Perry Saturn vs Bam Bam Bigelow
In what may have been the first time he’s spoken about it publicly, Perry Saturn revealed on the “Talk is Jericho” podcast that he came to blows with the late Bam Bam Bigelow. Given the size of the two men, it could’ve been a very ugly scene.
Fight: Perry Saturn vs Bam Bam Bigelow
Date: Summer 1999
Source: “Talk is Jericho” podcast
Perry Saturn, at the time he told this story (and at the time this is being posted), is down on his luck and has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help him keep his home and basically prevent him from being homeless and hungry. Hopefully the podcast appearance brought some awareness to his campaign, and on the show he opened up about his years in the wrestling business and told several interesting stories.
In the summer of 1999, WCW was in the midst of a free-fall. 1998 was their best financial year ever, but in 1999 the momentum turned completely in the opposite direction just as Steve Austin was leading the WWF to record business. While Eric Bischoff was still in charge, the man who influenced most of the booking during this time was Kevin Nash.
Kevin Sullivan was still around on the committee and had input, but was not the key booker like he was in 1996 and most of 1997.
Frustration was settling in with everyone. Ratings were plummeting (although still higher than Raw’s ratings today, if you can believe that), and so was live attendance and PPV business. The reason was simple: awful, putrid booking.
On one particular episode of Monday Nitro, Sullivan was going over the finish of what Perry Saturn said was a match with he and Chris Benoit against Bam Bam Bigelow and Diamond Dallas Page (DDP). We found no record of such a match on Nitro that year, so either it was on Thunder (WCW’s other weekly show) or he doesn’t remember the exact participants. We did find a handicap match with Saturn facing those two in May, so that may have been the match in question.
Sullivan gave the finish as Perry Saturn going over in the match. Saturn had always been a personal favorite of Eric Bischoff was usually protected in booking even though he never got a major push. Bam Bam Bigelow told Sullivan he wouldn’t do that finish, saying they had just done a finish just like that in an earlier match involving the late Chris Kanyon. It wasn’t that Bam Bam Bigelow refused to do the job, he just refused to do that particular finish because he felt it would be redundant.
But Sullivan was either so frustrated or fed up, that he made it seem like Bam Bam Bigelow was refusing to lose. So he looked at Perry Saturn and said, “Did you hear that? He (Bigelow) doesn’t want to put you over.” And then he left the room.
Perry Saturn, who may not have heard the whole conversation, took it to mean that Bam Bam Bigelow really didn’t want to put him over. He confronted Bigelow about it and punched him in the face. It’s not known what happened after that, other than Saturn said it was a “fist fight” and that Bigelow wasn’t the type to back down. The two likely traded blows, until DDP came in and calmed them down.
Bam Bam Bigelow later asked Perry Saturn why he did that, and Saturn replied that he said he didn’t want to put him over and asked him how he’d react if he had said the same thing to him. Bigelow explained that it wasn’t that he didn’t want to do the job, but that he didn’t want to do the same finish they had just done in their prior match.
This led Perry Saturn to believe Sullivan intentionally stirred the pot. Sullivan could’ve dealt with the situation but instead he threw his hands up in the air, made it seem like Bam Bam Bigelow was being unprofessional, and walked out of the room.
In the match in question, Saturn did end up going over.
Perry Saturn’s negative feelings towards Sullivan were why he, Eddy Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Shane Douglas, and Konnan all asked for their release in January of 2000 when Sullivan was named the head booker to replace the failing Vince Russo (who had only been with WCW for a few months). The WWF ended up taking all of them except Douglas and Konnan, thanks to Saturn’s connections with Bruce Prichard. They debuted in the WWF that same month as The Radicalz.
The mistrust in WCW was so high that Perry Saturn once went over the bookers’ heads and complained to Bill Busch (who had taken over for Eric Bischoff after Bischoff was fired). Mike Graham, who was one of the agents for WCW, confronted Saturn about it. Graham was so upset that, according to Saturn, he pulled a knife on him. Saturn alerted the security in the building that Graham (who was legit very tough even though he was relatively tiny) was threatening his life. Saturn later complained that agents like Graham would change the finishes that booker Vince Russo gave them, without Russo knowing until after it would happen.
This was just one of many incident in WCW that exemplified what a mess it was towards the end. Many fights were breaking out during this time, but this one was one that not many people were aware of until now.