Former Wrestling Promotion Fetches 61 Cents from Ringside Fan
BOSTON, MA — Cryme Tyme, the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) tag team known for auctioning off items during WWE’s television programs, was fired Monday for selling World Championship Wrestling (WCW) for a sum of 61 cents. The sale, and firing, are effective immediately.
Following Monday’s taping of Monday Night Raw in Boston, Cryme Tyme team members JTG and Shad Gaspard returned to the ring and made the sale to a 21-year-old fan in the front row who declined to be identified.
Terms of the sale include all WCW assets, rights, liabilities, copyrights, and the entire video library.
“We need some of that money, money, yeah, yeah,” said a monotonous Linda McMahon from the post-sale locker room scene.
“That thing (WCW) had been on sale for months, with no real takers. Still, Cryme Tyme had no authorization to sell it without stockholder approval. An asking price of 61 cents is an absolute insult; we feel it’s worth at least two dollars.”
The McMahon family’s take of the sale comes out to 31 cents, with Cryme Tyme retaining 30 cents, which it is believed will be split up among the team evenly. McMahon said the WWE Human Resources department is looking into withholding the 30 cents as part of the employment termination process with Cryme Tyme.
The actual scene, not recorded for television, was reported to have been uneventful. Attendees in the front row who initially passed on the sale included Ted Turner (who declined their offer of $2.50), Mark Cuban (who declined an offer of $1.25), Eric Bischoff (75 cents), and current Total Nonstop Action (TNA) owner Bob Carter (70 cents).
The final offer to the winner was actually 65 cents, but JTG and Gaspard each kicked in two cents. It was said the winner accepted the money terms begrudgingly.
Bischoff, who grew WCW to a company that earned over $80 million in profit in its best year, seemed saddened at the sale. In the Monday Night Wars DVD, Bischoff is shown saying WCW was worth “Twenty bucks” without a TV deal. As it turned out, it ended up being worth roughly 3% of $20, and even then, the sum of 61 cents was said to have been overpriced.
Nevertheless, the winner seemed optimistic. “It’s more than what my investors (points to his parents) wanted to pay, but we figure it can fetch at least a buck on eBay, meaning we’d pocket at least a 60% return on investment.”
WCW had been devalued over the years, experts say, by bad booking, lack of TV exposure, and a hot-selling book called Death of WCW that chronicled the rise and fall of the once legendary wrestling promotion. The McMahons are believed to have paid less than $5 million for WCW in 2001, which at the time was termed a “fire sale” in terms of the bargain basement price. Now, six years later, it had become a laughing stock, and evidently, a penny stock.
Cryme Tyme had unsuccessfully attempted to sell WCW on previous occasions, but even in Atlanta, there were no real takers.
Negotiations were ongoing at one point for an investor in Georgia who had expressed interest, but the deal fell apart when they couldn’t come up with the $3 purchase price.
At that point, Cryme Tyme pulled the deal off the table, believing (incorrectly) they could get $5 or more if they pitched the company in the Carolinas.
Bob Carter, who owns a wrestling promotion called TNA, said the video library could have been an asset to TNA, but the asking price wasn’t worth the risk.
“We have lots of contracted performers who worked for WCW in the dying days, and some of our bookers also worked there and were responsible for its demise,” he said shortly after the WCW sale was made. “But we’re losing millions of dollars a month with TNA, and felt that a 61-cent investment in it (the video footage) was not going to change that. In the end, we passed on the offer. If it’s for sale again at a lower price, we might reconsider.”
Ted Turner noted to his ringside friends that he would’ve been interested had he known what it (WCW) was that the tag team was offering for sale. When told it was a company he had owned previously, Turner refused to believe it and just laughed. He then asked the man five seats away from him to get him a cup of coffee, not realizing it was his former Vice President, Eric Bischoff.
Jason Hervey, seated next to Bischoff, was said to have been extremely interested in buying WCW. He was reportedly jumping up and down with his hands in the air, waving fistfuls of $20 bills. When asked about this later, Cryme Tyme said they could not see Hervey because they were looking straight ahead at eye level, and thus not able to see a man of Hervey’s height.