The Sale Of WCW to WWE

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The Sale Of WCW to WWE

The timeline of events below are taken from the archives of Wrestling-Online.com and Wrestling-Online Newsletter. All information was accurate at time of the date stamps below.

Timeline of story: 01/11/2001 to 05/29/2001.

Thursday, January 11th 2001

҂ It’s finally official. After several years, WCW is no longer part of the Turner empire. Eric Bischoff led the team of Fusient Media Ventures, headed by Brian T. Bedol, President and Chief Executive Officer and Stephen D. Greenberg, Chairman of the company. The announcement was made earlier today at a meeting between the parties. Brad Siegel, former head honcho of WCW sent memos to every WCW employee after the meeting explaining the sale.

҂ As said in the previous news bit, Fusient Media Ventures acquired World Championship Wrestling from Time Warner. Who are Fusient? The company is an integrated media company that invests in high-potential, branded media properties. The headquarters are in New York, with offices also in Los Angeles. Brian T. Bedol serves as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Before creating Fusient, Bedol was the creator, co-founder and CEO of Classic Sports Network, now known as ESPN Classic. CSN was then sold to ESPN Disney company back in October of 1997. Stephen D. Greenberg is the Chairman of Fusient, and just like his partner Bedol, he co-founded the Classic Sports Network in 1995. The two have been together ever since, and ultimately creating Fusient Media Ventures. Tom Lassally is the President of Fusient West Coast, as well as President of Fusient Studios, a division of the company. Lassally’s previous work was an executive vice president at Warner Brothers Studios.

҂ Apart from the three Fusient main executives, the company employs other 12 important executives. Alan Gold is the Senior Vice President, Business Development and Strategic Investments; Marc Metis is Senior Vice President, Business Development; Jeffrey Jonas, Senior Vice President, Sales and Distribution; Richard Copeland, Senior Vice President, West Coast Sales and Distribution; Abigail Klem, Vice President, Business Affairs; Jonathan Barnes, Director, Business Development; Debra Langer, Director, Business Development; Gregory Little, Director, Content Development; Keven Duffy, Director, Content Development; Norbert Gambuzza, Director of Sales and Properties; Suzanne Feldman, Director, Technology Strategy; Kamal Patel, Director of Finance.

҂ After leaving World Championship Wrestling again in mid last year, Eric Bischoff is now once again President of World Championship Wrestling. “Wrestling fans can rest assured that we will give the WCW the adrenaline shot it needs to once again become the most exciting brand of wrestling in the world,” said Bischoff in a press release sent by Fusient a few hours ago. Bischoff returned to WCW as an adviser last year, and teamed up with Vince Russo in a tag team that most believed it wouldn’t last long. Indeed, it didn’t last long. The new WCW era ended at the Bash when Vince Russo did a shoot on Hulk Hogan calling him a “piece of sh*t”. Since that day, Bischoff disappeared from WCW although he was still receiving money. Bischoff went from just an announcer to a booker to vice president and now president once again. He was the man behind the company signing important wrestlers from the WWF, including Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and others. The “nWo”, which he created with Hall and Nash is still considered one of the best – if not the best – wrestling angle in the history of this business. Bischoff will run the creative side of the new WCW.

҂ Although WCW won’t be owned by Time Warner anymore, the company will still keep a minority interest in World Championship Wrestling in order to broadcast the WCW shows, Nitro on TNT, Thunder and Worldwide on TBS. Nitro could however switch channels in the future depending on the direction that Time Warner goes with their cable channel TNT. It’s been rumored for quite a while that TNT will have all its programming changed and the shows would be transferred on another Time Warner owned channel.

҂ During a conference call between Bischoff, Bedol, Siegel and media reporters, Bedol said that Fusient has purchased the contracts of everyone involved in World Championship Wrestling. As of right now, Bedol couldn’t comment if there would be any talent or front office workers releases. Around 50 to 60 people work in the WCW Headquarters plus more than that number when it comes to talent. Eric Bischoff said that he called some of the WCW wrestlers this morning and all were happy that the sale has ended.

҂ The big question now is what will happen to Hulk Hogan? The complete sale of WCW to Fusient Media Ventures will be finalized within the next month, however Eric Bischoff takes control of the company effective immediately. Hulk Hogan has been rumored to be one of the main bookers of the new WCW, with special on-camera appearances. Hogan is one of Bischoff’s closest friends, along with Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page. It’s impossible not to think that those three individuals won’t have a say in the running of the shows. A Hogan return would certainly upset most of the younger stars and those who are enjoying the spotlight after years and years in the company. It’s no secret that Eric Bischoff likes to use older stars on his shows and his return, as well as Hogan’s, will no doubtly spark some electricity in the locker room.

Monday, January 15, 2001

҂ Several industry sources are reporting that yesterday Eric Bischoff held a meeting with every WCW superstar at the Sin pay-per-view. Both Bischoff and new CEO Brian Bedol were in Indianapolis yesterday attending the event. The meeting was basically to cover some issues regarding the recent sale of WCW.

Monday, February 26, 2001

҂  Problems between Time Warner and Fusient Media Ventures over the sale of WCW almost led to the deal completely falling apart according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer. Although it wasn’t revealed why the deal was in trouble, everything seems back to normal now with the sale supposedly being finalized in the beginning of March. Time Warner officials were ready to shut down the company if the sale fell through and if no other interested buyers approached them.

Monday, March 12, 2001

҂  Online sources are reporting that this week there should be an answer from WCW head honcho Brad Siegel regarding the future of WCW. Siegel is currently on holiday as is Eric Bischoff. Talks between WCW and Fusient Media Ventures broke down late last month and no announcement was done. With Siegel out of office for the past week, negotiations were halted and everyone is being left in the dark. Monday 26th March is the final date WCW has on its calendar in regards to shows. No arenas have been booked and no tickets went on sale. The are no dates in April and the only date booked after that is May 6th – the ‘Big Bang’ PPV from Las Vegas, NV.

Tuesday, March 13, 2001

҂  Wade Keller of the Torch reported today that WCW head Brad Siegel met with Fusient Media Ventures executives in Atlanta. Keller adds that sources close to the situation said that the meeting was held to try to ‘save the deal’ and not to finalize it. There’s still no word on what actually went down at the meeting.

Friday, March 23, 2001

҂  Today World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc., announced the acquisition of World Championship Wrestling from AOL Time Warner. WWFE Inc., now has the rights for the name ‘WCW’, it’s extensive video library and other property rights. “This acquisition is the perfect creative and business catalyst for our company,” said Linda McMahon in the press release. WWF President and Chief Operating Officer Stuart Snyder also adds, “The acquisition of the WCW brand is a strategic move for us…..it is a perfect fit.” In the press release it was stated that the new WCW TV shows will air on TNN in the near future and while there’s a possibility of inter-promotion feuds, fireworks might start this Monday on RAW and on Nitro at the same time!

҂  CNN FN, Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News, Wall Street Journal, Reuters and others picked up the story of the WCW acquisition right after the announcement was done. The deal is expected to make headlines in major newspapers and online magazines tomorrow. None of the stories had any financial information on the deal, but since the WWF is a public company, they have to list how much they paid for the company sooner or later.

҂  During a conference call earlier today with Linda McMahon and Stuart Snyder, Snyder said that when the WWF re entered discussions three weeks ago, one major obstacle had to be shot down – WCW programming had to be dropped from TNT & TBS due to the exclusive agreement with Viacom. With that said, the cancellation of WCW shows from Time Warner-owned stations is more clear. Fusient probably were left in the dark over the past three weeks while the WWF were doing their own arrangements with AOL Time Warner officials. Fusient were desperately searching for a new network for WCW but all plans failed. WWF had the golden opportunity to take over and they did. AOL TW did what WWF requested to clear the hurdle with Viacom, and the rest…is history.

҂ WCW head honcho Brad Siegel sent a memo to everyone in WCW announcing the new deal with the World Wrestling Federation. Siegel said that the agreement with the WWF “holds tremendous potential for the WCW brand and assets”. Siegel also reminded everyone to show up at the meeting at the WCW Power Plant on March 28th at 10AM. During this meeting Siegel will share more information about the immediate plans the WWF hold for WCW.

҂ The official WCW website WCW.COM posted the press release with the announcement of the World Wrestling Federation buying out WCW today. Other then that nothing else was mentioned throughout the site. It was rather funny seeing both WWF.COM and WCW.COM posting the same item plugging each other! Who would’ve thought we’d come to this?

҂ There are conflicting reports regarding the story over which WCW wrestlers will the WWF keep. Some sources say that the WWF are only interested in a handful of wrestlers, while others are saying that many of the young stars will be signed along with a few top name stars. The only thing reported the same is that the WWF aren’t interested in the top guys who have a guaranteed contract of more then $1 million. That could cause trouble with the current top WWF stars if they got signed because no matter what they do, the WCW stars would receive that amount where as WWF stars have to work their butts off to get paid more during the year.

҂ With this WCW purchase, many current WCW superstars will be left out due to their high cost guaranteed contracts. AOL Time Warner will be responsible for paying the left-out wrestlers for the whole duration of the contract and obviously blocking them from going anywhere. The other option is for AOL Time Warner to offer the contracted wrestlers a complete buyout, paying them less then the full amount but they will be free to negotiate with any other federation. This is the best option for the WWF since they can work out a deal with the released wrestlers offering them a downside contract instead of their current guaranteed agreement.

Saturday, March 24, 2001

҂ The paper work to finalize the purchase of WCW from AOL Time Warner will be signed next week and from there on, WWFE, Inc., will have total control of WCW. Right now the WWF are signed with a binding letter to secure the deal. Previous lawsuits and other type advertising will not be transferred to the WWF and AOL TW will have to deal with any pending issues as well as high salary contracts. The WWF will take over some of the licensing agreements that were previously done with WCW and a couple of wrestler contracts.

҂ Some WWF superstars will be on Nitro this coming Monday along with WWF officials for the last Nitro ever on TNT. Nitro is being re-written by both WWF and WCW creative team and it should kick off some of the cross-branding between the two federations. It’s not known who will appear, but sources say that they will appear on camera. Dave Scherer also reports that Bischoff could possibly be on Nitro as well. Now that’s interesting to see.

҂ The Pro Wrestling Torch released the names whose contracts were bought by the WWF along with the name ‘WCW’, the tape library and almost all the trademark names including the popular ‘nWo’. These superstars are: Lance Storm, Sean O’Haire, Mike Awesome, Chuck Palumbo, Miss Hancock, Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, Mike Sanders, Hugh Morrus, Billy Kidman, Elix Skipper, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Shawn Stasiak, Kaz Hayashi, Yang, and Mark Jindrak. I guess Stasiak is the first to be released by the WWF and picked up again with the purchase of WCW.

҂ Dave Meltzer of the Observer reported earlier today that TNN agreed to carry a WCW show on Saturday nights between 11PM and 1AM EST. Obviously there could be changes in the time slot preferably moving it down to a prime time slot on another day. Although nothing has been confirmed, Linda McMahon said during the conference call that there will be hints when Nitro will go back on air this Monday.

҂ Former WCW champion Kevin Nash said during an interview that he will sit at home and collect his $1.6 million from AOL Time Warner instead of accepting a buyout and negotiating a new deal with the WWF. Can you say he just secured a permanent spot out of the business until a new promotion get started? On the other hand, Flair said that he won’t mind working for McMahon again during an interview with the Charlotte Observer newspaper. “Somehow we always thought it would work out, it’s unbelievable. I always thought it would be part of TBS,” said Flair. When commenting on Vince McMahon, he said, “I think he could make it fly again. He has been great to me personally. He has done miraculous things with wrestling.”

Sunday, March 25, 2001

҂ Edge, Christian, Test & K-Kwik were at Panama Beach, FL., the site of tomorrow’s Nitro. They were all on a WWF promotional appearance however the rumor is that Edge & Christian will be two of the wrestlers who will show up on Nitro tomorrow. The other two rumored are the Hardy Boyz. Bob Ryder of WCW Live! and 1wrestling.com said that E&C met with WCW wrestlers at the Boardwalk Beach Resort where everyone is staying. One of the WCW wrestlers said that the former WWF tag team champs were ‘really cool’ and introduced themselves to everyone.

҂ Jeff Marek of the LAW & the Observer reported earlier today that the new WCW show has been changed from a Saturday airing to a Friday one on TNN. According to the story, the tapings would be done on Wednesdays so a few WWF officials including Vince McMahon can attend. So far talks are only for one show, so Thunder will probably be scrapped. There’s no news if they will keep WorldWide either.

Monday, March 26, 2001

҂ WWF Chairman Vince McMahon will be on RAW Is WAR tonight addressing the WCW purchase from AOL Time Warner. This will no doubt be an explosive Monday night with WWF stars on Nitro and WCW stars rumored on RAW. The possible plan for this is to link up Nitro and RAW at the same time for the announcement where both shows will show the same segment.

҂ Several sources are reporting that Scott Steiner is booked to drop the WCW Heavyweight title tonight to Booker T on the ‘season finale’ Nitro on TNT. Dave Meltzer of the Observer says that Steiner is not in the WWF plans at the moment so having him ending the show with a title belt would be meaningless. The new owners are very interested in Booker T and giving him the title to end the Nitro era on TNT is definitely a good sign for the former Harlem Heat member.

҂ Apart from the rumored Edge & Christian and the Hardy Boyz showing on Nitro, WWF agent Gerald Brisco and talent co-ordinator Bruce Prichard are supposed to be attending the show. WWF New Media president Shane McMahon is in Panama City, FL., and will be appearing on the show.

҂ Former WCW president Eric Bischoff have pulled his appearance from tonight’s Nitro after last week he appeared on the show via a telephone call and announced the show as a ‘Night Of Champions’. Bischoff was scheduled to be part of tonight’s program before the news broke out that the WWF purchased WCW on Friday afternoon. Sources are saying that Bischoff is still trying to negotiate a deal to start a national promotion.

҂ The TV deal for the new WCW show is still not finalized and WWF officials are hoping that it’s sealed by tonight so it can be announced on Nitro’s final show on TNT. The latest is that the show will air on Friday evenings, with a time not set yet. Saturday late night is also being considered.

Tuesday, March 27, 2001

҂ Just like his dad, Shane held a meeting before Nitro that lasted around 15 minutes reports Wade Keller of the Pro Wrestling Torch. McMahon told everyone in attendance that anyone has a shot staying with WCW – a comment which many are finding hard to believe. Shane said that WCW will go dark for the next six to eight weeks until a new relaunch on TNN on a different time slot. There was no discussion regarding the contracts the WWF bought with the sale or any other type of contracts.

҂ The usual flash intro on the splash page of WCW.COM is now nonexistent. What you will find is a picture of Shane McMahon, with a message directed to WCW fans with the headline ‘This is only the beginning’. There are no major changes to the WCW.COM website yet, as today’s only new item is the WCW Nitro report with pictures from the event. Shane is the President of WWF New Media so you can expect a major boost to the .COM properties of World Championship Wrestling.

҂ Over the weekend we contacted BSkyB representatives to see what the future holds for WCW broadcasts on their Digital platform. BSkyB have a multi-year deal with the WWF to air all WWF shows including eight of their PPVs live. We asked BSkyB if they will acquire WCW programming as well since now they are owned by the WWF. “Unfortunately, BSkyB has no plans at present to broadcast WCW events. Rest assured, however, that your interest has been noted and passed on to the Head of Sports for his attention,” said J. Forsyth from the company. Bravo currently airs WCW Nitro and will also air the final episode this Friday night.

Wednesday, March 28, 2001

҂ Today at the WCW staff meeting in WCW offices, the administration staff was fired all in one go. Buck Woodward of 1wrestling.com reports that a WWF Human Resources representative was present at the meeting and told everyone that if they wanted to re-apply for a job under the WWFE umbrella, they should fill out a form and they would be considered. Staff members were ordered to return all mobile phones, pagers and other equipment that are AOL Time Warner property. Those fired will receive nine weeks of pay and will also receive a four week pay for every year they have been employed by WCW.

҂ Only four people from the WCW offices managed to keep their jobs automatically with the sale. These are according to Dave Scherer, Diana Myers in legal department, Aaron Blitzstein in marketing, Rob Garner in advertising and Steve Barrett in production. Yours truly had a ‘nice’ telephone conversation with Ms Myers back in 1998 over the WCW stuff used on Wrestling-Online.com . She’s a shark!

҂ WCW head honcho, or should we say ex, no showed at the meeting today where all WCW employees were in attendance. Many people are blaming Brad Siegel for the sale to the WWF instead of working it out with Fusient officials. Siegel was the person that sent the memo to everyone about the sale and requested that everyone should attend the meeting today.

Saturday, March 31, 2001

҂ Dave Meltzer of the Observer reports that around ten of the WCW wrestlers whose contracts were picked up by the WWF were told to pack their bags, put their wrestling attire and title belt if they have one and go to Houston for WrestleMania. Meltzer says that all are supposed to have meetings with Jim Ross prior to the event.

Monday, April 2, 2001

҂ A few WCW stars appeared at WrestleMania yesterday during the Shane/Vince confrontation. Ms Hancock, Hugh Morrus, Mike Awesome, Lance Storm, Sean Stasiak, Chavo Jr and the Thrillers were sitting in the Skybox cheering on Shane. When Shane gave his new buds a ‘shout out’ before the match, the Texas crowd welcomed the WCW stars with a chorus of boos. Welcome to the WWF. I’m sure they were impressed on how to actually put a PPV!

҂ No WCW stars are expected to be on RAW tonight as Dave Meltzer reports that everyone who was in attendance for last night’s WrestleMania was flown back to home earlier today. Besides Shane is hosting the RAW party from WWFNY so it doesn’t make much sense to have them when he’s not around.

Thursday, April 5, 2001

҂ Dave Meltzer of the Observer reported today that many of the WCW wrestlers who had a 90-day cycle option in their contract were told that their contract will be terminated by Time Warner. These do not include the contracts which were picked by the WWF in the first place although many believe that the WWF will do the same and negotiate a new contract with the guys they picked. A list of the effected wrestlers haven’t been released.

҂ Yesterday we reported that the tickets for the first WCW TV taping in May will go on sale on the 14th of this month. Today the official website of the Sovereign Bank Arena at http://www.sovereignbankarena.com listed the new WCW show in their events schedule. They still didn’t announce a name for the show and there’s no confirmation if it will be called ‘Nitro’. Fans in Trenton, NJ., will be lucky to see the ‘re-birth’ of WCW under the ownership of the McMahon family. Tapings will start at 7:30PM.

Friday, April 6, 2001

҂ We got word from Sovereign Bank Arena officials today that the WCW show scheduled for tapings on May 9th has been canceled. No reason has been given as to why the show was knocked off. Ticketmaster.com also removed the entry from its database.

҂ In his latest Ross Report, JR said that as of today, 24 WCW wrestlers are contracted with the company. Apart from the wrestlers, no one else was hired as far as referees, ring crew, TV announcers etc. Ross said that the new tentative TV taping is on Saturday June 9th, and the program would air on TNN that same night from 11PM to 1AM. It’s funny how McMahon who basically lifted TNN with his WWF can’t get another primetime spot on the network for another of his shows.

҂ Ross also said that house shows won’t start until early fall which means that during summer, all there would be is one WCW TV show with no other events throughout the week. As far as pay-per-views go, the tentative month is to start them in September, although that’s still in consideration.

Saturday, April 7, 2001

҂ A three hour meeting between WWF officials took place on Thursday at the WWFE Headquarters in Stamford, CT., to discuss the future of WCW reports Jim Ross. Ross said that several of the WCW stars whose contract were not picked up by the WWF will be given a chance to join the company after they get out of the Time Warner contract. AOL TW are offering much less money for the individuals who had a high-salary guaranteed contract if they chose to accept a buyout. But for those wrestlers, that’s the only way to get out and negotiate a new contract with the WWF to start in WCW again.

҂ Time Warner’s motion to close the racial discrimination lawsuits which former WCW employees filed last year was rejected by an Atlanta judge, who ruled that they could also sue Turner Sports if they chose to. Pending lawsuits against WCW weren’t transferred to the WWF when they bought the company so AOL Time Warner is stuck with a dozen of lawsuits against them.

Wednesday, April 11, 2001

҂  The first WCW show under the WWFE umbrella will now be taking place at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA., on June 9th. Jim Ross last week announced that the show will be taped and aired on Saturday night via a tape delay between 11PM and 1AM EST on TNN.

҂ WWF.COM has a poll featuring a couple of names for the new WCW Saturday night show. Among the names featured, there are ‘WCW Saturday Night Nitro’, ‘WCW Hot Box’, ‘WCW Uprising’, ‘WCW Late Night Appetite’, ‘WCW Hard-On Saturday Night’ and ‘WCW Primal Urge’.

Thursday, April 12, 2001

҂ Bob Ryder of 1wrestling.com reported today that Macho Man Randy Savage made a bid to buy WCW from AOL Time Warner when Fusient Media Ventures backed out of the deal. Ryder says that Savage was mostly interested in the video library which is one of the company’s biggest assets. Since the WWF were already in deep negotiations with AOL TW officials, Savage’s bid came in a little bit late.

Saturday, April 14, 2001

҂  There are ongoing meetings between high WWF officials regarding the new WCW. At the moment, the choosing of agents, writers and TV broadcasters seem to be the highest priority. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday there will be meetings in Atlanta with the already signed wrestlers and potential production crew, writers etc reports Jim Ross. Meetings will then be held at the WWF Headquarters in Stamford, CT., after the return from Atlanta. The tentative date to start is early June with a timeslot on TNN between 11PM and 1AM every Saturday night.

҂ Some WWF mid-card wrestlers and developmental talent from Memphis may soon find a new home in WCW. With only two dozen superstars signed for the company and no major talent under contract yet, the additional ‘back up’ will be coming from both the WWF and Memphis. Although the option is not for WCW to be a ‘B-type’ federation to the WWF, giving younger – and un-used in the WWF – stars the experience to wrestle more in front of TV cameras in front of people may be a good start.

Wednesday, April 18, 2001

҂ Dave Scherer reported today that AOL Time Warner are offering more money for some of the current wrestlers who are still under their multi-million dollar contract. Originally it was 30 cents for every dollar if they wanted out, however now according to sources the deal is 50 cents on the dollar. This will give the wrestlers more money if they opted to get out of the contract and the WWF a good chance to get their hands on some big name superstars.

҂ Today the meetings with potential WCW employees started in Atlanta, headed by WWF’s Jim Ross. Meetings will continue throughout the week in Atlanta and then move to the WWFE headquarters in Stamford, CT. We still have no word on what went down, but we know that Johnny Ace is almost a certain lock backstage for WCW. Ace was at WrestleMania and then invited for RAW and Smackdown after the event to see how things run backstage. The purpose of these meetings is to get the new writers, agents, production people and maybe new talent.

Thursday, April 19, 2001

҂ For the second time in a month, the WWF pushed back the relaunch date of the new WCW, however this time, no date has been announced. WCW was supposed to start on June 9th, a Saturday taping to be aired later that night on TNN. So far, no TV deal has been signed with TNN although industry insiders feel that the proposed 11PM-1AM timeslot on Saturdays will be allocated to the new yet to be named WCW show.

҂ Dave Scherer of 1wrestling.com reported that Eric Bischoff got his release from his WCW/AOL Time Warner contract today. Bischoff returned to the Federation last April as a consultant after he was demoted from his creative duties at the end of the previous year. Bischoff worked with Russo for a few months until Russo shooted on Hogan at the PPV. Bischoff was also one of the main men in the Fusient Media Ventures deal to purchase WCW. Scherer says that an announcement regarding Bischoff’s future should be made this week.

Friday, April 20, 2001

҂ Jim Ross urged the 24 contracted WCW wrestlers to work indy dates until the promotion launches again sometime in the summer. Ross said in his weekly Ross Report that by doing some indy work, it will help the wrestlers stay in shape and avoid any ring rust. AOL Time Warner just recently blocked two superstars who are under the old WCW contract from appearing on independent wrestling shows due to breach of contract.

҂ Still tentatively to air on Saturday nights between 11PM and 1AM EST on TNN, the tapings of the show is now in discussions to move from the proposed Saturday evening to a Wednesday one as it was originally going to be. This was revealed by Jim Ross today after the countless meetings in Atlanta in the past few days with WCW wrestlers and other potential officials. The show was going to be taped on Saturdays, then aired on a tape delay however now the plan is to go back to a Wednesday taping.

Saturday, April 21, 2001

҂ The top stars who are interested in taking the buyout from AOL Time Warner to join the new WCW will have to make some sacrifices says Ross in his latest Ross Report. With the WWF starting from scratch, the established names who currently have high-salary contracts with AOL TW will have to take a major pay cut to be part of the new team, be a team player and commit to the new company. Ross said bringing such stars will be difficult due to their current contract and what would they get if they joined WCW now. AOL Time Warner recently added the buyout from 30 cents to 50 cents on the dollar in a move to push under contract stars to take the buyout. Wrestlers such as Kevin Nash, Sting, Goldberg and others are believed to sit and collect their money from AOL TW for the remainder of their current contract.

Thursday, April 26, 2001

҂ In his latest message to the fans, Diamond Dallas Page revealed that he met with WWF official Jim Ross earlier this week and he said the meeting “went great”. DDP is the second top former WCW superstar who is not under contract to the new WCW to admit publicly he met with Jim Ross. Steiner also met with Ross last week. Page didn’t elaborate on what was said in the meeting, in fact he dedicated only one line to announce it.

Monday, April 30, 2001

҂ Another tentative date has been set for the WCW relaunch. According to JR, it’s a taping on June 13th, with an air date on June 16th on TNN. However it all goes down to the TV deal. If no deal has been signed by then, the start up will be pushed back again. TNN aren’t giving the Federation another prime time slot even though wrestling on their channel is the highest rated show on cable. The proposed TV slot is on Saturdays between 11PM and 1AM.

Saturday, May 19, 2001

҂ Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported today that several WCW talent will be appearing on the July pay-per-view ‘Invasion’, live from Cleveland, OH. Meltzer added that a storyline involving Vince and Shane McMahon will be built for the event. Nothing has been confirmed so far as what the storyline will involve.

Monday, May 28, 2001

҂ Vince McMahon has met with former WCW champ Diamond Dallas Page to talk about his presence in the new WCW. Ryder said that WWF lawyers are looking at DDP’s AOL Time Warner contract to see how can he be released and made available for the WWF. Ryder said that the meeting between McMahon and Page went well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2001

҂ Lance Storm was first, now the question is, who’s next? On RAW yesterday, the WCW invasion started with Lance Storm…and how appropriate that was since they were in his home town! As far as we know, Jim Ross had to meet with the former WCW champ in Calgary before RAW and the decision to ‘throw’ him on TV was taken that very same day. Now there’s some ‘on the fly’ booking for ya!