Former WCW ring announcer David Penzer recently appeared on the Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling Podcast to discuss his time in the company as well as Vince McMahon buying the company. Here are the highlights.
On if he was shocked to see Vince McMahon buy WCW:
"I don't know if anyone was shocked to see it end. The writing was on the wall, and something was going to happen and even Eric had a company that he had called Fusient Media that had actually done their due diligence portion of the sale to buy it. I think the two things that shocked me were that they sold it to WWE, to find out it was so cheap and also that they canceled the programming. The ratings for Nitro were still at the top 20 ratings of all cable television and it still had a healthy audience at it's worst. The pay per views didn't sell out, the house shows weren't doing well but Nitro was still a brand that people would go out and see. To see that (Ted) Turner had lost his power with the AOL/TIme Warner merger and they brought somebody in who wasn't a wrestling fan and I think that was the shock that Vince bought it for so cheap. I had told this story on another podcast, the way I found out it had happened. A friend of mine called me and told me to turn to WWF.com and there was a splash page that said WWF PURCHASES WCW and that's literally how I found out. There was speculation and rumors but that's how I found out. I had said on the podcast and the guy made a big deal out of it that I cried and I didn't really cry literally, but figuratively I shed some tears because I had really worked hard and was shocked. Just to set the record straight I didn't really have tears in my eyes. The whole thing happened so fast."
On WCW expanding programming and management:
"At the time you had WCW Monday Nitro that was so popular and then you had Thunder so you had five hours of live to tape television a week and Eric gravitated towards that. So WCW Saturday Night and the syndicated shows became and were "B" shows and mostly then Eric and "the powers that be" weren't involved in the booking of those shows. At one point WCW Saturday Night was booked by me, Tony Schiavone, Arn Anderson and Jimmy Hart. Jimmy used to worry that we were doing such good storylines with the secondary guys that the ratings would get so good that he would end up getting removed because they didn't want to get ratings any bit closer to the Big Shows."
You can listen to the entire interview here: