The Lasting Footprint Of WCW

Danny HenriquezContributor IJanuary 10, 2009

To think that this Wrestlemania will be eight years since the once world powerhouse of WCW went out of business and fell into the pocket of the McMahons. 

Many present day wrestling fans, most being younger kids to high school aged probably do not remember or even lived through the Monday Nitros, Wrestling on TNT, the expression "where the big boys play."

The lasting impression WCW left behind is one that is still alive and kicking today.  WCW itself only really existed for 8-10 years.  Before that "World Championship Wrestling" was the name of the show that the NWA ran. 

The NWA having a LONG history, held up a legacy that can arguably be considered one of American history, far beyond the scope of Professional Wrestling. 

I was drinking some beers and watching the newest Monday Night Raw on my DVR, and was realizing the little things that still remind me of the WCW days, the channel flipping between the USA network and TNT, the WCW video games for Nintendo 64, or even Jimmi Hendrix " Voodoo Chile."

In 2009, the "carbon footprint" of WCW is still seen on everyday WWE television.  I decided to write about it, because even though I will always be diehard to the Stanford, Conn., product, The audience who lived it will always be reminded of WCW when they see these things:

High Flying Cruiserweights

We all love seeing Even Bourne and his patent Shooting star press, or John Morrison with his high flying kicks, and even Kendrick with his "the Kendrick" or the original name of the "Sliced Bread No. 2".  All of these would have not existed if not for Eric Bischoff's vision. 

Bischoff has said in many interviews that "wrestling's future is in the hands of the smaller guys."  If you look at WWF wrestling before WCW's golden age, you would see huge, steroid-induced behemoths punching and kicking and making the speed of the match so slow.

Guys like Hercules, The Warlord, Dino Bravo and Psycho Sid had awesome physiques and good entrances, but when it came down to actual wrestling, these type of guys sucked.

On WCW Nitro, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Jimmy Wang Yang, and Chris Jericho were all introduced as cruiserweights, and went on to get more size throughout the years and become the leading draws in present day wrestling.

If not for Bischoff's influx of Luchadors, and Lightweight wrestlers, We'd still be forced to watch "test of strengths" on every week's Raw....AKA snore fest.


Live Wrestling/12 PPVs a year

It is true that Monday night RAW, when it first started was shown live on the USA network in 1993.  But after cost-cutting and bringing RAW to arena's around the country, WWE stopped showing RAW live. 

That was until Eric Bischoff made it a point to make Nitro a live wrestling show every week.  This added a sense of unpredictability to the show, which made for extra excitement, not knowing what was going to happen next. 

Now, for the most part, RAW has been live almost every week since 2000.  The PPV business was also expanded, bringing four major WWE PPVs to a total of one per month, with the inventions of In Your House.  It was because of WCW that we all relish a good wrestling card for 39.99 a month.


Weeeellllll- Well Its the BIG SHOW!!!!

Obviously Paul Wright was the the biggest (literally) star to first come to the WWE, but when he first started, he was a fresh rookie in WCW.  Starting at a young age, many current WWE top talent were ones who "made a name" for themselves on television on WCW Nitro: Chris Jericho, Benoit, Guerrero, Mysterio, William Regal, Goldberg, Scott Steiner, and of course, Ric Flair.

Whether it was old school NWA or 90s WCW, so many stars who became household names in the WWE made the wrestling debuts in WCW.  The legacy of WCW's locker room will always decorate WWE Title Histories.


The World's Heavyweight Title

Seeing John Cena sport the "WCW" belt and not that gimmicky spinner belt, I feel makes him looks more like a true Champion. 

I forgot what member of the Detroit Pistons it was that bought a "WCW" belt for every member of the NBA championship team to wear during their season opener.

Everyone from Ric Flair, NWO Hogan (when he spray painted it), Kevin Nash, HHH, Benoit and now Cena have worn the "world's HW title" and just it being around there waist, it was recognizable that they were champion. 

Its hard with the WWF/E title, because it changes so much throughout the years, the design does not have longevity.  The WCW World Heavyweight title design, the Huge Gold Plate with the diamonds in it, is synonymous, just in it's appearance, of the Top Dog in the world of Pro Wrestling.

Although I hated the WCW when they were crushing the WWE in the 90s, We all have to give props to where it is due.  WCW changed the face of wrestling forever, and even the next generation of performers will know the legacy of WCW.