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When two tribes DON'T go to war

Long time, first time... blah blah

Just finished Road Warrior Animal's book (a nice read) and one thing he said really interested me.  He's quite convinced that if Bischoff hadn't declared war and gone head to head on Monday nights, both WCW and WWE would be alive and well today.  I'd actually never even thought about it that way.  I know it's impossible to really know, but if WCW had continued to air it's programming on a different day of the week, what do you think the wrestling business would actually look like today?  I feel like I need to send a Terminator back in time to kill a few people so we can find out...

Thanks

​I think he's 100% wrong and in fact the exact opposite would be true.  WCW would be dead anyway because their ultimate demise had nothing to do with ratings and everything to do with Jamie Kellner pulling the plug on wrestling in general.  And WWF would never have received the kick in the ass from Nitro and probably would have been dropped by USA due to ratings freefall around the time the relationship soured and WWF left for TNN.  ​



Comments

  1. If WCW puts WWF out of business before Kellner pulls the plug, they probably carry on over on USA or Spike.

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  2. Best month of WWE TV ever, the peak of Heyman.

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  3. May 2001 was incredible. Especially the last two weeks. Raw had a good Jericho/Austin match, a good Austin/Benoit match, the classic tag and SmackDown had the classic Austin/Benoit plus TLC III. Some insanely good TV matches during that time.

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  4. Don't forget Benoit / Angle in a steel cage.

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  5. If they don't go to war I think WWF still survives. The business end was managed much better and I think they cut back enough to survive. Plus, even without WCW forcing their hand you have to believe WWF would have hit on either Austin or Rock. Maybe not both and maybe not to the extent they did with WCW breathing down their necks but they land on one of them and do okay.

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  6. If you extend to June then that match gets lumped in too.

    If you are strictly talking match quality in a short amount of time May 20(Judgement Day) through June 24(KOTR) there are too many **** to count.

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  7. Plus without WCW going after their throats you've still got Shane wanting to take influence from ECW and you've got the KLIQ wanting to get away from garbage men and pirates and other junk so I think WWF goes that direction anyways. Probably not as extreme and boundary pushing but those forces push them that way.

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  8. Crikey Mate Down Under AussieFebruary 9, 2015 at 6:27 AM

    Whatever happened to the book review guy with the short temper?

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  9. The villagers chased him off with pitchforks and torches.

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  10. If there's no Nitro, WCW stays on Saturdays at 6:05 for their main show on TBS, not taking up headline prime time space on the preimere network. The "Monday Night Wars" framed Monday Night as wrestling night so when Kellner cancelled it, it was to make THAT space free for things like The Closer (eventually). If WCW had stayed tucked away in non-prime time on a not-very important night of the week, they probably survive.


    I mean, as long as they're not a money loser. How long do you think Hogan is sticking around WCW without Nitro? He probably fades away at the end of 95... like there's no heel comback and no nWo.

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  11. Crikey Mate Down Under AussieFebruary 9, 2015 at 6:29 AM

    Shame, quality crap

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  12. Also, I believe Raws ratings were relatively high before the Wars began, weren't they? Watching some of them June 95 episodes I remember Vince crowing about high ratings.

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  13. Let's take WWF first. I don't think it remotely resembles what it was or is today. Vince was convinced that his bread and butter was kids programming. The only thing that changed that was desperation.


    So, if early 90s style WWF never changes its philosophy and marches into the dawn of the internet age, I would wager they would go even deeper down the rabbit hole of kids programming, and maybe WWF would be alive today, but it's be Saturday and Sunday morning programming and much much smaller in terms of the scale of the operation.


    I really have a hard time believing RAW would have survived.


    I'm not sure how accurate it is, but Bischoff claims he stabilized WCW by stopping house shows and just focusing on TV shot at Disney for a couple years. I don't necessarily see that as bad business continuing forward, but I do think that the plug would have been pulled on WCW much sooner than its eventual sale just because it probably wouldn't have been a particularly profitable venture.


    ECW is an interesting sidebar in this. In some ways, ECW was a product of desperation too. Paul E. had to work with the talent that he had and the hardcore style and more adult themed content was a way to get stuff out of guys who weren't the best wrestlers. A weaker or non existent WCW may make for a stronger independent scene which may make for a more conservative approach with better talent available.


    The moral of the story is competition brought out the best in everyone involved, until WCW killed themselves through terrible mismanagement by Bischoff who has the rare distinction of being an egomaniac while simultaneously having no control over the direction of the his company.


    I operate under the premise that WCW was already dead in the water when Russo got there. Could it have been salvaged? It would have taken an exceptionally talented person to fix that mess. Russo hastened demise, but it was going that way anyway.

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  14. WWF may or may not still be operating, but WCW was done for sure. There was no way that they were going to keep losing money for another almost 20 years, until today, and stay on TBS just for nostalgic reasons.

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  15. I like the concept that WCW going to war with the WWF saved the WWF in the long run. History is weird.

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  16. TJ, but I'm not sure many are checking yesterdays evening thread anymore. Fuji Vice alerted to it, and this is a cleaned up transcription of what Meltzer said last night on Observer Radio:

    "Right now, it's a three way for Wrestlemania with
    Reigns, Bryan and Brock Lesnar. Two weeks ago when they did the thing, I
    was thinking like you're gonna turn this into a three way, right?
    Because Vince reacts to crowds, and when the crowd is like that, he
    reacts, despite what some people say. And people said he's not making it
    a three way this year... .. But Vince had a meeting, and they're going
    to a three way. But it could change again. And that's the story."

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  17. Eric stopping house shows in 93 was definitely the right business call.

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  18. Ok, cool, so that is legit.


    Only reason I wasn't sure when I posted it was no one else had it up yet, and the link was from a site that I've never really used.

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  19. Yeah, to be honest i didn't believe it either when I read through the page, but then someone gave a timestamp of where he said it in last nights 2 hour Observer Radio and it's there.

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  20. I think that stopped them from losing money, but I don't know that they really made any significant money until the Monday Night Wars. So while Eric might have stayed Turner's hand in terms of killing WCW for a little longer, if they weren't really making much money, at some point, Turner probably pulls the plug before the merger.


    I know Ted wanted programming, but I have to think they'd have found something else after giving WCW enough time.

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  21. I can see Vince taking Hogan back around 1997 and having Hogan face a heel Austin.

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  22. Sample not cleaned up transcript: "Wh- wh- what was it two, two weeks ago when, when, it went, when they, right, right, when they did the thing, I was thinking like, you know what, you know, you're gonna turn this into a three way". Meltzer so eloquent.

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  23. I respect Meltzer and what's he done in his career even if I don't always agree with him....but FUUUUUUUUUUUCK his "but it could change" Feels like a cheap cover his ass line.

    We know. Plans in this company change more often than Cena changes Neon Shirts but enough already with that BS.

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  24. The early gunshots of the Invasion were great fun too. Yeah, it got old fast, but up to and including KOTR it was a real buzz.

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  25. This. FUUUUUUUUCKING. Company.


    Although we probably shouldn't believe any rumors at this point. But the three way is the worst of all choices, cause:


    1) the only way you get there is some kind of draw/non-finish as Fastlane, so basically everyone who is getting Fastlan (for free or not) is getting a non-finish and "ohmygod maggle we'll have to see what happens tomorrow on Raw" which waters down the already VERY weak tea that is payoff on WWE pay-per-view stipulations.


    2) It's not helping Reigns out, who needs a big win in a long match to legitimize himself (I'm not down with the Roman empire, but this is clearly the direction they want to go so JUST GO WITH IT at this point).


    3) It's not helping Bryan, either, who is not going to be able to beat a guy (Roman) who the fans don't feel like belongs there in the first place.


    4) It's just continuing the Daniel Bryan cock-tease. If Roman is still in the match, *HE'S* winning the title. So just get Bryan out of there and let him do something else, and figure out a LEGITIMATE way to get Reigns over (easiest path seems to be a double-turn and make Roman a heel with Heyman as his mouthpiece).


    5) It waters down the Rumble stipulation, which is very very weak after the last few years of guys not getting their shot/guys not winning after getting their title shot/guys challenging for the #2 belt which never made any sense to begin with.


    Either get Roman out of the match altogether and build up Bryan to win the belt and give the fans their run with Bryan on top (which doesn't address all these problems, but I'm willing to overlook that) or go with Reigns on top (prefereably as a heel, since he's gonna spend the two months following Mania in front of smark crowds anyway so get some milage out of it).


    Las year they could get away with the triple threat cause the story of Bryan beating Evolution and overcoming the authority worked. I just don't see it working this year.

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  26. All it means is that they are considering avoiding what happened last year and make a mistake with Reigns by himself against Lesnar.

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  27. Well, it'll be interesting. I'm not the biggest fan of another triple threat match, but given the corner they backed themselves into, it's probably the best move. And it'll add some intrigue into who wins at Mania now.


    I pitched a version of this a while ago, but conceding that WWE will never end the Authority, the move I'd make is have them help Roman Reigns win at Mania turning him heel and justifying it as they had to stop Lesnar from leaving with the title and they had to stop Bryan because he's not championship material.


    Then you have Extreme Rules and Payback. I'd run Heel Reigns vs. Face Bryan two PPVs in a row (maybe a gimmick match the second match), with Bryan coming up just short.


    All the while, you have Rollins getting more and more pissed that the Authority passed him over and went with Reigns. Hunter continually tells Rollins to wait and he'll get his chance eventually.


    Then Rollins breaks, after Reigns wins a war at Payback, Rollins cashes in, wins the belt, full blown face turn.

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  28. Look in the meltdown section of the forums. Easily Mr. Satan's finest moment.

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  29. I always presumed Jericho/Austin since Jericho got the pinfall on Austin in the title change.

    Of course, the finish sure seemed to be the first seed of dissention among the Powertrip, so we were probably looking at the bad guys sweeping the double main event anyway to set up Summerslam and sending our heroes plummeting back down the card - which is exactly what happened anyway.

    But there was so much goodness before that. I particularly loved the petition angle, "My name is Stone Cold Steve Austin and I do not deserve this," and Spike ripping it up in his face after Austin called Molly a bimbo.

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  30. WCW was on the road to respectability in 1994. Outside of the Hogan deal by the end of 94, there were no massive contracts (and they actually made money that year? Or was that the end of 1995?). If there's no Nitro, there's no huge deals for Hall/Nash/Hart/el al, and they're relatively cheap, original programming.

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  31. It comes down to breaking bad's half measures speech. You want to push Roman and make him your guy? Then DO IT.

    Doing a schmozz finish at Fast Lane and doing a three way is just a half measure as they've been doing with him for much of his push.

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  32. Austin did a run building to that match on Raw and then Smackdown where he went about 30 minutes with both guys one on one, fucking awesome. I want to say he wrestled Benoit in Canada? Is that right?

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  33. Road Warrior Animal comes off as a bitter prick almost all of the time I hear him. He thinks he was the best and no one else can be better than him. His Face Off with Demolition for RF Video is ruined by him saying how no one can work (Like he was any good himself, he just had a great gimmick) and he was the best. Fuck that guy.

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  34. Which is cool. It's news in itself considering how resolutely stubborn we sometims consider them to be.

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  35. He wasn't even better than Hawk as Hawk was the guy that carried the team.

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  36. I agree if the end result if babyface Roman winning at Mania and THE ROMAN EMPIRE BEGINS MAGGLE!!!


    But they can tell a good story if the triple threat leads to a Roman heel turn while setting up Bryan as the top guy to chase him in the aftermath.


    If the schmozz at Fast Lane involves Lesnar showing up and just wrecking both guys, I can deal with that.

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  37. Exactly. If they're gonna do the schmozz, they might as well screw him out of the shot (Rollins interferes) and go with Bryan and spend the year ACTUALLY PUSHING ROMAN as the next big thing.

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  38. Sorry for pre-empting the news in the daily update :(

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  39. I.... don't know about that.


    In the later incarnations of the team it was Animal who was the better worker.

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  40. You no-good rotten glory hound!

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  41. When they mattered Hawk was the strong link.

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  42. By watching TV it seems like they are not sure of what they are even doing for Mania yet so Meltzer's report makes sense to me. You can report what you have been told and the TV product is congruent with this report.

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  43. I asked this once before, and it was definitely (heel) Austin v. (face) HHH penciled in for Summerslam before the quad injury.

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  44. When no one cared about them.

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  45. I already scheduled it for 9am before reading this thread. No problems.

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  46. Basically. Hawk may have been the weak link in 97 but he was a weak link on a broken chain.

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  47. NO. Shame him.

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  48. I totally believe they have no clue what the card is yet. Take Wyatt for instance. As of yet, no one has confirmed Taker is working Mania. If it turns out he's not, Wyatt's going to need to be completely reworked on the fly.


    I also think Cena/Rusev at Fast Lane is a bit of a hedging of bets in case they need to make a more serious adjustment to the Mania card involving Cena. They could milk that out for a Mania match or pull the plug to get Cena more involved at the top since that's Vince's safety blanket.

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  49. Plus I basically stole this from Fuji Vice in the other thread. I'm such a shit!

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  50. You are the repo man of comments.

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  51. Exactly. Did anyone really care about the LoD in the mid-90's? They were both washed up and it took Hawk becoming a trainwreck due to substance abuse problems for Animal to carry the team.

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  52. I did the stellar transcription work though. I should become a professional stellar transcriber.

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  53. STELLAAAAAAAAR

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  54. Austin vs. Jericho and HHH vs. Benoit was the plan. I was at that PPV. Good times.

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  55. They should just pull the plug on the Reigns push until he's ready. Slot him against Rollins at Mania for the briefcase or something instead.

    Vince is going to end up damaging Roman Reigns to the point that he'll be as radioactive as Lex Luger when it comes to world titles.

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  56. I would say they cared about them at first, but then quickly wore out their welcome after a couple of months.

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  57. hate to disagree with Keith, but the "Keller decided to get out of wrestling" argument doesn't work since WCW couldn't have been pulled off the air if they're ratings were still up and making advertising money

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  58. Twice
    Once on Raw in Calgary (screwjob sharpshooter ending with Stu Hart there)
    And the classic Smackdown match in Edmonton (rated ***** by Scott)
    Good times

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  59. Back in the territory days Vince was already dead-set on putting all of his competitors out of business. Why would he suddenly treat WCW any differently?

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  60. General opinion that this is still the best Raw match of all time? I still think it holds up as top 3 at the very least.

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  61. What does it say that I can recite from memory the sequence of matches, week by week, for stuff that happened 14 years ago? (You guys can correct me if I'm wrong on any of this, or if my order is wrong)
    Raw - Benoit/Jericho vs. Austin/HHH (quad tear match)
    Smackdown - TLC 3
    Raw - Benoit vs. Austin (Calgary, screwjob, Stu Hart there)
    Smackdown - Benoit vs. Austin (Edmonton, *****)
    Raw - Jericho vs. Austin
    Smackdown - Benoit/Jericho vs. Austin/Mcmahon
    Raw - Benoit vs. Angle (Steel cage)
    Can anyone tell me what the main event matches were on every Raw and Smackdown 2 months ago?

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  62. That match is great. Doesn't get a lot of talk anymore that I hear, but in my own opinion that is ***** all the way

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  63. Easily, remember that time when the odds were totally stacked against Cena (with big show and Kane involved) and he managed to overcome them?

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  64. it really doesn't seem that far fetched to speculate that ECW might have been a lot bigger under those circumstances. I mean, obviously a lot of people were craving for a more "adult" product at that point. but by the time ECW did it's first ppv, the WWF had already taken ECW as a blueprint to mold their new direction after.

    but if that never happens, ECW might have gotten a lot more people watching instead.

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  65. I think they idea of what "high ratings" meant for wrestling programs was a lot different at that point.

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  66. oh god, that sounds so horrible.

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  67. the question would be: with Vince being the one who decides would he feel the need to change? (in reality it obviously took the WWF being in a disastrous financial state for him to greenlight the new direction)

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  68. I seriously doubt that. I remember Foley mentioning on of the docs about the Wars that it was that "our backs are against the wall, so try EVERYTHING"-mentality that lead to the making of many of the Attitude Era's biggest stars.

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  69. That may be true. But his son Shane wants to go the ECW direction. Shawn Michaels a guy who could tell Vince to fuck himself and go without consequence(so he has sway with vince) plus no direct competition from WCW means Hall and Nash probably stick around and they probably push that direction too. I think it's plausible WWF goes towards that direction--but again, not as sudden or extreme as they went.

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  70. while I think complaining about the quality of the writing of the current shows is justified, a run like back then is something that has hardly ever happened before or afterwards (even during the times when the writing seemed a lot better).

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  71. The same reason he hasn't put TNA out of business? The 1995 US wrestling landscape was a lot different than 1984. In '84, Vince was trying to do something that no one had ever successfully done and was trying to reinvent the business. The only way he believed he could accomplish his goals was by putting everyone out of business.


    By '95, he had been so long the #1 wrestling company and WCW/NWA a distant #2, there was little motivation. He set out what he wanted to do. It was senseless for him to risk going to war with WCW. The WWF was already perceived as the wrestling standard. It was WCW who needed to take the war to the WWF.


    I had always wondered though, what if Nitro launched on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday? I think part of WCW's big boost was that it was on prime time during the week on a major network, not just that they were going head to head with Raw and more than holding their own.

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  72. Always hard to compare tag/multi-man matches to singles matches. But yeah, it's way up there for me, too. Punk/Cena from Raw two years ago is probably my favorite Raw singles match ever.

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  73. to me the best Raw match is Cena vs. Punk. legit

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  74. I think WCW losing $60 million in 2000 was more of a catalyst for Kellner cancelling the shows rather than just because he thought wrestling was low rent. If 2000 WCW made 1998 WCW level profits, in Jamie Kellner's eyes, I'm pretty sure things would have been fine just fine.

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  75. Yup. They were the perfect team for the territory days. Wrestle in loads of squash matches, go from place to place so you always look unique. Avoid going to New York for as long as you could so you're always among the biggest guys in the region.


    Having competitive matches each week on national TV was not for them. Totally killed their gimmick's aura.

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  76. I believe 95 was the first year the company under Turner posted any type of profit.

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  77. Imagin we would have had the same PG WWE we had in 1995 only with John Cena instead of Diesel.. oh wait...;-)

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  78. Great matches. I still like the Angle/Benoit cage match from 2001, punk/cena, the tag match, and Bret/Hakushi from july 95. I'm sure there are other great ones I'm forgetting

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  79. I love that Angle/Benoit cage match, but mostly for Austin just shitting on both of them on commentary the whole time. Absolutely hysterical.

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  80. Hell without the MNW wrestling would most likely have been relegated back to territory independent promotion status and it would've been years before we saw another nationally televised wrestling program. Vince would've never gotten the kick in the ass he needed to compete and the only reason WCW became interesting in the first place was because Bischoff went to war.


    That said at some point yes WCW should've started focusing on WCW and looking toward the future. I don't think Jamie Kellner would've pulled the plug on WCW if it made 60 mil a year. I'd have pulled the plug on WCW too at that point as a simple business decision.

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  81. With Heyman kissing Austin's ass the entire time. Tremendously fun stuff.

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  82. Hawk was also a terrific interview. I think the dude could have been a singles star--Animal, probably not so much, though Animal did have almost superhuman strength.

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  83. Even they psychology of it - Benoit looking down at Austin slamming the chair into the cage, then deciding to just do the flying headbutt from the top. And Angle's missed moonsault from the top. Insane stuff and looking at what it did to each of them it's sad to watch again, but at the time it was just excellent

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  84. in Bischoff's book he says they made a couple bucks (literally) in 94.

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