I've been a reader of DDT digest for about 3 years now (even before they aired WCW on Belgian TV - and yes, that's where I'm from) and I've even done a few postings to Aldo and Bill in the past (including a short Brady Boone tribute).
Regarding your question of what Bischoff's WCW will look like in the future, I think we can already notice a few things:
1. Cruiserweights will continue to be used as show openers or as cannon fodder for the main eventers. I've always disliked the idea of a cruiserweight division as a way of giving the cruiserweights a spotlight. I remember a match between Kidman and Scott Hall a couple of years ago (just after Kidman had turned on Raven) which I thought was great. Hall got the win, but Kidman gave the big man quite a fight. I think they would be better off when the better cruiserweight could occasionally get the duke over a bigger guy.
2. Bischoff will not bring in new stars. Nash, Steiner, DDP, Luger,.... they will be main eventing. Is anyone really thinking that Lance Storm, Mike Awesome or Sean O'Haire will be main eventing in 2001? No, guess not. It'll be the oldies till they retire. Who knows, Bischoff will probably bring back Hogan, Hall and Sting.
3. Bischoff will bring back the injured superstars one by one. Booker and Sting will return to the shows but will get dragged into this nWo-ish feud.
What should be done?
1. Continue promoting Scott Steiner as the WCW Champion. As much as I don't like his wrestling style, he's got more moves than Nash, Luger and the rest of the bunch. He's got a lot of heel heat and he looks like he can really hurt someone. He's a credible champ, and should go over Nash in a clean finish.
2. Stop the nWo idea. It's quite boring to think that a company exists out of two teams. Let Steiner have an alliance with Luger and his brother, let DDP team with Nash, but get rid of the others involved in the feud (Kronik, Bagwell, The Cat).
3. Put more effort in the main events. A main event on Nitro should rock. Let Steiner face DDP in a cage. Put a blade job in. Bischoff has the tendency to emphasize what's going on after the match, instead of the match itself.
4. Keep it simple. Stop idiotic feuds. Go to the basics and think 'why would the others want to beat my champion?'. The answer is simple 'to win the title and get the glory'.
5. Release the dead weight (Buff Bagwell, Shane Douglas, Luger, Brian Adams, etc.). Sign the ECW talent that is still available. Get Corino into the US title scene. Sign Super Nova and give him a push in the cruiserweight division. Sign Matthews and York and make them tag champions.
This is the vote of the Belgian jury.....thanks for reading
I've been thinking about the state of WCW's television programming. I was reading what you had to say about Thunder being taped when it needed to be live (or at least taped on Tuesday instead of right after Nitro), and I had some thoughts about what they need to be doing with their programming. What if they restructured their schedule this way:
Monday Night: Nitro, a live show highlighting the big name workers and the high-level feuds.
Wednesday Night: Thunder, a live show, highlighting the same angles as Nitro, but work in a few of the more deserving mid-carders.
Friday Night: a house show with a couple of big names, that is TAPED. Give it its own set of continuity - title changes, feuds, run-ins, sort of like what they were doing with Saturday Night just before it went off the air - the Power Plant guys feuding back and forth, Duggan carrying around the TV title as "The King of Saturday Night" and all that. I LOVED that! Give the lower tier workers a reason to come to work besides being cannon fodder. Make this event a showcase for the young up-and-coming talent on the roster as well as indy workers looking for a job - don't let Scott Steiner beat them up, bring them here. If they do well, move them to Thunder, then on to Nitro. It's worked with Elix Skipper, with the Thrillers, and with Kwee Wee. Now bring in the next wave. This would also work as a showcase for the older midcarders who never get really a shot (dare I say it...Norman Smiley, King of Saturday Night?).
Saturday Night: Revive the old Saturday Night show and get rid of Worldwide. Make it a one hour show that (briefly) recaps Nitro and Thunder (the most recent shows, not two weeks ago like it is now) AS WELL AS the Friday Night house show. Show a couple of matches from the Friday Night show. Show the run-ins, show me Smiley doing the SMBU Dance with the TV Title, push the angles, develop the stars, make me interested again.
That's three live arena shows a week. That's do-able. They could even run traditional "non-TV" house shows for the guys who aren't currently involved in an angle, so they could keep their skills honed and take the product other places. Run the three primary shows each week in the same geographic area with smaller venues on Friday (example - in North Carolina, play Charlotte on Monday, Raleigh on Wednesday, Fayetteville on Friday), then move on the next week. It's a big roadshow.
Then, here's my real shake-em-up suggestion: Only nine PPVs a year.
To really see what I want to do, start with Halloween Havoc in late October. Four weeks later, Mayhem or WWIII or whatever it's called now at Thanksgiving, then four weeks to Starrcade at Christmas. At this point, wait eight weeks to the next event, Superbrawl, in Feb. Then it's a PPV every six weeks until Havoc. So the schedule looks like this:
- late Feb - Superbrawl
- mid April - Spring Stampede
- late May - Slamboree
- mid July - Great American Bash
- late August - Bash At The Beach
- mid September - Fall Brawl
- late October - Halloween Havoc
- late November - WWIII
- late December - Starrcade
Advantages, I think, are obvious. First off, you average nearly six weeks between PPVs, giving plenty of time to build QUALITY feuds and angles. Havoc to WWIII and WWIII to Starrcade don't need quite as much time between them, since WWIII will end in a Battle Royale to determine who faces the Champ in the Main Event at Starrcade. That's two Main Events that are pretty much set anyway, so you're only having to build the secondary angles. Taking an extra couple of weeks after Starrcade allows things to sort out after the end of the year before the hype gears up for Superbrawl. Not to mention, you're only running nine events as opposed to twelve. I have to think that buyrates would be higher. You wouldn't make as much money overall, I admit, but your individual events would sell more due to greater interest spurred by more time to build the angles.
I really think this makes sense. You have three solid arena shows a week, restore the Thunder audience by making it live again, and give Saturday Night back to the fans and give them a real news/recap show at the same time. With three great shows, they could actually *build* to the PPV's over that longer period of time - sometimes nowadays we go three or four weeks between PPV's and it all seems so *rushed* you know? That, even more than predictable endings on Nitro and Cruiserweight squashes, is what bothers me about WCW nowadays, because that's what causes the predictable endings and Cruiserweight squashes.
Sounds good to me. Anyone have any thoughts about these ideas?
Now they're both attacking O'Haire. O'Haire's back up as, as, as they're showing two guys in the crowd booing! What the hell?
Must have been when this was happening: (LOL)
From Wrestleline.com: After the match, Stasiak and Jindrak came out to attack O'Haire. O'Haire gets pummeled. Palumbo came down for the save. O'Haire messed up on an attempted springboard dropkick. I'm sure that will be edited.
Unfortunately, not too good of a job of editing.