Watching last night’s Raw made me miss my favorite time period in WCW. I loved it when you had Lex Luger taking on the guy in the beige-striped tights from the local city. He almost always had long hair, possibly a mullet, a killer ‘stache and had some cheesy name. If they were really awesome, they had a mask. During the 80’s there were a group of wrestlers that we all knew: Jose Luis Rivera, SD Jones, The Brooklyn Brawler. During the mid-90’s, I loved the WCW ones: The Gambler, Johnny Boone, Bobby Blaze, Mike Starr, Steve Doll. These were the guys Kevin Sullivan was going to take all over the studio. Meng was going to put them in the nerve hold til they passed out. And Ric Flair was going to make you think that “Hardwork” Bobby Walker was half a second from winning the championship.
I got to admit. I miss these matches. You knew there was no way Arn Anderson was going to lose to Steve Armstrong, but you watched it anyway. There was a certain purity to it. You knew Steve Armstrong. You knew the Armstrong family and the Armstrong curse. You knew Double-A was going to end it with a Spine Buster and DDT. But what it did was get over Double-A’s importance. Plus, you got to cheer on the Armstrong as he fought the hated villain.
It seems like the WWE hasn’t forgotten how to do a squash match right. Evan Bourne appeared last night in the ring for no other reason than to be squashed by Alberto del Rio. I didn’t like that role for Evan. Evan is on the cusp of greatness. He shouldn’t be on the losing end of squash matches. I’m not going to say he was “buried.” Evan is a wrestler with a strong following. He’ll be back. And in their defense, “Guy in championship match at Wrestlemania > Guy not on Wrestlemania.” I just like Evan and want to see him succeed.
What’s wrong with bringing out an “enhancement talent?” (Wrestlers don’t like the word “jobber” anymore.) All you have to do is give him a little personality. Barry Horrowitz had the suspenders and patted himself on the back. The Gambler had the cards. Pat Tanaka came out to Bill Golberg’s music before it was Goldberg’s (True story), wore a gi and did these martial arts-type moves. You don’t have to put a lot of money into them either. What I’ve said is pretty simple. Slap a mask on somebody and let them go out and bump like crazy. Use the same people over and over again. You might begin to build up a following. And you might sell some t-shirts out of it or a mask or little inflatable hands you can pat on your back.
I’m not suggesting that we go back to ’96 when Raw was nothing but squash matches. But why don’t we start with making 1 or 2 matches squashers and save the real wrestling for the PPV’s? Then maybe we don’t have to watch the same matches again. Maybe the PPV matches might be special once more…