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Monday, November 01, 2004

Telling It Like It Is...by Jon-Michael Newton

Remember when the WWE, or WWF, or whatever the hell it is calling itself
these days, was actually good?

Remember when the WWE had innovative storylines and character development?

Remember when the WWE actually elevated deserving young talent, and didn't
bury them, unlike WCW?

Me too. Sadly those days are gone.

WWE has basically turned into a stale, repetitive promotion bent on shoving
storylines down our throats. It is in the control of a man who believes he
cannot be wrong because he won a 6-year war with a rival promotion. It is
under the rule of a man who does not accept initiative, expects his writers
to be "Yes Men", and makes sure his son in law is looked after at the
expense of the product.

As if things were not bad enough with the miserably failed "Invasion"
storyline, it only served as a preview for what was to come. Vince
McMahon's basic goal of the Invasion storyline was to show that he and he
alone ruled wrestling, and we had no choice but to watch him, no matter how
bad the product was. ANd with no competition, why should he try. Then Ric
Flair came on board, and Triple H returned, and the promotion took a turn
for the better.

But it soon became knowledge that Mr. Levesque had engaged to Stephanie
McMahon, and he gained the majority ot pushes and TV Time, and storylines.
The shows suffered, and the Raw/Smackdown split only made it worse. By the
End of 2002, Triple H was in full political control and basically killed the
pushes of anyone he saw as a threat. Case in point, the Katie Vick
storyline. Quite possibly the WORST storyline in the history of wrestling,
it served only one purpose, to Kill Kane as a main event superstar.

Over the last 2 years, with the exception of 9 months, HHH has held the
world title. In this span, he has constantly vetoed putting over opponents.
He only put over Benoit at WM 20 reluctantly. Since HHH's return in
January of 2002, Chris Jericho has disappeared from the main event radar,
and many stars are being held down in Triple H's mad thirst for power.

Smackdown is now starting to lose its immunity from politics as well. For
the first part of 2004, Eddie Guerrero was world champ. He filled in
magnificently in Brock Lesnar's departure. Guerrero was simply the best
wrestler in the world for the 6 months he was champion, and Smackdown was
the wrestling show to watch. But he made one mistake. He ran afoul of Kurt
Angle in the back. Angle was the main reason that Guerrero had to drop the
belt to JBL, a man who has absolutely no business holding a world title.
Word is that Angle has become more power hungry than HHH, doing favors for
friends as well.

I could go on and on with the creative debacles over the last 3 years.
Bizarro Austin, the Invasion storyline, the blatant BURIAL of Taz and RVD
and other ECW stars, and do not get me started on the Katie Vick story and
the Diva Search. It stems back to one root problem, politics.

The answer is simple. Get back to basics. Let Tommy Dreamer and Paul
Heyman do their jobs. Encourage initiative and ideas among your creative
team. Elevate those stars you pined after when they were in WCW. Jericho
and Benoit should have had at least 2 or 3 title runs in their WWE careers,
not just the alloted one. Is it any surprise that the WWE s becoming less
and less appealing. Just 4 months ago, AJ Styles turned down a deal with
the WWE. Several other independent stars have as well. Unless the WWE can
right the ship, it is in for tough tiimes ahead. But hey, Vince has already
proven he can weather any storm, so why would he care about this one.

Have fun at Impact, you orlando fans, and I will talk at you next week.
Thanks for your support.

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