Ah yes, the Week is almost up. For myself, class ends on Thursdays, which means my weekend starts later today. Whooo! Time to FINALLY sleep in tomorrow instead of waking up early for dreadful class. Thank the lord for that.
There is one topic kind of messing with my head right now. It's the issue of Good vs. Evil in wrestling. Now I know that wrestling LOVES to cheer for the badass anymore, but in recent months, the distinction on who is the hero and who the bad guy has become very blurred. With 4 hours of wrestling each week to contend with, so many heel or face turns have occurred. Many fans, nowadays, are casual fans and they don't quite remember who to cheer for, or who to boo.
Add that, and the NEW type of wrestlers these days. I'm talking about the guys who can switch back and forth from being heels one night, to being a face the next night. The Acolytes are the BEST case of that, along with many other wrestlers. There, currently, is no term for this type of genre of wrestlers. So instead of calling them heels or faces, I'll call them REVOLVERS, meaning that they jump from one side to the other.
The term "revolving" comes from 19th Century Baseball, to where there were no set or very contracts for Major League players back then. Therefore, teams would just go out and sign away players from other teams "revolving", and the players who made a trade of switching teams were called "revolvers". Therefore, those in wrestling who keep switching, back and forth, between face and heel are revolvers in wrestling.... or at least I'll call them that, from now on, in Professional Wrestling. :)
On to the PDC.
*WCW Jackson 5
*XFL Gazette at the VERY bottom
The crowd for Thunder was totally exhausted. After watching a long two hours of wrestling, it gets hard to watch 2 more. I know this, because I was at a WWF taping a few years ago where they taped over 4 hours of shows, and damn was that long to sit through! Even worse is the quality of show that Thunder is. It isn't exactly the top angles in the company, or the top performers either.
WCW needs to do something, fast, about this problem. Hot crowds do indeed help in driving up ratings. Why? The crowd can liven up a match to greater lengths. I agree with what the Torch suggested, in that WCW should tape part of Chunder before Nitro, meaning the weaker matches, and then tape the important angles/matches after Nitro finishes up. But I have a suggestion....
Why not ditch Thunder all together? Hey, how about that idea? If you watch Thunder loyally, like I oddly do, you will know that it's somewhat of a task to watch it. The crowd is dead, wrestlers are tired, and the second dose of Tony Shiavone per week makes for a bad show. It's especially important that WCW and the WWF didn't expand their programming until they were successful. WCW isn't successful right now, so maybe it's time to go back to the basics? If they get better, then expand again. Just that simple.
But in ditching Thunder, I propose that Nitro be extended to a Third Hour. Yes, that may sound F'N crazy, but with 3 hours, you can do a lot of stuff with a wrestling show. WCW does have enough talent, too, to keep it up. With the new surplus of Cruiserweights, guys who wrestle Thunder, and more, they could carry a show. It just seems that Nitro, for the latest editions, seems to rush matches. With the 3rd hour, they could stretch matches to gain more ratings. They could also switch between announcers, like they used to do actually during the years from 1995 - 1998.
Plus, by extending to the 3rd Hour, you are forcing competition with the WWF again (assuming the third hour would be from 10-11 pm). That thrives the wrestling business, which would be better for both sides. The wrestling business seems to be really cooling down lately, with the WWF slowly losing steam, but a shot in the arm in the form of competition would be very nice.
But how many theories I could think of, or many other fans/writers, WCW needs to do something about Thunder. It's a sick show right now (meaning it needs help), and it needs something to energize the crowd, or just cancel it all together, if you ask me.
Oh yeah, I'm supposed to talk about the show here.... Good match with Kaz Hayashi and Shane Helms. Kaz showed no signs of being tired, despite getting pounded by Scott Steiner earlier in the night. The only problem with this match was the fact that the crowd wasn't into it. Both hit great spots and worked hard, but the crowd was too tired (not their fault!). Kaz got the tough win, and I guess he advances to some kind of 4 corners match now. I don't understand, though, why Chavo Guerrero interfered in this match.
Next, we get a WCW interview, which bored me to tears. The crowd had NO RESPONSE to Rick Steiner for his heel turn... I guess they were still in confusion because they probably just saw it 20 minutes ago. The interview sets up some matches, and reminds us that Lance Storm will face the Cat at SUPERBRAWL REVENGE, to you know, make Tito mad! By the way, DDP dogged Scott Steiner during this interview, which I hope was scripted and another sign that cooler heads are prevailing.
Kind of an extended squash by Shawn O'Haire against Norman Smiley. O'Haire was acting like a REVOLVER, since he was somewhat playing the crowd, and he posed for them at the end. See, there's that word! Norman Smiley kind of played the heel, as he too is a REVOLVER. O'Haire got the easy win, and then the evil duo of Shawn Stasiak/Mark Jindrak attacked! O'Haire badly botched a top rope move here, which WCW did a horrible job of editing. The disgruntled NBT members pounded on O'Haire, until another REVOLVER, Chuck Palumbo, made the save. I'll get to Palumbo, later in the column. With O'Haire, by the way, he's now wearing the full tights instead of shorts he used to have. Will he still do the kicks?
In the interview, Lance Storm promised a mystery opponent to fight the Cat. I was thinking Mike Awesome at first, but Storm instead uses Elix Skipper. An OK match, but the crowd was really behind the Cat. Now I know why WCW always pushes him! Cat got the victory, with the only crowd pop of the night, and then the evil Storm had another opponent... The Canadian Career Killer, Mike Awesome came down and beat up the Cat in favor of Storm. Hmm..
I don't know what it is, but I like the feud between Totally Buff and Kronik. It's sooo cheesy and 1980s, I love it!
Wall was strangely looking like an American Badass tonight.... Man, I do NOT want to see a possible Pay Per View match between Wall and Hugh Morris. Looks like that's where we are headed!
You know, I laugh at the Kwee Wee not because he's funny or entertaining, but that he's the most stupid gimmick possibly ever. Give me T.L. Hopper, Duke "the dumpster" Drosey, the Ding Dongs, and the Shockmaster before you give me the gimmick of Kwee Wee. The only thing the gimmick has for it is the fact that the actual wrestler can perform. I don't get this angle where he intimidates WCW prospects into wrestling. By the way, Kwee Wee doesn't quite look the same without Paisley by his side. Oh, by the way, Kwee Wee is a RUSSO GIMMICK, if Eric Bischoff hasn't got that memo yet.
Neither Konnan nor Mike Sanders have been focus points on storylines or angles lately, so what do we do? Let's make them wrestle each other! I think WCW should inject Sanders into the Palumbo/O'Haire vs. Jindrak/Stasiak match to gain interest there.
Holy Cow! Rick Steiner jobbed! That was Rick Steiner's 3rd match of the night, by the way... The main event was pretty good, with the Insiders facing Jarrett/Rick Steiner. Jarrett and DDP carried the match pretty well, as usual. Nash got the pin on Rick Steiner, which is understood there..... in two ways. For one, Nash holds a nice grip on Bischoff than possibly Rick Steiner, but the more logical thinking without the evil politics is that Nash pinned the brother of his opponent at Superbrawl for the World Title.
Hmmm... this show wasn't too bad, but the crowd needs something to cheer for. I'll give it a C+ this week.
In essence, Palumbo defeated what I kept preaching... but over time. I like seeing wrestlers do that. I said that Palumbo would never amount to anything in wrestling, but he's proving me wrong. I like that. He's the all around worker that WCW could use for the future, once guys like Nash, the Steiners, and many other older wrestlers decide to step down. For all of this, I'm proud of Chuck Palumbo for making great strides ever since he arrived on WCW television. I'm very honest in saying that too.
Don't believe that bluff about Fusient possibly backing out. Just look at the change of pace in WCW, and you can see that they've basically taken over. With large purchases of companies, it takes time for the legal side of a sale to occur. This delay is causing stupid rumors to jump up, which you shouldn't believe.
Georgiann reported that there is SOME talk about possibly bringing back Kevin Sullivan to be on the booking team again. Oh God, lord help us if that happens. Seriously, if WCW can't look back at the trainwreck he caused in the late winter/early spring of 2000, then there is no hope for this company. He's a bad booker, who only pushed his good friends. That's why we suffered through so much of the Prince Iaukea push, and many other favored wrestlers (like Rick Steiner), instead of those who were deserving. Sullivan favoring is why Benoit, Malenko, Saturn, and Guerrero are in the WWF now. Keep that in mind.
Looks like Juventud is trying to get into WCW again. What?!? You mean the WWF wouldn't take the drug using, DUI gaining Juvy??!? Gee, that was easy to call. I bet you that WCW might crumble in this one, and take Juvy back. Might as well take in the Road Dogg while you are at it, and why not Scott Hall too? That way, we could rename WCW, "Weak Crackhead Wrestling". They should keep repeated offenders out of wrestling, if WCW wants to prove that they've really changed their ways.
4. Chuck Palumbo: Getting better by the week.
3. Kaz Hayashi: Good win against Helms, after being the whipping boy for Scott Steiner.
2. Shawn O'Haire: Clean wins in both his tag match on Nitro against Team Canada, and against Smiley on Thunder. Coming into his own!
1. Diamond Dallas Page: From a good match with Scott Steiner, to carrying the match on Chunder, DDP showed us why age doesn't matter when you bust your ass.
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@I'm sure this column will generate some response... I'll be back tomorrow with the WWF day. I'm not sure on what History I might do for Saturday's column yet, but I'll figure something out. Just chill....
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Take Care, and Thanks for Reading.
-There is some odd controversy about the Memphis team name. They are called the Maniax, to which some say it's "a slap at the mentally ill". The Memphis Franchise said it was no poke at them, but it means people with unbridled enthusiasm.
-Some talk is going around that the XFL might try to get Mark Chmura, who just was acquitted of sexual assault. It's just talk though, as some say the XFL might lay off, for now, just so they don't start an all out war with the NFL. Chmura is currently suspended by the NFL, which leaves the door open for him joining the XFL. But, he's supposed to have a meeting, soon, with NFL executives to see if he could rejoin the NFL. Several NFL clubs are very interested in Chmura, and that's a better choice, financially.
Linda McMahon, on CNBC yesterday, said that they are aiming to get Annheuser-Busch as a sponsor of the XFL. It will likely go down since the male audience scored high numbers from NBC's Saturday game. Amazing though... Beer companies have stayed away from wrestling in the past, and now they are joining McMahon's football league. (WrestlingObserver.com)
XFL.com currently has clips of this past week's games, along with this week's television schedule.
Just an opinion here... I'm sure that the NFL will keep a close eye on how the Los Angeles Xtreme do. Los Angeles is said to be the 2nd best television market in the United States, where the NFL has no teams. Both the Rams and Raiders moved away from Los Angeles due to some odd situations with stadiums and attendance. Both teams struggled in LA, but are now both flourishing in their other cities.
The fact that LA has no NFL team has been brought up for discussion, many times, as a city for expansion since it's such a big TV market. NFL recently turned down LA for a team too, opting to choose Houston for a new expansion team. If the Xtreme is successful, don't be surprised if the NFL makes a quick move to expand or force a move of a struggling team to LA.
On Jay Leno, they ribbed the XFL by saying that NBC was branching out into other sports. They had a spoof of Golf by introducing the XPGA Tour, which was an extremely violent version of golf. The segment used Chicago Enforcer coach Dick Butkus describing the game, and the golf players were tackling each other, using chairs and explosives, and all kinds of other crazy stuff. Very funny!