WCW sale has plenty of Flair
By TIM BAINES -- Ottawa Sun
The World Wrestling Federation has put the final hammerlock on World Championship Wrestling.
They hated their rivals of some 20 years so much, they bought their company.
News that the Fusient Media group led by Eric Bischoff had failed in its efforts to secure WCW, probably largely because the company's TV home, Time-Warner's TBS, seems to have soured on wrestling, was followed quickly by the WWF swooping in like vultures.
And look for the sale to have an immediate impact. WCW's final show under the old ownership will be shown in Canada on TSN (Tuesday at midnight), with the WWF's RAW on tomorrow as usual. Don't expect the WWF to muddle its current storylines too much. But don't be surprised if the cross-promotional angle begins. Think of the possibilities. Ric Flair joining forces with Shane McMahon to head the "new WCW." Maybe an invasion, too, even though the WWF says it'll keep WCW on its own.
Don't look for all of the WCW stars to stay. While many of the smaller-contract (and smaller-bodied) wrestlers will be retained, guys like Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan, Scott Steiner and Goldberg are not sure things. In fact, Nash told Wrestleline's Dave Richard he'd rather stay home and collect the $2 million he's owed for the next year or so. Nash slammed the WCW regime.
"When you've got David Arquette and Vince Russo -- two guys who have held the world belt -- it's no wonder why our ratings went to s--t."
And Hogan left the WWF on bad terms after testifying against Vince McMahon in a steroid scandal.
Scott Steiner is an injury risk (and a bad actor).
Goldberg would have to take a salary cut, but Sting and Booker T are strong possibilities to remain. And Diamond Dallas Page has great charisma.
It would be great to see a big crossover event. Wrestlemania could become the Super Bowl of wrestling with champion vs. champion.
The WWF has also talked about putting together a 24-hour wrestling network. The acquisition of WCW's tape archives may put the wheels in motion.
Critics will suggest the lack of competition will take some of the edge off the WWF. But don't count on it.
Vince McMahon's battle for the past couple of years wasn't against WCW, it was to continue to toe the line with plenty of sex, violence and rock and roll.
Expect more of the same, maybe with the volume turned up even a little more.