Hug Like a Champ
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: The Garden State
WWF 2001 - The Monopolized Era
Last Thread Ended: 4/12/2009
Nobody could have predicted it.
At the beginning it did not seem like much. In 1993, The World Wrestling Federation started broadcasting a weekly show called Monday Night Raw. It started off on January 11, 1993 and became a hit with the audience that had followed the WWF for years. It started off in the Manhattan Center and then would start touring around arenas across the country. Meanwhile, down south, the National Wrestling Alliance had become World Championship Wrestling, and was still a very lowly company with some business problems during the ‘Bill Watts Era.’
Soon enough, a little-known man named Eric Bischoff took the reigns of WCW and became the Executive Vice-President of the company. This company ran Pay Per Views and also ran a show called WCW WorldWide which was produced at the Disney MGM Studios. One day, while they were taping there, an exuberant Eric Bischoff took the first steps in turning World Championship Wrestling into a juggernaut promotion. He would convince Hulk Hogan to sign to a lucrative contract with WCW. WCW started to make some noise.
Soon after this signing, Randy Savage, another former member of the WWF, signed with WCW. A war was practically declared between the two wrestling promotions, and it was a war that would soon turn ugly. 1994 came and gone and through the year 1995, WCW was still just doing syndicated television, while Monday Night Raw was still running on the USA Network each week. Eric wanted to compete with the WWF to show that WCW was good competition. As it was told, he would be granted his wish.
On September 4, 1995, World Championship Wrestling debuted Monday Nitro, what would become a live weekly television show on Monday nights, from the Mall of America in Minnesota. On its first show, a shocking appearance by a man who was thought to have still been with the WWF, Lex Luger, created shockwaves around the wrestling business. Nobody saw it coming, except for Eric Bischoff and WCW management.
This was the first set of bombshell moves by Bischoff and WCW that would help make them an alternative to those who were tired of the gimmicky style that the World Wrestling Federation presented each and every week. Wrestling fans got their fill of the familiar talent of WCW, as well as the little known talent that they had that could actually get things done in the ring. As 1996 came along, so did the fateful birth of the New World Order which saw the beloved Hulk Hogan turn heel and turn against the fans that followed him for years. This move would provide WCW all it needed to be the catalyst in this war and soon enough the momentum had shifted.
WCW would beat the World Wrestling Federation in what was the ‘ratings war’ for 83 straight weeks. Hostility was stirred during this war as segments bashing the WWF were made by WCW, and in turn, segments were made by the WWF bashing WCW were made as well. The WWF was losing ground, and in 1997 it seemed like the train was derailing for the WWF. But Vince was determined not to let his father’s creation go in the ground and die. He decided to implement ‘Attitude’ into his product, and ‘The Attitude Era’ was born.
But as the product was turning around, what would have been called a severe blow was made to the WWF. Its top star for years, Bret Hart, was presumably to the belief of many screwed by Vince and the WWF and then left for WCW after the infamous Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997. One wondered if this was going to be the one thing that would kill any chance of the WWF turning things around. But they started to do something that WCW didn’t do, and that was create new stars.
Guys like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, The Rock all started to become big in late 1997 as 1998 was approaching. The mainstays were all there still, such as The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels and after WrestleMania XIV, the torch had been passed as Steve Austin became the World Wrestling Federation Champion. Over at WCW, the storyline between Sting and Hulk Hogan had ended with Sting winning the WCW Title, albeit with controversy, and then things started to get very confusing and troubling for WCW.
The stars were the top guys in the company, and those alone. Due to the friendships and cliques made backstage, none of the guys who felt they deserved a shot at the top billing were given fair chances. This caused unrest in the locker room and the morale was falling, as WCW lost its control of the ratings on April 13, 1998 when Raw had finally gotten a victory in the ratings war. This monumental day lead to several trades in the ratings war until late 1998, when the WWF started a run at ratings victories that they would never lose control of.
WCW was becoming a failing company. Horrible booking, odd storylines and misuse of performers was becoming a huge problem. Much like in the early 1990’s stars started jumping ship, but it was vice versa this time. Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko were the first major names to jump ship to the WWF getting off what was the sinking ship known as World Championship Wrestling.
The abysmal WCW ran its course through all of 1999 and all of 2000, until the fateful day of March 23, 2001. The day that the dust settled; the day that everything changed, the day that WCW was sold to Vince McMahon and the WWF. It was the day that Vince McMahon won the war and it was the day that the World Wrestling Federation became victorious and stood alone by themselves as the top dog in the industry.
There are no what-ifs. There are no what could have beens. This is the story of what would follow the ratings war. This is 2001, The World Wrestling Federation… begins The Monopolized Era…
Last edited by JBLoser; 05-12-2009 at 01:19 AM.