After years of battling rival World Championship Wrestling, Vince McMahon
watched in horror Monday night as his son, Shane, stole the World Wrestling
Federation's competitor from under him.
At least that's how it played out during the landmark WCW-WWF simulcast
Monday night on Turner Network Television and TNN: The National Network.
Top WCW wrestlers will compete during the WWF's WrestleMania
pay-per-view event, traditionally one of the top-grossing PPV events of the
year, the McMahons revealed Monday night.
The idea of a joint WCW-WWF PPV show -- a Super Bowl of 'sports
entertainment' -- had been kicked around for years. It took World Wrestling
Federation Entertainment Inc.'s acquisition last Friday of its longtime rival --
after Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s deal to sell WCW to Fusient Media
Ventures crumbled -- to pull it off.
Vince appeared as the nastiest 'Mr. McMahon' heel character on TNT's final
WCWMonday Nitro telecast, declaring, 'The fate of WCW is in my
Vince told the audience the WCW deal with Turner wasn't finalized and it
wouldn't be a done deal until AOL Time Warner Inc. vice chairman Ted Turner
appeared at WrestleMania to sign the contract and watch Vince kick Shane
around the ring.
'You've got to grab your competitor by the throat, and you have to squeeze
the life out of your competitor, just like I did to WCW and just like I'm going
to do to my son Shane this Sunday,' Vince said.
Vince then told the audience he was going to 'shelve WCW' and its talent, but
he was interrupted live by Shane, broadcasting from the Nitro arena.
'The deal is finalized with WCW and the name on the contract does say
the younger McMahon told his father, the WWF founder. 'However, the
contract reads Shane McMahon.'
In the past several years outside of the arena, Vince often recalled the day
when Turner called to inform him that he was launching WCW after Vince rejected
his offers to buy the WWF.
WCW immediately challenged the WWF in the ratings war after it launched in
1995, and it beat the WWF in ratings for 88 weeks until the spring of 1998.
Since then, the WWF has dominated WCW and consistently more than doubled WCW
ratings in the last year.
While Monday night's telecast suggested that some WCW wrestlers will be
integrated into the WWF, the fate of WCW's 150 full-time employees remains
unclear. TBS Inc. has scheduled a meeting with WCW employees Wednesday, where
severance packages are expected to be handed out, one source
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