First, an explanation. This is real. I actually had a voice recorder set up backstage during 10 random WCW Monday Nitro’s during the Monday night wars. I took one of those voice recorders Kevin McCallister used in Home Alone and hid it in craft services during the pre-show meeting with Eric Bischoff, the writers, the announcers, and some of the boys depending on the week. What follows is a transcript of those recordings. You, good brother, will get a glimpse into the mind of the great Eric Bischoff, Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and others. You will learn what went into producing the most popular wrestling show of the late 90’s, Monday Night Nitro, or was it just Monday Nitro, unclear…
WCW Monday Nitro, Episode 43 – July 8, 1996
Eric Bischoff: Ok everyone, gather round. Let’s get this over with. I’ll read through the show notes. Segment 1, cold open in the ring with Rey Mysterio. Dean Malenko comes to the ring!!! Wait for applause to die down. Tony Schiavone and Larry Zybysko please talk nothing about the match in the ring and only speak in hyperbole about the revelation of the 3rd man. Never address the match. You got that? Nobody cares. We got to push forward and keep people wanting more.
Tony Schiavone: But I think Mysterio and Malenko will have a pretty good match. You don’t want us to even mention that?
EB: Are you kidding me? We just booked that snoozer to not appear racist. As soon as that high-spot fest is out of the ring, queue the interview with Kevin Sullivan. Ok, Kevin, if you could lose your train of thought about three times, that would be great.
Kevin Sullivan: Eric, should I bring up that Chris Benoit is banging my wife in real life?
EB: Yes! Use it! Let it really distract you… Segment 2: Steiner boys vs. Nasty Boyz….
Rick Steiner: Eric, we prefer the Steiner brothers.
EB: Who let this dog-faced gremlin in here? Shoo… Someone tell Knobs to stop selling so much. He’s making this shit look fake… Ok Tony, we need you to really stress the importance of the beginning of hour two, and how it’s a totally different show than hour one because the ‘A’ announce team takes over in hour two, i.e. me and the Brain. Up top, Bobby! *clap*
Mike Tenay: Mr. Bischoff? Can I please have a speaking part? I know all the names of the wrestlers and even some of the moves, I…
EB: Get out of here Tenay. Go eat your catering at the kids’ table… We need to really stress how sad it made everyone feel to see Hulk Hogan become a bad guy. And if that’s not depressing enough, sit a bunch of handicapped geriatrics in the front row. We can really get some sympathy heat using those brain dead dildos. Then shoot off some fireworks. Dumb people love explosions.
Tony Schiavone: Eric, this is going to be our 12th time shooting off fireworks tonight. Are you sure we’re under budget?
EB: Budget? We’ll make it up selling Hulk Hogan pendants. Who doesn’t want to buy a Christian symbol of execution loosely associated with a make-believe bad guy wrestler on a necklace for 35 bucks? Moving on, this Jim Powers kid is going to be BIG! And if he doesn’t get over in seven minutes, we can just kick him to the curb and eat his contract. Don’t worry, the WCW Power Plant craps out 5’9″ 245 lb. bodybuilders with long ponytails like rabbit pellets! Nothing could go wrong!
Michael Hayes: Eric, we haven’t had a black guy on at all in over an hour. I really enjoy seeing black guys… wrestle.
EB: Relax P.S. I know you love the African Americans, and we have TWO black guys up next, Sgt. Craig Pittman and the fat headed Teddy Long.
Hayes: Fat headed?
EB: Yah, that joke will be funny in 2016.
Evad Sullivan: Who is Pittman working with tonight?
EB: Chris Benoit.
Sullivan: That’s good. That Benoit kid can be carried. And it will look like a slave taking a beating. That’s always a crowd pleaser here in Georgia.
EB: Dave, we’re in Illinois tonight. Not everywhere is fucking Dixieland… Teddy, we’re going to do a ‘throw in the towel’ angle with you and Pittman.
Teddy Long: Ok, are you going to give me a towel?
EB: No. You provide your own towel, we are waaaay over budget… Onto Segment 5, more fireworks, and then Arn vs. Sting… Ok, this is the big invaders angle segment. The final angle… Let’s be sure to start by getting a big wide shot of all the goobers in the wheelchairs looking really despondent… queue Sting and Arn to go to the hammerlock, again. Back sell the PPV, and go to commercial, and keep The Brain rambling over the bumper music… After break, let’s hit that Glacier promo for the 84th time… Talk about the black limo… Speculate on Lex Luger… Keep ignoring the match… Queue the abdominal stretch… Queue the limo… Here comes Hall and Nash… We’d better make them dress to stand out from the crowd. We need to make sure that people know they are wrestlers. Put one in a jean vest and the other should have a fanny pack. Oh good, they brought their own jean vest and fanny pack…
Segment 6 starts with a Sting promo talking about how stupid he was for not seeing the Hogan turn… Then just give Macho Man Randy Savage a mic and let Macho spew some gibberish with quasi-sexual undertones… Okerlund, you may have to stretch it if we’re early. Just talk about how scared you are of the Outsiders and how terrible it is, and then, in segment 7, calmly interview the two Outsiders as they casually lean on a limo as disinterested theme park fans stroll by…
Tony Schiavone: That’s a really weak way to end the show.
EB: Look Tony, we’ve got five million fans, it’s not like we could ever lose them all. We’ll be fine.
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I know all the names of the wrestlers and even some of the moves, I…