We have definitely been lacking on posting new blog entries here at the site, and we definitely apologize for it. So I thought I’d hit the way back machine, and talk about something near and dear to my heart: WWF/WCW Wrestling from the early 90’s to the early 2000’s. Alright, here we go…..
From 1992-2002 I was one of the biggest wrestling nuts in the country. It all started when my cousin introduced me to the WWF when they were doing Monday Night Raw as house shows (meaning before they could fill out places like Madison Square Garden, they filled out 15,000 seat arenas). This is definitely a long time ago. I was instantly a goner, completely hooked. I watched MNR and then even the Saturday morning replay shows. Whenever wrestling was on, I was there. I had to order the pay-per-views every month. I feel really bad for my mom. Lol. Then in 1997, I became a fan of WCW wrestling too. So then there were often 2 PPVs a month to buy. Many times I’d watch with my cousins which helped with finances. I also hated those people who told me it was fake. Definitely almost got into a few fights because of it. And then just about every single video game that came out on the SNES, Genesis, Playstation, or the Nintendo 64 (I was kind of spoiled), I had. Best game was definitely WWF No Mercy. So I was kind of dedicated. As the 90’s drew to a close, the WWF put into motion one of the biggest bombshells in the history of wrestling. In 1998, owner Vince McMahon started the Attitude era which part out a new light of wrestlers like The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and DX. This would also start the Monday Night Wars between WWF’s Monday Night Raw, and WCW’s Monday Night Nitro. This power struggle between the two companies went on for years. There were many who changed sides (Bret Hart, Big Show, Booker T, DDP, Eddie Guerrero, and Y2J just to name a few) between the two companies. The end of the Monday Night Wars happened in 2001 when the WWF bought out WCW and closed the doors of the company forever. This one move would spell the end of my love of wrestling forever. The WWF got complacent. They had no competition and because of that, you started seeing stories get used over and over, and because there was no longer a WCW, all those wrestlers would try and break in into WWF and that turned them into a new WCW*.
*Note: One of the big things WCW was trying to push during the MNW was that Nitro was 3 hours long while Raw was just two. The only problem was that they had way too many wrestlers that weren’t important and of those 3 hours, if you really just came in for the last hour and a half, you didn’t miss much.
They also were trying this whole unifying titles from the two companies and it was a jumbled mess. Like, was this boxing or wrestling? I look back at that year and I remember that the WWF had one more bullet in their gun and it was WrestleMania 17 from Houston, Texas. The last match was a title match between The Rock and Steve Austin for the heavyweight belt. The match went on for like 30 minutes and these two pulled out all the stops. The Rock stunned Stone Cold, Stone Cold Rock Bottomed the Rock, it was madness! And the match ended with Vince McMahon turning on the Rock and helping Stone Cold. That’s kind of what killed it….. Stone Cold would never team up with Vince….how could this happen? That’s when the bottom fell out for me. I spent the last 30 minutes looking at PPVs for the last of 2001 and I literally don’t remember any of these matches. I think this is when I finally turned the page on my childhood and started watching more NFL action and other actual sports to get my sports fix.
Now from time to time I’ve watched the WWE (new name of the WWF, lost naming rights, long story) just to see how are things since last I watched and it’s an absolute mess. There are all these trash wrestlers that I’ve never heard of, all the wrestlers I have heard of are long gone or they are WAY past their prime. It’s truly a sad sight.* None of these guys have the flair of the Rock, the bad assness of Stone Cold, or rebelling of authority with Shawn Michaels and Triple H. It’s just so dull. I mean…. Mike “The Miz” of Real World Back to New York is the WWE CHAMPION. ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Punk from I Love NY 2 is a wrestler….WORD?! They also broke their “talent pool” into Raw and SmackDown stars making you have to watch either/or or both if you wanted to see your favorite guys. I just want someone to Old Yeller this company and shoot them behind a shed.
*Another quick note: When the WWF was at its height, they never broke their matches for commercial breaks. They were making so much money, they didn’t have to have tv spots. Today, they have them every match without fail.
So with the rest of this, I figured I’d share just a few of my favorite things from wrestling’s greatest days.
Favorite wrestler: There is no question….The most electrifying man in sports entertainment…THE ROCK!
This is the only guy that got his own PPV (Rock Bottom) and his own wrestling name for a night of the week (Thursday night’s Smackdown which also turned into a game). The Rock was this generation’s Hulk Hogan with Hulkamania. This guy had great gimmicks, even greater catchphrases, and of course, the People’s Elbow!
Other favorites: The Undertaker (not the ministry or the American Badass one, the actual Undertaker), Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Sting, Kane (with the mask), Y2J, NAO, Tatanka, Stone Cold, Goldberg. There are plenty more but I’ll move on.
Favorite match: Aforementioned Stone Cold vs The Rock WrestleMania match.
Others: One of the greatest cage matches ever between Diesel and Bret Hart where Diesel was about to win and the Undertaker rips open a whole in the ring and pulls Diesel under, letting Bret Hart climb out of the cage and win. Iron Man match between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, the first ever ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon, and the first ever tables, ladders, and chairs match between the Dudley Boys, the Hardy Boys, and Edge and Christian.
Favorite finisher: The Rock Bottom
Close 2nds: Sweet Chin Music, the Pedigree, and the Tombstone among others.
Finally, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a blogger if I didn’t address the death of Macho Man Randy Savage. One of my early wrestling favorites, Macho Man was one of the first real electric personalities of this new generation of wrestling. His epic flying elbow drop has only been rivaled by Shawn Michaels. We lost a real titan of the game. Sad stuff. RIP Macho.
-The Big Socrates