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Vandy! (September 1996)


Beer!  (February 2006)

Issue # 364

Date:  Sunday October 24th, 1999  10:36 am

The Wrestling Booking Sheet

Tonight may be Flair's last WCW match
By Mike Mooneyham
Sunday, October 24, 1999

Ric Flair, the greatest wrestler of the modern era, could be nearing
the end of his illustrious in-ring career.

Flair was told last week by the new creative team at WCW that he was
"being retired" and that his last match with the company would be
against Diamond Dallas Page at tonight's Halloween Havoc pay-per-view.
The 27-year veteran previously had been booked for programs with Billy
Kidman and Chris Benoit and had agreed to put over and elevate the
younger talent. The latest plan is for DDP to injure Flair, with Flair
returning early next year to take over as figurehead commissioner.

Flair's first official job for the new bookers was to get
unceremoniously mugged by The Filthy Animals while watching son David
get humiliated twice on the same show.

It has become painfully clear that the company known as World
Championship Wrestling has no intention of according Ric Flair the
respect befitting a 14-time World Heavyweight Champion.
It was obvious from the beginning that Eric Bischoff resented Flair for
whatever reasons. Bischoff, however, is gone. It now appears that the
new regime, with Bill Busch as executive vice president and a booking
team headed by WWF transplants Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara, also wish to
turn their heads to the truth - that Ric Flair, at the age of 50, is
still the company's most entertaining quarter hour, is still its best
interview and is still the finest representative and goodwill
ambassador that promotion has ever had. And, despite the age factor, he
remains a darn good worker inside the ring.

My words and thoughts on the subject have been well-documented. Despite
WCW's failed efforts to push politically selected stars down its
shrinking audience's collective throat, there is a bond between Ric
Flair and his loyal legion of fans that cannot be broken.
Unfortunately, many of Flair's longtime
followers no longer watch WCW, mainly because of the fact that they,
too, have been used by the company.

Perhaps Jim Cornette, borrowing a fairly famous quote, said it best:
"None are so blind as those who will not see."

"They're having the same idea they had 10 years ago, and every time
their ass is in a crack Flair has to be the one to bail them out,"
Cornette elaborated. "They refuse to admit that he's a wrestler instead
of an entertainer and he's old instead of young, and they still want to
see him more than anybody they've got. They just won't believe it."

There's no need to beat a dead horse. WCW is no longer the organization
spawn from the old NWA. It is a company that aspires to be "Raw
Junior." It books for the Internet crowd. It wants to be
New York hip
down south in

So let's give Tony Schiavone a cool new haircut. Put some shades on
Bobby Heenan. Let Buff Bagwell and Jeff Jarrett do their "worked
shoots" so Internet marks can have something to talk about the next
day. Have a couple of wrestlers stagger around the building each week
in stupors and pretend its the "in" thing to do until the time comes
when we are forced to read their obituaries. Everyone will mourn and
sing their praises for a couple of weeks, and then they'll move on to
the next fresh meat.

And what about the proud tradition of Ted Turner and the SuperStation?
Just ask Dr. Harvey Schiller.

• The first Nitro booked by Vince Russo drew mixed reviews but closed
the ratings gap with a 5.39-3.30 loss to Raw, which doubled the
opposition in only two of the eight competitive quarters. Raw posted
hours of 5.53 and 5.27. Nitro registered hours of 3.77, 3.11 and 3.05.

• Veteran wrestling journalist Steve Beverly was among those last week
who took WCW to task, accusing the new creative braintrust of "chipping
away one more inch of the fiber that we have of any kind of values that
exist whatsoever, all in the name of making a buck. If Ted Turner is
willing to allow this to happen on World Championship Wrestling, you
can count me out," said

Beverly also rightly accused the organization of tailoring its
advertising and marketing to young people while building an adult

"They are not only providing the ultimate hypocrisy, they also are
contributing to a continuing decline in any kind of standards or
respect for young people ... When people continue to contribute with
irresponsible content and irresponsible creativity and irresponsible
behavior simply because they know there is an element of audience out
there that will embrace this because they don't have that in their
lives, then, in my opinion, these are some awfully sick people."

Beverly also pointed to performers such as Bret Hart, Steve Borden
(Sting) and Terry Bollea (Hulk Hogan), who have said publicly that they
didn't approve of the product Vince McMahon put on the air, wanted WCW
to distance itself from the WWF and said they wouldn't allow their own
children to watch those programs. "Yet it appears to me that some of
these people who have made those public statements are going to be
working for an organization that's going to copy-cat that," said

"Clothing that doesn't quite fit you" was the analogy made by another
longtime observer after viewing the "new" Nitro. Jim Cornette,
narrowing his aim to booker Russo, said he initially tried to help his
former WWF colleague with wrestling protocol in his early days with the
company - "the way he talked to the boys, and the political stuff." But
Cornette claims Russo systematically worked his way into WWF boss Vince
McMahon's inner circle.

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.
Reported by Chris Woodward at:
Sandman & Mikey Whipwreck make their ECW return!

ECW World Heavyweight Champion Mike Awesome (w/Jeff Jones) pinned Mikey

Nova pinned Chris Candido (w/Tammy
Lynn Sytch)

Cyrus introduced a new valet for Danny Doring, which led to Miss
Congeniality being destroyed in preparation for her jump to the WWF.

Super Crazy defeated Little Guido and Spike Dudley in an Extreme Three
Way Dance

Yoshihiro Tajiri (w/Steve Corino & Jack Victory) pinned Jerry Lynn

Tom Marquez fought David Cash to a No-Contest

ECW TV Champion Rob Van Dam fought Sabu to a Time Limit Draw

ECW World Tag Team Champions Raven & Tommy Dreamer (w/Francine) fought
Justin Credible & Lance Storm (w/Dawn Marie) to a No-Contest when the
Sandman returned, coming to the aid of Dreamer. As the show ended
Dreamer & Sandman celebrated in the ring together, as the heels were
run off (and Raven skulked off).
Straight Shooting
By : Fritz Capp (afcapp)
October 24, 1999

PWBTS 2000

The Vince Russo/Ed Ferrera era is now in full swing with the two of
them taking over the last Monday Nitro booking. Let’s just take a quick
peek into what really happened.

While I enjoyed the first hour (anything is better then what was being
presented) I do have to wonder how long the two of them will allowed to
give the fans an almost exact reproduction of "RAW" before the powers
that be tell them they have to try to do something different. As the
show went into the second and third hour it started to remind of the
old Nitro, though. The longer Nitro was on, the more it seemed to drag.

I mean, let’s be honest with ourselves everyone, did the first hour
look any different then any "RAW" you have watched in the past year? I
sat in the WCW "Live" room to see the responses of the people who have
criticized "RAW" on numerous occasions these past 12 months and what I
saw was this exact statement being said by all the participants, "Nitro
Is RAW"! Is that what WCW had in mind when they signed these two
people to book their program?

I also am totally amazed at the number of people who have "trashed and
bashed" Russo and company over the past year for their booking of the
WWF and they are now kissing his ass like he is the second coming of
God. This is not only true of wrestling columnists but also of WCW fans
themselves! How can this be, people? I have received letter after
letter telling me that over the past year I have supported and enjoyed
a pornographic exploitive wrestling promotion who was only interested
in the bottom line, which is doing whatever it takes to makes
themselves a dollar no matter who it offends. I have received letters
saying that the WWF Booking Committee has absolutely no morals and
should all rot in hell for their actions. Well now, how is WCW any

1 - Dustin Runnels being brought in as an "Undertakerish" type
2 - Kimberly Page using "sex and adultery" to try to lure David Flair
to a hotel room.
3 - Sting’s use of "crotch chops".
4 - Evening Gown matches just for the sake of having a woman’s clothes
ripped off.

I’m not sitting here bashing them people, so put your e-mails away. I
am just pointing out a few things to the millions....and millions...of
hypocrites that reside here on the Internet. If I was trashing and
bashing, as all who are familiar with this column know, I would delve
into much more detail.

There is a huge difference in what Russo and company had to work with
in the WWF and what they have now in WCW. In WCW they have some of the
greatest wrestlers in the world today. There is no way to deny that
fact (And I never have). But.....does that mean that Russo and friends
know what to do with this wealth of talent? No, it does not. You see,
the difference is that in the WWF the Russo boys had some of the
industries greatest entertainers. While I am not saying in the least
that the WWF’s top talent cannot wrestle (because they can) they have a
monumental edge over WCW’s talent as far as intensity (in matches and
promos) and mic work ability.

Again, put away your e-mails as I do not want the letters telling me
that Flair is great on a mic, or DDP or even Hogan. Flair was great 10
years ago and sometimes finds his old groove but for the most part
Flair flips out too much anymore. Go back and look at his interviews
from 1986 and compare them to now to understand what I am saying. DDP
is good and Hogan is in the midnight of his career. Who else does WCW
have though that is as fluid on the mic as Austin or the Rock or Foley
or Road Dog or Jericho or Helmsley, just to name a few? One thing is
true though, Scott Steiner’s promos from earlier this year would fit
right in with the new WCW philosophy.

It is going to take WCW a little while to grasp the new concept that is
being presented to them, but I have every bit of faith that they will
grasp the "sports entertainment" moniker that Russo and company will
shove down their throat all in the name of ratings. That’s too bad to,
because except for the nWo angle when WCW was trouncing the WWF in
ratings it was done by solid wrestling. I hope for WCW’s sake that the
Russo boys will mature just enough not to take the edge of what they
can do but to also realize that the name on the marquee is still
"wrestling" and can find a way to incorporate that into their program.
The Wrestling Guys Radio Show this Monday will have LEGENDARY champion
Harley Race, and are working to have either Don Callis (Cyrus) or
Little Guido with us on Monday. Plus some of the Outlaws stars that
will appear at The Tropicana will be in 'da house!! Tune in Monday at
6pm for the action!!
The "King OF Reporting" contest is down to it’s Final Four and here are
the final brackets:
Bob Ryder vs. Dave Scherer
Zach Hickenbottom vs. Joe DeLeon
Pick and choose your favorite reporter as we get ready to head into the
While touching on the above subject for a minute word going around is
that my last opponent has gone on record as saying that I promo’d
myself during this contest trying to get votes??? While it is true that
I hyped this contest around the boards I have still yet to find
place where I said "Vote for me" as he did in private e-mails mass

The reason I hyped this contest so much was because it was fun and the
guys at Steel Cage Asylum put a lot of work into doing this. They never
asked me to do this, I don’t even know who runs SCA. But I do want to
go on record as saying that I never asked for anyone to vote for me.
That would be lame if you ask me. If you have to "beg" for people to
vote for you then you probably shouldn’t be in the contest in the first
place. Anyway, what it comes down to is once again people on the
Internet "outright lying" for a small piece of glory which is sad.
And with that I’m outta here. Remember wrestling is nothing more than
it appears to be.
Written by reader: Sam Halsall (hentai)
First off, I am politically left-of-center, *way* left-of-center in
certain instances but usually not -- what most people would describe as
"liberal". So bear that in mind as my bias during the following.

Now, with that out of the way, let me take a stab at the question: why
would registered Republicans be more likely than registered Democrats
to order a wrestling pay-per-view? Several possibilities present
themselves, but the most glaring is the issue of violence. Democrats
tend to be political liberals (the two terms are *not* mutually
inclusive, however) and thus opposed to violence in most of its forms.
Since the point of professional wrestling, no matter what style we're
talking, is violence of one sort or another, this makes liberals less
likely to be serious wrestling fans willing to spend money on
pay-per-view wrestling. (Yes, I realize I'm an exception, and that
there are many others like me.)

On the other hand, as anyone who has seen an Arnold Schwartzennegger
(sp?) film can attest, Republicans have little difficulty with the idea
of violence so long as it can be justified on one pretext or another.
The other possibility would be the issue of money. Since the Republican
credo, once you cut through the rhetoric, is that the rich ought to be
made richer and the poor are irrelevant, most Republicans are either
wealthy or in the hunt to become wealthy.

As a result, they would have more disposable income to spend on such a
thing as three hours of men in tights pretending to fight on TV. Of
these two theories, I find the first more likely. However, both
probably work in tandem with other factors I'm too lazy to think of to
create the phenomenon Meltzer describes.
Written by reader: Rick Mahr (r.mahr)
A little bit 'o trivia: Registered Republicans are more likely to order
a pro wrestling PPV because (as a general rule) Republicans have a
higher average income than registered Democrats (typically a more "blue
collar" or "working class" demographic). Thus, those rowdy Republicans
have a higher discretionary income for such items as "entertainment" --
or in this case "sports entertainment". (Although somehow I don't quite
see George Bush opening up a can of whoop @xxxxcxxxcs with Barb Sunday night:
"wouldn't be prudent...")
Written by reader: (shanev)
Strangely enough, I too, am a registered Republican. I would venture to
guess that the reason for the odds swinging in our favor versus the
Democrats would be that Republicans tend to be less conservative than
Democrats in voting style, and so would I suspect lifestyle. That being
the case, Professional Wrestling may be more appealing to someone who
would more than likely agree with a Republican approach to things in
:) Shane in Alaska.
Written by reader: Kyle Smith (bluedvl85)
In WBS #363 you reported that there was recently a poll conducted in
Philadelphia about politics relating to the likeliness of someone to
purchase a wrestling pay-per-view event. My interpretation of the
Republican party is that they tend to be more "easy-going and passive"
and I tend to think they are much more against regulation. Well, the
majority of wrestling pay-per-views ordered are WWF, which would tend
to be more apt to censorship, and with the Republican views on things
combined with this it would seem to make them more likely to buy a PPV.
I hope you can make some sense out of this, my thoughts are jumbled
because it is 1:00AM and I am typing a 20 page report.
:-) Kyle Smith
Written by reader: CDikRun

In recent weeks , many have heralded Russo and Ferrara as the two
individuals responsible for the wide ratings gap between the WWF and
WCW. Correct me if I am wrong but the margin was little more than a
ratings point until last December or early january of this year. At
that time Terry Taylor, who was one of the powers that be in WCW, left
abruptly. In the weeks that followed the gap widened to where it is

I'll give Russo and Ferrara their due, but I question what
Terry's role in the success WWF has achieved, especially since I read
recently that Terry is rumored to be on the outs with the WWF now and
may be returning to the WCW.

Believe me I think the "Red Rooster" was one of the worst gimmicks of
all time, but if Terry is responsible for either feds success I'd like
to see him get the recognition he deserves.
Written by reader: Ben Martin (extremeicon00@xxxxs...)

I would like to voice my displeasure with TNN about how they have
treated ECW. It is obvious to me that TNN doesn’t know what they have
on there hands.

It is obvious to me by the lack of advertising that all TNN wants ECW
for is to jump on the wrestling bandwagon so they can use it not to the
gain of ECW but to the gain of there fledgling program Roller Sham,
OOPS, I mean Roller Jam. In the past 2 months that ECW has been on the
air on TNN they have doubled the ratings of every program on TNN,,
making them the highest rated show on TNN aside from there regular
Nascar coverage, which is the only other reason I watch TNN.

You would think that TNN would be advertising the hell out of them BUT
NO!!!!!.They advertise Roller Jam and that other crapfest they have on
before ECW on Fridays, Motor Madness like its the greatest show on the

Why does ECW only get an occasional plug during the day or if they feel
like it a plug during a Nascar race, usually right before the race is
over and the people are pissed off at Jeff Gordon they turn it off when
the commercials come on? TNN refuses to let ECW do what they are
famous for, Vignettes, Extreme Angles and Hardcore wrestling.

Not that we haven’t gotten the wrestling part, but they refuse to spend
money to advertise ECW but when it comes time to advertise Roller Jam
they have unlimited money. The blame isn’t all on Paul Heyman’s end;
here is our chance to tell TNN what we think. You see, it was an E
mail campaign that got ECW on PPV, an e-mail campaign that got ECW on
national TV, and hopefully its going to be an e-mail campaign that will
get ECW a little better treatment on TNN. So here we go, either E mail
me at extremeicon00@xxxxs... or go to this address: at and let your voice be heard. Together we can make TNN
realize that ECW can and will make them the number1 network on cable.
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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