I think those of you criticizing the Two Man Power Trip are forgetting what it was about...elevating Jericho and Benoit. However they BLEW IT bigtime when they had Austin go over them both at the PPV. The WWF kind of lost its luster until...
ECW INVADES THE WWF!!! Holy crap! It's the Tribe of Extreme! Heyman, RVD, Impact Players, Dreamer, Dudleyz, Rhyno...
...who then join yet another overexposed MacMahon and get paired with the WCW crew that was getting an apathetic response at best. Pbbbbbbbbt!
WyldeWolf1 The Man of 1,007 holds, making him 3 holds better than Chris Jericho!
I was going over this at work today... (the joys of summer jobs). The one moment, the one thing that basically signalled everything going to hell in a handcart was Triple H murdering Jeff Hardy to win the IC title back. That had everything: HHH self-servingness, pointless squash, wasted angle, ignoring what the fans want, failure to elevate... the whole nine yards.
This may sound odd, but the moment it jumped for me was when Mike Awesome made his first appearance and beat Rhyno for the Hardcore Title.
Oh, the way he did it was cool...Awesome-bombing Rhyno on a ladder...but what made it THE MOMENT the WWF jumped the shark was this...
Heymand and J.R. both said, "WHO IS THAT?" for like two minutes, then they took a commercial break.
When we come back from break, they finally inform us that it's Mike Awesome.
What sucks about this? A guy invades who is totally unknown not only by the crowd, but at least momentarily, by the announcers. It epitomized the general suckiness of the InVasion angle, IMHO. Had Flair, Steiner, Goldberg, Sting, Luger, Nash, Hall, or a dozen other guys invaded, everyone would have known who they were. Instead, we get "That 70s Mullet Guy" and he's such a no-name, the announcers don't even know him.
It was just such a colossal screw up.
The first invading guy on WWF TV? Lance Storm First invading title winner? Mike Awesome Worst match in WWF history follows - Booker T vs. Bagwell
That was the beginning of the end.
"YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME?" - The chilling words of the Shockmaster!
"People frown on it...but that's everything these days." - Gene Hackman, The Royal Tenenbaums
"Lovin' you has gotten weird..." - Whiskeytown, The Ballad of Carol Lynn
Originally posted by skorpio17I've gotta go with the WM17 finish and the two man power trip - Austin and Triple H. That's gotta be the biggest mistake ever. real bad.
In terms of ratings, you can take the jump to TNN on 9/25/00 they got a 5.4. On USA they in the 6s every week. They haven't been close since then.
I dunno. While the setup for the Two Man Power Trip angle was half-ass (Never DID explain the whole "I'm sorry I ran you over, Austin"/"That's OK, I'm sorry I killed you, HHH. Let's hug.") I think what really killed it was sinking them into a feud with the Fun Brothers, which tanked everything to the point where they turned to Benoit and Jericho out of desperation and by that time, the damage was done and the slide downhill had begun.
They could have saved it. Alas, as we found out during the rest of that long hot summer--ANYONE who feuddd with Kane and taker lost their heat so fast it was like they had been shot towards Pluto.
Good as the Austin/Angle stuff was, I've always wodner how it woulda played offa HHH's stern personaly to have to deal with Austin's progessive insanity and his cure-all hugs.
I'd say that the WWF jumped the shark with the "Our wrestler's are po', so they also have real jobs! Like clowns, garbage men, dentists, hockey players, tax collectors and strippers!" phase. Then unjumped during the time of Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin.
I can't pinpoint when WWE jumped yet though. I don't think they really have.
I'll agree with a few others and pick the "Stephanie McMahon is EXTREME/ECW owner fiasco" as the point. I haven't been a big WWF mark since before WrestleMania 8. From about 1996 to 1999, I'd come home on Monday nights and watch "Nitro". Uninterrupted. Unless the Broncos were playing on Monday Night Football, I always watched Nitro. There were times I'd get so excited that I'd call my friends/family and say "wow! turn to TNT, this is nifty!" Things started to change for me when the Horsemen finally split in May of 1999. I was bit disappointed and gradually began to back off. Wrestling was still fun, thanks to the Internet, but if I missed a week of Nitro I wasn't worried, and never felt the urge to call anyone. I continued this way until WCW finally died. I taped that show and it was probably the first time I had watched Nitro, uninterrupted, in almost two years.
I was a little excited, and was all set to jump-ship, return to marking and make RAW my primary show. The WWF disappointed me by going with a lame Undertaker/Kane vs. Austin/HHH matchup. Yawn. The next month (may 2001), they started the Benoit/Jericho vs. Austin/HHH program. That was pretty fun, and I started to watch more. The Invasion angle started a few weeks later, and I was intrigued. Kurt Angle also had some great free TV matches in this period, which helped a bit. Plus, the annoying Rock wasn't around. My girlfriend began to call me and ask what happened on RAW. Well, duh... of course I started to watch more.
Wrestling was fun for the next few weeks. Mike Awesome running into MSG and winning the Hardcore title had me marking. The Angle/Austin hug-a-thon stuff was hilarious. I loved the Palumbo/O'Haire run-in and subsequent beatdown. Then things went ballistic when ECW reformed on RAW. Hey, this WWF stuff is pretty cool. Then, at the peak of the excitement...they blew it by forcing Stephanie down my throat. The WWF had me on the ropes and almost had me as a committed, full-time mark... but they missed the knockout punch and went with Stephanie. Eh... whatever.
A few weeks later, a long segment was dedicated to Stephanie, Jericho and Planet of the Apes extras. Uhhh.... They followed that up with some stupid boob jokes and I suddenly felt embarrased to be watching this. After that, they were on their own...I might tune in occassionally...but can't get hooked. One of my random tune-ins saw the big WCW/WWF angle climaxing in the Rock and Austin singing Jimmy Buffett tunes. That should have appealed to me in WHAT way?
Well, still have over 5 years worth of 80's WWF I can watch. Have some AWA footage around somewhere. It'll take me years to finish this stuff.
Originally posted by The Vile OneWhere did it all go wrong? I mean even now you have JR saying the shows suck, Austin is saying the shows suck, and the WWE seems to be reborn every week like WCW near the end. But where did this decline start? For those who do not know, the near cliche phrase "Jumping the shark" refers to the time on Happy Days where Fonzie literally jumped over a shark, and after that the show went downhill. So when did WWE "jump the shark" or peak so to speak?
Some might say early the first half of 2000. At this time the WWF was putting on some very entertaining shows usually with some better than average wrestling, even though the McMahons still ran rampant. HHH had a fun feud with Cactus Jack, the Radicalz weren't a total joke yet, HHH and the Rock had neat Iron Man match, and a feud with Jericho and Benoit started.
Storyline and direction wise, I'd say around Wrestlemania 17 (a show I attended). At this point WWF had some well built up feuds and matches and the final showdown between Austin and the Rock albeit with a bad finish. And right after this PPV storylines, matches, shows, and ppv's all went to shit hell and back again. I say WM 17 is where they "jumped the shark".
From a pure wrestling perspective, I think the last really great show for some good wrestling was probably Summerslam '01. I think you can find a lot of mistakes about the InVasion angle and other problems with WWE here, but wrestling wise it was an exceptional ppv. I don't think there's been a PPV with a better OVERALL card and matches since then.
What do you think?
Agreed on Summerslam 01. I also liked the Survivor Series 01 for it's concluding a story. But, it was a gimmick PPV. The last great regular PPV I've gotta go with Summerslam 01. I also gotta go with WM 17 for jumping the shark.
BTW, to get back to Happy Days. I think that it's not one single event that turns off droves of fans, it's more of a gradual thing. The shark was just the symbol in the downward slide. The Happy Days problems were the popular members leaving the show (Richie, Ralph = Austin, Rock). Splitting the roster (Joanie, Chachi on one show, Fonzi on the other). Characters that never were developed - (Potsi) And bringing in new characters with little intro (Richie's long lost brother and cousin)- Orton, Cena, Batista, etc.
If I had to pick one moment, it would be this: October 22, 2001.
Vince: "What I'm proposing is...well maybe it's the survival of the fittest, if you would - it's Winner Take All at Survivor Series. What about it?"
Sure, Buff vs. Booker was blown badly, and the Invasion angle in general was blown badly, but they did have some great moments throughout -- Super Heel Steve Austin Who Does Not Deserve This, the ECW-alumni about-face in the ring, Milk-a-Mania, Angle & Austin on the bridge.
But the winner-take-all announcement blew it all to hell. It officially announced that it'd taken less than FOUR MONTHS for the crack WWF writing team to run out of ideas as to what to do with WCW. It set up a match for WCW's "survival" on the line where only one guy on the WCW side (Booker) was an actual WCW wrestler. It slammed the door on an angle that they could've been able to milk for a much longer time, an angle that should've been the most memorable one in years, except that making anyone from WCW seem like a credible threat on the road to the blowoff match was too much to ask for.
It's been mostly downhill since.
"No society has managed to invest more time and energy in the perpetuation of the fiction that it is _moral, sane and wholesome_ than our current crop of _Modern Americans_." -- Frank Zappa
Originally posted by vspSure, Buff vs. Booker was blown badly, and the Invasion angle in general was blown badly, but they did have some great moments throughout -- Super Heel Steve Austin Who Does Not Deserve This, the ECW-alumni about-face in the ring, Milk-a-Mania, Angle & Austin on the bridge.
I think someone's forgotten their Official Smark (Revised) History:
-Every moment of the Invasion was terrible. -Heel Austin was a horrible failure because the "common" fans didn't "understand" to boo him. -Face Angle was a horrible failure because, um, we said so. -HHH is the devil who wants to ruin wrestling and bury everybody in the whole wide world.
Sure, HHH, had nothing to do with that, but, really, everything is always his fault.
"The only difference between lilies and turds are those humankind have agreed upon, and I don't always agree." ---George Carlin
"Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music." ---Anon.
ECW Invasion should have turned it into a three-way dance among the feds. Stephanie should not have allied with Shane, and should have totally released the slutty bitch in her to reflect the Extreme.
Then they should have implemented the push rotation policy and let each wrestler participating in a match, or his rival or feuding target, cut thirty-second promos for air during the match or before a match, so we get to know them better. Yeah, it's retro, but it works.
"Business has just picked up" says JR. Then right on cue, Molly enters the arena! Never was JR any better in introducing someone. --Raw 7/15
I don't think the WWE will ever really jump the shark because of the wrestling cycle. TV series jump the shark because when they lose their audience, they usually don't get them back. The WWE loses it's audience, but it is able to sign and fire wrestlers in order to regain fan interest.
What sticks out in my mind the most is when the then WWF refused to portray the WCW wrestlers as the same level to WWF wrestlers. Things like refering to them as 'stars' instead of 'superstars', things like not knowing who the guy that just won the Hardcore title is, things like jobbing DDP to the Undertaker and his wife, things like wwf people filling up the ranks of the alliance. Instead of a potential long term storyline, the WWF butchered the invasion of WCW and ECW by having WWF personalities as their leaders. What should have been portrayed as an invasion that threatend the survival of the WWF turned into the McMahon family saga part XXIV.
And they wonder why the 2 million+ nitro viewers vanished...
Sure you could point to things like Austin's heel antics, Angle's Milkamania, ECW rebirth. but none of the real WCW/ECW guys are even made to look like credible opponents. I could point to Booker putting Austin through the announcer table....but then Austin joined the alliance.
I thought most of these points were already covered in Justin Shapiro's last column. For me, it was the payoff to the Love Triangle story, but it became obvious when Vince hastily bought out WCW during the XFL's debut, and seemed to keep most of his focus on making his football league work and half-assed the burgeoning feud between WCW & WWF.
Hmmm... I dunno. (And I'm totally taking a hypothetical, WWE is smarter than we think, kayfabe approach to this) Perhaps the burning of good ol' JR is the absolute indicator of the direction Kane will ultimately take.