Here's what we know according to WWF.com:
The WWF has bought WCW from Time Warner, thus ending the Monday Night Wars once and for all. In addition, the WWF gets access to the WCW tape library, among other things. WCW programming is expected to air on TNN in the not-so-far future, and there are even talks of cross-promotion between the two brands.
In addition, various other sites are reporting that certain wrestlers are being offered WWF contracts, while others may have theirs renegotiated. In addition, some unlucky souls are getting no options but to either sit out their contract or have Time Warner pay it off at a reduced rate, because the WWF doesn't want them. But I'm sure everyone knows this by now.
My thoughts? I just hope that there is some use for WCW in the McMahon empire, because if the WWF is the only game left in town, then the fans will be left without a choice in terms of nationwide wrestling. And that's not a good thing.
Just wondering if I'm the only one who noticed the "obvious" man behind those camera shots. One, there are two the guy Buff hired and the guy who lays people out. The guy who lays people out is "hard and tough" as described by the Magnificent 7. And, if you paid attention to one segment (I've lost which one either Luger laid out, or Jeff/Flair talking), the cameraman says "I don't need to see this" and it was Goldberg's Voice :-)
I was just wondering if you know if [DDT Digest] will be covering WWF shows after this Monday's Nitro? I'm just curious that's all.
I'll explain my thoughts after the show.
I'm married, relatively normal, have a six month old daughter, and am a middle manager for the 4th largest company in the world. And I love WCW. The thought that it may very well end soon is rather difficult to take. You see, I've been watching WCW for years. Too many years.
It was probably around 1978 or 1979 when I first started watching. Georgia Championship Wrestling/World Championship Wrestling was part of the NWA. Ric Flair was the NWA World Champions, but, he only came around every couple of months to fight one of the show regulars. The main champion of the promotion when I first started watching was "The Branding Bull" Paul Orndorff. No, he wasn't Mr. Wonderful. He had a major feud going on with The Russian, Ivan Koloff, who always resorted to cheating with his loaded kneepad.
The biggest feud was Tommy "Wildfire" Rich (before he was Italian) and the late "Maddog" Buzz Sawyer. They fought each other through every televised taping and all around the arenas. This finally culminated in "The Last Battle For Atlanta" They would finally settle the feud with one last match at the Omni. After this, they would never be permitted to wrestle against each other again. You know, I never did hear who won. This was before the internet, before they told you who won and who lost. As a sidenote, the two did go into the ring together one more time, this time not as enemies, but, as partners. Tommy substituted for Brett Wayne Sawyer in an "Australian Rules" tag team match against someone. Brett had managed to turn his brother Buzz into a good guy.
Ole Anderson and Stan "The Man" Hanson had a very potent tag team themselves. Though they rarely wrestled together on TV.
Tito Santana had not yet become a matador.
Chick Donovan seemed always on the verge of making a name for himself.
"The Dean" Gordon Solie used words that I did not know the meaning of.
I saw a very young Brad Armstrong win what I believe to be his first title (pre-curse of course.) Was it the TV Title? He was in a mask pretending to be the "Masked Mr. R" whom everyone thought was Tommy Rich. Brad beat Ted Dibiase (apparently not a millionaire yet) when he turned around to see Tommy (who had lost a "loser leave town" match a few weeks prior) standing near the announce podium. Brad rolled up Ted for the win.
I Remember Mr. Wrestling II and his "million dollar kneelift." Was THAT ever a finisher? I remember Paul Ellering as a wrestler, not a manager. I remember Killer Brooks beating someone for the National Title and selling it to Larry Zbyszko which spawned a title tournament. How much did he sell it for? I seem to remember about $15,000 or $20,000.
I saw the debut of the Road Warriors. They were unbeatable for such a long time. I'm curious as to their record. They probably eclipsed Goldberg's.
The Iron Sheik vs. "Captain Redneck" Dick Murdoch was a tremendous feud. The US vs.Iran. The Iranian Club swinging over the head thing was pretty cool.
This is a big part of my teen years. Every Saturday night from 6:05 to 8:05. If it really is over. If this all comes to an end. It's time for Loser Leave Town. I wonder if they'll come back under a mask?
<All in the Family>
Those... were... the... DAAAAAAAAAYS!
</All in the Family>
Sad, ain't it?
I started watching around late 1985 or so (when I was a spry nine years of age, so I don't remember a whole lot). I used to cheer the villians and boo the good guys, just because. Although I did like the Rock 'N' Roll Express, Magnum T. A., and for some strange reason, Ronnie Garvin.
It was a great time to be a fan, what with Magnum and Nikita Koloff feuding over the U. S. Title (and the honor of Magnum's mother, who the Koloffs mocked during a contract signing), the Horsemen running roughshod on everyone and pissing off crowds at TV tapings by cheating to save their titles, the emergence of a young power grappler named Lex Luger (who was actually a good wrestler in the '80s), and the RnR's with feuds involving the Midnight Express AND the Horsemen. To this day, I still remember an image of Ric Flair wiping Ricky Morton's bloodied face into the locker room cement. Just awesome.
Just remember this. No matter what becomes of WCW in the future, they can't take away the memories.
Pretty Good Nitro report this week. This will be truly a sad day if WCW does in fact go under. But I also think that if WCW listened more to people like you, and other fans on the web, WCW wouldn't be in the funk that they're in right now. What I think led to WCW's ultimate demise is inconsistancy. Its not the storylines that were bad, its the fact that every time there was a regime change, the storyline from the previous regime would be dropped. I actually liked the "Powers That Be" angle from the first Russo era, but I don't think it ever really had the chance to take off because once Sullivan (I believe that's who it was) took over from the first Russo regime, the angle was eventually dropped.
Thanks for the kind words. As for WCW, I think the thing that began the downward spiral was the wrestlers taking over the asylum.
In 1994, Hulk Hogan entered WCW and pretty much insisted on going over all the top heels, including Ric Flair and Vader. This despite the fact that although Hogan was the most recognized wrestler at one time, he was pretty much a new face in the WCW locker room. I'm sorry, but if I was an upper echleon employee of one company for ten years, then I quit for another and demand that I be promoted faster than the other people, some of which put in more time than I have in the field, that doesn't fly.
However, it got much worse later on. The nWo hit it big, and WCW was riding high. Unfortunately, none of the nWo guys wanted to job to the WCW guys, so the result was decisive nWo victories anywhere and anytime, thus making WCW look stupid. In addition, you had haphazardly booked stuff such as the Steiner Brothers needing six months to gain a tag title shot, yet go on defense 90% of the title match and end up winning by DQ despite only getting sixty seconds or so of offense. In addition, certain wrestlers refused to elevate others because they felt the guys needing elevating were too small and weren't on their level. And even if they were big guys, same thing. You had Kevin Nash basically killing Wrath's (Bryan Clarke of Kronic) chances at singles stardom by squashing him on Nitro for no reason. I won't even get into Goldberg, although he, too, suffered from "main eventer disease" around this time.
The storyline issues, as you stated, did make a negative impact, though. On a semi-related note, another thing that didn't help was the fact that many of the WCW characters/angles were direct ripoffs of what the rival WWF did a year before. You had the Filthy Animals as DX using the Kidcam (G-TV), Madusa/Spice as Chyna/Miss Kitty, Asya with a similar role, Ed "Oklahoma" Ferrera as Jim Ross, Shawn Stasiak as Mr. Perfect (okay, so Perfect was late 80's-early '90s but still, let's be original), referees going on strike, the list goes on. You end up pissing off the fans who watch WCW because they don't want to watch the WWF and/or a product with a lessened emphasis on action and more on sports entertainment. Although you MIGHT gain new fans by switching to an entertainment-based product, if you piss off enough people you merely trade audiences to ZERO net effect.
Also with this "Night of Champions" next Monday, who do you think will show
up? Do you think any former champions currently with the WWF will show up in
WCW next week for their final show? Do you think Hogan or Macho Man will
show up? anyway, I'm looking foward to reading your final Nitro report this
Also with this "Night of Champions" next Monday, who do you think will show up? Do you think any former champions currently with the WWF will show up in WCW next week for their final show? Do you think Hogan or Macho Man will show up? anyway, I'm looking foward to reading your final Nitro report this Monday.
As for the Night of Champions thing, I alluded to what I thought would appear in the report. Even with the new ownership, I wouldn't expect to see guys such as Chris Benoit or The Big Show. But I wouldn't be surprised to see Diamond Dallas Page make a return. Hulk could be a possibility but he's gone on record saying he's done with WCW. However, he also said that he would retire in late '98, so take the above comment with a grain of salt. Furthermore, I don't think Randy Savage has been with the company for a while, despite his Slim Jim ads appearing during "Promotional Consideration" bits. So, don't expect the Macho Man, either.
What I can NOT live with, however, is the fact that after Sting and Ric Flair wrestled a great match as the TNT finale, their celebration was abruptly cut after thirty seconds or so with the WWF feed. I know that Vince McMahon saw WCW as a threat, but the least he could have done was let the promotion have it's final day in the sun before The Great Changeover. Instead, he proceeds to shit on all the hard work shown by the WCW contingent by making himself the focal point of Nitro and basically pissing on two legends of the sport, turning what could have been joy for Flair and Sting riding off in glory into anger for taking WCW's farewell show and turning it into one big McMahon love-fest / pay-per-view ad.
I understand that many of you will probably differ from my stance because tonight's show could have been viewed as a change instead of an ending. However, ask yourself was Vince McMahon on your TV every other segment interacting with other WWF personalities beneficial to what would happen in WCW weeks or months from now? Wouldn't it been better had McMahon surprised us after the match? In addition, how would you feel if at your retirement party, your successor cuts you off and brags about how he's #1?
In closing, I guess I should answer an e-mail in the mailsack asking about the future of DDT Digest. I can't vouch for the website, although I'd imagine Bill will talk about it in his next report.
As for me, however, I don't think I can go on. I know I should have seen this coming, but seeing the ending of the Turner Era used to promote someone else's agenda doesn't rub me the right way, and neither did the last few shows this month. In addition, I've felt that the quality of my reports has been heading south. Thus, I'm calling it a career here at DDT Digest.
There are four persons/groups of people I'd like to thank:
If there's anything positive to be learned from all of this, it's that we are all marks in some way, shape, or form. I know I am.
Anyway, thank you for reading. To borrow from the late, great Gordon Solie, so long from the Sunshine State.