This article was first posted to rec.sports.pro-wrestling by be on January 12, 1996. I am reposting it here to share it with the millions of people who have joined the internet in the last 5 years.
THE MASTER’S DEN
January 12, 1996
by MICHAEL R. FIERRO
Is anyone else besides me concerned that last weeks Ring Report could’ve been called “Billionaire Ted’s Debate Room”? I have never seen an event get such a large portion of the Ring Report as VINNIE MAC’S shot back at ERIC BISCHOFF. Why did this cause such a stir?
I think the main reason this excited so many people is that we are seeing a shifting in power in the big two. The WWF can no longer claim to be the undisputed king of the hill. WCW is making long strides in pro wrestling, and are coming up on the WWF fast. Sure Eric Bischoff brought the skit on himself with all his constant WWF bashing. Sure, it was a very questionable maneuver on Vince’s part. But the whole incident only proves that, for the first time in many years, there is really a Big Two in professional wrestling.
After many months of suffering, ECW fans in the northern Colorado finally get back into the Extreme, and a half-hour earlier, too! On Monday, January 8, Prime Sports Denver started to air Extreme Championship Wrestling at 11:00 PM MST. And what a great show to re-introduce ECW to it’s fans. We saw MIKEY WHIPWRECK -vs.- 2 GOLD SCORPIO. We saw MISSY HYATT. We saw a great farewell tribute to PUBLIC ENEMY, along with an incredible brawl between PE and The GANGSTAS. What a night; what a return.
Vinnie Mac has definitely opened up his pocketbooks, and the result is an infusion of quality talent into the WWF. STEVE AUSTIN is a very smart addition, especially as the Million Dollar Champion. I also liked the fact that Vinnie mentioned that the RINGMASTER was a well-known and well-respected wrestler. No more trying to make the world believe every wrestler joining the WWF is a rookie.
The Royal Rumble will introduce DAN SEVERN (hopefully), and mark the return of the “Legendary” (JIM ROSS’S word), JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS. We all know that they don’t have a chance of winning the Rumble, but it will
be nice to see them in the ring.
The WWF’s biggest addition, though, (and I’m surprised this hasn’t gotten more electrons), is the former 12-time World Champion, VADER. I really think we are going to see Vader and Shawn Michaels as the last two men in the ring at the Rumble. And I am no longer sure who will come out on top.
All I do know is that having Vader as your champion gives your wrestling federation instant credibility and makes all title matches nail biters. I wouldn’t mind at all if Vader is the next man to wear the gold.
What can you say about WCW? They are coming on strong. Eric Bischoff seems to have had a burst of genius lately. Having Ric Flair win the title was a great move, and letting him keep it against THAT HH GUY was an even better move. The Clash should be awesome, if only for the debut of the Public Enemy. Blurring the lines between face and heel (the LEX LUGER/THIS-IS-STING thing, the HORSEMEN/DoD feud), lends a little more reality to WCW.
Of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day. We still have Hogan being superman (surviving being hit with “brass” knuckles, beating up all four Horsemen). We have ONE MAN GANG as US Champ (HUH?). We have a wedding taking place on the Clash.
But when you sort out the good, the bad, and the STEVE McMichael, you find that WCW is better than it has been for over a year, and should get even better.
See you next week!