Erik Watts, son of WWE Hall of Famer ‘Cowboy’ Bill Watts, was recently interviewed by Wrestling Epicenter, where he spoke about his career that included stints in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and Total Nonstop Action! (TNA).
Here’s what Erik had to say:
“Well let’s look at it this way, I was raised in the business. The key word there that a lot of people seem to forget is ‘business.’ It isn’t just what you see or don’t see on the TV show but the financial success.
So when my father came in, I forgot what they were losing. Something like $5,000,000 a year and had consecutively for 7 years. They were looking to not go out of business. ‘Cowboy’ Bill Watts comes in, father or no father, and he proceeds to, square one, break even. Ted Turner was blown away! They were like ‘can we turn this thing around in 3 years? 5 years?’ Year one, he broke even!
What people are talking about was his want to re-teach people of the true art of pro wrestling to where the opening match was 5 or 6 minutes, no one jumped off the top rope, no one outside of the ring. Just your basic good guy versus bad guy. It was basic because that is what you did to warm up the crowd!
Let’s just be honest, an epic movie is told a certain way. If Endgame started with the last scene, you wouldn’t sit around and watch after that. So when he came in, he said, ‘I’ll tell you how I’m going to do it. I’ll pull the mats off the floor. No, you can’t fly on the same airline. No, you can’t share cars. No, you can’t share a dressing room.’ He just wanted to bring it back so everyone could just kind of breathe in.
Well, you had a lot of new guys, like you said, who were starting to do things differently. They were starting to call it in the back and not call it in the ring. And you had a lot of spoiled guys too. I’m not saying anything bad. I’m not! But, I’ve been around.
I worked for WCW, WWE, TNA, ECW…guys in WCW were spoiled! They were! You had your contract and it didn’t matter if you wrestled 1 time or 30 times. So, I remember when you got the booking sheets, which told you what dates you were working, I remember guys were like ‘oh yes! I got 3 towns!’ And I was like ‘what are you talking about? I got 13 towns! That is awesome!’.
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