DISCLAIMER: I have only been a wrestling fan for six years. I never watched WCW or WWE at the time when they were at each other’s throats. What follows is an opinion formed based on the documentary Monday Night Wars on the WWE Network. If you think it wrong or that I’ve been misinformed, sorry not sorry.
While watching Monday Night Wars on the WWE Network (for just $9.99 a month), I noticed something. I even consulted Bear, a lifelong wrestling fan, to make sure this wasn’t just a harebrained idea. I think I know where WCW went wrong, why they ultimately lost the Monday night wars.
NWO, New World Order. A force to be reckoned with in WCW, they gave the company the boost they needed in ratings to beat out WWE. An all powerful entity that was so badass, no other wrestler wanted to go up against them, because they knew it would just be a beat down. That was where they messed up, big time.
Connecting to my own creative endeavors and explaining why I’m posting this on Writer Wednesday, they made a critical mistake that writers make too. When you make an indestructible character, it’s cool at first. The character(s) tears through the world and becomes the most dominant thing out there and for a while, the readers love it.
Then it gets boring.
As a fellow reader, Bear has often said he doesn’t like reading characters that are too powerful. Things just become way too easy for them and what’s the point of the story? There’s no challenge, nothing to overcome. And if they have no vulnerabilities, no weaknesses, why the hell would I want to read about them? Kicking ass is cool, but let the hero get his ass handed to him every once in a while. Let him make a huge mistake with consequences that echo through the universe he inhabits.
Take, for instance, Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters. This may be slightly spoiler, but the books have been out so long, get over it. Acheron is an Atlantean god. More specifically, he is the son of the goddess of destruction and is himself the harbinger of doom. For all his powers and indestructibility, he has a destiny he is constantly fighting. He is not a free agent. One word raised in anger against someone he loves can change the very course of destiny because, oh yeah, he is also a god of fate.
The point is, Acheron is one of the most powerful characters in Kenyon’s world, but everything doesn’t come easy to him. He’s dynamic, one of many characters in a war between the Dark-Hunters and the daemons.
If NWO had taken a hit every now and then, maybe WWE wouldn’t have eventually got their ratings back. If the story WCW was trying to tell hadn’t been so one sided, maybe there would be a WCW Network by now. Instead, creations like Degeneration X came into being and everybody loved it, because you never knew what would happen next. Sometimes they kicked tail, sometimes they had their tails kicked.
So writers, take a lesson from this figure in wrestling history. Be dynamic. Let your character get their gonads kicked into their throat every now and then. Makes for a better story in the long run.
As a side note, since we’re talking about NWO and Acheron, Bear was very surprised to learn (like I was) that I would have totally been a Kevin Nash fangirl back in the day. If he had come along twenty years later, he would have made an amazing Acheron. Close to seven feet tall, looks good with long hair, be it dark or blond. He. Is. Acheron.