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Wrestling Observer Files: 1/10/2000

To say things aren’t going well in WCW would be a major understatement.

1999 was an interesting year for ECW, WCW and WWF. ECW had been declining throughout 1999, but an increase in ticket prices and an expansion into Canada helped them. Meanwhile, WCW suffered a free fall compared to what they had been doing last year. Of course, WWF has been raking in the money and they’re likely to be getting bigger. Oddly enough, WCW has suffered a greater loss compared to WWF’s gain.

Despite the WWF being the only company to really make a lot of money, revenue has been through the roof because of so many different ways to make money. Meltzer would be surprised if ratings didn’t make another jump. They have a set storyline for the Rock to eventually win the WWF World Championship. Whether that happens at WrestleMania or another show, Rock is being set-up to be the biggest star in the industry. He also thinks that when Steve Austin returns, and turns heel, that a feud with Rock would be a huge business draw.

Smackdown and RAW have been toned down in recent weeks and they haven’t had an impact on the ratings.

ECW had a rough start to 1999 where the checks where bouncing and morale was not very good at all. Essentially, TNN saved the promotion. Ratings started off at 0.7 but billed to a 1.1 as the company steered away from long matches and depended more on the sex aspect. However, the ratings are still lower than a project 1.9 to 2.0.

As for WCW, there are some people thinking that they are closer to ECW In popularity at this point. Vince Russo has been there for three months and many people think it would be unfair to cut their losses, while others want him gone. They had Starrcade with their top star and it failed miserably. WCW should be the top wrestling promotion, and just 18-months ago they were. It’s a great mystery as to how they will get there again, if they can.

RAW and Nitro were once giving Monday Night Football some steep competition, but Nitro’s ratings have dipped to the point that it’s not on the same level. RAW nearly did double the rating that Nitro got on 12/27. Combined, 9.5 million people watched wrestling while the NFL got a 14.43 rating.

Beyond the Mat made the final twelve in the Best Documentary category for an Academy Award.

Dennis Coraluzzo has left the NWA over a dispute over $3,000. The issues include money owed to Naoya Ogawa, merchandise and transportation for the 51st Anniversary show. The NWA board is now Howard Brody, Bill Behrens, David Baucom, Jim Miller, Ernie Todd and Antonio Inoki.

3rd annual Brian Pillman Memorial takes place on 5/25. Les Thatcher will be filmed training BJ Whitmer for a MSNBC show and it will show BJ’s first match. It will likely air in February or March.

Jerry Lawler has gotten a TV slot in Memphis and will oppose Power Pro. This is surprising since the promotion led by Randy Hales consists mostly of WWF developmental. Meltzer isn’t sure why Lawler would run against them. Lawler is working with promoter Bert Prentice.

ECW:

Dawn Marie twisted and cut her ankle filming a commercial for Hardcore Revolution with Francine.

Tony DeVito broke his hand, but isn’t going to miss any action.

The advance for the ECW pay per view isn’t doing well and Dusty Rhodes might come in as a special surprise.

WCW:

Starrcade was a major disappointment in terms of buy-rate. The show drew between a 0.3 to a 0.4, and it’s likely on the smaller side. Meltzer assumes that this will lead to a match at Uncensored between Hart and Goldberg in Miami. Though, neither WCW or WWF have been able to draw well there.

Here’s a rundown on what was supposed to happen for Ric Flair in early 2000. Dave runs it down as Flair being punked by Nash in Greenville and it would lead to a match at Souled Out between the two where Flair puts his commissioner spot up against the NWO breaking up for good. However, Flair declined the angle and Funk has been inserted into it. Flair’s role in the company is now in doubt. Both Hall and Nash want to go back to the WWF, but WCW isn’t going to release either of the three.

Bob Mouled has left the company. He was hired on to be on the booking committee under Nash, but his ideas weren’t cared for when Russo and Ferrera entered. He came up with the idea to use silly string in the mace bottles to prove that Sting knew he couldn’t trust Elizabeth.

Violent J of the ICP was interviewed and said that they are addicted to pain pills, but only when on the road. If they wanted any pills they’d ask, “did you recently have an operation?”

Bret Hart has suffered a concussion due to his match with Goldberg. Hart was asked to drive a monster truck over a car, which would have had Sid inside. However, Hart declined because he wasn’t a professional stuntman. Officials have since apologized for asking him to do that.

Perry Saturn recently stated that Sting was the most overrated wrestler in the business because he’s been doing the same match for ten years. That drew him some heat.

Ready To Rumble will be released on 4/17 and it will feature DDP and Goldberg. Kanyon was involved in helping with bumps and stunts for Oliver Platt.

Shane Douglas said on WCW Live that they are ditching Asya from the Revolution. Apparently, the plan months ago was to have Torrie Wilson in the role.

Ric Flair’s youngest daughter, Ashley, made the Cheerleading All-American team in Nashville.

Midjah has revealed on her website that she’s signed on to be a Nitro Girl.

Apparently, comedian Tom Gerhardt was on the German commentary team for Starrcade and worked as a heel commentator to get himself over. That’s because he’s supposed to fight Berlyn on 2/12 in Oberhausen.

As for the WWF, it was just a rundown of the TV and that “Eve of Destruction” considered the ladder match between the Hardy Boys/Edge & Christian to be the best match of the year.

Thanks for reading.

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