Mark Madden

Mark Madden

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KIDS, GET YOUR PARENTS' PERMISSION


My tenure at World Championship Wrestling was 1993-2000. My initial duty was updating the WCW Hotline: “$1.49 per minute! Kids, get your parents’ permission before calling!” 

You’d be amazed how many calls the WCW Hotline got, and how much money got made. 

There was no big-time wrestling internet then. Just dirt sheets and 900 #s. 

My colleague and long-time close personal friend “Mean” Gene Okerlund plugs me having a scoop on this commercial shown during WCW’s Starrcade pay-per-view on December 27, 1995. 

What was the scoop? I don’t remember. I certainly wasn’t beholden to telling the truth, though I usually did. 

Scott Hall and Kevin Nash debuted with WCW the following spring to start the nWo invasion, pro wrestling’s biggest angle ever. Perhaps this was an initial tease. 

WCW’s top executive was Eric Bischoff, who remains the best boss I’ve had. My hotline antics used to drive him nuts. 

But I used to make Eric laugh, too.

When noted alcoholic and baseball legend Mickey Mantle was on his deathbed, I said on the WCW Hotline that doctors wanted Mantle to switch livers with Okerlund as a last resort. (Gene also liked a bit of the drop.) 

Eric heard it, cracked up, and said, “I don’t know whether to fire you or give you a raise.” He did neither. 

Gene passed away in 2019. He was a true original and a master of his craft. 

I miss Gene. I miss those days. Time of my life. 

Thumbnail via Getty Images


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