Hello everyone, and welcome back to Cheap Heat. My unannounced vacation last week was due to a death in the family. I did, however, keep up with the site last week. If you liked Mjoyeux's column, you can also read My Version of It. Hulkamania may live forever, but apparently the words to the song will not.
Also, I'm a big fan of this week's Showcase Column. I'm still a fiction writer at heart. I'd love to read a longer version of this story. I could've seen Hollywood buying this script during wrestling's boom period. A love story centered around a "paralyzed" wrestler. Good read.
Wrestling feeds off itself.
I've heard this argument before, along with "everyone rips off everything." If you've watched wrestling for long enough, you've seen angles recycle. Hell, if you watched the WWF from 1983 to 1990, you saw the WWF run the same angle every year. Big, unstoppable heel does something mean to Hulk Hogan. Maybe win the belt from him, only to be vanquished at Wrestlemania. Every year this angle repeated. The money was rolling in… why fix something that isn't broken?
I think everyone knew the nWo storyline would resurface again somewhere along the line. It was far too successful an angle to be put on the shelf and forgotten. It was so successful, WCW never wanted to kill it. Remember the tried and true formula of the good guy finally getting a shot at, and beating, the bad guy? You should… we discussed it in the last paragraph.
They probably had the most anticipated match since Andre/Hogan. I think Scott Keith said: "This is how the match should have gone. Sting no sells all of Hogan's offense, and pins him in three minutes flat to win the WCW World Title." I disagree. It had to be a good match… as good a match as one can get from Hogan anyway. But Sting should have won… and should have won clean. No "indecisive victory to sell a rematch at Souled out and then another indecisive victory to sell a rematch at SuperBrawl." This WAS the blowoff. People PAID to see Sting beat Hogan.
The nWo was so successful, WCW tried to recycle it 3 times. Each time, it was met with early enthusiasm, but fizzled. As soon as the WWF purchased all rights to WCW trademarks, you knew they would take a shot at it. The only thing I didn't expect was the storyline being run with the exact same plot twists and progression. And I also didn't expect them to take a storyline, that stretched from Memorial Day 1996 to Starrcade of 1997, and stuff it into three months. If it were out on video, the back of the jacket would look something like this:
Director Vince McMahon's take on Eric Bischoff's classic tale on collapse from within. The arrival of new blood in a federation is usually cause for celebration, but not when the new blood tries to take over.
When Shane McMahon first purchased WCW, it could have been the McMahon family's crowning achievement. But Shane tries to ruin his father, taking over the role of Eric Bischoff… the man who tries to break Vince McMahon. The invasion starts slowly, with few taking it seriously. But it creates a buzz, bringing in viewers.
Steve Austin (Steve Williams – Television's Jake Cage), taking over the role that re-catapulted Hulk Hogan to superstardom, is the WWF hero who turns his back on the people who made him famous. The defection of Austin deflates the WWF and adds fuel to the burgeoning rebellion.
Enter The Rock (Duane Johnson – The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King) who takes over the role of Sting. The Rock is for the WWF, but against the leadership. He will do business his own way, regardless of the cost.
The WWF, to their credit, will likely do the Invasion the right way. They know that, eventually, you have to end a feud, because people can only get behind something for so long. Eventually, we all want to see the bad guy stomped into oblivion. It will probably be done the way Bischoff should have killed the nWo. I think Bischoff was more afraid of trying to come up with a new idea to match the last success than losing in the ratings. The WWF will get past it and move on to the next thing.
In other news.
X-Pac… the first WCW/WWF unified champ. Why? Not only does it devalue having other unified champs later down the line… but it's friggin X-Pac. I thought, with the clean loss to Kidman on the PPV, they'd finally gone over some sort of hump with him and were finally going to let him be de-pushed. Boy, did they fool me. Now, if there's another unified champ later down the line, with an important title like, you know, the WORLD ones, everyone can just say "big f'n deal… X-Pac was a unified champ."
Second, I'd like to thank Widro for covering Heat for me the last two Sundays. With the new staff members come on, I think I may get replaced on it… which is cool, because he needs someone who can guarantee him every Sunday, which I can't do. Or, he'll just have someone sub for me when I'm not around, which would be even better.
Third. Folks pointed out to me that I missed the Big Bossman on Last Column's list. I agree, I certainly did miss him. I also remain to contend, with a lot of other people, that he must have some seriously incriminating evidence about something Vince did.
I'll probably update the rankings later today or tomorrow, and try to get back into the swing of things after the week off. Thanks for reading.