Ron Simmons, Shawn Michaels, Sid Vicious, Sting, Too Cold Scorpio, WCW, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Federation, WWF
The Ledger – February 1, 2002
By Matt Tracker/Gregory Dickens
The WWF continues its run of no-nonsense serial drama, and why not – wrestling is a TV entity nowadays. As much as people may decry the label of “male soap opera,” let’s be frank, it is just that.
Vince McMahon, Victor Numan. They ain’t that different. They’re the same type of characters: super-rich, dressed to the nines, larger-than-life and wielding significant power. And, of course, both overact like you wouldn’t believe. Continue reading
Posted in 2002
Tagged Big Show, Hulk Hogan, Kane, Kevin Nash, New World Order, nWo, Ric Flair, Scott Hall, Vince McMahon, World Wrestling Federation, WWF, X-Pac