Monday, July 26, 1999
SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
Giving up on WCW
Uncle. There I said it. Uncle, uncle, uncle, I give, I submit, I surrender. I'm tapping out, I can't take any more. Week after week, I tune in to watch my favorite stars of the WCW and more often than not I end up flipping channels looking for some cool infomercial or cartoon to watch.
It is with an obvious disrespect for the fans and through his own arrogance that Eric Bischoff is tearing asunder all that he had built in WCW. What used to be interesting storylines and nail-bitingly good entertainment has degenerated into the same boring, contrived, and even condescending weekly screw-job endings and thusly continually predictable finales for endlessly hyped but never materializing PPV's.
Where once Eric could brag that even with his stable of next-to nobodys, and way lower budget, he was constantly throwing something fresh and new into the squared circle and trouncing THE ENEMY in the ratings, all he can brag about now is that he has the largest payroll of underachieving, seldom performing narcississts to grace the wrestling world. Ted Turner's deep pockets, and Eric's constant belief in his own brilliance, have caused the current state of crisis in the WCW, and there is little we the paying public can do about it aside from tuning out the Championship and tuning in the Federation. Which some seem unwilling or even unable to do.
Some state that the WWF's current trend to the risque has no place in the wrestling world. Bullhockey! I much prefer watching the antics of D-X, Val Venis or Goldust than being forced to swallow yet another big name run-in on a jobber like Kenny Kaos, or listening to Goldberg snort out a threat. I have even started to prefer the Road Dogg's entrance speech to the tired "Let's get ready to rumbbbbbbblllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeee..." that is dished out with all the enthusiasm you would get when ordering fries at Mickey D's.
The few young bright stars in the WCW are forced to suffer mid-card status at best, or end up having to job to tired egos just to get into the main-event spotlight. Nobody expects Goldberg to job to "The Lionheart" (it would be nice though) but a wrestler with Chris Jericho's natural mic flair and wrestling ability would, by now, be flourishing as part of D-X or as a challenger for the intercontinental title instead of being backshot by Bill "The Bull" Goldberg or having to waste his skills wrestling a Villano or some other hapless jobber. Vince McMahon may be a ruthless businessman (yes I am a Hart fan) but he knows how to market his talent and expect him to really let Jericho's light shine through. I shudder to think what would have become of The Rock, TripleH, Gangrel, or Venis had they signed with Easy E instead of with Sleazy V.
Why Eric doesn't remedy this situation, when the solution seems so obvious, is beyond me. To return WCW to its glory days involves only three steps:
1. Golden Handshakes to all those past their primes. (Hogan, Warrior, Sting, Macho, Nash, Luger, you know - the ones that bore us or need walkers)
2. Send the unready back to the plant for more wrestling skills or personality transplants.
3. Constantly reminding himself - A match can still be entertaining without a screw-job ending!!!!!
Until he can come up with some clever plot lines and better gimmicks (don't even get me started on Ernest Miller), I think Eric Bischoff's WCW is dead in the water. And it won't be long until, like lemmings, the rest of the wrestling community follows me, and those who went before me, off this boring cliff and into the open arms of the still-fun-to-watch WWF.
Jean-Guy Landriault is from Ottawa and can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.