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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Monday Night Wars
May 19, 2005 by Derrick "The Apoc" Cannon


Over the years there have been many types of sports, as well as many forms of entertainment. When you combine the two there is one thing that you get and that is Pro Wrestling. True, it is scripted like most shows, however the result of the violence can be very real which attributes to the sports side of the business.

I have been watching wrestling - WWF/WWE in particular - longer than I can remember. In fact the day I was born supposedly my Dad and sister were watching what was then known as the WWF. One thing that I will always remember about wrestling are the years 1997 and 1998, as this is when the biggest occurrence in wrestling history happened - also known as the wrestling boom or the Monday Night Wars. This was because of the ongoing rivalry between Vince McMahon's WWF as well as an Atlanta-based company called World Championship Wrestling or WCW for short.

In 1996 two men left the WWF to join WCW. These men were Kevin Nash (at the time known as Diesel) and Scott Hall (Razor Ramon).. They joined the WCW with the gimmick of being outsiders or invaders. They claimed that another man would soon join them. On July 13, 1996 Hulk Hogan would join the group, claiming to be sick and tired of how he had been treated by the fans since joining WCW in June of 1994. He then named the group he had joined the nWo or the New World Order.

This group would change the fate of both companies. Many more would join the nWo in the coming months, and others such as Ted DiBiase and Sean Waltman would come straight out of the WWF. Another important factor of the Monday Night Wars was WCW's cruiserweight division. Cruiserweights are the guys smaller than 225 pounds. Guys like Rey Mysterio Jr, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Jericho, as well as several Mexican wrestlers known as luchadores would take the division to the next level. The moves were very creative, such as the hurricanrana, plancha's and triple moonsaults, and would become the norm in the time period. There were even cruiserweights who preferred to use a ground based strategy such as Dean Malenko and the Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iuakea. The division may have been the other reason that made WCW the top company in the business. For 96 weeks WCW would win the ratings war. Then something happened as many people started to tune back to WWF.

This could have been for one of three reasons. One was the ongoing Vince McMahon and Steve Austin rivalry, a rebellious faction known as DX, or simply that WCW was starting to run out of ideas and had basically made the nWo faction superior over the WCW stars. Many feel it was the latter.

After the domination shown by WCW, the WWF started to once again be the top promotion. By 1999 WCW was going down hill and fast. The nWo angle was in its final stages and it seemed all but a matter of time before the WWF won the war. But no one could have expected what would go down on March 26 2001. Vince McMahon had officially bought the company and put the final nail in the WCW coffin. However the WCW was still alive in the storylines but many feel the invasion was botched. ECW too went defunct.

The two were combined in the summer of 2001; however that November both would be dead for good. The reason was a "winner takes all" match that the WWE had won. Hopefully you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it.

by Derrick "The Apoc" Cannon ..


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