The blinding light of political maneuvering in World Championship Wrestling is threatening the career of newcomer El Vampiro after he was flown from Mexico City to Las Vegas on Monday for Nitro and wasn’t even used.
Upon arrival at the MGM Grand Arena Vampiro, real name Ian Hodgkison, was informed that he has “heat” with several people within the promotion and that he won’t be used on future editions of Nitro or Thunder.
Hodgkison, a native of Thunder Bay, has had a real life feud with Konnan in Mexico over the past eight years and it is the source of his current problems in WCW. When talk of signing Vampiro began last spring, Konnan reportedly informed management that Vampiro had a reputation of no-showing dates, holding up promoters for more money and was generally unprofessional to work with in the ring.
Both professional and personal jealousy fuels this bitter feud. Konnan and Vampiro were the top two stars in Mexico in the early ’90s and as they fought over top billing in the EMLL promotion, their dislike for each other grew.
Later, Konnan accepted a role in a Mexican soap opera that Vampiro originally turned down. Konnan went on to achieve national fame from his recurring role on the show and became the top gate attraction in Mexico.
The rivalry grew to a full boil after Konnan left EMLL to form the AAA promotion. Soon after, promoter Ron Skoler brought Vampiro into AAA to work a match in Los Angeles with Konnan. Konnan balked at the idea and refused to lock up with Vampiro during the match.
It appears, however, that the resentment towards Vampiro is not limited to Konnan.
Vampiro drew the ire of Juventud Guerrera back on June 28th of last year when he made his first appearance in WCW, defeating Brad Armstrong on Nitro with a Michinoku Driver, Guerrera’s finisher at the time. Management was so impressed with Vampiro that they made move the sole property of Vampiro, forbidding Guerrera to use it.
Even though Vampiro had been using the move in Mexico for the previous two years, Guerrera was enraged and skipped several TV tapings and house shows as a form of protest.
Problems between the two resurfaced after their match last month on Nitro when Guerrera complained to booker Kevin Nash that Vampiro had worked too stiff.
Vampiro also has heat with Perry Saturn over his belief that the company had taken away the Marilyn Manson-like gimmick they had promised him and given it to Vampiro. WCW had put big money into producing a rock video with grunge band The Misfits as part of an elaborate ring entrance to get Vampiro over.
Vampiro’s stock in the company plummeted when assistant booker Terry Taylor defected to the WWF. Taylor was instrumental in bringing Vampiro to WCW and had battled vigorously, in spite of Konnan’s personal campaign, to give Vampiro a major push.
With Taylor gone and no one in management in his corner, the chances of Vampiro receiving a push appear improbable.