tristram Posted June 29, 2006 Share Posted June 29, 2006 "With the year's end came the announcement of $62 million in losses. How did it happen? Hideous booking and one bad show after another caused pay-per-view buy rates and house show revenues to plunge. Advertising revenues plunged, due to Nitro being cut to two hours and to the elimination of WCW Saturday Night. Wrestlers, both on TV and in media interviews, buried the company for its incompetence, making fans feel stupid for having supported the product were so long. Countless millions were spent on stupid things: limos getting destroyed, helicopters, junkyard battle royals, contract money paid to guys who never appeared on television even once, commercials and newspaper ads plugging the wrong air dates for shows, and so on..." [I]The Death of WCW, RD Reynolds and Bryan Alvarez - purchase it on Amazon, a great read, a saddening read for us true WCW fans.[/I] What a nightmarish situation to inherit. WCW is on the brink of falling apart at the seams. The company has made several fatal mistakes, from the misuse, abuse and finally loss of the "Vanilla Midgets" to the inability to finish matches, to wrestle instead of show soap opera on low and behold a wrestling show. And finally, the unthinkable is beginning to happen. WCW, bankrolled by Ted Turner and therefore seemingly impregnable, is facing an identity crisis. It's facing a financial crisis. It's facing a marketing crisis. It's facing a potentially terminal crisis. If this was a horse, you'd take it out the back and humanely put it out of it's misery. Once such a proud thoroughbred, WCW took it's position for granted, believed the hype that billionaire Ted would never allow WCW to die regardless of what personal politicking the major parties took part in, now, it's on it's death bed. Ready to be put out of it's misery. The following is the story of one man's unenviable quest to achieve Mission Impossible. Turn around WCW. U-surp the sinking ship. Take the graffiti down. Destroy the testimonies and obituraries being written. Not only is one man now seemingly responsible for saving WCW, he's also responsible for saving professional wrestling's credibility. Would you like professional wrestling to become largely a monopoly? Would you like professional wrestling to be the same show, week in, week out - sexual implications, short wrestling matches, skits, played out in the midst of a family soap opera? Whether fans believed it or not yet, if WCW died, so too probably would the very ethos of this sports entertainment dominated professional wrestling era. The era of competition, of diversity, would largely be over. Most pundits recognise ECW is terminally ill and faces a grim future, what price of professional wrestling turning into a charrade if both ECW, and WCW bow down to Vincent Kennedy McMahon Junior and the World Wrestling Federation media conglomerate. That man, John Simpson. A man with an unquenshable thirst and appetite for professional wrestling. Wrestling was his life, it flowed through his veins, his heart pumped professional wrestling. Whether it was reading up on Bruno Sammartino fighting Gorilla Monsoon at Madison Square Garden, reliving his personal memories of watching Wahoo McDaniel fighting Greg the Hammer Valentine in Charlotte North Carolina, whether it was his personal experience of being a backstage worker as Rowdy Roddy Piper defied the odds and beat Greg the Hammer Valentine in a dog collar match at Starrcade '83, or whether it was watching the indies for the past ten years watching brilliant young performers who never had that midas touch to reach into the top echelons, Simpson loved it all. But like many modern day fans, he also 'hated' it. "It" being the politicking, the screwball storylines, the poor writing on shows, the vociferous attempts of professional wrestlers to play down the truth of professional wrestling and highlight the lack of integrity and discipline in the sport. So with that, on the stroke of midnight 2000, with WCW according to most insiders heading into it's final year, Ted Turner rolled the dice for the last time, and put John Simpson in charge of World Championship Wrestling as Executive President of World Championship Wrestling, immediately assigning Simpson to overview not only the on screen storylines, but contracts, finances, marketing, the full shebang. Executive roles usually come with a lot of stress, heartache and exasperation, but whether any in the corporate empire of America matched Simpson's new role was debatable. The situation was akin to a neurosurgeon attemping the world's most difficult brain surgery, or an astronaught having to pilot his flame ball screwed up rocket module back into the middle of the Pacific Ocean in a desperate bid to survive, either though his rudderless hovel is pointing deadset at the middle of Kansas City. Pressure did not come any more real than this. And Simpson knew it. But he did not realise just how pressurised the situation really was, until he started his new job on New Years Day, 2001. He arrived at his office at 5:54AM, eager to get an early start, and from there, his blood pressure sky-rocketed, his forrid aged 20 years, he started losing hair, and despair ran rampant. The following story is his story, as he attempts to drag WCW out of the myre.... Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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