Finally Some Closure
All I can say is, WOW!
I haven't been this excited about wrestling since the nWo. No wait, since DX invaded a WCW show. No, since, wait, I have never been this excited about wrestling. Watching the locker room empty in support of the WWF chasing away the evil Booker T and Shane McMahon made me mark out like a little school girl. Actually I was kind of sitting there in a daze because it's past midnight and I have had a long couple of days. Not until I went out on the porch for my usual post-wrestling cigarette did I realize the scope of this.
WCW VS WWF. Goddamn, this is what I've been waiting for since I was nine years old and my Grandma mistakenly bought me some WCW trading cards because she knew I liked wrestling. I looked at them and knew none of the faces but was intrigued nonetheless. Who were these Steiner Brothers and what was Sting's revenge? Who were the Four Horsemen and why was the Widow Maker a part of them?
WCW, what the hell was that?
In my nine year old mind I could only surmise that this was the enemy. These grapplers who, as fate would have it, would put their wrestling show on a rival network that I would stumble upon from time to time would be the ones that I feared most often. I wasn't afraid of Zeus, the Undertaker, or Earthquake nearly as much as I was afraid of WCW. But the fear that WCW struck in my heart was different than the fear of the Undertaker. The Undertaker was merely intimadating. He put the invincible Ultimate Warrior in a casket and made him look helpless.
No, the fear brought forth by WCW was something of much greater and significant magnitude. This WCW could put my beloved WWF out of business. I didn't know why at the time I was filled with such hatred and trepidation toward WCW, but I knew I didn't like them. The acquisitions started small in terms of my galaxy. Ricky the Dragon Steamboat no longer graced my television. British Bulldog left. Jake the Snake Roberts stopped appearing on Superstars. Rick Rude was nowhere to be found. Where did they go?
One day I found them all fighting on WCW Saturday Night. Blasphemy! How could they do that? Didn't they know that they were sorely missed on All American Wrestling? How could they defect to something so wretched? The only thing that gave me solace was the fact that they didn't have Hulk Hogan. "They could never get Hulk Hogan," I thought.
But then they did.
The defections continued all throughout my childhood. Macho Man followed. Then Bobby the Brain, who, even in my childhood, was my favorite commentator disappeared. Then Luger. Then Piper. Then Adam Bomb, Razor Ramon, Diesel, and Big Bossman. The defections were endless well into my teen years. All my guys were leaving, and for what? It turns out money, but I didn't know that. I was just a young mark at the time. How could they do this to me? I hated WCW. I hated Billionaire Ted, and those Wrasslin' War Room skits only fueled my fire.
Then I started watching. I started watching the enemy. The nWo angle gripped me and didn't let go. It was all my old favorite WWF guys kicking the snot out of those WCW hosers. I couldn't turn it off, but with my intrigue came a mountain of guilt. I felt loyalty toward Vince and his struggling product and even though I really wanted to see what Ted Dibiase and the rest of his nWo crew were up to next week, I tried to shy away. I didn't really want to watch The Godwinns VS The Body Donnas, but I did anyway.
The guilt, however, was not limited to betraying the WWF. I felt guilty about cheering the destruction of WCW by the black and white. Even though I wished death upon WCW ever since my Grandma gave me those trading cards (which I still have to this day), I wanted them to rebound and give the die-hard WCWers something to cheer for. I guess I have an empathetic heart because I knew if some renegades came in and destroyed my WWF, I would want my guys to stand up and do something about it. But none came for WCW as its top stars all eventually joined the nWo in one facet or another.
Savage? Black and White for life, until the Wolfpac came calling.
Sting? Joined Savage in the Wolfpac.
Luger? Wolfpac as well.
The Giant? You guessed it, nWo. (At least for awhile.)
The only ones left to fight for the good of the company were Roddy Piper and Ric Flair. Even they came up short. No one dismantled the nWo the way they should have. It just kind of disintegrated with not a bang, but a whimper with only Bryan Adams and Scott Norton holding the bag.
By the time everything nWo had transpired I had grown to accept WCW and its completely unwelcome (at least in my eyes) presence on the wrestling scene. Of course, this is due in large part to Vince once again claiming superiority over the American wrestling industry. I was safe again, and my WWF was once again riding high.
Unfortunately for just about everyone it was a little too high as WCW failed and collapsed. Due in large part to circumstances such as bad booking, bad attitudes, bad management and others extensively covered all over the internet that needn't be covered here once again. Ted Turner looked to unload his bastard child of a wrestling promotion, and only one knight strode out of the obscurity to rescue it: Vince McMahon.
To call Vince a knight almost induces vomiting due to the fact that he bought it for a garage sale price and would probably bury it anyway just to show that he could. But the weird thing is, once it was gone, I missed it. My only explanation is that everyone needs a nemesis. WCW was like the baby with one eyebrow to my Maggie Simpson. It was always there to be the receptacle of my venom, as well as the big red bullseye for my insults.
However, it has once again returned. When Shane bought it out from under his dad's nose, my heart cheered as WCW actually came out of this wrestling fan's wet dream of an angle as the babyface. Who would've thought that was possible? Each week we looked forward to which WCW star would emerge from the crowd to punk out an unsuspecting WWF Superstar. We cheered as Stacy Keibler emerged on the arm of Shane McMahon to distract Rhyno and cause him to lose the WWF Hardcore Title.
But now the battle lines have been redrawn in the sand. Booker T has heinously attacked the flag bearer of the World Wrestling Federation and Mike Awesome has stolen a WWF Championship belt. The boys are angry and the fans are too. Did you hear the boos start to reign on Booker T as he left the building with an exuberant Shane McMahon? Did you hear the cheers when the locker room emptied to support its fallen leader?
This angle has made me excited to be a wrestling fan once again and has re-ignited feelings in me that had been forgotten since I was an innocent little mark. My previous excitement toward the WCW invasion has been replaced by anger at the WCW for trying to soil my sacred program. These emotions have lay dormant inside me for well over ten years now, and finally they have the chance to re-emerge. I can finally capture some vengeance on the company that almost put the cornerstone of my childhood out of business.
I realize this is only an angle and that my words seem over the top. But for now I'm done being a smart fan. I'm going to sit back and enjoy this angle like a kid, with an open mind, without analysts telling me that the angle isn't working, and with excitement to see my WWF boys do what WCW could never do to the nWo.
Where WCW failed, WWF will succeed. They will drive the element attempting to tarnish its product out of town. They will stand proudly above their nemesis in the name of their fans who cheer their victory. They will claim triumph for all the nine year-old hearts out there who took part in the ugliest battle in the history of wrestling.
They will finally grant me some closure on something that has bothered me since my mark days.
WWF will defeat WCW. And even if they don't, I can't wait for the ride. See you at Smackdown.
Jonny X World Parody Federation