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SLAM! WRESTLING: Guest Columnist

SLAM! Sports
SLAM! Wrestling







Friday, March 19, 1999

SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column

Another justified kick at WCW

By DAVE "Tundra Man" CAMERON -- For SLAM! Wrestling

Must we go on beating a dead horse?

Yes. Because it's not dead yet.

Not died - just glassy eyed. Zombi-fied.

WCW continues to stagger around like the undead: technically breathing, but vacant - without purpose or focus.

They think shuffling the cards does the trick.

HELLO. It's the same deck.

Face. Heel.

HELLO.

Flair vs. Hogan.

Flair, period.

HELLO ...

It's 1999.

They just don't get it.

Likely they never did. They kicked while WWF was down. But kicking air doesn't make you a kick-boxer.

I'm not deliberately out to slag WCW. I don't have to be. They do it to themselves.

They just don't get it. Anybody who thinks WWF is stompin' butt because of the titties'n'beer doesn't get it either. In fact, the ho thing, the Sable versus whomever, is embarrassing (at least with the sound turned up). Apart from Chyna, the female angle is the weakest link of Vinnie's current chain. Forget about it.

WWF is on top because they have a great sense of character. I don't have to argue the point - merely illuminate the facts. The evidence is on the screen every week.

Think of that doofus rich kid that you knew: he had all the great toys, but he didn't know what to do with them. That's what made you so jealous. Not that you couldn't afford the toys, but that they were put to waste. Maybe it's not Ted Turner himself, more likely the people he's hired, but little Teddie gets tagged as the Richie Rich. On the other hand, whether by fluke or fortune (not the same thing), Vince McMahon is the rich kid you can respect. The Vinnie and Shane thing has tapped into a subconsious feeling that in-your-face arrogance is, at the very least, honest. And therefore worthy of some respect. (But not so much that we can't chant "A...ole!")

Exhibit A - Paul Wight.

In the hands of WCW, a big tub of goo: a seven foot, 500 pound jobber. Already - and it's been what? three, four weeks - Vinnie has done more with Wight than was done in his entire WCW career. And think about the possibilities. Past the immediate Austin/Rock/Corporation triangle - there's Wight-Undertaker. Then Wight-Kane. Then ...?

Exhibit B and C - Steve Austin and The Rock. Slight difference, but both a case of performances that should have led them to the bad-ass hall of fame. Instead, they are huge. If you've forgotten, Stone Cold was evil distilled. They made him a little grey, partly, I think, because they weren't sure which way to go with him. But Vinnie's people have the ability to read reaction: know it, learn it, love it, live it.

So they went with it. And austin became the bad-ass/rebel-with-his-own-cause that people ate right up.

Austin is the only thing that has kept Rock from no. 1. It's the right thing. too, for now, to hold hom back. They still have time with Rock (excuse me ... Duane.) And he's so damm good at calling us a bunch of rudy-poos that we love it.

For now, Austin is the man. He has to be. SCU is so strong that they can expend the energy elsewhere. 3:16 doesn't need a push. (Yes, I hear the rumours that he's going "Corporate" but that's another column.) That's the key to today's wrestling - you can love the character, but still be able to enjoy it when he gets whooped.

Which leads to ...

Exhibit D - as in De-Generation. This is the thin edge of the WWF razor. If I see the potential to go WCW, it's here. It seems they can't resist the urge to mess with the X. Once again they're working on the Road Dogg-Billy split. I hope they recognize the strength of DX - they can J.O.B. the X all they want, set them up just to fall again, but it doesn't matter. It's all about the show. The mighty Shawn was gone: all credit to JP Levesque - Triple H took the ball and ran with it. So did the Outlaws. So did Pac. That's what makes DX the best. Chyna will be back. Let test earn his way in.

Exhibit E/ or all of the above.

If WCW has an advantage it's that Konnan and Rey has them in a market Vinnie doesn't know how to tap. But those two are surrounded immediatey by bad masks and cheezy names. They in turn are surrounded by a vast horde of Smileys, Finlays and Horowitzes; who are surrounded by Windhams, Hennigs and Benoits; who in turn ... it all ends up back at Flair.

Hello.

WCW is so lost in its own shadow they don't realize that chasing Vinnie Mac's shadow is just digging another hole.


Dave Cameron is the automotive editor at the Edmonton Sun, and can be emailed at dcameron@sunpub.com. He wrote for us back in January too: Ipso facto lame-o.

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