SLAM! WRESTLING: And Nothing but the Truth

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Previous columns

'So long' but not 'goodbye'

They say that one year in the business world is equivalent to only a few weeks in the online business world because things move so fast in that sector. Sometimes I wonder how much time that's equivalent to in the wrestling world. Things move so fast in wrestling, it's sometimes unbelievable. Between the backstage gossip, the talent raiding, the instability of the companies themselves, the startups, the pushes, the turns, the title changes, the angles, and all of the anti-wrestling groups out there, the news that's generated about wrestling each and every day is just astounding.
  • Jan. 25: Full story

    NWO reunion won't work

    According to Don Callis' weekly column right here at SLAM!, the WWF has apparently decided to "bring in" Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan. The next two months are the home stretch for the WWF, like playoffs in professional sports. If Callis is correct, then surely Hall, Nash, and Hogan will be heavily incorporated into the major angle that leads up to the Superbowl of wrestling, WrestleMania. If the WWF does hire and use the three former WCWers, though, it had better not be to resurrect the NWO.
  • Jan. 18: Full story

    Return of Triple H not enough for the WWF

    With Triple H's big return this past Monday and leading up to one of their biggest pay-per-views of the year, the WWF has at least some momentum going for them. It's easy to generate momentum in the short-run, though. WCW proved that five years ago by shocking audiences with debuts and heel turns week by week. It wasn't the debuts or the turns that resulted in WCW's long-term success, though, it was the compelling nWo angle that wove it all together. Equally, the WWF can't ultimately expect Triple H's return to boost business any more than the debut of the WCW wrestlers. It takes time and persistence to build an angle that will really keep audiences coming.
  • Jan. 11: Full story

    WWF needs to learn from the past

    The World Wrestling Federation desperately needs a boost in 2002. The past year can only be seen as lackluster for the WWF. Several opportunities were wasted, including the purchase of not one but both of their major competitors, WCW and ECW. Heel turns and face turns were poorly executed. Every measure of success suggested decline for the WWF. Now, with the return of Triple H, some newly available free agents on the market, and two big pay-per-views on the horizon, the WWF has an opportunity to revitalize their business. To do so, though, they're going to have to heed some of the lessons they hopefully learned in 2001.
  • Jan. 4: Full story

    Wrestling's big quandary

    With the WWF the sole provider of large-scale professional wrestling in North America, there is now, for the first time years, much unsatisfied demand for wrestling in Canada and the United States and many other countries abroad. Sure the WWF plans on splitting into two promotions, but they are in many ways scarcely able to please their own fans right now, let alone the fans who abandoned them shortly after the demises of ECW and WCW. Either way, there are fans craving wrestling today.
  • Dec. 28: Full story

    Tag team scene critical to WWF's success

    The WWF is at something of a nexus right now. On one hand, they're in a slump, with television ratings several points lower than their highs a couple of years back. Pay-per-view buys and house show attendance is similarly down. No WWF storyline is currently setting the world on fire, and in fact they're right on the heels of the Alliance debacle. At the same time, though, they've got some fresh storylines with Chris Jericho winning the undisputed title at Vengeance, the return of Ric Flair, and the impending return of Triple H. With Wrestlemania on the horizon, things go could either way. One thing that won't help the WWF get back on track, unfortunately, is their derailed tag team division.
  • Dec. 21: Full story

    A toast to Chris Jericho

    This past Sunday, at the World Wrestling Federation's Vengeance pay-per-view, an 'undisputed' champion was crowned. Four of the WWF's top competitors fought out a single elimination mini-tournament to be claimed North America's only top title-holder. Since that title is a conglomeration of both the WWF and WCW world championships, the honour is even more prestigious. That's why it came as such a surprise to so many that Chris Jericho would defeat all comers to first win the unified title. It's fitting that Chris Jericho should be crowned the 'undisputed' world champion at Vengeance. No one's accomplishments have ever been more disputed than those of Y2J.
  • Dec. 14: Full story

    Heyman is missed a little

    When the ECW-WCW Alliance was folded last month at Survivor Series, it didnāt make much sense to retain Paul Heyman as colour commentator. Fortunately, popular former WWF colour commentator Jerry ĪThe Kingā Lawler was available for a big return. His re-debut along with the presence of Ric Flair helped to make the post-Survivor Series Raw one of the biggest and best this year. Paul Heyman was a nice break, but Jerry Lawler belongs at the broadcast table of Monday Night Raw.
  • Dec. 7: Full story

    Going where we've gone before

    The WWF faces something of a predicament right now. Their past few television broadcasts have been some of their best this year. Fans live at the arenas seemed to agree. Some welcome storyline endings, some fresh faces, and some new plot twists have intrigued the WWF's faithful fans, but not without a price.
  • Nov. 30: Full story

    Flair's return a blessing or a curse?

    No matter what your point of view, there was enough big wrestling news this week to please just about every kind of wrestling fan. For World Wrestling Federation fans tired of the clunker Alliance storyline, the WWF came out on top at Survivor Series, eliminating their competition. For fans of the former WCW, the return of Ric Flair may have been a sight for sore eyes. Back on the WWF side, Linda McMahon's announcement this week of the formation of a second, separate promotion in the near future is an intriguing prospect.
  • Nov. 23: Full story

    WWF shows strength on The Weakest Link

    This week on the NBC game show The Weakest Link, WWF personalities competed against each other to earn money for their favourite charities.
    Clearly, this was not a charitable act on the part of the game show, which publicized this episode to death trying to draw in that coveted age group of wrestling viewers. Certainly, not a charitable act by the WWF, either. Survivor Series was plugged, as was Monday Night Raw and the WWF in general.

    Arguably, this was a donation of time on the part of the superstars who appeared, but they also spent a good chunk of their time putting themselves and each other over.
  • Nov. 16: Full story

    WWF should treat titles right

    It's not a huge secret that the WWF has more championship titles than it can handle right now. For those not keeping score at home, there's the WWF heavyweight title, the WCW world heavyweight title, the WWF intercontinental title, the WCW United States title, the WWF tag team titles, the WCW world tag team titles, the WWF hardcore title, the WWF light heavyweight title, the WCW cruiserweight title, the WWF European title, and the WWF womens' title. That's eleven titles and thirteen actual title belts floating around the world wrestling federation. That's just too much.
  • Nov. 9: Full story

    WWF's air of panic has turned

    Given the tone of the feedback that I have received from SLAM! readers over the past weeks and months, one of the WWF's main problems seems to have been boring, predictable stories. If you compare it with Degeneration X or the New World Order, it's definitely true that the Alliance hasn't really offered us any true surprises. Granted, there was Steve Austin's turn joining the Alliance, but let's be honest, he was already a heel. Kurt Angle's heel turn this past Monday was not only well-constructed and delivered, but one of the first real surprises of this new era of wrestling. For once, the WWF seems to have people's attention.
  • Nov. 2: Full story

    Split house shows not the answer

    The wrestling business is hurting right now. WWF ratings are down, house show attendance is dropping, and even some televised live events aren't selling out, let alone the pay-per-view side of the business. Despite the high concentration of talent in the World Wrestling Federation right now, people aren't paying money to go see them perform, and increasingly, they aren't even bothering to watch them on television. There's no denying that the business has taken a plunge, and that things will get worse before they get better.
  • Oct. 26: Full story

    Falling into the same trap

    When WCW was a force to be reckoned with, it had some unique traits and advantages over the competing WWF product. Nitro was a cutting edge product, with new and different angles going on each week. The cruiserweight division was as strong as any has ever been in an American promotion. Pay-per-views were thoroughly enjoyable products, from start to finish. In fact, it was usually the main events in WCW that scored worst and were the least favoured matches on their cards. Meanwhile, the WWF was offering one-trick-pony pay-per-views with a fantastic, four-star main event but little else.
  • Oct. 19: Full story

    Montreal will welcome WWF TV cameras

    This Tuesday, October 16, 2001, the WWF returns to Montreal's Molson Centre for a TV taping following a four-year hiatus. Their televised last event here, in November of 1997, was the Survivor Series pay-per-view. In case you somehow had never heard of that notorious event, then-champion Bret Hart lost his title to Shawn Michaels under very questionable circumstances. Montreal fans were sent home confused and largely unsatisfied, and the WWF kept their cameras away from the city for years afterward.
  • Oct. 12: Full story

    Just tired of the McMahons

    As a fan of sports entertainment, I like the McMahon family. I usually like watching them perform on television. Though they may be owners or managers at heart, Vince, Shane, and Stephanie are three of the World Wrestling Federation's top performers. Still, there comes a point where it must be said: enough is enough.
  • Oct. 5: Full story

    Kronik's hiring/firing a lesson

    News has quickly spread that the WWF and latest acquisition tag team Kronik have parted ways. Apparently, their extremely lackluster performance against Undertaker and Kane at Unforgiven was the catalyst for this parting, but the WWF was originally willing to let them train in a developmental territory. Allegedly, Kronik balked at the idea and quit. Regardless of these somewhat speculative details, one thing is for sure: Kronik is gone from the World Wrestling Federation. I've got one thing to say about this -- Everyone involved is nuts.
  • Sep. 28: Full story

    Will Edge and Christian shine as singles?

    As a human being with access to television and the internet, it's pretty hard for me to avoid bad news right now. Between the aftermath of last week's terrible tragedy, the United States gearing up for battle, and the bottom falling out from under our markets, it still doesn't really feel right to churn out a wrestling column. At this point, though, you can chalk me up on the side for 'time to get on with life' side, so maybe I'll try my hand at irony and actually express my thoughts about Christian this week. That, and a few of the other things that make wrestling worth watching, even in times like these.
  • Sep. 21: Full story

    Previous Columns

  • Sep. 14: Wrestling seems very small
  • Sep. 7: WWF and DirecTV play chicken
  • Aug. 31: Letters to Eric
  • Aug. 24: SummerSlam's fall from grace
  • Aug. 17: Good comedy is hard to find
  • Aug. 10: Good comedy is hard to find
  • Aug. 3: A special quick hits edition
  • July 27: Angle derailed by Rock's return
  • July 20: Comedy doesn't draw money
  • July 13: ECW breathes life into WWF
  • July 6: Inefficiency hurting the WWF
  • June 29: Stop the stupid risks
  • June 22: WCW "invasion" off to a slow start
  • June 15: Overexposure and desensitization
  • June 8: Rating the two Chris's
  • June 1: What's in store for the new WCW?
  • May 25: Jericho & Benoit strengthen WWF and each other
  • May 18: Some steps the WWF should take
  • May 11: It's true -- the WWF is slipping
  • May 4: Lighting new fires, keeping old ones going
  • Apr. 27: Submissions don't mean much
  • Apr. 20: To Raw and Smackdown and back again
  • Apr. 6: Reflections on a great Wrestlemania
  • Mar. 30: Still undecided about WCW acquisition
  • Mar. 23: WWF to stand alone?
  • Mar. 16: McMahon takes down Costas with ease
  • Mar. 9: Letters to Mr. Benner
  • Mar. 2: Lawler's departure leaves a void
  • Feb. 23: Not everyone from ECW will find a home
  • Feb. 16: A Heyman hiring has potential
  • Feb. 9: Talking pig skin
  • Feb. 2: The end is near, folks
  • Jan. 25: Hardy brothers should stick together
  • Jan. 18: The logical WCW main eventers
  • Jan. 11: WCW not out of trouble yet
  • Jan. 4: Putting stock in a theory

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    SLAM! Wrestling announces Benner as new columnist

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