Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! With the release of the latest WWE video game I thought it would be a good time reminisce on the Monday Night Wars. It was a time during the mid 1990’s to the early 2000’s when you saw two wrestling promotions go head to head every Monday Night for ratings. On TNT you had Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling or WCW against Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation or WWF (which we know today as World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE) which aired on USA and then later on TNN. I feel that this was the golden age of wrestling as it got to the height and popularity that we see it these days. Maybe it’s a little more family friendly today but back then they took it to the limit. There are a ton of documentaries out there about this but I think what best describes both companies is the following. Scott Hall said in an interview “WCW was a television company putting on a wrestling show where as WWE was a wrestling company putting on a television show.”. And I think that is true in so many ways. So let’s take a trip down memory lane as I describe what happened, which side I was on, and my final thoughts.
Now I don’t want to bore you with the full on history of what happened. It is pretty exciting however. Go ahead and check out the Monday Night Wars on the WWE Network if you want to learn more about this. In 1993 WWE put out Monday Night Raw. It’s been a program that has been on every Monday Night for over 25 years now. A lot highs and some lows but some how WWE makes this show happen every Monday Night. With no breaks at all. Two years later WCW comes out with Monday Nitro in the same time slot as Monday Night Raw. So now you were going to have a ratings war. So from the get go it seemed like one promotion was trying to put the other out of business. But in the beginning the two shows seemed to break even in the ratings. Even though WCW had a lot of former WWE stars such as Hulk Hogan, and Randy Savage the WWE had a young hungry roster of their own featuring stars such as Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and Bret Hart. Then when two of WWE’s stars Razor Ramon aka Scott Hall, and Diesel aka Kevin Nash left WWE for WCW that’s when things changed majorly. When they first appeared on WCW television fans had thought McMahon had sent those two to invade WCW. Even though it made for great TV this was not the case however. What made this even more entertaining was when at Bash At The Beach it was revealed that Hulk Hogan was their tag team partner in tag team match against Sting, Randy Savage, and Lex Luger. Hogan would turn heel and they would go on to form the New World Order or nWo probably one of the biggest wrestling factions in wrestling history. And they were the key to WCW’s success early on in the war. They would dominate ratings for the rest of 1996 and all of 1997. WWE was getting its ass kicked early on in this war.
In 1997 WWE would go on to an edgier program more for teenagers and young adults. This would go on to be the Attitude Era. We would also see Raw be rebraned as Raw Is War with the first hour being WWE Raw, and the second hour being WWE War Zone. It’s pretty much what saved the WWE in my opinion. With so many of WWE’s established wrestlers going to WCW because of guaranteed contracts WWE started developing the young stars they did have. Stars such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Kane, and Mankind. You would also see the rise of factions in the WWE such as Degeneration-X, and The Nation of Domination. In 1998 that’s when you would see a swing in the ratings war. Many say that this was the beginning of the end for WCW. One thing that the WCW announcers would do is give away results of WWE matches on Raw since every other episode was taped (not live). However on January 4th, 1999 that planned backfired on WCW. Mankind who had wrestled for WCW years earlier was about to win the WWE Championship and the results of that match were given away on Nitro. Many people turned the channel that night to see Mankind win the WWE Championship against The Rock. From that day forward the WWE would never lose in the ratings ever again. This continued until March 26th, 2001 the final episode of Monday Nitro. WCW would be the ultimate losers in the rating wars as Vince McMahon would acquire all of WCW’s assets.
Now there were a lot of contributing factors to WCW losing the Monday Night Wars. The main reason I feel was the AOL Time Warner merger. WCW’s new owners wanted nothing to do with wrestling. Eric Bischoff tried getting a buyer for the company and a deal was in place. But when they found out there would be no TV time on the new AOL Time Warner networks they backed out. My thoughts on WCW not being around today I feel had to do with them being a mismanaged company, and them not developing the younger talent they had in their locker room. During the Monday Night Wars you had a lot of wrestlers go back and forth between the two promotions. But when WCW lost guys such as Chris Jericho, and Eddie Guerrero it makes you think what if WCW had developed those guys a bit more. They were so focused on the stars of the past that they didn’t really develop their younger talent. And those young guys in the WCW locker room were work horses. The nWo thing I feel got old in my opinion and when they did something new the only answer they had was Bill Goldberg.
Since the demise of WCW no company has come close to matching WWE’s mainstream success. I feel that this isn’t good for the business and for a time created a monopoly in the business for quite some time. Total Non Stop Action or TNA Wrestling hasn’t come close to what the WWE has been able to do. But looking back on the Monday Night Wars it’s something in wrestling we will never see again. But I do feel the better promotion won. I was on team WWE. How about you? Any wrestling fans out there? What side were you on during the Monday Night Wars? Let me know in the comments below. Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! Remember that TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE! Thanks fro reading folks. Keep coming back for more great content!