And Another Thing: WWF Rules And Here’s Why
Posted by Hyatte on 01.01.2000
WCW is in near ruins, but for a while it brought the best out of Vince McMahon
This was a companion piece of a previous column found somewhere in these archives called “WCW Sucks And Here’s Why”. Basically, it serves as the same story told from the “flip side”.
(originally presented December, 2000: 411 wrestling)
It’s time for some hard truth now.
Since no one else will admit this, I guess it’s up to me.
You know this war between Monday Nitro and Monday Night Raw? The war that is really between the WCW and the WWF? You know that war?
Well, it’s over.
I’m sorry, but it’s finished. Send up the white flag. Sign the peace treaty. Pack in your army and send them home with their tail and their pride tucked snugly between their legs. This war, which has been raging for the better part of five years, is finished.
WWF won... in case you didn't know. Vince McMahon, with a comeback that rivals some of the greatest rebounds in history, made critical... dramatic alterations in the presentation of his company and overtook the ratings champion, WCW's "Monday Nitro".
Of course, McMahon had help. It's not like he locks himself in a room every Sunday and writes every single gimmick, angle, and word you'll see on television for that week. He does not get full credit. He has to share credit with his talent, his advisors, and his writers... all of whom helped get the "Attitude" off the ground and "RAW" out of the ratings basement.
He also must give credit to WCW. For without Nitro remaining complacent during the WWF's weekly ratings rise. Without WCW's President, Eric Bischoff feeling confident in the allure of the NWO by ending each and every Nitro by spraypainting some hapless Face in the middle of the ring then seeing Hulk Hogan jam his face in the camera and call himself "God"... the WWF would have never been able to attract new viewers. Perhaps due to unimaginative booking, or maybe the ego of high paid talent, or a combination of the two... Eric Bischoff did practically nothing as RAW reclaimed it's throne as the top wrestling show in the country. So give a lot of thanks to WCW. For without their help, this war might still be raging.
Right now, at this point in time, the WWF sees WCW as a joke. Potentially dangerous... but a joke none-the-less. This is why the war really is finished. Six years ago, Vince McMahon was just as cocky, confident, and complacent as Eric Bischoff was. For years, RAW was a one hour, pre-taped show that was recorded at the top of every month, then played over the next four weeks. So, by the end of each month, the material shown was four weeks old. He had no competition ever in his life, he probably doubted that he ever will. When WCW took Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, and a whole slew of their cronies in, Vince didn't worry. When Bischoff bought Scott Hall and Kevin Nash for big money deals, Vince didn't worry. When Sean Waltman asked Vince for a release so he could "be with his friends", Vince let him and didn't worry. When Nitro went to two hours, live every week, Vince didn't worry.
Then Hogan turned Heel and started the NWO.
Vince started to worry.
And when Nitro went to three hours in order to have WCW on during every possible second that RAW was on the air... Vince looked over his kingdom and saw the alarmingly dry talent pool that he had to work with.
Vince started to sweat.
You know the rest of the tale. Austin, The Corporation, Porn Stars, "Choppee Choppee", Pimps, Ho's, and the Rock. The WWF started back from the ground up and re-vitalized his company, and the state of Professional Wrestling as well. When he finally realized that things were taking a dramatic turn for the worse, Bischoff started to sweat too, but he countered with less than effective ideas. Master P, Chad Brock, Leno, and Rodman were what he came up with. Only the respectable success of Goldberg made any sort of headway for WCW, and Goldberg, despite the monster push he's gotten, really hasn't proved to be a ratings winner by any stretch. As the WWF soared, WCW continued to sink, eventually hitting rock bottom forcefully. To this day, they still haven't gotten out of it. They're trying, Lord knows their trying, but they are missing the one thing McMahon had when the WWF was trying to climb up.
The competition refuses to help.
See, this is why the war is over. There will be no re-match, no "Monday Night Wars 2". The WWF will not be caught off-guard again. They will continue to monitor the competition, keep an eye out on the contracts of both their talent, and WCW's. If Nitro starts making waves, they will counterprogram effectively... or the best they possibly can. Vince McMahon will not allow WCW to make him sweat ever again. He's too smart for that.
Plus, he's got the nation on his side. He's got popular culture on his side. Ask any non-fan about wrestling, they'll tell you about the Rock, or Austin, or even Vince McMahon. When the people think Wrestling, they think the WWF. Argue with me all you want, you know this is the truth. The WWF is mainstream today... and they will not let WCW change that.
So, does that mean that WCW should go away? Should the WWF absorb the company and it's talent and be the Ultimate Wrestling Company on the planet?
Absolutely NOT. It's the worse thing that could ever happen.
From "the Ross Report for Aug. 18, 2000"
"Lots of positioning and posturing by some wishing to explore their options in the WWF. Apparently, poor management and a lack of organization have motivated some to want to change addresses. No one will be considered to join the team if they are unable to leave negative baggage behind and become a positive force in our locker room. Unfortunately, that could eliminate a lengthy list of talent. The next few weeks could very well be some of the most interesting times many of us have seen in a good while."
This statement terrifies me. The "WWF : One World" concept terrifies me.
Wrestling needs WCW to stay active. Just because it can't compete with the WWF anymore does not mean that WCW can't have a long, fruitful life... in fact, Wrestling NEEDS WCW to have such a life. There has to be an alternative... there has to be other options for fans to select. The WWF can work wonders with angles... work intrinsic, thoughtful, detailed storylines that can go in many directions seamlessly. But they can't work dozens of them at once. They tried that in the 80's, when they had so many workers and their pay per views stretched out into 12-15 matches... many of which started with the Heel saying, "I don't like you", then they Face answering, "Yeah, well I don't like you either!"... then they fight for months. This is what we will inevitably look forward too should the WWF decide to conquer the WCW. This would be the future.
That's why everyone should root for WCW to survive it's problems and continue on. Diversity is a good thing in this case.
The war is over. WCW will never re-take it's ratings throne.
What's wrong with being Number 2?
This is Hyatte too.