By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Joining WCW as a creative consultant: “In 1999 when I got the call, that was during a downtime for me. I had just finished a lot of heavy touring throughout most of the ’90s and was taking some time away from music. So when I got the call in September ’99 to be part of the creative team, I jumped right on it because I was off the road between album cycles. I never thought about bagging music, but music was a little bit on hold when I got the call, so it all worked out. The timing was good. I got the call from Gary (Juster). If my memory serves me right, I think it was right when Eric Bischoff was taking a leave of absence, and I believe that was when Bill Busch, who was more on the financial side, ended up becoming the sort of acting executive Vice President of the company. Gary had mentioned me to Bill. He had mentioned me to JJ Dillon. I knew Kevin Sullivan already, and Gary reached out and said, ‘things are in flux. Would you be at all interested in coming in and trying to help with creative?’ And I said, sure, let me know where to be and what to bring and what I should do and more importantly, what I shouldn’t do. So I got brought in at Fall Brawl. That was my first show in and I just sat in the truck for most of the shows with Bill Busch. And we were watching, sitting and I knew Keith Mitchell. I knew him before we watched the show and talk about stuff and ideas.”
On his role in WCW: “There was that pay-per-view, there was that Nitro, there was that Thunder. And then the Wednesday was going back to Atlanta and going into the writing room. And I think that was before Vince [Russo] was there, before Vince Russo arrived. There was like a three-to-four-week period, if I’m not mistaken, where everything was in flux and nobody knew who was doing what. And it was a confusing time. And I think a little bit of that confusion showed in the product. I think the one thing of note that we were able to do, I think right before Vince Russo and Ed [Ferrara] and Bill showed up and Terry Taylor showed up was the Bret [Hart] and [Chris] Benoit match in Kansas City. That was something that we came up with. And I thought that was a really nice thing that we did. And I think we handled that situation really well, sort of bringing Harley in Kansas City and Kemper (Arena) and trying to do the right thing and be respectful, which is important to me always with the businesses to respect the business the way it used to be. We did that. And then there was the…. Dusty [Rhodes] was there, and then Dusty was gone. And I was like, Where’s Dusty going? They’re like, oh, he went. And then the next week, Vince and Ed and Bill showed up, and then everything changed.”
On his first meeting with Hulk Hogan: “Bill Busch was like, ‘you got all these great ideas. Let’s see how they go down with a few of the guys.’ So he brings in Hogan. So he wanted me to pitch something to Hogan that day. And I was like, well, how about this and this and this? And we do segment one and this and this… And I’m in over my head, right? Hogan’s just looking at me like, who the hell are you? But I think maybe somebody told him after we talked because he was nice to me for the duration after that. But I think that first sorts here’s a cold pitch, here’s what I’d like you to do today. Yeah, that was what you don’t do.”
On the dynamic between Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo: “I knew there was talk of Vince Russo coming back. We were expecting that, and we’re fine with that. When I heard that Bischoff and Russo together were coming back, I could see the writing on the wall, and I gracefully stepped away for good at that point. That was a wild combination, wasn’t it. When you mentioned Brad Siegel and we think about who’s actually in charge. The footnote for WCW is always who was really in charge. Was the network in charge? Were the wrestling people in charge? Was the production team in charge? There was no final stop for anything at any time that I was there. I was a creative consultant, part of a committee. I got put a gorilla. I worked with agents, and ultimately JJ [Dillon] was my boss, boss on paper. So that was who I always went to when there was a question or a decision needed to be made. But, yeah, Russo and Bischoff. Wow, what a volatile combination on paper. And I guess in real life.”
On his WCW exit: “When I left, I turned away from the business… halfway turned away. I had no interest in trying to hold on or trying to…. I went there to help. I did the best I could. And when I left, that was it. Taking that step away. I didn’t really stay on top of the product that much because I was like, well, I did what I could do.”
Other topics include his breaking into the business, Eric Bischoff, WCW, Vince Russo, his role on the creative team, booking wrestling, Hulk Hogan, Sting, Bret Hart, Lex Luger, Kevin Sullivan, why he left WCW, upcoming music shows, what he is doing today, and more.