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Wrestling-Online Newsletter #665

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  • Colin Vassallo
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      ___ _ _ _ ___ _ _ ___
      / _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #665
      | (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Saturday, July 1st 2000
      \___/|_|\_|____|___|_|\_|___| http://www.wrestling-online.com
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      _____________________________________________________________________

      >> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITOR
      By 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
      tomorrow! Later.

      _____________________________________________________________________

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      _____________________________________________________________________

      >> SCHU'S VIEWS
      By 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
      the foundation.

      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'.
      JG


      "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.
      Y K


      "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
      with WWF."
      B


      "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
      boasting?

      "But to keep dragging them through the mud...how can anyone expect them
      to be
      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?"
      GM


      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
      well!

      _____________________________________________________________________

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      _____________________________________________________________________

      >> WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION NEWS
      http://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
      end!

      > CABLE RANKINGS
      - The WWF placed 1st, 2nd and 14th in this week's Neilsen cable
      rankings.
      1. ``WWF Entertainment'' (Monday, 10 p.m.), USA, 4.9, 4.93 million
      homes.
      2. ``WWF Entertainment'' (Monday, 9 p.m.), USA, 4.0, 4.06 million
      homes.
      14. ``WWF Sunday Night Heat'' (Sunday, 7 p.m.), USA, 2.1, 2.08 million
      homes.

      _____________________________________________________________________

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      _____________________________________________________________________

      >> WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING NEWS
      http://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
      rankings.
      7. ``WCW Monday Nitro Live!'' (Monday, 8 p.m.), TNT, 2.3, 2.29 million
      homes.

      > 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.

      _____________________________________________________________________

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      _____________________________________________________________________


      >> EXTREME CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING NEWS
      http://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.

      _____________________________________________________________________

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