Black Saturday: The unbelievable story of the original invasion

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July 11, 2013

WWECLASSICS.COM: Were you concerned about the type of programming that Mr. McMahon was going to present in that timeslot and how it would be received by fans?

BRISCO: We thought he would bring his talent to Georgia Championship Wrestling at live events. But when I saw what Vince was doing — showing [taped] matches — I got real concerned. I had my doubts whether it would work or if Ted Turner would be satisfied with the product. Southern fans were used to studio wrestling. But at that point, it was Vince’s timeslot and there wasn’t anything for us to say or do about it.

WWECLASSICS.COM: Why did you have those concerns about Ted Turner?

BRISCO: Ted had always said that he liked studio wrestling. That’s what he wanted. We had two shows — a Saturday and a Sunday show. We had mentioned that we wanted to make Sunday a best-of show with interview segments, but Turner expressed his concerns that he wanted studio wrestling. He wanted action. He didn’t want clips.

WWECLASSICS.COM: What sort of reactions did you and your brother receive after the sale was made public?

BRISCO: We got a real negative reaction. Jack and I had always prided ourselves on getting along with everybody. People said that we were traitors, that we sold the wrestling business out, sold our friends out. A lot of people were making accusations. We had death threats. Three days after the sale we were told somebody had put a hit out on us. We got anonymous calls to our home, threatening women and children. My business partner at Brisco Bros. Body Shop started receiving calls to watch his back. It was a pretty volatile time. I think Vince even got few death threats from people looking to knock him off.

WWECLASSICS.COM: Were you ever scared for your safety in the ring during the aftermath of the deal?

BRISCO: One of our friends that we were working with came up to us in the old auditorium in Cleveland. He took us behind the curtain and said he was offered $5,000 to break our legs. He said, “You guys have always helped us, been real good friends to us and have been honest with us so we told them to go screw themselves.” But we were told to be careful with whoever we were working with, because somebody might have taken them up on the bounty against us. Fortunately, we were working with Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood, and we knew they were real honest with us and we had nothing to worry about from those two guys. But anybody else in the meantime, we didn’t know what to expect. We finished our bookings and came home.

WWECLASSICS.COM: What did the deal do for the wrestling business?

BRISCO: They call it “Black Saturday” for a reason. It changed the face of professional wrestling.

WWECLASSICS.COM: How would wrestling be different if the deal hadn’t gone down?

BRISCO: Honestly, we made the sale to begin with because we felt that Vince had the right blueprint and had the power and the backing behind him to do whatever he wanted to do. We knew that our company was structured with a bunch of old school guys who didn’t want to change the way of doing business. And just like any business, you’ve got to change with the times. Vince had that vision of the direction he wanted to go in. That was the right direction. I think the deal just hastened the change in going from old school wrestling to sports-entertainment.

WWECLASSICS.COM: At any point did you regret making the transaction?

BRISCO: I never did. Sometimes I’d look at the success Vince was having and would think that with the proper leadership and proper partners, we might’ve been able to do the same thing. But Vince had the vision that was totally out there. He took it, ran with it and scored.

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