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Marvellous Martin




WCW is making enemies like its life depended on it. I just read the latest columns by my esteemed fellow writers Mr. T and the insanely prolific Jerry Root, and they both wrote about idiotic things WCW is doing. The long suffering fans of WCW are becoming increasingly alienated by a string of people in charge who are out to further their own interests, and compete with the competition. These men have no desire to make the existing fans happy, they are out to make as much for themselves as possible and do anything to achieve it.

In recent times WCW has become obsessed with competing with the WWF, despite the fact that this course of action has done nothing but lose them viewers. At the heart of this is the evil mutant offspring of the original American Dream - money, success, moolah, *CHA-CHING!* WCW is striving to find that elusive 'X-factor' (excuse the pun) that made the WWF so successful, enable them to pull away from WCW and achieve the biggest ratings in the history of televised American wrestling. People say WCW threw away talent like Steve Austin and Chris Jericho, as if this would explain how WCW failed to continue to beat the WWF into submission in the way it had done.WCW thought they could compete with the WWF by removing Bischoff and poaching WWF staff, they thought this could explain why WCW wasn't competition any more - the wrong people at the top pulling the strings.

Everybody is wrong, you can't pin the blame on a couple of people or one or two bad decisions. It isn't a couple of wrestlers swapping sides. It isn't some xenophobe egomaniac writing the product. I don't know exactly why the WWF is so popular while WCW languishes in wrestle-hell, there are too many different factors to consider. There have been many bad decisions on WCW's part, just as there is also the marketing and managing ability of Vince McMahon and his staff. Whatever has happened, whether it is a positive or a negative move, in the last few years the big two have done nothing but hurt wrestling.

A slightly more general and 'all encompassing' reason I'd give is the effect of the popularising of wrestling and its grim and harrowing transformation into SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT. One thing that seems evident is that WWF dumbed down considerably a while ago. They decided that catering to the 'wrestling fan' wasn't working. Whether you like it or not, 'sports entertainment' is not aimed at the fans who have been watching for years, for the fans who loved the Four Horsemen back in 80's or whatever. Sports Entertainment is aimed at the Homer Simpsons, the Beavis and Buttheads, the people who watch Who Wants to be a Millionaire religiously. The WWF sold out the wrestling fan when they threw out the wrestling and brought in the talking, and the big fake titties, and the swearing and the big exciting stories. The WCW, desperate to keep up, is trying it too, only this is WCW where the guys all help themselves and turn everything into a big crack-induced clusterfuck. The pursuit of money is stripping the soul out of the sport we love so much. As much as we want to think that wrestling is creeping back into the WWF, its still all high spots or a collection of moves that each wrestler will use in every single match (with a few rare exceptions I admit). Yeah the Hardyz are great, but that fact that Matt Hardy is less popular because he does less high-spot action in an average match and more actual wrestling really pisses me off. Edge and Christian are the same, Christian is WAY more talented in the ring, but Edge has the 'edge' (no pun intended, *sigh*) because of his style and his 'good looks'. Are Chris Jericho's matches a patch on what he was working back in WCW? Nope. Do the fans want to see well executed wrestling moves, or do they want to see people jump off things or through things all the time and say 'ass'? If the answer was the former, Taka Michinoku would be a huge WWF star, admit it.

If I was a Marxist, I'd blame capitalism for the downfall of wrestling. Capitalism has made a relatively select market and turned it into a huge draw, and all it's done is spoil it for the people who loved it in the first place. We have to face the fact that WCW is never going to be how it was before, and blame who you like, Vince McMahon, Russo, Steve Austin, Dustin Diamond, whatever. I blame the Rat Bastard Sell Outs.

Sell out or die.

Marvellous Martin
[slash] wrestling

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