Ah yes, my favorite day to write. I LOVE discussing history of the federations because it gives you a chance to compare times then to times now. For instance, the WWF today seems like they are in 1993, where they were pushing Superheroes like Austin and the Rock, when many more hungry wrestlers should have been looked at for the future of the company. I compare WCW now to WCW of very early 1994, where they are slowly improving after hitting rock bottom. Now isn't that a peach?
Today, we are going to approach the years of 1991 and 1992 of WCW, where the company was falling a part... just like WCW of 1998 and 1999, only in 1991, WCW wasn't quite the top federation then like WCW 1998 was before the WWF came along and bitchslapped them among other things. On to the PDC.
Hope into the Time Machine, and Quantum Leap into the years 1991 and 1992 for WCW!
So where were we.......... Oh yeah. Last time, we discussed the horrible year of 1990 where Ole Anderson's Black Scorpion idea basically destroyed WCW. Ric Flair ended up being the man under the mask, but not without a promise. Anderson and WCW told Flair they'd crown him as champ for saving their asses, which they eventually did in early 1991 with yet another classic Sting vs. Flair matches. Flair was champion, but not without problems. You see, Dusty Rhodes was named booker, taking Ole's job. If you remember the problems in 1988 with Dusty and Flair, then you should know the shit was going to hit the fan once again, only this time, it was in Dusty's favor....or was it?
Like in 1988, Dusty Rhodes was very high on Lex Luger. Why, well, I don't know as it probably was Luger's physique that turned the American Dream on. I can't say for sure! But anyway, he wanted Flair to, once again, drop the strap to Luger. Flair had his veto power, once again, and refused. Oh by the way, Flair refused Ole's request to have Flair drop to Luger in 1990 too, making this the 3rd time that Flair has refused to drop the title to Luger. Why? Like today, Luger needs a good wrestler to carry him to great matches. You put him as champ, it's very likely that a horrible challenger would make Luger look very bad as the champ. Flair knew that, and he's always felt that Luger was a bad wrestling talent with a very small selection of moves. Therefore, he'd rather put the title on guys like Steamboat or Sting, who could actually look great a champs, and NOT Luger.
However, the WCW upper-management felt betrayed by Flair's vetoing of Luger as champ, and they somehow changed his contract around. They took his veto power away, and they even lowered his pay! This angered Flair, and it put him in the position to be Dusty Rhodes's bitch for this time around. However, once the match rolled around at the Great American Bash 1991, Ric Flair protested and refused to even take part in the match. WCW management had enough of Flair, who they always thought was "washed-up" anyway, and fired him! Flair would then immediately get signed by the WWF, and have a great year of wrestling with that company. WCW's loss is the WWF's gain.
So then, the Great American Bash rolls around, and Lex Luger fights Barry Windham, who was oddly bumped to #1 contender after wrestling only tag matches with Arn Anderson, and Dusty Rhodes's dreams come true with Luger as the NEW World Champion. So it's really Dusty sinking or swimming on his decision to have Luger as champ. Did it work????
Of course not! Luger was oddly turned heel as the champ, trashing the face turn that he tried to have when he was supposed to fight Flair for the title. Already, credibility shot down!!! Then, they tried to push Ron Simmons as a face competitor against Luger, which failed just like it did in 1992 under Bill Watts. Oh good, a lame duck champion for a company without Flair to carry it.
Dusty Rhodes, by the way, did horrible ideas like the Chamber of Horrors match. It was a match consisting of a cage and a stupid electric chair, where you could only win by putting someone in it. Yes, it's that insane! All I can say is to rent Halloween Havoc 1991 for this travesty! He also did the original Lethal Lottery for Starrcade 1991, which was a bad, bad idea. I hate that Starrcade!
We did have some positives, though, like the pushing of Stunning Steve Austin as a good Television Champ. Then, in a funny angle, Cactus Jack was sent to attack Sting with someone paying off Jack to do it. The wonderful Jack in the Box angle, where Luger was the bad man paying off Cactus Jack. This would lead to Luger's final WCW match at the time, since he wanted to take off about a year or two before showing up in the WWF for their World Bodybuilding Federation crap. Yes folks, the Luger as champ experiment has failed! Flair is washed up? Also, WCW formed the Dangerous Alliance, which was Paul E. Dangerously's supergroup, which resembles the NWO only without the egos in control. Guys like Rick Rude, Steve Austin, to name a few, terrorized WCW as a supergroup until the next booking team took over......
Hey, at least Sting is your champion now. Oh wait, Ole Anderson shot his credibility down with the Black Scorpion.... oh my Bad. And by the way, Ric Flair no longer exists in WCW at this time, so who could Sting fight. Well, Dusty's bad booking about Lex Luger got him released as the bookerman, and guess who took over?
Many people LOVE to make fun of this era, as not only did the booker change, but so did the WCW management! Cowboy Bill Watts was brought in as a "cost-cutting" executive for WCW, and good old Jim Ross was now named booker. Yes, good old J.R., the same guy who is head of talent operations within the WWF right now. So with Watts's bad influence, Ross booked some boring shows.
Ross and Watts are oldtimers at heart, and Jim Ross still is. I'm a big "wrasslin" fan, as I appreciate well performed matches, but I like when the storylines spice the match up a bit. The storylines here were just ONE GUY fights THIS GUY, and they HAVE A MATCH at the PAY PER VIEW. Same F'N format until the end of 1992, when Ross and Watts were sent packing. Oh wait, I ruined the story already!
If you've read Mick Foley's book, you'll get great details on this era. Bill Watts placed LOTS of oddball rules for this company to follow. For one, he eliminated top rope moves, screwing over any high flying wrestlers. Also, he put strict rules on showing up for the shows and leaving the shows. For leaving, every wrestler had to stick around until the show was over, even if they wrestled early in the card. Many wrestlers had families and so forth to visit, and they didn't want to waste their time sitting around in the locker room. The funniest thing Watts did though was to have wrestlers "throw a match". What does that mean? Wrestlers would purposely perform bad so that certain areas of the card would look better. Like for instance, if you have two good midcarders that are very talented, they could steal the show from the Main Eventers, right? Watts feared that, and told the wrestlers to put on a bad match, purposely, to make others look better. How sad is that?
Bill Watts had a main goal, and that was to make Vader a MONSTER HEEL. Thanks to Sting putting him over in an awesome match, Vader gets the title and becomes an unstoppable force...until he loses to the man they call Farooq. Remember how I said that Ron Simmons failed as a face against Luger? Well, since Bill Watts was facing pressure of racial discriminiation as part of Turner Sports, he immediately pushed Ron Simmons as the Mega-Face! Simmons wasn't quite ready for this, as his many stories about being a Florida State hero didn't quite spark the attention. None the less, he became the world champion to get rid of controversy. Oddly enough, WCW has faced racism charges lately, and many RUMORS say that Booker T becoming World Champ and Stevie Ray becoming a commentator was to hush that controversy. I don't know....
Point being is that Ron Simmons was a bad World Champion choice, as he feuded with guys like the Barbarian of all people!!! What the hell is that for? Of course, Vader would fight Sting a million times with Simmons as champ, so it's not all that bad, right? Well, the Turner people weren't quite pleased at how WCW crowds weren't as thrilled as the WWF crowds. Why? Matches were just sooo boring! Ross can't book an exciting storyline here, as he didn't take risks like the WWF did then to spark storylines.
Soooooo... at the end of 1992, after a horrible Starrcade, good old J.R. and Cowboy Bill Watts were fired. Jim Ross, as you would know, would eventually go to the WWF as an announcer, where he still remains today, only as a talent coordinator too. So you had a promotion which was very boring with a horrible World Champion in an unready Ron Simmons. Yikes! Then, out of no where, Turner gives the Vice Presidency of WCW to Eric Bischoff, who was only a 3rd rate announcer at the time. I guess that AWA experience takes you somewhere, eh?
That leads me into 1993, the beginning of the Eric Bischoff era. Oh, by the way, Dusty Rhodes was brought back into the picture as his booker. Yuck! 1993, remember, is the "bottom out" year for WCW, and to learn more about that, you'll have to wait until I discuss the times of WCW, in 2 weeks.
Next Week: The Ultimate Warrior!!!
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