I actually have that album lol
- Has History Been Kind to WCW?
From David Arquette and Vince Russo as World Heavyweight Champions to bizarre angles such as the KISS wrestler and Judy Bagwell, professional wrestling fans had ample reason to criticize WCW near its end.
However, the purpose of this article is not to bury WCW. The sins of WCW are well known to wrestling fans around the world. If you want to read about WCW's failed storylines and gimmicks, there is a plethora of such articles to be found throughout the internet.
In recent months, both in reading comments on my own wrestling articles and in keeping up with the current buzz on the industry, I have noticed a shift in public opinion as it relates to WCW. Once the butt of every joke in pro wrestling, WCW now seems to hold a special place in the hearts of many wrestling fans. Is this nothing more than a simple case of nostalgia or was WCW a lot better than we thought it was at the time?
The fact that WCW Nitro and WWF Raw went head-to-head on Monday nights caused me to record quite a few episodes of each show. Whenever I happened to record a particularly good show, I kept that episode on a VHS tape and I never recorded over it. Since I still have an old VCR player, each week I go back and watch at least one pro wrestling show from the past.
From early Clash of the Champions specials to Russo's World Championship victory, I have a nice collection of WCW original broadcasts. Despite the fact that the creative team made scores of errors in the final months, I actually find the 2000 and 2001 episodes of WCW Nitro and Thunder quite entertaining. (And I don't mean "entertaining" in a bad way.)
While most wrestling fans remember WCW for the likes of Ric Flair, Sting, and the NWO, the best action for many years came from the midcard talent and cruiserweight division. Failed storylines and silly gimmicks aside, I find it impossible to watch any WCW program and not be amazed at what these wrestlers were doing. Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Juventud Guerrera, Eddie Guerrero, Psychosis, Dean Malenko and Shannon Moore were just a few of the dozens of wrestlers who put their bodies on the line every night to entertain wrestling fans.
Having said that, I also believe there is a sense of nostalgia that pertains to WCW. The same wrestling fans who praise WCW are often the same fans who praise ECW and even the WWF Attitude Era. In reality, I believe that fans who lived through these halcyon days are reminiscing on the era as a whole and not necessarily on just WCW. But the three-way dance of pro wrestling competition forced everyone to raise its game, including WCW. Therefore, every segment on Nitro, Thunder, and even WCW Saturday Night was a war for the hearts and minds of wrestling fans.
As I said earlier, I periodically go back and watch old WCW broadcasts. In doing so, I've noticed something interesting. Even when the gimmicks were bad and the storylines made little sense, I still feel like the wrestling was always great. Not to keep harping on Russo's WCW title match, but that is one of the episodes I recorded. I recently went back and watched that show and even that match had a lot of action and involved many great wrestlers.
Sometimes the mob mentality of public opinion can sway individuals to go with the crowd. As more and more wrestling fans chose the WWF, it was no longer "cool" to be a WCW fan. This may have started the night Degeneration-X drove a tank to Nitro. But in any case, I now feel that popular opinion began to subconsciously convince the average fan that WCW was an inferior product, when in reality, it wasn't that bad. Hence, perception became reality.
Unfortunately, I see the same thing happening today to TNA. I am a huge TNA fan and I can't understand why Impact's ratings are so low. I have to believe that part of the reason for this is that many wrestling fans believe TNA is inferior because so many people run down the product. Yes, TNA makes mistakes just like WCW did. But the wrestling is great and many wrestlers, such as AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, and Austin Aries are great on the mic. Frankly, I don't see how a diehard wrestling fan wouldn't enjoy watching TNA.
In conclusion, WCW represented a major part of the golden modern era of professional wrestling. Despite WCW's mistakes, today's wrestling fans seem to remember the positives more than the negatives. If WCW truly was better than we gave it credit for at the time, then we should keep an open mind about the quality of the dozens of smaller wrestling promotions around the world struggling to survive.
Eric Bischoff titled his autobiography, "Controversy Creates Cash." But in reality, it's competition that creates cash. Don't be so quick to write off lower level wrestling promotions. Otherwise, all we'll be left with one day are VCR tapes, DVDs, and YouTube videos.
Monday on Raw during the contact signing for the WWE Championship Match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell, Triple H offended WWE Superstars and fans alike with his verbal burial of the talents of Bryan, as well as Chris Jericho, Edge and Rob Van Dam. WWE’s Chief Operating Officer grouped Bryan with his three predecessors and declared that like them, he is not capable of being “The Face of WWE.”
“Here’s the thing, Daniel. I’ve seen guys like you come and go a million times. Guys like Jericho, Edge, Rob Van Dam. All guys that are very talented, don’t get me wrong. Top guys! Very popular! But not “the one.” Never were they “the one.” And maybe nobody wants to say this, but it needs to be said: It’s a fact. If any of those guys had been the face of the WWE back in the day, we’d all be working for Ted Turner right now,” said Hunter.
“You think you’re playing in the big leagues, kid? You have no idea. You step inside that Hell in a Cell and I have a feeling you’re gonna prove to the world that you’re a B+ player.”
Bryan subsequently challenged Triple H to a match. “The Game” responded by saying he’s a “A+ player” and “a star” who only faces the likes of The Undertaker, The Rock and Brock Lesnar.
As reported the following day, the Chief Operating Officer’s controversial remarks had a lot of people shaking their heads backstage since they feel he was burying Bryan as a performer rather than knocking him in a villainous manner that would lead to Bryan gaining retribution. Meanwhile, Dave Meltzer revealed on Wrestling Observer Radio (audio available here) on Wednesday that Jericho, Edge and Van Dam were not given notice to the angle ahead of time.
Following Raw, Jericho went on Twitter to respond to Triple H: “Thing is @tripleh despite ur major push,u never were either. Good luck in ur future endeavours.”
Later that day, Jericho downplayed his reaction to Triple H. Responding to a tweet that labeled what Hunter said as “completely untrue and unfair,” Jericho wrote, “No big deal. Always nice to be mentioned on Raw.”
Meltzer speculated that Jericho was legitimately upset with Hunter’s remarks. He added, “I can tell you with 100% certainty with the Jericho situation, that it was not an angle.”
Meltzer garnered reaction from some WWE talent on the controversial promo, many of whom felt it was counter-productive. They also felt that Hunter’s dismissive remarks are legitimate gripes.
“As far as the talent in the dressing room—the reaction that I got from a couple of people, was basically that they all thought that the interview was counter-productive,” said Meltzer. “They all felt that Triple H, while he will say “well, I was only working,” those were his true thoughts on those guys, and it didn’t make people very happy overall.”
- Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan interested in buying TNA
I heard it was only a rumour.
We should buy TNA, lol.
-Big Show and Triple H segment: This was the worst closing segment on Raw so far this year. It was filled with so many holes that Triple H will need to do a 45-minute sit-down interview with Michael Cole tomorrow just to explain away half of the logic gaps. Big Show looked like a dope for giving up his lawsuit so easily. Triple H and his cronies beat him afterward, which in the real world would open the door for further litigation. It once again begs the obvious question of why no one bothered to run out to save Big Show. I thought we'd moved beyond the babyfaces fearing retaliation after watching Goldust and Cody Rhodes fight The Shield during Randy Orton's celebration of a champion that no one takes seriously. I've been beaten into submission when it comes to having any expectation that WWE would produce writing that is even remotely comparable to today's top television dramas, but I am tired of watching these awful segments that insult the intelligence of viewers over the age of ten. Vince McMahon and his creative decision makers should be embarrassed by the sad state of their top storyline. I am not going go into the Triple H conspiracy theory mode and blame him for everything. Rather, I will simply point out the obvious in that this storyline has set up the part-time wrestling authority figure as the most important person in the company at the expense of top babyfaces, the WWE Champion, and even the WWE Championship. Can anyone with a straight face really say that this is best for business?
-Randy Orton vs. Big Show as the Survivor Series main event: There's no money in Big Show challenging for the WWE Championship. The live crowds like Big Show and he is the one person other than Triple H who has actually gained something from The Authority mess. However, I'm not convinced that people like Big Show enough to pay to see him in pay-per-view main events, and I certainly don't believe Randy Orton has been positioned to be a money drawing champion. The real money matches for Big Show and Daniel Bryan are with Triple H (along with Shawn Michaels for Bryan). The WWE Champion just feels like a hurdle those two have to clear in order to get to Hunter. We just finished watching three pay-per-views of The Authority screwing Bryan out of the championship. Couldn't Big Show have "negotiated" some type of agreement that would prevent The Authority from screwing him over, which would at least give viewers some reason to believe they might see a a clean finish for a change?
TNA is hiring a new writer/producer for their creative team. The responsibilities listed include:
-Develop and implement creative storylines for broadcast on TNA television broadcast.
-Build compelling stories that capture the audience.
-Consistently improve and refine storylines.
-Use consumer insights and social media to deliver impactful storylines that are consistent with the TNA brand and each talentís skills.
You can see the full listing at http://www.impactwrestling.com/info/...-Opportunities.
--Chris Benoit's son training to become a pro wrestler
Busted Open satellite radio show with Dallas Page
Host: Dave Lagreca, Doug Mortman, and Mike Riker
Airs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays on Sirius 92 and XM 92 from 2-4 ET
Working with Scott Hall and Jake Roberts: Jake (Roberts) and I were talking about this when Scott (Hall) was first ready to come up and we knew that Jake is going to go down and get him and have a sit down which was on DDPTV and I looked at Jake and I thought to myself: 'Can you imagine if you and Scott both get sober in the same house in the same year' and we started laughing and thinking: 'Wow, that’s amazing.' I didn’t do anything and that’s honestly how I feel. All I did was supply my buddies with really a positive place that they weren’t going to be judged and I was going to get them to understand when I talk about my eating place and I’ll never use the word diet because you know what the first three letters in the word diet are.
"They don’t work, lifestyles do. I put movies in front of them like food, Inc. and genetic roulette and then they can see on how the food has been so changed that it will depress you, it will put weight on you that will drag you down emotionally and once they got that out of there system, they start to feel better and they haven’t done anything yet! (Chris) Jericho said it first and he’s really the first who put DDP Yoga on the map and the best part about it and you say: 'Well, what kind of conditioning can I get with my DDP Yoga?' and I said 'How about this?' Jericho who was completely pain free in three months and headlined WrestleMania two years ago and continues to work a few months, take a couple months off and then goes tours with Fozzy for six months like every night playing out and he is not wrestling, he is only doing one work out and he shows up at the Royal Rumble in the number two spot and wrestles for forty seven minutes and fifty three seconds, unheard of!
"But it gave my program legitimacy on a different level plus there are about sixteen guys in the Rumble that are doing DDP Yoga so it was a really cool thing and he opened up the doors to guys like Goldust and how good is Goldust looking right now and Ryback as well. Then Scott saw Jake when he was laying in his bed when he went through that really tough time where he was in the hospital bed for that week and that one kid, who is almost like an angel, because it said: 'No visitors!' But this one kid who is a fan came in and he has it on his IPhone and he says: 'Scott, look what Dallas did with Jake, maybe he can do it with you.' Scott’s looking at him like: 'Oh my God.'
"It was putting my two buddies in an environment that was caring, loving and everyone in my house is positive and you’re not allowed to work for me with a negative attitude and it won’t be tolerated and you work out and eat great food because I only buy real food and our food is delicious. I’m doing a workshop in Atlanta and it’s the only time when I do what is called: 'The Ultimate Workshop' and there are only fifteen people that do this but we have a pretty big crowd for the overall workshop where we do three hours and its starting and stopping and it’s not like a three hour workout but you really learn how to break everything down and then we do an hour and ten minute workout at the end and I make it where everyone can do it and after that, those fifteen people come over to my house. We break it down and we have all the food made and we show them how to make everything and they leave with menus. I want people to understand that healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad
Being worried once they leave: "Jake is going to be Jake no matter what. When people say: 'Man, I love what you did to Jake', I tell them: 'I didn’t do anything, Jake did all that' and Jake Roberts is still Jake Roberts. But I never saw this Jake Roberts. When it came time for him to leave the crib, he made that decision. It wasn’t me because he could have lived with me forever and I told my girl before she moved in: 'Baby, Jake is Uncle Jake and he isn't going unless he says I’m out of here' and always being his little brother in scenarios when I go: 'Jake, that’s not cool to say things like that'. I got sick of saying that to him because he’s my mentor, he’s one of my closest friends on the planet and he knew it was starting to wear me out a bit. I think he is in the best spot that he has ever been in and he really has a chance, if it’s not this year then next year but it should be this year because he has done so much in his career but he should be in the hall of fame but he should have been in the hall of fame twenty years ago. Then he put it out that: 'I’m going to be in the Royal Rumble' and it got a lot of buzz but it’s like: 'Yo, shut up about the Rumble'.
"No one is going to know. If they are going to put him in the Royal Rumble, he won’t know until its four days out. He will absolutely be the last one to know. There was an article about Bradshaw and Bradshaw has some really good writing on his site and there’s another guy that has done a lot after wrestling and he is an amazing cat and he does so much for kids around his summit and the mountain climbing that he does, its crazy shit to me. He eats it up and it’s the challenge and there was article on his site that talked about how it would really be smart and really beneficial to the WWE to have one guy that is not going to be a surprise because there would be so many fans, passionate fans about just hearing his music and walking out.
"It would make people cry and there would be goose bumps with the twenty-two thousand people at the Royal Rumble and all he needs to do is be real limited and it won’t matter, its Jake. It’s such a tradition of people coming out and people won’t know what’s going to happen. Jake has been clean for over a year, it was October when we brought him in, so it’s a little over a year of being completely cocaine and crack free and that was a big deal! He did that cold, there were no morphine shots and whatever shots they do to get people off heroine or whatever, and we did none of that. We test him once in a while too, it was a surprise test. It was like: 'Here Jake, we are taking you down to the clinic.' He said: 'I got my first passed drug test', he even framed it and we did it a couple times."
Hulk Hogan exiting TNA in time for WrestleMania 30: "He’s Hulk Hogan bro. I have offered my services to him before and that’s when I was in Los Angeles. I would help him any way I could because he really helped me when you get to that one spot when you there. Hulk Hogan walks up to me in Germany and this is around 1994 when Kevin is the champ and I’m wrestling Jim Duggan. I get the curtain jerk match, the first match every night. It was the fifth or sixth night and we are in Berlin and when I walk through the curtain and Hogan is there and he grabs me and he pulls me over and he says: 'How are you doing it?' I go: 'Doing what, Hulk?' He goes: 'Getting some much better.' I go: 'Wow, thanks man.' He goes: 'I’ve been watching your matches the last couple nights and I don’t see you on TV that much but when you’re on, you are always doing something a little different and this is the way they are getting you to learn your craft. They are putting you on the road.'
"I said: 'No, there not. I haven’t been on the road for three months. The only reason why I’m on this card is because my real last name before I changed it to Page was Falkinberg and the crowd loves its Germans and I have a smoking hot wife that accompanies me to the ring. That’s the only reason why I’m here.' He goes: 'How are you getting so much better?' I said: 'I go to the Power Plant.' He really didn’t understand that because in his day, you went from one territory to another to another and that’s how you got better and they can camouflage you, change your name and whatever. I figured out and this applies to anyone, this is a lesson in life and I went down to the Power Plant because wrestling is a lot like playing the guitar meaning you can’t get any good unless you play all the time. I went back to the Power Plant and I started to train the young guys and I realized that the more you teach someone, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get.
"Hulk goes: 'However you’re doing it, whatever you’re doing, you need to keep doing it because it may not be today, next year or the year after but somewhere down the line, you have the ability to draw huge money with me' and he walked away. Let’s manifest that four years later, Hulk is on the stage of the 'Tonight Show' with Hulk and (Dennis) Rodman being interview by (Jay) Leno and (Karl) Malone and I walk out with the chairs over our heads. The number two leading scorer of all-time in the NBA, Karl Malone has my 'Diamond Cutter' shirt on, we throw the chairs down and throw up the 'Diamond Cutter' sign and do 'The Bang' and we face off with those guys and shoot our angle which was the biggest angle ever for WCW as far as money, super coverage across the planet in the biggest show in the world and it wasn’t a wrestling show. We are shooting an angle on the world’s stage, the 'Tonight Show'. It was crazy."
I guess the reason Big Show is getting the push is, because the WWE wants a "larger" than life person in the title hunt. I guess the WWE thinks it's still the 80's, and 90's....