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SLAM! WRESTLING: Guest Columnist

SLAM! Sports
SLAM! Wrestling








November 22, 2001

Ideas to help XWF succeed

By STEVE CSERNYIK -- For SLAM! Wrestling

I'm really hoping the XWF is going to succeed and not flop because the WWF needs competition to bring their shows up to par, and indy workers need somewhere else to work. Maybe if XWF doesn't work out, territories will start up again, a guy can dream can't he?

To help XWF succeed, here are my suggestions:

  1. Bring in lots of Luchadores, Japanese stars, and Cruiserweights. WCW had the right formula going in 1996 with cruiserweights putting on unbelievable matches left and right but did not develop their characters and in some cases could of given them better gimmicks. The problem with bringing in foreign talent is that not everyone can not speak English. What XWF should do is take about 10 foreign guys who can speak English and 10 who can't and let them have matches together, travel together, before they have them cutting promos. The non-English speaking wrestlers can learn from their fellow countrymen who can speak English. They may only learn a little bit but it's better than missing the chance to have these athletes showcase their talents to the North American audience.

  2. Don't overflow the show with female valets: A starting promotion should focus on the WRESTLING talent at first. T and A is not going to be a factor in ratings at this point.

  3. Don't bring back aging wrestlers who can hardly walk, but use them in a more creative fashion such as managing and commentating. Fans want to see older stars from their childhood again but don't want to watch them embarrass themselves in the ring. Therefore, making them managers or commentators would bring these former stars into the spotlight without wrestling.

  4. What wrestling needs right now is a down right EVIL character. Many people say what The Undertaker has done in the past can not be repeated but with Kevin Sullivan as booker, he has to push the extreme and develop a truly gruesome, evil, heel that is going to shock and scare the wits out of the crowd, viewers at home, and even the media.

  5. For PPV's don't copy off the usual format of a few normal matches, hardcore matches, and ladder matches, but have a special match at every second PPV that the crowd will really mark out for -- like WCW's version of the Wargames, spin the wheel make the deal, chair of torture (though not as cheesy), an electrified steel cage, etc. Also for every second PPV bring in some Japanese hardcore stars to put on a violent match like North America has never seen. I mean if the Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka vs Mr. Pogo and Terry Funk Time Bomb explosion match was on a PPV people would buy it just for that, guaranteed.

  6. Don't overflow the roster with too much talent. This is the problem with the WWF right now, they have so much talent everyone can't be fit into a storyline. So when two wrestlers come out on RAW that are not involved in a storyline or a hot angle people don't care and turn the channel.

  7. Cut down on the high-spot oriented matches. Wrestling matches used to be about psychology and telling a story now they are all about how many moves you can pull off in the least amount of time. Remember less is more in wrestling.

  8. What wrestling is missing right now is comedy. Believe it or not a large percentage of people watch wrestling just to laugh. I know many who long for the days of the '80s and early '90s when you could watch the WWF and be entertained by both the athleticism and the comedic acting of the wrestlers.

  9. Make wrestling titles mean something again. I remember a time when the Intercontinental title was so prestigious and a wrestler would hold onto to it for a very long time; then when they lost the title it would be totally shocking. Nowadays titles change hands every week and don't mean jack squat.

  10. A few wild ideas from myself. Bring in Jake Roberts as a booker, I don't care what it takes to sober him up, the man is very creative and would be a valuable asset to the XWF.
  11. Bring back vignettes, when a new wrestler is a month away from debuting. I remember so many of them like Papa Shango, Razor Ramon, and even Edge and Val Venis had decent vignettes, but the WWF seemed to just stop doing them.
  12. Bring in the "Doctor of Style" Slick, this man is in my opinion one of the most underrated managers of the '80s. His comedy routines on Saturday Night Live and Superstars, such as where he was at a bank buying the contract of Hercules Hernandez were beyond hilarious.
  13. Don't make the promotion too '80s oriented. Remember the AWF on Fox from 1996? Wonder why it didn't succeed? Well, they took Vince's 80's formula and overdone it so bad that it was total cheese.
That's pretty well all I can think of now. Hope you enjoyed my ideas.
Steve Csernyik is from Sydney, Nova Scotia and can be emailed at smcsman@hotmail.com.

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