WWE | Pro Wrestling

Can’t Anyone Write a Decent Wrestling Program Anymore?

In “To Be The Man,” the biography by Ric Flair and Mark Madden, Flair talked candidly about the success of the NWA because of the “fertile” mind of Dusty Rhodes. The former NWA World Champion was one of the many reasons the NWA was so successful before Vince McMahon rode in on his white horse and destroyed the concept of promotional wrestling.

So much of what the NWA was about, the Great American Bash, the Midnight Rider and War Games were all part of Dusty’s ability to create super shows that would bring fans in, captivate them and have them asking for more. He was able to see ahead of the times and see into the future of the business.

Flair also said the idea that Dusty was always the “hero” and that Flair played the role as the “villain” helped to define lines between good and evil. The NWA or WCW for that matter, had defined lines and led to better battles, greater feuds and steady storylines. All of that is now gone within the business. If that were not the case, epic battles between Dolph Ziggler and CM Punk, Dean Ambrose and The Miz and Daniel Bryan and the rest of the WWE roster would have already rewritten history.

The WWE and TNA for that matter are in dire need of good story telling. Forget the comedy writing we see today, the idiocy of Dixie Carter on the microphone, the unbalanced nature of the Divas and the need to stop burying Ziggler and The Prime Time Players. While I don’t hold a pen and paper in hand, I know there is a better way to write these story lines then throw them all on a wall and hope they stick.

When Eric Bischoff was part of WCW – long after the American Wrestling Alliance (AWA) where he helped as an announcer to promote stars like Greg Gagne, Scott Hall and Curt Hennig, he followed a simple philosophy about script writing – work from the end backward.

The thinking behind this was that the end result mattered more than how the plan was initiated. It was a bold move that for a time worked for writers like Vince Russo. But in time, patience became a lost art form and before you could jump off a top turnbuckle, WCW was lost in the ashes.

Bischoff’s concept was again used in TNA, where he (with the help of Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter) summarily destroyed that product as well.

To say Bischoff has been a cancer in this business would be an understatement. But Bischoff may have been one of the business’s last decent story writers – everything else aside.

If you take the current situation with the WWE, you have The Authority and everything else on the periphery. As my friend Tom Clark (and fellow CCB columnist) said the other day, fans can take the angle or leave the angle. There is no in between. But the storylines are written in such a way that they are, cut into pieces leaving too many angles exposed. This is how we got a great storyline in the New World Order and then after a while, then everyone and their sister joined the fray. Total chaos without true results. I doubt Dusty would have allowed that to happen.

If the WWE wants to improve its product, write better scripts, bring out more character in its characters and find the right mix of mystery and intrigue. Then and only then can we say the company is trying to give us everything it has. And only then can we say the company is working to be exactly how it used to be and just as successful as it knows it can be.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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