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[wrestling-online] Wrestling-Online Newsletter #570

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  • Colin Vassallo
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      / _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #570
      | (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Tuesday, March 21st 2000
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      THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF WRESTLING-ONLINE.COM

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      >> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITOR
      By Colin Vassallo, [Editor@...]

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      >> IN THE BUSCH
      By Lukas Busch, [lukas@...]

      Welcome again to another edition of IN THE BUSCH, an honest, in-depth
      look at World Championship Wrestling. I am your host, Lukas Busch and
      this week, I am pissed at WCW officials. When I get pissed, I don't
      just get mad - I get even! Now, you get to see what happens when a WCW
      mark gets mad - a shoot column.

      World Championship Wrestling needs to realize that there is ONE thing
      that is more important to their success than anything else in the
      world. This one thing will make or break ANY company. This one thing
      is something that WCW has been overlooking and taking for granted for
      too long. Than one thing is THE FANS.

      Without a fan base, no "sports entertainment" company can survive.
      Currently, the fan base of my favorite Atlanta-based company has only a
      small fan base. Most of the fans have left. Do I blame those fans for
      leaving? No. The product that has been being put forward by WCW for
      the last year or so, well, it sucks more than a cheap trick in Greenwich
      Village in New York City. That is a given fact. I don't think that
      even
      the most die-hard WCW mark would disagree with that. But, what is done
      is done. Now, from this day forward, Bill Busch and his boy toys in the
      Turner Sports offices need to realize one thing - It is time to rebuild
      or die. And that rebuilding needs to start with the fans.

      WCW needs to make a concerted effort to reach out to those fans that
      have stuck with the company and treat them like they are one of their
      own. The company needs to bend over backwards to reach these fans, to
      tell these fans that they want us, and to do everything humanly possible
      to make the fans WANT to support the company.

      I think that there is more to this than just giving the fans a quality
      show. Every columnist out there on the internet is saying the same
      thing - Improve the product and the fans will return. It will take more
      than that. Over the past two months or so, the product has started to
      improve. Are they as good as the WWF? Hell no!! Are they even close?
      Only if you are so drunk you forgot what channel you were watching. WCW
      still has along way to go to have their matches become quality ones on a
      consistent basis.
      Take for example, the last two WCW events that I have attended:
      Starrcade in December and Thunder last week. Starrcade had one of the
      best matches that I have ever seen Chris Benoit or Jeff Jarrett have -
      their ladder match. But the entire lineup was not quality matches.
      There were some real snoozers going on there. The same can be said for
      this past Thunder. Some of the matches were quality matches, namely the
      cruiserweight matches, but then you had matches that were yawners (Hogan
      v. Team Package) and matches that were questionable with regards to the
      storylines (Jarrett defending the US Title against Booker - is Booker a
      tag team wrestler or a singles wrestler? This whole storyline just
      ain't making sense).

      Just as important to the matches, is the fan experience when fans travel
      and come out to the arenas. At Starrcade, there was NO fan interaction
      with anyone from WCW - no wrestlers signing autographs, no personalities
      available to rile the crowd up. I enjoyed the show a lot more when I
      came home and watched a tape of the evening. The same can be said for
      this past Thunder. The interviews that are shown to the audience at
      home were not shown to the crowd. You got not feel for the soap opera
      and the backstage happenings that have become a staple of today's
      shows. I can remember
      watching a wrestling match on a grass football field with maybe 200
      people in attendance at an NWA taping in the early 80s. This was
      exciting because you felt like part of the action. You felt like you
      mattered being there. At the WCW shows anymore, the fans there are there
      only so that they don't look like fools with empty arenas.

      Let me go back and share some of the things that made my latest
      experience so bad. To start with, I had made arrangement to interview a
      WCW wrestler for this column. However, on the Monday before the Thunder
      taping, I got a call from the WCW offices. They told me that since I
      worked for an "online" company, I would not be allowed to conduct an
      interview with any of the WCW talent. They went on to say that since
      WCW had an "online property", all WCW talent would have to interview
      there only. Talk about a
      bunch a BS. With the low ratings that WCW is getting, you would think
      that they would be jumping at the opportunity for their talent to be
      interviewed elsewhere. This would help get their wrestlers names out
      and would most likely generate interest in that wrestler and thereby the
      company. And Public Relations/Media person worth his salary would tell
      you that being interviewed like this would be a good thing. But, at
      WCW, they seem to be marching to a different drummer ! - one marching
      the wrong way on a one-way street.

      As if this weren't bad enough, when I got to the arena in Fairfax,
      Virginia, I was disappointed again in the lack of WCW presence at the
      arena. No wrestlers were signing autographs, no personalities were
      pumping up the crowd and the fans did not feel a part of anything other
      than being the crowd for a television show (which, I am ashamed to say,
      is what wrestling has become). Anyway, I proceeded to make my way to my
      seat at
      ringside (yes, I was in the second row, right near the aisle to the
      ring). Perfect seating to see everything and to be seen by everyone.
      Then, WCW officials did the unthinkable. They approached me and told me
      that I could not display my "Wrestling-Online.com" sign. According to
      them, this would be promoting a rival business. Now this was the
      dumbest thing ever, since there were WWF signs and even ones with
      profanity in the crowd. I was told I could still display the sign if I
      wanted to move to the "upper rafters". Yep, this will really make you
      alot of fans. And make those fans that you have want to keep coming
      back for more of this treatment.

      WCW - Wake up and smell the coffee before the only thing you can smell
      is the inside of your coffin (and I don't mean a coffin match either).
      If you keep running this company the way you currently are, there will
      be no one left who wants to watch anymore. I love this company and I
      want to see it succeed. But if you keep treating your most valuable
      commodity like this, then you company will be the same place as Hogan's
      movie career (i.e., seen in re-runs after midnight).

      Now for the part that I talked about earlier - getting even! Haha

      Since WCW wants to make my evenings at their live events such a
      memorable (and I don't mean in a good way) experience, I though I would
      share a little tip with all of my loyal readers. If any of you are WCW
      fans, and I am sure that there are a few out there, or if you want to go
      out to the arena to see one of WCW's few stars that are worth watching
      (and there are a few of those too - like Vampiro, Kidman, 3Count, etc),
      or if you are just drunk and don't have anything else to do when WCW is
      in town, then I encourage you to go out and see a WCW event live and in
      person. This way you can email me back (Lukas@...) and
      tell me if the events that I described above are accurate. But wait!
      Since you are acting as one of my reporters on this matter, then you an
      official correspondent of IN THE BUSCH. By being an official
      correspondent of IN
      THE BUSCH, you are entitled to the same rights and privileges as anyone
      else who is submitting a report on a WCW event - Free! admission to the
      event. (Don't worry Colin, this is not illegal, they actually comp
      thousands of people to each show). To get your comp admission to any
      WCW event all you have to do is call Brett in the WCW Publicity Office
      at 404-603-3827 and tell her that you are a correspondent for IN THE
      BUSCH and you would like comp tickets to whatever particular WCW event
      is closest to you. Be sure to ask for the correct event by name and
      date, which you can get from the calendar on their website at wcw.com.
      This girl Brett (yes she is a girl and that is her direct line at WCW
      headquarters) is the same person who axed my interviews - but don't hold
      that against her. We at IN THE BUSCH don't hold grudges - we just get
      even.

      Well folks, that is enough mischief for one issue. I will be back next
      week with a complete report on Uncensored, WCW's latest attempt at a
      pay-per-view. Who knows, maybe they will read this column and say,
      "Damn! That Lukas Busch knows what he is talking about" and then
      actually take my advice and put on a decent show. Then again....

      Until next week, this is Lukas.....IN THE BUSCH.

      (Editor's Note: We're a rival business to WCW? UHAHAHAHAHHAHA! Ok sorry,
      I just fell off my chair. WCW is lame. Ok, call that number and get
      yourself some free tickets. Don't forget to take some coffee with you so
      you don't sleep during the show.)

      --------------------------------------------------------------

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      --------------------------------------------------------------

      >> WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION NEWS
      http://www.wrestling-online.com/newsstation

      > RAW RATINGS
      - This week was no different. RAW totally crushed Nitro in the Monday
      night ratings, getting a 6.0 with an 8.7 share in the first hour, and
      6.4 with a 10.8 share for the second. Composite for the show was a 6.2
      with a 9.8 share. Quarter hour breakdowns for the show are: 5.7; 6.4;
      6.0; 5.9; 6.2; 6.2; 6.2; 6.4 and 7.3 for the overrun. (Numbers thanks to
      Dave Scherer)

      > WEEKEND RATINGS
      - Livewire did a 1.8 rating with a 5.3 share; Superstars did a 1.8
      rating with a 5.3 share; Heat did a 3.2 rating with a 5.1 share.
      (Numbers thanks to Dave Scherer)

      > SLAMMY AWARDS NEXT YEAR?
      - Who can forget the Slammy Awards? The 'Oscars' for the WWF are said to
      be returning to a TV screen next year....on UPN! A story by Variety.com
      revealed that UPN will add the show to their schedule next year and also
      confirmed the talks for airing the new XFL that is starting in February
      of 2001. Full article at:
      http://www.variety.com/article.asp?articleID=1117779678

      > CHICAGO FANS GET RAW!
      - There was quite a wild crowd yesterday in Chicago for RAW Is WAR. Some
      of them were pretty active during the broadcast. During Tazz beating
      Crash Holly, fans were like an obstacle to the cameramen, so they didn't
      make it near the wrestlers to show the ending. Some fan tried to stop
      Edge from jumping the guard rail before their match. Edge finally pushed
      the moron away and continued to walk towards the ring. Some mad fan
      chased Crash Holly, only to be tackled by the arena security. According
      to a few reports, two girls were making out during the Hardyz vs
      Acolytes match, only to be stopped again by security guards.
      Interesting. And last but not least, another fan tried to stick his nose
      to stop Triple H on the ramp after Linda McMahon came out. HHH pushed
      the peon out and once again the security guards did their job!

      --------------------------------------------------------------

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      ---------------------------------------------------------------

      >> WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING NEWS
      http://www.wrestling-online.com/newsstation

      > NITRO RATINGS
      - Once again, Nitro went down in the ratings instead of showing some
      improvement eventhough they came off after a PPV. The first hour
      received a 2.9 rating with a 4.4 share while the second received a
      miserable 2.1 with a 3.1 share. Composite for the show was a 2.5 rating
      with a 3.8 share. Quarter hour breakdowns are as follows: 2.9; 2.9; 3.0;
      3.0; 2.3; 1.8; 1.7; 2.4; 2.9. Walker Texas Ranger received a 2.9 also,
      which tied with Nitro's first hour. Amazing! (Numbers thanks to Dave
      Scherer)

      > HOGAN, STING SUBPOENAED IN CHILD MURDER CASE
      - After earlier this month the Rock was subpeonead in the murder case of
      13 year old Lionel Tate who killed his 6 year old friend, the lawyer
      representing the child and his family in court subpoenaed Hulk Hogan and
      Sting. WWF attorneys are already trying to free the Rock from this
      state, and if they fail to do so the former champ will be ordered to
      give deposition in court. Same goes for Hogan and Sting. I'm sure Time
      Warner attorneys will do the same as the WWF ones. Nobody in the
      wrestling business had any sort of connection with the murder.

      > ESTIMATED UNCENSORED BUYRATE
      - WCW keeps breaking their own records. In a story by 1wrestling.com,
      the early estimated buyrate for last Sunday's Uncensored PPV shows that
      it clocked in an unbelievable 0.13. Expect it to move between that
      number and 0.16. If 0.13 turns out to be the final buyrate, then
      Uncensored would get the honor of having the lowest buyrate in the
      history of WCW PPVs! And you tell me Hogan and Flair equal ratings?
      Gimme a break!

      > INTERVIEW WITH MIKE TENAY
      - Slam! Wrestling has a very interesting interview with Mike Tenay
      conducted by John Molinaro. You can read the whole story at:
      http://www.canoe.ca/SlamWrestlingFeatures/tenay_21mar00.html

      > THUNDER PREVIEW
      - Chavo Guerrero is set to face Chris Candido; 3 Count and the Jung
      Dragons will fight in a 6 man tag team match; Jeff Jarrett battles Curt
      Hennig; Hulk Hogan faces Dustin Rhodes in the main event (woah!). Those
      are the only matches announced so far for Thunder. Thank God Miss
      Hancock will be in the house!

      --------------------------------------------------------------

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      >> EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING NEWS
      http://www.wrestling-online.com/newsstation

      > RATINGS
      - The ECW on TNN show last Friday received the lowest rating since
      starting getting a 0.8 with a 1.4 share. Despite that low rating, the
      ECW show was the highest rated program for TNN.

      --------------------------------------------------------------

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