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Monday, October 4, 1999

SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column

WCW needs to trim fat

By JARETT HAILES -- For SLAM! Wrestling

Over the past month the face of professional wrestling has turned inside out. Ever since the indecisive SummerSlam, where Vince McMahon put on a half technically astute wrestling show and the latter half being a complete mismatch of drama and comedy. Yes, that fateful night the WWF tried to return to its wrestling roots, and the crowd's response was anemic. They hastily returned to their brand of 'sports entertainment' that has won them cult acclaim in pop culture.

Since then they have focused purely on re-defining the Titan Sports corporation into the 'WF' (as I talked about in April). This has left the path open for the WCW to retake its claim as being the top wrestling company in the business, now that the other major federation is no longer a factor (by way, we'll miss you Rock, Mankind and co. -- but I can't bear to watch now). Yes, all the WCW needs is a little fine-tuning and it could be 'da man'.

Of course, they're already on their way. Removing Eric Bischoff from the top job was a big first step. Having 15-20 minute matches on Nitro was a second. Their last pay-per-view wasn't asterrible as their previous attempts. The only thing that remains is cutting the fat. And by that I mean saying good-bye to their no-talent 'main event' characters that are just in the way.

This means saying good-bye to many familiar and even lovable faces. Some have given us years of hard work. Others have muddled their way to the top somehow. Either way, it's high time to have some move on and make room for a new look WCW.

The first to go would have to be Randy Savage. You lost your skills years ago, just no one told you. Likewise Lex Luger. Sid Vicious you should've been honing your wrestling abilities instead of playing softball in your absence. Adios. Ric Flair, you are our hero, but it's also your time (you deserve to leave with dignity). Hulk Hogan, thank you for the ups and downs. But you know that you should let those in their prime take the spotlight. Step down as the Hulkster. Kevin Nash, thank you for taking a backseat finally. I hope that you took Scott Hall with you permanently. Even Sting, maybe you should think about finding a new calling in wrestling. And there are others, it's no secret. So here's my proposal to bid these gentlemen adieu before the beginning of the millennium.

All of these men had their time, but now they need a way to go gracefully. Those who are willing should be put in epic bouts for one last time, giving it everything they've got one last time. For those that will pout defiantly and point to their contracts and say "But we've got so many title reigns left!!", we can accommodate you too. Since titles haven't really meant much in either major federation for awhile now, I suggest that they have the World Title get passed around like a cigarette in a group of young children. There's enough time between now and the end of 1999 for everyone to have it as many times as they need to in order for their contracts to be satisfied.

Imagine, by the time you turn on Thunder, you never know who's had the title since Nitro. And who knows who's going to get it that night. It would make their lesser programs a bit interesting at the very least. When all of the big babies finished their tantrum, you need to give the title to someone who will be able to give it the honour it deserves in the new millennium, someone who will lose gracefully and astutely to the next generation of wrestlers. And that man is Bret Hart.

He's one of the few old-timers with the technical expertise to be worth watching for an extended period of time. And he'd definitely pull his weight in his ending match. He can also be the last hero of the golden era to undo his boots. It would be fitting. Next thing you know, WCW is in shape to compete in the twenty-first century. Simple, no?

Jarett Hailes is from Edmonton, Albera, and can be emailed at He wrote for SLAM! Wrestling once before:

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