Mentioning sensible booking and WCW in the same breath will lead you straight to your nearest Webster's dictionary listing of the word oxymoron.
Take off the first three letters of that word and you also have a good description of Vince Russo. Somebody please write to me and explain the logic of Russo's run-in refereeing this week on Nitro and Thunder. It made no sense whatsoever.
Russo's blundering was glaringly apparent on Thunder as Kevin Nash once again claimed the WCW world heavyweight championship. Jeff Jarrett's latest reign lasted all of 48 hours. But look at how it happened in what was a real clusterfrick of a match. Jarrett set up the first ref bump by pulling Billy Silverman into a Nash clothesline. Typical ref bump to set up the run-in. Fair enough. In this case, it's Jarrett grabbing the title belt and trying to brain Nash with it. Instead, eats the belt shot.
Nash revives Silverman, conveniently placing within range of Russo's arms. Sloppy execution, WCW. So Russo breaks up the count by yanking Silverman to the outside. Then he smashes Jarrett's guitar over Silverman and takes his shirt. Now it all makes sense. Russo has made himself the ref. It's curtains for nash, especially after getting brained by a steel chair. Russo counts 1, 2, no! Nash kicked out and Russo stopped counting. What an idiot! The whole idea of running in was to be biased for Jarrett. Why didn't he finish the count? If he's going to play that role, why go through the trouble of bumping the ref if he just going to do the same thing the original ref was doing? Even the most loyal marks can see through that. Oh, my head hurts, especially knowing that I'm writing as a hobby while Russo makes big bucks to book crap like that.
When it comes to WCW, it's probably better to write about what DOES make sense. Yeah, but if I did that I wouldn't be writing anything!
We all know that run-ins are a staple of pro wrestling. We also know they are set up by ref bumps. As Jesse Ventura used to say, "The referee DID NOT see it." But if you have too many the fans get turned off. So what does WCW do? It gets rid of the ref bumps. Now the run-ins take place in full of the referee, who does nothing. That's just great. The marks can see through that, too. The booing you hear isn't heat. It's disgust. It all started when Bill Goldberg's winning streak was stopped and it just keeps getting worse. So if you're going to have run-ins blatantly in the ref's face, why even have a ref?
Then you have the tag team match between Horace and Kidman against Kronic. You have tension teased between Horace and Kidman. So during the match, Horace walks away from Kidman's tags. Then he punks Eric Bischoff. He brings a chair in the ring and promptly brains both members of Kronic, placing Kidman on top for the pin. Now that makes a lot of sense, especially when Horace and Kidman are STILL mad at each other after the match. And of course the run-ins and use of the chair were seen by the referee, who did nothing. Hey Jesse, what happens when the referee DOES see it? Forget it, this is WCW.
I don't have much to say about Nitro because it was so bad but at least the segment involving Ric Flair's career "burial" was funny. Of course I'm sure NO ONE expected anyone to be in the casket when Russo opened it. But even this segment had some flaws. How on earth were Mike Awesome and Shane Douglas able to help carry the casket backstage less than five minutes after they took a beating. Wile E. Coyote would be proud of that. Why does this sort of thing happen? Because hardly anyone in WCW knows how to sell!
On the other hand, look at the Rock's manhandling of DX, Shane and Vince. The Rock's evening culminated with a rock bottom that put Triple H through the announce table. Everyone sold magnificently. But then again that's the WWF.
At least there were a couple of good matches on Thunder. The elimination match between the Filthy Animals and MIA was superb. That tornado DDT by Chavo is just a tremendous finisher.
Booker T and Sean Stasiak worked a terrific match that actually had a clean finish with Booker going over. Stasiak got some heat back by beating down Booker after the match.
Anything involving Douglas is OK by me. As a heel, he has few peers on the mic. The segments with him and Ralphus and Norman Smiley were very funny. But the gorilla suit thing was a dead giveaway for Terry Funk though Funk did a great job selling that he was Ralphus. Douglas took a tremendous bump when The Wall chokeslammed him through the announce table.
Now if something could just be done about the bookers. I'm not going to hold my breath.