Kevin Sullivan covered ECW on a recent episode of “Taskmaster Talks.”
Sullivan talks about ECW’s pilot episode, the early days of the company, WCW and WWE signing talent away, how Sullivan gave Paul Heyman a heads up before WCW signed away his wrestlers, and much more.
Here are some highlights:
Sullivan was asked if he agrees with The Undertaker’s opinion of today’s wrestlers being soft:
“I listened to The Undertaker’s interview about it. Well, to me, I’m still a wrestling fan, a huge wrestling fan. I think it would be silly on my part to contradict anything that the guy who put the most asses in seats for the longest period of time could disagree with him. I think I would be an idiot and anybody else that does would be an idiot. The Undertaker put as*es in seats. If he says it, I have to agree with him. Nobody knows better than the guy who’s put more as*es in seats than history for the longest time.”
Sullivan talked about the contract offered by WCW to Sabu:
“He was signed. I told him ‘Don’t f**k around. Sign this thing, it’s three years.’ I think the down year was $400,000. He said, ‘I want my attorneys to see it.’ I said, ‘Sign it.’ He didn’t and a day later there was a switch in the office and they ripped his contract up. He got screwed by WCW. He could have been a huge star. Not that he wasn’t a huge star, but he should have been up there with everybody else.’
Sullivan talked about Eric Bischoff signing ECW’s talent:
“When they (WCW) started poaching talent from ECW, as soon as I found out, I would call Paul and give him eight weeks notice. I would say to him, ‘Paul, this isn’t me, it’s them. They’re going to get the guys whether you want it or not and I’m going to keep them (WCW) out of your backyard for eight weeks.’ I think he appreciated that. They (WCW and ECW) did not have a decent relationship probably because both people’s egos on both sides (Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman). They knew I worked for Paul and Paul was a friend of mine. I think I proved it after I went there and they would tell me they are going to take Malenko, Guerrero and Benoit. I called him and said they are going to take the three of them, and probably Raven too, so you better prepare yourself. He would say, ‘How long?’ I would say, ‘Probably eight weeks. I can keep them away from you for eight weeks.’ I think there might have been an ECW to this day if they had some money behind them where we couldn’t have raided them. We took Sheri, Public Enemy, the three guys I mentioned and Raven. We would have had Sabu if he would have signed.
Who recruited these guys in?
“Eric. People knock Eric but Eric knew talent most of the time. One of the things that Eric really understood is this is a talent driven business. This was an Eddie Graham saying and Eric probably never heard it, but Get all the talent you can. Don’t worry about having too much talent because the cream will rise to the top.’ People say he brought a lot of people in. Yea, he brought a lot of people in and weeded some out and he hurt the other company by taking them. This was a war back then. Eric knew it was easier to fight one front than a front in a flank. Vince did too. They attacked the most vulnerable company but Vince ended up helping Paul E and giving him money. I knew that all along. Nobody had to tell me. I’ve been in the business long enough that I knew. In fact, I think I called Paul E and told him and he said, ‘No, no.’ I said, ‘I know you have to kayfabe it, but don’t tell me no.’ I knew. You could see. I knew it right away, but what cemented it for me was when Pillman went. I knew then, but I knew from the very beginning when Paul E all of a sudden can pay a bunch of guys he owed money to.’