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Issue # 401

Date:  Tuesday November 16th, 1999  5:48 pm

The Wrestling Booking Sheet

RATINGS FOR MONDAY, 11/15/1999
Reported by Dave Scherer at:: http://www.1wrestling.com
RAW NITRO
1st Hour: n/a 3.4
2nd Hour: 6.3 3.0
3rd Hour: 6.2 2.8
Composite: 6.3 3.1

WEEKEND RATINGS
Reported by Dave Scherer at:: http://www.1wrestling.com
ECW on TNN (11/12) 0.9
WWF Livewire (11/13) 1.5
WCW Saturday Night (11/13) 1.6
WWF Superstars (11/14) 1.8
WWF Heat (11/14) 3.6
===========================================
ROUNDING THE SQUARED CIRCLE
"CREATIVE TALENT, MY @$$" OR
"HOW TO MAKE THE BIG SLOW/BOSSTURD ANGLE LOOK GOOD"

BY SAMJERRY
Visit My Home Page At: http://members.aol.com/samjerry

I really didn't plan on writing an Article today, however, after
watching NITRO last night I felt compelled to. With all the static
about the Big Slow's father having cancer, dying from it and The Big
Bossturd's rotten deeds angle, we saw something much lower than that.

The new WCW Creative Talent Committee (Read: Vince Russo and friends)
hit the bottom of the barrel with Russo's portrayal (the word is it was
Ed Ferrara himself playing 'Good Old JR') of Jim Ross. No matter what
you may have thought of the cancer angle, it was kept "in-house"
(within the WWF) and wasn't directed at a living person, or someone's
physical handicap. Russo's poking "fun" of Ross's facial / vocal
problems brought on by Bell's Palsy was not only over-the-line, it was
in the next county. There is no way it can by justified as being a
parody or "all in good nature fun." It was aimed directly at and had to
hurt Ross. That's not the nature of parody.

What's next for Russo? Maybe he should have someone wheeled in on a
gurney and parody Darren Drozdof's condition. Heck, it's not much of a
stretch from what he did last night.

I have been reading comments today and the only ones that seemed to
think it was a good bit came from the post NITRO call in show. That is
to be expected, after all, this is the same bunch that semiannually
predicts the demise of the WWF. That Russo was a guest didn't hurt
either. Nothing like sucking up to the guy that could have their sorry
asses fired in a second. I hope the WWF ignores this and lets it pass
for the sorry example of trash it was.

I have been a supporter of the Sports Entertainment concept despite its
adverse affect on actual wrestling because it provided a fun
atmosphere. This was not fun. Attacking a person's handicap is not fun.
I hope Russo looks a little deeper into what he did and learns from it,
and not pay attention to the paid ass kissers on the post NITRO show,
or those calling in to play nice and pat him on the back, and make him
think that is acceptable conduct. It was just yesterday that I wrote
an Article saying this is just wrestling and not to take it too
seriously. Russo has made it a serious subject.
===========================================
THE ROSS PARODY
Written by reader: Brad Smoley (bsmoley)

When did we all become so sensitive?

Jim Ross apparently had absolutely no problem with letting Russo and
Ferrara do their J.R. impression on WWF TV right after the Bells Palsey
took effect, in a much more graphic portrayal I might add, so why are
people so quick to jump on them now? I remember Ferrara's original
impression vividly, and as I recall, it played on Ross' facial
disabilities much more than the WCW version did. The WCW version was
much more of a character parody, citing references to "my boy", J.R.'s
ever-postponed BBQ sauce, his clever analogies, and his play-by-play
style.

Frankly, I found it quite amusing and never once did the Bells Palsey
issue enter my mind. The reason I never thought about it was that when
I listen to Jim Ross, the best announcer in the business, I don't think
about it then either.

Let's take the parody for what it was: a clever jab at a well revered
wrestling figure, not a mean spirited attack on a man with a
disability. Never once did Ferrara or the WCW announce team make
reference to drooling, or slurred speech. Not once did they insinuate
that Jim Ross was to be laughed at because he has a disability. That is
a conclusion, if you believe such trash, that you would have to reach
on your own.

Then again, we'll never truly know the intent of the parties involved,
will we? Maybe J.R. is a nice guy. Maybe J.R. will see what Ferrara
did and realize that imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery.
Maybe he'll see the parody, remember all the good Russo and Ferrara did
for the WWF when they were low in the ratings and started taking jabs
at WCW and realize that turnabout is fair play.

Then again, maybe not. Maybe J.R. hated the original impression. Maybe
J.R. fought it tooth and nail only to be overruled in the end. Maybe he
hates what Russo and Ferrara decided to do to him on a show that less
people watched than the one that originally showcased the impersonation
talents of Ed Ferrara. We'll probably find out in his column soon
enough.

You take what you want from the parody. If you are the P.C., overly
sensitive type, you probably threw up your arms, yelled to high heaven
about all the injustice in the world and started typing a letter of
protest before Ferrara planted his butt behind the announce desk.

If you're the opposite, you probably recorded it, played it back 40
times and were ultimately upset that Dr. Death didn't start beating the
crap out of him while yelling handicapped-related insults.

Now, if you are a rational human being, your opinion probably lies
somewhere in the middle. I thought it was funny without going too far
over the line. Others will not see it that way. Just my two cents.
-Brad
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Steve Appy responds:
Brad,
WCW has two defenses when it comes to the reasons behind staging their
imitation of Jim Ross. The first is that the WWF would and have done
worse and they are very correct. Both sides live in glass houses and
the list of cheap shots that both the WWF & WCW have launched could
fill several issues (and already is the basis of a lawsuit & counter
suit which will apparently never be resolved).

The second is that the WWF themselves already performed a similar skit
regarding Ross. While I wish that Ross would have had the
strength/power/good taste to outright refuse participation at the time
he went along with it.

Of course, Ross has stated in interviews how much the previous WWF
segment bothered him, a segment that Russo & Ferrara dreamed up
themselves. I wish that he had stood up to them the first time,
although it's easy for me to say that. After all, Ross didn't have
tons of job security at the moment and his illness didn't give him
much leverage.

On a final note, Ferrara's drooping mouth made the connection to Ross's
disability very apparent. This shouldn't surprise me, I should have
realized that nothing is sacred in today's wrestling environment. I
wonder if it's only a matter of time before a heel invokes Owen Hart's
name as a way to get cheap heat.
===========================================
BACKYARD FED'S
Written by reader: Spot39

Regarding Mark George's "Good, Bad and Ugly" column:
I must say that according to what you saw on Television, Backyard
Wrestling is indeed stupidity. However, like everything you see on TV,
you probably did not see the whole picture. For instance, I am a
backyard wrestler myself, and in our wrestling none of us are stupid
enough to try any moves that are out of our range, nor will we ever use
glass or any other type of weapon except for thin plywood and... you
guessed it, metal folding chairs.

All you have to do is put a hand up, and your head is fine. In any
case, my friends and I are in it to wrestle, to impress each other with
our technical, high-flying, microphone, or (in some cases) resiliency.
It is a lot of fun to work angles, and put on matches, especially when
you go back and watch, because then you see your mistakes, and improve
on them.

You may say how can that be entertaining? Well we have a public access
TV show, and a 2 CD soundtrack, we must be doing something right.
===========================================
THE DRIVER OF THE CAR
Written by reader: Phil Curtolo (Movie_king80)

I think the driver of the car is none other than Taz. Not only does it
bring him in initially as a heel - at which he excels - but it also
gets him in the main event. Meanwhile, Austin will be free from other
feuds to concentrate on the man who tried to kill him. I just hope to
hell they don't do something stupid - like WCW did with the whole
Hummer angle.
-Phil Curtolo (movie_king80)
===========================================
A FAN OF THE PARODY UP TO A POINT
Written by reader: Ansel Mcpherson (helll_razor)

I really enjoyed the parody of Ed Ferrara on Jim Ross, except for his
mocking of Ross' condition. That was out of line. He did have Ross down
to a tee, repeating JUVI JUVI JUVI just like Ross repeats Austin Austin
Austin. Some good stuff. Even Schiavone got in on it. Schiavone
really had no reason to say "I replaced you". That's kind of like the
3rd stringer saying "I replaced Joe Montana", not much of an upgrade.
===========================================
THE "PINATA" MATCH
Written by reader: Chris York (UMWChris)

I just want to say I think Russo's presence in WCW is helping, which I
didn't think originally could possibly happen. I, too, am pissed off
about the way they are treating the Luchadors and also about the fake
JR. My reasoning is different than most though. I personally respect
Mexican &
Japanese wrestlers on a high pedestal, with more so being towards the
Japanese wrestlers.

However, I thought doing the Pinata crap was an unnecessary stereotype.
I also think that having a fake JR was just bulls**t. It distracted
away from the fact that Dr. Death appeared to be in great shape and
took me as a surprise that he was back in WCW! I think that if they
would of forked out an ungodly amount of money and got the real Jim
Ross back, they would be unstoppable.

I mean right now, the only good commentators in WCW are Scott Hudson,
Mike Tenay, and Larry Zybyzsko! Bobby
Heenan is okay, but when he left WWF, it was time to stop the jokes,
because he didn't have Gorilla Monsoon to fall back on, which is the
reason why he was so great in the WWF. That is justified by Gorilla
Monsoon's presence.

So, anyway, I just want to say while they have better storylines now,
which do add my interest to the matches, they have some growing up to
do.
Thanks,
Chris York
UMWChris
http://www.homestead.com/umwprowrestling/index.html
===========================================
RANDOM THOUGHTS
Written by reader: RanmaSolo

The Ross parody could, I say could, have been very funny, but WCW
screwed it up. First of all they made fun of his Bells Palsy, which is
just plain out and out wrong, EVEN for today's wrestling world. Then
they made the mistake of getting such a bad impersonator. If they had:
1, not made fun of his Bells Palsy and 2, gotten someone who do at
least a half way decent Jim Ross impersonation it could have been a
good segment for what it was. But they did and didn't so it wasn't.

And just a few quick thoughts. The Pi˝ata match? Racist angle if you
ask me but a good match because of the talent involved. Jericho
definitely deserves better. He's so over it hurts. Is it just me or
would Kurt Angle be perfect for ECW? I mean the way he wrestles the
fans wouldn't stop popping until he left the ring. And finally about
Austin not wrestling the PPV... YAY! No offense, I love Austin, but
lately he... Well, sucks. He needs a heel turn badly. I haven't liked
him since he started catering to the fans. What happened to "STONE
COLD" Steve Austin?
===========================================
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Thanks,
Darryl Sharma
===========================================
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===========================================
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)
Columnist:
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 ę1998, 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
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