Friday, December 18, 1998
SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
Canadian World Order? Why not?
Since the inception of the New World Order by Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall, the trials and tribulations of the group have dominated wrestling storylines, angles, and television time. The group has increased in size so greatly that it seems like every single match involves an nWo member of some faction pitted against another wrestler, sometimes even another nWo faction member.
The point is, the nWo wrestlers are getting every precious amount of time that the television producers and promoters can squeeze out of them. It has gotten to the point where if you want a push within WCW, you are thrown into the saga that is the nWo. The amount of exposure that these wrestlers get is phenomenal, and admittedly, some of them may deserve such a push.
However, aside from the nWo saga, the storyline that has captivated the most attention from the wrestling audiences over the last couple of years has been the WWF's Canada vs. USA angle from just over a year ago. The feud still lingers to this day, and in case nobody has noticed, the fans have never really liked Bret Hart since that feud with the American value system as his WWF tenure ended in such controversy. In fact, every other member of the "Hart Foundation" has suffered the same fate as Bret has when it comes to the fans' reactions. And now, with Bret holding the United States Heavyweight Belt, what better time to re-capture that glorious feeling of hatred and patriotism in an angle than now? But how could this be possible?
Create the Canadian World Order.
This would be perhaps the most brilliant strategy ever used by Eric Bischoff and his WCW executive committee to boost ratings in the United States as well as Canada, ratings that WCW sorely needs to get back to its status as the No. 1 wrestling promotion in the business.
Think of how many stars there are in WCW right now with Canadian background: Bret Hart, British Bulldog, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, just to name a few. [Editor: Don't forget Johnny Swinger!] And if they could scoop some of the WWF's great Canadian stars, it would be just that much more amazing to watch.
It would certainly be a much better solution to the ratings war than the recent lame nWo spin-off, the lWo, has been. The lWo is a complete and utter flop to this point, mainly because it doesn't fit where WCW is headed right now.
And if you really think about it, many extremely patriotic Americans live in the deep south, which is primarily WCW territory. What better way to boost ratings than to have these great superstars from Canada feud with, say, the Four Horsemen, the true symbol of American tradition in wrestling.
It would be a perfect fit for WCW, not to mention it would be a great way to help expand the promotion into Canada as it is expected they will.
Think about it for a second: Bret Hart and Flair naturally would be a great feud, as would a Benoit-Mongo betrayal angle or even a renewed Jericho-Malenko feud. And maybe, Niedhart and Bulldog could win those tag straps that nobody in WCW seems to care about anymore. Maybe they might even turn them back into respectable belts again by feuding with, say, Wolfpac members like Sting and Lex Luger.
Face it, a Canadian World Order would truly be a perfect fit for a struggling promotion such as WCW. Or at the very least, it will take away some of the lWo's undeserved television time.
Besides, if you look at the black-and-white nWo as they stand now, things are looking grim.
WCW certainly needs a better heel faction than what the nWo black-and-white is providing us: Scott Steiner (the new leader?!), Buff Bagwell, The Giant (soon to sign with WWF, I'm sure), Stevie Ray, Horace Hogan, Scott Norton (who spends more time in Japan than the U.S.), Vincent, Brian Adams (where is he?) and Curt Hennig (injured until 1999).
With that said, how could a Canadian World Order not work for WCW? All true heels, all with hatred for American fans.....how could it fail? I don't see a way, personally. Truly, this would be the perfect fit for WCW to boost its ratings and maybe acquire some of the Canadian fans that WCW desperately need to both gain and retain.
With Kevin Nash holding the book right now, it may not be easy to convince him to take such a bold step. But I certainly think that a Canadian World Order could definitely be the way to go for WCW. And in reality, it may be one of the few options they really have left at this point to save themselves from further annhilation in the ratings.
Shawn Nichols is from Calgary, Alberta. He can be emailed at email@example.com