Faster than the speeding Big Show...
More powerful than Harvey Wippleman...
Able to leap Max Mini in a single bound...
It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's the DEVICE!!!
No, I ain't no Superman, I know, but I am Dartmouth Dan Doomsday, the World's Most Dangerous Columnist and the Pride of 2Dope, and I'm hitting you with another edition of the most electrifying column in sports entertainment today, the Device. Since this week's Device is going to deal mostly with WCW, look for some serious WWF talk in this week's edition of EXTRANEOUS BULLSHIT:
LAKERS UPDATE: 65-13, currently first in the Western Conference, 21 games better than CRZ's beloved Kings. Of course, that's fine by me, as I would love to see the Kings knock off the Jazz in the first round, if only because Karl Malone had his chance, and he dropped the ball. (You're also afraid that we'll drop down to #8 and upset the Lakers - admit it - CRZ)
DERADICALIZATION: The R4dicalz' days as a stable are numbered, and that's a good thing. It's just dawning on me now how well the WWF has used their new talent during the past year. The debuts of Chris Jericho, Tazz, and now the R4dicalz were handled extremely smoothly. I like the way the Rads were brought in as a group, but are slowly but surely developing their own storylines. My personal favorite is Eddy Guererro, whose angle with Chyna and Jericho is very amusing. "Latino Heat" is one of the best new catchphrases the WWF has seen in a while, and when coupled with the fact that Eddy is absolutely p-whipped in the angle, makes this angle the perfect mix of wrestling (tell me you don't like watching Eddie and Chris go at it) and "sports entertainment." Meanwhile, Saturn and Tazz should be a hot feud, and with Grand Master Sexay on the shelf, Scotty 2 Hotty could quite possibly step into a very nice feud with Deano Machino for the Light Heavyweight Title.
BLOOD FROM A STONE...ERR, ROCK: Somehow, I can't remember having ever seen the Rock blade before last night's RAW. I don't know whether it's coincidence, or whether he has to protect his face for the movie career that's on the way, or what, but I just found it interesting that the Rock bladed.
MC-MAN AM I GETTING BORED: Groan. Yawn. Snore. I can only take so much of the top babyface being made to jump through hoops. The Rock should be the WWF Champion right now, and I can't deny any longer that not putting Rock (or Foley) over at Wrestlemania was absolutely stupid. Everything else in the WWF is red hot, but this top angle is old and stale.
Which brings me to this week's Device. We all watched Nitro last night, and no matter what we thought individually, I think an appropriate general comment would be...
It may not have been pretty.
It definitely wasn't Shakespeare.
It may not even mean anything in the long term.
But damned if last night's Nitro wasn't one of the most entertaining two hours of wrestling television all year.
But if the front page of Wrestleline is right, if Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff hit a "Home Run" with last night's Nitro, then I have to say to Vinne Roo and Uncle Eric, "Be sure you touch all four bases."
I loved a lot of what I saw on Nitro. I loved hearing Eric Bischoff taunt Sid, saying things like, "What, no softball game today, Sid?" or, "What's the matter Sid, can't find your scissors?" I loved hearing Eric Bischoff describe Hulk Hogan as the biggest mistake he ever made (I think I might have even said "Hallelujah!"). I loved Billy Kidman's promo on Hogan. Even Mama Doomsday, who hates wrestling, described Kidman's words for Goblin Boy as "cute writing."
I liked hearing Curt Hennig's old "Mr. Perfect" music, and seeing Sean Stasiak mimic Mr. Perfect's mannerisms. And as much as the smart in me wants to cheer guys like Kidman, the mark in me is more excited than ever about guys like Ric Flair and Sting.
But there's a few things that I think need to be cleared up. There were a couple of mistakes made on Nitro that need to be corrected, and soon. The problem with the Young vs. Old angle is that a lot of the top babyfaces are either nearing the end of their careers (Hogan, Flair), or just plain old suck (Sid, Luger), and the cream of the Millionaires Club (Sting, DDP, Hennig) seem to be much less important. So what happens when Hogan and Flair retire? What happens when this story ends? Where will it go?
It is for this reason that there are some guys who can't get caught up in the battle between the Millionaires Club and the New Blood. One of them, quite obviously, is Goldberg, and WCW seems to have this taken care of, as Goldy's feud with Tank Abbott already feels very separate from the MC vs. NB feud. But there's another guy who needs to be taken care of, and his name is Booker T.
The old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Well, Booker T. (and doesn't it feel good to call him that again?) was one of the few things about the old WCW that wasn't broke. But Vince and Eric tried to fix it anyway when they made Booker T part of the New Blood group that beat down Sting, DDP, and Luger in the ring at the end of Nitro. I'm sorry, but I'm having a hard time believing Booker T. as a heel. This is one thing that has to be corrected, both for Booker T and for the future of WCW.
My suggestion: After Jeff Jarrett wins the world title at Spring Stampede, have Booker T. go to Russo and ask for his opportunity, his opportunity to wrestle for the World Title. Have Russo agree, then have a huge New Blood beatdown on Booker. No save from the Millionaires Club, because Booker isn't going to be a member. I just want an ugly, ugly beatdown as Nitro goes off the air. Build this to Booker T capturing his first WCW World Title at the Great American Bash in June. At some point, Jarrett will recapture the title at Halloween Havoc, and another New Blood beatdown will ensue, only to be stoppped by Goldberg, who by this time will have completed his feud with Tank Abbott. From there, we get the beginnings of the Jarrett-Goldberg feud, briefly interrupted by a match between Goldberg and Mike Awesome at Mayhem, and the inevitable Goldberg title win at Starcade. This puts Goldberg back on top, and gives us Booker T. as a credible former world champion who isn't part of the Millionaires Club.
Other wrestlers who shouldn't be dragged into the New Blood vs. Millionaires Club feud:
NORMAN SMILEY: Inclusion as a member of the New Blood kills Smiley's babyface status, and he was another guy who was getting a respectable babyface pop. I can't imagine Smiley as a heel. Comedy wrestlers shouldn't be working as heels in the promotion's main angle, and Smiley is a (technically capable) comedy wrestler.
DISCO INFERNO: Another comedy wrestler who can work. The New Blood can't be serious while Disco is involved, and the New Blood needs to be serious.
THREE COUNT: Are we beginning to notice a trend here?
YUNG DRAGONS: They can be treated as quasi-NB by the broadcasters, but including them in the New Blood is the equivalent of including Stevie Ray, Horace, Brian Adams, Mike Rotunda, and Ray Traylor in the old NWO: Stupid and unncecessary. Besides, given the amount of work they do with Three Count, they really can't be involved in this angle.
The general gist of what I'm saying here is this: WCW's new beginning is A-OK in my book. In fact, it reminds me a lot of the original NWO. However, if Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo have really learned their lessons, they'll know not to let their hot new brainchild sawllow up the whole company. Otherwise, lasting success in WCW is impossible. Until next week, this is Dartmouth Dan Doomsday, reminding you to keep reading, because READING IS FUNDAMENTAL!! Goodnight, everybody.