by : Fritz Capp
August 24, 1999
What the hell happened with SummerSlam? The pay-per-view that ranks only second to WrestleMania was worthy of an old "In Your House" standing at best. And what is up with (in my opinion) the most entertaining match being Test vs. Shane McMahon? I can here the collective groans but be honest..it had the most intrigue, the most false finishes, the better storyline and Shano Mac did a corkscrew moonsault. (albeit not perfect it was still there, when was the last time you saw a main eventer pull that move?) I have to give it to Shane, he really worked his ass off. And what about the flying elbow onto Test while he was on the Spanish announcing teams table? The worse match of the night of course belongs to Ivory vs. Tori. Sorry everyone but these girls do not belong in the ring. They are stiff, and I mean in fluidity of motion and they are not over. Vince would do best to scrap the Women's Division until he gets some real talent and knows how to get the division over. Tapes of All Japan Women are available for viewing Vince.
After watching Nitro I have to take back a statement I made last week and give the Insane Clown Posse their props. Their match with Misterio/Kidman was a really good match. ICP showed me that they have taken their wrestling seriously and have gone the distance to learn what they needed to make a match interesting.
Nitro really wasn't too bad this week, in fact I wonder why everyone down there doesn't wrestle with the same intensity that Eddie Guerrero does. If they all did that they would be over without having too worry.
I found it interesting that WCW didn't think enough of their own talent too draw ratings so they put off the KISS segment until it went head too head with the WWF's title match at the end of the night. If I was any of the boys in the locker room I would be pissed that the company didn't have enough faith in any of us and had to go to a rock band to try and help get the last quarter hour ratings and overrun up a notch or two.
I have too say it and I know people are going too bitch but I have an open challenge too Eric Bischoff. I guarantee that I can book WCW better than anyone else you have down there...in fact better than any three people you have currently working for you. I would need three guarantees:
1 - absolute control of the booking
2 - wrestlers who are willing too do "WHAT IT TAKES" for the company
3 - absolutely no backstage politics from anyone
Give me that and I can put WCW over the top. It is actually so easy it frustrates me that you guys down there cannot see the forest for the trees. Three short months Eric, that's all it would take. I can stop the changing of the channel at 8:59 pm. I can keep the fans interest. You would once again be on top of the industry. But I know your ego wouldn't allow you too have someone like me come in and straighten out your company. But let's look at what I would have done different this past Monday night.
1 - I would have had KISS open the show. This would really fire up the crowd and would have created interest in your viewing audience. At $500,000.00 you should have had them on more than once during the night.
2 - You should have had Demon interfere in the first match, either doing the patented Gene Simmons trademark of spitting blood or fire ( I would go with fire) onto the workers in the ring thus establishing him right away.
3 - Not one...but two heavyweight title matches between Hogan and Sting....one early in the show after some backstage heat between the two...the second one as the main event. The first one broken up by Steiner and Sid as you did...the second one with the belt exchanging hands under very controversial conditions. You are way too predictable.
4 - Show Goldberg starting to let Sid get under his skin. Start the obsession with Sid's record. Hint at a possible heel turn (or at least starting too lose it) by Goldberg as the frustration starts too show. Do this throughout the night.
5 - Have Sid each time he interferes in a match to also start to show more obsession with Goldberg. Do this by having Sid administer more and more punishment to each person he beats on to the point where the fans are afraid that Sid is going over the edge and could really hurt someone.
6 - Push DDP's character too the brink of madness by having a hidden camera showing that Kidman actually does want Kimberly and Kimberly is actually receptive too the advances. If your gonna feign a gay angle with Lenny Lane and Lodi this is not out of the spectrum. (This point is moot in view of the recent possibility of Kidman leaving the company, substitute someone else in Kidman's place and keep this angle going...this would also enhance the fact that DDP wants to go solo again as this would give him the reason to be a loner)
7 - Have Shane Douglas turn on the Revolution by having him cause Benoit lose the belt too Steiner. This sets up Douglas to form his old gimmick of "The Triple Threat" with him being the mouthpiece for Steiner/Sid/Douglas. Believe me, Steiner and Sid need someone who has great mic work on their side.
8 - You need some sort of shock value...and I do not mean Lenny/Lodi. During the Harlem Heat/West Texas Rangers match the Rangers should have busted open one, if not both, of Harlem Heat. And I mean busted them open. This is 1999 and if you want too compete you need too do things that are not so laid back. I saw blood in mid-card matches, and I mean a lot of blood, in 1966 so do not tell me that WCW cannot show blood. It is part of the game.
9 - At some points in the show, you have too blow kayfabe out the window. That was one of the first things that the WWF did when it made it comeback. By that I do not mean give away results to the other guys programming. Have someone come out and do a "shoot". My choice would be either Sting or Flair with Flair being my first choice. Flair is still a drawing commodity and if you had Flair (if you can get him back) come out and shoot on WCW it would go over like gangbusters. Without Flair to do it, this past Monday I would have had Sting come out as Steve Borden after his first match with Hogan flipping out about the politics. Not a whiny tirade that Hart does, but a real honest to God emotion filled rip at the bookers and company. This would set up the controversial finish in his later match with Hogan with Sting doing what it takes to put himself over for once instead of the company.
I could go on and on and you probably will refuse too see what I am saying. All I can say is right now you have the chance too gain some ground on the WWF as it is starting to become stale in product. But it will not take Vince long to regroup. If you don't do it now you will be in for a long entrance into the millennium.
It was reported that Bret Hart worked a house show for WCW this past weekend. Where the hell was he on Nitro? If Bret can work a house show, he could have been on Nitro to help out the company that is paying him a humongous salary. Stop it with the Owen Hart thing Bret...time to either suck it up and go on or shut it down and live in the past. That choice is yours but you not only have responsibilities to your family, but also to the company that employs you and to your fans. We have all lost family members Bret...time to make a choice.
Well the ratings numbers are in and should we be surprised? Oh Hell No! The WWF once again took down Nitro but the interesting numbers are the ones that show how well WCW spent half a million dollars. For the overrun where KISS made their appearance the number was a dismal 2.3. That equals .0000004 of a rating point for each dollar they paid KISS to appear. I have to wonder about the economics of these moves by WCW as they never seem to pay any dividends at all.
Reports are everywhere that Bischoff, in a bold move during a meeting, told anyone who wasn't happy in the company that they could be released. Well guess what? Raven got up and walked out of the meeting. A later report says that Billy Kidman also asked for his release. Hopefully WCW will just cut these guys so they can go somewhere else. Now here's the shocker. Hopefully neither one of these guys go to the WWF. WHY? Because ECW needs these guys. (Waiting for everyone to collect their breath) Ok, now that you all are over the shock of that statement let me give it to you right between the eyes. If all this goes down and Raven and Kidman are released who stands to benefit by it more? Paul Heyman. Heyman needs these two guys. Raven was a top heel in the company. Kidman is a fabulous worker. ECW goes national this week. What better combination is there? Now we will all see just how bad Heyman wants ECW to succeed. Heyman will have to pull every string he can to secure the services of these two but he should pull every one and then some. While the WWF may offer them more money can they offer them instant top spots in the company? It is would we be lock for Heyman to give Raven a top heel role and Kidman would we be elevated almost instantaneously also due to his in-ring ability. Yes, I hope they go to ECW because in a time of horrible booking in WCW and with the WWF starting to look a little stale around the edges the wrestling community will once again look for a hero in the night. Can ECW do it again? Call me sentimental but I believe if Heyman pulls his head out of his ego and gets back to doing what he used to do when ECW was the force in professional wrestling then yes ECW can and will grab the spotlight once again.
And with that I'm outta here. Remember wrestling is nothing more than what it appears to be.
Fritz Capp is the editor of Pro Wrestling's Between The Sheets - for comments or opposing viewpoints please e-mail to Fritz Capp