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[1992-10-10-WCW-Saturday Night] Interview: Bill Watts


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Bill Watts recaps the history of the Lights Out match. This is so awesome that I feel I need to transcribe it:


"A Lights Out Match. Just what do we mean by that designation? How did it all get started? In the late 60s and early 70s, probably the most innovative and aggressive promoter in wrestling was Eddie Graham of Florida. He was one of the staunch supporters of the National Wrestling Alliance and a member of its Board of Directors. As the oldest and most prestigious organization, its members were very conservative in that era, and their events were considered as sanctioned by the NWA. As with every type of event that competed for the entertainment dollar, participants were always pushing the parameters to accelerate the excitement level. Athletic creativity and intense personal rivalries sought newer and more potentially dangerous concepts to culminate their showdowns. From cage matches, then in Texas was born the Texas Death Match, then Boris Malenko created the Russian Chain Match, then Dusty Rhodes invented the Bullrope Match. In Tennessee, someone invented the Coal Miners Glove Match, the Scaffold Match, and somewhere else, the First Blood Match -- each of these new events more exciting and more dangerous. The NWA as a body did not want to officially be a party to or to sanction these type of matches. Thus Eddie Graham devised the Lights Out Match, which very simply is this: No, the match is not wrestled in the dark. It was just a symbolic turning off -- momentarily -- of the arena lights at the end of the officially sanctioned card to signify the end of that card, and to immediately turn the lights back on and have the unofficial or unsanctioned bout. Thus the term, Lights Out Match. Now with Jake the Snake versus Sting, again we have new parameters -- all of the most dangerous of these types of bouts, plus one not even revealed called the Spinner's Choice, have been placed upon a wheel of chance and called Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal. Because of this, WCW has designated it a Lights Out Match, a match not sanctioned by WCW. Because of the Spinner's Choice possibility, we're going one step further. We're having Jake the Snake and Sting sign a waiver absolving WCW of any liability. They assume all responsibility. They spin the wheel and make the deal."

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This is a sterling promo from Watts but I can't help but wonder what the WWF could have done with this, production-wise. I know it was harder to do in 1992 but some video with Watts talking over it would have put this over the top.


I thought Spin-the-Wheel was the coolest gimmick ever when I first saw this, and I wish it could have stuck around (no, "Raw Roulette" doesn't count).

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The Cowboy was definitely in his element here, especially at the end when he talks about how Sting and Jake are taking all the responsibility for this match and what happens in it on themselves. The historical portion was neat too, although I already knew a lot of it.


This gimmick sounds so great; it's a pity that the overall execution was so lousy. Maybe it would have been better as part of a Bash tour, where the wheel would determine which match would be done in a given city, with the "Spinner's Choice" option held until the pay-per-view and announced just before the participants got into the ring.


I know I'm not the only one who's asked this, but is it true that the wheel wasn't rigged, and that it really came up with a coal miner's glove match? I'm not sure which match I would have rigged it for, but there had to be a better option than that, especially because I don't know if JCP/WCW had ever had one at a major event, and thus its fans (at least those who hadn't grown up with the match in their home area) had no idea what it was about or how someone would win it.

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