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
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
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
Too bad they have to sleep.