" />

 

SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
   Sat, March 22, 2003



News & Rumours
Bios
Obits
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania 30 photos
Video
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Columnists
Features
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback




Photo Galleries

SHIMMER taping


The Ultimate Warrior


Raw in New Orleans


WrestleMania XXX Main Events


WrestleMania XXX Opening Half


WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony
WWE Hall of Fame Red Carpet


Make-A-Wish party







SCOREBOARD
PHOTO GALLERY
VIDEO GALLERY
COMMENT




RECENT PHOTO GALLERIES: SHIMMER taping
Ultimate Warrior | Raw in New Orleans | ROH Supercard of Honor VIII
WRESTLEMANIA XXX: Section | Photos

THE SCOOP: Visit our News & Rumours page.


Tempers Flair
By TJ MADIGAN -- Calgary Sun


The WWE's usual mix of Monday night mayhem took a backseat this week, as all eyes focused on a real-life scuffle between two of the biggest names in the business.

A few hours before Raw went on the air, Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair got into a war of words backstage at the St. Louis Savvis Center.

According to reports, the Nature Boy stormed up to Bischoff in his office on the set to confront him about their business dealings back in WCW. This led to a heated discussion about how Flair was treated during his WCW days under Bischoff's management.

After a few minutes of yelling, the two went their separate ways but they bumped into each other again in the cafeteria a short while later. Voices were raised and tempers flared but this time the argument came to blows. Both men reportedly threw punches, with Flair getting the upper hand before Triple H and a group of WWE agents pulled the two apart.

Bischoff and Flair were quickly placed in a private meeting with Vince and Stephanie McMahon to quell the tension. Arn Anderson was also asked to attend, since he sided with Flair instead of acting as a neutral road agent, which will probably leave him in the doghouse for a while.

No one's quite sure what set Flair off in the first place. He and Bischoff did have legitimate heat in WCW but since joining the WWE, it was assumed they'd settled their differences. Witnesses say Flair was on a cellphone right before he made a beeline for the Raw GM but there's no indications of a motive for the verbal assault.

In a press conference on Tuesday morning, Bischoff took the opportunity to do some damage control on the situation. He didn't deny the scrap took place but, with Vince McMahon sitting just a few feet away, wisely decided to play it down.

"Ric is a consummate professional and a good friend," Bischoff said, before blaming the Internet for sensationalizing the incident.

"A grain of truth turns into a mountain of fact."

There are currently no plans for disciplinary action to be taken against either performer.

SHUFFLE: World Wrestling Entertainment is about to forge ahead with the next step in the separation of the Raw and Smackdown brands.

Beginning in June, each roster will have its own exclusive pay-per-views.

The new initiative will begin at the former King of the Ring event, which will be the first monthly supercard to feature only stars from the Raw franchise.

Vengeance in July will then be a Smackdown event and the two sides will reunite for a joint effort in August at Summerslam.

The plan is to divide the PPV calendar to include four Raw-only shows and four Smackdown-only shows each year. The traditional Big Four (Royal Rumble in January, Wrestlemania in March, Summerslam in August and Survivor Series in November) will continue to be combined supercards.

The McMahons are prepared to take a financial hit in the early stages of the enhanced split, since fans will be less likely to fork out $35 for a show with only half of the big-name talent. Eventually, though, they hope to expand to 18 pay-per-views per year, with Raw and Smackdown running separate shows every month instead of alternating.

The split is already creating some headaches when it comes to deciding the format for the first brand-exclusive pay-per-view.

On Wednesday, WWE decision-makers decided to drop the King of the Ring tournament completely, re-naming the June event Badd Blood.

The tournament had been a poor draw for years and by cutting the number of eligible entrants in half, there were fears interest in the show would head south.

King of the Ring had been a PPV staple since 1993, when Bret Hart defeated Razor Ramon, Curt Henning and Bam Bam Bigelow to win the inaugural tournament.