|Wednesday, Spetember 15, 1999||
Volume 65, Issue 17
Days of the New
|WCW enters bold
The Wrestling Report
Ed De La Garza
Damn. Take a one-week break and all hell breaks loose.
Eric Bischoff has been replaced as president of WCW. Bill Busch, formerly of Turner Sports, is taking over the business side of the company. Creative control supposedly may eventually fall to the "Nature Boy," Ric Flair.
Morale had been low for months, especially since WCW's ratings took a turn for the worse. Before the Aug. 23 Nitro in Las Vegas, Nev., Bischoff addressed the entire roster -- specifically those wrestlers who had expressed their displeasure with the company's direction (or lack thereof).
At one point, Bischoff told the wrestlers that if they didn't like it, they were free to leave. Basically, this was done to show the troops exactly who was in control. However, in attempting to pull his weight, Bischoff hadn't counted on anyone taking him up on the offer. Raven walked out of the meeting and back into ECW.
Executives had been displeased for some time and finally lost their patience with Bischoff's overspending. One hopes WCW will begin to rebuild from the ground up. One hopes WCW will let wrestlers be wrestlers instead of doubling as bookers. One hopes WCW will hire someone with enough sense ("Whoo!") to at least make it a respectable race with the WWF.
The turn ...
Fall Brawl, WCW's September pay-per-view, turned out to be a decent show, made even better by Hulk Hogan's dropping the belt to Sting and by the return of Bret Hart.
As the main event took its eventual nose-dive, Hogan found himself face to face with Sting, telling him that Lex Luger was lying to him all along. Hart ran in to make a save, but wound up getting pounded by Diamond Dallas Page.
Sting, with bat in hand, stared back at Hogan and proceeded to hit him with the bat. He then applied the Scorpion Deathlock to win the World Title from Hulk "Sagging Pecs" Hogan. It was a thing of beauty.
One can assume Hogan and Hart will form some "Mega-Power" alliance (yes, just like the Hulkster and Randy Savage in the '80s). This will eventually lead to differences between the two and a World Title bout by Starrcade '99. It's a new era in WCW. It's OK to believe.
In other matches, Chris Benoit dropped the U.S. Title to Psycho Sid, Goldberg defeated DDP in a meaningless match, Rick Steiner held on to the TV Title for one more night, Berlyn defeated Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Harlem Heat regained the Tag Titles from the Texas Rednecks and Lenny Lane retained the Cruiserweight Title. Benoit went on to be insulted when he was given the TV Title on the following Nitro.
Dateline: Daily Cougar
The WWF has either already signed or is close to signing ECW superstar Taz to a contract. You know, if I didn't know better, I'd swear the WWF is trying to bury ECW before their show picks up steam. Anyone remember what happened to the last company who started spending money left and right?
Unforgiven, the WWF's September PPV, will have a six-man World Title main event between Big Show, the Undertaker, Kane, the Rock, Mankind and HHH, with Steve Austin acting as special referee for the match.
As of now, the only other match featuring superstars is Ken Shamrock vs. the bad mamma-jamma Chris "the Iatollah of Rock and Roll-a" Jericho. Is the rest of the card going to suck? Count on it.
WCW referee Brian Hildebrand died last week after losing a battle with
cancer. Hildebrand, who went by the stage name "Mark Curtis" was the company's
smallest ref, and the only one I never liked to see hurt. He'll be missed.
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