Re: When did the WWF/E World Title surpass the NWA/WCW World Title in prestige?
I grew up as a fan of NWA/WCW and Sting was the first wrestler i ever marked for back in the very late 80's so for me as a very young kid that was THE main World title although i was aware of the WWE title as i was bought WWE videos as well. If i look at it all properly now though i'd say the WWE title probably became THE title sometime around 1985 or 1986 when WWE was becoming HUGE due to the Rock And Wrestling Era which saw people like Cyndi Lauper become involved in storylines.
By the time 1987 had come along and the build up to Hogan/Andre had began there was effectively no comparison because WWE had become a global powerhouse and WWE had crossed over into mainstream in a HUGE way and Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant had become celebrities rather than wrestlers. I would say though i believe in 1989 because WWE had become a bit stagnant the NWA title had overtaken the WWE title again and Ric Flair had arguably the greatest year any single wrestler has ever had with feuds and matches with Terry Funk and Ricky Steamboat being the highlights.
Neither WWE or NWA/WCW had great years in 1990 but once Ric Flair took the NWA title to WWE that was the end of the NWA/WCW title being on the same level as the WWE title in my eyes and as hard as Sting, Ric Flair once he returned and Vader all tried the NWA/WCW title never had the same prestige. It was even further devalued once Hulk Hogan beat Ric Flair at Bash At The Beach in 1994 because Hulk Hogan then struck a deal with WCW to bring all his friends in and rather than make the WCW title look great in feuds with Sting, Ric Flair and Randy Savage he fought his friends like Brutus Beefcake, John Tenta, The Big Show, Kamala and Haku/Meng which did nothing for the title and it wasn't until the build up to Sting/Hogan at Starrcade that the title mattered again.