WWE.com has published a new feature looking at the ill-fated “WCW Big Bang” pay-per-view event from 2001 that was going to serve as a relaunch for the dying brand. With Fusient Media Ventures, Eric Bischoff had raised $67 million to purchase WCW from AOL Time Warner. Part of their strategy involved ‘shutting down’ WCW for a period of time before kicking off a new chapter in the Monday Night War on pay-per-view.
“We were going to shut [WCW] down for a period of time, then relaunch,” Bischoff said. “We needed a clean piece of paper to draw on. We couldn’t reach into the trash, pick out the crumbled and trampled creative — that had been WCW for the last year-and-a-half — and try to make people feel good about that again. In order for the relaunch to feel like one, it had to go away. The thinking was, let’s get people talking about the new WCW and what it was going to look like and feel like.”
As we all know by now, that deal was contingent on WCW’s TV deal. When AOL Time Warner pulled the plug on their TV clearance, the entire deal fell apart and the pro wrestling industry would never be the same again.
The article notes that the former ‘Voice of ECW’ Joey Styles was in talks with Eric Bischoff about coming on board for this new incarnation of WCW, since ECW was already gone at this point. Styles took a meeting in Manhattan to discuss what this new WCW would look, feel and sound like. “I would be the lead announcer and I would work in digital media,” Styles said. “I did not agree to do this with Eric until it was obvious that ECW was finished.”
It’s a really interesting read that makes you wonder once again what could have been if WCW had survived.
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