Tony Schiavone Explains WCW’s Downfall

Recently on E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness, hostsEdge and Christian spoke with former WCW announcer, podcast host, and current MLW announcer Tony Schiavone. The three got to talking about the downfall of WCW. and Schiavone explained why he always knew WWE would win the Monday Night Wars versus WCW.

Schiavone blamed WCW Thunder, the second weekly show TBS wanted to produce in addition to Monday Nitro. Nitro was a huge ratings success for WCW and Ted Turner decided he wanted a second live show, which WCW Executive Producer Eric Bischoff didn’t think they could pull off.

Schiavone explained:

“Obviously, things went downhill and there [are] many things you can point to, but I really think that because they wanted us to do a new show, which was Thunder, I think that’s what started our trend downward.”

He went to describe recalling how Bischoff had a meeting with production to relay they wanted to do another show for TBS but Bischoff said no. Eric told them that the only way they would ever do it is if Turner personally said he wanted another show.

Schiavone added:

“… we all left the meeting feeling like we weren’t going to do it. It wasn’t called Thunder at the time, but there was no way we were going to do a weekly TBS live show. And I guess Ted came and said we’re going to do it because it wasn’t long after that, a month or so after that, we started doing it.”

While WCW had plenty of talent, the promotion did not have the production staff to produce a second show and when they tried to produce a second show it didn’t go well and was too expensive. Pretty soon the show went from live to taped on Tuesday and then from taped on Tuesday to taped after Nitro on Monday. Things just got away from everyone.

“I think talent, we had plenty of talent, but we didn’t have the production personnel of the funds to be able to stay up and do that, so we made a mistake there,” he said.

Schiavone shared that he was well aware that if it ever came down to being a war between WCW and WWE, WWE would win. Calling WCW a television company making a wrestling show and WWE a wrestling company producing a tv show, “If there was going to be a winner in the war, it was going to be Vince McMahon because it was his company. The buck stopped with him. And we had to answer to a television company and they didn’t care.”

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