I'm still working my way through old WCW on the Network. Just up to the Sting / Vader strap match at Superbrawl 3.
The prior few months up to that... What's going on with the title? It's not long since they separated out from the NWA. I assume to the general casual fan that was seen more as a mere renaming: That big gold belt that Flair has now just has a different name.
But then Flair jumps, takes it with him. They debut a redesigned belt. All makes sense so far. But then they start bringing the NWA title back into it with the Japanese crossover stuff, as well as the WCW title. Isn't that just needlessly confusing for the fans at that point? And diluting the status of the new WCW belt?
Seems to hit a crescendo at this event - you have Sting and Vader (who I love, incidentally) doing the silly vignettes and fighting for a the new belt, while earlier in the show you have Muta and Windham fighting for the old belt with all the lineage, and then Flair himself fastens it on for him. How am I supposed to not think that title is the big deal, and the new one is the pretend title they made up because of Flair's exit?
Was this the perception at the time or am I being influenced by my condensed viewing schedule and years of seeing the Big Gold Belt as still being a thing that mattered.
Was this a long term plan leading to a unification or just random WCW?
Separate note, am I the only one annoyed by the original programming being so sporadic on the Network? How hard is an episode of Rivalries to put together, really? And yet you get a couple of weeks in a row and then nothing for ages.
Thanks as ever
I’d be just as happy with a bunch of uploads of old NWA TV, but you’re correct, it should be much easier to create and upload original content. They do it for YouTube all the time and they could just upload a bunch of THAT to the Network and be done with it. Shit, who wouldn’t die to have a Game Grumps-style show with Dolph Ziggler and Ryback playing video games and being funny? How you can you tell me that wouldn’t be awesome?
Anyway, yeah, perception at the time was that the NWA stuff was very, very Mickey Mouse (and not just the Disney tapings, waka waka) and was clearly leading to a unification where WCW’s title would win in the end. The NWA of course did not see it that way and thought people still cared about them. The Chono/Muta/Windham run in particular came off as completely low rent and second-rate, even though Windham’s win got a surprisingly big reaction. Really, the NWA title was a much bigger deal in Japan at the time. Of course then once Flair got it things got REALLY silly, with the NWA actually thinking anyone gave a crap about their opinion on who should be champion, leading to the WCW pullout and all the idiocy that followed. I’ll have to dig up the Observer stuff on it soon, because it’s pretty mind-boggling.