SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
  Mar 23, 2000



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




READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Bischoff, Russo back in charge at WCW


By JOHN MOLINARO -- SLAM! Wrestling

In a major news development, Eric Bischoff has returned as Executive Vice President and Vince Russo has returned as head booker of WCW.

 Turner Sports president Brad Siegel made a series of major layoffs relieving former Executive Vice President Bill Busch of his duties. Siegel also overhauled the booking committee, releasing Kevin Sullivan, J.J. Dillon and Gary Juster.

 Vince Russo will work in tandem with Bischoff, heading a booking committee consisting of Ed Ferrara and Terry Taylor. There is speculation that Arn Anderson will also have a spot on the booking team.

 After a crazy past 48 hours, Turner Sports president Brad Siegel rehired Bischoff to help turn around the promotion's fortunes. Siegel had reportedly been in talks with Bischoff since last week about the possibility of Eric returning. Siegel made a final pitch to Bischoff after learning that last weekend's Uncensored drew all-time company low .13 buyrate.

 Siegel met with former Executive Vice President Bill Busch yesterday afternoon, informing him of his decision to rehire Bischoff. Siegel wanted to keep Busch on to handle the business end and day-to-day operations of WCW. Busch declined and is reported to have been reassigned another position within Time Warner.

 Word spread like wildfire throughout the company down to its roster of wrestlers. When rumours spread of Busch's impending release, Goldberg phoned Siegel yesterday about keeping Busch in charge of WCW. After learning of Busch being let go, Bob Mould, another member of the creative team, tendered his resignation.

 For the time being, Bischoff and Russo will handle the creative end of WCW. Siegel will oversee the business end of WCW until he hires a full time executive to take over that position.

 Siegel is expected to hold a meeting with all WCW employees tomorrow to officially announce Bischoff as the new head of the creative department.

 Bischoff was first relieved of his duties as president of WCW on September 10, 1999. Bill Busch, a Time Warner accountant, took over after the company started to lag behind in the ratings war with the WWF and was experiencing a decline in house show attendance and pay-per-view buyrates.

 One of Busch's major moves was signing Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara away from the WWF to handle WCW booking duties. Busch demoted Russo on January 15, 2000 after failing to turn the company around and replaced him with Kevin Sullivan. As a result, several wrestlers asked Busch for their release from the company.

 Days later, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn were given unconditional releases from WCW by Busch and signed with the WWF.

The official statement from WCW is below:

"Bill Busch has resigned his position as Executive Vice President of WCW. He has made the decision to pursue opportunities outside the company. While we are sorry to see Bill go, we are grateful for his contributions to the organization and wish him the best in his new endeavors. Effectively immediately, Brad Siegel will assume oversight of the day-to-day operations of WCW, and will continue in that role until an executive is hired for the position.

In the coming weeks, Eric Bischoff will assume a key role within the WCW creative process. Eric will be working with the writing staff and WCW talent on new story lines and creative direction. We are happy to welcome him back to our corner. "