drqshadow dot comdrqshadow dot comdrqshadow dot com

The Franchise, Shane Douglas

Bill Goldberg

Yikes. This guy is still wrestling.

Slobberknockers abound
Ringside Shadows #131: Taking a Breath in the Present

Seeing as how I've been absorbed with my Horsemen series for over a week now, I've managed to skip out on a couple Tuesday Reviews. It hadn't really bothered me, as I figured I wouldn't have anything new to say.. but then I found myself putting together an epic response to some reader mail that said otherwise. Though the mail centered on WCW, I think it gave me a strong guideline around which to build a summary of my thoughts on the 'new' WCW (as opposed to the past, where I've been residing for some time). Big thanks go out to Randy (arrjay@bigfoot.com), for sending this beast and wading through my convoluted response. For once, I can guarantee this post won't be an epic. Still, I think it does a fine job of keeping me up to date with WCW. As for the WWF, well... you'll have to wait for John and I to put together our KOTR preview, where I'll likely spill my guts on the competition. At any rate, sit back and enjoy, and then come back later today to check out what 1993 was like for the Four Horsemen. As always, viewer comments appear in italics.

First of all, I wanted to let you know how much I've been enjoying your history of the Four Horsemen. Reading through all of it makes me remember how compelling old school wrestling could be. Have you thought about fleshing it out and writing a book?

I'm glad you've been enjoying the series, hopefully I don't scare you away with the mid-90s posts. I think those are definately the weakest of the series (which directly reflects the way things were booked then, as well.) It reaches another peak by the end of the 90's though, which is where the story will be ending for now. The response to the columns has been quite positive, so I'm thinking of doing another throwback column or two somewhere down the line. Regarding your idea for a book: I'm flattered you'd mention it, but I'm afraid I'd run into legal issues with it. Besides, it wouldn't be a very large book... the series as a whole measures about 50 pages in Microsoft Word. Perhaps if I managed to get permission, and did an interview with one or two former members... nahh.

the reformation of the Triple Threat--and I'm thinking, "This is a good idea. Start up a nice feud to build to the next PPV, and establish a decent heel stable. Cool." Of course, the whole thing is ruined by Kronic coming down and laying a beat down on the former ECW crew, clearing the ring in a matter of seconds.

That's because Russo believes the only way to build a heel is as a complete ignoramus. He doesn't seem to realize that a heel can be as varied in style, expression and personality as the face, as everyone in the promotion seems to be playing the 'cowardly' role. Is it any wonder the WWF has the strongest heel in the business with HHH, a character built in the year following Russo's departure? I'd love to see the Triple Threat dominate the division right now, as that's what the promotion and the three involved desperately need. They haven't done anything to justify Bigelow as a player since his aborted feud with Goldberg, Shane Douglas has been fading away since his feud with Flair never came to fruition, and Candido hasn't been given a chance to be taken seriously. It's like they say, united we stand, divided we fall. Couldn't be more true than in this instance. The Horsemen worked as a team, the nWo worked as a team. Hell, Heenan's family worked as a team. With their history, their better than average skills, their defined roles and their chemistry, these three have the tools to get somewhere, so long as they're given an opportunity.

Now, they've got a good start with Goldberg: a heel who knows how to stand up convincingly and actually give the faces a run for their money, they just need to follow it up. His turn was, in my opinion, a tremendous idea and Goldberg is really getting into the role. For the first time since Russo's arrival, we've got somebody that can go toe to toe with and take out a Kevin Nash, a Scott Steiner or a Hulk Hogan without help from ringside.

I've also got to wonder about the decision to start feuds between Kidman and the Filthy Animals and Vampiro and the Demon.

I'm actually somewhat pleased with how the Kidman angle's played out. After dropping so many consecutive matches to Hogan with little or no offense, they're resolving it as well as can be hoped for. If it were up to me, I'd have given Kidman much more offense than he had in the feud, never winning a match but giving Hogan a strong run and the fans a bit of suspense. That way, the two could go their separate ways... remaining enemies, but maintaining a strong sense of respect for each other. Why do you think Flair / Steamboat went over so well? Because we knew they hated each other, but they held the utmost respect for each other's skills as well. Fans never knew what to expect, and though the nod went to the man wearing the belt more often than not, the fans appreciated that unknown factor and came out in drones to see that particular night's developments.

Of course, it could've had a thing or two to do with their being the best workers of the decade. But what do i know...?

Where Vampiro's concerned.. I'll just say that I was reminded more than once of the rumored 'soul stealer' storyline that was dropped when Bischoff was ousted months ago. C'mon, Vampiro vs. the Demon? With the loser redeeming his soul? I really, really hope it doesn't lead to that, because it was one of the ugliest ideas I'd ever seen. Not to mention a waste of Vampiro's talents after getting over as a man with no remourse.

If the WCW does end up on FX, I'm sure Russo is salivating at the thought, as I'm sure that FX Standards and Practices will be much more lenient in what they allow than TBS / TNT.

I'm not sure about fx being more lenient, but if it were the case... then yeah, we'd have reached the point of no return. I'd compare Russo's booking to learning how to play the guitar. Any professional instructor would advise anyone interested to first learn the basic chords, sound structures and positioning on an acoustic, before moving up to the flashier and overdramaticized electric. As far as I'm concerned, Russo hasn't even touched the acoustic. He's all flash and no substance, all special effect and no structure... like a power chord. He's missing all the basics, and trying to make himself look cool at the expense of those around him. If he's given any more gratification (as in the rumored FX deal), I figure he'll become a rock star.

..and that pretty much wraps it up. Thanks again to Randy, for taking the time to put together a great letter. Look for the next edition of my exhaustive Horsemen series, up later today.. and while you're at it, check out the Big3 Oratory, where James Morris has an interesting take on possible King of the Ring outcomes. Check it out, I promise it won't hurt.

until next time, i remain


Copyright © Q 2006. If you want to link me or repackage my words somewhere else, it's cool... just let me know.
E-Mail Q