This is part one of three about civil war in professional wrestling. Today WWE dominates wrestling in the United States. It is the biggest promotion and the highest point in a wrestler’s career. Despite reports of the company losing significant amounts of money in the stock market, fewer ratings and less than awesome storylines WWE still manages to sell out shows everywhere they go. It wasn’t always like this for WWE, there was a time when the company had to share the spotlight with a company equal to their size. Yes, that’s right, time to talk about that time period in wrestling history that everyone has heard about over and over: The Monday Night War.
Sure fans are tired of hearing about this, because WWE keeps rubbing it in their faces with documentaries of recycled footage and subliminal messaging. Like Sting would have actually lost to Triple H in his debut match in WWE with nWo and DX at ringside. That match was Vince McMahon’s way of rubbing it in everyone’s face that he won the Monday Night War. Won’t spend too much time discussing what happened during the Monday Night War, it’s been shoved in our faces enough.
Yes, there are other time periods in wrestling history that deserves countless of documentaries made about it: The Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Connection, Undertaker vs. Mick Foley Hell in a Cell at the 1998 King of the Ring, Hulk Hogan joining the nWo, Mick Foley winning the world title, you get the picture. Why aren’t there tens of documentaries about these historic events?
This next statement may not agree with everyone but it’s a fact. The Monday Night War is the greatest moment in wrestling history. It revolutionized wrestling in more ways than one. The cruiserweights got to shine. The women were given a real chance to wrestle and get over with the fans. Also a few of the above mentioned events wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the war. The reason why WWE is so fixated on this particular time period is because it will never happened again. WWE is so huge compared to the other companies that the odds of another ratings war breaking out like it did in the 90s are highly unlikely. TNA tried it but I’ll leave that for another discussion.
If it wasn’t for the Monday Night War there wouldn’t be a Divas division. Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Beniot would never have won their world championships if it hadn’t been for the war. In fact there wouldn’t even be a WWE if the war never started, because the viewership of the show was declining after the 80s and the Attitude Era saved it.
WCW would have folded on its own because the creativity sucked. The women weren’t given the chance to wrestle and shine through; hell they made them cheerleaders. The company put men in the ring, who couldn’t wrestle and the company just didn’t know how to leave well enough alone. The nWo was cool at first but once everyone started making their own nWo, it wasn’t cool anymore. How could anyone forget the finger poke of doom? WCW wasn’t all bad but with the route they were taking, there’s no denying the inevitable downward spiral.
Both companies were huge in the 90s, they were equal to each other in some ways. They both had their own qualities about them that made them special. Raw had a real women's division and the Attitude Era. WCW focused more on the realism of the sport, yeah there were theatrics but fans felt that the match was more athletic than choregraphed. WCW was must see tv by not waiting until pay-per-views to give the fans a huge show and WCW luanched the cruiserweight division.
Can you really say that there’s another company, in the present that’s as big as WWE, here in the states? No matter how much it annoys fans, the war between these two companies will always be talked about, because it can’t happen again. Vince McMahon squashes any competition he detects is a threat to his company. There will never be another time where the fans truly mattered to the company and had their own spotlight. The Monday Night War is history and like the American Revolution, it’s going to be talked about.