Wednesday, 08 February 2012 16:47
By the spring of 1993, Cactus Jack suffered many injuries by working an ultra stiff style against Vader that would put him on the shelves for months. Instead of capitalizing on the sympathy that Cactus was gaining, WCW would lose it by presenting a weekly segment in which Cactus Jack would lose his mind & a WCW reporter would search across the country for him. Ughhhh!!! Then the story line was dropped with the excuse that Cactus was playing mind games with Vader [WTF?]. Poor Mick Foley would culminate his feud by losing to Vader, due to Harley Race using a cattle prod on him. Whatever sympathy & momentum that Foley gained in the year was ultimately squandered by bad booking.
Ric Flair was kept on ice for so long in building up to his first match with Arn Anderson against The Hollywood Blondes at The Clash Of Champions. Flair did pretty well in his weekly “Flair For The Gold Segment”, but the house shows desperately needed Flair to bring back ticket sales. Flair’s return match with Arn Anderson against The Hollywood Blondes would garner a 2.6 rating, which was disappointing at the time. Instead of pointing fingers on how to correct the TV ratings & poor houses, the blame fell on Steve Austin & Brian Pillman for not being a hot enough act to pop the rating. Austin & Pillman would be broken up as a tag team & both of them would flounder, rather then WCW making plans to make them future franchise players.
WCW fell off the tracks after 4 years of revolving bookers, booking committees, steering committees, & management. The company never learned that the reason Jim Crockett Promotions was successful was based on being the alternative to WWE by having gritty & heart hitting wrestling with wrestlers that were personalities & not cartoon characters. Crockett also had compelling TV that didn’t insult the audience’s intelligence. WCW instead went the opposite track. There was one weekend of WCW programming that was so terrible that I totally gave up on the product and I never watched another WCW TV show for the rest of my life.
The episode had the infamous Beach Blast Mini Movie. Words can’t describe this piece of crap that was supposed to entice people to buy a PPV. Let me summarize the movie quickly. Sting and Davey Boy Smith are on a beach playing volley ball with children. Vader, Sid, Parker [in their wrestling gear], Harley Race, and Col Rob Parker take a military boat to come to the island. They offer Sting and Davey Boy Smith money to turn down the PPV match, the kids look depressed that their heroes might take Harley’s offer. They turn it down and the heels vow revenge.
A midget with a fin places a BOMB on Sting’s boat. Davey Boy Smith hauls ass to tackle Sting before the bomb goes off that destroys the boat. The end result the baby faces wants revenge. Even Vince Russo couldn’t script this piece of crap. I strongly urge anybody that never seen it to check out the link
To make the TV episode even more absurd, a Flair for The Gold interview segment would feature the heels. They discussed the mini movie as if it was real. The episode would also feature WCW reporter, Catherine White’s ongoing search for Cactus Jack.
Let’s forget that arena business, TV ratings, and PPV buy were in the crapper. I’m a big proponent for long term direction. WCW decided to map out four months worth of PPV line ups, story lines, title changes, and turns by taping all of their syndicated TV at Universal Studios in a three day marathon taping. This would lock WCW in to story lines, due to the TV being shot with little leeway in editing things that no longer make sense.
I’ll give you an example. To this day I have no idea in which this story line was going. I was managing The Nasty Boys [who were tag team champions, two months prior to winning the belts]. The Hollywood Blondes would interrupt every interview by courting me to be their manager. I have no idea on what was suppose to be the conclusion, since Pillman and Steve Austin were broken up as a tag team, despite being one of the only bright spots for WCW.
Another faux pas was WCW having to deal with the NWA interfering with WCW’s usage of the NWA title and NWA name. With TV taped so far in advance with NWA title changes, WCW had to re edit the announcing and not use the NWA name, instead WCW renamed it as the WCW International title.
WCW would also over saturate the PPV market with monthly shows that had the most dreadful undercards, since they were hiring wrestlers that were too green to be on the big stage in a cost cutting move to hire cheaper talent. Wrestlers like The Awesome Kongs, Cole Twins, Equalizer, Jungle Jim Steele, Charlie Norris, Thunder And Lightning, Big Sky, & others would fill up the undercards while a wrestler like Brian Pillman, Brad Armstrong, or Too Cold Scorpio would stay at home. Plus who could forget the greatness of Shock Master falling thru a wall on a Clash Of Champions with his tin foil Star Wars helmet falling off, while Ole Anderson is using his Black Scorpion voice.
WCW would also squander it by having future superstars fall thru the cracks by not being utilized & seeking fame elsewhere. Scotty Flamingo [Raven], Too Cold Scorpio, Robby V [Rob Van Dam] could had been more valuable in building up for the future.
The company mapped out Sid winning the WCW title from Vader at Starrcade, until Sid & Arn Anderson had their infamous hotel fight. The end result was after everything failing for WCW, the only thing that they could consider reliable was going back to Ric Flair. WCW spent years trying to find new successors, killing his aura as the champion by Flair never winning cleanly, and chasing him off to WWF. By the end of the year, WCW realized that Flair was the best thing going that day.
It’s rather sad that WCW & WWE were ignoring all of the new trends that were occurring in wrestling at the time. Paul Heyman was starting to come up with new innovations in wrestling with ECW. An edgier product at the time was what the industry needed when you consider that a fan that started out around the Hulkamania boom that started in 1984 was already becoming late teenager or adult. AAA was presenting house shows that was grossing more $$$ then most WWE & WCW house shows in California, yet they were considered a niche product. This was despite having national TV penetration & presenting a faster pace wrestling style that could had been a hit if it was marketed better to the non-spanish speaking wrestling fan.
I’m going to be signing on February, 11 @ Frank & Son 19649 E San Jose, City Of Industry, California 91748. The autograph signing will have myself, Roddy Piper [I’m psyched to see Piper, since I watched him on Georgia Championship Wrestling as a fan], Angelina Love [one of the hardest working women in the biz], Bobby Heenan, One Man Gang [big believer in UFO’s & alien abductions], Bobby Heenan, Debra, Tatanka, Jake Roberts, Bob Orton, & Tatanka. I always love discussing old school wrasslin & the current stuff, so stop by & say hi. You can get more information @ http://www.frankandsonshow.net/2012/01/wwe-wwf-autograph-signing-event-saturday-february-11th/
“Embrace The Hate”
1st. Lady Of Wrestling