It is no surprise that some wrestlers simply don’t want to work with others, but it’s always interesting to see why they refuse a match or feud. Things have changed a lot over the years from how they used to be and wrestler/booker Kevin Sullivan knows that better than anyone. In a recent interview, Sullivan spoke about Hulk Hogan, the New World Order, and which former WWE Champion was almost insulted in being asked to lose to Chris Benoit.
Kevin Sullivan was a huge part of WCW during the “Monday Night Wars,” and he worked with the promotion’s talent for many years. He worked with the likes of Sting, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, John Tenta, Lex Luger, Kevin Nash, and so many other famous names, but not all of them were easy.
With so many different big names and a number of egos, Sullivan was given a lot of challenges and it’s incredible to see just what issues some superstars had with ideas. As time went on, the overall dynamics of wrestling changed and it seems as if not all were in line with it.
On a recent episode of Sitting Ringside, by way of Wrestling Inc., Kevin Sullivan spoke of how hard it was to get some wrestlers to put another wrestler over. He even recalled one of the most difficult conversations he ever had was with Sid Vicious and it wasn’t very politically correct.
Sid Vicious, Sid Justice in WWF/WWE, was a big star for a long time in different promotions and even won the WWF World Title on two occasions. During his time in WCW, though, Sullivan said it got to a point where he asked the 6’9″ Sid Vicious to put over a 5’8″ Chris Benoit and it didn’t go well.
“…you know this story. I walked into a room with Sid Vicious, 6′ 9″, with a babyface that was 5′ 8″ at best and asked him to put Chris Benoit over clean. (Sid) b***hed and moaned and said, ‘Why am I putting a midget over’? Sid said, ‘What is wrong with you?’ Sometimes it not as easy as it sounds.”
That may be hard to comprehend for some newer WWE fans when they see the success of shorter guys such as Bobby Roode and Daniel Bryan, but times have changed. Just like when it was time for a major change to be made with Hulk Hogan and it was the decision to turn him heel.
Sullivan said that the night before Bash at the Beach in 1996, Hogan’s agent literally “cried” to him saying he couldn’t turn the Hulkster heel. It ended up working out great and Sullivan said he remembered the exact moment when he realized that Hulk Hogan needed to make the turn.
“One night in the old Chicago stadium, (Hogan) did an interview with ‘Mean Gene’, and they were booing (Hogan) out of the building. I told (Hogan) he needed to turn heel, Hogan said, ‘Absolutely Not’! I knew he had to turn heel. The pop wasn’t there. He [Hogan] didn’t look the same. (Hogan) was a bald man, who was thin at the time.”
Booking professional wrestling may be one of the most stressful jobs in the world and Kevin Sullivan dealt with it all for many years. It’s hard to know just how to please all of the talented superstars without offending or upsetting someone, but moves had to be done for the business. Unfortunately, two stars in WCW and WWE such as Sid Vicious and Chris Benoit weren’t always going to be paired off in the most flattering results for either one.
[Featured Image by WWE]