By Mike Mooneyham
July 7, 2001
The WCW announcing team of Scott Hudson and Arn Anderson may have called it the greatest night in wrestling history last week on Raw, but most fans were left with one burning question: Where’s the beef?
Besides the lack of main-event talent on the WCW side, there are plenty of other problems with this interpromotional rivalry, including a confusing scorecard of heels and faces, ill-defined roles for many of the new characters and some less than compelling angles.
[ad#MikeMooneyham-336×280]But at some point, fans will begin clamoring for the likes of Ric Flair, Bill Goldberg, Sting, Scott Steiner, Randy Savage, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and the others who they saw as being the main players of WCW. Unfortunately, in most cases anyway, the WWF simply won’t be able to deliver.
Sources say that Shane McMahon is pushing to build WCW around Test (Andrew Martin). If that truly is the case, then perhaps Vince needs to call a meeting of the WWF braintrust and devise a new game plan. Test has shown potential, but to push him as a top-tier star in WCW is insulting the intelligence of WCW fans who have watched Test languish at the mid-card level in the WWF for the past three years.
Then again, pickings are slim, and one can’t imagine many of the WWF’s top talent jumping at a chance to work with the WCW contingent.
As far as last Monday being the greatest night in wrestling history, one can only hope that the capable Hudson and the witty Anderson will not be relegated to playing the same type of shill roles that greatly damaged the credibility of announcers such as Tony Schiavone and Scott Hudson. Anderson, one of the greatest promo men in the business, is out of his element when trying to build up a match or a product that just isn’t there.
In his defense, Anderson was a last-minute replacement for Jerry “The King” Lawler, who had been tentatively scheduled to return at last week’s show before the deal stalled yet again when Lawler insisted his wife, Stacy Carter (The Kat), be guaranteed work.
Jim Ross was being kind when he said last week that the Booker T-Buff Bagwell match on Raw “did not deliver the in-ring performance we would liked to have seen.” Bagwell, especially, looked rusty, putting on the kind of performance that killed WCW, and sources say the controversial grappler has already ruffled feathers in his new environs. That’s too bad, because Vince won’t allow his talent to abuse the system like the system was abused in WCW.
I don’t know what Page runs the 40 in, but I can’t remember anyone ever taking a slower-looking powder than he did Monday night when fleeing The Undertaker, who is certainly no speedster himself.
Don’t let anyone fool you. This “new” WCW in no way resembles the old version. It doesn’t help matters that the current WWF roster resembles the walking wounded. With Triple H and Chris Benoit both on the shelf for several months and The Rock not expected to return before Summer Slam, the top tier is already depleted, mixed with a number of other recent injuries to WWF performers.[ad#MikeMooneyham-468×15]
Steve Austin is recovering from back problems that resulted when Booker T threw him into the announcers’ table at the King of the Ring pay-per-view two weeks ago, while Kurt Angle is still nursing injuries, including a concussion, that he suffered in his over-the-edge match with Shane McMahon at KOR.
Spike Dudley suffered a hairline fracture of the fibula in one of his legs during his Smackdown match on Tuesday. The injury will keep him out of action for several weeks.
The Godfather is sidelined with a couple of pulled hamstrings.
Rikiski is expected to be sidelined a couple more months as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
Eddie Guerrero is attending a drug rehab clinic, while Grandmaster Sexay (Brian Lawler) was banished due to his drug arrest in Canada.