Random Thoughts from the Office: April 2, 2010

Without spoiling things I love being right.

Ten years...has it really been that long since WrestleCrap first came into being? Time flies when you laugh at the stupidity of the business like that. It was just on 10 years ago that the Russo/Bischoff era was just beginning in WCW; the alliance that was supposed to change the game, put WCW back on top once and for all and send Vince McMahon and his family to the poor house. Instead it drove Hulk Hogan out of the company, resulted in some of the worst TV in the history of wrestling, cost WCW 63 million dollars in one year and ultimately ended with them being sold to Vince for about a buck fifty in value terms.

I have to say this: I love Vince Russo. A lot of his ideas are stupid, don't draw a dime and leave 90% of the IWC baying for his head on a platter but the thing is he TRIES to be different, he gives talent that wouldn't otherwise get a chance time to shine and get over. Sure, Crash TV is really really terrible for the most part but up until January 4 I would've gladly taken that over anything the WWE was putting out.

I've been trying to hold off on this one for the longest time, mostly because I don't want to be overly negative. I can't speak for Blah [For that you'd probably have to steal my voice or something - PB] but my idea of wrestlecrapradio.com is for it to be a place that you come, have a few laughs as we review the fine show, maybe leave with something to think about after reading my column, but for the most part go away happy and positive and not think you totally wasted your time coming here. Add that to the fact that I love a lot of what goes on in TNA: Doug Williams as X-Division champ, The Pope, Desmond Wolfe, the Tara-Daffney stuff, all of it has at least piqued my interest and been enjoyable. But for every step they take forward it seems like they take two steps back for me: the botched Sting heel turn, Beer Money becoming 3 Minute Warning 2.0, Shannon Moore, the never ending Angle-Anderson feud, Shannon Moore, the booking of AJ Styles as such a weak champion and of course.......Shannon Moore.

I want to TNA to succeed, it so disappoints me that this show with all its talent can barely draw enough viewers this week to beat AM Raw. I know I have a reputation on the Wrestlecrap forums as having a "Personal Grudge" against TNA but the fact is the last three months of 2009 in TNA were the first things since the death of Eddie Guerrero that made me point to people and say "That's why I want to be a wrestling fan". I loved almost every minute of programming they put out. It gave me hope that I would have something to really watch and enjoy again as the WWE weren't catering to me any more.

Then Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff came in.

I know I harp on Hulk Hogan, as I've said before I'm not a Hulkamanic nor was I ever. At the same stretch though I'm not a hardcore Hogan Hater either. I can appreciate what he did to get wrestling into the mainstream. I just feel there's a time when that era is no longer relevant to today and for me that era with Hogan (And to a lesser extent but still a large one Ric Flair, who as I've said in the past was my hero growing up) came about 5 years ago. Yet because he's the "Name" of the industry he will always be lauded and brought into companies like TNA so they can try and get the "rub" from him, it inverably doesn't work.

As for Bischoff, I think he has one of the greatest minds in the industry....PROVIDED you don't let him have a hand in running the show. No one in the world with the possible exception of Vince and Kevin Dunn has a better mind for the intricacies of television production and what it takes to put out a successful live wrestling show as well as being one hell of an entertainer in the ring, he's still one of the greatest heels around just by being "Bisch". But as a creator he has one great idea to his name, the nWo; granted the hottest angle in the history of wrestling but still the only real successful thing he's come up with and when push comes to shove when he's in a creative spot he goes to back to that idea. Case in point: The Band, getting a run in an Impact main event long after they were relevant.

Now it seems that if the latest venture of moving to 8-10 on Monday fails that Vince Russo is on his way out. In my opinion that's the wrong move, he can still write good programming. This weeks Impact proved that despite only drawing a 0.56. The problem with TNA at the moment is there's too many people with a say. Hogan, Bischoff, Russo, probably Dixie Carter as well. You need to drown out those voices and look at what was happening and the simple fact is numbers do not lie, the problem is not Vince Russo, he was drawing 1.0's consistently before Hogan and Bischoff came in. Credit where it's due, Hogan and Bisch DID lead TNA to their greatest ever rating on January 4th but it's been a steady slide down since then. That's why TNA needs to ask what has changed since the beginning of the year and hopefully come up with the right answer, it's not Russo who has to leave creative, it's Bischoff, he has enough to focus on with helping with production and in ring work to justify him staying, and Hogan will still have a say in the book.

On a lighter note, as noted it is the Tenth anniversary of Wrestlecrap, which got me to thinking: what is the worst gimmick or thing I've ever seen in my time as a wrestling fan? It's so easy to point to things like the Gooker, like Heroes of Wrestling, like the Great American Bash 1991. But when people ask me what my own personal greatest Wrestlecrap moment is out of those, my answer is "None of the Above". My own personal greatest Wrestlecrap moment hasn't even been inducted, it never will be. my own Wrestlecrap moment is as funny as it is sad and it almost brought down a company in the process.

It's so easy to make fun of independent wrestling. We've all seen something stupid in an indy show attended by 50 people that makes you think "What are the bookers on?" Which is usually closely followed by "And where can I get some?". But this moment has always stuck with me in my life as a wrestling fan, like the great Flair-Steamboat matches and the matches between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker from the past two Wrestlemanias; this match has stayed in my memory long after I saw it. Let me try and paint the picture for you.

This federation, which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, was looking to get their fans talking, to try and get them to bring their friends to their own personal Wrestlemania, and so they started an epic feud, started by a man named Chuck E Chaos. Those of you with long memories may remember him from one of the WWA pay per views where he wrestled Jerry Lynn (Or not. He lost in about a minute). Suffice to say from that he was arguably Australia's hottest star and he was brought into this company to shake things up, and shake them up he did. He attacked wrestlers, flouted the law and made life hell for them. But there was one man in particular he tormented, a man by the name of Steven Rowdy, and so it came to pass at the company's own personal Wrestlemania these two would clash like titans. And to make it all the more violent and epic, the match would be contested as a Street Fight. The match went for twenty solid minutes before Steven Rowdy finally triumphed over the dastardly Chuck E Chaos as the crowd..........well they went apathetic.

So why did they go apathetic and why was it my own personal greatest moment of Wrestlecrap? Two reasons.

1. The entire match was basically a poor wrestling match with no flow, no rhyme or no reason to any of the spots. It was very one sided and was finished with Chuck E taking a running powerslam from Rowdy and getting pinned, so why was THAT a big deal? Well.....

2. Steven Rowdy wasn't a main eventer, Steven Rowdy wasn't a guy in need of that proverbial "Rub" to launch him into the stratosphere, Steven Rowdy.......wasn't even a wrestler.

Steven Rowdy.......was the company's referee.

And THAT my friends is why this match has been called the worst match ever in my area of the world, why the company almost went broke (They did close their doors for a while but have since reopened) and why Chuck E Chaos never showed the promise that got him onto the WWA pay per view.

And that's why it is my own personal greatest Wrestlecrap moment ever.

Clarence "Showstealer" Mason

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