The Icon That Can Still Go
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern New Jersey
Re: WWE has always been the home team federation....even in 1995
A lot of has to do with where in the US you grew up. Obviously for me, growing up in Northern New Jersey, I grew up on the WWF. I started watching in 1990, when I was 7 and was hooked. This was before Raw, though. So, I got hooked on the Saturday and Sunday morning shows, WWF Superstars and WWF Wrestling Challenge, which were just 1 hour shows that featured a WWF wrestler going up against a local jobber with a genernic name like Jack Smith. Pure squash matches that only lasted a few minutes each at max.
The only way for me to even see WCW programming before the Monday Night Wars would have been watching a Clash of the Champions on TBS, and in the very early 90s, my family didn't even have cable. Didn't get it until 1994 or 1995, IIRC. Also, Vince had all of the local NY/NJ arenas locked into exclusive deals where the WWF was the only wrestling promotion allowed to run shows in MSG, the Meadowlands, and the Nassau Coliseum. So, the WWF was literally the only wrestling I could watch on TV or see live.
As another poster mentioned earlier, the first way I was exposed to WCW was seeing some of their video tapes for rental at my local video store. That, and seeing some WCW figures at my local toy store in the early 90s. But even my local video and toy stores were dominated with WWF tapes and figures, with only a few WCW items being available in comparison. Looking back on it, Vince had an absolute stranglehold on wrestling in the NYC area. More than I think most people know.
By the time I did get cable in 1994/1995, I watched Raw every Monday. When WCW finally started Nitro in late 1995, I tried it a few times, but because the only wrestling I knew and was used to was the WWF, I just couldn't get into WCW. I was also only 11-12 years old at the time, and the WWF was all I knew. If I was a few years older when Nitro first started, I definitely would have watched Nitro quite a bit.
Finally, when the Outsiders invaded WCW, I started watching Nitro, and flipped back and forth between Raw and Nitro from then on. Even when during this time, I was still more of a WWF guy because it was what I grew up on and what I knew. But I enjoyed both shows thoroughly. Quite frankly, Nitro emergence forced the WWF to final step up their game and suddenly we had two very good shows.
Now, as an older fan, I wish I was somehow able to watch WCW when I was a kid, along with the WWF. Sting, Flair, Rude, Steiners were all pretty awesome during that time period. But with Vince's stranglehold on the NY market, it was pretty difficult.