By Mike Mooneyham

Oct. 28, 2001

Seven months after gobbling up the competition, the World Wrestling Federation finds itself vulnerable and desperately searching for answers.

Forget the notion of “the curse of WCW.” The WWF has created many of its own problems, including a badly botched invasion angle that had the potential to be one of the biggest in the history of the business.

Now quickly approaching the frantic mode, the WWF has all but signed Kevin Nash and Scott Hall to a contract that would kick in the first part of the year – after Nash’s big-money deal with Time Warner/AOL expires. Vince McMahon and company would be well-served to do another personnel check before making such a move – unless, of course, utter desperation has set in.

[ad#MikeMooneyham-336×280]Ratings, meanwhile, continue to drop as Raw’s 3.9 rating last week was the lowest-rated Raw episode in its regularly scheduled time slot since March 1998 when Raw was going head-to-head with a very strong Nitro. The WWF hopes to spike those numbers this week on Raw by presenting a Vince McMahon vs. Shane McMahon match, although some point to the McMahon family storyline as a reason for declining ratings.

While many in the WWF seem to be scratching their heads wondering what to do next, including a writing team that apparently knows more about entertainment than sports (specifically, wrestling), bringing in Ric Flair months ago to help launch the “invasion” should have been a no-brainer. And as far as the argument about his “high-priced” Time Warner/AOL contract, Flair’s deal was less than a host of other stars who contributed to the demise of WCW. The easy acquisition of Flair could have meant the difference between the success and failure of the past six months, and no one can argue that the WWF’s profile has suffered considerably since then.

And then, of course, there’s the bottom line: WCW without Ric Flair simply isn’t WCW.