Cheap Heat 04.12.02: Clear Thoughts

It reaches a point some evenings where you lay in bed

and stare at the ceiling. One hour goes by, then two,

and then you realize it stops being a “night’s sleep”

and becomes “a nap.” Just like any other nap, you can

then feel free to skip it and do something more

useful. Do homework that’s been piling up, put

together a Dungeons & Dragons campaign for friends who

are counting on you to show them a good time, work on

that novel that keeps getting away from you, or just

think about life in general.

Those of you who are new-ish to 411 know me as “The

Week In Wrestling” guy, which I, unfortunately, had to

skip this week because of prior engagments. Widro

then flamed me and told me that, being part of the

“Senior Staff,” I need to put up a better example.

This week, I’m doing what I used to do… which is

writing a column not involving what happened

specifically this week.

The night time is a very relaxing time. You don’t

realize how much time of your life is spent sleeping

until you skip it for an evening. Suddenly, these

five to eight hours normally reservered for laying on

a raised, cushiony platform… unmoving, is a time you

can sit and exist with no deadlines, no one looking

for answers, and no one bothering you. Everyone is

asleep, there’s no one to talk to, and you’re left

alone with your thoughts. If I were a paid writer for

a series of books, TV shows, or anything of the like,

this is when I would do my thinking. No one

second-guesses you in this magical time. It’s you,

your thoughts, and dammit, you know what’s good.

The WWF Creative Team doesn’t have this luxury.

They’ve been slammed over and over this year for

dropping storyline after storyline, and ruining angle

after angle. I’m guilty of it myself. Pointing out

storyline gaffs and flaws is what I do… that’s my

column. I look over what the WWF gives us week after

week and update you all on it. I see what I see, and

I have my opinion. I inflict that opinion on you.

Some of you like it, some of you don’t.

Some of us will never be happy, and some of us only

exist to point out the bad in what the WWF does. I

try not to do that, and I try not to be overly cynical

with them. I know what I would do in the writer’s

situation… but I’m not in the writer’s situation,

and maybe there’s a reason for it. The WWF creative

team answers to Vince McMahon… and we all know

Vince’s track record for “really good ideas.” We need

only look at the string of gimmicks through the

Eighties. Guys who passed though as wrestling

plumbers and the like. Take a guy who can puke at

will and put him out there… the fans will dig him.

Vince is known more for his bad ideas than the good

ones. The ideas that come out on television week

after week are approved by Vince and Vince alone. No

50% with someone else… the buck stops with Vince.

We point our ire and fire at the Creative Team, and it

doesn’t completely deserve to be.

Those of us who remember the hey-day of ECW remember

the Raven/Dreamer feud. It went on for a year and it

never got old or uninteresting. We remember the

Sabu/RVD Respect feud… we remember the Tazz/Sabu

feud. We know what Paul E can do when he’s motivated.

All the bad ideas making it to WWF television in the

last few months haven’t come from the creative team…

they’ve come from Vince.

It was Vince who decided to bury the Invasion before

it started. It was Vince who decided to put Stephanie

in charge of ECW rather than let Paul E run a rival

faction bent on destroying the company which sucked

the life out of it. It was Vince who has let a former

WCW Champion wallow on the undercard and feud over the

European Title, saddling him with one of the sillier

gimmicks in the 00s. It was Vince who’s decided to

rip the balls off the nWo to make the locker room

happy. It was Vince who decided to split the roster

into two shows rather than further the

pseudo-“competition” generated by two rivalling

companies. It was Vince who decided to split the

roster such that Raw has all the belts.

Entertaining people isn’t hard… ask actors who have

been acting in the same role on a soap for 20 years.

Keeping the masses entertained week to week isn’t a

difficult thing. Make a character they can identify

with, put him in difficult situations, and for God’s

sake, don’t show the same thing over and over. If

Austin wins every time he’s in a match, that’s just as

bad as him losing every match. People lose interest.

They want to see him making a comeback after getting

beat down. That’s what the hero does… he succeeds

against all odds. Hogan knew that, which is why he

looked like a bitch, so long as he won the big match

at the end. Look where he is now. Rock knows it

too… I don’t know his PPV record, but I bet it’s

pretty even. There’s always a chance Rocky will lose

a match. Austin not only wins, but beats the people

two or three times in the same match. If he had to

win at ‘Mania, fine… but was it necessary to

completely bury the nWo? Have him, basically, beat

Hall and Nash both together… and then, this past

Monday, do it again? This big bad band everyone was

supposed to be concerened about is now an

afterthought. They’re the nWo, but they don’t do

anything.

The people responsible for what we see on Raw and

Smackdown from week to week just need time like this.

Nighttime… time to focus on where they want to go

and how they want to get there. Each of them should

take this time… The WWF used to exist with storyline

planned out six months in the future… now I’d be

surprised if they knew what was going to happen the

day after Backlash, or at Backlash for that

matter.

I think if they just sat back and thought about it for

fifteen minutes, a lot of the stuff we complain about

wouldn’t happen. There are some professional writers

involved with the WWF. I don’t think they make the

storyline gaffs and holes we find… and I certainly

don’t think a professional writer is responsible for

what we complain about.

But they have a guillotine hanging over their heads at

all times… and at the switch is Vince McMahon…

he has the final say.

Their heads don’t end up in there… but their

storylines do.

Too bad they have to sleep.

End Transmission