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Mark Coale




The hot topic in the wrestling world is not necessarily the debut of Smackdown, which marks the return of wrestling to prime time network television (even if it is UPN), nor is it the national television debut of ECW this Friday.

While important stories, these are topics that we've known about for months. The "breaking news" is the locker room speech by WCW head honcho Eric Bischoff (who should perhaps be called Emperor Nero), where he basically said that people who were unhappy with their situation would be given their release. And almost immediately, Raven left the room and called his agent.

The first surprising action was the apparent desire of Billy Kidman to join those wanting to flee the wrestling Titanic before another iceberg comes a calling. It's not like Kidman was being buried, having been giving a win over Dallas Page on Nitro earlier that evening. But who's to say that getting a big TV win makes up for any slights, perceived or real that he may have felt along the way.

So, in the spirit of Emperor Nero's alleged decree, let's take a look at some of the almost 100 people under contract to WCW and suggest who should get while the getting's good and who should stand pat.

Chris Benoit - Let's start with the darling of the smart fans (including this reporter). Yes, he's finally gotten a push and a major singles title. But, have his recent angles (the Revolution angle and the brief reign as tag champion) really been that great? Look for the door, get on a plane and don't stop until you see Kenji Muto and Riki Choshu meeting you at the airport.

Eddy Guerrero - For someone that almost died eight months ago, you deserve better than feuding with two rappers and a fairly talented Canadian luchador. I don't know if Vince would want you, but I bet Paul E. would. In a heartbeat.

Dean Malenko - Ditto. Get to the bingo hall as soon as possible and rekindle what got you the most over in the United States in your career.

Disco Inferno - If there was someone right now in WCW that would fit great into the world of the WWF's sports entertainment, it's the Disco. Wouldn't he be great feuding with the upper mid-carders like D'Lo Brown or Road Dogg?

Booker T - He's been treated well by the WCW brass, if not always for the most altruistic of reasons. But he is positioned as a credible worker and with the correct push, could be a viable contender for the big belt. Staying would not be a horrible idea.

Lex Luger - Six of one, half dozen of the other.

Any luchador - Vamoose like Speedy Gonzalez.

Sting - There's an intriguing name. Company lifer (since Mid-South was absorbed by Jim Crockett more than a decade ago). Unless he gets a long reign as champion (and who really does these days) or finds a way to rejuvenate his character (a heel turn perhaps?), maybe a change of scenery would do the Stinger a world of good.

Arn Anderson - The consummate company man was made to shake hands on television with a man that almost killed him. If that isn't reason to leave, what is?

Ric Flair - Do I really need to say anything?

Surely, if Bischoff's offer turns out to be legitimate, there will not be mass defections. After all, some people are motivated more by job security and a steady paycheck than things like a good push or respect. But, would anyone be truly surprised if there was a fleeing from CNN Center that rivaled refugees bursting through the Berlin Wall?

Mark Coale
O-Goshi Studios - Popular Culture Journalism for the Next Millennium

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Guest column text copyright (C) 1999 by the individual author and used with permission