You know what is one of the biggest things I miss in professional wrestling? Slow burning feuds. Right now, we live in the era of “Fast Food Wrestling” where story-lines that could play out over 6 months to a year instead play out over 1-2 months. I guess it’s one of the things that have changed with the times as the people writing the shows write in order to cater the short attention spans of the current generations. I get that you want to keep their attention, but if a slow burn feud is good enough and compelling enough then people will become invested in it just like they are invested in any story-line on any other television show that produces episodic television. With WrestleMania around the corner, I just don’t find any of the feuds leading into it to have an interesting buildup. WrestleMania itself hasn’t really been built up well either, it’s like WWE knows we will watch out of tradition (which is true), so what even try. Here it comes, blah blah blah….injuries….blah blah blah. I know, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good Plan B in place. This lack of build up for a WrestleMania main event made me think of a time when the buildup to a WrestleMania main event was drawn out nearly a year in advance.
The day was March 27, 1988. The event was WrestleMania IV. Fans from all over the world flooded Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey to find out who would win the vacant WWF Title. The finals of a tournament to crown a new champion came down to “Macho Man” Randy Savage and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. Andre the Giant was outside of the ring in DiBiase’s corner while Hogan hung outside to be sure to have Savage’s back. When the referee was distracted by Andre the Giant, Hogan came in with a chair and wacked DiBiase which allowed Savage to hit the Elbow Drop and score the pin to become the new WWF World Champion. As Hogan stood there and celebrated with Savage and Elizabeth, you can be sure that Vince McMahon was thinking to himself “There is my main event for WrestleMania V, we just have to get there!”. It’s always been said that Vince McMahon used to have the main event to the next year’s Wrestlemania set, and he would then work backwards. That is what he did here. Within a few months, Hogan and Savage teamed up as The Mega Powers.
In hindsight it was clear that the Mega Powers were put together to eventually break up, but at the time it was amazing booking because they made sure you would see the breakup slowly but surely. They would defeat the Mega Bucks (DiBiase & Andre the Giant) at SummerSlam ’88. The first chinks in the armor of this unstoppable tag team were seen at that year’s Survivor Series. After Hogan & Savages’ team won their match, there was a brief moment of tension whenever Hogan hugged Ms. Elizabeth. Savage would give Hogan that look of “What are you doing hugging my lady?”, but it wouldn’t really be mentioned by the Mega Powers or the people on commentary. I find it amazing that WWE was able to keep this feud going for almost 5 more months.
January 9, 1989 Savage would save Hogan from a brutal attack at the hands of the Twin Towers (Akeem & Big Boss Man) when he scared the heels away with a steel chair while Ms. Elizabeth took Hogan to the back. Savage was getting the feeling that he was being alienated by his best friend and girlfriend. He was the champion as well as the jealous boyfriend. It would be a couple weeks later at Royal Rumble where Savage would be accidentally eliminated by Hulk Hogan who was trying to eliminate Bad News Brown. Things would come to a head on February 3, 1989 on The Main Event. Savage abandoned Hogan during their tag match with the Twin Towers all because Hogan took Liz to the back after she was knocked out during the match. After the match was over, Savage would attack Hogan in the back as a frightened Liz and excited fans at home watched. With the Mega Powers now broke up, Hogan would then challenge Savage to a match at WrestleMania V for the WWF Title.
This led to the blow off at WrestleMania V where Hogan would defeat Randy Savage to regain the WWF Title. There you have it, a compelling story-line that actually played out over a year. I think that WWE right would benefit from looking into their own past, and borrowing an idea like that. Longer angles means less repetition as well as more compelling television that would make one excited when the time comes for the feud to end. I laid out how a story-line line slowly but sure played out over a year’s time. I feel that this is something that could’ve been done with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Eh, maybe it can somehow still be done. I am not saying that WWE should have all of their angles run for a year, but I think that you can have some good ones run at least 6 months if it is presented on television in a well-paced and coherent manner that fans can understand. I guess what I want to say to WWE is that they shouldn’t be so quick to blow their wad all the time, and should let thing formulate!
As always you can hit me up on Twitter @whosantcox with your thoughts and opinions, and I am also now goofing off on Instagram under the username “UltraGoldenAnt”. You can also check out my wrestling group on Facebook World Wrestling Junkies! I’ll catch you next time, wrestling fans!
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