Tony Schiavone might have been the voice of WCW during the heyday of Nitro, but he actually spent a couple cups of coffee in WWF before things really kicked off between the two companies. He recently went into this subject in depth on his podcast What Happened When where he talked about what it was like meeting Vince McMahon in his mansion before accepting a job with the Stanford-based pro wrestling giant.
“From what I remember, I remember this from 1989. From what I remember Greenwich is obviously a high rent district. A lot of big houses that step back from the road and we went through a gate, I don’t think it was manned by any guards or anything but we drove through this long drive and drove up to this very, very big brick house — I mean it was a mansion there’s no question.”
“Vince didn’t meet me at the door. The driver walked me in and Vince was in his — and Pat Patterson and Terry Garvin were all there and Vince was in his den that was kinda sunken down from the main level of the floor.”
Tony said Vince McMahon was wearing workout clothes during the meeting. After all, the legend is Vince only walks around his home in a full suit or workout clothes. “It was a great meeting, it was a great day and I felt so good about what I was getting ready to do” Schiavone continued.
“I do remember during the meeting [Vince] saying this. He said, ‘I wanna take myself off television I need to’ — I don’t know how he said it exactly but ‘I need to take myself off television and be more attentive to the day-to-day operation that’s going on and I want you to replace me. You’re gonna be the person who replaces me.'”
“And I guess he and Jesse [Ventura] were on Superstars at that time and Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby [Heenan] were doing Challenge and I said, ‘okay.’ So he said that’s basically what it was and I told him the same thing I had often told Jim Crockett and I had often told Turner Broadcasting. I said ‘I wanna do more than just announce’ so he said I will have you work on that and you’ll get to know Bruce Prichard, you’ll get to know Kevin Dunn. And I said ‘great, I’d love to do it’ so that’s how it all worked out.”