Hello, my name's Matt Wilson, and I have this column called Shooting. Of course, I'm not really shooting, because this is a wrestling column so how could I be shooting (or are we always shooting)? Okay, I'm not shooting in a wrestling promo kind of way, and, before you ask, I'm not into e-wrestling (well I was, but not anymore). Someone said that I'm like the craziest guy at this sit, apart from CRZ of course (but I think he's crazy in a pretty good way). I once blew up someone's house! Look, I really outta end this paragraph right now because it has FAR too many brackets in it.
Hi, still reading? Good. I also have this column called "TNM World Tournament." I bet you all thought I had forgotten about it, as it seems like a column which will NEVER get finished. I should have that done for you as soon as possible.
Okay, so all the talk right now is about ECW and the copyrights which the WWF have apparently violated. What about WCW? Will they ever get their own weekly show? Will we see a return of Nitro? Will Ric Flair return? Will Shane McMahon control the WCW reigns? The following is a point-by-point of what I think WWFE should do with WCW:
1. Use the weekly Wednesday Smackdown slot to broadcast WCW Nitro
(i) No need to buy WCW a weekly time slot on another network, just use the TBS one.
(ii) WCW will finally have a platform and won't just be some promotion which is there.
(iii) Less WCW matches will need to occur on Raw (and all WWF programming). There will still be a need to run the odd inter-promotional match on either Raw or Nitro, but at least now the WWF and WCW will have separate platforms for their respective products. Both products will be separated.
2. Grant WCW world title status
(i) This would be an important and bold move for McMahon. Giving WCW world title status officially would make WCW look as strong as the WWF in title terms. There's no way WCW can get over as a dangerous adversary if Booker T's world title is not properly recognized.
3. Keep the WCW titles where they are for now
(i) This will build strength and stability for WCW and their various titles early on.
(ii) The last thing WCW need to be seen doing is giving away titles week after week in a Russo-fied way (read: Arquette as WCW world champion).
(iii) Newer WCW fans will get to know the WCW titles more easily if they're not tossed away like inflated pay-checks.
(iv) The WCW titles need to mean something. This was a stupid mistake which previous WCW managments made; they made the WCW titles look worthless and the guys who fought for them even more worthless. I recommend going back to an NWA type of situation where champions hold on to the titles for comparably long periods. WCW guys should honor the titles, and do everything in their power to keep them. No, I'm not saying everyone has to become Flair circa 1989, I just mean no one can afford to do a Scott Hall/TV title type deal.
(v) If their are interpromotional jumps between the WWF and WCW (which no doubt there will be) management must ensure that they don't dirty a title by having it taken to another promotion and dirtied. We've seen it happen all too often in the past.
4. WCW set design
(i) I recommend going back to the old WCW set design which was first implemented in 1996. This will give fans an, if you like, homely presence for WCW TV. Many will remember this WCW as the one of its heyday, when the ratings were big and the stars bigger. That means a logo change and a set design change.
5. Keep the same commentators
(i) Although they may be unpopular with some fans, Tony, Heenan and Larry need to be kept on. They will give fans a few old faces when they first tune in to WCW programming.
(ii) I'm not saying, "Get rid of Hudson and co." either; these guys have a place in WCW and are commentators for the future. Maybe WCW can go back to the familiar change every hour thing, with different commentators coming in after each hour. They could form announce partnerships, and different duos could be tried together to form the best chemistry.
6. Who to buy?
(i) Obviously, the first choice would be Ric Flair. The WWF need to get off their asses and realize that buying Flair would be one of the best moves they can make right now. It would pay dividends. He is one of the most recognizable faces in wrestling, and is a traditional WCW flag waver. If there's any guy who's WCW thru and thru, it's Ric Flair. He's on of two guys who are WCW 4 life, which brings to on to...
(ii) Sting. Rumor has it that he's quit wrestling for good. Maybe that's true, maybe it isn't. Maybe the right kind of pay check would entice him back into the business that he made his bread and butter in. I'm not alone in this; many fans would love to see a returning Stinger, but at the end of the day it's up to him.
(iii) This is going to be an unpopular one, but I think handled the right way it could work. If given the right kind of contract and discipline, the WWF could profit off of signing Kevin Nash. Yeah, you've heard the facts about this man, but the truth is he's a recognizable face who can draw pretty much anywhere; hell, he even used to wrestle in the WWF. He would be the perfect instantly recognizable WCW star to come in and set the crowds on fire. Rumor has it that he still talks with Triple H and Vince McMahon, but there has been no talk of him returning to WCW or the WWF. Maybe that will change once he's sat out his Time Warner/AOL contract?
(iv) Scott Hall is another controversial selection from the former WCW guys who haven't yet signed a WWFE contract. Yeah, he's got problems, but they're problems that can be solved if he's given the right contract and the right baking. I seriously think he still has something left to give the American wrestling business, and I'd like to see him play a role in the Invasion angle (along with Kevin Nash), and the new WCW.
(v) Goldberg. His heart isn't really in wrestling anymore, apparently, but he would definitely set this Invasion on fire if he was used properly. Can you imagine Goldberg sprinting out and spearing a whole load of WWF guys at the end of the Invasion PPV?
(vi) There are a whole host of other guys who I won't go into right now.
7. Shane McMahon's position
(i) The big question is what will Shane's position be in the new WCW. Will he take an on air role? Will he actually work on WCW storylines? Will he just take a backstage gorilla position role?
(ii) Another question would be, who would you have on the WCW writing team? Would the WWF writing team split in half, or maybe would they just also write WCW TV along with WWF TV? Will WCW need to hire new writers, and if so, who will want to write WCW shows? I know which name is on all of your lips.
8. The WCW product
(i) The WCW product itself will be a very important topic for the launch of the new WCW. What style will the WCW product be? I think it's important to separate the WCW product from the WWF one. If the WWF is going to continue to put out its controversial angles and short matches, with an influence of "sports entertainment" over wrestling, then it would be best for WCW to do the complete opposite. That's to say, WCW should be the American wrestling world's pure wrestling promotion to the WWF's "sports entertainment" promotion. After all, a wrestling promoter can't make money from running two identical wrestling promotions.
That's about it. I hope we get two vastly different wrestling promotions with TV contracts pretty soon. Of course, the days of the WWF competing with WCW for real are gone, but the wrestling world as we know it is not gone. In an ideal world, WCW would get a TV contract from another network, which would mean the WWF wouldn't have to give up one of its existing shows to support it, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.