• Brother Love Explains Why WWF Shotgun Saturday Night Got Canceled
During a recent episode of his weekly ‘Something To Wrestle With’ podcast, Old School WWF Legend Bruce Prichard talked about the former saturday night TV show ‘WWF Shotgun Saturday Night’ and revealed why they started it and what eventually led to the show getting canceled.
The World Wrestling Federation aired Shotgun Saturday Night from January 4, 1997 until August 21, 1999 and later replaced it with WWF Metal & WWF Jakked.
Below are the highlights:
On the idea behind Shotgun Saturday Night:
“We still continued to run live events in different parts of the country. The show was an hour show, and we were looking for the novelty of having a live show in the New York City area in clubs and in these different atmospheres, and we used a skeleton crew. So, we would bring guys from the tour that would come in, and we didn’t use the same guys.
So, for example, if your main event was gonna be Bret Hart to get people there, then Undertaker was headlining live events. Things like that. That was the philosophy behind it. We weren’t getting any revenue. The clubs got the revenue, and we were able to come in and our cost was a production cost. But it was down and dirty.
It was nothing compared to [RAW]. It was a fraction of that. It was a skeleton crew, skeleton truck – it was a satellite truck, and you did have a TV truck. But we had a quarter of the staff we would normally have for a full-blown television taping.
It wasn’t the ECW style. We were angling towards that younger audience that may have to be in midnight. ‘Hey, you’re coming home at midnight on a Saturday night.’ You look at that a lot of times, and that’s when those kids are looking for something else. It was live at midnight. It was kind of like the Saturday night special. You had to tune in to see what the hell was going on.
Really, in the beginning, this was an experiment to see ‘will this nudge a new audience to kind of check it out and sample it?’ You were playing to a completely different audience than your normal syndication and primetime cable audience. Your syndicated show, you’re going live live, and you’re presenting a different show from a different locale every week. It was a different feel.”
On why it was canceled:
“It was the reality of ‘alright, we’ve got pay-per-views on Sundays.’ To try to do a show from New York City on a Saturday night and then go wherever it is you’re hosting the pay-per-view on Sunday, basically became just not feasible.
So, we experimented with the Denim and Diamonds in San Antonio. We experimented with different locales on the road, and some worked and some didn’t. But then it kind of became, we have the syndicated timeslot, and is it really worth the trouble?
You have live events, and are you gonna pull Bret or Undertaker off of that? Is that worth the potential loss on the live events to bring them in to do a Shotgun Saturday Night? It eventually got down to dollars and cents.
We can essentially produce it for free at a television taping, and it’s another hour of taping which equates to 30 minutes of action in the arena, so you can do that before you went live with RAW. Just budget-wise, it made sense.
We tried it for a while, but even with the number of clubs and venues that were really interested in New York, it still got down to, once you hit those 19 or 20, then what? Do you go back to those 19 or 20? It was kind of a failed experiment more than anything.”
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• OLD SCHOOL HISTORY (December 17, 2000) – WWF Sunday Night HEAT
On this day in 2000, the World Wrestling Federation aired an episode of their weekly TV show ‘WWF Sunday Night HEAT’.
It was broadcasted from Little Rock, Arkansas and featured pre-taped matches, interviews & storyline segments on the road to the ‘WWF Royal Rumble 2001’ PPV.
The match-card can be found right here:
1. K-Kwik & Road Dogg vs. Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather
2. Test vs. Bradshaw
3. Chaz & D’Lo Brown vs. Too Cool