I only realized a moment ago that I never shared what I thought of the piece we read for last Thursday I believe, the one that outlined the downfall of Dub-C-Dubya. I started to read the piece with only a mild curiosity, thinking, perhaps arrogantly, that I already knew the overall reasons for the failure of this company to win the Monday night war. I've read countless interviews with former WCW wrestlers, I watched about a year of WCW before it went under, I've heard the stories, I watched the DVD... what more could I get out of it?
A lot more. A whole lot more.
I was reading the piece while simultaneously working with some friends on physics, trying to multitask. But I found the piece so hilarious that it was hard to focus on what my friends were trying to solve. It's so hard to wrap my mind around the fact that this wasn't trying to be funny, but it was just recounting what WCW truly did in trying to compete with Vince. Did they really think some of what they did would really hook in their viewers and keep them? I couldn't help but show my friends what I was reading, and even though none of them watched wrestling, they thought it was hilarious too. I find that simultaneously funny but sad, that non-fans even see how absurd WCW was being and yet they couldn't see it themselves at the time.
I think the part I found most absurd was the bit on the Ultimate Warrior. Coming in and disappearing in a cloud of smoke? I never saw that but it sounds so corny, I think if I saw it I would crack up laughing. It reminded me of Hurricane in WWE, who would "fly" in and out of scenes backstage, accompanied even by the "whooosh" sound when he'd "take off" or arrive. But that was so obviously for comedic purposes, whereas I'm not sure the same could be said for WCW's treatment of the Warrior. I especially loved the part when Warrior got locked in a steel cage and he couldn't escape, even though he had been reappearing and disappearing in his cloud of smoke right beforehand. If that's not a slap in the face of the fans watching, to think they're now supposed to believe that Warrior couldn't escape, I don't know what is.
I found myself cringing while reading the part where Chris Jericho got locked out of the arena and how poorly they prepared for the segment, mostly due to the fact that I'm a huge fan of his. I think instead of paying for a Warrior double to appear in a cloud of smoke, more emphasis should have been placed on Jericho and on the other stars that WCW had that were carrying the workload. That was the one glaring thing I noticed while reading this piece, was that after saying how horrible the main event of some pay-per-view was, there'd be a part that would say "... with the exception of the Chris Jericho/Dean Malenko/Chris Benoit/Rey Mysterio/etc match, this show was horrible." These guys all eventually left WCW, even though Rey stuck it out longer than did the other three I named. It's hard to fathom that Eric Bischoff, the man who made the Cruiserweight Division fun and exciting and challenged the WWE's notion that you had to be big in size to be successful, this same man didn't see the value of bringing those stars up to his main event.
In my mind, there were two huge reasons why WCW fell apart in the end. First being what I just said, that the "undercard" was kept as that - a mere undercard, even though the likes of Jericho, Benoit, Mysterio, and Eddie Guerrero became legit main eventers in the WWE. WCW focused way too much on Hogan, and that's another thing. Hulk Hogan has to be one of the swarmiest people I've ever read about that was involved in wrestling. He did nothing to help WCW overcome its struggles, only wanting his own fame and glory and not caring at all that he was main eventing years past his prime while there were young and talented guys hungry for the chance to show what they could do. Nope, it's all about the dollar to the Hulk.
The other reason wasn't necessarily a lack of focus on Bischoff's part, but more like the wrong kind of focus. He was onto something huge with his new ideas, specifically the nWo, but he dropped the ball bigtime by becoming way too obsessed with the ratings. He was content if he won a particular night even though his show was horrible, which just shows that he had a one-dimensional approach to his show. He had Bret Hart join his company right off the heels of one of the most, if not the most controversial ending to a match ever with the Montreal Screwjob, and he did nothing with Bret? Talk about dropping the ball, that's a severe understatement. If Bischoff had put that same tenacity to win the Nielson ratings battle into say, bringing up new talent and building new and fresh storylines around his already established ones, who knows how the war might have ended. Maybe we'd be watching Monday Nitro right now instead of Raw... or maybe this was inevitable from the very beginning.