The Weekend Hotline News Report 01.04.03

Welcome to the Saturday news report. I am not Flea, but hopefully enough of you were tricked into clicking here, thus increasing my reader count enough to further my evil plans of world domination. For those of you who don’t know me, I do the Week In Wrestling column on Monday mornings and the Tuesday News Report over on 411music. I’ve done the news a couple times before. I don’t know if this is a substitute gig, a temporary gig, or a permanent gig I just know Widro and Ash needed a quick news column and since my area of the US is in the process of being buried yet again under ANOTHER foot of snow, I have nothing better to do on this lovely Friday night.

It’s also possible they just wanted to keep the delicate Republican/Democrat balance in check in the news columns.

Goodness, when scouring for newsbits nothing works like Panicware’s Popup Stopper. Panicware keepin 1bob surfable for one full day. It eats FOUR popups per page load. That’s cute.

Top Story

Well, I think it is anyway and that’s really all that matters.

Word from the Torch Newsletter, and reported all over the net recently, is that Vinnie Mac is thinking of giving full booking control over to Bischoff for Raw. Basically, Vince feels that if he ever wants to differentiate the two brands, he has to find a person who will not book a show to satisfy him. He feels that the current shows are similar, because the writers of both brands cater to Vince and, what Vince wants, Vince gets.

Well, it’s been reported for the better part of forever that Vince has the final say on what gets to television. Of COURSE the writers are going to cater to what he wants. They have a good gig and, if Scott Keith’s report that their continuity director got fired for pointing out too many errors, don’t want to rock the boat. Vince reminds me of someone who likes to be surrounded by yes-men Gerwitz is a real writer he HAS to know some of the shit he’s churning out sucks but it’s what Vince likes. If he churns out something Vince doesn’t like, it gets axed. Eventually, you get tired of fighting the good fight.

Now, in what could be a final show of desperation, Vince is looking to hand over total creative control of HIS show over to the guy who used to consistently whip his ass in the ninties. The guy who was nearly credited with the utter destruction of the WWF. Vince is looking to hand full control of his Monday product over to Eric Bischoff, to see if Bisch can recreate the Monday Magic that put the WWF on the ropes in the first place.

Will it work? Possibly. One thing Bischoff knows how to do is write a good wrestling show he also is someone willing to listen to what the fans want. Politics and friendships brought Nitro down during Bischoff’s first run. If he can stay away from that, he might be able to fire things up. A new voice in the creative department couldn’t hurt at all by any stretch of the imagination he does need some things to make it work though.

    1.

  1. TOTAL CONTROL: By total control I mean HE has the final say of what goes on television, not Vince. Don’t make Bischoff go through Vince to put something on TV, other than a cursory glance. If Vince doesn’t like something, he can’t just veto it he HAS to be willing to listen. Vince can’t turn the whole thing into a pissing contest with Bischoff, chalking it up to: “I can veto this because, well, I CAN.” Bischoff needs to go through this with “What He Says, Goes” Confidence. Not to say that Vince doesn’t have input possibly HUGE input, but he needs to be willign to let Bischoff just say “No this sucks” and go along with it rather than pulling out his dick and saying “yep, this is my show, and f*ck you, Eric ”
  2. 2.

  3. Give him the wrestlers he wants: Bischoff is willing to book and run a cruiserweight division or at least give someone the control over it. The cruiserweight division on Nitro was one of the only reasons to watch the show at the end. If Malenko is still a road agent, let Raw take the cruiserweight division and run with it, because it’s going nowhere on Smackdown.
  4. 3.

  5. Transfer Nash to Smackdown. Bischoff doesn’t need to have his political buddies in his ears. Nash is the only one of those left. DDP is gone, Ernest Miller had his shot, Hogan’s already on Smackdown, and Hall is gone. Bischoff needs to have McMahon’s tendency not to push someone because they’re buddies. He needs to do what’s best for business.
  6. 4.

  7. Leave him in control: Vince has to be willing, if Bischoff turns it around, and the show starts getting better Vince can’t just shut Bischoff down because Bisch is doing what Vince couldn’t.

Give Bischoff till April that’s it. Give him three months and total control and see what happens. What’s the worst? Ratings slide farther? I doubt it even when Raw was getting whupped, it was still pulling high 2’s and they still have some “cool” fans who have decided to stick around through the sucking. The problem is roping the “cool” fans back and giving them a reason to stick around again. Do I have confidence in Bischoff reinventing the wheel again? Not really but I do have confidence that he can do something interesting. If there’s one thing Bischoff knows how to do, it’s tell a story, and sell the NEXT show I have full confidence he can do it again.

However, I don’t have confidence that Vince will give him enough leeway to do what he wants and not turn it into a pissing contest.

Ross Report

Jim Ross announced today that he will be discontinuing the Ross Report after this week, thus destroying weekend news columns everywhere. Ross cited time constraints on all the jobs he has around the WWF along with talking about how the talent sometimes feel slighted or insulted to how they’re mentioned by Ross.

Ross also said sometimes the column seemed to take on a life of it’s own once the Netizens got a hold of it and start interpreting and twisting it.

Of course, if the WWF was like any OTHER company out there, you wouldn’t HAVE a bunch of people taking a kayfabed column and trying to read things out of it people could just confirm stories. If the WWF really wanted to kill all the nasty net rumors out there, they could just open a press relations department like every other company on the face of the planet.

My theory? They DON’T want to kill Net Rumors because, as bad as all the old-timers out there think we dirty net folks are, we’re good for business especially the WWF’s business. We may be bitching about it but we’re still watching it and for every person who jumps to Yahoo and types in “wrestling,” they have another fan they probably won’t lose. ‘Net Rumors are interesting, and regardless of what anyone says, they generate interest in the show. “Will it really happen?” “How right is the Torch?” HHH probably even likes the Internet, because it probably makes him seem much more powerful than he really is.

And also, the fact Ross is pissed because people try to read messages out of his column is bullshit. The only reason people do it is because he PUTS them there. Random cryptic messages are generally designed to make people say: “jeez, Chuck, what’s he talking about.” For him to turn around and then say: “goddam net geeks, looking for secret messages” is bull. Don’t open Pandora’s Box if you don’t want people looking in Jim-Bob.

Brock Busted Open

Matt Hardy busted Brock open hardway with a chair shot to the back of the head. If Matt’s push wasn’t dead before, it’s certainly dead now.

Ratings News on the Best of 2002

The Raw Best of Show on Monday scored a 2.8 proving that the best parts of shit is still shit.

Nostalgia Sold Hogan for a few Months Let’s Do It Again

If the promo on Smackdown last night was any indication, it looks like Undertaker is headed back to the Royal Rumble as the undead Zombie which got him over in the first place. Yes, Mark Calloway will once again reprise the original Undertaker.

I’m torn on my feelings on this. I think it would be cool to see the undead Undertaker again rather than the biker badass who’s getting kind of stale as of late and REALLY needed some sort of character overhaul anyway. But then, I don’t think this is any sort of solution to any of the problems the WWF is having right now. A return to the age of gimmicks isn’t going to be their answer.

On one hand, Nostalgia has been working great for them lately, but it makes no sense in the Undertaker’s current character to suddenly flashback into this undeadness. When he left, Brock was screwing with his head and his wife the badass biker gimmick works fine on the return to get his revenge.

Unfortunately, in the time he’s been gone, Brock’s gone to full-fledged face so a feud with the face Undertaker wouldn’t make much sense. Also, with Brock beign a babyface and likely being protected up to Wrestlemania, the revenge feud isn’t going to happen. It’ll just go into the queue of the WWF’s unresolved issues. Now, a GOOD writing staff would remember it happened and use it further down the road when they need to garner a feud between the two of them but the WWF doesn’t have a good writing staff. Instead, Brock will likely spill coffee on the Undertaker and a six month feud will ensue.

In the long run, the Zombietaker will entertain some folks for a few weeks, but ultimately will end up like Hogan. Nostalgia works for a bit, but not for the long term. The biker, or some other version of the Undertaker, will have to be resurrected with the quickness.

Staziak NOT Returning to the WWE

And fans everywhere look to the sky and scream “WHY, WHY HAVE YOU MISLEAD US 411???” Actually, we didn’t do it intentionally.

Apparently, the REAL Shawn Staziak got ahold of the No Holds Barred radio show yesterday and informed them that there is some guy who has been impersonating him, who calls in to radio shows and poses as him and feeds people bad information. The REAL Staziak called in to set the record straight.

To the fake Staziak BWWAAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH!!!! Good shit, dude. Perfect, pick a guy no one really cares about and pretend to be him that way, no one even questions it.

“Who we talking to? Shawn wha?”
“Eh, f*ck cares, just put him on.”

In Other Reading

Ross Williams talks about the top moments of the years past. The first part of the column covers 1989 – 1995.

Dino Zucconi Marks his Territory with a column about Shawn Michaels. He tears into Shawn Michaels, and actually puts together a pretty solid column dissing the constant net-fellating of Michaels.

I read Gamble and you should, too.

Brodie Hubbard has a new column gimmick where he takes WWF plot holes, sent in by you readers, and does what a good writing staff would do plug them up.

In Closing

Not sure if you will see mere here next week or not. Also not sure who you will see on Monday. I’ll definitely be back on Monday Morning, either in tears or celebratory depending on how the Giant’s Wildcard game goes, with The Week In Wrestling and on Tuesday with the 411mania Music News. Till then, enjoy Eric, Grut, and Ashish.