Monday, December 28, 1998
SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
Starrcade a sour end to 1998
WCW's Starrcade proved once and for all that Bishoff has no place in the ring or even in the wrestling business. Tony Schiavone said something like, "You never know what to expect when you order a WCW pay per view." Wrong, you do know what to expect.
Expect to see a few major matches (Luger-Steiner, Hall-Bigelow) replaced with "bigger" matches with "bigger" stars, like Norman Smiley, Prince Iaukea (or whatever the hell his name is), and my personal favorite Fit Finley. Expect to see a really original and cool ending to one of the main events, like an NWO member giving a foreign object to another NWO member. And finally, expect to see a series of "interesting, in-depth" interviews with participants before their matches used solely to fill up the three-hour time slot.
Now here's what not to expect. Don't expect to see an angry man drive to the ring in a pick-up truck, beat the crap out of his opponent on top of it, and then pound a few beers. Don't expect to see a woman wearing only stickers on her breasts. And don't expect to see a man buried alive under two tons of dirt. In other words, don't expect to see anything interesting, risky, or even in the least bit exciting. Even if some of these things may offend you, they do cause an emotional reaction. You aren't just sitting there trying to stay awake because you dolled out $29.95 for the damn thing.
I really had high hopes for Starrcade. I thought the last two years they did a decent job, but this year the event changed my loyalties all together. I only got three pay per views from WCW this year and they were all equally as bad.
Take Bash at the Beach for example. Just think of all the possibilities of having Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone wrestle! WCW received quite a bit of publicity and hype for the event. Sports fans who never ordered a wrestling pay per view were going to order one for the first time. This was WCW's chance to lure in new fans. All they needed to do was provide an exciting and fun main event. But instead, all WCW could do was have each huff and puff around the ring starring at each other for most of the match. Don't they know that that's BORING. Don't they get the hint when half the fans in the audience are chanting it!!
And look at Fall Brawl, there was Bret Hart, Warrior, Roddy Piper, Nash, Luger, Sting, and Hogan. That's seven of the biggest names in wrestling history. All of these men would be in two cages fighting for a chance at Goldberg. The hype sounds great right? Yet, the match was slow-paced and boring and had a terrible finish!! (The preview show was more exciting!)
It's been said before, but it should be said again, WCW does NOT know what to do with their talent!! Now I realize that Bishoff doesn't want to copy the WWF, but unless he comes up with something original and interesting soon, WWF will continue to win the ratings war. The WWF has won my rating. I'm not even going to waste video tape on Nitro any more.
Jeff Mielke is from Meriden, CT. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org