...AND MARKING OUT
Hey everyone. Hope you all had a family-, food-, and booze-filled Thanksgiving (I know I did). I was originally going to write an article all about the 10 things I WASN'T grateful for, just to strike a different cord than what I've been reading on the net, but with Steiner challenging Booker at WCW Mayhem this Sunday night, I thought now would be as good a time as any to dredge up a piece I wrote back in October on Scott Steiner. This article was my second attempt to get published as a guest editorialist on PWTorchdotcom (before CRZ agreed to give me a regular forum for my thoughts - thanks again) and was written at a time when - oh, just read the damn thing and you'll be able to tell what was going on in the world of WCW at the time. I still basically feel the same about Steiner and NO that does not mean that I am a Booker hater. I don't hate the player, I hate the game!!
Steiner is WCW's Austin: Why can't Russo or SOMEBODY See it?
Over the past few weeks almost every website on the net has talked about Russo-Goldberg: why it won't work, what's wrong with it, and basically why it can never be as good as Austin-McMahon. In most of these takes Russo shoulders much of the blame for his on-screen character and its deficits. Goldberg is certainly also a major part of the problem, ripe with his own weaknesses and inadequacies.
It's agreed that Goldberg is no Austin. But, if that's the case and Russo wants to attempt to recreate even a part of that beer-swilling, anti-authority magic, who is a suitable stand-in for Austin?
I'll tell you who-- Scott Steiner.
Scott Steiner is one of the most marketable characters in WCW right now if used correctly, more so than Goldberg. If billed properly, he, not Goldberg has the chance have Austin-like credibility and crowd response. Here's why:
His Persona: Scott Steiner is the most compelling on-screen wrestling character in the major promotions right now. When he is on the screen, he commands attention and it is difficult to change the channel. Why? Because he is so unpredictable. Viewers simply don't know what he is going to say or do. I'm not sure if it's a combination of his character or his real life temper or roid rage or what. Most of what he does comes across as a quasi-shoot. It feels too edgy to be scripted.
The bottom line is he is a loose cannon. When he threatens fans, you feel worried for them. You think he just might jump that black metal railing and pound on someone. He's that real. He's that scary. Imagine if that aura could be bottled and directed at a suitable heel opponent by whoever's booking WCW at the time. Fans would possibly do a double-turn much like they did after the Austin-Hart I Quit match. Remember, Steiner was a tweener getting lots of cheers just a few short months ago. He can elicit cheers again.
His Interviews: Sure, when he goes on and on he can potentially get very incomprehensible, but his interviews never, ever come off as canned or scripted. Again, he's unpredictable. If this feeling can be kept while giving a tweener Steiner some promo direction, the results could be phenomenal.
Bottom line, he's much better on the mic than Goldberg. He doesn't rely on "Who's Next?" or "Watch your back!" He barks what he feels and that truth and sincerity shines through and speaks to the fans.
Steiner can conceivably keep up with anyone on the mic, especially if given help much like Austin was in his early heel incarnation. Pointed promos would give his character more credibility with the fans. Instead of a raving lunatic, he would be a raving lunatic with a purpose and mission. When he threatened to beat someone's ass, fans would know he meant it and was going to do it. Much like they know what to expect when Austin says he's gonna open up a can of WhupAss-- Somebody's going to get hurt.
Wrestling fans love to get behind an angry wrestler and watch him knock someone senseless, especially his boss. Russo could play the badass heel all he liked, but eventually either on-air as part of an angle or in real life, he would become intimidated by Steiner. Showing fear would make it work and it would also be very believable because, once again, people are scared of Steiner. He's a bully. But he could be a bully that fans can get behind, much like TAZ in ECW only Steiner has the size to back up his talk against the Goldbergs, Bookers, and Nashs of the world.
His Career: Steiner has never held a higher belt then the US title. After he has won the WCW Championship, he can arguably make the same cases that Foley, Booker and Austin have made. Mainly, "I've worked x-amounts of years to get to this level, boy does it feel good and I'm not giving it up for anybody!" People would buy it. After slowly buying into his tweaked character, they couldn't resist.
Moreover, his character has not been damaged in the ways that Goldberg's has. Goldberg needs to be rebuilt; Steiner just needs to be tweaked. The only drawback to Today's Steiner versus yesterday's is that he has now lost a lot of his athleticism due to his bulk. But what he lost in athleticism he gained in pure hell-raising and ass-kicking potential.
Can you imagine the intrigue if Russo(or whoever is in power) turns on Steiner costing him a title match? Steiner would become slightly sympathetic. Fans could then watch him as he gained revenge on Russo and his stooges en route to the WCW Championship and WCW-relative Austin-like celebrity. He's just about ready for the push. The money's in plain sight. Why can't Russo see it?
Agree? Disagree? Don't give a damn? Send hatemail/feedback to email@example.com.
Until next time.
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