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Ian Finlayson




I want to start off with something serious. I heard on Sunday about the Death of Helen Hart on October 4th. I want to send my condolences to the Hart Family who have suffered a lot over the past few years.

I was just watching Excess, in case you didn't see, another Crap Recap show which picked up with From The Vault then began to slide back down with Jericho and his funny Car. It is clear from watching it that it desperately needs changed, the programme sucks, it's as simple as that. So I've decided to Reformat the show and make it something vaguely interesting to watch. I'll start by going over the actual show and explaining what's wrong with it.

Opener - We start off with a short clip, normally of something important from Raw. Then we go to the Coach and Trish who embark on a 30 minute plus recap of the last week. The recap tends to focus on Raw, this is a really stupid thing to do. Excess is shown on TNN, now as we all know Raw is shown on TNN, This means that if you're sitting watching Excess then you were able to watch it the first time around. Now I can understand the argument that people don't have the time to watch Raw but this isn't very many people. Another problem which covers both Raw and Smackdown is that ratings are on the slide. Now if people aren't willing to watch Raw and Smackdown why would they want to watch a recap of the two shows.

Interview - Next up, a Kayfabe interview with some Mid Card Wrestler. Why have an interview in Kayfabe? Surely Raw and Smackdown are where wrestlers should be speaking in Kayfabe. The WWF's other Interview show Byte This has a Semi-Kayfabe format, they seem to have a few strange rules about the levels of Kayfabe. Recently Billy Kidman was interviewed, they were willing to admit he was going out with Torrie Wilson but another time when The Undertaker was on a caller called him Mark and was told there was no one there by that name. The levels have actually increased. Back at the beginning of the show in 1999 it was completely out-of-character, I liked this because the reason people watch Byte This is to find out more about what the Superstars are really like. On Excess wrestlers are able to discuss their storylines but this is not always possible. If we take this weeks Excess as an example, We had the Special Guest Raven. Now Raven isn't in a feud or angle so he can't talk about that, so he was left talking about Austin/Angle and Survivor Series. In the first week it was Triple H, it was then that the concept of the Interview sounded quite interesting.

Extra's - This covers things like wrestlers doing things outside the WWF, doing publicity tours etc. Excess was a replacement for Superstars and this was something Superstars always did. I will admit that I like these and I have since 2000 when they had Behind the Scenes at the Run DMC "The Kings" video shoot.

From the Vault - This is easily the best thing about Excess. The opportunity to see a requested match from WWF or WCW is a great idea but it has been badly executed. What we get is a 20 minute match editted down to a maximum of about 10 minutes. They take a match, tell everyone it's one of the best matches ever and then show very little of it. What people want is the chance to see the whole of these matches. Everybody likes different things in different matches. A couple of weeks ago they showed Mankind vs HBK from Mind Games but they managed to edit out my favourite spot in the match. There has also been occasions where the choice of match seems a bit unlikely. The Excess before No Mercy had a Discussion between the Coach and Trish about Chris Jericho continually failing to win the "Big Ones", "coincidently" that week the most requested match was Austin/Benoit/Jericho from KOTR 2001. If you had the opportunity to see more than 20 years of WWF Matches or 10 Years (I think they only have the actual WCW Tape Library) of WCW Matches you are not going to request a match from 4 months ago.

Hype - The show ends with a hyping of Heat and Raw. On a Pay Per View Weekend they finish by showing the full length Build Up for the Main Event (Which really pisses me off during the PPV). I don't think this hype is neccesary because if you're willing to sit through the 2 hours of shit they call Excess then you're definetly going to watch Raw.

Now this is what the WWF should do to improve Excess:

Opener - We start with a clip showing what's been happening in the Main Event feud on Raw and Smackdown. After that The Coach and Trish can TALK about some of the other things that have happened that week. I know a lot of people are against Trish being there but she doesn't make that many mistakes, the problem is that Coach highlights them and mocks her for them.

A MESSAGE TO COACH: Remember that she's only been doing TV in this format for about 3 Months so go easy on her

A MESSAGE TO TRISH: If he keeps on doing this turn to him and shout that he isn't the King and he never will be so he should stop trying to rip him off.

A MESSAGE TO WWF COSTUME DEPARTMENT: On this weeks Excess Trish looked like a Hooters employee... Keep up the good work.

Now before anybody thinks that just because Trish is a sexy woman I'm letting her get away with anything, I'm not. Trish should rehearse a little more on what she is meant to say. But going back to the Coach, when she does the inevitable and makes a mistake he shouldn't mock her. It's a well known fact that Mocking leads to a decrease in Self Confidence which leads to Trish making more mistakes. This recap should only go on between the beginning and the first commercial break.

Interview - Out comes a (if possible) Main Event Superstar who does a Non-Kayfabe interview. He/She can talk about their storylines, how they got into the business, friends backstage that kinda thing. With a decrease in the amount of time spent recapping there can be more time to speak to the superstars and find out more about them. They should make sure that wrestlers don't speak in character. The worst offender of this is Stephanie. I'm sure if you met her in the street she'd probably still be in character. If it's needed make the Coach hold a gun to her head and make her talk out-of-character. When a wrestler is speaking out-of-character there is so much to talk about. If you use my previous example of Raven then listening to him out of Kayfabe would probably be quite interesting.

Extra's - I want to see these expanded. Maybe something like a Day in the Life of... I'm sure a lot of people want to know what an average day is like as Chairman of the WWF. You could do one on Stephanie and show a Creative Team Meeting, I'm not wanting to see them discussing the next Main Event Storyline but show them booking something we are familiar with. There are a lot of different people backstage all doing different jobs. You could show Earl Hebner as he is told the details of the next Survivor Series Screwjob (That ones for you Bret). Another possibility is to have one person who is followed so we get to see each week in the WWF through their eyes. Pick someone who see's a lot in the WWF that we are familiar with, maybe JR doing a variation of the Ross Report on Excess.

From The Vault - Basically I want two things from this. First of, I want two matches. One WWF and one WCW, devote most of the second hour to it. In between the two have Coach and Trish talk about the match they just showed and introduce the second match. The second thing is I want to see the whole match not just selected highlights. The matches could have a theme. Maybe a month of Stone Cold matches or a month with one type of match, we have 4 weeks in a month, each week could have a different HIAC match. Before PPV's have a poll to choose from previous Main Events of that event, I'm pretty sure they will do that before Wrestlemania if Excess actually survives that long.

Hype - I know they will always hype Heat and Raw and I'm fine with that. With the PPV's, they have to stop showing Main Event Build Ups. The WWF make great Build Ups and they should only be shown on the PPV. I like watching them and as much as I like the longer toilet/food breaks they belong on the Pay Per View.

Just like with any Booking I've done, E-Mail me or talk to me in the forum with YOUR opinions on MY opinions.

Ian Finlayson

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