How time ever flies! Does it really seem like it's been 10 years since Austin and Goldberg were the flagships of WWF/WCW? Or 10 years since Bret Hart was stuck in WCW mediocrity? I think a lot of you would agree: times have certainly changed in pro wrestling.
I thought it would be neat to compare the current WWE Champions as of July 20th, 2008 against the WWF/WCW Champions of July 20th, 1998.
What I'll be doing is comparing '08 WWE Raw against '98 WWF Raw, and '08 WWE Smackdown against '98 WCW. Also, since there's no longer a TV Title, I've decided to compare the '98 WCW TV Title holder against the '08 ECW Champ.
Note: I've highlighted my pick for which champion is superior.
WWE Tag Champions
'08 World Tag Team Champs: DiBiase/Rhodes
'98 WWF Tag Team Champs: Kane/Mankind
DiBiase/Rhodes have potential, but Kane/Mankind were just too established by '98 and made for a bizarre, yet entertaining team. Paul Bearer deserves credit, also.
SD/WCW Tag Champions
'08 WWE Tag Team Champs: Miz/Morrison
'98 WCW Tag Team Champs: Scott Hall/The Giant
No question, in my opinion. Some people may disagree, but I enjoy Miz/Morrison. WCWhad basically matched Hall/Giant together while they were both feuding with Sting and Kevin Nash (remember the nWo Black and White vs Wolfpack? yuck)
ECW World Champ/WCW TV Champ
'08 ECW World Champ: Mark Henry
'98 WCW TV Champ: Booker T
Booker T was on top of his game in '98, having beaten Chris Benoit in the Best of Seven series earlier that year. Booker would go on to lose the belt to Jericho one month. Mark Henry has just been....there.
United States Champions
'08 WWE US Champ: Matt Hardy
'98 WCW US Champ: Bret Hart
This could've gone either way, but Bret was more deserving than just a US title run. He played the heel role great, but Hardy will hopefully get an opportunity to put on wrestling clinics.
'08 WWE IC Champ: Kofi Kingston
'98 WWF IC Champion: The Rock
No question, whatsoever. The Rock was on his way to carrying the company, and would go on to lose the title to Triple H a month later. Kofi's fun to watch, but has much development to go through.
World Heavyweight Champion
'08 World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H
'98 WCW Heavyweight Champion: Goldberg
Goldberg may of been more popular to a mass audience in '98 than present-day Triple H, but Hunter's transitioning into the flagship of Smackdown. I could have gone either way here, but I like Hunter.
'08 WWE Champion: CM Punk
'98 WWF Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin
I like CM Punk, don't get me wrong. He's got great talent and some charisma (needs work), but Austin was the hottest thing in wrestling in '98. Hell, Austin could walk out on Raw this Monday night and get a louder pop than Punk (not a knock on Punk). Austin gets the edge.
'08 WWE Raw/SD: 3
'98 WWF/WCW: 4
The past champs narrowly beat the present champs. I honestly thought it would've been a blowout!
Thanks for reading