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Jim Saccaro




It's a beautiful Long Island evening. The sun is setting nicely behind the rows of trees and houses that make up the landscape. Sinatra is playing on the radio. There's a beautiful fire crackling on the patio. This is what I couldn't wait to get back to when I was hunched over a computer up at school, scrambling to write paper after paper for one unappreciative professor after another. So why is it that instead of enjoying this wonderful evening I am hunching myself over the ol' keyboard once again? Beats me. At least I'm doing it outside.

Well, since I've graduated (or should I say "graduated".. I have yet to receive my diploma) I've been able to get into my favorite meaningless pastimes, including watching sports on TV. I have to say that the NBA playoffs have been exceptional, and the Kings seem to be the real deal, even if the Lakers get 90% of the calls. That's impressive, to beat a team with the officials in their back pocket. The funny thing is, that in game 5 2 lousy calls went Sacramento's way, and the media (and Laker fans) are up in arms. Welcome to hell boys. Say hi to Charles Smith for me while your there.

I've also been able to finally watch entire WWE shows! I've only been able to watch for 2 weeks, but I have to say that I am a little disappointed. I thought the shows seemed crappy because I caught them in the middle or cut off at the middle, but in reality, they seem crappy because they are crappy.

The fix seems obvious. A while ago I was going to write a column about how the WWE needs to freshen up the product. New sets, new names, new feuds and new stars are definitely in order. All you have to do is sit for a minute and think. What caused the WWF's original rise to national prominence in the 80's? And how about the rises of WCW and WWE in the 90's? It was all due primarily to one common denominator. In each instance, the companies in question were fueled by a revolutionary concept. In the 80's Rock and Wrestling and the birth of larger than life cartoon characters, in the 90's WCW was the first to give us an invasion angle. Lets face it, that's all the nnwo storyline really started as: WWF vs WCW. On the WWF side of the fence, they gave us an original and fresh boss vs. employee feud. They didn't try to recreate Rock and Wrestling because they new it wouldn't fly, just like recreating boss vs. employee won't fly today. In addition to the fresh central storylines, they introduced us to new characters, who gave a whole aura of freshness to the promotions. The reason the WWF outlasted the WCW was because the WWF built up a strong supporting cast of fresh, young talent to compliment their central angle, while WCW spent all of their creative energy beating their nnwo horse until its was a useless pile of glue. Instead of building around their central angle, they tried to buy solutions to their problems in the form of other promotions talent. Doesn't that sound familiar ? That's because Vince and Co. are doing the exact same thing today. Stop beating the boss/employee horse. It did it's time, and its can't take you any further. You need to find a new horse.

Here's some ideas on how to right the WWE ship before it hits an iceberg:

1. Get a stable champion. - Since the champion gets to appear on both shows, why not make it a Smackdown guy? This would improve the talent discrepancy between the two shows. He should be durable, versatile and charismatic. He should also be a heel. The kind of heel that the fans love to hate. The kind of guy that the fans will tune in each week to see lose. I'm talking about Chris Jericho. Give the guy a run until Wrestlemania, so you have a sense of stability. Engage him in feuds with hot babyfaces on each show. Let him defend each week against midcard underdogs, getting more and more arrogant with each victory, Then have him go over some top tier guys at the PPVs . Once you've picked out your next direction then you can start the slow build to unseat the champ at Wrestlemania.

2. Decide on 1 guy to be the top tier babyface.- Pick one guy for us to revere above all others, and put him against the hot heel. Why waste Steve Austin with cold fish heels like the nnwo when you have great heels like Eddie Gurerro to be his foil?

3. Keep the action hot- get some of the younger, talented workers to give us 15 minutes of high impact matches until you figure out what to do with them. Why bench these guys and give us 4 or 5 boring and often meaningless vignettes as filler when you can give us some real action to keep the pace furious.

4. Find a new central storyline- the boss/employee storyline is dead. RIP.

Well, those are some ideas, at least.

Finally, I was just curious to see if Vince ever goes with the pedophile priest storyline. He can go with D'Von, himself or maybe Scott Hall (how bad do you want your job back, Scott?). And the sick thing is that it wouldn't be the worst thing the WWE has ever done.

Ok, I'm outta here.

[slash] wrestling

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