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WCW is Dead; Long Live ECW!!

WCW is dead. It died long ago, but it seems that no one has really noticed, especially Vince McMahon. WCW was, in fact, sick for the last few years, but no one seemed to care. The bookers didn't see the need to give it a rest or some much needed medicine. No, they just continued to put a very ill product out every Monday night until WCW couldn't take anymore, went into a coma, and eventually died. Vince McMahon, being the self-professed, egomaniacal, genius, miracle-worker that he thinks he is felt that he could bring WCW out of its grave, work a little voodoo magic, and resurrect the once proud franchise. He was mistaken. You see, you can't resurrect the dead, not successfully anyway. That's the stuff of fairy tales, comic books, soap operas, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nope, WCW is way dead, but Vince just can't seem to realize it. He keeps trying to breath life into a corpse and fans everywhere keep shaking their heads, probably with the same sad look of disgust and sympathy I have when I watch. His quest is futile. He's chasing a myth and doesn't even realize it.

WCW, the real WCW has not existed for years. The real WCW had great wrestlers and cool mark-out moments. The image of the real WCW had Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Magnum T.A., The Legion of Doom, Nikita Koloff, Barry Windham, and Sting as its poster boys of success. And all those guys are either very old and near retirement, retired, or unproductive shadows of their former selves clinging on to life as they know it, much like the federation they once worked for. This real WCW has been gone for a long, long time. This was the WCW of great promos and of substance over style. This WCW brought us classic concepts like the Great American Bash and StarrCade and match stipulations such as War Games. The WCW of a few short years ago that fans like to harp back to wasn't really WCW at all. Those intense Nitros with the nWo gimmicks and the kick-ass ratings was not WCW. That was WCWWF. That was a stolen angle starring stolen wrestlers who pretended they still worked for the better company. The nWo Invasion angle only worked because fans felt that Nash, Hall, Waltman, and Medusa were still employed by the WWF when they appeared on Turner television. It was Eric Bischoff's last-ditch attempt to breath life into a dying franchise and it failed. It was a bandage when WCW needed a cure. Flawed medical treatment built on flawed theory. Instead of saving the company by building their own stars, they just stole McMahon's. And now we see the long term effects.

Every fanboys greatest mark-out dreams about inter-promotional matches and stories (a REAL SuperBrawl, if you will) seemed painfully close to becoming reality when Vince proceeded to purchase the corpse that was WCW and perform his voodoo resurrection magic. Surely this would be the greatest summer and fall in the history of wrestling, right? Wrong. Those same fanboys saw their dreams shattered a soon as Vince brought that resurrected company in front of a live crowd a few short Mondays ago. What Vince forgot is basic ReAnimatior 101: You can bring dead things back to life, but they'll never be what they once were. And people certainly won't want to be around anything dead. Dead things reek and they don't look good. So when Vince presented the reincarnated WCW to of fans, they resisted with vehement protest. Smell it? Oh did they ever. The problem was that the smell of WCW was putrid. It was the smell of rotten, abused flesh and decay.

Fans rejected WCW from the start, and, in hindsight, who could blame them? There is no star power in the new, half-life WCW. And make no mistake, wrestling shows are carried by their stars. This reanimated corpse has no stars. The real stars that made the WCW brand are all mentioned at the top of this article. Goldberg, the only star WCW has successfully created in the past 5 years, has only half-heartedly interest in the business and would rather sit dormant and collect a pay check than become a real-life superman, by saving this dead thing called WCW and becoming a true star in every sense of the word. WCW star power: Zero. Booker and DDP, while over, are not synonymous with the WCW name in the same way that Flair, Anderson and the others are/were. And how telling is it that the WCW champion has his heat stolen by Shane-O-Mac and DDP has become the Taker Family whipping boy? Very. But does this stop McMahon? Oh no. Being the self-professed, egomaniacal, genius, miracle-worker that he thinks he is, he simply came up with a back-up plan. He worked one more magic spell of voodoo and witchcraft. He took what he thought was another dead wrestling federation in ECW and attempted to merge in with WCW, thereby saving both in the process.

And that's where McMahon's logic was flawed a second time. You see, ECW wasn't dead at all. ECW was just in a really deep coma. And coma patients CAN become healthy again and resume their previous lifestyles. ECW is just such a coma patient. In attempting to save the reanimated WCW, it seems McMahon may actually have an opportunity to save ECW. But can Vince see it? Coma patients need a diligent amount of support from family and friends. They need to be talked to and prayed for, because research says that coma patients ca hear you even if they can't respond. ECW has this support. Whenever ECW wrestlers grace the screen, their family and friends speak to them. They chant "ECW! ECW!" They roar approval and, more importantly, they give ECW hope. Not that they need much hope. Only a blind man couldn't see that of the two federations ECW is the one still breathing with potential marketability and tons of name recognition. And star power. ECW wrestlers are actually more over than their WCW counterparts. Sure Booker and DDP get booed, but is it because they are generating true heel heat ala HHH or simply because they represent WCW? I would guess the latter. ECW, on the other hand, has the following performers who either are already over or could get there in a relatively short amount of time: RVD, Tazz, Heyman, Dudleyz, Rhyno and Mike Awesome. With a proper supporting cast, these guys could form the nexus of an inriguing up- and coming rogue federation.

With ECW's legal baggage Vince and company have already been forced to rename the two groups the Alliance. Would it really be that hard to settle ECW's bankruptcy issues, and consolidate all those rogue workers into the new and improved ECW? Does McMahon really think that if he gave both WCW and ECW the same insane push that WCW would become the more marketable company? Doesn't he realize that the company that could properly use its own timeslot (on TNN no less) and put on exciting matches that fans want to see is ECW? Or does he want to spend the next year and a half having his production staff manipulate crowd noise?

We have had enough of experiencing the repercussions of the flawed machinations of the two would-be geniuses named Bischoff and McMahon. It's time to put WCW out of its undead misery. There is no profit in continuing to prance that soulless entity in front of fans who couldn't careless. It's hopeless. The McMahon voodoo, like the Bischoff magic before it, didn't work. Admit it. ECW is the rogue federation that fans want to see and cheer for. More importantly, ECW is the company that fans would pay for. ECW is very much alive, it's just awakening from a coma. WCW, however, is dead. Can't Vince see it? And if he can't see it, can he at least smell it?

Until next time: Be a fan. Drink beers. Mark out. Care less.

I'm out.


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