11 items from 2014
World Championship Wrestling became the number one wrestling company in North America in the late 1990s. The rise of WCW was brought on by the cruiserweights, realistic storylines and, of course, the New World Order. WCW rose faster than anyone could have ever predicted but it also fell quicker and harder than anyone could have imagined.
Once the World Wrestling Federation purchased WCW in 2001, fans were almost begging for the WWF to put on dream matches that they had envisioned for years. Imagine: Hulk Hogan vs. Steve Austin, The Rock vs. Ric Flair, The Outsiders vs. The New Age Outlaws, the nWo vs. Degeneration X…the possibilities were endless.
Instead, we got an Invasion angle that lacked any drama and showcased none of wrestlers that WCW was most known for. Instead of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Sting we got Lance Storm, Booker T, and Mike Awesome. Eventually, there were »
- Mike Shannon
AP Photo/Jessica Hill
The WWE Network debuts next Monday in America and it’s getting a lot of attention as it should, but it is WWE’s new TV deal that wrestling fans should really be paying attention to.
The current TV deal in America currently pays WWE approximately $139.5 million per year. That money comes from NBC Universal, which airs WWE Monday Night Raw on USA Network and WWE Friday Night Smackdown on Syfy. A new story from Variety.com offers insight into what might be next for the wrestling giant.
A WWE spokesman offered an update on the current negotiations:
“WWE’s exclusive negotiating period with NBCU for our flagship television programs, ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown,’ has now expired. While we were unable to reach an agreement with NBCU during this period, we have certainly appreciated our long and productive partnership. With year-round, live programming that is highly coveted by programmers, »
- John Canton
After more than twenty years and well over a thousand episodes, Monday Night Raw remains WWE’s flagship show. It’s the “A-show” and watched by millions of dedicated weekly viewers. Without question, the show will continue to play an integral role in the WWE as they are banking heavily on the upcoming TV Rights Fee increases. With the evolution of Pay-Per-View programming to be included on the WWE Network, undoubtedly, Monday Night Raw is going to continue to be the centerpiece of WWE programming.
Thus looking at who is regularly booked on Raw (and in which segments) will tell you a whole lot about how the company views those performers and their importance in the company. Don’t be decieved – whilst the Monday Night Wars with WCW Nitro may have come and gone, WWE still pays very close attention to Raw ratings, particularly segment-by-segment.
- Chris Harrington
There had been talks in recent weeks that Hall might be in line for a surprise induction this year but when the big three inductees were announced, it didn’t look likely there would be room for the former Razor Ramon in this class.
However a new rumour started yesterday when Hall recently received a “verified” mark on Twitter, as did the three so far confirmed names for induction this year; The Ultimate Warrior, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Lita.
Hall himself further added fuel to the speculation by tweeting the following;
“Me @JakeSnakeDDT and @AmyDumas all verified at the same time. Hmmm….”
“Add @UltimateWarrior to that same list…hmmm”
Is that enough to warrant the speculation that an induction is pending? I’ll let you decide!
- Matt Holmes
Earlier this week, it was ratings day for the WWE, where they look over the hour by hour breakdowns from Monday night, seeing what’s working and what’s not. Though, these days it’s easy to imagine the importance of these numbers has taken a far back seat to the coming release of the WWE Network streaming service.
There was a time, however, when that report was life and death for the WWE, because in those halcyon days, they had a single point of competition; the WCW. A product of the titanic Turner Broadcasting company, WCW was the ‘Brand X’ to many people around the country due to WWE’s nationwide broadcast television exposure on ‘Saturday Night’s Main Event’ on the NBC network, and the USA Network’s Saturday programming, along with Prime Time Wrestling had such market penetration, WCW had a hard time gaining mainstream viewers »
- Dan Houser
Copyright: The Best Of WCW Monday Nitro Vol. 2
Right now, there are 113 men and women in the WWE Hall of Fame. Ever since the 2004 class, the company has let between five to seven wrestlers, managers, tag teams or stables in each year. While the Hall is stacked with some of the best wrestling talent of all time, it still feels incomplete. There are a few glaring omissions that are deserving for enshrinement, but for one reason or another, they haven’t got the call yet.
For some wrestlers, it’s only a matter of time before they get in. You can imagine that talent like Jbl, The Rock and Lita will get in sooner or later. But others are starting to seem like they’ll be locked out forever. This year it’s actually quite surprising that Ultimate Warrior and Jake “The Snake” Roberts are getting in due to their past troubles with the company. »
- Andrew Soucek
My last article for WhatCulture.com looked at potential winners for the Royal Rumble. I’m sorry to say that the one man I left out of my list went on to win. The reason for this is simple: I was under the impression that a Batista win was so obviously stupid and worthless to the fanbase that WWE would be out of their minds to even tease it, much less leave Daniel Bryan Out of the Rumble altogether.
Here’s my problem in the short form; I keep thinking of WWE as a rational company. They’re not. They’re led by powerful egos who fancy themselves infallible due to past successes. Also, I’m an old school wrestling fan. I’m also in my early middle age, and I remember a time when fans mattered, and legitimate fan heat caused push, not the other way around, or »
- Dan Houser
One night after the 2014 "Royal Rumble" and it looks like this will be an interesting episode of "WWE Raw." Not for the reasons WWE had hoped, though. When the show went off the air with Batista winning the 30-man match, destined for the "Wrestlemania XXX" main event, the audience booed loudly.
Something special and unique to professional wrestling happened during the show, and has been building to this point for months. The crowd wanted to see Daniel Bryan enter the match and win. After losing early in the show, they had convinced themselves he would end the night on top of the world.
Do you remember the last episode of WCW’s Monday Night Nitro? It was a pretty surreal night in the history of professional wrestling. Vince McMahon had purchased World Championship Wrestling, there was the only simulcast between Raw and Nitro in the history of the Monday Night Wars, and Ric Flair cut a promo where he mentioned Harley Race and Buff Bagwell in the same sentence. It was truly a night of firsts.
The aftermath of the purchase left a giant void in the wrestling business as McMahon’s primary competitor had been vanquished. It was only a short month after the purchase that Paul Heyman’s Ecw would finally succumb to financial struggles and have to close their doors as well. Whether intended or not, both brand names were quickly buried during the disappointing “Invasion” angle and both promotions are now relegated to DVD releases and WWE Network time slots. »
- Nick Boisseau
It has been in the works for several years and its launch had been rumoured for a few months and now it's official - World Wrestling Entertainment will launch their own network on February 24th 2014.
Announced last night at a CES Event in Las Vegas, members of World Wrestling Entertainment including Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and Michael Cole gave the first details of their new network.
The WWE Network will cost $9.99 a month with a six-month commitment and will launch at 11:05 Est after the Monday Night Raw that night. All 12 PPVs for 2014 will air on the network and will be covered in the monthly fee - this includes WrestleMania 30 which will be the first PPV to air.
On Monday (Jan. 6), WWE will presenting an old school version of "Raw," featuring many names from the company's history, who will join forces with current stars for a unique show. The arena is given a retro look, the ring looks like it's right out of the early '90s, and it's a night where everyone gets to have just a little bit more fun.
One of those taking part in the show is Brian James, better known to wrestling fans as Road Dogg, one half of the New Age Outlaws tag team. Zap2it had the chance to chat with Road Dogg about catching up with old friends in the wrestling business, what to expect from the show and who he thinks is going to go far in the "Royal Rumble," among other topics.
Zap2it: The old school "WWE Raw" concept is almost becoming an annual event at this point. »
11 items from 2014
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