For once, I also took in Thunder. What impressed me the most was Barbarian's mic work. The guy really knows how to play a crowd.
I mean, his work was so rivetting, such a work of art, that the crowd (in the arena AND at home) couldn't possibly focus on the rest of the interview, or show for that matter, because they were trying to figure out what the hell he said! Brilliant!
Anyway, I thought I'd re-iterate what I think I may have heard:
- "How you say, we will EAT you lads!"
- "How you say, we will EAT YOUR HEADS"
- "Confucious say, I'm ubiquitous!"
- "Loved that play, CALIGULA!"
- "How you say, HEY AQUALUNG!"
Just a few theories. I'm already hearing that Barbarian's new theme music will be a forty-five minute flute solo. WCW's going to have to cut down their Hogan interview time by at least... two thirds!
I don't know about you folks out there, but whoever decided to give Barbarian mic time is as thick as a brick.
Hey man, some thoughts on what the hell the Barbarian said...
- I got to itch my ass...
- We're going to kick your ass...
- Drinks after the show, I'm buying...
Just a thought, keep up the good writing.
WCW Mayhem just won't be WCW unless...
10. Two times a month when you turn on your PSX, you are treated to a concert by a washed-up band/singer, or just one you are apathetic about.
9. Sid Vicious runs in during any Cruiserweight match.
8. A minute or two into a good match (involving Benoit, Malenko, Guerrero, etc.), you cut to a commercial about an upcoming EA game.
7. While your match is going on, all Tony's voice captured commentary can talk about is the Hogan match later in the game.
6. When Hogan "Hulks-Up", your Dual Shock controller begins to rumble.
5. Twice a game, you are treated to a 10-minute Hogan rant.
4. Ric Flair only shows up in the game 3 or 4 times every six months of play to get his ass kicked and his paycheck.
3. You are treated to mini-games such as, "Spot the Humvee Driver" and "Mikey Whipwreck Squash" (like the Whomp the Mole game)
2. Bobby the Brain's voice captured commentary has him stuttering 20 times a sentence only for the thing that he wants to say making no sense to begin with. Beating the game a few times gives you the 80's Brain and '90 Brain commentary switch option.
And last but not least...
1. Eric Bischoff gives away WWF Attitude results.
Normally, myself and the rest of the DDT Digest staff don't bring up news stories, but I feel that this issue is owed an exception. Now, I'm not going to debate as to whether this is true or not. However, the thought of Raven AND Kidman departing at a time when WCW's ratings are in the tank is pretty damning. While I don't think that the departure either man individually is going to be as big of an impact as losing, say, Chris Jericho, the consequences could be great if both wrestlers leave and no damage control is initiated.
For one, Raven's a good worker. He's great on the mic and puts forth a solid effort in the ring. His (and Saturn's) three-way feud between Malenko/Benoit and Rey, Jr./Kidman were from a wrestling standpoint, a high in WCW. No matter how screwed up the main event would be, you could always count on Raven and company to put on a good match.
Next, you have Billy Kidman. Sure, he's only 5' 10" and weighs around 200 lb., but how could you not miss with this guy? This is a wrestler who fought his way out of WCW's jobber division and The Flock into a role as one of the best cruiserweights in North American wrestling. His matches are starting to get a little predictable ("Hmm, let's try a powerbomb!"), but Kidman maintains a high workrate and is not afraid to risk injury in order to please the fans. I wouldn't see Kidman as an instant World Champion, but I feel that five years or so down the line, he could be a contender.
If this is indeed true, then it's a damn shame. That would be four up-and-coming stars that Turnerland has lost this year. It didn't have to be this way, either. Instead of giving wrestlers reasons to get out of their contract, WCW needs to give us a reason why we should care about their wrestlers. Promote them a little better. Get them more involved in high profile matches. By doing this, a wrestler would have more confidence in his job and will more than likely stay when it comes time to renegotiate. While you can make the claim that Kidman and Raven were going to get some usage in new stables, you cannot say the same thing for everybody.
What has Chavo Guerrero, Jr. been doing these days? Not much since the Pepe angle died. Norman Smiley? Same thing, only he's been reduced to a jobber again despite getting over on his own. Wrath? He's out with an injury, yes, but they never had much lined up for him other than pointless jobber squashes. What about that former ECW champion guy, Mikey Whipwreck? Why, jobbing out on WCW television, of course!
I'm not saying push everybody, because there is no possible way that can be accomplished, even with all the hours of programming WCW has in a week. However, WCW could benefit by trimming the ranks of those not being used (such as most of the WCW jobbers -- I'm a fan of some of them, yes, but they're doing no good just sitting in the back, just ask Jerry Lynn of ECW) or those that are in angles, but are too deteriorated or lack the humility to go along with a clean finish. This includes your Hogans, your Sids, your Steiners (both of them), etc. I could put Ric Flair on this list, but he's virtually a JTTS midcarder anyway. Not only would this get rid of any dead weight, but it would free up salary room. There's no sense in paying someone $100,000 a year when he's only going to be working every other taping or so.
The slots freed up could be used for promoting current WCW talent and getting them over with the fans, provided WCW doesn't go on a mass talent search. It might take some time and WCW will still be losing in the ratings for several months (not like it could get any worse), but given time, WCW will be back up there giving their competition a run for the money in the ratings if done right. Keep in mind that it took the WWF months of rebuilding to get their first ratings win. While some can make the argument that guys like Hogan and Sid get the best ratings, they won't be around forever. WCW has to prepare for the future and they have to do it as soon as possible.
Since I probably sound like I'm griping, I'll give credit where credit is due. Props go out to Diamond Dallas Page for being a trooper and putting over Benoit and Kidman these past few weeks.
Furthermore, I'd consider scaling back WCW programming. Seriously, though, when Nitro was at two hours length, it was a darned good show. The matches meant something and very little time was wasted in the show. Now, with three hours, it's very watered down, they sometimes go as long as half an hour between matches and there's too much style and not enough substance. Cut back Nitro to two hours, and while they're at it, cut back Thunder to one hour or so. I know the two-hour WWF Smackdown is about to start, but it's a matter of quality over quantity here. If you're not going to tape extra matches, why waste the time on Thursday with filler? Also, get rid of WCW Saturday Night. The show is a shell of its former self and there's already a wrestling show on TBS. Worldwide can stay simply because its goal is to attract the non-cable viewing audience. Finally, end the Sid run-ins -- they do nothing but deprive the fans of seeing a clean finish to what could have been a good match.
Sorry to have to go out on such a rant, but I figured I needed to speak my mind. WCW may be down, but they're not out. All the promotion needs to do is regain its focus. As for Raven and Kidman, I hope that whether they stay in WCW or go elsewhere for employment, someone is going to use them right.
For WCW's sake, however, I just hope that Raven and Kidman have their breakout years in Atlanta.