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ET CETERA - Jay looks at WWF creative, says goodbye to FMW and more.
by Jay Spree on 2002-02-20

So, my girlfriend REALLY wants this thing on eBay, and she wants to do the last minute thing in the hope of landing the final high bid before the auction ends at about 2:30am. So we finish talking about 22:30 and I pretty much go straight to sleep.

Bear in mind that I don’t usually go to bed until around 5:30 or 6:00.

I wake up about 1:40, and figure I may as well play some Monkey Ball until 2:00, before ringing to make sure she’s awake and online. 2:30 I get the call, and she’s overjoyed because she’s won the auction and I’ve scored major brownie points because I let her use my account. So now I’ve got to go online and work out the payment with the seller. That takes me about ten minutes, and then I figure I may as well stay online for a while. Which I do. About 3:30 I finish and I’m wide awake, but with a buzzing headache since my body doesn’t know what the hell’s going on with my sleep. I watch Dogma and play some Perfect Dark, and now it’s about 6:00, and my head’s still buzzing. I toss and turn for ages, and it’s about 7:30 before I get to sleep.

10:39 my alarm goes off, and I feel like crap on the bottom of someone else’s shoe. I lie there for five minutes and contemplate whether or not I can really be arsed to go to my 11:00, two-hour workshop. Since I’ve missed the last two, I figure I’d better get up and go. Which I do. I get to the room, and there’s a notice: “Lecturer ill. Class cancelled.”

I hope everyone else is better than I am. I’m gonna finish writing this, then I’m going back to bed – it’ll be about 14:00, which will no doubt confuse my body even more.

I don’t really have anything specific to rant about this week, so I’ll just go back to the old format and sound off about a number of topics. Enjoy!


The Fed scores a goal, or an oWn goal?

To me, No Way Out was a bust. I mean, yeah, the nWo showed up, which in one sense makes me very happy, but they came off totally like the Alliance but with fewer and older guys. The work on the show was pretty slow, and any time a Goldust match (or an RVD match, come to think of it) is the best on the card, you know you’ve got problems.

On the other hand, RAW rectified the situation quite nicely. The nWo were built up as a major force, the Hogan-Rock stuff was absolutely great, and creative pulled their heads out of their asses for long enough to put together a decent show. I can’t help but think that it would have played out a lot better if they’d given all these big payoffs, you know, at the PAY-PER-VIEW, so it might give fans the incentive to fork out that extra sixty bucks a year, but what do I know.

Speaking of creative, Dave Scherer wrote something interesting over at 1Wrestling:

It's funny, you hear people talk all the time about the "up and down cycles of the business", like it's unavoidable. I don't think it is. I think what happens is that every creative team that has a good run then runs out of ideas and hangs around too long, thus creating the down cycle. I think that is what the WWF is in now, a down creative cycle. But again, I could be wrong.

I kind of agree with that, although I think it needs a little elaborating.

Certainly, the creative teams in the WWF do get burned out quickly – hence all the positions on HotJobs all the damn time. Even Vince Russo (who, for better or worse, ALWAYS had an idea for a show) got burned out, hence his jump to WCW. I would argue, however, that the present creative team have yet to have a “good run”. In fact, just about everything they’ve touched has turned to shit. I mean, Jesus, we’ve all taken it so much for granted that we’ve forgotten just how much of a COLOSSAL FUCKUP it was that they couldn’t get any mileage out of the InVasion.

But I digress.

Certainly, I would agree that, in today’s age of post-Russo crash TV booking, wrestling’s down cycles are generally the result of down booking or creative cycles, and that is exactly what we have now. I can’t remember the last time the Fed put on back to back, must-see TV shows, and hopefully I’ll be proved wrong when Smack!Down airs tomorrow night – believe me, nothing would make me happier.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees the dramatic irony in the WWF choosing the long, slow build towards and pique interest in their biggest show of the year, WrestleMania – a show which is already SOLD OUT. If they would only do the same thing for every other show, things might be a whole lot better for business. Even No Way Out, which admittedly built interest in the nWo, was horridly thrown together – I did my little fantasy booking this time last week and they didn’t even have all the matches finalised. FOUR DAYS before the event. And they wonder why they can’t get a rating.


Everybody say HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Over at TheSmarks, where you can find weekly DVD news and bi-weekly DVD reviews from yours truly, the other Jay – “Fake” Jay Bower – put up an exclusive interview he conducted with Jim Duggan.

I would HEARTILY recommend you give it a read, as there’s some truly wonderful self-delusional gold. For example, when asked about his Team Canada heel turn: “I thought it was a bad idea…Soon after the turn, World Championship Wrestling went out of business.” Oh, so THAT’S why WCW went bust, because Hacksaw Jim fucking Duggan turned heel!

Of Bill Goldberg, he said that “Bill is a good guys and a great wrestler”. I love jokes that don’t need punchlines.

When asked about the main cause of WCW shutting down, he offered the following explanation: “Russo and Bishoff. Poor management plain and simple.” I hate to point out that neither Russo or Bischoff were in managerial roles anywhere near the time WCW went bust. In fact, Russo never held any managerial position in the company, and Bischoff had long ago gone off into the wilderness. If he wants to blame management, he should state names like Bill Busch and Brad Siegel. Sure, Russo’s booking may have sent the company on an irrecoverable downward spiral, but you can’t equate one thing to a completely unrelated other. Unless you’ve got cock eyes and big plank, I guess.

And just in case any Hacksaw marks think about flaming me, he finished with this: “Scott Hall is bad for our sport.” Any man who still refers to the worked, non-competitive wrestling business as a “sport” is an asshead, plain and simple.


F-M-DUB! F-M---D’OH!

The promotion that everyone loved to hate, FMW, has finally closed down after 12 years. Perhaps the largest remaining ECW-esque promotion in that it blended highspots, garbage matches and occasionally great workrate, declared bankruptcy last week, only months after Hayabusa’s in-ring paralysis, and mere days after RINGS announced that it was shutting its doors.

Perhaps the only legitimate pioneer of “hardcore wrestling”, ECW certainly has FMW to thank for much of its success, and subsequently so does the WWF. On the other hand, this is the very reason many wrestling purists loathe FMW. But the promotion did revitalise Terry Funk’s career, and gave us greats like Hayabusa, so maybe it wasn’t all that bad.

It’s another sign of the way things are changing in the wrestling industry. In just over a year, we’ve lost four major promotions – ECW, WCW, RINGS, FMW – and countless smaller independent ones.



I’m out, and on my way to bed. Feel free to hit me with an email – just don’t expect it to get answered until I’ve had about three days of continuous sleep.

Peace.
J$



Say what you will (or won’t) about Hogan, and most of us do, but he’s the only guy on the roster smart enough to think of a comeback to the idiot marks shouting “What?” all the time……So Jericho “would like to compete against Hogan if he had a chance”. You know what that’s called? WCW……Viacom are starting to feel the heat? Well, between their ratings loss for the WWF and Blockbuster being complete assholes about widescreen DVDs, I can’t say as they haven’t been pissing me off for a while……Akira Maeda got arrested for assault? Jeez, I wonder how bad the other guy got hurt……“Bodyslams! And Beyond”? I like Gary Michael Cappetta, but that is one LAME title……I love the way Opie & Anthony try to shame Vince by bringing up how he was staring at his daughter’s tits on live national television, and Vince straight up admits to it like it’s no big deal. You know, if they thought an incest angle would boost ratings, I have absolutely no doubt that they’d do it……Chono/Yasuda/Steiner/Nagata for the IWGP title? How sad is that?……And giving the belt to Yasuda is even sadder……I’m not always 100% with his info, but I’m really looking forward to Observer Live coming back……Props to Harley Race for landing WLW a TV deal……I don’t know what’s funnier; Yale having something called a “Master’s Tea”, or the fact that they invited Diamond Dallas Page to it……By the way Falk, if I was married to Kim, I’d be trying to make a babies every hour all day……“Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis can’t handle the power of the punch.” Man, I love Regal……Mark Loyd? Mark Loyd? Who the hell is Mark Loyd?……Oh, he did broadcasting for the XFL. And they think it’s a GOOD IDEA to bring him in?……Flair-Taker? Christ almighty……Borash comes aboard the WWA PPV and suddenly all the workers try to get off the show. Figures…… Ooh, the Hardyz are back. HOO-FUCKING-RAY. I’m about as excited as the announce team seemed to be……Got to WWF.com and check out the No Way Out interviews with Hogan and Hunter. If these guys ever get bored of steroids and spandex, they could clean up in Washington……Didn’t ever think I’d see the current AWA champ on RAW……Well, I was impressed that the WWF sold out Yokohama so quickly, but they’ve only sold 4,000 seats for each of the other shots on the Asian tour? That ain’t good……Amazingly, right now Nash is the most disposable member of the nWo. Hogan is obviously the most charismatic and over of the group, Hall can still wrestle circles around a lot of guys on the roster, but Nash? Well, you can argue that his appeal has only ever been his size, but he’s not even feuding with anyone right now. I imagine it’ll only be a matter of time before we see him programmed with the Undertaker or Kane. Or maybe they’re waiting til Big Show gets back. Neck braces have ATTITUDE……Notice how everyone’s talking about “Gee, the WWF really fucked up the night Owen died”, rather than “Gee, that ambulance thing was pretty awesome”……Notice how the WWF seemingly realises that Edge and Christian’s singles pushes have been complete failures, yet they’d sooner put Edge with RVD than put a classic tag team back together?……Gotta love that Dusty booking……Shane Douglas……Shane Douglas……Shane Dou……


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