The power players behind the wildly popular and often controversial world of professional wrestling are examined in this chronological look at the past 10 years of wrestling entertainment. The competition between the four major wrestling organizationsWor
Between the Ropes Author: Brian Fritz Author: Christopher Murray Table of Contents Acknowledgements iv Foreword — Steve Corino vii Introduction ix Between the Ropes, PART 1 1 WCW 13 Between the Ropes, PART II 61 ECW 77 Between the Ropes, PART III 125 WWF/WWE 137 Between the Ropes, PART IV 205 TNA 219 Between the Ropes, PART V 279 The Future 293 Between the Ropes Audio Index 297 Description The power players behind the wildly popular and often controversial world of professional wrestling are examined in this chronological look at the past 10 years of wrestling entertainment. The competition between the four major wrestling organizations—World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the World Wrestling Federation (later renamed as World Wrestling Entertainment [WWE]), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA)—is rendered in detail, from wrestling's late- 90s resurgence and the financial troubles of WCW and ECW to WWE's singular dominance and TNA's present-day struggle for market share. The reasons behind pro wrestling's popularity surge are explored in terms of key statistics such as television ratings, pay-per-view buy rates, and live-event attendance, as well as how the major organizations have capitalized—or not—on wrestling's trends. Commentary from the authors' seven-year-old weekly wrestling radio program is featured throughout alongside opinions from The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, and Vince McMahon. Excerpt Brian, I just don’t think there is a place for a show on pro wrestling on this station. I’d rather stick to real sports.Those were the immortal words of Dick Sheets, the program director at WQTM back in July 1997 when I approached him about doing a radio show strictly on professional wrestling. I can’t blame the guy for shooting down the idea either, but that doesn’t mean I liked it.Seriously, I was just a rookie in the radio business, only twenty-four years old and having worked at Central Florida’s Sports Radio 540 The Team for less than a year. I had never been on the air before,much less hosted a show, and I truly had no idea what I was trying to get into. Dick knew I was greener than grass, and wasn’t about to put me on the air, especially hosting a show on pro wrestling.Dick was always hard on me during my early days at the radio station, and rightfully= so. I had to pay my dues like everyone else when it came to the different duties there. I wanted to be on the air in some capacity, whether it was part of a show or simply doing the sports updates. But I was far from ready.He would grill me on a regular basis, making me cut demo tapes and picking them apart with his keen ear. I wasn’t too happy with his assessment most times, but he was the boss, and he knew best. Who was I to say he was wrong? He was a respected radio man, who had been running major radio stations longer than I had been walking on God’s green earth. The man at least took the time to speak with me and go over the little things, making sure that I was truly prepared when I finally got to pop my radio cherry.But just because Dick shot down my idea then, it didn’t mean that I forgot about it.Wrestling was hot. I mean scorching, fireball hot. You had two big promotions fighting one another, putting on kickass programming each and every week, trying to one-up each other. The war between the WWF and WCW continued to heat up week after week, as the two sides showed nothing but contempt for one other. This was one of the great times in wrestling history, and I was soaking it up.World Championship Wrestling was hitting an unbelievable peak, with the nWo crashing the show, taking their no-holds-barred attitude to new levels. The World Wrestling Federation had its own uncontrollable group in Degeneration X, who would stun people with their brash behavior on television. Plus, a new star had burst onto the scene like no one had done before. Stone Cold Steve Austin. On top of all this, Extreme Championship Wrestling, a renegade promotion out of Philadelphia, was pushing the limits inside and outside the ring with its outlaw performers and unbelievable wrestling, throwing out the rules of the past to create its own wrestling genre which caught on with its fanatical fan base.Wrestling was big — bigger than ever before — and I wanted to talk about it on the radio. I was sure there was an audience for it, since millions of people were tuning in every week and spending an enormous amount of cash on wrestling tickets, pay-per-views, and merchandise. You couldn’t walk down the street with someone wearing an nWo or a Stone Cold shirt. Wrestling was in, and I wanted to discuss it on the air.But that would have to wait, because the station I worked at wasn’t interested in a program unless it was about a real, bona fide sport. Luckily, I had several things going for me. First, the popularity of wrestling was not going away. In fact, it continued to grow with Steve... Author Bio Brian Fritz Brian Fritz is the lead host of the Between the Ropes wrestling radio show. He is a host and producer for various live talk shows and sporting events for WQTM 740 AM and covers professional wrestling for The Orlando Sentinel. He lives in Orlando, Florida. Christopher Murray Christopher Murray is a cohost of Between the Ropes. He lives in Staten Island, New York.<br/> Reviews It's an honest wrestling book . . . chock full with inside information coming from eight years of doing the radio show. The book covers it all, and in a way that provides truly unique insights . . . a sense of immediacy not found in most other wrestling history books.
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