• ON THIS DAY IN WWF HISTORY (December 27, 2001) – WWF SmackDown!
On this day in 2001, the World Wrestling Federation aired an episode of their weekly TV show ‘WWF SmackDown!’.
It was broadcasted from the TD Waterhouse Centre in Orlando, Florida and featured pre-taped matches & storyline segments on the road to the ‘WWF Royal Rumble 2002’ PPV.
Here’s the card:
1. Spike Dudley & Tazz vs. The Dudley Boyz
2. Christian vs. Rikishi
3. The Rock & Rob Van Dam vs. Kurt Angle & Lance Storm
4. Trish Stratus vs. Mighty Molly
5. The Undertaker vs. Tajiri
6. Edge vs. Kane
7. Booker T & The Big Boss Man vs. Steve Austin
• Arn Anderson Comments On Vince McMahon Making Him Feel His Opinion Isn’t Valuable
During a recent Q&A session on ARN podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson talked about his run as a Producer in WWE (which came to an end earlier this year in February after 18 years).
Arn was asked when he felt his time in the company was coming to an end and below is what Arn said:
“Probably 4 years. Somewhere in there, before I got canned. I was getting blamed for stuff that was perceived to be my fault, that wasn’t my fault. My opinion was not valued.
You know… something I’m not sure that everybody knows, and I’m sure they don’t… besides our duties on the road, when you’re a Producer and you’re traveling all those miles and going out on Friday, and sometimes driving 1,000 miles before you get to RAW, and then you got another couple 300 that night, and you drive, and you gotta be there early for SmackDown.
On top of all that, they would send the show [script] out, sometimes on Sunday night. So after you had already put in 1,000 miles, you had already done a show, you had driven to RAW, however far that was. Then you would get an e-mail, and you would have to critique the show, have to read through a 3 hour RAW, give your opinions, suggestions. Same thing with SmackDown. Now it doesn’t matter that it’s 4 in the morning and you’re dead tired. But that’s all the Producers.
Very rarely in those last 4 years was anything that anyone of us had offered, because you would get a sheet with the Producer suggestions, and names that go by with them, and they never would use any of those suggestions. and I knew my opinion was no longer valued. And you would speak up, it would be taken the wrong way, it was almost like it was Creative vs. the Producers, which was the farthest thing from the truth.
We were doing all we could to support their ideas. A lot of them we disagreed with and we’d voice it, and then we’d get kicked around the room, but by the time it got back to the beginning, it was just what was written originally. I just felt like the last 4 years, it was… I always kinda felt like I was one of those, ‘You WCW guys.’ I always felt that way.
Even though in total, 18 years with the company, you would think my loyalty would be unquestionable, and I just felt like an outsider, on the outside looking in. I never was comfortable, I never was in that… and to be honest with you, I didn’t want to be in that inner circle with my head up Vince’s a$$, or Hunter’s [Triple H] a$$, or any of those guys’ a$$ around.
I just wanted to do my job, help the talent the best I could, take the ideas that the creative came up with, whether I agreed or not agreed with it, try to make it work the best I could, and I just… you know, I was getting my head taken off.
Some things that weren’t my fault, and several different big matches, and something that we don’t have time to really discuss here, because it’d take too long, but it’d just… you know, I was made to feel suddenly like I didn’t know anything about the business anymore.
It was like I was suddenly inept. That all that knowledge I had acquired over the years, and all the rules, and all the things I knew applied, didn’t apply anymore. And you know, you feel pretty stupid after a while, after getting hit over the head with that, ‘Oh, that’s stupid. Oh, that’s stupid. Oh, that doesn’t make any sense. Oh, that doesn’t make any sense.’ I start to believe it.”
Podcast co-host Conrad Thompson then asked Arn who said to him that his ideas were stupid?
Arn said, “Well who would’ve been the only guy that could’ve gotten away with it?”
Conrad guessed Vince McMahon and below is what Arn said:
“Yeah, of course. Because that’s all that mattered at the end of the day. It was an audience of one who we were performing for, across the board. Which was told to us guys. ‘You only have to please an audience of one.’ And we know who the audience of one is.
So, if you’re not trying to give the audience what they want, if you’re just trying to tip-toe around what you know he wants and requires, it’s a difficult mine-field. It really is.”
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