WHY ALL THE BOOS?
Hello CRZites, my name is Anthony Smith (a.k.a. FMW on CRZboard). I was going to do a tape review of a Memphis wrestling tape but my copy of the tape is in horrible condition so I figured I do this column instead, and hold off on the review. I know this subject has been talked about a lot on the CRZboard but I figured I give my $0.02.
Last Monday night, the WWF decided to put the WCW invasion in high gear. The first WCW match on WWF T.V took place when Booker T defended the WCW world Title against Buff Bagwell.
Booker T was already well known to WWF fans after his attacks on Stone Cold Steve Austin, and he was already over with the fans. It was only natural that he should start wrestling in front of a WWF crowd. But when the match took place, the fans were unhappy to say the least. The Internet claimed the match was a disaster and that the WCW angle was almost dead. But the question that remained was why this match was so awful, why was there bad crowd heat and why it gave the WCW invasion a black eye. In fact there are many reasons.
First of all, there was the crowd heat. They could have cared less what was happening in the match. Once Austin and Angle interfered in the match to end. The crowd was finally alive. The entire match, they gave chants of "boring" and "this match sucks". They had no reason to cheer anybody because they didn't have a reason to cheer for anybody. Why should they hate Buff Bagwell when some of them have never seen him in action before. Why should they cheer for Booker T, because he hit Austin a couple of times? He still gets face pops so it doesn't make Booker T a good guy for hitting him. Also the slow pace and uneventful action didn't help much. Taken from an article in a Seattle newspaper (which you can find at Slash Wrestling (CRZ's)):
WCW stars Booker T and Buff Bagwell were featured in the main event that closed last night's show. Neither character won the match, as Austin and Angle ran into the ring and pummeled Booker T (without much power to their kicks and punches), calling for a disqualification.
Clearly this act won over the crowd, many who were unhappy to see WCW become more of a part of the WWF. A fight in the seats drew as much attention as the pseudo-fight going on in the ring.
"They're low-quality," Ron Hopper, a fan from Longview said of the WCW athletes.
"We're here to cheer for the WWF guys. Their show was canceled because they suck," Hopper's brother Sam added.
Low quality wrestlers? A federation that "sucks"? I wonder why they think that. Maybe because Vince told them to think like that.
Ever since WCW was made in late 1990, They had been in a bitter war with Vince McMahon's WWF. Vince did everything in his power to defeat WCW. Fans loyal to the WWF, and only the WWF, were told that WCW was nothing more then a B-grade federation run by an old billionaire who didn't even care for the sport. This was evident in the "Billionaire Ted" skits run in 1996. Most of the WWF fans probably haven't even watched the WCW in the last two years, because of what Vince has told them. They probably don't know why they are supposed to boo Buff Bagwell and cheer Booker T.
Also a reason for the awful main event was the condition of the wrestlers. Buff Bagwell looked awful wrestling, going to a rest-hold a few minutes in. The fans were bored to tears because of this. I don't think they even went out of the ring the entire match, where the most interesting spots usually take place. A suplex on the floor or a ram into the announcer's table would have maybe added some spice to the match. That might have kept the crowd in it, along with more exciting moves in the ring. They didn't even do any top rope moves. All it was made of was rest-holds and boring striking moves.
So what can Vince do to save the WCW invasion angle? Well first he can build on the wrestler's characters so that the crowd can actually care about them. They should let their characters build in angles before putting them in a main event when they won't even appeal to the crowd. He should also let them train more. I heard that the wrestlers have been training in the past few weeks so that's a start because it's evident that they have some ring rust. Once they have everything put together, they might be able to change the minds of fans like Ron and Sam Hopper, and make this WCW a success.