Friday, October 7, 2011

(Retro) Six Minutes - March 28, 2005

Six Minutes - March 28, 2005
by Doug Maynard

Ain't missing you, I ain't missing you
I ain't missing you, I can lie to myself
Ain't missing you, I ain't missing you
I ain't missing you, I ain't missing you
I ain't missing you, I ain't missing you, ain't
missing you, oh no
No matter what my friends might say, I ain't missing

~ "Missing You" by John Waite ~

A match is taking place in the ring between Mike Enos
and Steve Doll. A figure appears in the audience and
walks through the crowd, towards the ringside area.
May 27, 1996 - Scott Hall appeared and declared war on
WCW. The nWo had arrived.

Four (sometimes five) men with one goal and one
purpose - to protect the World Heavyweight
Championship, held most often by their leader, the
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair. And among the way, they
captured quite a bit of gold of their own, forming a
dynasty that is still spoken of with honor and
reverance. The Four Horsemen.

A man comes to the ring wearing a white leisure suit
that looks like it was stolen from the set of Saturday
Night Fever. He climbs into the ring, and instead of
wrestling, loudly proclaims that the rapid 15,000 fans
in attendence only came to the show for one reason...
to see the Disco Inferno dance.

Silently, a white-painted faced man drops from the
rafters. He never says a word, but just points at the
cowardly Hulk Hogan, the so-called WCW Champion with a
baseball bat held firmly in his hands. Hogan cowers
in fear for he knows that Sting has arrived and means

The wrestler has a match against a top notch team, but
he has no partner. His partner, Alex Wright is out
with an injury. He goes to the tough guys for
protection - and a partner. They take his money, and
tell him he can only afford one of them... for only
about seven minutes. Kronik - in the business of
breakin' necks and cashing checks. Disqo gets a
partner and a lesson in humiliation.

Just a few of the many many memories I hold dear from
the greatest wrestling company in the history of
professional wrestling and sports entertainment. I'll
say it again. The greatest wrestling company in the
histoy of the business.

Through the good and the bad... and admittingly, there
was plenty of both... there was always one big
constant in my life growing up. Professional
wrestling. And not just any wrestling. That
cartoonish crap up north just didn't cut it. It was
Jim Crockett Promotions and Mid-Atlantic Championship
Wrestling. Arguably, the best territorial wrestling
in the United States. And in 1988, Crockett sold his
interest to an eccentric billionaire from Atlanta, GA
- Ted Turner. And WCW (World Championship Wrestling)
was born.

I was watching when George Scott was booking the
action for such stars as Blackjack Mulligan, Greg
Valentine, Sgt. Slaughter, Roddy Piper, The Andersons,
Jimmy Valiant, Austin Idol, Paul Jones, The Masked
Superstar, Wahoo McDaniels, etc.

I was there when Dusty Rhodes took control and ran the
company into the ground with his patented "Dusty

I saw the WCW debuts of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Gene
Okerlund, Bobby Heenan, a kid from Florida named Lex
Luger, a young punk from Venice Beach named Sting, an
ex-football jock named Bill Goldberg, and several
dozen of the fastest, high flying athletes from
Mexico... such as Rey Mysterio, Juventud Guerrera,
Psicosis, La Parka, Silver King and others.

There were mainstream musical artists such as James
Brown, Salt & Pepa, Waylon Jennings and David Allen
Coe, KISS, Megadeth, and rapper Master P, all a part
of the legacy of WCW.

Who can forget Robocop... and Chucky?

The best damn tag teams in the world... that was all
WCW too. I'm talking about the Steiners, Luger &
Sting, The Road Warriors, Tully & Arn, The Andersons,
FLair & Valentine, Kronik, Arn & Zbyszko, Hall & Nash,
Ron Simmons & Butch Reed - Doom, The Skyscrapers, Buff
Bagwell & Scott Norton, The Amercian Males, Beniot &
Malenko, and arguably the best of all... the Midnight

Through countless powershifts and several
very-different people in control (Ole Anderson, Dusty
Rhodes, Jim Herd, Bill Shaw, Eric Bischoff, Vince
Russo)... through some very climatic and emotional
mark-out moments (the formation of the nWo, the
arrival and subsequent injuries to Bret Hart, the
retirement of Arn Anderson, the nWo parody of said
retirement, ...
through several trying and hard to deal with moments
(David Arquette as champion, Vince Russo as champion,
the Ric Flair "heart attack", The Yeti, the Hogan
political control and power-plays, the last couple of
years of Tony Schiavone)... one thing was always
consistant about WCW - there was always great
wrestlers and great action waiting to happen.

The whole nWo Invasion... the debut of Bret Hart...
Miss Elizabeth turning on Randy Savage and costing him
the World title against Ric Flair... the rants and
unpredictability of Brian Pillman... the inside jokes
and promos by Kevin Nash and Scott Hall... Goldberg
beating Hogan in front of 40,000 plus fans... Road
Wild... Slamboree - the Legends Reunion... new
wrestlers arriving week in and week out... Madusa
dumping the WWF Women's Championship into a trash
can... high flyers from Mexico... the solid, stiff
workers from Japan... the White Hummer... Goldberg
crashing his arm through a window... etc. You get the
picture. In WCW... anything could happen.. and
usually did.

Just a few days ago, on March 27th, it was the fourth
anniversary of the final edition of WCW Monday Nitro
on TNT. World Championship Wrestling had been sold,
at just a fraction of it's worth, to the World
Wrestling Federation and Vince McMahon just days
earlier by the morons in charge at Time Warner-AOL.
The then-WWF came in with great talk and great plans
about keeping the franchise alive. They were
confident that WCW could be kept going as a seperate
entity that could help build the legacy and honor the
men and women who bled, sweat, and paid the price to
establish a dynasty.

Guess what? It didn't happen.

Today, merely four years later, WCW is just a
cliffnote - a memory. The reputation of this
once-great company was thoroughly trashed in the
so-called Invasion angle by the WWE. Once bright
stars such as Booker T, Shane Helms, and even the
former Champ, Ric Flair, are now considered nothing
but jobbers, mid-carders, or flunkies for the
so-called WWE "Superstars".

Depsite all the problems behind the scenes, WCW put
out on thing each and every week - great wrestling.
The introduced the luchadores to the American
wrestling fans. They brought over stars from New
Japan to perform for the American fans. If AOL-Time
Warner hadn't jumped the gun and panicked, WCW could
still be around. And still drawing ratings. They
probably wouldn't be the # 1 company, but they could
sure be a solid # 2. Ask any TV executive. Number 2
is not that bad a spot to be in either.

I guess the bottom line is... WCW, for better or
worse... was a valuable and important part of
professional wrestling. World Championship Wrestling
changed the face of the business... and to all the men
and women who made it happen... I just want to say
thank you. WCW may be gone, but it will never be

To the wrestlers: Sting, Luger, Savage, Flair,
Double-A, The Dungeon of Doom, The Natural Born
Thrillers, Stro', Kronik, Hall & Nash, Dusty, Tully,
The Midnight Express, Miss Elizabeth, Woman, the
Luchadores, Benoit and Malenko, Windham, and so many
others... to the announcers who called the action so
well: Schiavone, Hudson, Tenay, Mean Gene, Heenan,
Ventura, Rich Landrum, Bob Caudle, "The Dean" Gordon
Solie... everyone involved in WCW... again, I want to
say thank you.

World Championship Wrestling
1988 - March 27, 2001
Rest In Peace

Yeah - I guess I am missing you after all.

P.S. To Jamie Keller... as Tony Schiavone once said
to Hulk Hogan back in 1996 at the "Bash At The Beach"
PPV ... you can go to hell.

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