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Ken Resnick Discusses Tactics Vince McMahon Would Use in the 1980s, Hulk Hogan’s Title Win at MSG

October 11, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Vince McMahon WWE NXT

– During the latest episode of VOC Nation’s Wrestling With History, former WWE (then WWF) broadcaster Ken Resnick shared thoughts on how Vince McMahon would buy out talent’s notice periods from other territories, how Vince McMahon viewed it as a hostile takeover, Hulk Hogan winning the WWF title at the Madison Square Garden at a house show on a Monday night, and more. Below are some highlights:

Resnick on his relationship with Gorilla Monsoon: “I had a great relationship with Gorilla Monsoon…he was fabulous to work with. I had gotten to meet him and know him a little bit, but they had decided – and Vince had a hand in it – that I was going to start doing some color on the matches, especially those for Prime Time Wrestling, at the arenas with Gorilla Monsoon. He could not have been more welcoming (and) could not have possibly been any easier or any greater to work with. He was one of those people who was so good at what he did, but (also) an amazing human being…I couldn’t begin to hold a candle to Gorilla Monsoon but he treated everyone as an absolute equal.”

On his commentary work with Monsoon: “After the first match we called at ringside, we took a little break, and I remember thinking to myself that it was effortless to work with him. It just flowed and he made it so easy… He made certain during his call of the match, he would pause to allow me or whoever he was working with to get time and to interject, and to be part of the call.”

Resnick on Hulk Hogan winning the WWF World Heavyweight title at the Madison Square Garden at a house show on a Monday Night: “They certainly weren’t going to change the title on a house show in Salisbury, MD… Madison Square Garden is Madison Square Garden. It would only be logical that if you were going to change it at a house show you would change it at Madison Square Garden… It was pretty much the home venue of the WWF… In those days, pre Internet, the majority of the magazines were in New York or along the I95 corridor and they pretty much all covered Madison Square Garden… that was the place to do it.”

Resnick on the tactics of Vince McMahon for buying out talent’s notice periods from other territories: “It was common knowledge. Vince wasn’t outwardly doing that, but he was saying (things like) ‘if you can start a week from Tuesday, we’ve got all these ideas and I’ll pay you XX, (but) if you’re going to start six weeks from Tuesday, I’m gonna have to drop your pay precipitously.’ Sometimes greater than the math would have dictated. I think it was a situation where he wasn’t outwardly doing that, but he was kind of encouraging it… by that point in Vince’s mind, he was trying to do a hostile takeover. We see it today in all businesses: The best way for a business to expand is if you competitor doesn’t exist, or if their market share is greatly reduced.”

Resnick on the challenges of AEW making stars compared to wrestling stars in the 1980s: “Until he made the jump to WWF, and Piper’s Pit became so big, he went from being a big fish in a kinda small pond, to being a big fish and a really, really big pond. Same thing with Ricky the Dragon (Steamboat); he was a big fish in a small pond and then he became a big fish in a really big pond. The one problem that AEW has (is that) everyone now has national exposure. It’s not like they can pick out unknowns and make them big stars.”