AS I SEE IT
Anyone as tired as I am of hearing from Eric Bischoff how "G-rated" WCW is going to become? I, for one, am tired of hearing a corporate executive tell me that the wrestling I watch has to be the WWF of the 1980s.
That is, when World Championskit Wrestling gets around to having any wrestling on it's shows. Most nights, its a half hour before the first match actually airs. After all, we have to have the obligatory recap after recap after recap...and hear about what we missed in previous Nitro and Thunders. Given the fact that Nitro's ratings are dropping like a lead balloon, WCW seems to feel it has to catch us up on their storylines (such as they are) on a weekly basis.
As for "G-rated" wrestling, let's see, how about a couple of examples: Perry Saturn's character is still doing his Marilyn Manson imitation. Scott Steiner does his best attempt of a rich white guy trying to sound like he's from the "hood" (guess Kevin Nash gave him lessons). Steiner also looks like he's ready to explode at any moment. I guess Scott Steiner's "Chernobyl steroid mutant from hell" look is considered "family friendly" at WCW; as well as the great lesson for kids: take growth-enhancing substances, even though their possession and use are felonies.
The piece of Jim Duggan on Thunder was both nice to see and obviously transparent at the same time. Duggan HAS beaten back cancer. From all reports, the tumor removed from his body was the size of a football. It was nice to see him get a few minutes of air time, assuming what he said was sincere (and I have no reason to assume otherwise). But it also conveniently allowed WCW to air a "touching moment suitable for the family". Call me cynical, but I don't believe in coincidences in timing.
Folks, wrestling in its basic premise ISN'T G-rated. It's a form of entertainment depicting two men (or women) beating the crap out of one another to settle their differences. THAT is G-rated? Hardly. Wrestling is a form of sports entertainment that is just that. It is designed as escape.
Eric, you'd be well-disposed to quit worrying about your "G-rating", not that you're really working to get one, anyhow. Try making some serious changes to your booking committee and your product in order to get some TV ratings.
If you don't want to run an "adult-themed" program, then use the athletically talented roster you have to run good quality matches. For example, remember those guys your booker dismissed as "vanilla midgets", Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko? Ever think of actually USING them? Not to mention the luchadors you've basically turned into high-paid eunuchs, having to put over an over-paid, under-talented member of the WCW roster on a weekly basis.
The luchadors could turn on an American audience if turned loose. They HAVE turned on American audiences...just look at the matches of Rey Misterio, Jr., Psicosis, and Juventud Guerrera in ECW. Remember those matches, Eric? Those matches are why your company signed them in the first place. Instead, two of them been treated to the disrespect of losing their masks for no good storyline reason. The other has largely been ignored.
So "G-rated" wrestling, Mr. Bischoff? How about giving fans a product they can watch, or that they WANT to watch? Fewer and fewer fans are choosing to watch NITRO every week. The ultimate commentary by fans had to be the fact that last week's Sunday Night Heat (the one that was half a radio show and half a rerun of the previous week's show) did a 3.7 rating. Not far from the 3.85 that your Nitro did head-to head last week. You nearly lost out to what was in effect, a test pattern and a rerun.
It's time for a change, Eric. Quit worry about your ""G rating", and do something to get ratings. NOW.
Until next time....
If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org