The Last WCW Nitro: How Did It Impact Wrestling Today?
What a memorable episode we as wrestling fans experienced on Monday, March 26, 2001. Vince McMahon is the first face we see on... Nitro? Not only that, but he makes a blockbuster announcement—WWE has bought WCW.
The Monday Night Wars are over, and the WCW as we know it is officially done.
The actual show starts with such a poignant promo by Ric Flair. Perfect person to start the program. The speech was heartfelt, even to the point that he admitted blading by stating that he cuts himself five times after wrestling for an hour.
It definitely seemed like there was some legitimate animosity between himself and Vince. At the end of his promo, he books a match against Sting, coining it as his greatest rivalry in WCW history.
Highlights of the show were Booker T defeating Scott Steiner in a title unification match to become World and US Champion, the last time we saw a mask-less Rey Mysterio, the end of a short-lived Cruiserweight Tag Team Title division and Sting closing the book of the authentic WCW by defeating Ric Flair.
In hindsight, how did this affect pro wrestling today?
Well, let's first start off by addressing the level of competition that is severely lacking these days. The No. 2 promotion right now is TNA. No disrespect to the company—this year alone has shown it has much potential—but it will be an unforeseeable amount of time that TNA will be head-to-head with WWE. Moreover, I would put just about all of my stock on the fact that they will never be head-to-head. Hogan made a mistake by putting TNA live on Monday nights in 2010, which led to an embarrassing result.
Secondly, "jumping ship" would mean much more. A WWE Superstar going to TNA usually gets a small amount of buzz, but never at the resonating level compared to when Hogan, Nash, Hall, Luger, Hart or Jarrett jumped to WCW.
Ultimately, the WWE needed that level of competition to remain as strong as they had become. After losing in the Monday Night Wars consecutively for nearly a year and a half, McMahon pulled out all the stops, using all the personnel's creative juices to finally become number one.
Presently, the level of intrigue isn't like how it used to be. Flipping the switch from TNT to USA every Monday was what pro wrestling was all about from 1995 to 2001.
The age-old question still remains, but will never be truly answered—how would the state of pro wrestling be if WCW continued to be active?
Civilly add your thoughts below.
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