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For 83 straight weeks, WCW soundly defeated the WWF’s flagship program with their own all-star extravaganza known as Monday Nitro. From roughly 1995 to 1999, there was literally no competition between WCW and WWF in terms on the on-screen product, as WCW had been on a creative renaissance that easily rivaled what the McMahon’s were producing.
But today, WCW is no more, only existing in the memories of those who watched it and on the WWE Network. One thing that’s a bit ironic is that you can now watch a lot of what WCW had to offer on the WWE Network, coming away with one glaring observation; WCW was a much better product than WWE’s current programming, a horrific revelation when you consider some of the talent working for them today.
While no one can deny that WCW became a complete disaster in its final two years, »
- Matthew Fisher
The 1990s was a boom period for professional wrestling. They say competition improves creativity and the Monday Night War between WWF’s Raw and WCW’s Monday Nitro pushed both companies to put on their best quality shows, and eventually led to WWF’s Attitude Era. From roughly 1997 – 2001, WWF fired on all cylinders and with top-tier talent like The Rock, Triple H and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, they brought professional wrestling into the mainstream.
So many of WWE’s greatest moments came from the The Attitude Era. The Steve Austin v Vince McMahon feud, the rise of D-Generation X, and the epic TLC matches between The Dudleys, The Hardys and Edge & Christian all defined an era. It brought millions of new fans to the sport, but not everything WWE tried during this time was as innovative and monumental as they would have liked.
A lot of WWF’s storytelling »
- Kieran Shiach
Much has been written about the fabled Monday Night Wars, the era from September 1995 until March 2001. For those five and a half years, the World Wrestling Federation went head to head with World Championship Wrestling in a battle for pro wrestling supremacy.
The battle between Raw and Nitro helped wrestling reach the pinnacle of success. Ratings were never higher, creative was never better, and wrestlers had never drawn so much money. Wrestlers became mainstream stars and wrestling itself was one of the most popular programs on television.
The war between Vince McMahon’s WWF and Ted Turner/Eric Bischoff’s WCW was one fans remember fondly because of the great moments. Many Monday nights were spent flipping back and forth between USA and TNT and then arguing with your friends on Tuesday about who had the better show.
- Mike Shannon
Sting is unquestionably the biggest star to never work for Vince McMahon. Throughout the late eighties and early nineties, he helped carry WCW through their fierce rivalry with WWF, and his legendary matches with the likes of Cactus Jack, Big Van Vader and “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan kept fans glued to WCW television. Throughout the Monday Night War he was one of the most captivating parts of Monday Nitro, no matter what they asked of him he performed to his maximum.
He’s also a master of reinvention. Not only did he adapt better than most to changing tastes, by morphing from the clean-cut surfer to the sullen bat-wielding vigilante, but he adapted to the new landscape of wrestling in the early 2000s by shunning WWF and instead joining the fledgling Total Nonstop Action promotion. He provided Tna with much-needed credibility.
Now for the first time in his career, »
- Kieran Shiach
Whether or not Captain America 3 will actually be that movie is still open to debate, but it’s more than likely that it will merely plant the seeds for a much more grand event – perhaps played out over the course of several movies – in the future.
In the comic books, Civil War is a storyline that revolves around the enforcement of an initiative known as the Superhuman Registration Act.
After a war between the rookie heroes known as the New Warriors and the villain Nitro, Nitro exploded, seemingly killing the entire team and a huge number of civilians (including sixty school children nearby). The United States government were compelled to designate all superheroes and villains as “Living Weapons »
- K.J. Stewart
Remember when Tony Schiavone would spend an entire three-hour broadcast of WCW Monday Nitro talking up a PPV-quality main event (perhaps a rare Hollywood Hogan title defense), only for the “match” to end in an nWo run-in after a minute of action? That sort of false advertising is part of what led a lot of fans to change the channel to WWF Raw in the late 90s. Today, Raw is the only game in town, and while Monday’s broadcast had some solid moments throughout, the ending was eerily similar to its former competitor.
This by far isn’t the first time a Raw main event didn’t go as advertised, but considering that the match originally was booked for the upcoming PPV, it’s a letdown to be sure. As for the rest of Raw? There were plenty of things to enjoy – longer matches, better pacing, smarter »
- Scott Carlson
Now that the WWE Network features every episode of WCW Monday Nitro from their debut to the end of 1996, a new generation of fans are looking to see what the big deal about the WWF’s main competition was. They’ve heard so much about WCW, and have probably seen many of the company’s matches on DVD compilations, YouTube, and many other places. This is their chance to watch things unfold as they happened, and to get a new take on things.
If you’re looking at WCW, you have to look at the nWo. They go hand-in-hand, and the time frame of Nitro on the Network means you get to watch the group from their very first formation, all the way through their first few white hot months. It’s a great education on what could have, and damn well should have, been the game-changing story in wrestling history. »
- Aaron Hyden
It’s been quite a while since I’ve personally reviewed a WWE Home Video release – we have some great guys here on Nerdly that are more knowledgeable and are certainly bigger fans of wrestling than I. But when said home video release involves one of my all-time favourite wrestlers, Sting, there was no way I wasn’t checking this out for myself.
WWE: The Best of Sting encompasses the entirety of Sting’s career from his body-building beginnings to his debut as one half of The Freedom Fighters (later renamed Blade Runners), alongside my other all-time favourite wrestler, Jim Hellwig aka Ultimate Warrior, to his early WCW days, to the enigmatic, Crow-inspired, black and white face-painted, icon of wrestling he is today. This retrospective encompasses it all. From his Blade-Runners debut to his last WCW match vs. Ric Flair on the very last episode of WCW Monday Nitro »
- Phil Wheat
As wrestling continues to evolve through the ages, promotions have become more and more reliant on weekly TV shows such as Raw, Smackdown or Nitro in order to help sell, promote and develop Pay-Per-Views from which they’ll earn most of their revenue. While the Pay-Per-View will always come first as it should, TV shows do occasionally have some excellent or huge matches in order to hold interest and keep viewers tuning in. The Monday Night Wars tended to have a lot of big, exciting and high-profile matches because of the highly competitive nature of WWF’s Monday Night Raw and WCW’s Monday Nitro.
Due to the sudden relevance of TV ratings in the Monday Night Wars, each company tried to do anything to pull ahead in the ratings, which mean’t they couldn’t solely rely on PPVs to maintain a viewership. In particular, there were »
- Sam Thorne
It’s something that’s tough to explain unless you lived through it. Monday nights in the late 90s were to wrestling fans what Sundays are to Christians. It was borderline sensory overload with the amount of wrestling presented. For many who followed wrestling during the Monday Night Wars, Monday evenings often meant either loading a tape into the Vcr to record WCW Nitro while watching WWF Raw (or vice-versa), or having a remote control welded to their hands and flipping back and forth furiously.
And if you ask any wrestling fan who watched both WWF and WCW during the Monday Night Wars about dream matches, you will probably get an earful. Both promotions were loaded with top talent and solid undercard performers who were capable of putting on a quality match. Personalities were larger than life and captured fans’ attention. It was impossible not to wonder what »
- Scott Carlson
Avid viewers of the WWE Network will notice that the company has recently added the entire first year of World Championship Wrestling’s Monday Nitro program to the vault. It was a move many fans of old school professional wrestling have been waiting for and one that further exposes them to the rich history of the business. From the very first match in the show’s six-year history, pitting Jushin “Thunder” Liger against “Flyin'” Brian Pillman, all the way to the debut of the New World Order and their early dominance over WCW and the disappearance of Sting, fans can relive the greatest challenge to WWE’s dominance over the sports-entertainment landscape.
While WWE was attempting to go to war with a roster full of young, underdeveloped talents and some ridiculous gimmicks while WCW pulled out big guns such as Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ric Flair and Sting »
- Erik Beaston
Wrestling fans often fantasize about dream matches, regardless of whether they’re possible or not. For example, the chances of The Undertaker and Sting finally facing off at WrestleMania are likelier than ever with Sting close to signing a deal with WWE. However, a match between Daniel Bryan and Bret Hart is pretty much out of the question with Hart retired from in-ring competition. With most dream matches being of marquee value, they only place you’ll usually see them is on pay-per-view, most notably at WrestleMania. John Cena vs. The Rock, Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock, and Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle all occurred on The Grandest Stage of Them All, but there are a handful of dream matches that did not.
In fact, there’s quite a few matches you never thought you’d see that didn’t go down on PPV at all. Whenever WWE »
- Graham GSM Matthews
Luke Owen reviews the fifth episode of The Monday Night War on the WWE Network…
Read the previous episode review here.
Following the rather preposterous previous episode that claimed silly things about the influence D-Generation X had on the ratings war between WWF and WCW, we get a rather sweet look back at the career of Mick Foley and the impact his work and performances had on the turning of the tides.
This episode, titled Have a Nice Day!, at times doesn’t feel like an episode discussing The Monday Night War and is instead the first few chapters of a much longer Mick Foley DVD as it looks at his humble beginnings in WCW, being fired and jumping to Ecw before finally making the leap to WWF where he would become a household name. But while it may seem as pointless as the D-Generation X episode, Have a Nice Day! »
- Luke Owen
Luke Owen reviews the fourth episode of The Monday Night War on the WWE Network…
Read the previous episode review here.
As we’ve discussed in the previous episode reviews, we’ve come to expect a certain amount of revisionist history when it comes to The Monday Night War. If you want the real truth of how the war was won and lost, go and read Bryan Alverez’s The Death of WCW, which is having a 10th anniversary reprint next month. Once you’ve excepted the fact that The Monday Night War is not the most accurate portrayal of the war, you can come to terms with it as a show. But with that said, the fourth episode of The Monday Night War, which looks at the rise of D-Generation X, is the most hilarious, self-masturbatory example of “history is written by the victors”.
Before we get started, it »
- Luke Owen
Former World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler Sean O'Haire was found dead on Tuesday, Sept. 9, in his South Carolina home, TMZ reports. O'haire was 43 years old. The cause of death is currently unknown, but no foul play is suspected, the site reports. The wrestling pro, whose real name was Sean Haire, made his debut on an episode of WCW Nitro in 2000, where he became a three-time WCW Tag Team Champion paired with Mark Jindrak and Chuck Palumbo. Following WWE's purchase of WCW, O'Haire [...] »
News broke sometime late last night about the sudden and tragic death of Sean O’Haire at the age of 43.
The former professional wrestler was best known for his for his stints in both World Championship Wrestling and the WWE. Beyond his career in wrestling, Haire worked as a bouncer, bodyguard, and personal trainer, among other things. His passing was first reported by former WCW alumnus, Scotty Riggs, who sent out a tweet stating he had heard about the death.
Sean Christopher Haire was born on February 25, 1971 in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He got his start in professional wrestling after training at WCW’s Power Plant facility in the year 2000. In June of that year, at just 26 years old, the man called Sean O’Haire debuted on Nitro. During his WCW tenure, O’Haire helped form the Natural Born Thrillers stable — also consisting of Mark Jindrak, Chuck Palumbo, »
- Douglas Scarpa
After Monday Night Raw on 1st September, a news story broke that – once again – WWE had confiscated and kicked out a fan for waving a sign saying ‘I could be home watching Nitro for $9.99’… essentially, forcibly removing the urine from WWE’s desperation policy of mentioning the low low Low price tag of their failing Network, while ironically referencing the showing of ‘classic’ episodes of WCW Nitro, and including a callback to the Monday Night War, all in one pithy and original sign.
It matters not that the real story turned out to be said fan’s drunk and obnoxious behaviour (if you actually watch the show, the sign stays put for a looong time, which is pretty hard evidence that they weren’t that bothered about it). No, the WWE Universe (Universe? Universe?! we’re fans, not a whole Universe!) were up in arms over their right »
- Ben Cooke
Well, if considering the lampooning nature of the 1990s in the pro wrestling industry, the idea that Ecw’s place in all of this as an outside instigator is incredibly important. As the “third” major American company, the idea that Ecw promoted hardcore and pure wrestling over classic portrayals of the business and cartoonish buffoonery (and excelled in doing so) pushed forth WCW’s attempts at indoctrinating cruiserweight wrestling into the industry, as well as then then WWF’s “Attitude Era.”
Insofar as Ecw poking fun at the competition, as well as the competition poking fun at them, the silliness is obvious and rather commonplace. However, the more intriguing issues to consider center around moments when Ecw’s wrestlers, wrestling or characters were directly lifted from the bingo hall on the corner of Swanson and Ritner in South Philadelphia and put on Raw, Nitro, Smackdown, Thunder or global Pay-Per-View. »
- Marcus K. Dowling
A fan sign that was prominent during the angle with Stephanie McMahon, the Bella Twins, Paige, and Aj Lee on this week’s edition of Monday Night Raw led to a lot of discussion online in the last couple days, as stories started circulating that the fan had been kicked out and even threatened with arrest. What actually happened appears to be more complicated than WWE not liking the sign, though.
On Monday afternoon, the fan in question, who uses the name “rynoIA,” posted on Reddit asking for sign suggestions. One of the responses, from a user named “Evertak,” was “I could be at home watching Nitro (for only $9.99),” and obviously, rynoIA took him up on it. It was one of the most clever signs we’ve seen on Raw in a long time, parodying the old “I could be at home watching Nitro/Raw” signs from during the Monday Night War. »
- David Bixenspan
For decades, Vince McMahon was recognized as the voice of World Wrestling Entertainment. Behind the scenes, he was a ruthless businessman who changed the industry forever by taking his company national (and later, international) and putting old school territories out of business, He was a master promoter, capable of making stars household names unlike any of his peers. More importantly, he was a visionary, a pro wrestling mastermind who understood the direction the industry was moving and was able to steer his promotion that way and ensure its success.
In the mid-1990s, however, McMahon’s company had stumbled tremendously. His company had been rocked by a steroid scandal and a rare failure to know his audience had led to insultingly bad gimmick characters debuting on a weekly basis. Trash men, plumbers and a mantaur invaded the company and fans everywhere rolled their eyes and flipped the channel to WCW Monday Nitro, »
- Erik Beaston
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