Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Piece of My Mind April 4th 2009 by "The Big Cheese" Sal Corrente

It is Wrestlemania and Hall of Fame weekend. If you look at the whole weekend on paper it seems somewhat lackluster. In past years certain Super Bowls haven’t looked sensational on paper or even World Series matchups. The marquee teams didn’t get in to the big game and everyone groaned. With that being said Wrestlemania is still the "big" game in our industry. This is a time when branding really pays off. When it’s all said and done even a lackluster Wrestlemania is still the big game and all eyes are on it.
This year’s event paints a very clear picture that next year the WWE can’t be in this position again. They have to immediately anoint a few guys and take the next year to make the company care about them. They don’t have to be able to work like Shawn Michaels, who is clearly the best performer in the company if not the business. It may be time for Shawn to give someone a rub next Wrestlemania and perhaps The Undertaker too. Who can get put in those spots? That is for the McMahon family to decide. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be the best performer but it does need to be the most charismatic people that they have. It almost appears, since no one knows exactly what to do, that no one is doing anything. That approach has killed many a business. Decisions have to be made, a direction needs to be chosen, and all wheels need to be pointed that way.
Wrestlemania should not be booked on the fly witch decisions not being made in many cases at the last minute. If they want Hulk to be a part of the Wrestlemania 26 that decision should be made now and a clear direction can be taken throughout the year. It is the job of the WWE ownership group to constantly out do itself. In other sports it’s the best man wins. In wrestling it’s a race to create the best story. There should have been a lot more buzz about Wrestlemania. It should have seemed like Christmas was coming. If this year was a bump in the road the potholes can be filled in and the road to next year can be smoother. It has to be!
The Hall of Fame is special for me this year. The inductees include Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Dory Jr and Terry Funk, Koko B.Ware, Howard Finkel, The Von Erich’s and Bill Watts all men I have interacted with in my career. I have respect for all these men and a few I consider good friends especially Ricky Steamboat. There will always be talk of who does and who doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame. It’s no secret that the inductions aren’t a science. In theory how can anyone be inducted before former WWWF Heavyweight Champion Ivan Koloff or any other champion that is willing to accept the induction. It should be a night of celebration for the inductees not dwelling on those that weren't inducted. We all have our opinion on who the next inductees should be and we are entitled to them but tonight we should just celebrate.
I can’t wait to see Ricky Steamboat get in the ring again tomorrow. I remember how I was the first time I refereed his match. I can remember the first time that he critiqued mine. I have an idea what Chris Jericho is going to feel like tomorrow when he takes one of those classic arm drags. I very much look forward to Steamboat-Flair the second generation. I hope we all get to see it on a Wrestlemania one day.
The new WWE year begins on Monday it’s like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. They start the day after preparing for next year’s parade. The rest of us can sit around and go over Wrestlemania match by match but for the powers that be at WWE they must look forward while we look back.

This picture is from WrestleReunion 1 in Tampa. The last two men in the Battle Royal to determine the new IWA Champion were Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and Bugsy McGraw. It was great to see Bugsy back in action and especially in Tampa,Fl.

This has been a piece of my mind