With all the basketball players and football players that are going to be at BATB I wonder how many actual wrestlers are going to be there. Just kidding, but they give WWF crap for getting people outside of wrestling to get into the squared circle. By no means am I a WWF mark, even though right now I prefer WWF, I just love wrestling. And right now it looks to me that WCW is following the same path WWF is in ideas, like bringing in people from sports, and GOLDBERG, look-a-like of Stone Cold. Little things that I notice as a true wrestling fan kind of bugs me. What do you think?I was wondering if they were planning on having any pro wrestlers at Bash at the Beach, too. We've still got a couple more weeks for them to pull Jerry Mathers out of their hat... :-)
However, I don't think this is a case of WCW "copying" the WWF. I think ANY pro-wrestling promotion would kill to get any sort of mainstream press attention, and the only real way to do that is to get celebrities involved in your matches. The WWF really pinoeered the art, but only because they got so much national exposure in the early-mid 80s. Now that both feds are doing well, in terms of ratings and such, you can bet that both of them will be jumping at the chance to go "more mainstream" and make more money. And they'll use anyone from Karl Malone to Lawrence Taylor to Butterbean to Mike Tyson to Kevin Greene to do it.
Addressing your last point, though, (And this isn't directed at you in particular, I hear people ask this question all the time) I really don't get where people find Goldberg to be a Steve Austin ripoff. Yeah, he wears black trunks, is bald, and has a goatee, but really, that's not a very unique look for a pro wrestler. If you were going by that, is Austin just a Nikita Koloff ripoff? Austin's main "Austin-ness" comes from his catchprases and attitudes. Goldberg's "Goldberg-ness" comes from the fact that he pounds his opponents into tar. When WCW did the ill-fated Brad Armstrong heel turn, I thought THAT was more of a Stone Cold copy than Goldberg. Armstrong was doing the Southern trash-talking attitude like Austin. Goldberg just grunts. Goldberg may be a lot of things, good or bad, but a Steve Austin ripoff is not one of them.
Real quick, because there's a thunderstorm brewing outside. Today on Jesse Ventura's radio show he offered up this thought: Why is it professional athletes can make cameos on pro wrestling, but pro wrestlers can't make cameos in professional sports? How soon before we see Kevin Nash play a quarter for the Timberwolves?Probably not soon at all, because a pro athlete making a wrestling cameo will get laughed WITH, while a pro wrestler making a sports cameo would get laughed AT. It's all in how the media, and the public in general, views pro wrestling, which is with so little respect that Rodney Dangerfield would go up to a wrestler and say "Jeez, you guys suck. I mean, come on!"
Article courtesy of "7Pac" and "WrestleZone.Com"I knew there had to be some explanation!
The Giant (Paul Wight) also retuned his character by bringing a REAL LIFE habit into wrestling. Many people questioned his smoking habits and wondered if they were for real. Well Giant is a heavy smoker in real life doing about two packs of cigarettes a day! He decided to bring this bad habit into Pro Wrestling to improve his character and make is "more interesting" as a source close to the situation said.
Given that the new angles presented by the WWF (Austin kickin' his boss's ass, Al Snow's "head" gimmick, etc.) has shifted the ratings (last three weeks) as a trend, do you think that WCW will change their booking strategy? If so, what angles do you think will be highlighted to bring the ratings back to TNT?Sheesh, I didn't want to have to THINK or anything! Alright, here goes:
I think that WCW will keep the US Belt on Goldberg until he gets to be 200-0 or so, and during that span, he will only face top contenders at PPVs. I think that WCW SHOULD let Goldberg beat contenders, who have earned more than two wins on WCW Saturday Night, if he's going to hold the second-most-prestigious title in the organization.
I think that WCW will try to bring back the Horsemen, probably consisting of Benoit, Mongo, Booker T, and Goldberg, with Kevin Greene joining in the off-season, hoping that the fans will forget about that Flair guy. I think WCW SHOULD bring back Ric F lair. Maybe if they get beaten in the ratings enough times it'll start to sink in.
I think that WCW will probably continue to attempt to draw heat solely by having people join factions of the nWo, and by people switching factions. I think WCW SHOULD find some way to either end the angle or bring some new life into it. Having the face Wolfpac is a good start, but won't carry them all the way.
I think that WCW will continue to devote huge amounts of airtime to Hogan and his friends. I think they SHOULD start working more new faces (Lenny Lane, Johnny Swinger, Psychosis, etc.) into the lower cards and start shining the main event spotlight on others (Benoit, Booker, Jericho).
I think that WCW will probably feature a lot more interviews and a lot more screwjob endings. I think that they SHOULD give the keys of the booking room to Terry Taylor and then change the locks, so that Kevin Sullivan, Dusty Rhodes, Hogan, and everyone else can't get in.
I think that dispite all of that, you'll see guys like Jericho, Booker T, Benoit, Chavo, Eddie, Disco, and the rest of the solid midcard continue to shine and put on great performances.
I think that WCW will give me a bigger push than Brad Armstrong gets.
Getting away from the "I think"'s here for a second, I have a theory on Steve Austin's popularity. See, the "average fan" wants to cheer (this day and age, anyway) for the rebel, the anti-authority guy. The nWo had the distinction of being the "rebel faction" a year or so ago, and profited from it. Now, however, the nWo is institutionalized, not really fighting any sort of authority. Heck, they even get their names on PPVs and the corporate magazine. They're "establishment." So "Stone Cold" has stepped up as the hero for people who want to tell their boss to 'shove it', who want to vicariously fight the system.
Of course, I don't know how seriously "anti-establishment" you should consider someone who comes out with a new piece of merchandise you can buy at the souvineir stand ("My new motto is Austin 3:16 says 'Your allowance is mine', and that's the bottom line, because I'm going to be able to retire a millionaire at 35 if this keeps up.") every week, but that's probably a bit much to think about.
Words by: George B. Hynson Music by: Will M. S. Brown "Our Delaware" First Verse Oh the hills of dear New Castle, and the smiling vales between, When the corn is all in tassel, And the meadowlands are green; Where the cattle crop the clover, And its breath is in the air, While the sun is shining over Our beloved Delaware. Chorus Oh our Delaware! Our beloved Delaware! For the sun is shining over Our beloved Delaware! For the sun is shining over our beloved Delaware, Oh our Delaware Our beloved Delaware! Heres the loyal son that pledges, Faith to good old Delaware. Second Verse Where the wheat fields break and billow, In the peaceful land of Kent, Where the toiler seeks his pillow, With the blessings of content; Where the bloom that tints the peaches, Cheeks of merry maidens share, And the woodland chorus preaches A rejoiceing Delaware. Third Verse Dear old Sussex visions linger, Of the holly and the pine, Of Henlopens Jeweled finger, Flashing out across the brine; Of the gardens and the hedges, And the welcome waiting there, For the loyal son that pledges Faith to good old Delaware. Fourth Verse >From New Castle's rolling meadows, Through the fair rich fields of Kent, To the Sussex shores hear echoes, Of the pledge we now present; Liberty and Independence, We will guard with loyal care, And hold fast to freedom's presence, In our home state Delaware.
Who says you can't get some culture in a wrestling report? What's that you say? That was worse than the Mountie singing the Canadian National Anthem?? Sheesh, a bunch of Philistines out there. I better get to my report....
As an added note, though, "Flashing out across the brine" will get you 30 days in jail here.
There were rumors outside the arena that Kevin Nash had quit the WCW directly before the event this evening, and I have a feeling that Sting’s new tag partner with his new belt, could be substantiating evidence. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were at the arena a few hours before the show, but neither showed up for any action tonight. In fact, the entire Wolfpac was pretty dormant tonight.Regarding the 'house band', Matt T. sends the following:
The biggest pops went to Goldberg, of course, and in fact, the ‘pre-recorded’ Goldberg chants weren’t even necessary tonight. The other huge pop went to Dean Malenko, who wrestled about 5-10 miles from his high school Alma Mater, Jesuit High School of Tampa. He was the hometown hero tonight, and got a huge pop during his match with the Ultimo Dragon.
The crowd booed during the entire ‘nWo Late Hour with Eric Bischoff’ segment. What a lame concept. The WCW is trying so hard to give Scott Steiner a push, but they’re failing miserably. The whole crowd was booing loudly, so I didn’t hear, nor did I care about, the entire interview.
Everyone in our section thought that three of the Four Horsemen were going to be formed tonight, with the Harlem Heat match. I’d not seen so many ‘Four Horsemen’ hand gestures since mid-last year. We all thought the Stevie Ray/Booker T split was going to be tonight, so the Booker T/Bret Hart angle was actually a big surprise. Bret Hart made some highly obscene gestures to the crowd after laying out Booker T with the chair.
There were too many Steve Austin and Bill Goldberg look-alikes to count tonight. It was pretty ridiculous.
During the Eddie/Little Dragon match, my dad thought that Little Dragon was Chavo in a mask. He turned out to be wrong, but they do have much the same style, so I thought it was a good guess, and worth mentioning. I personally thought Little Dragon was Wildcat Willie in another costume.
Overall I had a great time, and Hogan getting ‘slam-dunked’ was worth wading through the terrible traffic after the show was over. The show could have used a little more flair (pun intended), but overall not a bad show.
In the "you didn't ask but I'm telling you anyway" category, the house band for Bischoff's incredibly lame "Late Night" bit was none other than the great Rev. Billy C. Wirtz and his Polyester Prophets.Aldo D. sends the following:
The Rev. was born in South Carolina, raised in Washington DC and currently resides in nearby St Augustine, FL. (I'm in Gainesville, btw). The Rev. was tutored by none other than blues piano legend Sunnyland Slim, serving for a time as the maestro's chaffuer.
Rev. Billy is quite frankly one of the finest social commentators in music today. He's attacked religion ("Butt for the Grace" and "It's a Small, Small Mind" (concerning the Southern Baptists boycott of Disney)), politics ("Right-Wing Round-Up" and the parody of "Big John," "Big Jess"), fallen relationships (the biting "Just Friends"), social outcasts ("Mennonite Surf Party"), little old ladies driving humongous cars ("Grandma's Behind the Wheel") and even lesbian truck drivers from Venus ("Brenda"). He's even took on pro wrestling fans with the touching "Grandma vs. the Crusher," and frequently mentions Ric Flair in his spiels. His albums include Tales of a Hillbilly Love God, Pianist Envy, Deep Fried and Sanctified and Songs of Faith and Inflamation.
Rev. Billy's live shows are a combination of his own side-splitting songs, fantastic covers of blues tunes with the Prophets, and his side-of-mouth comments that can only be described as a cross between Twainian commentary and slick backwoods evangelism. His shows always promise a good time, and the Rev. is a fantastic piano player, as showcased by his beautiful versions of Floyd Cramer's "Last Date" and Dizzy Gillespie's "What a Wonderful World." If you ever get a chance, check him out when he comes to your town.
On a personal note, I've hung out and interviewed the Rev., and found him to be incredibly funny, highly intelligent and a genuinely nice cat. I'm glad to see him get some national exposure...but I do hope he was doing it for the money.
Doug took a road trip to go see Nitro:First off, thanks for the "shout out." The following is a live arena report from yesterday's Nitro attended (unfortunately, I'll get to this later) by myself and a good friend of mine. And, on we HOOOOO, I mean goooo!! How did that get in there? :)
- The show was slated to start at 7:30pm but we were at least five minutes late. Penzer finally comes out and does his required ramblings about throwing objects, displaying signs, etc. I carried the following "arsenal" on me, kept hidden until the taping was on:
- "Vince Creates Them, Eric Buys Them"
- "Jobber 3:16 -- You Just Kicked My Ass!"
- Since I was in section 310 (upper tier farthest away from the backstage area), my signs were most likely not displayed. :(
- There were NO pre-Nitro matches. Instead, we get treated to Wildcat Willie and Kimberly introducing all the Nitro girls. I must say this -- while Kim has a body that won't quit, her mic skills rival Hacksaw's.
- The crowd on hand was very, VERY mark-ish. Goldberg chants were going for at least 45 minutes until the start of the show, with some annoying little boy yelling "GIMME A HELL YEAH" every minute with a very girlish voice.
- Nitro begins with... a Kevin Greene interview? Yawn.
- After what seems like an eternity, Nitro finally has its first match being...
- Kanyon vs Horace!
- The crowd was not into this match until the end. It's a shame, too, as Chris Canyon (I kan not kall him by that stupid name.) has a tremendous amount of talent.
- Chris Canyon wins with the Flatliner but gets punked afterward by the Flock.
- We were supposed to hear portions of DDP's phone call (better hope it's 10-10-321!) but due to the noise in the crowd, it was unaudible.
- Ditto with the fan reaction, which was taped at 6:00PM outside.
- Stevie Ray interview.
- Match 2 was Little Dragon vs. Eddy Guerrero.
- After Dragon came out I was expecting his opponent to be Tiger Jackson or something. :)
- Chavo came out and did his crazy man schtick, distracting Eddy and caused him to lose to the Little one. Two words for Guerrero: STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT.
- See above comments about the backstage spot with Jericho/Ultimo.
- Match 3: Giant vs. Judo Sawa and Sumo Fiji
- The crowd actually cheered for the Giant after the bell until...
- Kevin Greene comes out and heads toward the ring followed by Goldberg. Since Goldberg isn't supposed to get punked, you know the drill.
- As for the chants, it's half and half. I didn't hear the chants from the PA until after the second hour. Unless, of course, everyone but me can talk with their mouths shut. :)
- Hogan and Bischoff come out.
- Next subject.
- Match 4: Hart's relatives vs. Sting and Luger
- During the commercial break, Davey Boy gets on the mic and berates the Wolfpac and the crowd of Tampa Bay. Davey gets one out of two right. :)
- Neidhart follows with something uncomprehensible. Surprise?
- Commercial break comes out, and the wanna-be rap song brings out our heroes in black and red.
- Typical big stiff matchup, with a lockup, power move, heel leaves ring, face celebrates.
- At one point, all four men get into a flexing contest. Shame I paid my $15 for a night of wrestling, not a bodybuilding exhibition.
- Sting finally wins it with a Scorpion Deathdrop on Davey Boy. That'll teach him to beat Norman Smiley on Worldwide. :)
- The Wolfpac does their frightening "bunny ear" signal after the match.
- Saturn vs. Reese (Match 5) is next.
- Saturn wins this with a Spicolli driver then gets punked a la Kanyon.
- They show the Greene/Goldberg incident last week, and I begin to doze off.
- Match 6: El Vampiro vs. Brad Armstrong
- I'll be pissed if they job Brad this match. He's paid his damned dues already.
- Crowd chants of "Boring!" and I hate to say it, but I agreed. This wasn't one of Brad's better showing.
- About 30 seconds after the chant starts, Vampiro hits a Michinoku driver (my name, not WCW's) and scores the pin.
- Soon after, a chowerhead in section 310 yells "BULLSHIT!"
- A band plays and we are subjected to promos for nWo's Late Hour. I envisoned my money growing legs, walking out of my wallet, sprouting wings, and flying out of the arena.
- Match 7: Disco and Alex Wright vs. Tokyo Magnum and another Japenese jobber.
- This match was good for its comedy value. Tokyo Magnum looks like Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon. I don't watch that show, but I was subjected to it at my parent's house once. :(
- Alex and Disco dance in the aisle and ring.
- Everytime Tokyo would get a move in, he'd shake his booty at his opponent.
- Alex hits something that looks vaguely like a Chartbuster on Magnum and scores the victory for his team.
- The PA alternates the themes for the victorious wrestlers.
- More interviewing of mindless marks.
- Match 8: Ultimo Dragon vs. Dean Malenko
- I am hoping to hell they finish this one cleanly. Better yet, with Dean winning. Tampa is his own hometown, for Chrissake.
- Great mat wrestling to start. There were no boring chants, surprisingly. Guess the crowd had some brain cells after all.
- Props to Malenko for being the SECOND man I have seen not fall for the headstand trick by Dragon. I believe Steve Regal was the first.
- Dragon regains control until Malenko blocks a top rope maneuver and scores a top-rope gutbuster! HELL YEAH!!
- As Malenko goes for the submission, Jericho comes out and makes his obligatory comment about Boris Malenko. This sends Dean to the back chasing after Jericho and Dragon wins by countout. Oddly, the same person who yelled BULLSHIT after the Armstrong job gives the finger this time.
- I don't get this at all. It is so out of character for Malenko to let outside interference get the best of him. Also, couldn't he have waited five seconds for Dragon to submit, THEN chase him? It's only a script. It's only a script...
- Hour number 3 begins with Mongo/Benoit vs Harlem Heat. (Match 9)
- Talk about two opposites. While Booker plays to the crowd, Stevie Ray has none of it.
- Booker starts against Benoit, but Stevie asks for the opening nod and gets it.
- Benoit stomps a mudhole in Booker in the corner, but is met with a running clothesline seconds later. Sit yo' ass down, beeyotch!
- The match ends with Stevie/Benoit outside and Booker T/Mongo in the ring. Bret Hart comes out and hits Booker with a chair. Mongo makes the obligatory pin.
- Cut to the back with Jericho and Dragon arguing.
- Malenko runs in and begins kicking Jericho's ass. Dragon tries to break it up and gets a dose of whoop-ass as well.
- This is where the show starts to bomb. "The Eric Bischoff Show" premieres tonight, with the Tampa crowd as guinea pigs! HOOOOOOOO!!!!
- My friend and I decide to use this as a food break.
- Small monitors outside show the footage, which I did not pay much attention to Scott Steiner was on the show acting like he was really a movie star. Give me a break.
- Instead, I choose to purchase two pre-made burgers (one for each of us) for $4 a pop. If you think that's bad, a 20 ounce bottle of Coke is $3.00. Compare this to Disney. ($2 for 20 oz bottle)
- By the way, Wade, this SUCKS about as bad as a Hacksaw Duggan/Glacier matchup. More on our chilly willy later...
- Booker T -- interview
- Notable spots: Booker challenges Hart to a match at BATB and Stevie Ray berates Booker for not acting like a heel. (Well not in those words, we can't hurt the marks' feelings by saying this is choreographed, can we?)
- Match 10: Michael Buffer comes out and announces the final match of the evening: Goldberg vs the #1 contender for the U.S. Title...
- Glacier?!? God damn, I bet my 5'4" scrawny ass could be #1 contender next time Nitro rolls around to Florida, if I go!
- On a side note, during Penzer's opening show comments, he mentioned a fan near the ring being president of a Glacier Fan Club. I feel sorry for the dude.
- Crowd pops every time Goldberg does a move. Since when is this Worldwide?
- If you watched at least one Goldberg match, you know the ending. Crowd is louder than a bunch of screaming girls at a Hanson concert.
- At this point, my buddy and I have had enough of this f#%!ing s%^t, as Adam Sandler would put it. Thus, we miss the "big surprise," which according to Wade's report, wasn't much.
- Overall comments:
- Of three Nitros I have attended since 1997, this was by far the worst one. The Eric Bischoff Show belongs on Saturday Night, not a live show! And he wonders why he's losing the ratings! I seriously doubt WCW will be seeing any of my money for a while.
My friend and I arrived early at the Ice Palace to see if we would run into any wrestlers. The Ice Palace was promoting a meet and greet before the show. We paid $6.95 to get into the restaurant at the Ice Palace. A meal and autograph signings were included. At the autograph signings were:
Jim Powers: Nice guy, a lot smaller in person.In the hallways before the match, a lot of people were chanting "Goldberg" and "Whoooo!!!". There were a lot of guys walking around with their bald heads...a lot of Goldberg and Steve Austin wannabes.
Eddie Guerrero: I was shocked at how big TV makes him look. He was very nice and accommodating.
Jim Neidhart: Wery animated, looks a lot older in person, not as big in person as on TV.
Brad Armstrong: Didn't talk much, pretty muscular...bigger than Neidhart.
Tony Schiavone: Looked like he hadn't slept in a week, he was pretty nice though. I went up to him and asked him when we would see Ric Flair again, he said he didn't know and even added that he didn't even know what was going to happen tonight. Based on what I have read, I don't think he was pulling my leg.
Jimmy Hart: Jimmy was like the manager, coordinating the event and wrestlers. I guess that is his job now.
Goldberg chants were happening all night long. I believe these were real. When Goldberg came out for the main event, it was obvious that the chant was being piped in through the sound system.
We were able to watch the TV feed on the Ice Palace big screens at the top of the arena. The 18-wheeler shots were obviously taped the night before because when the truck arrived at the Ice Palace, there were no cars in the picture. In reality there were cars all around the Ice Palace and would have shown up on the picture.
The nWo-Late Night segment with Bischoff was booed from beginning to end. At one point, I couldn't even hear what they were saying because the booing was so loud.
Outside of Goldberg's first entrance, the biggest pop of the night went to Disco Inferno...I thought that was pretty funny. Malenko was warmly received also.