Thursday, February 1, 2007

WCW - Edward Ferrara-Oklahoma

Edward Ferrara (sometimes incorrectly spelled Ferrera) is a writer, most notably for storyline work for WWF and WCW, often alongside Vince Russo. Ed Ferrara began his work in television production and writing, contributing to shows such as Honey I Shrunk the Kids the TV show and Weird Science on the USA network. Ferrera was also a wrestler in Slammers Wrestling Federation known as Bruce Beaudine.

WCW - Edward Ferrara-Oklahoma

In 1998 he got a call from a network executive from USA who asked him if he wanted a job as a writer in the WWF. He matched the credentials required for the job including previous experience in wrestling and working in television production. This led to him getting an interview with Vince McMahon which he passed and ultimately began his job at the 1998 King of the Ring. He immediately clicked with his writing partner Vince Russo.

Their successful partnership helped produce some of the most memorable moments in WWF history including the 1998 Survivor Series Deadly Games tournament, the series of matches between The Rock and Mankind and the much talked about Greater Power storyline. Their mentality to constantly keep viewers guessing led to a lot of nonsensical heel and face turns and "swerves" at the expense of logic, though for some time increased television ratings for the WWF. Ferrara is also noted to be the man behind the storyline of "Beaver Cleavage", which was about the incestuous relation between a mother and son, as well as other storylines involving incest. The ultimate stress of working with Vince McMahon with the addition of another 2 hour show, Smackdown!, during the week eventually led to Ed Ferrara leaving the WWF along with his cohort Vince Russo to their main competitor WCW.

He admittedly had a very turbulent time at WCW. He began his stint there with his writing partner from the WWF, Vince Russo in October of 1999 and immediately imposed themselves upon the onscreen product of WCW. They migrated their style of writing from the WWF, but the result was a television product most viewers deemed cluttered and poor. Matches were shorter in length, speaking segments both inside and outside the ring were more prominent and a far greater emphasis was made in pushing midcard wrestlers to the point that everyone on the card had a gimmick and/or storyline. Successful products of their initial tenure at WCW included Screamin' Norman Smiley, 3 Count, the re-invention of The Outsiders, The Mamalukes, 'Psycho' David Flair, The Revolution, The Filthy Animals, Chris Benoit's Main Event Push, among others. However there were some storylines which did not necessarily go over with fans the way they wished including the infamous Buzzkill, The Maestro, Buff Bagwell, Oklahoma and Madusa winning the Cruiserweight title.

Their initial stint was epitomized by the reintroduction of the NWO after months of storylines which ultimately saw Bret Hart win the world title at the expense of his arch nemesis Goldberg. However, both Bret Hart and Goldberg got injured a few days prior to a major WCW ppv. This along with the decision to put the title on Tank Abbott, cost both Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara their creative independence and led to the hierarchy at WCW to form a booking committee which consisted of former bookers including Kevin Sullivan, Kevin Nash, JJ Dillon and Bob Mould. This would also mark the beginning of the end for the friendship between Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara who both took opposing positions. Vince Russo refused to work in the booking committee as he felt he was jobbed out by the backstage politics of the company whilst Ed Ferrara decided he would stay on as he had just relocated his entire family to Atlanta and so felt compelled to continue his work as a writer. This would be the last time Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara would willingly work with one another in a wrestling environment.

The success of the booking committee was limited at best. Ratings had plummeted and WCW was in a state of disrepair. The new committee also led to the mass exodus of the most promising mid-card wrestlers in the company. Now known as the Radicalz, Benoit, Malenko, Guerrero and Saturn all walked out of WCW as Kevin Sullivan stated he had no plans to use them on subsequent programming. It was rumored that 17 wrestlers had asked for their release that night but only 5 of them got their successful release (this included Shane Douglas but he would return in April of that year). Within 2 months the booking committee was disbanded and in a desperate attempt to salvage their ailing product WCW hired back the 2 men who they thought could help their product, Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff. This led to Ed Ferrara getting demoted to a road agent position which he later said in an interview "was the best demotion I ever had".

In 1999 in WCW, he took the onscreen name of Oklahoma and began copying WWF announcer Jim Ross, and also mimicking his Bell's Palsy. He had previously did an impersonation of Ross in the WWF during an angle with Tiger Ali Singh where he was called from the audience as a fan and did his Ross impression. Jim Cornette would later spit in his face and challenge him to a fight for making fun of his long time friend, Jim Ross. He defeated Madusa for the Cruiserweight Title. The character was considered by most as distasteful and nothing more than a means for Russo and Ferrara to put their own grievances on the air. Ross has since reconciled with Ferrera following an open letter to him.

He did voiceovers that played over the intercom when non-English speaking La Parka was doing interviews, often getting La Parka in trouble with his opponents with the comments he created over the intercom.

A character on Desperate Housewives was named after him, as a former writing colleague of his worked on the show.

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