Nerd Condominium
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Welcome to the Nerd Condominum. You've come to the right place if you like any of the following: Star Wars, Wrestling, Video Games, Transformers, The Rocky Soundtrack, Dead Alive, Evil Dead, Evil Alive, 1986 (The Year), or Technology (such as computers)

If you refer to Lord of the Rings as LOTR, then you are not only a nerd, but you are a geek. That surpasses our expertise, and you must leave.

WWE Want Our Classic Storylines Back!

Welcome to this week’s Nerd Condo Newsletter, where we dignify and deride the weekly happenings of the uncool. Notice to the tenants on the second floor: The internet going down at 3 in the morning does not constitute a building-wide emergency, no matter what important World of Warcraft quest you've been playing since 4 a.m. the night before. Thank you.

This weekend, I watched The Monday Night War, a WWF-produced (but surprisingly un-biased) look back at the ratings war between WCW and WWF from 1996-2001. It reminded me of the good ‘ol days, when half my friends were Raw fans and the other half were Nitro fans. We would endlessly debate storylines, terrible characters, and most devastating finishing moves. We relished in the return of Ric Flair, and the way he cried out “Abuse of Power! Fire me I’m already fired!” That was great television. I was the biggest mark out there from 96-2001. So much so that I can use the term “mark.” I was reading two wrestling websites daily, watching every hour of programming both federations would offer up (even Sunday Night Heat and WCW Saturday Night, when Hacksaw Jim Duggan was the TV Champ, a belt he earned by finding it in the trash after Scott Hall threw it away. Hacksaw's character had been relegated to "janitor" by Bischoff.) To this day, I can predict how any match will go down to the last leg drop. That’s how much wrestling I’ve watched. But something happened in 2001 that changed everything for the worse and turned me off of wrestling for the next 5 years. WCW, with sinking ratings and storylines involving David Arquette, Chucky from Child’s Play (who menacingly challenged Rick Steiner to “Go see my movie!”), and a unibrowed booker named Vince Russo, was bought out by the WWF. They became one company. And at first it was exciting. Think of the possibilities! Finally, we can see Austin Vs. Goldberg! Booker T Vs. The Rock! nWo Vs. DX! But before you could say “Judy Bagwell on a Pole Match,” the grand ideas were squandered.

The VERY FIRST episode of Raw that featured WCW spelled the end for that brand. In an attempt to showcase their style of wrestling, WCW put its two “top performers,” Booker T (without a doubt a great performer) against Buff Bagwell (without a doubt a lazy, cocky performer who couldn’t even perform his own finishing move). The match was long, drawn-out, and sloppy. I believe it drew boos from the crowd very quickly. The WWF crowd is all about ADD. Get to the point! We don’t want to see headlocks! Screw submission moves! But also, they had a point. Bagwell put on the worst performance of his life, thus crippling the WCW brand. Shortly after, the WCW name was never uttered again, and big plans of putting it on Smackdown dissolved.

It also became apparent soon after that one of the reasons Raw was so good is because it had competition. McMahon had to worry about someone giving away the results of his taped show on the other station. He had to worry if people would actually tune in to see The Ultimate Warrior shake the ropes and give a long-winded return speech. Now that he owned everything (he also owned E-C-Dub), you could feel the spark fading. Vince McMahon won. And he had no one to challenge him. Things quickly got boring.

I find myself missing the days of getting caught up in ridiculous storylines, going crazy when Goldberg lined up for the spear, and dying laughing at the latest rotten characters who never got over. Now when I watch Raw, all I see are huge lumps of muscle with names like Chris Masters and Trevor Murdoch, and Borey Borington. These guys have no personality. There’s no angle. It’s just, “I work out a lot. Wrestle me.” Even the most outlandish stuff of the old WWF, like the Undertaker sacrificing people, was insulting, making it great to make fun of. Everything is bland now. They’ve taken the idea of “Let’s let these guys be themselves” way too far. Sometimes you get a great personality, like The Rock, who doesn't need a great gimmick because he's just amplifying his own persona. But sometimes you need gimmicks, because the real personalities of these guys is like watching an steroid-enhanced accountant at work. Bring back the outlandish storylines. Bring back some anarchy. Bring back the fun! Hell, bring back Doink the Clown.

I hate to say it, but I think we’ve seen the best that wrestling can offer. When both Raw and Nitro were on the air, competing, there was this sense that at any point, they could step it up to become compelling and original. Now, it feels like WWF is becoming WCW. The same tired stars (HHH, Flair, Undertaker, Michaels, etc) are going through the motions while the new "stars" have absolutely no good gimmicks or compelling storylines.

After writing this, I decided to give wrestling another chance. Starting today, the plan was to watch a month of programming and see if it could hold my interest. As I sit here at 10:26 on Monday Night, I’m watching 5 straight minutes of Mr. McMahon pulling stuff out of JR’s (fake plastic) ass in an operating room. So far he’s pulled out an owl, barbecue sauce,and a Sooners helmet. Now he's using a jackhammer. He pulled out Mae Young’s "other hand," (if you understand that one, you know how bad this segment is), and a Stone Cold water bottle. Seriously, this segment has been going on forever. Now he literally has the jaws of life out, and he just pulled JR's head out of his own ass. Wow. That was a long way for a terrible joke. It took all I had not to change the channel within minutes. How am I supposed to get through four weeks of this?

If you love that I still call the WWF "the WWF," relive the glory days with

10/18/05 - What the Fog?
10/11/05 - Lord of the Head Ring?
10/5/05 - Whedon Need No Education

Nerd Condo Articles

The Four Phases of Kevin Smith Fanboys October 11th, 2005
Jason Bateman: A Tribute June 9th, 2005
Footloose 2: Footloosier April 5th, 2005
Political Wars: Your Intergalactic Guide to the Election Nov. 1st, 2004
Why You Almost Hated Transformers: The Movie May 25th, 2004
What's Wrong, Eomer? January 22nd, 2004
The Steel Wheel Rolls for the Empire October 13th, 2003
The Stormtrooper Diary Sept. 17th, 2003
The Orc Diary Sept. 10th, 2003
Hey, I'm Tarkin to You! July 22nd, 2003
Percy Yates Interviews Nate Dogg July 13th, 2003
Don't Break the Ice: The Drinking Game May 28th, 2003
April 18th, 2003
March 17th, 2003
Feb. 19th, 2003

© 2005 The Decking Crew