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/25 October 2000

WCW Thunder by E.C. Ostermeyer




The Reaper Speaks

"You may be a king
or a little street-sweeper
but sooner or later
you'll dance with the Reaper."

Appropriate, no?
I'm really getting into this "Kiss o' Death" moniker that CRZ's hung on me.
So are some of you, my gentle readers.

I had no idea Pat Robertson and the "700 Club" engendered such widespread, venomous dislike and disdain from you fans.
One reader wanted "Politically Correct" host, Bill Maher, "recapped and recapped HARD!"
He didn't want the show killed off, only Maher himself.
Now, I can understand the reader's dislike of Maher, but the accompanying jeremiad he loosed upon the show was unwarranted. Any show that can put Michael Kinsley and Ted freakin' Nugent on the same stage is worth a look, if only to see how pretentious the show's producers can get. Besides, take away the Maher's pompous smarmy-ness, and you've got the "Jerry Springer Show."

I had one reader want me to go after "The Ricki Lake Show."
Lake's got enough on her plate right now without me torpedoing her show.

Quite a few people wanted me to zap Roger Smith's "The Awful Truth", but I didn't have the heart, despite including Smith in my closer last week.
After watching his last offering you can tell that show's magic has "gone where the woodbine twine-eth."
Hey, I hear Garrison Keillor's looking for another foley artist for his "Prairie Home Companion" skits, Roger.
Get your resume updated.
And don't forget your PBS tote-bag.

My offer still stands, and no, I don't work for folks who stick their $1000 payments away in escrow.
My record speaks for itself.
Cash up front, please.

Enough of that.

As you all probably know by now, I will be recapping the "WCW Thunder" show for the foreseeable future. CRZ was recapping, what, FIVE shows there for awhile. I imagine he was beginning to feel a bit "thin & stretched" by having to spend 22 hours a day either in front of a computer or a TV. God knows how he stood it as long as he did.
Anyhoo, with WCW's announcement that they will be taping "Thunder" at each week's Nitro venue, the show's new format will be "promo-recap-interview-shill" plus taped matches, to fit a two-hour format.
This is nothing new.
It's the old "WCW Saturday Night" format.
From the pre-Russo days.
The very format that Vince Russo said would cause him, as a new viewer, to switch off and NEVER watch another show of WCW's at all!
Jimmy Hart, "WCW Saturday Night's" mentor and guiding light, must be laughing fit to bust right about now.

So, with the new format, how should WCW showcase this show?

First, make sure that the show's story arcs dovetail seamlessly with those on Nitro. Thunder has been considered by some to be Nitro's retarded little brother. God help them, that's apparently the way WCW's booking team saw it, considering the quality of the product they've been turning out! So, here's a chance for them to re-dress that wrong, and make Nitro and Thunder a 1-2 punch.
Second, begin to showcase some of the local Indy wrestlers, the way WCW SN did. Remember "Shark Boy" and "The Frog?" Thunder would be a superb venue for just that purpose. Who knows, they might get lucky, and pick up a fresh new talent or two.
Finally, since Thunder's new format will, almost certainly, mean a decrease in the amount of actual in-ring action per show, it behooves them to make sure that what action gets shown should be top-quality. No more of that "Goldberg-squashes-local-jobber-in-ten-seconds" nonsense. WCW now has a quality stable of (mostly) young, talented wrestlers, many of whom won't be "blown-out" after three minutes in the ring. So, WCW bookers, why not show some longer matches, please? I say this for purely selfish reasons. It makes better sense for me to recap a bout of decent length, than to do a 14-second squash job. You fans want wrestling action in your recaps. So do I.

As to my recapping of Thunder, I can honestly say that I am looking forward to it. These are unsettled times indeed for WCW. To be "present at the event", and to recap it properly, is a solemn undertaking on my part, and I do not take up the task frivolously.
Though I do plan to have fun doing it.

Besides, this is my first chance to really give the WCW Announce Team a good going-over.

So, Tony and Mark, here's a message from the "Reaper" himself:

En garde!

E.C. Ostemeyer
[slash] wrestling

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