The Montreal Screwjob was an infamous and controversial unscripted professional wrestling incident in which World Wrestling Federation owner Vince McMahon and WWF employees covertly manipulated the pre-determined outcome of the match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels at the 1997 Survivor Series. The pay-per-view event was held on November 9, 1997, at the Molson Centre in Montreal, Canada; the manipulation – a "shoot screwjob" in professional wrestling parlance – occurred without Hart's knowledge and resulted in Hart, the reigning WWF World Heavyweight Champion, losing the title to Michaels in his last WWF match before departing for rival promotion World Championship Wrestling. The "screwjob" is believed to be an off-screen betrayal of Hart, one of the WWF's longest-tenured and most popular performers at the time. Hart won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam in August 1997. A week prior to Survivor Series, who had performed for the WWF since 1984, signed a contract to join WCW beginning in December 1997.
McMahon sought to prevent Hart from leaving the company as the champion, but Hart was unwilling to lose the title to Michaels – with whom he had a long feud both on-screen and off – at Survivor Series in his home country of Canada. Hart, McMahon came to an agreement where the Survivor Series match would end with a disqualification, which under normal rules would result in Hart retaining the title. Hart would lose or forfeit the title at a date. However, McMahon decided without Hart's knowledge that Michaels would win the title at Survivor Series. Accounts differ as to, involved in the plan and the extent of their involvement; the plan was executed when match referee Earl Hebner, on direct orders from McMahon, ended the match as Michaels held Hart in the Sharpshooter submission hold, Hart's signature finishing move though Hart had not submitted. Michaels was declared the victor by submission and crowned as the new WWF World Heavyweight Champion; the Montreal Screwjob has garnered a notorious legacy both on-screen and off, was chronicled in the documentary film Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows.
The far-reaching impact of the incident led to its adoption as a theme in matches and storylines of the WWF's "Attitude Era" and the creation of the character of "Mr. McMahon," the evil boss. Many wrestling fans, several within the business, believe the entire incident was an elaborate work executed in collaboration with Hart. Nonetheless, Hart was ostracized from the WWF while McMahon and Michaels continued to receive angry responses from Canadian audiences for many years. Hart and McMahon reconciled, Hart was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 1, 2006. On the January 4, 2010 episode of WWE Raw, Hart, in his first live appearance on WWE television since the 1997 Survivor Series, had a lengthy on-screen discussion with Michaels about the Montreal Screwjob and other events in their past, agreed to call a truce, bringing closure to the incident after more than 12 years. Hart would defeat McMahon at WrestleMania 26 in a match built around lingering animosity from the Screwjob. Longtime industry writer Mike Johnson referred to the 1997 Survivor Series bout in which the Screwjob occurred as "arguably the most talked-about match in the history of professional wrestling".
At the time of the screwjob, Bret Hart was a 14-year veteran of the WWF, having started his career in the 1980s as one-half of the popular Hart Foundation tag team with his brother-in-law Jim Neidhart. After the team had two reigns as the WWF Tag Team Champions, Hart achieved tremendous success as a singles performer in the 1990s, twice taking the Intercontinental Heavyweight Title, winning the WWF World Heavyweight Championship five times, he took a seven-month leave of absence from the company after WrestleMania XII, during which he considered contract offers from both the WWF and its rival, WCW. In October 1996, Hart declined a three-year, $8.4 million offer from WCW, instead opting to sign an unprecedented 20-year deal offered by McMahon, which promised to make him the highest-paid wrestler in the company and secure him a major role with the company management following his retirement. Both Hart and the WWF saw the contract as an expression of mutual loyalty. By mid-1997, the WWF was facing financial difficulties due to stiff competition from WCW, which had become the largest professional wrestling promotion in the United States.
At the same time, McMahon was planning to make the WWF a publicly traded company, a move which required him to minimize any long-term financial commitments. For several months prior to the 1997 Survivor Series and Shawn Michaels had several backstage arguments, culminating in a fight before a house show in Hartford, Connecticut that saw Michaels suspended for two months. After a show in San Jose, California on October 12, 1997, Hart claimed he spoke to Michaels about being professional and trusting one another in the ring, he claimed that when Michaels replied that he would never lose to Hart, Hart was shocked and became angry. This led to Hart's outright refusal to lose the WWF World Heavyweight Championship to Michaels at the pay-per-view event in Montreal, although in Hart's documentary, Hart states to McMahon that he would drop the belt but not in Canada. However, in his own autobiography, Michaels refuted Hart's claim, saying that he would have cleanly lost to Hart had storylines demanded so (however others, including Jim Cornette in variou
James Henry Neidhart was an American professional wrestler known for his appearances in the 1980s and 1990s in the World Wrestling Federation as Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, where he was a two-time WWF Tag Team Champion with Bret Hart in The Hart Foundation. He won titles in Stampede Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, Mid-South and the Mid-Eastern Wrestling Federation, he is part of the Hart wrestling family through marriage, teaming with various members throughout his career, appearing with his daughter Natalya Neidhart on the reality television show Total Divas. At Newport Harbor High School, Neidhart first gained athletic acclaim for his success in strength-oriented track and field events, he held the California high school record in shot put from 1973 until 1985. After graduating from high school, Neidhart pursued a career in the National Football League, where he played for the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys in practices and preseason games. Following his release from the Dallas Cowboys, Neidhart traveled to Calgary to train with Stu Hart and pursue a career in professional wrestling.
He worked for Hart's Stampede Wrestling from 1978 to 1983, again in 1985, during which time he married Ellie Hart, one of Stu's daughters. He was a two-time Stampede International Tag Team Champion, with Hercules Ayala in 1980 and Mr. Hito in 1983. Stu Hart, seeking publicity for Neidhart, promised him $500 to enter and win an anvil toss at the Calgary Stampede, he did, throwing it 2 inches. This earned him the nickname "The Anvil", replacing his prior nickname, "The Animal". Stampede had a working relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling, Neidhart worked on their Big Fight Series tour in 1982, the New Year Golden Series in 1983 and two shows on March 2 and 3, 1984. Neidhart teamed twice with King Kong Bundy for Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1983 and worked for Mid-South Wrestling from September till February 1984, where he and Butch Reed held the Mid-South Tag Team Championship for two and a half months. From April to August 1984, Neidhart worked for the Continental Wrestling Association.
He left for Championship Wrestling from Florida, winning their versions of the NWA Southern Heavyweight and NWA United States Tag Team Championship, before leaving for the WWF in January 1985. When Stu Hart sold Stampede Wrestling to Vince McMahon, owner of the World Wrestling Federation and Bret Hart were included in the deal. A singles wrestler, managed by Mr. Fuji, Neidhart debuted on January 21, 1985, in Madison Square Garden, defeating Tony Garea, he wrestled Hart. Bret, upset with his gimmick, suggested to McMahon; the new team was managed by Jimmy Hart. They made their pay-per-view debut at WrestleMania 2, where they were the last two eliminated from a 20-man battle royal by André the Giant; the Hart Foundation won their first WWF World Tag Team Championship on the February 7, 1987 episode of WWF Superstars from The British Bulldogs, with the help of referee Danny Davis, continually "distracted" by checking on Dynamite, allowing the challengers to double-team Smith. Davis was subsequently began wrestling, aligned with The Hart Foundation.
They lost the titles to Strike Force. The Hart Foundation wrestled in another 20-man battle royal at WrestleMania IV. Bad News Brown eliminated Hart to win. Neidhart joined Bret's side in the feud with Brown causing a rift between the team and manager Jimmy Hart; this led them to fire him and before starting a feud with The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers. In the fall of 1988, Jimmy Hart began managing the Rougeaus; the Hart Foundation unsuccessfully challenged Demolition for the tag title at the 1988 SummerSlam, when Ax hit Hart with Jimmy Hart's megaphone for the pin. The Hart Foundation continued feuding with Jimmy Hart's wrestlers for the next year, teaming with Jim Duggan to defeat Dino Bravo and The Rougeaus in a 2/3 falls match at the 1989 Royal Rumble defeating The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine at WrestleMania V. In April 1989, both Hart Foundation members began. Neidhart had a few shots at Ravishing Rick Rude's Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship in August; the Hart Foundation reformed full-time on March 24 in Las Vegas.
At WrestleMania VI in Toronto, they defeated The Bolsheviks in 19 seconds. They started a second feud with champions Demolition. At SummerSlam 90 on August 27, The Hart Foundation won the title for a second time in a 2/3 falls match. On October 30, 1990, The Rockers defeated The Hart Foundation in a two out of three falls match in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to win the title. During the match, the top rope broke by accident, the match did not air on television; the Rockers defended the WWF Tag Team title against Power and Glory on November 3, 1990. Shortly after November 3, the WWF decided to not air the title change and that the title would revert to the Hart Foundation. In his book, Shawn Michaels claims; the WWF has never recognized The Rockers' reign. The Hart Foundation reigniting their feud with Jimmy Hart via his team and Blues (Honky Tonk and Vale
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. d/b/a WWE, is an American integrated media and entertainment company, known for professional wrestling. WWE has branched out into other fields, including movies, real estate, various other business ventures; the WWE name refers to the professional wrestling promotion itself, founded by Jess McMahon and Toots Mondt in 1952 as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation. As of 2019, it is the largest wrestling promotion in the world, holding over 500 events a year, with the roster divided up into various globally traveling brands, is available to about 36 million viewers in more than 150 countries; the company's global headquarters is located in Stamford, with offices in major cities across the world. As in other professional wrestling promotions, WWE shows are not legitimate contests, but purely entertainment-based, featuring storyline-driven and choreographed matches, though matches include moves that can put performers at risk of injury if not performed correctly.
This was first publicly acknowledged by WWE's owner Vince McMahon in 1989 to avoid taxes from athletic commissions. Since the 1980s, WWE publicly has branded their product as sports entertainment, acknowledging the product's roots in competitive sport and dramatic theater; the company's majority owner is its chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon, who retains a 42% ownership of the company's outstanding stock and 83% of the voting power. The current entity, incorporated on February 21, 1980, was known as Titan Sports, Inc., founded that same year in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts. It acquired Capitol Wrestling Corporation Ltd. the holding company for the World Wrestling Federation, in 1982. Titan was renamed World Wrestling Federation, Inc. in 1998 World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. in 1999, the current World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. in 2002. Since 2011, the company has branded itself as WWE though the company's legal name was not changed. WWE's origins can be traced back as far as 1952 when Roderick James "Jess" McMahon and Toots Mondt created the Capitol Wrestling Corporation Ltd. which joined the National Wrestling Alliance in 1953.
McMahon, a successful boxing promoter, began working with Tex Rickard in 1926. With the help of Rickard, he began promoting boxing and wrestling at the third Madison Square Garden, it was not the first time McMahon had promoted wrestling cards, as he had done so during the 1910s. In November 1954, McMahon died and Ray Fabiani, one of Mondt's associates, brought in McMahon's son Vincent James; the younger McMahon and Mondt were successful and soon controlled 70% of the NWA's booking due to their dominance in the populated Northeastern United States. In 1963, McMahon and Mondt had a dispute with the NWA over "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers being booked to hold the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Both men left the company in protest and formed the WWWF in the process, awarding Rogers the newly created WWWF World Heavyweight Championship in April of that year, he lost the championship to Bruno Sammartino a month on May 17, 1963, after suffering a heart attack a week before the match. Capitol operated the WWWF in a conservative manner compared to other pro wrestling territories: it ran its major arenas monthly rather than weekly or bi-weekly featuring a babyface champion wrestling various heels in programs that consisted of one to three matches.
After gaining a television program deal and hiring Lou Albano as a manager for Sammartino's heel opponents, the WWWF was doing sellout business by 1970. Mondt left Capitol in the late 1960s and although the WWWF had withdrawn from the NWA, Vince McMahon, Sr. re-joined in 1971. Capitol renamed the World Wide Wrestling Federation to the World Wrestling Federation in 1979. Vincent J. McMahon's son, Vincent K. McMahon, his wife Linda, established Titan Sports, Inc. in 1980 in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts. The company was incorporated on February 1980, in the Cape Cod Coliseum offices; the younger McMahon bought Capitol from his father in 1982 seizing control of the company. Seeking to make the WWF the premier wrestling promotion in the country, the world, he began an expansion process that fundamentally changed the wrestling business. At the annual meeting of the NWA in 1983, the McMahons and former Capitol employee Jim Barnett all withdrew from the organization. McMahon worked to get WWF programming on syndicated television all across the United States.
This angered other promoters and disrupted the well-established boundaries of the different wrestling promotions ending the territory system, in use since the founding of the NWA in the 1940s. In addition, the company used income generated by advertising, television deals, tape sales to secure talent from rival promoters. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, McMahon noted: In the old days, there were wrestling fiefdoms all over the country, each with its own little lord in charge; each little lord respected the rights of his neighboring little lord. No takeovers or raids were allowed. There were maybe 30 of these tiny kingdoms in the U. S. and if I hadn't bought out my dad, there would still be 30 of them and struggling. I, of course, had no allegiance to those little lords. McMahon gained significant traction when he hired American Wrestling Association talent Hulk Hogan, who had achieved popularity outside of wrestling, notably for his appearance in the film Rocky III. McMahon signed Roddy Piper as Hogan's rival, shortly afterward Jesse Ventura as an announcer.
Other wrestlers joined the roster, such as Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco
Earl William Hebner is an American professional wrestling referee. He is best known for his time as the senior referee for the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment; as senior referee, Hebner officiated most main events during his time with the company from 1988–2005. He played a prominent role in the inaugural The Main Event card in 1988, in which André the Giant controversially defeated Hulk Hogan for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, as well as the infamous "Montreal Screwjob" during the main event of the 1997 Survivor Series, he participated in a number of storylines, including feuds involving The McMahon-Helmsley Faction and The Alliance. From 2006 to 2017, he has appeared for Impact Wrestling, serving as senior referee for the company, was inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame in 2015, becoming the first referee to be inducted into a major wrestling Hall of Fame. Hebner officiated matches for Jim Crockett Promotions during much of the 1980s, he was the referee during the famous "I Quit" match at Starrcade 1985 between Tully Blanchard and Magnum T.
A. He can be seen at ringside during the first WarGames match at the 1987 Great American Bash as well as the final match of the Bunkhouse Stampede tournament in January 1988. Just days after that match, Hebner debuted in the World Wrestling Federation as a referee during a WWF Championship match pitting champion Hulk Hogan against challenger André the Giant, which aired live on February 5, 1988, on NBC's The Main Event. In the storyline, Hebner's identical twin brother Dave Hebner was the assigned official, but unbeknownst to Hogan, André's manager Ted DiBiase had bribed the then-unknown Earl Hebner to steal the victory and the championship. Earl counted André's pin against Hogan though Hogan's shoulders were off the mat; as André and DiBiase were celebrating, Dave ran to confronted Earl. The two brothers argued, they fought each other in the middle of the ring. Hulk Hogan, figuring out that Dave's "evil twin" had jobbed him out, picked Earl up and gorilla press slammed him over the ropes and onto the aisleway.
It was part of the storyline for Hogan to lose the title in order for him to start filming on No Holds Barred. This match helped set up a 14-man elimination tournament at WrestleMania IV, since WWF President Jack Tunney declared the title "vacant" a week after The Main Event match as the WWF Championship "cannot be bought or sold," where the winner would win the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. Vince McMahon paid both Hebners a bonus of $2,500 for participating in the angle. Meanwhile, the WWF continued to build heat for Earl Hebner through a kayfabe "investigative report" published in the promotions' flagship publication, WWF Magazine; the article claimed, through a fictional backstory, that Dave had "been plagued by the misdeeds of his brother Earl" throughout their childhoods, citing such examples as Earl's cheating in school and, while posing as Dave, doing such things as bullying fellow students and abandoning Dave's pretty girlfriend on a sidewalk in a slum district at night. The report continued by noting that, despite Dave's appeal of the controversial ending to the Hogan-Andre match at The Main Event, Tunney had to uphold the decision since Earl was a licensed referee in Indiana.
However, the "evil twin" referee storyline was dropped when Dave was injured in the aftermath of the Hogan-Andre Main Event match. The storyline was shifted to have Earl come clean, he was the referee when "Macho Man" Randy Savage won the Tournament final at WrestleMania IV against "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase for the WWF Championship; the most infamous event in Hebner's career—and in the history of professional wrestling in North America—came during the main event of the 1997 Survivor Series in what has since been dubbed the “Montreal Screwjob”. During a match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship between then-champion Bret Hart and challenger Shawn Michaels, Hebner signaled for the timekeeper to ring the bell while Michaels had Hart in a Sharpshooter hold—Hart's long-established signature move—even though Hart visibly had not submitted. Michaels had thus "won" the WWF World Heavyweight Championship; this was not the match ending. Hebner had, at the behest of Vince McMahon, "screwed" Hart out of the title.
The reason for the "screwjob" was that Hart, who would be leaving the company one month to join rival promotion World Championship Wrestling, was unwilling to lose the title to Michaels in Canada. Though Hart said that he was willing to vacate the title the next night on Raw, McMahon feared that Hart would leave the company with the title, take the belt to WCW, disrespect it as Madusa had done in 1995 with the WWF Women's Championship, throwing the belt into a garbage can during a live Nitro show, he therefore decided to forcibly remove the title from Hart by instructing Hebner to signal an end to the bout when Michaels had Hart in a submission hold. The fallout of the screwjob led to a large degree of antagonism towards Hebner, McMahon, Michaels in Canada
National Film Board of Canada
The National Film Board of Canada is Canada's public film and digital media producer and distributor. An agency of the Government of Canada, the NFB produces and distributes documentary films, web documentaries, alternative dramas. In total, the NFB has produced over 3,000 productions since its inception, which have won over 5,000 awards; the NFB reports to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. It has English-language and French-language production branches. 1939: The government of Canada proposes the creation of a National Film Commission to complement the activities of the Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau. The legislation stipulates that the NFB was to “make and distribute films designed to help Canadians in all parts of Canada to understand the ways of living and the problems of Canadians in other parts.” Legislation stated that the NFB would co-ordinate the film activities of federal departments. 1950: Canada's Parliament passes the National Film Act, which states that NFB's mandate is "to produce and distribute and to promote the production and distribution of films designed to interpret Canada to Canadians and to other nations."
This act stipulates that the NFB is to engage in film research. 1965: As a result of a report written by producer Gordon Sheppard on Canadian cultural policies and activities, the NFB began regionalizing its English production activities, with producers appointed in major cities across Canada. 1984: Minister of Communications Francis Fox released a National Film and Video Policy, which added two new elements to the mandate, with the NFB tasked with being "a world centre of excellence in production of films and videos" and "a national training and research centre in the art and technique of film and video." 2008: The NFB announces a Strategic Plan that includes its first digital strategy. The National Film Board maintains its head office in Saint-Laurent, a borough of Montreal, in the Norman McLaren electoral district, named in honour of the NFB animation pioneer; the NFB HQ building is named for McLaren, is home to much of its production activity. In the second quarter of 2018, the NFB is scheduled to move to its headquarters to the new Îlot Balmoral building located at Montreal's Quartier des spectacles, adjacent to the Place des Festivals square.
The NFB will occupy the first six floors of the building, which will allow it to have closer contact with the public, will feature expanded digital media research and production facilities. In addition to the English and French-language studios in its Montreal HQ, there are centres throughout Canada. English-language production occurs at centres in Toronto, Edmonton and Halifax; as of October 2009, the Atlantic Centre operates an office in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. In June 2011, the NFB appointed a producer to work with film and digital media makers across Saskatchewan, to be based in Regina. Outside Quebec, French language productions are made in Moncton and Toronto; the NFB offers support programs for independent filmmakers: in English, via the Filmmaker Assistance Program and in French through its Aide du cinéma indépendant – Canada program. The organization has a hierarchical structure headed by a Board of Trustees, chaired by the Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson.
It is overseen by the Board of Trustees Legal Affairs. Funding is derived from government of Canada transfer payments, from its own revenue streams; these revenues are from print sales, film production services and royalties, total up to $10 million yearly. As a result of cuts imposed by 2012 Canadian federal budget, by 2015 the NFB's public funding will be reduced by $6.7 million, to $60.3 million. As part of the 2016 Canadian federal budget, the NFB will receive an additional $13.5 million in funding, spread out over a five-year period. In 1938, the Government of Canada invited John Grierson, a British documentary film producer who introduced the term "documentary" to English-speaking film criticism, to study the state of the government's film production. Up to that date, the Government Motion Picture Bureau, established in 1918, had been the major Canadian film producer; the results of Grierson's report were included in the National Film Act of 1939. In 1939, the Act led to the establishment of the National Film Commission, subsequently renamed the National Film Board.
The NFB was founded in part to create propaganda in support of the Second World War. In 1940, with Canada at war, the NFB launched its Canada Carries On series of morale boosting theatrical shorts; the success of Canada Carries On led to the creation of The World in Action, more geared to international audiences. In this period, other NFB films were issued as newsreels, such as The War Is Over, intended for theatrical showings; these films were based on current news and tackled wartime events as well as contemporary issues in Canadian culture. Early in its history, the NFB was a English-speaking institution. Based in Ottawa, 90% of its staff were English and the few French Canadians in production worked with English crews. There was a French Unit, responsible for versioning films into French but it was headed by an Anglophone, and in NFB annual reports of the time, French films were listed under "foreign languages". Screenwriter Jacques Bobet, hired in 1947
Paul Michael Levesque, better known by the ring name Triple H, is an American business executive, professional wrestler, actor. He has been the Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative for WWE since 2013, as well as being the founder and senior producer of NXT. Levesque, under the ring name Terra Ryzing, began his professional wrestling career in 1992 with the International Wrestling Federation. In 1994, he joined World Championship Wrestling, where he was soon repackaged as a French-Canadian aristocrat named Jean-Paul Lévesque. In 1995, Levesque moved to the World Wrestling Federation, where he became Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Triple H. In 1997, he co-founded the influential D-Generation X stable, which became a major element of the WWF's "Attitude Era". After winning his first WWF Championship and beginning a storyline marriage with Stephanie McMahon in 1999, Triple H became a fixture of the company's main event scene. According to the Pro Wrestling Torch, he was "widely regarded as the best wrestler in North America" by the turn of the millennium.
After legitimately marrying Stephanie McMahon in 2003, Levesque became a member of the McMahon family, which maintains majority ownership of WWE. Since 2011, he has curtailed his in-ring appearances as he has taken on a greater behind-the-scenes role within WWE. Over the course of his career, Levesque has held a total of 25 championships including nine reigns as WWF/WWE Champion and five as WWE's World Heavyweight Champion. In addition, he was the winner of the 1997 King of the Ring tournament and the 2002 and 2016 Royal Rumbles, his total of 14 world championships is the third-most all-time behind only Ric John Cena. He has headlined WWE's flagship pay-per-view, seven times. Levesque was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of D-Generation X. Paul Michael Levesque was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, on July 27, 1969, he has a sister named Lynn. Levesque watched his first wrestling match, involving Chief Jay Strongbow, when he was five years old, he attended Nashua South High School, where he played basketball.
Following his graduation in 1987, Levesque continued to enter bodybuilding competitions—having taken up bodybuilding at the age of 14 because he wanted to look like the professional wrestlers he saw on television—and won the 1988 Mr. Teenage New Hampshire competition at the age of 19. While working as a manager at a Gold's Gym in Nashua, he was introduced to world champion powerlifter Ted Arcidi, employed by WWE at the time. After numerous attempts, Levesque persuaded Arcidi to introduce him to former wrestler Killer Kowalski, who ran a professional wrestling school in Malden, Massachusetts. In early 1992, Levesque began to train as a professional wrestler at Killer Kowalski's school in Malden, his classmates included fellow future WWF wrestlers Perry Saturn. Levesque made his professional debut on March 24, 1992 in Kowalski's promotion, the International Wrestling Federation, under the name Terra Ryzing. In the match, he defeated Tony Roy. In July 1992, he defeated Mad Dog Richard to win the IWF Heavyweight Championship.
Levesque wrestled for various promotions on the East Coast independent circuit until 1994 and during this period he was managed by John Rodeo. In early 1994, Levesque signed a one-year contract with World Championship Wrestling. In his first televised match, Levesque debuted as a villain named Terror Risin', defeating Keith Cole, his ring name was soon modified to Terra Ryzing, which he used until mid-1994, when he was renamed Jean-Paul Lévesque. This gimmick referred to his surname's French origins and he was asked to speak with a French accent, as he could not speak French. During this time, he began using the Pedigree. Lévesque had a brief feud with Alex Wright. Between late 1994 and early 1995, Lévesque teamed with Lord Steven Regal, whose upper class British persona was similar to Lévesque's character. However, the team was short-lived, as Levesque left for the World Wrestling Federation in January 1995 after WCW turned down his request to be promoted as a singles competitor. In a modified version of his gimmick in WCW, Levesque started his WWF career as a "Connecticut Blueblood".
According to Levesque, JJ Dillion gave him the name of Reginald DuPont Helmsley, but Levesque asked for a name to play with the first letters and management agreed to his suggestion of Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He appeared in taped vignettes, in which he talked about how to use proper etiquette, up until his wrestling debut on the April 30, 1995 episode of Wrestling Challenge. Helmsley made his WWF pay-per-view debut at SummerSlam. In the fall of 1995, Helmsley began a feud with the hog farmer Henry O. Godwinn, culminating in an infamous Hog Pen match at In Your House 5: Seasons Beatings, where Helmsley was victorious. Although Helmsley was promoted in the first few months after his debut, his career stalled during 1996, starting off with a feud with Duke "The Dumpster" Droese following a loss during the Free for All at 1996 Royal Rumble. Up until that event, his angle included appearing on television each week with a different female valet. Sable was his valet at WrestleMania XII and after his loss to The Ultimate Warrior, as part of the storyline, he took his aggressions out on her.
The debuting Marc Mero – her real-life husband – came to her rescue, starting a feud between the two wrestlers. On June 1, 1996, Helmsley appeared on an episode of Superstars in a match again
Eric Aaron Bischoff is an American entrepreneur, television producer, professional wrestling booker, podcast host, on-screen personality. He is best known for serving as Executive Producer and President of World Championship Wrestling and subsequently, the on-screen General Manager of WWE's Raw brand. Bischoff has worked with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling where he served as Executive Producer of Impact Wrestling. With an amateur background in taekwondo, Bischoff sporadically performed as an in-ring competitor, is a former WCW Hardcore Champion, he wrote an autobiography, titled Controversy Creates Cash, released in 2006 under WWE Books. Bischoff started in wrestling working for the Minneapolis, Minnesota based American Wrestling Association in 1987 under the ownership of Verne Gagne. In 1989, Bischoff would become an on-air interviewer in and host of the AWA until the company folded in 1991. Bischoff at first worked in the sales department on the AWA's syndicated programming, became an on-air personality by accident and at the last minute.
Larry Nelson, whom at the time was employed by the AWA as an announcer, was arrested under suspicion of a DUI. Because of Nelson's sudden unavailability, Verne Gagne and his son, opted to recruit Bischoff to fill-in on the interviews. Bischoff believed that the Gagnes thought that he would be a good replacement due to his immediate availability in the television studio, the fact that he was wearing a suit and tie. During the gradual demise of the AWA, the company was unable to meet payroll, Bischoff auditioned for an announcer's position with the World Wrestling Federation in 1990, but was not hired. In 1991, Bischoff joined World Championship Wrestling as a C-show announcer, debuting at The Great American Bash; as an announcer, Bischoff reported to producer Tony Schiavone and WCW's Vice President of Broadcasting, Jim Ross. In 1993, after WCW President Bill Watts resigned from the company, Bischoff went to TBS executive Bill Shaw and WCW Vice President Bob Dhue to apply for the job of Executive Producer.
Ross and Schiavone seemed to be the two top candidates, Bischoff was hired in Watts' place. Schiavone remained a producer and commentator until the company's demise, but Ross was granted his release from WCW and went to work for the WWF. Bischoff and Dhue worked together as partners, but clashed over the direction of the company. In 1994, Bischoff was promoted from Executive Producer to Executive Vice President, putting him in charge of everything WCW. Dhue resigned, as did junior vice president Jim Barnett. Bischoff convinced Turner executives to better finance WCW in order to compete with the WWF, he moved WCW production to Disney-MGM Studios in Florida. Hulk Hogan, filming a show called Thunder in Paradise at Disney-MGM Studios, was approached by Bischoff and Ric Flair and signed to a contract with WCW, he invested money in production values and increased the number of WCW pay-per-views. The changes paid off, in 1995, WCW turned a profit for the first time in the company's history. By 1997, Bischoff's official job title was President of World Championship Wrestling.
In 1996, Bischoff signed WWF superstar Scott Hall, better known at the time as "Razor Ramon". Two weeks on Nitro, Hall was joined by Kevin Nash, most known as "Diesel" in the WWF, to become "The Outsiders". Bischoff intentionally depicted the duo as WWF rebels who were not under contract to WCW. To avoid legal action by the WWF, Bischoff in a worked interview at The Great American Bash, asked point blank if they worked for the WWF, which both Hall and Nash denied; the Outsiders expanded and became the New World Order when perennial fan-favorite Hulk Hogan aligned himself with the Outsiders in July 1996. The nWo was depicted as a rival company engaging in a "hostile takeover" of WCW. Week to week, the angle grew more complex, with a mixture of main-eventers, mid-carders, referees and announcers involved in various subplots related to the onscreen "WCW vs nWo" power-struggle. Led by the nWo storyline, WCW overtook the WWF as the number one wrestling promotion in America with Nitro defeating Raw in the ratings by a wide margin for 84 consecutive weeks.
During this era, Bischoff joined the nWo as a manager. His television character, dubbed "Eazy E" by Hall, became a egomaniac as the nWo boss. In the summer of 1998, Eric hosted a Tonight show like segment on WCW programming with Miss Elizabeth. Ted DiBiase has said in shoot interviews that Bischoff hired DiBiase to be the spokesperson and financial backer for the NWO, but when the NWO was getting to be a more prominent storyline, Bischoff replaced DiBiase as NWO spokesperson. Bischoff enjoyed some mainstream exposure at the time, appearing on the HBO series Arli$$ as well as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno; when the WWF rebranded their product as "WWF Attitude" and began to focus on new superstars such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley, The Rock, made owner/longtime announcer Vince McMahon into a character, this resulted in a ratings turnaround for WWF. On April 13, 1998, WWF ended a half run on top of the ratings war. Despite losing in the ratings to WWF, WCW continued to post strong ratings, PPV buyrates throughout 1998.
In 1998 WCW built one of its first homegrown superstars in Bill Goldberg, gave him the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on July 6, 1998 at the Georgia Dome in front of 39,919 people on Nitro. In early 1999