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"I bought my competition!"
Vince McMahon: "For the first time ever... for the first time ever in sports entertainment history, this broadcast is not only being seen here on TNN and Cleveland, Ohio... it is also being seen across T-N-N [Kein Schreibfehler! McMahon sagte tatsächlich versehentlich “TNN” anstelle von “TNT”.] - Turner Network Television. Now there's only one way that that can happen - there's only one way, and one man who can make history like this happen.
Obviously, you all know I have acquired WCW. That's right. I bought my competition! Now then, it's not exactly final - well it is and it isn't, you see... the only thing is, Time-Warner can't sell this property to anybody else because nobody really knows what to do with it, so therefore this is what's gonna happen. Time-Warner is practically BEGGING me - they're practically begging me to buy WCW, and I have agreed. There's only one small caveat they're hearing for the first time, and that is this. Time-Warner... they've signed the contract and I will sign the contract but I'll sign it this Sunday on pay-per-view at WrestleMania. And I'll sign it when Ted Turner himself walks down the aisle at WrestleMania and delivers the contract in front of me. Now then, some would say, 'geez, Vince, how did you do it? How did you do it, Vince? I mean, you were up against this media conglomerate, Time-Warner. You were up against a billionaire. I mean, how could you possibly do this?' Well, some might say I had a little help along the way with certain WWF superstars and things of that nature, but quite frankly, the truth is... I did it all on my own. It was my effort, it was my money, and it's like, okay Vince, how can you possibly beat a billionaire? Well, there's only one answer to that, and that's become one yourself.
So now, you have to understand, when Ted Turner walks down the aisle at WrestleMania and practically begs me to sign the contract, I'm gonna do it and then I'm gonna reserve a seat for Ted - I'm gonna put him right over here, right in the corner, because I want Ted Turner to watch what I'm gonna do to my very own son Shane. Some would say, come on now, Vince, don't boo me, some would say 'Vince, you can't do that to your own son - he's your flesh and blood!' But you gotta understand what it means to be a competitor - NOBODY understands that better than I do. Because you have to grab your competition by the throat and you've gotta squeeze the life outta your competition - just like I did to WCW! And just like - just like I'm gonna do to my son Shane this Sunday - and by the way, may I add in my corner will be my charming and lovely daughter Stephanie, will also be my companion Trish, and Trish will wheel down... in the wheelchair, Trish will wheel down my very own wife, Linda, and we're gonna park Linda right over here in this corner. And Linda's gonna watch what I do to Shane McMahon this Sunday at WrestleMania.
Now then, what should I do with WCW? Well there are a lotta things I could do with it. I might like to have some input from some of you here in a moment. I mean, I could take WCW and just kinda like put it on the shelf... I could do that. I mean, I could sit back and watch those videotapes of Hogan doin' that ridiculous... [Vince äfft Hogans typische Posen nach.] whatever you call that. I could watch that over and over, them talkin' 'bout how they're gonna bury the WWF... oh, I'd get a great deal of pleasure just sittin' there watching night after night, sittin' there watching the videotapes, backwards and forwards, because you see, there's an old expression: they used to laugh at the WWF - there's an old expression about... he who laughs LAST laughs BEST. And you can see, I'm not exactly laughing, but I've got a real big smile on my face.
Then again, if we don't take WCW and put it on the shelf, we could do something else with it - we could take WCW and, perhaps, turn it into this huge media conglomerate much like World Wrestling Federation Entertainment is today - we know how to do that. But if we do that, I'm wondering, uh, well, who should be a part of this WCW, and maybe you can help me out here - umm... when I give you a thumbs up or a thumbs down, I want you to react, maybe you can help me out a little bit, assuming we wanna acquire some of those 'stars.' Let's start with Hulk Hogan - up? Hogan down. [Gemischte Reaktionen des Publikums] All right. Let's go to, uh... Lex Luger up? [Starke Buhrufe] Lex Luger down. How 'bout, uh, Buff Bagwell up? [Starker Beifall] Bagwell down. How about, uh, let's see, Booker T up? [Beifall] Booker T down. You guys are a mixed group up here. How about Big Poppa Pump up? [Starker Beifall] Poppa Pump down. Well... well, I... I don't know that you've necessarily helped me except, let me just say this... ["Goldberg!"-Chants aus dem Publikum] There are a few others, all right - Sting? You want Sting? [Beifall] All right, uh, Goldberg? [Starker Beifall] Well, this is very interesting.
You see, I had a choice to make tonight, and that choice was coming here before you in Cleveland, and - and quite frankly gloating... which I think I'm doing a very good job of at the moment... or, or I could do this, instead of gloating, what I could have done was get in my plane, and assuming they have an airport there, fly down to the Redneck Rivieria, Panama City Beach, Florida... and walk out there and give every WCW star a piece of my mind, 'cause that's what I really wanna do, but how appropriate is it that WCW's last broadcast is in a beer hall? How appropriate is that? Surrounded by a bunch of beer drinking rednecks! There are obviously a few here tonight. But nonetheless, I've opted to come before you here, as opposed to walking in the ring and lining each and every one of those stars up - every single one of them - so I could look right in their face and say Goldberg, Booker T, and all the rest of them, to look them right in the face and say... 'You're fired!!' And that's exactly what's gonna happen because WCW is going on the shelf. It's going nowhere. WCW is buried! WCW will remain BURIED. Just like anybody here in this arena, or anyone in the world that gets in my way. Every single one of you, when you attempt to compete with me, and that includes my son Shane. And I'm not too proud to say it: every single one of you will be BURIED. Just like WCW is buried!"
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Ratingrekorde, Titelwechsel und ein folgenschwerer Irrtum
Der WCW- und der WWF-World Heavyweight Title wechseln in der selben Nacht die Besitzer. Bei Raw besiegt Mankind The Rock um sich zum ersten Mal in seiner Karriere den WWF Title zu sichern. Bei Nitro macht Tony Schiavone seine berühmte abfällige Bemerkung zu Foleys Titelgewinn (”That ’ll put some buts in the seats!”), aufgrund dessen über 300 000 Haushalte den Kanal von Nitro zu Raw wechseln. Hollywood Hogan gewinnt am selben Abend den WCW Title indem er Kevin Nash mit einem Finger antippt und sich dieser freiwillig von Hogan pinnen lässt. Raw und Nitro übertreffen zusammen erstmals die 10er-Marke mit einer Einschaltquote von 10.7.
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