Don’t Try These Promotional Tactics At Home! Vol #5


Melanie Pillman Interview Days After Brian Pillman’s Death – WWF (’97)

Starting with an example of how little Vince cares … here’s an interview with the wife of Brian Pillman a mere 24 hours after his death. Not only used as a ratings ploy (they plugged it throughout the night on Raw), Vince used Melanie to avoid any accusations of drug/steroid abuse within the company.

While Melanie had agreed to conduct the interview, it’s safe to assume Vince offered her a substantial amount of money to do so. This is one of the ugly sides of the Attitude Era which WWE would love for everyone to forget. Not the easiest interview to watch.

Exploiting Scott Hall’s Alcoholism – WCW (’98)

Talk about living the gimmick! WCW used the fact Hall was getting drunk all the time as part of an angle to explain the friction between him and Kevin Nash in storyline. WCW did eventually send Hall to rehab, but he returned only two months later and we all know it didn’t end there. Oh well, at least he got to puke on Bischoff, and how many of us wouldn’t mind doing the same?

Over the Edge Pay-Per-View Continuing After The Death Of Owen Hart – WWF (’99)

Gah .. it’s not right surely? When someone literally dies during a show, do you keep it going? Do you just brush it off and give the fans what they paid for? Or do you take a moment to think .. damn, we just lost a human being. Perhaps we should refund everyone, go home and grieve? Not when Vince McMahon is on watch!

What’s it going to take to stop a show? Two people passing away? Ten? How many people have to die before Vince thinks “oh .. um, is this in bad taste?” I didn’t see the show live, but my friend did and he was so upset by the show. He told me how it was impossible to think about anything but Owen for the rest of the night. Nothing else mattered after that moment.

It wasn’t just the media and the critics who expressed their distaste, fans made themselves heard too. One man left the arena with his children after hearing the news of Owen’s death and noticing the show was continuing,”It was disgusting…. For kids to see that, for this to be so-called family entertainment, for them to just carry on as if nothing had happened, is just sad.”.

While Owen’s wife believed he would not have wanted the show to continue, WWF and Vince later revealed they continued with the show as they felt that’s what Owen would have wanted. It remains a controversial decision, and one that may always be up for debate.

David Arquette Wins The WCW World Heavyweight Championship – WCW (2000)

The infamous moment WCW handed a title over to a celebrity. Let’s get this straight, the decision to put the title on Arquette had some sense behind it and didn’t just happen out of nowhere. Firstly, Arquette had spent several months of WCW programming with his wife Courtney Cox Arquette, and was the star of WCW’s Ready to Rumble movie. As Vince Russo explained in the past, the decision to put the title on Arquette was to get the company some mainstream exposure from the media.

The title change came on an episode of WCW Thunder (the B-show), in a match where the winner would be the man who got the pin-fall. Arquette pinned Bischoff after much help from his tag team partner DDP. The moment was to recreate the feeling of Ready To Rumble, and Arquette went on to hold the title for 12 days before losing it back in a Triple Steel Cage (like the one in the movie) to Jeff Jarrett (which also included DDP).

While it made some sense from getting a “quick headline point of view”, it did not sit well with wrestling fans and critics. Having Arquette win such a prestigious World Heavyweight Championship was a slap in the face to the legends who held it before. To many it felt WCW cheapened the importance of the World title at a time when the company was already struggling against the mighty WWF. All the while, no one complained when Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble and the WWF title because he was a prominent figure and had been Steve Austin’s biggest adversary. This time, to many, it felt like “oh let’s just put the title on a celebrity and everyone will love it as they loved the film!” kind of deal.

Russo has expressed several times how it wasn’t just his decision. He also mentioned Arquette winning the title had nothing to do with the eventual death of the company. I tend to agree, while it was a pretty lame thing to do, there were far damaging moments for the company, such as allowing wrestlers to have fat contracts with creative control, and other instances like allowing Kevin Nash to book shows. But I already explained the reasons behind the Death Of WCW which you can read, but please remember it’s a little old and probably needs editing:

Thanks for reading everyone! See you again soon. Many cameo appearances in these videos, including Randy Savage, Sting, Goldberg, DDP, John Cena (as an extra) and others.

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