Executive Director of Monday Night Raw, Bruce Prichard, has revealed what caused countless stars to desert the then WWF for WCW in the mid-nineties.
With business declining fast for the WWF, many stars made the shocking jump to World Championship Wrestling for bigger contracts and the promise of more spotlight.
Randy Savage made the switch in 1994 because he believed that there was still one last run as a main event talent left in him. A view Vince McMahon did not share hence why ‘Macho Man’ was saddled at the commentary desk during his final years with the company.
Lex Luger was another who sought employment from his former company when things in WWF began to turn pear shaped. With his initial WWF Championship run nixed at SummerSlam 1993, a tedious feud with Tatanka and Crush left to fill 1994 and his Allied Powers union with Davey Boy Smith going nowhere in 1995, Luger shocked the world and jumped ship, appearing on the inaugural episode of Nitro one night after wrestling a WWF live event.
There have, of course, been many instances of wrestlers abandoning what was considered a sinking ship. However, Bruce Prichard has revealed the reason why stars deserted the company and those the promotion were okay with losing on the latest episode of Something To Wrestle With:
“Well I think everybody was not necessarily happy with their paydays, and looking for more, so it’s not like that was a secret. We’re trying to do what we can to alleviate that, but it wasn’t anything that was extraordinary.”
Some names were a loss to the World Wrestling Federation, but others, according the man behind Brother Love, the company couldn’t wait to get rid of in order to alleviate the strain on finances:
“Well I think there was definitely an eye on WCW and what they were doing, going head to head with Nitro. So there was an eye on it at this time without a doubt. However, as far as talent being unhappy, you do have to look at a happy locker room and you have to look at what’s best for business at the time. Put your head down and take care of your business in front of you. Bam Bam [Bigelow] going there, I don’t know if it was that much of a concern.
At this point, we knew he was done; he was ready to go. Bam Bam was one of those guys I always had a soft spot for. I always liked him, I always got along with him. He was a super nice guy, but he was defeated and he was unhappy, so it was time for him to be happy.”
Although Bigelow headlined WrestleMania XI with Lawrence Taylor in a clash that earned him a lot of respect, ‘The Beast From The East’ was a spent force in 1995. Though he would place the blame of Shawn Michaels and his kliq for sabotaging his singles push, it was clear to everyone that Bam Bam wasn’t the wrestler in ’95 that he had been two years earlier.
Credit for the interview: Something To Wrestle With
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.