4 items from 2015
When wrestling fans think back to the days of World Championship Wrestling, negativity is almost always the first port of call. It seems to be in vogue to laugh at WCW, because, let’s face it, the company did some truly laughable things. Towards the end of the promotion’s shelf life in 2001, the place was a complete mess, Nitro was unwatchable, and Pay-Per-Views were a complete wreck.
It’s fascinating to look back on this time, because just a few years prior to WCW’s collapse, the company stood tall as the hottest thing pro wrestling had to offer. Creations such as the nWo caught on quick, and turned the group from a cash-bleeding failure into a money-making success.
It’s not unfair to say that some of the absolute worst moments in wrestling history took place under the WCW banner, including the likes of actor David Arquette winning the World Title, »
- Jamie Kennedy
The 1999 Royal Rumble took place at a time when WWE was firmly in control of the “Monday Night War” with rival WCW Monday Nitro. Thanks to the emergence of Steve Austin as the top babyface in the business and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon as his chief rival, most wrestling fans were tuning in to see what was going to happen from week to week.
Going into the Rumble match, the big story was that somebody would get $100,000 for eliminating Austin from the match. Austin won the Rumble match the previous two years, so most people expected him to win it again just because we all figured he would main event WrestleMania 15. WWE knew what was obvious, so they decided to swerve us.
- John Canton
It wasn’t the best of times for WWE as they headed to the 1995 Royal Rumble. Business was down and there was a lack of excitement towards the product. Sound familiar?
Diesel became the next man up because he won the WWE Title a few months prior to this. It was one year earlier at the Royal Rumble where he really got a chance to shine by eliminating seven guys within a few minutes. This was his first PPV title defense and it came against one of the best in the business in Bret Hart.
Another factor hurting WWE was that WCW had a lot of momentum. They signed Hulk Hogan in the summer of 1994 and then Randy Savage left too. They were doing good numbers on PPVs. Later that year they launched WCW Monday Nitro, which was another blow to WWE.
Due to everything that was going on, »
- John Canton
The most recent wrestling personality to appear on Chris Jericho’s Podcast One show was former WWE Champion and current announcer John Layfield, better known to fans as Jbl. The man formerly known as Bradshaw has had a lengthy career with WWE, dating back to late 1995 when he signed his contract, debuting the following January as Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw, a Texan roughneck heavily inspired by Stan Hansen.
He had a respectable career as a tag team wrestler, most notably as one half of the Apa (Acolyte Protection Agency) with Ron Simmons before a sudden dearth of name talent forced WWE to repackage him as John Bradshaw Layfiend–Jbl, for short–and shove him into the main event scene.
While his matches may not have been lighting the world on fire, he was doing his job in the ring and getting tremendous heat through his promos. The character was great at infuriating the audience, »
- Brad Hamilton
4 items from 2015
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