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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report: EXTRA!

Volume 1, Issue 51
September 24, 1996

Another Viewpoint on the WWF's ECW Invasion angle

I received this very interesting e-mail this morning regarding Issue #50 (9/23/48) - the author makes some very good points which may lead me to rethink my opinion on the ECW Invasion angle which appears to be taking place. See what you think.

Afternoon,

Just wanted to drop you an e-Mail, with a few comments. I would have done so through the reader's comment board, but LPages is STILL screwy. So, I though I would send you an e-Mail. Though I disagree with many of your ideas and thoughts, it is refreshing to see a column put together intelligently and with apparent thought. There are a lot of hate-laced articles and columns on the net right now, that have absolutely no redeeming value to them. And while I might not agree with some of your thoughts and views, I never-the-less, respect them. Keep up the good work.

Now, on to my comments. I did want to point out a few things about your last issue (9/23). The first has to do with your statements about the lawsuit. You wrote:

---On a related subject I had the chance to read over the WWF brief in the pending Trademark infringement suit that Titan filed against Turner Broadcasting. I found it interesting that the WWF claims the use of the nickname "the Bad Guy", the slicked back hair and the hispanic accent of Razor Ramon as their intellectual property. I distinctly remember that the Diamond Studd wore greasy hair, called himself "the Bad Guy" and spoke with a hispanic accent. I remember him holding himself up as a role model saying "I'm the Bad Guy...you kids should try to be just like me..." The only thing that Vinnie Mac changed was the name of the character. I even pulled out some of my video collection and found an old tape of the Diamond Studd to confirm my recollection. I wonder if WCW would like my tape as evidence...

While all of this is a good point, I think you are missing the one important fact in the case. WCW did NOT trademark any of these things...WWF did, and wisely so. So, it wouldn't matter if Hall was running around the WCW (pre WWF) calling himself Razor Ramon. Since WCW did not trademark any of that, by law, it really did not exist. And whether people agree or not, this does lend credability to WWF's lawsuit. Whether it wins the lawsuit or not, is a different story.

Another thing I wanted to discuss is the Ross/Diesel/Razor/ECW/NWO thing that WWF is doing. Again, I believe you might have missed the point. The point is not to bring back look a-like Razor's, Diesel's and Double J's, to fool the fans. Sure, they are a resemblance, will act like them, talk like them, look like them...but the angle I believe will be played out as far as those guys go, is that Ross orchestrated the original's departure from the WWF. It can very easily go a couple of different ways here.

In the first place, if the new Razor DOES go over with the fans (he did get a pretty rambuctious pop from the crowd), McMahon will have proved that he could get somebody else to do the role. This will diminish Hall and Nash to nothing more than actors playing a part (for the sake of the marks), and will most likely hurt the future of the NWO angle. If Razor does not go over, McMahon can drop back to an angle using Ross's statements about driving wrestlers out of the WWF, and bringing in the replacements, to HURT the WWF. I don't think anybody could argue with that logic. McMahon wins either way.

I purposefully did not mention Diesel in that paragraph, because from all appearance and sources, McMahon is still negotiating with Nash AND Bischoff, about Nash coming back. This is all tied into Nash's unhappiness with the NWO angle, his intense dislike of Hogan, and Bischoff's interest in getting McMahon to drop the lawsuit. Bischoff knows that McMahon is running this angle for a specific purpose. If it works, McMahon wins, and Bischoff escapes any serious consequences. If it doesn't, McMahon goes to the judge and says 'see, I tried it, it didn't work, I want damages.' Voila, McMahon wins again. As improbable as this might seem to you and me, the world of law is a strange place indeed. McMahon does have a chance, or it would have been dismissed a long time ago, and made VERY public by Bischoff and the WCW. If McMahon were to get a ruling in his favor, it could be devastating to the WCW. Anyway, back to what I was saying. If McMahon is able to re-sign Nash to play Diesel, we would score a big victory. I think the absence of Diesel on Raw (and his absence will probably continue for a couple of weeks), signifies McMahon's behind the scenes attempts at still signing him. He'll bring in Jacobs if he has to, but would probably want to make completely sure he couldn't sign Nash, first.

The other side of this coin is Ross's involvement, and the possible fued between the ECW and the WWF. Yes, I will agree that the NWO thing was an innovative angle, but it quickly got old as people saw through the deception, which Bischoff is STILL trying to pull off within legal boundries. Everybody knows, that the NWO wrestlers are under contract with the WCW. With the ECW vs. WWF, we've got two different promotions, both with an admitted dislike of each, and with lots of past heat (in the form of interview shoots). Now, it is common knowledge that ECW and WWF have signed a cooperation contract, that will get ECW MUCH more exposure, and give WWF a very solid angle to work for a good long time, by having Ross lead the attacks against the WWF. Where ECW and WWF could have put together something like the USWA and WWF, a 'good terms' type relationship, they are using the contract with the ECW to make public their 'fued.' This is evident by ECW's presence during the IYH, and Taz showing up last night on Raw. Yes, it is a work, but it is believable, none-the-less, much more so than trying to pass of former stars of a promotion, as still working there. This is a fued that also does not have to end with jobbing one side out for the duration of their careers.

They could end this fued on a stalemate, with both sides eventually admitting a grudging respect for each other. Nobody loses, everybody wins. ECW gets more exposure, and becomes a solid promotion in the national (world?) spotlight. WWF gets the angle of the century to combat WCW. In the long run, it could seriously hurt WCW. And while all this goes on, we will get to see ECW wrestlers popping up at WWF events, and visa-versa. There is even rumors of a joint PPV, possibly Wrestlemania 13. Yes, its out of the question now, but given time to let the angle develop, and it could open a whole new set of doors for the wrestling fans.

So, as you can see, I think McMahon's angle with this (and I echo a lot of other people's thoughts, including some hardcore WCW fans) is probably one of the best ones he has ever come up with. Sure, it bears a resemblance to the NWO, but this would be major leagues compared to the NWO.

Anyway, those are my thoughts, and I though you might be interested in them. Reply back if you like, publically print it if you wish, but keep up the excellent newsletter. I enjoy it.

Sincerely,

Michael Koogler

Editor's Note: I must say that Mr. Koogler has given me much food for thought. I would still maintain that WCW has carried off the invasion angle in a very convincing fashion, creating a sense of paranoia on the Nitro set which is palpable week after week. Last night's RAW version was handled almost as a joke, although Ross' statements were quite dramatic - and the ECW seemed to be given short shrift, but that could change over the weeks to come.

I do find it somewhat telling that MacMahon feels he has to use his own version of the NWO angle instead of coming up with something original to counter it - but then, as in music, there is really nothing new in this world. I does point up his tendency to try and bury his competition rather then simply compete on a level playing field.

This storyline will certainly bear watching in the coming weeks...

Anyway, that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver,
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.

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