ABOUT WADEEMAIL WADEFACEBOOKTWITTERPODCASTFREE IPHONE APPRSSJUMP TO VIP BLOGVIP LOG-IN VIP SIGN-UPGO TO PWTORCH.COM



PWTORCH.COM
JUMP BACK TO PWTORCH.COM

Listen to the PWTorch Livecast Mon-Fri Listen live or subscribe via iTunes

 


WK FLASHBACK: Will C.M. Punk replicate Brian Pillman's double-cross of his co-conspirator? A report on the huge Pillman swerve 15 years ago

Jun 29, 2011 - 3:38:00 PM


Bookmark us!

StaffKeller08_120_29.jpg
Okay, and now here's the big twist in the Brian Pillman "worked-shoot" saga from 15 years ago in June 1996.

The nearest equivalent of history repeating itself would be for Vince McMahon to have left himself vulnerable to C.M. Punk showing up live on Spike TV for TNA Impact later this year. Of course, Pillman was in the middle of a wrestling war between two giant wrestling companies with money to spend in the midst of a legit, and heated, Monday Night War. Also, McMahon is too savvy to let himself get double-crossed the way Pillman double-crossed his co-conspirator Eric Bischoff. Or is he?

For those who didn't experience this at the time, and for those who want a relive it, here is my cover story from 15 years ago covering the big twist in the Brian Pillman "worked-shoot" saga that had hardcore fans talking them like they are today about Punk.

(Read this entire back issue and all PWTorch Newsletter back issues from one of the biggest years in pro wrestling history - 1996 - by becoming a PWTorch VIP member today. Click this link for more info: www.pwtorch.com/govip)

COVER STORY by Wade Keller
ORIGINAL HEADLINE: WWF strikes back with signing of Pillman
SUBHEADLINE: WWF snatches Pillman out from under WCW, meanwhile WCW signs Jarrett away from WWF
COVER-DATE: June 15, 1996
PWTorch Newsletter #392


WCW thought they had Brian Pillman wrapped up. Pillman had agreed to a money figure over the weekend of June 1. There were just details to work out. WCW went ahead and began mentioning Pillman again on their TV shows, thinking he'd be signed and back on television within a month or so.

Pillman, though, took the leverage he had from WCW's offer to Vince McMahon. On Friday, June 7 Pillman signed a three-year deal with the WWF.

WCW helped Pillman become one of wrestling's hotter heels in March and April by perpetrating a complex con on fellow wrestlers and wrestling fans, making it appear that Pillman and WCW were on the outs. WCW's Eric Bischoff basically fired Pillman on the air, ripping into his professionalism. Pillman walked out on an "I-quit" match with Kevin Sullivan on live television, saying "I quit, booker man." It was all designed to appear to be a shoot.

The con backfired on WCW. Even when Pillman's contract expired with WCW in April, there were skeptics who believed there was no way WCW would push Pillman to the hilt at the very end of his contract. Apparently WCW was falsely confident they would be able to re-sign him, not believing the WWF would show as much interest as they obviously did.

Had WCW not signed away Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, had WCW not rubbed those signings in the WWF's face by using the "Billionaire Ted" skits to their advantage, had they not also lured Jeff Jarrett and Ted DiBiase away in recent weeks, perhaps the WWF wouldn't have shown as much interest in Pillman. But given the intensity of the Monday Night War and the battle over perception of who is stealing whose talent, the WWF needed an answer to Hall and Nash.

It's rumored that Pillman had agreed to a three year deal with WCW worth around $400,000 per year with the only stumbling block being the 90 day review clauses built in. The 90 day clauses in essence made WCW's offer a three-month deal, not a three-year deal. Pillman made $225,000 a year on his previous WCW contract.

There is no word on what Pillman's agreement with the WWF entailed, although given what he was turning down in WCW, it has already led to WWF wrestlers plotting their next moves. The big signings by WCW of Nash and Hall combined with the WWF's signings of Vader, Ultimate Warrior, and Marc Mero have changed the negotiating complexion of the U.S. wrestling scene.

Wrestlers are now positioning themselves to take advantage of the landscape. They know that Bischoff is determined to show-up McMahon, but that McMahon is just as determined not to let that happen. Because business is up pretty much across the board - including this past weekend with both promotions drawing $200,000 gates - both promotions can afford to up the ante.

Pillman cannot wrestle yet. He is still recovering from his car wreck from two months ago, his face is still swollen, and he has lost a ton of weight. As soon as possible, though, the WWF wants to incorporate Pillman into their storylines to combat the momentum WCW is feeling from the Nash-Hall "Team WWF" angle. Pillman will be on camera perhaps as soon as King of the Ring or the Raws taped the next day and his debut is being designed to get people talking.

Pillman will remain "Loose Cannon" Brian Pillman and won't be getting a major make-over, (a la Dustin Rhodes into Goldust).

Pillman missed his scheduled Peach State Wrestling appearance in Cordielle, Ga. on June 7 because he was finalizing his deal with the WWF. He did do a phone interview over the intercom and broke the news to the fans and promoters that he signed with the WWF. WCW's Terry Taylor and Joey Maggs were on the show. They were both surprised and upset at Pillman's announcement. WCW in general was bitter over the loss, feeling misled and stung by what will hurt the perception they were trying to build that they were the promotion where the Big Boys play. Like the WWF with the DiBiase angle, WCW will have working to their advantage the fact that they "fired" Pillman on the air, so it won't totally appear that the WWF stole him.

Jim Ross reported on the WWF's 900 line that Pillman is free to wrestle for other promotions while with the WWF. Whatever that evenually will entail, that statement may give early hints that his character will be radically different than the norm for the WWF. Ross also reported Pillman gets to keep his 900 line and that it will not be associated with the WWF in any way. Although he wasn't scheduled for any future appearances, it had been expected Pillman would wrestle at least one date with ECW even if he signed with the WWF or WCW. Since he will be engrossed in his WWF storyline long before he can wrestle, him wrestling for ECW this fall is unlikely - not that ECW is all that disappointed, as his dealings with ECW at the June 1 card were tense before, after, and during the event.

It wasn't an entirely bad week for WCW in the roster department as they locked in Jeff Jarrett on June 4. Jarrett gave his notice to the WWF and received a conditional release. He cannot work for WCW until the end of October when his contract expires. McMahon acknowledged Jarrett's departure last week on the WWF 900 line. Jarrett was not happy with his push upon his return to the WWF late last year. In another significant signing, former WCW Champion Ron Simmons starts with the WWF later this month.

[Eric Bischoff photo credit Wade Keller]


Please Recommend or Like This Article on Twitter or Facebook


CLICK HERE to return to Wade Keller Blog home page

CLICK HERE to jump to PWTorch.com's main page

MORE RECENT WK BLOG ARTICLES...
KELLER BLOG: Paul Heyman alliance with C.M. Punk - where does it go from here?
KELLER'S WWE SUMMERSLAM PPV BLOG: Results and analysis throughout the show including Lesnar vs. Triple H, Cena vs. Punk vs. Show
KELLER: C.M. Punk is not best utilized as a tweener, despite a recent reader poll; he should be all out heel

Comment on this Article Below


THE TORCH AND USA TODAY PRESENT THIS EXCLUSIVE UFC VIDEO FEATURE


GO VIP - GET ENHANCED BLOG + MORE!

PWTorch VIP Members get an ad-free enhanced version of this blog including a reader comment area with Wade Keller's conversation with readers after each blog. Sign up for a VIP membership and get 60+ VIP Audio Shows, New PWTorch Weekly Newsletter Digital Edition, 100s of PWTorch Newsletter Back Issues, Ad-Free Access to Entire PWTorch Site, PWTorch VIP Forum, Many Special Archive Features, and More! SIGN UP HERE

LATEST PWTORCH ARTICLES
NEWS REPORTS
WWE NEWS: Raw TV tonight - Extreme Rules fall-out, King of the Ring begins, Cena's Open Challenge?, more
WWE NETWORK: Monday, April 27 Schedule - Jerry Springer, more
WWE NEWS: King of the Ring returning on Raw & Network, plus WWE releases Network highlights this week
WWE PPV NEWS: Extreme Rules - WWE Title cage match, Bryan's match replaced, one title change, I Quit match announced for next PPV, Street Fight lasts nearly an hour, more
WWE NEWS: How accurate were match betting odds for Extreme Rules?
WWE NEWS: Big change to Extreme Rules line-up - Daniel Bryan is off, Bryan's opponent shifted to pre-show match
SHOW RESULTS - 4/25 FSW in Las Vegas, Nev.: Former MMA fighter Phil Baroni debuts
ROCK NEWS: "Furious 7" tops weekend box office again, passes big milestone
PUNK NEWS: C.M. Punk and Marvel announce new comic series
SUNDAY EVENTS: Punk & Hardy & WWE announcers at C2E2 on Extreme Rules Sunday, big Smash Wrestling show
WWE NETWORK: Sunday, April 26 Schedule - Extreme Rules line-up
SHOW RESULTS - 4/25 ROH in Hopkins, Minn.: Lethal vs. O'Reilly for TV Title, Briscoes in semi-main event, more results, plus Wade Keller's in-person coverage
PPV REPORTS
MCNEILL'S PPV BLOG 4/26: Live Blog for WWE Extreme Rules 2015 - ongoing thoughts & observations
CALDWELL'S EXTREME RULES PPV REPORT 4/26: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live PPV - Rollins vs. Orton steel cage, Cena vs. Rusev, Last Man Standing, more
CALDWELL'S EXTREME RULES PPV REPORT 4/26 (pre-show): Complete coverage of Barrett vs. Neville, Dean crashes set, more
RADICAN'S KING OF INDIES 2015 REPORT 3/27 - Night 1: First round tournament action, Ryan vs. Ricochet vs. Cross main event
RADICAN'S NJPW INVASTION ATTACK PPV REPORT 4/5 - Young Bucks vs. RPG Vice, Okada-Fale, Styles-Ibushi main event
RADICAN'S WWN SUPERSHOW: MERCURY RISING 2015 iPPV REPORT 3/28 - Galloway-Gargano title vs. title & Hero-Thatcher MOTYCs, GeNext reunion, Shine Tag, more
RADICAN'S EVOLVE 40 IPPV REPORT: P.J. Black vs. Ricochet main event, Drew Galloway vs. Uhaa Nation, more; Overall Thoughts
CALDWELL'S WM31 PPV RESULTS 3/29: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of WWE World Title match, Taker's return, Sting vs. Triple H, Cena vs. Rusev, Rock/UFC surprise, more
CALDWELL'S WM31 PPV REPORT 3/29 (Pre-Show): Tag Title match, Andre Battle Royal, final WM31 hype, Stooges, more
MCNEILL'S PPV BLOG 3/29: Live WM31 Blog - ongoing thoughts & observations
RADICAN'S SHIMMER 71 IPPV REPORT 3/28: One-night-only ChickFight Tournament at WWNLive Weekend, plus SHIMMER Title match
RADICAN'S EVOLVE 39 iPPV REPORT: Gargano vs. Fox for DGUSA Title, Galloway vs. Black for EVOLVE Title, Hero, Premier Athlete Brand, set-up for title vs. title match
TV REPORTS
IMPACT NEWS 4/24: No TNA Title match, KO Title match, champion turns heel, new team debuts, #1 contender, Mickie & ECIII announcements, Full Match Results, more
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 4/23: Complete coverage of the Thursday night show, including Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins & Luke Harper
SMACKDOWN NEWS 4/23: Final hype for Extreme Rules PPV, The Shield reunites, announce trio, full Match Results
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 4/22 - Week 149: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn main event, #1 contender Women's Title match, Balor & Itami & Rhyno in singles; Overall Reax
DEHNEL'S LUCHA UNDERGROUND REPORT 4/22: New Trios Tag Champions determined via two big matches, Alberto & Johnny Mundo, more
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 4/20: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Rollins vs. Ziggler main event, Cena's Open Challenge, Miz-Sandow, Triple H returns, more
METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 4/19: Elgin vs. Cedric Alexander main event, Fish Tank returns, War Machine, Dijak vs. Castle, more
IMPACT NEWS 4/17: Hardys capture vacant Tag Titles in Ultimate X, how Josh Mathews handled Taz's absence, full match results
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 4/16: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Thursday show, including Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs. Daniel Bryan & John Cena
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 4/15 - Week 148: Zayn vs. Rhyno #1 contender, departed wrestler in action, Dana Brooke in-ring debut, two big matches next week; Overall Reax
DEHNEL'S LUCHA UNDERGROUND REPORT 4/15: Team Puma vs. Team Cage Trios match, Best of Five Series concludes, more; Overall Reax
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 4/13: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of London Raw - Cena's latest U.S. Title Open Challenge, battle royal, Extreme Rules hype, more
OPINION & ANALYSIS
MCNEILL'S PPV BLOG 4/26: Live Blog for WWE Extreme Rules 2015 - ongoing thoughts & observations
WWE PPV POLLS 4/26: Vote 0-10 & select Best Match of the PPV
Irresistible: McNEILL Previews WWE Extreme Rules 2015 (with Wrestling History Lesson)
RADICAN'S KING OF INDIES 2015 REPORT 3/28 - Night 2: Outstanding conclusion to tournament with MOTYC Finals, Juvi-Dragon showcase
RADICAN'S KING OF INDIES 2015 REPORT 3/27 - Night 1: First round tournament action, Ryan vs. Ricochet vs. Cross main event
ASK THE SPECIALISTS ROUNDTABLE: Who will be WWE's Next Top Star?
SD POLLS 4/23: Vote 0-10 & Select Best Match of Smackdown
PAT'S POLL: Which Extreme Rules match are you most looking forward to?
RAW POLLS 4/20: Vote on Raw 0-10 & Select Best Match
SD POLLS 4/16: Vote 0-10 & Select Best Match on Smackdown
RADICAN'S AIW "Girls Night Out 11" Report 3/29/14: Recent WWE signee Jasmin in action, outstanding Yim vs. Athena semi-main event, Kay-Von Dutch main event
MCNEILL LIVECAST POLL: Besides reducing crowd pops for wrestlers, how else can WWE "enhance" the Raw viewing experience?
THE SPECIALISTS
TUCKER LIVE AT EXTREME RULES: Instant Reaction to an inoffensive, yet somewhat ineffective Sunday night WWE PPV
HITS & MISSES - 4/13 WWE Raw: Cena vs. Barrett, Kane's Storyline, Reigns - Big Show, Extrem Rules Stipulations
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: New Book Traces WWE History through Promotional Posters
SPECIAL REPORT: What is the Average Length of a WWE Diva’s Career? (Read the Buzzworthy Column covering 1990s to today)
HITS & MISSES - 4/6 WWE Raw: Rollins - Kane, Rollins vs. Neville, Cena vs. Stardust, Miz vs. Mizdow, Reigns vs. Ryback vs. Orton
VALENTINO'S MAGIC, MEMORIES & MANIA: Live at WrestleMania 31 - A Mania With No Great Matches But Many Great Moments
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: A.J. Lee "Retires" - How the Collectibles Market Reacted
HITS & MISSES - 4/2 WWE Smackdown: Rollins - Orton, Cena - Rusev, Ambrose vs. Harper, Sheamus vs. Bryan, Two-Minute Divas match, more
HITS & MISSES - 3/30 WWE Raw: Lesnar and Heyman, Bryan vs. Ziggler, Cena vs. Ambrose, Saxton Fills In, Main Event tag match, more
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Review of Topps's 2015 WWE Dog Tags - A.J. to Edge
VALENTINO'S MAGIC, MEMORIES & MANIA: WrestleMania Weekend Log - The Afterparty
TUCKER'S LIVE INSTANT REACTION - Post-Mania Raw 3/30: Suddenly, there's a mid-card, but what about the main event scene?
PWTORCH EXCLUSIVES
EXTREME RULES FLASHBACK - Last Year's PPV: D-Bryan's only World Title defense, Shield vs. Evolution, compromised steel cage, Barrett challenges for IC Title, more
EXTREME RULES FLASHBACK - 5 yrs. ago today: Cena vs. Batista main event, Swagger defends World Title, Edge vs. Jericho in a cage, Punk puts hair on the line, more
RADICAN'S KING OF INDIES 2015 REPORT 3/28 - Night 2: Outstanding conclusion to tournament with MOTYC Finals, Juvi-Dragon showcase
RAW RETRO 4/23 - Cena vs. HBK goes nearly 60 minutes in London
RAW RETRO - King of the Ring tournament held 7 yrs. ago today
ROH RETRO - Loaded ROH Show 10 yrs. ago today: Last five matches won by Lethal, C.M. Punk, Joe, Aries, Bryan; more details
RADICAN'S AIW "Girls Night Out 11" Report 3/29/14: Recent WWE signee Jasmin in action, outstanding Yim vs. Athena semi-main event, Kay-Von Dutch main event
RAW RETRO - London Raw 5 yrs. ago: Orton vs. Batista main event, Cena vs. Otunga, Hasselhoff guest-stars, more
WCW TITLE FLASHBACK - Hogan, Flair & Sting in same PPV title match 16 yrs. ago, but none wins the belt
AWA FLASHBACK - Super Clash 25 yrs. ago: Zbyszko captures AWA Title; questions about the future of the promotion
MANIA FLASHBACK - WrestleMania 29 two yrs. ago: Cena beats Rock to complete feud, Hunter vs. Lesnar, Punk vs. Taker, Jericho loses to Fandango, Keller's Star Ratings, more
WWF NEWS FLASHBACK: Introducing Brock Lesnar 15 years ago
REFERENCE
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in for Monday's show, plus 2015 Scoresheet
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings - last week's show falls to lowest Thurs. rating
TITLES & CHAMPS: Ongoing list of 2015 Titleholders
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Raw nearly hits year-low for U.K. Raw
TNA NEWS: Impact TV viewership for last Friday's show
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - Thursday's show dips, now dealing with competition from Spike TV
TNA NEWS: Impact viewership for last Friday's show, including large demos gap
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Monday's show falls nearly 25 percent, plus historical look at second Raw post-Mania vs. NCAA Title game
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in for post-Mania episode
WWE NEWS: Raw TV viewership slides for second Raw after WrestleMania, eerily similar pattern to post-Survivor Series
OBIT: Rickard, New Zealand promoter/former NWA Board member, dies at 85
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - huge audience post-WM31
PWTorch Free Podcast
LIVECAST AUDIO: Special PWTorch Livecast (4/26) Extreme Rules post-game show now available on-demand - James Caldwell & Greg Parks
LIVECAST AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (4/24) available on-demand - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant with live calls
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (4/23) available on-demand - Wade Keller interviews Justin Credible (P.J. Polaco)
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (4/22) available on-demand - Pat McNeill talks live with former wrestling author Brian Solomon
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (4/21) available on-demand - Wade Keller & Sean Radican
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (4/20) available on-demand - Raw post-game show w/James Caldwell & Greg Parks
LIVECAST AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (4/17) available on-demand - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (4/16) available on-demand - Wade Keller talks live with Sean Waltman (X-Pac)
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (4/15) available on-demand - Big Ryck (Ezekiel Jackson) live interview w/Pat McNeill
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (4/14) available on-demand - Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (4/13) available on-demand - James Caldwell & Greg Parks Raw post-game show
LIVECAST AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (4/10) available on-demand - Bruce & Travis
VIP Exclusive Features
VIP SALE - Our First VIP Membership Sale of 2015 - go VIP for 1 month/$1.31
VIP - 04/26 WWE Extreme Rules Post-PPV Audio Roundtable: Keller, Mitchell, McNeill discuss even start to finish including reaction to Reigns-Big Show, Cena-Rusev, Seth-Orton-Kane, Harper-Ambrose (58 min.)
VIP - 04/26 Special PWTorch Livecast: Extreme Rules post-game show - James Caldwell & Greg Parks talk w/live callers on the big events & happenings, look-ahead to Payback, plus VIP Aftershow wrap-up (91 min.)
VIP - 04/26 Bruce Mitchell Audio Show w/Wade Keller: Single Topic In-Depth - Which main event wrestlers in history have left their opponents better off or worse off - Hogan, Hunter, Cena, Bret, Michaels, Austin, Rock, more (68 min.)
VIP - 04/26 McNeill & Valley's "Wayback Playback" Audio Show (ep. #32): Into the WCW PPV Time Machine for Hour #2 of Spring Stampede '94! (64 min.)
VIP - 04/26 - Wade Keller Hotline - ROH Live Experience: In-person notes from last night’s packed house in Minneapolis market with an effective 30 minute draw in main event of TV taping including Lethal vs. O'Reilly for TV Title, ODB (24 min.)
VIP - 04/26 Audio Flashback - Wade Keller Hotline (4-26-2005): Why police were called for hotel lobby incident on WWE’s overseas tour, WM21 buyrate, intense chants aimed at Edge and Lita shows power of Internet, Nash’s no-show (27 min.)
VIP - 04/26 Moonlighting with Greg Parks: With PWTorch contributor Benjamin Tucker, discussing latest episodes of Smackdown, Lucha Underground, TNA Impact (74 min.)
VIP - 04/25 - Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: In-depth idea on how to shake up opening segment of Raw, how to introduce Sami Zayn, will Steph confront Big Show over Andre claims, is Dana Brooke pushing limits for WWE (30 min.)
VIP - 04/25 Audio Flashback - TNA Lockdown PPV Roundtable (04-24-2004): Keller, Powell, and McNeill rate and review event including whether Dusty Rhodes’s booking helped, did all-cage format work, Nash’s absence (30 min.)
VIP - 04/24 - Wade Keller Hotline - The News: Huge weekend of big name appearances outside of WWE including Punk, Flair, Foley; Goldberg and Rousey on their in-ring futures, WWE’s biz goals, Cena seeking cheers and advice for Reigns (24 min.)
VIP - 04/24 PWTorch Livecast & VIP Aftershow: Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant w/live calls: Final Extreme Rules hype, Dana White shuts down Rousey/WWE, Ron Wright, more hot topics, plus VIP Aftershow on cryptic Ziggler tweet, NXT & more (78 min.)
© 1999-2011 TDH Communications Inc. • All rights reserved. -- PRIVACY POLICY