A Look Back At WCW, Rebutting the Rebuttal


When I worked for WCW, I often championed the idea of pushing a wrestler as the cruiserweight bully, a cruiserweight-sized wrestler who went against the grain, who didnâ<80><99>t specialize in flying, who preferred to ground and pound.

I thought somebody like the late Chris Candido (my pick for the role) punching guys like Rey Mysterio and Juventud Guerrera in the face after foiling a huracanrana would manufacture decent heat while further establishing the high-flyers as babyfaces with kid appeal. After all, what kid hasnâ<80><99>t had to deal with a bully?

My idea, of course, was never used. In WCW, the quality of the idea didnâ<80><99>t matter. It was more about who had the idea. I lobbied for years; it never got done. It became a running joke among the guys I hung out with. Whenever a group of wrestlers would sit around brainstorming, Scott Hall or Kevin Nash would always say, â<80><9c>Hey, what about that cruiserweight bully idea Madden had?â<80> (These are the same guys, donâ<80><99>t forget, who yelled, â<80><9c>Let me speak on this!â<80> every time Konnan opened his mouth backstage. For YEARS.) When Nash started beating up the X Division at TNA, he opened one promo by saying, â<80><9c>Standing before you is the cruiserweight bully.â<80>

Now â<80>” almost a decade later â<80>” we may finally get to see a true cruiserweight bully.

The inside word is that WWE will put the incredibly talented Low Ki under a mask and have him beat the crap out of Mysterio, sparking a feud between the two. How weâ<80><99>re supposed to be shocked by that after Rey survived Kane is unclear. But with WWE becoming more kid-friendly, violence between cartoon characters seems logical, and the matches between the two â<80>” if theyâ<80><99>re allowed to do their stuff â<80>” will be incredible.

The best angles â<80>” heck, the best movie and TV scripts â<80>” are the ones that dramatize real life while closely mirroring it. Kane beating on Rey was surreal. Low Ki picking on Rey is right out of the schoolyard. Like I said, what kid hasnâ<80><99>t had to deal with a bully?

Itâ<80><99>s great to see Low Ki get a break. Heâ<80><99>s occasionally been too idealistic for his own good, but this is a perfect spot for him.

Only one thing could stop him: a lawsuit for theft of intellectual property.


Critics of my ROH column last week have pointed out that I ignored the title reigns of CM Punk (WWE) and Samoa Joe (TNA) when I said that ROH alumni have not made significant impact in the big time. Well, if I ignored those title reigns, so did most fans. TNAâ<80><99>s visibility certainly didnâ<80><99>t increase when Joe had the belt. In WWE, not only was Punkâ<80><99>s reign ignored by me and by most fans, it was ignored by the company, too. When Punk and SD Jones won the tag belts recently, the announcers didnâ<80><99>t even acknowledge Punk as a former world champ. Itâ<80><99>s like it never happened.

If you judge a wrestlerâ<80><99>s value by how often he holds phony championships in a phony sport, well, thereâ<80><99>s a term for that: MARK.

A LOOK BACK AT WCW INSANITY (one in a series)

When I was color commentator at Nitro, WCW had a tag team called Kronik (Bryan Clark and the late Bryan Adams). Kronik, of course, is a reference to marijuana. Kronikâ<80><99>s ring gear was adorned with stylized dope leaves. Their finisher was called â<80><9c>High Times.â<80>

Like any good wrestling announcer that watched a lot of Kevin Smith movies, I immediately started peppering my commentary with pot puns. For example, a Kronik clothesline was said to induce â<80><9c>blunt force trauma.â<80> Kronik used a full nelson into a suplex as a precursor to their finisher; I nicknamed that the â<80><9c>fatty-boom-batty.â<80> This was done with the approval of the two Bryans, both good guys and funny guys, too.

One day a producer said to me, hey, Standards & Practices wants you to knock off the pot references. I said, â<80><9c>Let me see if I have this straight: The name â<80>~Kronikâ<80><99> itself is a pot reference. They wear pot leaves on their outfits. Their finisher is â<80>~High Times.â<80><99> But you donâ<80><99>t want me to use pot references during their matches.â<80>

â<80><9c>Thatâ<80><99>s right,â<80> the producer said, staring at me as if I had three heads.

It was a frustrating day at the office. Good thing I was holding.

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