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I've got one hyphenated word for WCW: SOCK-O!

The Wrestling Report

Ed De La Garza

In one night, one glorious, memorable night, WCW proved to even its most hardcore fan, that it does indeed ... suck. Monica Lewinsky would be proud.

The most irritating part of this past Monday’s Nitro was that it started off so well. You had Ric Flair acting as WCW president and bumping Eric Bischoff back to the announcing table. It was announced that Souled Out would feature Flair teaming up with his son David against Curt Hennig and Barry Windham. Goldberg looked like he might turn out to be a good mic worker after all. They had a funny-as-hell LWO segment. There were rumors of Randy Savage, Sting and possibly even Roddy Piper making their mic returns.

And then, mistake No. 1: Tony Schiavone, being the corporate shill that he is, let everyone who switches back and forth between Nitro and RAW know that Mick Foley was going to win the WWF World title. Since that escapade was taped a week ago, this news was already common knowledge to Internet surfers.

Foley, the single most deserving wrestler to never wear the strap in either promotion, has become a legend in his own time. Fans have finally taken notice of The Mick’s willingness to put his body and future medical expenses on the line to put on a good show. He is, as numerous signs have pointed out, a wrestling god.

Why on God’s green acres did WCW think people would say, "Oh well, I know what’s going to happen. I’ll watch another screw-job ending," instead of "Mick Foley’s going to win the title? Oh my God, I have to see that!"? Nice going, Tony. You didn’t ruin RAW’s ratings. You killed your own.

Mistake No. 2: The rumors were true. Hulk Hogan came out of retirement. Yippie. Hey WCW, you know what that sound was last night? It was millions of remote controls clicking at the same time.

WCW signed a deal with NBC to run a wrestling event Feb. 14, opposite the WWF’s ppv and possibly a second one opposite Wrestlemania 15. Much like Saturday Night Main Event from the mid ’80s, NBC hoped to cash in on the wrestling surge, and in the process make up for the lost NBA coverage. With the Peacock Network giving WCW mainstream exposure on free TV, they also demanded that Hogan be part of the specials.

NBC doesn’t know a thing about wrestling, but it remembers that Hogan was its cash cow in the ’80s. Keep in mind that this is the same network that dared to tell us that wrestling is staged.

Mistake No. 3: They killed the most popular stable and gave Hogan the title. It makes perfect sense to me. Forget the T-shirt sales and the crowd reaction. In fact, screw the fans. Who cares about fans or ratings, anyway? After getting people to boo Goldberg and cheer Kevin Nash, even accepting the fact that he was helped in his match at Starrcade, WCW effectively killed Nash’s heat.

Aside from Jericho, who yes, may be on his way to Titan, Nash was my favorite wrestler in WCW. One of the rumors had Hogan coming back as a face and the Outsiders reuniting as heels. I could have lived with that. I cheer for heels. Some of my favorite wrestlers are heels. Nash however, sold out, plain and simple. He was a head booker, but he laid down for Hogan and gave back what he’d gained over the past six months. If he did this willingly, Nash’s heat should be buried along with Hogan’s.

My days of secretly hoping all of their talent re-signed to long contracts are over. The more people who jump ship, the better. If Jericho puts his career ahead of money, he’ll do the right thing and sign with the WWF. The Giant may be making his first WWF appearance as early as RAW in Houston next Monday, Jan. 11. The worm has turned and right now, I couldn’t be happier.

RAW, though taped, put on a far superior show. Besides the title change, there was a Hardcore Championship match that moved outside the arena and into the snow. Shawn Michaels returned as a face and told Vince McMahon that instead of being the 30th wrestler in the Royal Rumble, he would instead be the second, right behind Steve Austin. As Michaels was leaving the arena, he was attacked from behind by the Corporation. He was left a bloody mess, having been shoved through the windshield of a car. There was snow falling on the ground. It was so perfect that it looked like a missing scene from Fargo.

The attempts at objectivity are over. I’ll report on WCW happenings, such as Eddy Guerrero’s car wreck on New Year’s Eve (he’s okay), but if you thought I was a WWF mark before. . .

Letter of the Week: The Return of U.B.!

I have figured it out — Eric Bischoff is on Vince Mcmahon's payroll! How else to explain Tony "My lips are sore from kissing so much ass" Schiavone's revelation on Nitro that Mick Foley would win the world strap on Raw Monday night, ensuring that anyone who appreciated hard workers and good bumps would flip over to USA immediately? How else to explain that seconds-long main event "match" between a guy who looks like Hulk Hogan's grandfather and "Big Sexy" Vinnie Vegas, running opposite the close of said Foley match?

How else to explain Easy E's driving away Chris Jericho and the Giant, while continuing to push the likes of the Statuesque (as in immobile) Scotts, Norton

and Steiner? I just want to thank Eric for his continuing efforts to ensure WWF Raw remains the top rasslin' show on TV. You're right, Eric — we do love you.

— U.B. Marx

Mr. Marx, you are most definitely the man.
 

De La Garza can be reached at 
edelagar@bayou.uh.edu

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