Wednesday, August 22, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 1


 
 









 
New angles, old favorites return WWF to former glory

By Ed De La Garza
Daily Cougar Staff

Never say never.

Suddenly it's fun to be a wrestling fan again. World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling exist in name only. The World Wrestling Federation has a
virtual monopoly in the business.


The WWF's Vince McMahon, whose much-hyped rivalry with son Shane failed to bring ratings, looks confident that wrestling can be exciting again.

New federations are welcome to try their hands at creating a legitimate No. 2 corporation, but without Vince McMahon's muscle, none are likely to succeed. Wrestling has yet to return to its glory days when 7.0 was a usual overnight rating for Raw. But none of that matters now.

The WWF is running its best angle since Steve Austin was first chasing the World Title, and it will work so long as they don't run it into the ground. t's like watching the first
stages of WCW's New World Order storyline.

For the uninitiated, the WWF bought rival WCW (for as low as $10 million according to some reports). It basically only bought the brand name and its extensive video library.

Not all wrestlers under WCW contracts were brought over to the WWF. Some namely Goldberg, Ric Flair, Sting, Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner were bound to TimeWarner
and would require buyouts.

Steiner may be welcomed in as soon as a shoulder injury heals, Sting retired and Flair may be brought in for name value.

So the WWF chose to bring in only a select few. It then turned the purchase into an angle. It put Shane McMahon in charge as the fictional owner of WCW. Always wanting to
one-up his father, the younger McMahon "invaded" the WWF, crashing Raw on numerous occasions with run-ins.

But the angle didn't captivate the audience's attention as planned. Matches featuring WCW stars were ratings killers.

So Paul Heyman former ECW head honcho and now a WWF announcer turned up the heat by waging war on both the WWF and WCW with former ECW talent. But it
turned into a swerve (and a huge mark-out moment) when Heyman teamed with Shane McMahon to form "The Alliance" and revealed Stephanie McMahon as ECW's new
"owner."

Vince McMahon's brood wanted to bury the old man and the WWF. Add Austin's funny-as-hell comedic heel turn and you have some very good television.

There was a time before ECW entered the picture when the sole reason to watch Raw was to see Austin and Kurt Angle trade barbs. Angle wearing a little cowboy hat
stands out as one of the funniest moments in WWF history.

Austin had been a cool heel and a cool face before, but never a funny one. Nobody knew he was that good an actor.

As of now, the WWF has lined up a Saturday-night slot on TNN for what it plans as a highlight show.

That could all change if The Alliance establishes itself as a true ratings draw. Then again, the plan had been for WCW to get either Raw or Smackdown following the invasion
pay-per-view.

What the blue hell?

The Rock is back, The Rock is back, thank God almighty, The Rock is back. Yea.

Actually, no one can electrify an audience like The Rock. While he'd still be better as a heel, his re-appearance (he finished work on The Scorpion King) certainly re-ignited the
WWF. And his new "What in the blue hell?" catchphrase will never get old.

He now begins a long-awaited feud with Booker T. It's one of the match-ups people wondered about had WCW and the WWF ever been able to produce a joint PPV.

Booker has done a good job of getting over with WWF fans in spite of the "spinarooni." He's the WCW Champion Sucka for a reason.

The WWF isn't likely to put Booker over The Rock, but having him drop the WCW title wouldn't be a good idea. Besides, a Booker/Rock program will keep Rocky busy until it's
time for a revenge feud with Austin.

MEC-dub

There is in fact a new wrestling federation. Main Event Championship Wrestling, owned by alleged wrestling fan John Collins, has already produced a free live show and is
looking for a TV deal.

Among the talent Collins and MECW claim to have (or are pretty close to signing) are: Dusty and Dustin Rhodes, Chris Daniels, Buff Bagwell, Steve Williams, Brian Christopher,
Viscera and the Rock and Roll Express. Only true superstars need apply.

Without a TV deal, MECW is doomed. It probably won't get a deal without any star power.

Randy Savage was rumored to be a part of the organization, but he's also been rumored to be developing his own company.

Any company that thinks Bagwell is a star is going to fail miserably.

The WWF knew this and got rid of the crybaby just one match into his "New WCW" career. The old WCW never realized this and look what happened to it.

Closing bell

Yes, The Wrestling Report is back. I'd say by popular demand, but I'm not sure how much of a demand there is for it anymore. It was set to end (partially) because there just
wasn't a reason to watch wrestling anymore.

It had gotten stale and there wasn't any competition for the WWF. One can only hope the invasion angle is carried out with more thought than the NWO story.

Oh reader feedback is welcome. Let's try to get the Letter of the Week segment started next week. E-mail dcshobiz@mail.uh.edu with questions, comments and 

complaints.

Lucky winners will receive nothing but the thrill of seeing their name in the paper.
 
 
 
 
 

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