Wrestling-Online Newsletter #665
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/ _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #665
| (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Saturday, July 1st 2000
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>> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITORBy Colin Vassallo, [Editor@...]
Well well well after fighting with my stupid PC for 2 hours today,
Windows 98 finally decided to load. The damn video capture card was
causing the whole thing to freeze, so now I need a new one. Oh well, at
least this piece of crap is working now :)
Very slow news day today, only a few bits and pieces. We'll be back
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>> SCHU'S VIEWSBy John Schuster, [ZorakRodan@...]
Obviously, the topic of recent conversation has centered around the
WWF's court victory over the parent company of the USA Network, and the
impending move to Viacom outlet TNN.
What I enjoyed the most about the entire post-verdict process was the
damage control instituted by the folks at USA. Their PR spin on the
verdict is this: "We didn't want to lose the WWF, but in the end, from a
financial standpoint, USA won't lose that much money with the other
programming plugged into the slot long occupied by Raw is War."
On the surface I'm sure there's a lot of truth to that. The WWF made the
majority of advertising revenue from the commercial avails of its
programming, and USA will garner a better percentage of the advertising
revenue from the programs that follow.
But what USA doesn't get is the WWF's ability to cross-market. Every
time a WWF star is on the cover of a collector's edition of TV Guide, or
the organization is mentioned in Time Magazine, or its noted that once
again Raw is War was the top-rated television show on cable, USA gets,
in the words of Hunter Hearst Helmsley, a cheap pop.
Now I don't think I'm going out on a limb here by suggesting that we
aren't going to see the bikini clad hottie from Pacific Blue (or insert
bikini clad hottie on appropriate USA program here) gracing the cover of
TV Guide, Time or Newsweek in the very near future.
That said, there's a bit of personal discomfort about the move. I
understand wanting to jump at the opportunity, but from time to time I
find myself living in this fantasy land of loyalty. I hope against hope
that long-term relationships actually mean something. Obviously, the WWF
was extremely good to USA, but USA was also good to, and for, the WWF.
In all honesty, I'm not sure what to think of the TNN aspect either. Raw
is War is, at this stage, cable's most important weekly ratings entry,
so I'd be hard-pressed to imagine that TNN would want to do anything to
mess with the format, but after the debacle with ECW, and the redneck
reputation the station still embodies, I'm uncertain just how well the
pieces will fit.
Meanwhile, word is that USA and ECW have met to discuss a possible
future co-op. Talk about negotiating a fine tightrope between a focus on
in-ring wrestling vs. the storyline implementation necessary for public
viewing numbers. ECW has its share of personalities with strong mic
skills, so a more consistent focus on storylines is certainly a
plausible option. However, of the big three organizations, I think the
ECW fan is far and away more loyal, more astute, about its product, and
a more glossy exterior certainly presents the possibility of alienating
With all the changes on tap over the course of the next two months, it
seems to me that if WCW were real serious about making a push, this
would be the perfect time to circle the wagons, put egos aside, pull out
every big gun in the organization and really try to make a serious dent
in the WWF's advantage. A scenario like this is tailor made for the
currently disgruntled Vince Russo, who could earn the big bucks and
attempt to help right the ship. But let's just say that while I'd love
to see definitive improvement in the WCW product, I'm not exactly
holding my breath.
From the mailbag, I received some very complimentary responses from last
week's column in regards to the superior production quality of the WWF
vs. the programming on WCW:
"Let me congratulate you on a job well done. I read you column in the
wrestling newsletter which described the production differences between
WCW and WWF.
"Finally a column that doesn't use the phrase 'sucks' or 'phat' or
'you're an ididot.'"
"It doesn't matter who has the better what, the only people getting
excited at WCW events are the announcers, they get paid to do so. The
fans get excited at WWF events.
"Finally, someone 'got it'.
"I totally agree with the point you made, and that is certainly the
intended effect of the laugh track. But interestingly enough, lately
the TV has seen the rise of TV shows that don't feature laugh track.
Part of the reason is that laugh track brings down the individual
experience of enjoying the show, talks down to the audience and is
overtly dominating, dumbening the show overall. Kind of like Tony
Schiavone and most of the
rest of the WCW announcers : )
"Hogan I think is out of ability to speak. He can connect with the 80's
audience but not with that of the today. He is not making new
connections, everything he has achieved is based on his past success.
Nash is also more interested in getting himself over than the product
overall, highlighting another major WCW handicap: lack of team spirit
due to aging stars for whom it doesn't matter how their behavior will
affect the company in the future, these people are determined to squeeze
out as much money as they can in the last year of their career.
"This is a great observation, one that WCW doesn't get.... and the WWF
has always known about. One of my observations is that WWF doesn't seem
scripted most of the time... Though I know it is, it just seems
spontaneous or "real". WCW always seems forced and scripted, and far
fetched, too predictable. I think with your ideas and a more free flow
of words, action, and story lines, WCW would be able to compete more
"You guys focus so much on the negatives that the positives just wash
away. What's wrong with someone jumping off WWF's band wagon and
speaking up for WCW every once in a while....or heck... even get a WCW
mark journalist whom is really knowledgeable about WCW and do the
"But to keep dragging them through the mud...how can anyone expect them
cleaned up...? They're fighting not only the WWF for ratings but
journalists whom seem to stay down on them because it's what they think
everyone wants to hear. Though it's the truth...how about laying off of
them for a while?"
If you ever have a comment, positive or negative, feel free to send it
my way. The e-mail address is at the top of the column. Thanks, and be
Say It's Yours. Stamp Your Stuff. Get a FREE* Easy-Ink Rubber Stamper
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>> WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION NEWShttp://www.wrestling-online.com/newsstation
> SIGNINGS & RELEASES- Jim Ross stated that both the Blue Meanie and Vic Grimes has been
released from their WWF contracts. Meanie was sent to Memphis to develop
more his wrestling skills, where he also lost a lot of weight. However
he left the Memphis WWF farm a few weeks ago and the WWF cut him out.
Also Vic Grimes was sent to ECW while being under development contract
with the WWF. WWF also decided to let him go. In the meantime,
Grandmaster Sexay Brian Christopher, TAKA Michinoku and Sho Funaki have
all signed a new contract with the WWF.
> SMACKDOWN LOSING VIEWERS- We've received some reports that say that UPN now switched to digital,
and all viewers who used to catch Smackdown! on a C-Band dish, will no
longer be able to watch the Thursday show on UPN. It seems not only RAW
will lose viewers come September, Smackdown is already on the losing
> CABLE RANKINGS- The WWF placed 1st, 2nd and 14th in this week's Neilsen cable
1. ``WWF Entertainment'' (Monday, 10 p.m.), USA, 4.9, 4.93 million
2. ``WWF Entertainment'' (Monday, 9 p.m.), USA, 4.0, 4.06 million
14. ``WWF Sunday Night Heat'' (Sunday, 7 p.m.), USA, 2.1, 2.08 million
G E T Y O U R W W F L I F E S I Z E S T A N D U P !
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Prices are $24.95 each and $39.95 with the pre-recorded voice box.
See our web site: www.guaranteedmerchandise.com "
>> WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING NEWShttp://www.wrestling-online.com/newsstation
> CANDIDO RELEASED- Dave Meltzer of the Observer is reporting that World Championship
Wrestling has released Chris Candido. Candido never really signed a
contract, and was working on a pay-per-deal basis. With his injury, WCW
no longer needed his services. Back on the unemployed list.
> CURENT CARD FOR BATB- Here's the current card for WCW Bash At The Beach PPV. Hollywood Hogan
takes on Jeff Jarrett for the WCW title; Kevin Nash battles Goldberg
with Hall's contract on the line; Shane Douglas fights Buff Bagwell;
Perfect Event vs Kronic; Booker T takes on Kanyon; Big Vito & Johnny The
Bull battle for the Hardcore title; Ms Hancock and Daffney fight in a
Wedding Gown match; Lt. Loco vs Juventud Guererra for the WCW
Cruiserweight Title; Vampiro and Dale Torborg battle in a Graveyard
Match and Mike Awesome takes on Scott Steiner (if he's reinstated).
> CABLE RANKINGS- WCW only managed to get the 7th spot in this week's Neilsen cable
7. ``WCW Monday Nitro Live!'' (Monday, 8 p.m.), TNT, 2.3, 2.29 million
> BRET HART ARTICLE- Bret Hart's latest Calgary Sun article is online and can be read at
http://www.canoe.ca/SlamWrestling/hitman_home.html . This week he deals
with the movie Beyond The Mat.
**WIN A TRIP to HAWAII** Zing into summer with a trip to Hawaii! Every
time you send a FREE ZingCard, a personalized picture greeting, between
now and July 26, you are automatically entered in our drawing for a
Hawaiian Summer get-away. http://www.clk4.com/cgi-bin/conv.pl?16731
>> EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING NEWShttp://www.wrestling-online.com/newsstation
> ECW DVD- "Extreme Revolution" will be hitting DVD stores on the 29th of August.
This first ECW DVD released by Pioneer will have the most extreme
matches in the federation's history, including "High Incident",
"Ultimate Grudge Match", "Barbed Wire" and the special Extreme Moments
Montage. The audio track is Dolby Digital Stereo and the only extras
mentioned for the DVD are interactive menus and scene access. The DVD
will have a retail price of $24.98.
Editor can be reached at Editor@...
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