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Vandy! (September 1996)


Beer!  (February 2006)

Issue # 297

Date:  Sunday September 5th, 1999  9:15 am

The Wrestling Booking Sheet

Jericho doesn't regret decision to join WWF
Sunday, September 5, 1999
By Mike Mooneyham

Several months ago Chris Jericho faced the most important decision of
his professional career. Would the 28-year-old phenom remain with a
company that had kept him mired in mid-card programs but had offered
him a substantial salary, or would he take a job with the competition
and seize the opportunity to advance to the next level of stardom?

"When I first began having problems with the powers that be in WCW, I
prayed to the Lord to lead me where he wanted me to be. For whatever
reason, the WWF is where he led me and I am very, very excited to be a
part of this company," said

Jericho told The Post and Courier last week that he has not regretted
that decision.

"In the three weeks since I've been here, its been 100 percent
positive for me. I noticed changes right off the bat in professionalism
and organization. I'm really excited to be here."

There's little doubt that the WWF is as equally excited, since
has been dubbed as a "can't-miss" prospect for the past several years.
The combination of excellent mic skills, tremendous in-ring ability and
charisma should take
Jericho to the top of the WWF heap in a short
period of time.

Jericho started pondering change about a year ago.

"I always wanted to end up here in the WWF, and I had been thinking
about making the change. I had that quasi-angle going with Goldberg
that never culminated even though it was an angle people wanted to see
and an angle I thought was over. Because of manipulation behind the
scenes or politics coming into play, it never took place.

"It was at that point that I realized I had gone as far as I was going
to go. There was no other angle that could have been better or was
going to make more money than that one, and they didn't want to bite on

• Tony "Mr.
USA" Atlas will be the featured guest on "Ringside
Wrestling Talk"
6-7 p.m. Tuesday on WQNT ESPN Radio 1450-AM.

Mike Mooneyham can be reached by phone at (843) 937-5517 or by e-mail
at mooneyham. More wrestling news with Mike
Mooneyham is available every Monday on The Wrestling Observer Hotline.
The number is
1-900-903-9030. Calls are 99 cents per minute, and children under 18
must get parental permission before dialing.

Visit My Home Page At:

I recently read an Article suggesting ways to fix WCW's problems by my
friend and fellow writer, Blake Norton, formerly Editor of The Bagpipe
Report and now on the staff of WOW magazine. I have the highest regard
for Blake's work and understand where he is coming from. In his
Article, Blake wanted WCW to allow him to do WCW's Booking, and gave
his thoughts on how he would handle upcoming TV and PPV programming.
However, I have to take exception to the views he expressed. Not too
long ago I wrote an Article identifying what I perceived WCW's problems
to be and made a few broad suggestions on what they needed to do to
address their ongoing problems.

To begin with I would like to provide some basics in Marketing
strategy. I am constantly reading (and receiving) comments that vilify
the fans of the WWF as not being "real" wrestling fans. The argument
goes that they are mostly young and/or uninformed individuals that
really can't appreciate the nuances of the sport. They prefer the
"Sports Entertainment" product that Vince McMahon and the WWF provide
over the "pure" form of wrestling that WCW gives. Because of this they
are not real fans and cant/don't understand and appreciate the
performance of men like Chris Benoit, who seems to be the Poster Boy
for what they see as what wrestling should be.

Let me ask a few questions: When you buy a car, does the dealer ask you
if you understand things like compression ratio before he sells it to
you? Do you need to know things like that. Of course information like
that is important to real automobile buffs, but not to the average car
buyer. If you like the car, you buy it. Plain and simple. How about
selecting a long distance carrier. Do you need to know if one is using
all digital facilities or not? You couldn't care less. You are
interested in what the cost of your calls will be. The point is that
products are marketed to the tastes of the majority. The same is true
in wrestling.

When the exodus of name wrestlers took place several years ago, McMahon
was left with coming up with an alternative to what WCW was providing.
He was left with two marketable names, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart,
both commanding huge salaries. He was unable to keep both, so had to
decide which one would fit his new strategy and product. Being arguably
the best mic man ever, and whose style best fit the Marketing Model
McMahon created, Michaels was the choice. Building around him with
young and mostly unknown talent, he changed the WWF into what it is
today. New "superstars" (Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, etc.)
were developed.

Next let's look at the fans. There are several categories that they fit
in. This is by no means all inclusive, but you have the lifetime fan,
the fan who comes and goes, the fan who jumps on the bandwagon, and the
new and hopefully long time one. Which of those do you think spends the
most money? I would bet its the young and/or new fan. He/she comes to
the arena and buys the products on sale there, buys tapes the
Federation sells, orders the PPV's etc. I would bet that the lifetime
fan spends little at the arena other than his admission and maybe a few
PPV's. The one who comes and goes buys what he feels fits at the time.
The "bandwagon" fans buys what's hot at the moment. The key then seems
to be to attract the new fan and keep him. That's where your long term
revenue will come from. That is what the WWF has done. They are
marketing a product that is attractive to those that have never been
fans and keeping them.

Let's take it a bit further using my earlier examples: Cars are
advertised by the manufacturer at the base price. How many cars are
actually sold that way. Very few. You order local telephone service.
You then have the option to add things like Call Waiting,
Calling, etc. It costs the telephone company very little to provide
these additional services and they are big income generators. This is
an example of "Vertical Integration." The add-ons generate an enormous
amount of revenue. If you can provide a product that is attractive to
the people who buy the add-ons, you increase you revenue considerably.

Now let's look at ECW. Owner Paul Heyman identified an untapped market,
the Hardcore Market. He built ECW by providing a product that no one
else did at the time. He took what was basically a small, regional
Independent and has built it into a third major Federation. He did so
on a shoestring budget, with the wolves at the door several times, and
the continued loss of men he made into stars. With a core constituency
Philadelphia and the Northeast, he slowly began expanding to
additional markets.

What WCW needs is not "better booking," but an entire new Marketing
Strategy. They need to gain an understanding of what sells today, not
five or ten years ago. Having Hogan wrestle Sting, or Savage wrestle
Sid, is still .. Hogan wrestling Sting and Savage wrestling Sid. Put a
little sugar on it and glaze it, but you still have the same product.
Maybe WCW needs to go to a "Sports Entertainment" type product, maybe
not. What it needs is someone with the vision of a McMahon and a
Heyman, who understands what is needed and takes the risks to get
there. Unless WCW changes their entire thought process and how they
market themselves, they are destined to remain No. 2, or drop behind a
rising ECW and become No. 3 in the sport.

With all due respects to Blake, change needs to come starting at the
top. Bischoff hasn't shown he has that ability. WCW has to find someone
who will do whatever is necessary to turn WCW around. If that means
letting the "names" go, so be it. The WWF survived without Hogan,
Savage, Nash, Hall, Hart, etc., etc. If WCW can put a game plan in
place that provides what the fans, and not just the "purists" want,
they will again be a force. Continuing on the path now will lead them
further down that long road they have been traveling for the past
couple of years. And we all know where that road goes.
"Straight Shooting"
By: Fritz Capp (pwbts)
September 4, 1999
PWBTS 2000

I normally do not write two columns in the same 24 hour period, usually
because I just do not have the time. But this is one of those rare
occasions where I feel it is warranted.

Now I am also going to go back to the old format for this one as I feel
it is needed.

You see, I see a wrong being perpetrated on a lot of wrestling fans and
it is time that I have my say on it.

You see, there is a little arena sitting on the corner of Swanson and
Ritner in
South Philadelphia. Now this isn’t just any arena. It is
known throughout the wrestling world. In fact it is probably known best
for housing one of the most creative, ingenious, innovative and
rebellious wrestling promotion that this country has ever seen. You
see, this arena houses Extreme Championship Wrestling and if you live
in the vicinity of this sacred building then you know what I am talking
about. The problem seems to be though is that some people may have
forgotten the history of this building and what it actually means to
the promotion that calls itself hardcore.

It was in this building when the legendary Guerrero/Malenko matches
took place. It was in this building that one of the greatest wrestling
works of all time happened, the blinding of The Sandman. This building
has had the names of Terry Funk, Cactus Jack, Arn Anderson, Chris
Benoit, Rey Mysterio Jr., Chris Jericho, Terry Gordy, Gary Albright,
Ron Simmons, One Man Gang, Bam Bam Bigelow, Perry Saturn, Konnan, Eddie
Gilbert, Public Enemy, Dr. Death Steve Williams, Steve Austin, Brian
Pillman, Louie Spicolli, Rick Rude, Tammy Sytch, Chris Candido and so
many others pass through its doors to entertain the loyal fans of ECW.
And the fans never let them down. The fans were always there. Many
traveled through snow storms, ice storms, torrential rain and
blistering heat to be there for the shows. The Philly chapter of ECW
fans are without a doubt the most loyal fans ECW has, bar none. I know,
I used to be one. I remember the loyalty and camaraderie the fans hold
for their promotion.

What is bothering me is that it appears that Paul Heyman has forgotten
the same fans that were instrumental in putting ECW on the map, because
if it wasn’t for the fans in
Philadelphia there may not be an ECW. Long
before New York, Florida, Ohio and all the other states ECW now goes to
there were the Philly fans, laying down there money and spreading the
word of a small independent promotion that had more to offer the true
wrestling fan than all the other promotions put together. That word of
mouth put a fear into the two big wrestling promotions, the WWF and WCW
respectfully, to the point that one raided the talent of ECW and the
other changed the way they looked at wrestling and changed their
product accordingly.

Now I have to say that the ECW Arena is not a state of the art
building. In fact I said way back at the "Barely Legal" PPV that ECW
might have been better off renting another building for their first
pay-per-view. You see, ECW was having financial problems and my
thinking was that they could have sold more tickets to what could be
called the most anticipated PPV of the 90's. But I understood why they
held it there, history. The history of ECW was built in this small
building and it was only fitting that they held their first
pay-per-view there. But what has happened since?

Pay-per-views in every other city. Even the Philly mainstay show called
"November To Remember" was held somewhere else. Even though I was no
longer a die-hard ECW fan I felt a little betrayed when that happened
as it just did not seem right."November To Remember" was the show, the
one everyone in Philly waited for every year. To hold it somewhere else
seemed almost sacrilegious, but yet that is what happened.

Now ECW has garnered a deal with TNN and is being broadcast to a
national audience each week on Friday nights. For the promotion that is
fabulous news. But where was the first taping held?
Toledo, Ohio? Now
correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t
Toledo a city that garners the brunt
of many jokes by numerous comedians? Hell, wasn’t Klinger on M.A.S.H.
Toledo, Ohio? To point out something, Paul wouldn’t even use the
tape from
Toledo although that is what was planned.

I mean the first TNN taping was held there right for just that purpose
right? I highly doubt Paul would have had a problem with anything taped
from the ECW Arena. But considering the first taping was done in Toledo
that surely meant he would bring the second taping to the fans who were
there for him when he and his fledgling promotion was nothing more than
a blip on the wrestling scene correct? Nope, Paul took the second
taping to New York, the House of Hardcore? While I am not doubting the
loyalty of the fans in New York, when did Philadelphia and the ECW
Arena give up the moniker House of Hardcore? Sure there were fans who
drove from New York to Philly to see the shows but read what I just
wrote. They drove to Philly which means that Philly was there first.
But I digress, ECW went to New York for the second taping, that
only means that there had to be a guarantee that Philly would be next
on the list for a TNN taping right? Wrong again.

Is this the way that Paul Heyman thanks the fans of Philadelphia for
their undying support of his product? I am sure that Paul Heyman
appreciates the loyalty of the Philadelphia fans because without them
there may be no ECW, but when do you say, "Hey, I owe the Philly fans
and they deserve to be a part of the new deal we have, let’s take TNN
to Philly?

It appears that Philly is not worth anything but house show status
anymore. Is it the building itself? Could be, it only seats around 1100
but usually has 1400-1600 in it which makes it kind of uncomfortable.
The sound system sucks to be honest for the most part because the sound
bounces off of the concrete walls. It has no real air conditioning and
when filled to capacity it can take up to 15 minutes just to maneuver
around to get to the bathroom but hey...IT’S THE ECW ARENA!

ECW should have looked for a new building after the first pay-per-view
but they get the arena for pennies so they stayed, which may have been
a mistake. I believe that it is now time to look for another venue in
Philly so that ECW can have more of its fans be able to get in to see a
show. Now is a better time then later to start to look for a new venue
but I have to ask Paul Heyman one question.....

"If ECW has outgrown Viking Hall, what are the possibilities of ECW
having one TNN taping at the arena before you move on to a better
venue, not only to give the fans something back for all their years of
support but also as a way of saying goodbye to the arena?" I know that
the power there is suspect as far as being able to handle a major
broadcast. The equipment that is used must be a great strain on the old
buildings electrical system, but dammit Paul these are the Philadelphia
fans we are talking about. These are the people who came to the shows
when you had to give away tickets and have everyone sit on the bleacher
side just to look as if there were people there. These are the people
that started the ECW chant. These are the people who stuck with you
through thick and thin. These are the people who made ECW what it is
today, by supporting you for all of these years, by telling their
friends and buying your merchandise the Philadelphia fans deserve, yes
deserve, a TNN taping at the ECW Arena. You need to do whatever it
takes to make this happen if not for any other reason then just because
it is the right thing to do. Damn man, this is where "The Revolution"

I am making a challenge to Paul Heyman, ECW and to everyone affiliated
with the promotion to open your eyes and see how you are dissing the
fans by not having a TNN taping at the ECW Arena. I am also asking
every ECW fan to get behind this idea, because if you all take a moment
to think about this it was the ECW Arena and the fans of Philadelphia
that showed the promotion that ECW had the right idea. It gave them the
hope and confidence to go on, to take ECW to where it is today. Do you
really think that ECW would be here today if no one went to the shows
in Philly? Do you really think that there would be an ECW if the fans
of Philadelphia didn’t support them the way they did? In a small way
every ECW fan today owes a debt of thanks to the diehard hardcore fans
in Philly for being there when ECW was in their beginning. Every ECW
fan knows of the ECW Arena, help this piece of hardcore history get the
taping it rightfully deserves, even if it is only for one time.

Fritz Capp
PWBTS 2000
WCW Saturday Night Report - September 4, 1999
Hosted by Mike Tenay and Scott Hudson
Taped from Binghamton, New York

By Joe De Leon at:

• Ernest Miller (w/Sonny Onoo) defeated The Disciple with the Feliner.
Miller said he could beat Disciple in three minutes, so he did it in

• Lash LeRoux defeated Villano IV.

• Scotty Riggs said he was tired of second generation wrestlers saying
they were the best. He taunted Scott Putski, who was his partner the
previous week in a match against Kendall Windham and Bobby Duncum, Jr.
Putski said he was happy to be a second generation wrestler and it was
about time somebody shut Riggs' mouth for good. In the match, after
Putski couldn't hit the Polish Power because Riggs put the referee in
the way, Riggs hit the Showstopper (Rocker Dropper) for the win.

• Brian Knobs (w/Jimmy Hart) and 4x4 went to a No-Contest. 4x4 had
Knobs in a bear hug, when The First Family interfered. B.A. and Swoll
made the save.

• Kendall and Barry Windham defeated The Texas Outlaws via Pinfall,
using one of the Tag Team Title belts. Harlem Heat ran in afterwards
and scared Barry and Kendall of The West Texas Rednecks out of the
ring. Both issued a challenge then and there. The Rednecks went up to
the ring, but ran off, smiling.

• The show also consisted of Nitro Highlights.
SSW news by Http://
"The Big Orange Brawl"Sat. Sept 18th, Kingsport Civic Auditorium, 5:30
UT vs. FL on a Big Screen at 8:00
SSW Tag Team Championship, Beau James & Steve Flynn vs.Death &
Destruction "Rock-n-Roll" Ricky Harrison vs.Chuck Jones' Surprise,
Chuck Jones vs.Roger Hamm, Plus much more!

Watch SSW Sunday Sept 12th at 2pm on UPN 30 WAPK to see a very special
interview with Beau James as he talks about PJ Sharp and the future of
his family in wrestling. Plus 4 big matches and the complete line up
for The Big Orange Brawl.

Ratings: SSW Heavyweight Champion: Iron Cross 1.Wayne Rogers 2.Ricky
Harrison 3.Chuck Jones (Appalachian Champion) 4.WarMachine 5.Beau
James 6.Steve Flynn 7.Bam Bam Christian 8.Joe Fillers 9. Frank
Parker 10.Roger Anderson

SSW Tag Team Champions: The Family (Beau James & Steve Flynn) 1.Death
& Destruction 2. Joe Fillers and Slammin' Sam 3. Ricky Harrison &
Jimmy Valiant 4.The Memphis Body Guards 5.Tommy Hawk & Mike
"Switchblade" Trent

Upcoming Events
Sat. Sept. 18, Kingsport Civic Auditorium *****5:30****
Sat. Oct. 2nd, Morristown TNSat. Oct. 9th, TBA TV Taping
Sat. Oct. 30 Kingsport Civic Auditorium
returning soon to Newport TN, Big Stone Gap VA,and Blountville TN
The staff of The Wrestling Booking Sheet
Editor: Steve Appy
Columnist: Mark George
Columnist: SamJerry
Columnist: Fritz Capp
Columnist: Rick Phelps
Columnist: Cindy Barnes
Columnist: Josh Hewitt
Columnist: Swami
Columnist: Tom Misnik
Columnist: Nate Pelley
Columnist: Robert Troy (Osiris)
Tom Kirkbride
Columnist: Ryan S. Oaks
Columnist: Darren Kramer

Any submissions sent in by readers or columnists become the property of The Wrestling Booking Sheet, and are subject to editing due to grammar, spelling, or content. Any information taken from The Wrestling Booking Sheet must be credited properly, with our E-Mail address listed. We have no problem if you want to use our stuff; just credit it properly.

Copyright- Steve Appy of The Wrestling Booking Sheet ©1998, 1999, 2000


"When you're young and you pick up a guitar, it feels so powerful. It feels like you pulled the sword from the stone. I used to believe that it could save the world. But I don't really believe that anymore." - Bruce Springsteen

"The greatest challenge of adulthood is holding on to your idealism
after you lose your innocence and believing in the power of the human
spirit after you come crashing into the limits of the real adult
world." - Bruce Springsteen


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