Haley’s News And World Report 12.03.03

A Little Farewell

After about a year on the job, I have finally graduated up to weekly news guy. I am taking over a spot normally reserved for the guy that brought me to this site while he does damage on 411 Black.

Cool deal.

This would probably be a good time to officially retire my old column. I am extremely pleased with what that column accomplished. A lot of people took a look at the wrestling they’ve always watched in a new way and learned to appreciate some of the little things that normally go unnoticed. I had a few emails that I shared where this approach even helped people in their personal lives, in relationships and even a marriage!

If you want REAL proof though of the power of this column, you only need to look at a recent rant by Scott Keith to realize its influence. A couple of weeks ago he opened his RAW rant with some commentary on how the new opening sequence featured new footage that actually meshed with the lyrics of the theme music. A shot of Rosey and Hurricane posing as the theme music states that “we’re in this together”, for one example.

I began writing this column as an antacid to the often harsh critiques delivered by Mr. Keith. To see him using the little things approach to open a rant, even once, was enough for me to know that I’ve created something unique here at 411.

After a year though, it is time to close that chapter. You guys do not need me anymore to show you the good jokes, good moves, clever antics and outrageous facial expressions that are being made on television. Jericho, Victoria, Flair, and sometimes even HHH are still there doing the same things to entertain us all. You just have to see it.

It does suck that they fired Goldust, though.

Let’s Do This

This new column will be a lot of different things. Some weeks, it will seem a lot like the more newsbite-oriented report that Captain Widro likes to write. Others, it will seem more like a column where I form an opinion on some topic going on in the wrestling world. And then there are some weeks where I will write about whatever I want. At the core though, I feel like debate is the most useful thing I can create at this website. As a news reporter, I’m not going to be of much value I don’t subscribe to any newsletter, I certainly don’t have any inside sources within the fed and I am not going to get the scoop on a story before any legitimate sources. A lot of the times, I’m going to find something that catches my attention and explore the idea in depth.

Like this week.

Sometimes Relationships Get Ill .(No Doubt)

Widro’s report on Friday definitely made me think a little more about the Christian/Jericho/Trish/Lita angle.

I have always believed that the fed expands in popularity when one of two things occur:

1 – Favorable trends in age demographics occur. That is to say, a large group of males enter their early teens. Or

2 – The fed manages to push an envelope and call attention to itself.

In the late 90’s, both occurred. Young males increased in number and discovered an increasingly edgy product that seemed cool. They ate it up, got tired of it and moved on to something else. When they ate it up, though, the results were some of the best the fed has ever experienced.

If you buy into this logic, Mr. McMahon can do one of two things:

1 – Wait until favorable trends in demograhics occur while keeping his core audience happy. Or

2 – Push the envelope and make people watch.

Being impatient, Vince tried option 2 implicitly when he created the Katie Vick storyline. It failed miserably and has caused him to pull in his horns somewhat and give some younger guys a shot, most notably, John Cena.

What I think he is missing, however, and what I have always believed to be the next frontier in wrestling is this relationship-based product that is rearing its head into our programming. It is important in that it hasn’t been fully explored and it represents the next step in wrestling evolving into true “sports entertainment”. It has always had the wacky characters and conflicts, but never the deeper interaction of such entertainment as daytime soaps. This holds true especially when talking about the female characters who are more or less reserved for eye candy and other placeholder roles.

Admit it, not only is the Jericho/Trish situation interesting but there are TONS of avenues to explore, most of which have never been experienced on wrestling television. Jericho could’ve scored and then turned on her, he could’ve fallen for her, he could’ve fallen for her and then gotten upset about being whipped and turned, the list just goes on and on each with different ramifications for both characters. That they sorta blew the load last night was disappointing to say the least, but the idea is there. Relationship based angles are something every member of the audience can relate to and are an underutilized tools in developing wrestling personalities.

Now if you are one of those types that asks where this goes for the future, I can give you my thoughts. I think ultimately, wrestling will end up on HBO where they can get away with further envelope-pushing tactics. I’m speaking specifically about the sex and violence aspects of the sport (this is something that Paul Heyman was onto as a small fish with ECW). The business model is not developed and the idea of doing this in front of live audiences with children present are issues that will have to be addressed by the company. However, I firmly believe they will be addressed because there is a market for this. There are fans to be had with this type of product. If you don’t believe me and aren’t currently watching the product, just ask yourself if you’d plunk down some dollars for the product if you knew any one of the divas might get naked on television for more than a split second.

Those are my thoughts, what do you think? Hit the link at the bottom and I’ll share the best ideas next week

Quickies

News hit recently that Vince is planning a major extravaganza for Wrestlemania 20. Some of the ideas I like, but one stands out as particularly thorny and that is the Flair/Steamboat rematch. First, you have to buy into the concept that rematches and such are special. Most of the ones I can remember, especially Hogan/Warrior II, were failures that only served to tarnish the image of the original encounter. No matter how hard they train or how much we want to believe it can happen, it is very unlikely that Flair and Steamboat can do what they did over a decade ago. Magical moments often happen unexpectedly, which is why they are so special. Most of us do not anticipate something magical happening and we are blown away and giddy when it does. A rematch eliminates this aspect right off the bat – we are already expecting something great and if it fails to live up to that hype, it sucks.

Secondly, and this is the hard one to admit, this match only caters towards a select group of wrestling fans. This would be you, I and everyone else reading about wrestling on the Net. I don’t have a poll to back me up, but I can guess that a decent portion of today’s Wwe fans don’t even know about Flair/Steamboat at all. Especially the younger ones. To them, it would be a match worked in a style unfamiliar to them and by 2 very old wrestlers, one of whom may not even be recognizable.

Don’t tarnish history, I say.

The pairing of present stars however, is ok. Today’s fans know who they are and why it is important. If you don’t believe that, you missed Hogan/Rock.

Quickies II

Goldust got let go. I already said that this sucked. I wanted to say it again. His demise may have been related to the fact he couldn’t get Lance Storm over like he did for Booker, hence his apparent uselessness.

Lemme tell you though. Val aint getting that dude over either.

For Old Time’s Sake – Dolla Dolla Bills Y’all

I really busted a gut when Christian held up that coin and said 1 dollar CANADIAN to Jericho.

Let me know what you thought of the report, email me any thoughts (and little things if you like, we can still do that) and see ya next week.

Haley