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Alex Chan




Hello everybody, and hopefully you guys enjoyed my first article about the need for celebrities in wrestling. I am still getting used to writing about wrestling, and will need to work out the kinks. This week's article is about something even more crazy and illogical than my rumblings last week: the loss of a superstar.

For all of you baseball fans, you know that the Seattle Mariners, my hometown baseball team, are off to one of the greatest starts in the 120 year existence of baseball. The reason why this comes as such a surprise is that this team lost three of the greatest superstars in the history of baseball: Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr., and A-Fraud (Alex Rodriguez). It was ironic that when our team possessed these three men with god-given ability, we struggled to make the playoffs. It's funny now, because we have one of the best records in history, now that the three best players on our team departed.

The reason why I want to bring this up is that the current state of wrestling is very similar to what has happened to the Seattle Mariners. We can even look at the loss of the superstar from the WCW and the WWF. During the 1997 campaign, Bret Hart was the top dog in the WWF with his Canadian gimmick. He was the world champion and the superstar of the WWF for that year. The ratings were very mediocre and there was some talk that WCW may in fact put Vince McMahon and the WWF out of business. Then, Bret Hart, quit the WWF after the Montreal fiasco to leave for the greener pastures of WCW. The WWF, without their main attraction for the past two years or so, all of a sudden took off. Ratings skyrocketed as the WWF went to the Austin/McMahon feud that incorporated former role players such as Dude Love and HHH, and dare I say the Rock.

In WCW, Hulk Hogan left for good after Vince Russo's shoot on him at the Bash at the Beach in 2000. Now, Hogan was more than just WCW's superstar; he was the power broker. His departure left Booker T. feuding with Jeff Jarrett and allowed WCW to incorporate former role players such as Scott Steiner, Mike Awesome, and Lance Storm into main event angles. Even though the loss of Hogan failed to help WCW in the ratings department, it did create more interesting and captivating television, despite the loss of its top star.

I have a theory about the loss of a superstar. When a team or a company loses one, it forces the people below him or her, or the role players to step up the game. That has happened this year for the Seattle Mariners. Instead of just relying on two guys to carry you, the whole 25 guys needed to put a concerted effort forward. Both federations have done well when losing a superstar to a horrific injury or to the other side. With Bret Hart gone, we saw the rise of HHH and the Rock. After Hogan finally left the building, Booker T. and Steiner received their chance to showcase their talent.

My final point on this article will be about the superstar who will soon make departure from the industry. Actually, make it two superstars: Goldberg and the Rock. The Rock will probably never be a full-time wrestler again. He'll work angles for six months and not show up on Smackdown or Raw every week. He'll be tasting the easier, yet more profitable life of Hollywood and movies. Goldberg has already given up on the business as he doesn't want to take a paycut and return to the business that gave him his character. Goldberg never really had the passion that the Rock possessed, but drew some of the loudest reactions that WCW will ever get for a wrestler. He is simply content with just making crappy movies and going on bodybuilding shows. Wrestling will have to deal with the loss of two superstars. Can it recover? The ratings are showing a gargantuan slip. Ever since the Rock went on its hiatus, Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho moved up into the main event. It's up to the WWF as a card to continue to succeed without the Rock. Everybody from the Lazy Show to Austin need to put a better effort out because the main guy might not come back. Wrestling is not like the Lakers, where all you need is Kobe and Shaq to win.

Next week, I'll give you my live report of Smackdown, for I'll be attending it in Tacoma, Washington on July 3. See ya!

Alex Chan
The Great One


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