By Mike Mooneyham
Oct. 6, 2002
What goes around sometimes comes around.
Dusty Rhodes played the role of a toilet-cleaning, polka-dotted buffoon more than a decade ago. More recently Ted Turner suffered the ultimate indignity of watching – on his own network – his long-despised rival gloat over buying his beloved mat company from right under his nose. And now, Eric Bischoff, whose mission to run Vince McMahon out of business eventually met with abject failure, finds himself the object of his new boss’s playful sense of humor.
In wrestling parlance, it’s called the payback. In other words, Vince always gets the last laugh.
To his credit, Bischoff has performed his current role as Raw general manager superbly. This time around, however, his stroke doesn’t extend to playing favorites with the talent or having carte blanche with the company checkbook. And very few are holding out any hope that Bischoff will come out of this deal unscathed.
[ad#MikeMooneyham-336×280]The former WCW boy wonder got his first taste of Vince McMahon’s version of reality when he got up close and personal with 400-pound Rikishi’s “stinkface” at the recent Unforgiven pay-per-view. With Bischoff’s role diametrically opposed to that of Stephanie McMahon, it’s a safe bet that it won’t be last time the ex-WCW boss plays the fool.
Bischoff, who recently stated that he has “kind of gotten over the bizarre, out-of-place feeling” of being in the WWE, most likely will find many more surprises down the road. And in the end, he’ll most likely be just another victim in Vince McMahon’s wake.
– The WWE has refuted reports that Hulk Hogan’s conspicuous absence of late is due to his contract expiring. Hogan himself declared on a recent radio show that he had fulfilled his contract and was no longer obligated to the company. The WWE Web site last week, however, stated that Hogan’s contract was a one-year deal and that reports of its expiration were “greatly exaggerated.”
WWE talent chief Jim Ross confirmed Friday that Hogan had a signed contract that is still valid until January 2003 and wrote that his “guts”” tell him we have not seen the last of Hogan in a WWE ring. Threat or promise? You be the judge.
– Bill Moody, better known to wrestling fans as Paul Bearer and Percy Pringle III, announced on the WWE Web site last week that his contract with the company is expiring on Oct. 14.
“I have reached a crucial crossroads in my life where some important decisions must be made,” said Moody. “It is with mixed emotions that I regret to inform you that I am moving on … To say that the past 12 years were nothing short of fantastic would be an understatement. I have fulfilled virtually every dream that I ever envisioned and more. I have had the honor of working with the most talented people in our industry. I would like to offer a very special word of thanks to you, the fans, because without you there would never have been a Paul Bearer.”
– “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase will be appearing at Bonneau Pentecostal Holiness Church, 116 Black Oak Road, at 7:15 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $12, which includes a meal and entertainment (meal times are 5, 5:30, 6 and 6:30). For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the church at (843) 825-3687.
DiBiase also will be part of the “Isn’t Jesus Wonderful Crusade” Oct. 13-16 at Miles Road Baptist Church in Summerville. DiBiase will share his testimony at 7 p.m. Oct. 14. Also scheduled are: Terry Taylor (6 p.m. Oct. 13), Ivan Koloff (7 p.m. Oct. 15); George South and Charles Robinson (7 p.m. Oct. 16).
– Raw and Smackdown both held steady last week with 3.6 ratings.
– The WWE is dropping The Un-Americans gimmick, and current plans include pairing the underutilized Lance Storm with William Regal.
– Randy Orton, who has been suffering chronic shoulder problems, suffered a dislocated shoulder during a match last week on Raw. He is scheduled to see Dr. Jim Andrews in Birmingham.
– Bob Holly has a ruptured disc in his neck and will be out six months. He had a previous injury that was aggravated during his Smackdown match with Brock Lesnar.
– Monday Night Raw hits the North Charleston Coliseum on Nov. 25. No date has been announced for ticket sales.
– The WWE is releasing Mike Awesome, Shawn Stasiak, David Flair and Horace Hogan.
– Brian Adams, formerly one half of Kronic with Bryan Clark, will make his professional heavyweight boxing debut on the “Never Surrender” pay-per-view Nov. 16. The show, headlined by a World Boxing Council featherweight world title fight between Erik “El Terrible” Morales and Paulie Ayala, is promoted by Bob Arum and Top Rank, Inc., and will emanate from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
The 6-6, 270-pound Adams, who will challenge an as-yet unnamed heavyweight opponent, is scheduled to be seconded by “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
Mike Mooneyham can be reached by phone at (843) 937-5517 or by e-mail at [email protected]. He is the co-author of “Sex, Lies and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation,” published by Crown.