Vince makes split decision
By PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun
The much-anticipated split in the World Wrestling Federation roster ranks is close to happening. "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," WWF owner Vince McMahon told The Toronto Sun. "I would suggest it will be imminent."
There is a rumour the WWF will plant the seed as early as tonight in Montreal on 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 still is being discussed.
"These older, established stars -- in terms of name-recognition -- are going to be dominant and (the split) gives 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 old-timers 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. That's the way the system works and always has worked."
On a separate subject, McMahon would not say whether he plans to recruit former WCW stars Goldberg or Sting.
"I don't think it's important, one way or the other, in terms of acquiring any one superstar," McMahon said. "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 who 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 to some bird that's in the bush out there."