I’ve followed the story of WCW being sold to the WWF very closely, whether it be by keeping tabs on all the news, or reading commentaries at other sites.
There seems to be this notion that Vince McMahon owning WCW will be a terrible thing for wrestling.
I think something that online wrestling journalists fail to understand is that they are not part of the industry. Websites and newsletters are on the fan side of the game, and from that perspective, it’s pretty much all positive that McMahon will run WCW.
Sure, the wrestlers themselves will be paid less and will have no leverage in contract negotiations. Those who are bad seeds or have a rocky relationship with Vince McMahon will probably not be able to make their living as a professional wrestling in the US anymore. But when it comes down to it, how does that affect me, the wrestling fan.
The short answer? It doesn’t.
I have spent the better part of three years holding the WCW flag, enjoying the good and criticizing the bad. I have written dozens of columns detailing what I felt were the biggest flaws in WCW and how a well run management team could fix them. (I would be able to link to some from the summer of 99, but like Hyatte says, I delete them after four months- what a dick I am!).
A quick look at WCW’s major flaws since its downfall will show that a Vince McMahon
No clear leadership? Well of course Vince McMahon is the man, and the backstage politicking which destroyed WCW is gone.
Mismanagement of young stars, pushing old washed up wrestlers? The WWF has arguably the best roster ever seen, and while it seems stale at times, they do a good job overall of pushing who deserves it, and despuhing those who suck. And even the veterans that have continued pushes, like Austin and HHH, can still go in the ring, and don’t refuse to work with newer workers.
Terrible production? The WWF has the best production team in wrestling history, and is arguably the best production staff in all of television.
Awful entrances and theme music? The WWF has distinctive music with a recognizable first line/note for every superstar.
implemented control scheme will solve just about all of them.
Let’s face it, as fans, there is no one better to run WCW than Vince McMahon. Anyone else who would take over WCW would try to emulate what McMahon has perfected over the years. The machine with which the WWF is run is amazing. It’s impossible to maintain a high level of excellence at all times, but the WWF has done it for a large majority of the time.
WCW’s critics have spent years bashing the promotion for mismanagement, poor booking and weak production. By having the WWF running the show, these problems are gone in a matter of months. Imagine all your favorite WCW personalities, each with a unique theme song, cool entrance and video package, customized ring gear, logos and signature moves. They are all coached on interviews and given a specific gimmick that is allowed to grow and change.
Suddenly Sean O’Haire changes from “big scary dudeÃ¢â‚¬Â to a well rounded character, with a cool theme song, several signature moves and storylines where the fans can actually get behind him. Mike Awesome can be properly pushed a singles force, put in the ring with people who can make him look good instead of some random opponent decided upon minutes before the show. Lance Storm can be propelled from Triple Crown champion into the main event scene instead of depushing into garbage feuds with The Cat and High Morrus. And so on.
Are there long term implications to a wrestling monopoly? Probably yes. But for those who have wanted WCW to improve since its nWo heyday, there is no better short term solution than to have Vince McMahon at the helm.
Wrestling fans can look forward, for the first time ever, to two separate national promotions that both feature good in ring action and compelling booking. Wrestling websites will continue to experience increased traffic, with talk of the WWF and WCW ongoing, and the ongoing promise of a new promotion that will unseat the WWFWCW.
In September, when the WWF is as entertaining as ever, and WCW is back on its game with the right people being pushed with cool angles, step back as a fan and think for a moment. Think about how Rick Steiner is out of a job. Think about how the wrestlers might not be making 2 million dollars per year, but $500,000 instead. Think to yourself, “I wonder what Kevin Sullivan is up to these days.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Then laugh to yourself- who gives a damn about that, you’re the fan, you only care about what entertains you. And by all accounts, Vince McMahon running both shows can only be a good thing for you.