WWF stokes rivalries in run-up to ''No Mercy''
The Oct. 16 ”RAW” (Mondays, 9 p.m., TNN), from the Corel Center in Ottawa, Canada ought to give the smarks at least two things to celebrate.
First, Mick Foley’s finally earning his paycheck, now that he’s been pressed into service as the new WWF commissioner. As packed as the promotion’s roster is these days with in-ring talent, something’s been lacking on the color/comedy front, with Shane and Stephanie McMahon overstaying their welcome and daddy Vince remaining AWOL. Popular, articulate, and goofy, Foley is the right man at the right time, especially now that ex-Commissioner Regal, another comic genius, has defected to the Alliance. Expect much hilarity to ensue once these two get at each other’s throats.
The cementing of their long-held animosity will be invaluable as we start to see the contours of a true split promotion develop — and that’s the second cause for fan celebration. The establishment of a well-defined conflict at the top of the WWF and Alliance ought to contribute to the cleaving of the two forces. If it’s McMahon and Co.’s objective to eventually mount a largely independent, Alliance-based promotion as a separate entity (which, despite the full-tilt exhilaration of the past six months, will ultimately be the most rewarding scenario for more serious fans), it looks like the plan is being deftly and dramatically inched forward.
At the same time, this week’s events helped intensify some juicy intrapromotional feuds in time for the very promising-looking Oct. 21 pay-per-view, ”No Mercy.” With Jericho saving Rock in his title match against Rob Van Dam, and Rock returning the favor after Y2J was waylaid during his match with Rhyno by a run-in by Mike Awesome and Raven, they ensured that their upcoming PPV bout remained unchanged, keeping their heat within the WWF.
Over at the Alliance, Austin tried to remove Van Dam from their triple-threat main event on Sunday with Kurt Angle by placing him in a WCW championship match against the Rock last night (which would have necessitated RVD defending on Sunday against Jericho — you still with me?). The failure of that gambit instead just raised the stakes between the Paranoid Rattlesnake and The Whole F’n Show and makes the Alliance an even more interesting place to be.
When, if ever, do you think that the WWF and Alliance should become separate promotions?