The Time Between the FPOD and Russo's Arrival: WCW Goes From Thriving to Life Support

Discussion in 'Old School Wrestling' started by SSJPhenom, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. SSJPhenom

    SSJPhenom The Phenom of WZ

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    I know, you thought that Vince Russo was going to be the next topic on this journey to WCW's demise didn't you? Don't worry, we'll get there, but first we have to talk about the things that happened in between the Fingerpoke of Doom and Russo coming in. Believe it or not, a lot of stuff happened that had very negative impacts on WCW during those months and we're going to cover them now.

    Despite what a lot of people think, the FPOD was not immediately looked upon as negative for the WCW. Sure, it led to a lot of negative things for WCW and it definitely started the company off on a very bad trend, but it's immediate impact was not negative at all. Look at it like this, if the FPOD was shit, it was at the top of the WCW hill and it started rolling down. Slowly at first, but it started to pick up steam in the weeks and months that followed. The first thing that really hurt WCW after the FPOD was Goldberg's lessened role.

    Nash will say it until he's blue in the face; the FPOD was supposed to create a long list of top heels for Goldberg to run through until he eventually got to the top of the list and took out Hogan. On paper, that's not a bad idea at all and it's not complicated. It should've given WCW months and months worth of major storylines and it would have, if WCW officials weren't stupid and if they had paid more attention. Goldberg was a huge star in 98 and he was, honestly, the reason that WCW was still able to compete with WWF. After Starrcade 98 and the FPOD, he main evented Souled Out 99 against Scott Hall in a ladder match and then quickly after that, he got lost in the shuffle. Sure he got injured and he left to film that Universal Soldier movie, but his absence wasn't really felt because by March of 99, he was almost just an after though. A large part of Goldberg's appeal was his undefeated streak and it was just handled in a piss poor manor. It took Goldberg from arguably the biggest name in the business in 98 to, realistically, a has been by the middle of 99. WCW completely missed out on what Goldberg could've became.

    Another thing that happened after the FPOD was the WCW losing talent. Namely, the Giant (Big Show) and Chris Jericho. Not a lot of people know this or remember this but the Giant was a huge name for WCW. He was once the WCW Champion and he was over with the audience as well. He was a main event talent and name and WCW just let him go like he was nothing. So after he was booted from the NWO in early 99, he simply let his contract expire for WCW and then he made an immediate impact in WWF by debuting at St. Valentine's Day Massacre and getting involved in the McMahon/Austin saga. What WCW had done to WWF by taking established stars; the WWF was taking some what established stars and making them even bigger names in their organization. Which brings me to Chris Jericho. In WCW Jericho was labeled a cruiserweight from the beginning. So the top names in WCW would not participate in real storylines or matches with him. Even though he was one of the most entertaining and charismatic guys on the entire roster. I mean, by himself in WCW he created a great conspiracy storyline and a program with Goldberg that was actually successful. Even though the two of them barely had any interaction on screen and never had a match. Jericho, with just words, made people want to see him face Goldberg, but Goldberg, already feeling his heat, wouldn't play ball. Jericho was a little guy and Goldberg was too big for him. Both figuratively and literally. So, Jericho also goes to the WWF and makes an immediate impact by debuting against the Rock in one of the greatest Raw segments of all time. He could've really been something for WCW.

    There are several other things that happened between the FPOD and Russo's arrival. Things like DDP becoming a heel champion (I'll never understand that one) and Eric Bischoff losing control of WCW (which actually could've been a good thing if they had gotten someone else to replace him). The ones I mentioned above are the ones that I think had the biggest impact, though. What do you guys think? Are there some things that I'm missing? Let me know your opinions.
     
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  2. AnthonyM4

    AnthonyM4 Getting Noticed By Management

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    An angle that people forget that happened between the FPOD and Russo coming in was Ric Flair in the insane asylum. Man that was stupid tv! Also he and Piper were feuding and one week Piper was in charge then the next Flair was in charge. Eventually they both inexplicably became friends and Piper turned heel which led to that stupid boxing match vs Bagwell. In July of 99 Macho Man won the wcw title and once again had a one day reign before losing to Hogan ugh I hated that! Also remember Sid's "winning streak" where attacking guys in the back, interfering in matches, and even losses were counting as wins. So yeah lots of stupidity before Russo came in.
     
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  3. WWEIsLife2

    WWEIsLife2 Championship Contender

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    I will never understand how WCW bungled the whole fallout of the Fingerpoke Of Doom angle. I checked out of WCW shortly after it happend and didn't really come back until the final Monday Nitro. Granted I have gone back and watched alot of what I missed on The Network but it just blows me away how they botched the aftermath of the FPOD.
     
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  4. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    I really hope you do an entire segment of the last moment of Wcws credibility, when the radicals walked.
     
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  5. jpickens

    jpickens Pre-Show Stalwart

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    Just another case of egomania and too many cooks in the kitchen and a ill advised merger.
     
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  6. mral82

    mral82 The D.G.A.F.F.O.O.O. Champion

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    What I do get is everybody Bashing WCW w/ The Fingerpoke Of Doom when the WWF did it 1st in 1997 when Triple Haitch won the European Title of his Degenerate Partner HBShizzle. The Attitude Era was some of the wonkiest Days being a Pro Wrestling Fan as WWF and ECW just as equally bad Storylines. I think Russo helped WCW as don't blame Russo, Nash, and Hall w/ Eric for the Crap blame that Psychositc Murdering Booker than aka Kevin Sullivan as he was head Creative then. Russo imho came in a Time we WCW was needing a New Direction and Russo only left the WWF after the whole Screwjob 2.0 crap.
     
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  7. SSJPhenom

    SSJPhenom The Phenom of WZ

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    There's so much wrong with this that I don't even think I should waste my precious time to point it out. I'm sure everyone else sees the flaws in on display here.
     
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  8. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    I'm reading it as satire...


    He's being sarcastic right????
     
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  9. jpickens

    jpickens Pre-Show Stalwart

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    Big difference in doing it to a third rate mid card championship and doing it with a world championship
     
    #9
  10. AnthonyM4

    AnthonyM4 Getting Noticed By Management

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    Do you guys agree with me about the stuff I mentioned that happened between the finger poke of doom and Russo coming in? That stuff was bad. It was stuff like that which never got them the lead in the Monday night wars again. Other things I forgot to mention were the No Limit Soldiers and the Kiss concert. I like Kiss, but nobody cared for that segment and it drew a terrible rating. The No Limit Soliders sucked and what saved those segments was Curt Henning's brilliance(I loved the Rap is Crap song). I can't believe they gave that no talent Swoll $400,000! That company was run by idiots!
     
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  11. sikkbones

    sikkbones the root of all evil

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    The kiss segment was supposed to get the kiss demon over...

    Which is probaly up there with the gooker in terms of bad ideas...

    Gene didn't care.. He probably got a huge royalty every time his likeness was on TV.
     
    #11
  12. FlairFan2003

    FlairFan2003 Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    It amazes me how quickly things fell off for WCW, but I think a lot of the groundwork was laid with a very bad (yet still profitable) 1998.

    The NWO factions war was bad....why did all the second stringers who had no business being part of an elite force to begin with all get sent to one team ? (Was it so Nash & his Red & Black could get wins over the Black & White without ever beating Hogan ?? Why did the factions fued almost all year & Nash never crossed paths with Hogan ?)

    Brett Hart's horrible booking: Was he NWO or WCW ? Was he R&B with Nash or B&W with Hogan ? He fueded and teamed with Flair, Luger, and Sting and wrestled against and teamed with Hogan, his character never had a purpose, a clear agenda, and seemingly switched alliances almost every other week. Hart couldnt have been more devalued if WCW had tried

    Sabotaging Goldberg: He's the hottest guy in the entire industry not named Austin, and one of the legit mega stars (very few) on the roster who wasnt wrestling 10 (or more) years ago. His undefeated streak was one of the year's biggest stories. He won the World Title in dominating fashion in July, then watched Hulk Hogan & the NWO Black & White main event the next three PPV (July, Aug, Sept) ? WHAT ??? In most cases Goldberg got little storyline time on TV in those months and while he was allowed to main event some Nitros he didnt get near the storyline the WORLD CHAMP should have, the WCW Champ a mid carder on PPV. Even Halloween Havoc (one of WCW biggest 4 shows annually) he only shared main event status with Hogan vs U. Warrior (then didnt even get a match on the Nov PPV). Bouts against Sting & Big Show which could have been epic were forgotten throwaways on Nitro with no build & no post match story. By the time Starrcade came around Goldberg was so thoroughly weakened as champ he needed to lose (was that Hogan's creative control at work)

    Suing Ric Flair: WCW got plenty of attention in newspapers and magazines (and a lot of unwanted protests, include organized boycott of TBS sponsors online) but it didnt help the product at all (unless you consider the ratings push when he returned "good for business").

    Still, after all of that, WCW was doing quite well. Starrcade did very well, better than any WCW PPV all year & better than almost all of WWE events. Nitro ratings were high (including those two 5.0 ratings in early 99). You had a HOF roster of injured stars nearing a return to TV (Sting, Hart, Savage, Luger, all of whom were on IR at the end of 98). Interest in the newly reformed NWO was high, especially their quest to regain power (in the storylines they had recaptured the World Title but Ric Flair was WCW President and tormenting them at every step) and Goldberg was way over, fans invested in seeing him run through the NWO, especially Nash & Hogan, once & for all. And then post SuperBrawl we got...

    David Flair turns on his father: After so much of Flair's return centered on his family this was nonsensical, poorly executed (not one scene of dissention between them) and it was attributed not to David's alleged "daddy issues" but to being seduced by some girl no one knew (Torrie Wilson). Really ???

    This was supposed to lead to the infamous double turn: Except fans didnt want to see Flair as a heel (and didnt accept it early on, fans not caring if Ric beat up David since he turned on him and not caring much about his screwjobbing Hogan out of the title given how many times Hogan & The NWO cheated). Fans didnt want to see Hogan as a face either, but worse, just two months in after non stop promotion as the company's biggest storyline this immediately killed the reformed NWO storyline, killed the fans buzz in Flair's return, and effectively rendered Goldberg's title loss meaningless, after all who cares if there was a nefarious NWO plot to steal the title off him if soon after the group disbands, Nash turns face (again), and other people have the title ?? Talk about canibalizing your product

    Continued Devalue of Goldberg: By the time SuperBrawl came he was already being pyshed into secondary stories away from Hogan & Nash. A month later after the "double turn" he was down further. Its hard to believe Goldberg never got a full fledged NWO fued, never got his big money match up vs Hogan, and his re match with Nash was a little hyped mid card bout on a mid year throw away PPV. Unreal

    Of course the WCW midcard never had any direction, and much if it was given only marginal storyline time. Talent like Jericho & Mysterio were grossly ignored while very over stars like Steiner & Bagwell got lost in the shuffle. The fact Steiner even stayed as over as he did is a credit to his charisma in his Big Poppa Pump personna.

    Do we even need to mention how little they did with Brett Hart after he came back ?

    This is a great example in ignoring massive amounts of money, no one will ever really no why, ultimately I blame Bischoff because no matter what Hogan may have wanted or how Nash tried to book EZ E was the man in charge and he rubber stamped every nonsensical interest killing decission.

    Its a shame because when I think of Hart, Savage, & Sting all returning with what was in place leading into SuperBrawl I can easily see a year's worth of epic programming....and we got none of it!
     
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  13. V/CV/

    V/CV/ Dark Match Jobber

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    There was nothing wrong with the fingerpoke of Doom and WCW was never hanging on a final breath we already know the reason why WCW went out of business is because Time Warner AOL pulled the plug & the only reason why WWF had some steam during this time was because they were appealing to the Young and the brainless attitude generation.
    ****ADVERTISEMENT REMOVED****
    Everybody wanted to see WCW Excel and everybody wants to see WCW back now because it was the best wrestling the best presentation the best production the best everything.
    This is not opinion this is fact the ratings showed it enthusiasm showed it in the mainstream flow of Hollywood.
     
    #13

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