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

McMahon uncommitted on past stars


By PERRY LEFKO -- For SLAM! Sports

 People hoping to see Goldberg or Sting in the World Wrestling Federation better not hold their breath.

 WWF boss Vince McMahon isn't sold on bringing the big-name stars into the WWF fold.

 "I don't think it's important, one way or the other, in terms of acquiring any one superstar," McMahon told SLAM! "We have a record of the Stone Cold Steve Austins and the Hulk Hogans and the people that were made here in the World Wrestling Federation. We have a record of knowing how to build superstars and listening to our audience. So, as for acquiring established stars right now, I won't say it's unimportant but it's not important.

 "It's more important to concentrate on the ones you have now -- the ones that are signed and are committed and dedicated to our brand and our audience. It's far more important to relegate yourself to those individuals than it would be some bird that's in the bush out there."

 Many fans think a Goldberg-Austin feud is an obvious matchup.

 "I don't want to comment on that," he said. "That could happen and the only reason I say that is because a year ago I never thought I'd see Rock versus Hogan. But, again, I don't want to comment on Goldberg. He's not a part of us and apparently he's very happy living his life and collecting his cheques. Most people would be. I don't think that's going to happen. We've had conversations in the past, but I wouldn't want to dwell on that at all.

 "I want to dwell on who's here and why they're here and I want to care about the individuals who care about our brand and care about getting up every morning and coming to work."

 He also didn't rule out bringing back former WWF creative writer Vince Russo, who joined the WCW in a more prominent on-camera role, or signing former WCW boss, Eric Bischoff, who has never worked for the WWF.

 "I'm not opposed to many things," McMahon said. "I know some of our people have talked with Eric in the past. It hasn't happened. You never say never in this business, so I'll never say never. But, we're doing fine with where we are now and everybody in the business. Whether or not they can contribute, I don't know."

 What McMahon is concentrating on now is the much-anticipated split in the WWF roster.

 "I've been wanting to do this for some time but didn't quite have all the horses to do it. Now we have the horses," McMahon said. "I would suggest it will be imminent."

 There is a rumour the WWF will plant the seed as early as Monday night in Montreal at RAW, although the exact split will take place the end of this month or in the first week in April.

 The plan is to cut the roster in two, designating some stars to Monday night on RAW and others to Smackdown on Thursdays. McMahon said it is all to provide some "newness" to the product and some competition, which the WWF effectively eliminated when it purchased World Championship Wrestling a year ago and took control of Extreme Championship Wrestling, which went bankrupt.

 "Quite frankly what we're going to do is compete with ourselves," McMahon said. "That's what these two brand extensions will do. There will be no crossover in those talents on Monday night. The only crossover might be whoever the WWF women's and men's champion would be -- and I don't think you're going to see that a lot.

 "You won't see these stars pretty much any time together, except perhaps Wrestlemania and maybe one or two incidents. The tour of talent on Monday night will be totally different than that on Thursday night and quite frankly those two brands will compete."

 McMahon said the exact manner in which the split will take place is still being discussed and will be determined from a creative standpoint and a logical standpoint.

 "What it's going to do is these older, established stars, in terms of ramp and name-recognition, are going to be dominant and give the opportunity for these younger guys to be able to really hone their craft and become superstars in their own right," McMahon said. "So, that's really going to help.

 "It's always going to be a blend. You wouldn't want to do an oldtimers league. Definitely not. It's using someone like a Hulk Hogan on a judicious basis and using his star power, quite frankly, to be able to generate new stars and that's the way the system works and always has worked."


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