Warrior Holding Up Vince At SummerSlam '91- Whose Side Do You Take?

Discussion in 'The Wrestling Archives' started by RIPbossman, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. RIPbossman

    RIPbossman Well-Known Member

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    At SummerSlam 91 Ultimate Warrior told Vince McMahon he wouldn't work the main event unless he was paid all the money he owed him, going back to WrestleMania.

    Its said that holding up a promoter like this is a cardinal sin in pro wrestling. In my view, there's an inherent dishonesty within the industry regarding management. Not every promoter, but many, including Vince McMahon. Its like wrestlers are supposed to just accept that management will lie to them.

    I wouldn't have handled the situation the same way Warrior did, but I respect Warrior for standing up to Vince. Pro wrestling can be a shady business behind the scenes, and Warrior, rightly, refused to accept it.
     
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  2. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    However you may feel about promoters, there is an unwritten law that you don't screw the fans. ever...

    Warrior did his best to do just that by threatening to no-show Summerslam and basically holding Vince to ransom. Rather than lose face (and money) by having Warrior no show and fail to provide the advertised show, Vince ponied up...and then canned him.

    This wasn't like a Jeff Jarrett situation, where he was legit out of contract and had no obligation to drop the title (much less to a woman) and as such a demand for payment was understandable... This was Warrior deciding he'd had enough of playing second fiddle to Hogan and making a power play.

    Put yourself in Vince's position... just one year earlier, Warrior had dug his heels in over Rick Rude and refused to job the title to him, Rude walked, costing Vince what turned out to be the best heel of the era... eventually if you cause enough ****, the man is going to tire of you and pull whatever rug you have from under you that barely a year on from Summerslam 91 the relationship was again in the toilet through Warrior's indiscreetness, costing Vince another talent in Davey Boy.

    Basically, Warrior did very little to justify the demand he made all told, now they are retconning him to be a bigger deal than he was... but even then as a teenager, I could see he was a flash in the pan if I am honest... Vince saw it too.
     
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  3. Jeff Deliverer of Mail

    Jeff Deliverer of Mail Join WZCW because writing is hip

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    Ultimate Warrior was also on the weird side in WTF-world. He legally changed his name to Warrior for example. He lived the gimmick. If you watched his interviews with Mean Gene, half of them don't make any sense at all. Then he created a Warrior comic book that was extremely strange, one panel made it look like he just raped Santa Claus. That's just the small highlights of his oddness, I'm sure there's hundreds of stories out there of how bat **** crazy he is. So in conclusion, it's hard to pick a side when one side has a real life Loony Toons character and the other a world class promoter who would do anything for his company.
     
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  4. johnbragg

    johnbragg Well-Known Member

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    Something I don't know, that's important for context.

    Plenty of wrestlers moved around between companies. Was there a pattern of Vince McMahon not paying what he owed to people who had left?

    Scott Hall claims that he didn't get a penny from the time he left WWF until he returned in 2002. But he also said that
    1. Kevin Nash got his royalties
    2. WWF used a failed drug test against him only after he gave notice. (In other words, failing drug tests didn't bother WWF until he was leaving and it was an excuse not to pay him royalties.)

    Does anyone have examples of wrestlers who claim that WWF held up their checks after they left WWF?

    Jeff JArrett is one example, but even he only claims that Vince wouldn't have paid him, not that he didn't.
     
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  5. Loveless

    Loveless A Life In Monochrome

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    There may be an unwritten rule about no-showing the fans but there's definitely a written rule that says you pay your debts. Vince is a sneaky underhanded bastard that can't be trusted and, as much as I don't like him, I'm with Warrior on this one.
     
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  6. johnbragg

    johnbragg Well-Known Member

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    There is plenty of evidence of Vince being a sneaky underhanded bastard. But does he subscribe to the Donald Trump school of stiffing creditors? Are there wrestlers we can point to and say, if Warrior/JArrett hadn't pulled this power play, he'd have ended up like XXX, who had to sue Vince to get his money?
     
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  7. LBGetBack

    LBGetBack Well-Known Member

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    If it's true that Vince owed Warrior money....then I side with Warrior. That's his livelihood. He was in a position where he could do that, luckily for him. What if he had no leverage?

    One thing on Warrior....how did he never show up in WCW from the time he left WWF the second time in 1992 and his return in 1996? He was still a huge name in 92,93....and WCW brought in Jake Roberts, British Bulldog, Big Boss Man, etc....basically every other big name that left WWF in the early 90s.
     
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  8. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Well-Known Member

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    I've never heard of Warrior "not wanting to job to Rude" he had jobbed to him just a year earlier at WrestleMania 5 albeit with interference from Bobby Heenan but it would absolutely make no sense to have Warrior job the title away so close to winning it from Hogan. Rude left because of the pay discrepancy between him and Warrior at SummerSlam '90 where he basically carried Warrior the entire match and got something like 1/5 of what Warrior got.
     
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  9. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Well-Known Member

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    As far as who was "right" and who was "wrong" it depends on your opinion of the version of events and whether you are "pro-business" and "pro-union". For reference back before guaranteed contracts the standard WWF contract was you were guaranteed 10 dates at $100 per date. Of course you made substantially more depending on where you were on the card and how much the house drew etc....

    So no Vince didn't "owe" Warrior a dime more than the $100 for those 10 dates. This all "handshake" deals. Warrior was dissatisfied with his WrestleMania 7 payoff. He felt he meant as much to that show as Hogan did. Without getting into specifics it's pretty obvious Hogan was paid 1 million for WM 7 and Warrior got $500,000. Warrior demanded $500,000 MORE for his appearance at WrestleMania 7 PLUS all of Hogan's perks i.e. bigger slice of the merchandise pie, bigger slice of house show revenue, less house show dates, more time off, all of revenue from the Warrior line etc....if you read his lawsuit it goes into detail.

    Back in those days if you had a problem with the payoff you held out. It's the only way talent who felt they were wronged could exact change without the benefit of a contract or union. Most times the employer would just let that talent walk as in the case with Rude but Warrior was advertised as co-main event SummerSlam and Vince felt it was in the company's best interest to deliver Warrior.

    He was also SUSPENDED not fired. If he was fired he could've went to WCW in 3 months. Instead he was suspended for 8 months without pay. So it just depends on what you believe. Warrior felt he under paid for his services so he decided to "hold out" until it got remedied. Vince felt Warrior was paid justly was using his "holding out" to extract more money from Vince.
     
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  10. Lowdown

    Lowdown Ooh baby I like it roooaaaaw!

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    What exactly is the real story of what went down? The general consensus is that Warrior held Vince for ransom, and maybe he did. Now Vince is by no means a saint, but if he acquiesced it was due to not shafting the paying fans. If I was in Warrior's position, if I were truly in the right, then why not get a lawyer to represent you. It's not a good idea to do a power play like this and not consider the consequence of what you're doing.
     
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  11. johnbragg

    johnbragg Well-Known Member

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    FRom what Makaveli says, it sounds like pre-Monday Night War, you basically didn't have contracts--you got paid what Vince McMahon thought you were worth.

    So it's sort of like the NFL, where the announced contract amounts and years are practically meaningless--your money isn't guaranteed, so you need to hold out to get paid.

    This was just a few years after Vince McMahon publicly admitted that pro wrestling matches weren't real competitions. It was a "carny" psychology--the matches were a scam on the fans and everyone had to keep mum about it, so filing lawsuits wasn't an option for anyone.
     
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  12. Jonyboyuk2

    Jonyboyuk2 Well-Known Member

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    I side with Vince on this one. I also felt that Diesel, Hall and Luger were disloyal to Vince. I thought that Jeff Jarrett was the ultimate stitch up. However, I think when you consider how bad Warrior was to the dressing room when he was champ, Vince was probably trying to control the guy to ensure he was fairer to the business and the Fans.

    However, I would never side with Vince over Bret. That was a situation Vince allowed to happen and should have asked Bret to drop the belt before Survivor Series 97.
     
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  13. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Well-Known Member

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    Basically in a nutshell Warrior was not happy with him WM 7 payoff. He felt he should be payed the same as Hogan. He ended up writing a letter to Vince with a list of financial demands. If those demands were not met he would no-show SummerSlam '91 which less than a month away at that point and they had already been hyping up the Match Made in Hell. There was no one in the company who could take Warrior's place that could justify the financial cost of the PPV.

    Vince acquiesced to the demands to get Warrior in the building for SummerSlam '91 but then suspended him for eight months. Warrior was under contract until November of 1992. Basically these contracts just "rolled over" and there was no negotiation. There was only a "small guraantee" but obviously you made your money at the WWF's biggest shows. WrestleMania being the biggest. But there was n o guaranteed set amount. You at they mercy of the promoter and what HE decided to pay you. So a lawyer would not have done Warrior any good. It's similar to the NFL players when they hold out of training camp.
     
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  14. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Well-Known Member

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    How were Diesel, Hall, and Luger disloyal? They did not breach their contracts. Was Vince "disloyal" to guys like Honky Tonk Man, Warlord, Barbarian, Tito Santana when their runs were over and Vince wanted to move on?

    How as Warrior supposed to be 'fairer" to the business and fans? He always showed up as advertised. That's all we as fans can ask for.
     
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  15. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    Luger wasn't under contract for a major ppv for summer slam 95, you can't tell me he had not already agreed to work for bishoff when he made that appearance, nitro started the following week.
     
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  16. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Well-Known Member

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    Then is was the office who blew it not Luger. According to Bischoff he had no direct contact with Luger while under contract and it was done through Sting (a close friend of Luger's) now whether or not that is true is up for debate but I HIGHLY doubt Vince didn't do the same thing when raiding the territories of talent. Yes it was shady business dealings but it was done on both sides.
     
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  17. Dmbfantomas

    Dmbfantomas Bald Billy was Better

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    He did it during the Wars, too. He talked to Jericho when he was still VERY under contract.
     
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  18. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    He wasn't under contract by summerslam 95
     
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  19. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    It's true that Luger had had discussions through an intermediary, Sting, who he co-owned Gyms with at the time which wasn't illegal, but perhaps a little underhanded on his part. Luger has pretty much stated it got to a couple of weeks before his deal expired and he was asking "Can they do anything for me?" to Sting... Bischoff didn't WANT Luger but did Sting the favour and paid Luger a short, small deal so he could prove himself, which in the main he did and he got a bigger second deal.

    He did Summerslam 95 without a deal but as he had no actual match booked I guess Talent Relations didn't see any rush on him, or weren't that bothered to keep him. You can imagine how busy WWE is/Was at that time, a period of readjustment, focus on newer stars like Diesel (ironically) and competition starting down south a week later. They were also in a big signing phase with the WCW rejects like Austin, Foley, Faarooq and Vader all on their way in. It's easy to see how a date to resign Luger slipped by.

    It would fall at JR's door as he was the guy in charge of that at the time, but for all we know he could have been telling Vince and being ignored or told to let it go to the wire/play hardball as Luger would "fall into line". Even if it was an edict from Vince the blowback would still go to JR. Perhaps the most interesting thing is that Nash and Hall saw all this and began their own "under the table" negotiations soon after, leading them to give notice at the turn of the year.

    Luger and Warrior are two different situations... Luger, like Jarrett before him was quite within his rights to go wherever he pleased as WWE didn't re-sign him. in JJ's case it was a bigger oversight (and I think what killed JR in that role in favour of Johnny Ace) as he held a title and it had already happened with Luger. Jarrett was being asked to job out a title, while not under contract TO A WOMAN, which would damage his stock in WCW. He was quite entitled to ask for more money to compensate for that, especially as barely a year or two had passed since Montreal. Vince didn't NEED JJ to drop that belt to Chyna, there were other ways but he WANTED it and it cost him... Vince NEEDED Warrior at Summerslam 91 and shouldn't have had to pay...but did, knowing the damage if he didn't... Ironically JJ is still "persona non grata" which is harsh but a clear lindicator of how Vince acts if he doesn't get what he wants... imagine messing with what he needs!

    For all the JR gets a bum rap from Vince, some MAJOR cock ups happened on his watch contract wise... while he was arguably trying to sign guys Vince didn't particularly want at the time, however great they turned out.

    Since these however, it's happened a few times that deals have run down for talents, most notably Christian when he left for TNA. Most have worked out that doing a favour for Vince helps you on the back end... if you hold him up, you're maybe right to do so but in reality hurting yourself later.

    Jarrett never came back, Luger never came back and Warrior had problems for all but the last 2 months of his life. Christian did one extra RAW after his deal expired, went to TNA and got a second bite and big pushes... Even if Vince didn't rate him that highly, he remembered he'd been a "good soldier" when he had the chance not to be so it made him more inclined to give him the titles he got when he came back as it would make the fans happy. Punk held Vince up and had him over a barrel to be fair... but as soon as the chance presented itself he was screwed.

    Warrior's demands were very ahead of their time... he already wanted control of his name, character outside wrestling etc... they were all part of the letters too. The one thing Vince doesn't like is someone "more ahead of the curve" than him, it's been seen with Warrior, Heyman, Punk, Joey Styles and a few others over the years...creative is good, more creative than Vince? Bad...
     
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  20. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Well-Known Member

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    There are a several factors at play here.

    1) Vince was still operating on the "handshake deal". Your word is your bond. He didn't feel the need to offer guaranteed contracts as he felt the lure of the WWF was enough to entice talent to come over and stay hence contracts that just rolled over year to year. Luger, the business man, was the first one, like you said, who really played both sides. Remember, he did the same thing when he left WCW. He signed with Vince as a 'bodybuilder" to get out of his contract with WCW. Luger's stock had fallen significantly since 1992/93. He was upper mid card by 1995. Still, it was a shock to see him on WWF TV one week then in WCW the next.

    2) WCW wasn't viewed as major competition. A number of former WWF wrestlers had gone to WCW in the early 90's and found nowhere near the success in the WWF. Jake Roberts and Rick Rude being the two biggest names. WCW was viewed as a step down in the early 1990's. It wasn't until Eric Bischoff elevated the profile of WCW both in the ring and in the negotiating room that Vince took notice.
     
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  21. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Well-Known Member

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    VERY ahead of his time. Think about it, he was only wrestler (besides Hogan) who could hold Vince up like that. We've seen wrestlers be taken off cards for one reason or another and it really didn't impact the card but the Warrior was such a huge name and his teaming w/ Hogan such a big deal that it literally forced Vince to give in to his demands. Now that being said, Vince probably knew as soon as he got that letter he was going to either fire Warrior or suspend him but still it was intriguing to delve into the then-secretive world of backstage pro wrestling politics and the relationship between promoter and one his biggest stars at the time.

    Like you said, Warrior was the first one to really fight for his "intellectual property" even going to far as to change his name to Warrior to keep Vince from owning it.
     
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  22. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    I can assure you WCW was being viewed as competition In August 1995 when they were just about to go head to head weekly with Hogan, Savage and other former WWF stars on their TV and guys like Flair still in the mix... Yes they may have been the older guys and "past it" in Vince's eyes, but for them to have elevated even to THAT point meant the tide was turning somewhat... The very stuff Eric used against WWE, like being recorded bi-weekly must have been discussed.. "do we go live every week to counter?" and Vince would have said "No... WE set the trends..." how wrong he was...

    Sure Vince was working of handshake deals, but that's also another symptom of where someone like JR would carry the can when a big **** up occured like Luger's contract... It had happened with Savage after all... fool me once?...Lock it up. I can well imagine JR "bugging" Vince about Luger's deal and being told to drop it, he had his handshake... and then being in the **** for not getting the deal done.
     
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  23. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    That's true but of course the idea that the character could exist outside of wrestling at all probably appalled Vince... He was all about his guys getting mainstream coverage AS WWE stars... happy for Warrior to be in that god awful Phil Collins video with HIS title... but a comic book that Warrior was writing himself where he wasn't ever a wrestler? His own merch deals? No way it was ever gonna fly with Vince....

    Oh wait, fast forward a few years and you have The Rock and Austin in movies, Undertaker and others in Marvel comic imprints and even further on Brock having his own trunk sponsors...

    Vince was also bang in the middle of the Jesse Ventura lawsuit so giving in to Warriors demands would have been a major issue there... arguably a lot of the above stuff happened after that case got decided in 1995 and Warriors being allowed to own his name by changing it... After that personal image rights became a thing alongside paying royalties that talent could own and lease to WWE and they started working on creating names and personas rather than trying to control the actual talent... It's no coincidence from 95 onwards everyone had gimmicks, masks, "wrestling names" and looks that WWE trademarked and jealously guarded. Some guys mistakenly sold their names to Vince, but more guys were smart about keeping their real name far away from any Vince related activity, hence Dwayne using "The Rock" for several years...
     
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  24. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmm I don't know about that. Of course they were viewed as competition and Vince didn't want to lose wrestlers he actually wanted to keep to WCW (as in the case of Kevin Nash) but Vince lived in the WWE bubble. He had a very nonchalant attitude when it came to WCW because he knew how it was being run. Most of their TOP stars (Flair, Luger, Steiners, Sid, Nasty Boys, Pillman, etc...) had all defected from WCW when given the chance. He was more like "Why would you go down there"? Eventhough WCW had acquired Hogan they were still very much getting their clock cleaned by WWE in terms of PPV revenue, house show numbers, merchandise, TV ratings etc....
    When it came to WCW Vince viewed the wrestlers there as wrestlers he didn't want.

    Yes, I think Vince was under the assumption Luger was going to re-sign with the company. Bruce Prichard even relays a story of the WWE shooting the new opening to Monday Night Raw without Luger since he was not under contract. Vince inquired about why Luger was not there and Prichard replied "Well, he's not under contract" and Vince being stunned by this admission. By this time though Luger probably was deep into "negotiations" with WCW. I don't think anyone in the WWE front office expected Luger to jump. Just a year earlier he had been main event at WrestleMania and was still very high on the card. He actually took LESS money to sign with WCW than he had been making with the WWE. Like I said, Vince was under the impression of "Why would ANYONE go to WCW when they had the option of staying with or going to the WWF?"
    Luger obviously changed that but it wasn't until Hall and most certainly Nash left that the tide shifted.
     
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  25. Makaveli31

    Makaveli31 Well-Known Member

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    Of course it was all OK when Vince was getting his cut. Once you left the WWE "family" you crossed the line. Look at the Sgt. Slaughter in 1984. He signed a deal with Hasbro for the GI Joe toys and his run as top babyface was immediately stopped and was basically blacklisted from the WWE until 1990. Roddy Piper had to "retire" from the WWE to make movies. Same with Jesse Ventura. One of the biggest reasons for the heat between Savage and Vince was not Savage going to WCW but taking his Slim Jim commercials with him thereby cutting the WWE out of the picture.

    When Warrior came back in 1996 he tried to keep his "intellectual property" i.e. Warrior University and the comic book separate. I'm sure you heard this story. "Feel the Power" was supposed to be Warrior as a wrestler. "Always Believe" was supposed to Warrior as a comic book, action movie star etc....but when Warrior went to the intellectual property licensing deal the WWE had already registered "Always Believe" leading to Warrior once again sitting out his contract and eventually filing litigation which he ultimately lost.
     
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