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Nick Patrick on WWE Giving WCW Alums an ‘Attitude Check’ When They Came Over in 2001, Why DDP Didn’t Become a WWE Main Eventer

December 28, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE Vince McMahon

– During his interview on Pancakes and Powerslams, former referee Nick Patrick recalled the experience transitioning to WWE when WWE bought WCW in 2001. Patrick was one of the members of the roster that went on to work for WWE after the buyout of WCW, and he stayed there until 2008. Highlights from the discussion and the full podcast are below:

On Goldberg saying he was uncomfortable when he cane to WWE: “I can understand Goldberg not being comfortable when he first got to WWE, because really none of us from WCW did. We were kind of outcasts. It was like we had lost a war, and they were going to make everybody start from scratch. It didn’t matter what your position was or how high up it was, or how many years you had in the business. When we first started, I was fortunate. They didn’t make me go to a training camp, but they had maybe three or four guys that they brought in immediately. Booker T was one, and I think Dallas [Page] was one. I’m not sure who else. But everybody else, they made to go a training camp. Had a ring there set up like they’d never worked before. ‘Oh, but our ring is different from the ring you used down there.’ Okay, it’s two feet bigger. It wasn’t that big of a deal. When you’re a wrestler you’ve worked in 14 foot rings, you’ve worked in 20 foot rings and everything in-between. You learn to adapt. But it was more of an attitude check thing.

“And it was at every level. When we first went there, I had crew people that – for the most part, the crew guys were all pretty cool. But there was still a few of them that felt like they had the right to give you a little bit like you hadn’t paid dues to them or something. Because ‘You’re the new guy from the block, you came from down here and we won the war’ and all that. It was really kind of silly, instead of carrying off business. But it made for kind of an uncomfortable thing, especially for top guys. Because they knew for a fact that they were not going to get the full thrust right away that they were getting at WCW. They were going to have to, some of them, start from scratch.”

On why DDP didn’t make it to the main event in WWE: “But Dallas was hurt, too. At the time, he had a couple of injuries that he was trying to work through. And it affected his work, and there was no other way he could get around. He was an older guy, which wasn’t bad. But he had a, I think it was a hip or back or something that was really bothering him. They couldn’t take — he couldn’t bump and move the way he was. And that’s kind of what messed Dallas up in that situation.”

On if the move to WWE was better or worse than he expected “It was a little bit of both. It was hard at first because like we had been talking earlier, they had to bust everybody’s chops and let us know that we were the new guys on the block and all that. But I did like that it was very organized. And you answered really to one person. You had a question, you could ask somebody, [if] they didn’t have the answer you know where to go to get the answer. You always go right to the horse’s head. You’re not gonna get a good answer from the other end. So always go to the horse’s head. And that’s what I did. It was good in a lot of ways, but it was hard for me. Because I had already done like 12 years of international travel with WCW. And all of a sudden, I’m on with WWE. And I’m very fortunate to. But I had a lot of things going on in my life at the time. And man, all that travel was just so, so hard. And they didn’t make it any easier on us, busting everybody’s chops. So to be honest with you, I think I enjoyed my time with WCW more than I did my time with WWE.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Pancakes and Powerslams with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.