Referee Nick Patrick Recalls First Meeting Vince McMahon

Jul 11, 2021 - by James Walsh

Longtime referee Nick Patrick looked back at his career in a new interview, including his first time meeting Vince McMahon and WCW talent hearing rumors of WWE buying the company before it happened. Patrick was the guest on the latest Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw, and you can see some highlights below (per Wrestling Inc):

Nick Patrick on seeing Vince McMahon for the first time on ‘Black Saturday’: “None of the boys knew anything. I don’t know what Ole [Anderson], [Jim] Barnett, and those guys knew. But they didn’t let on to any of the guys. [It] was like a normal business day, only they weren’t there. What I used to do when I got there. . . I used to go stand in the control room and I would listen to the director. . . I’m in the control room listening to the [director] and Vince was sitting there. And I didn’t know who he was. I had no clue. I had never seen him. I had heard of Vince Sr., but I had never heard of him. But I saw him, and I didn’t even introduce myself. I had no idea who he was. I thought he was a Turner executive or something and I didn’t want to bother him.

“What a mistake, huh? Damn. I could’ve got my foot in the door right then. But I’m a young green dumb*ss, what the hell do I even know? So I’m going on at work, and the next thing you know they had told us that they were there, that they were taking over. . . and they offered everybody a job that wanted to come and be there. But it would entail probably moving. I, at the time, was loyal to my people. They were starting me wrestling there too at the same time. I went ahead and stayed with Ole [Anderson] and those guys. Plus, I had no idea who Vince was. I knew he was some guy from New York, but I had no clue the significance of the role he would play in our industry.”

Nick Patrick on rumors making their way around about WWE buying WCW the night before it was announced: “The very night before we did a house show somewhere and the rumor was out. And we point blank asked, and they said ‘Absolutely not. It’s all rumor, it’s all innuendo. We’re doing TV, we’re in Panama City, blah, blah, blah.’ So, we showed up there [and it was] just another day for us. They had, supposedly, dispelled all the rumors. Then all of a sudden here comes Jerry [Brisco] and Shane-O walking up. Well, actually, they were already there and had control of the truck and had the compound set up to where they could start talking to people. So when we showed up there it was like ‘Okay, so they bullsh*tted us.’ [Laughs]. Now let’s see how this plays out and see what’s going on and see if we still have a job or not. Everybody was just kind of anxious to hear the meeting and hear what was going to happen. Because we knew, evidently, that the war was over and that there was a clear winner. Now it’s just ‘Where is everybody going to go?’ Until the time we pulled up to the building and laid our eyes on [WWE] people, they were telling us that they weren’t selling.”

On who told them WCW was not being sold: “I was one of the agents at the time and they didn’t even tell me! It was somebody from [Turner]. It was one of their office representatives, and they had so many different office representatives that weren’t one of the boys. Some of them I don’t even know their names. It was somebody they sent down from the office.”

On the lack of animosity in the locker room between WCW and WWF talents: “Everybody wanted to go work for either one of them anyway. It wasn’t like there was a real war, like ‘We hate you guys.’ Because you’ve go to always keep those door open. You want to be better than the other people, you want to win, you want to be the best. That’s just that competitive spirit. Hell, everybody wanted to go on and work up there. Because [the WWF] had the reputation for making stars. There were so many people down in [WCW] that had great talent, had gimmicks, had stuff. But never, either for one reason or another, got put in that mega-star spot. And [the WWF] knew how to create them, how to build them, and how to present them and make them mega-stars. So, a lot of people were happy [for the purchase].”

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