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Andy Goss




Hi, I'm back! Duke's fine, thanks for not asking. This submission to the Rant Crew and the [slash] may seem overdue, but I'm writing based on what's on my mind. Contrary to what some of you may have thought, I just don't like hearing the sound of my voice. Nor do I like starting arguments. And, as you're about to see, I'm not a WCW or Russo apologist. Anyway, enough chit-chat; if you wanna know how I'm doing personally, drop me a line. ON WITH THE ARTICLE!

I saw the following report from MiCasa via Wade Keller, both of whom have been around the block much more than I have. If either CRZ or Sean is editing this, it would be cute if they printed it in MiCasa's standard looks-like-a-5-year-old-wrote-it style of font: (Huh? I have a Mac - I don't see *any* different fonts. Oh, well, here's a guess... - CRZ)

There's a lot of talk that the sale of WCW is right around the corner. Mandalay Sports is the name most cited as the possible buyer. There are other names being tossed out there as well, including SFX and even Vince McMahon. If there is a sale, Vince Russo's job may be the most precarious one at this point. Word is that Bischoff, who is involved with Mandalay, didn't get along with Russo. Wade Keller of the Torch Hotline says that at a recent WCW show, Konnan passed around a petition in support of Russo. According to the report, all the wrestlers at the show signed the petition except Sting.

Hm. Sting didn't sign to keep Russo around. At first glance, this is curious. After all, Sting seems rejuvenated by his recent run under Russo. After being firmly entrenched in phone it in mode since Starrcade 1997, he seemed ready to kick it up another notch, especially with his contract near the end. However, another thought made me realize something else about WCW. It has a quality that can best be summed up in the word "Orwellian".

Anyone read Animal Farm? If you haven't, let me summarize it in the next paragraph. If you have, feel free to skip said paragraph.

Mr. Jones is a farmer whose farm is quite bad. It is poorly run, and none of the animals are happy. So they decide to kick Jones out of the farm, and surprisingly enough, they succeed. They set up a natural hierarchy under two leaders, Napoleon and Snowball, both pigs (since pigs are the most intelligent animals). Each man has his own ideas for how to run things. At a pivotal debate between the two, Napoleon blows a whistle, and nine rabid dogs show up and chase Snowball away, never to be seen again. Napoleon now runs things, and slowly but surely, turns the farm into how it was, eliminating his enemies with ferocity and eventually inviting Mr. Jones and the other humans back. Whenever anyone protests, the sheep on the farm shout them down. Only Benjamin, the wise old donkey, does not complain. He's been around long enough to know that things have always been poor on the farm. Meanwhile, Boxer, who does most of the work making life better, breaks down and is taken away to be sold for profit. The end comes with the pigs, led by Napoleon, playing poker with the humans, led by Jones, and the animals officially taking human traits.

Depressing, isn't it?

So, how does this relate to WCW? Well, let's work on it a little and characterize things with the impending Mandalay takeover.

Mr. Jones is Hulk Hogan. He's had his run of things for the past five years, and morale has gone in the toilet with him around. He, along with cronies Kevin Nash and Kevin Sullivan, did what they wanted and went about the business, but it failed. It was time for a change.

The Revolution -- no, not Shane Douglas's crew -- occurs, and Hogan is out of power. In come a new breed of owners, led by Napoleon (played by Bischoff) and Snowball (played by Russo). They promise a change from the way it was, but they have differing opinions on many things. As such, they often get into arguments, and the people of WCW (the animals of Animal Farm) find themselves siding with whoever spoke last.

Now, the rest of the analogy assumes the Mandalay deal is done.

At one pivotal point in their debate, Bischoff summons Mandalay to buy WCW. Instantly, the Mandalay executives chase Russo out the door, never to be seen again. A reign of terror is proclaimed, as Bischoff gets carte blanche, with no one to tell him otherwise. Slowly, one by one, Bischoff replaces those who have deserved pushes (like, for example, Lance Storm and Scott Steiner) with his own men (like, for example, Scott Hall and Dallas Page). Are the replacements good people? Sometimes yes (Page) and sometimes no (Hall). But they are definitely not what was, and morale sinks as the old guard takes over.

Meanwhile, the sheep (Konnan) follow company lines and want to stick to whoever's in charge. Notice Konnan's behavior. For all the times he's had a free way out, he's never taken it. He feels almost loyal to WCW for keeping him. And he keeps spouting the company policy -- witness his commentary when he's on the headset, and he keeps talking about how we're seeing the future of wrestling in the ring. Whatever.

Boxer is Booker T. Booker has single-handedly carried some main event scenes on his back. Sure, he's had help with the in-ring product (Jarrett) and the mic exchanges (Russo himself), but without Booker T to play the foil, the opening interview just wouldn't be the same. Let's face it, kids, Goldberg doesn't cut it. Alas, once Bischoff is back in charge, one has to wonder if Booker's push will stick around, or if he'll be buried to make room for others -- essentially sold down the river.

The last analogy I make has probably occurred to all of you. Sting is Benjamin. Of all the people who were backstage (and to my knowledge, Ric Flair was not one of them), who has been there for the longest time? Sting. He's seen it all, from the glory days of 1989 and early 1994 to the pits of 1993 and early 2000. He knows that, no matter who's in charge, WCW is still the same product -- appealing to a minority of wrestling fans, and second fiddle to the WWF. Russo, Bischoff, everything will be exactly as it was.

What's the moral of WCW's story? There might not be one. George Orwell's original story was a parody of the Russian Revolution and the Rise of Communism. His moral was that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Simply put, if you don't have any reason to fear your demise, you'll do whatever you please. Sting knows that. Take a long look at the legend. He just might be riding off into the sunset.


There's one way I think to save WCW. You can talk about how it's being run by people who know nothing about the business. Simply put, you need someone who knows about the business (like Hogan) but at the same time is selfless (like Page) and understands WCW. Let me end my communication from 15 feet high with the following proposition:

Should WCW make Sting the booker?

Andy P. Goss
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