Retro Ramblings – The Wrestling Wars, Then and Now

Wednesday Night War

This past Wednesday night potentially kicked off a new boom period in professional wrestling, as the new AEW Dynamite show launched on the USA network.  Not to be outdone, WWE went head-to-head with their new competition by presenting their NXT program on the USA network. It’s been 24 years since we last saw WWE have a challenger to its throne.

On September 4th, 1995, WCW launched Monday Nitro on TNT opposite Vince McMahon’s Monday Night Raw.  It was a tremendous shot across the bow of the Titan ship. No one really knew what to expect from the new Nitro show, but Eric Bischoff and company loaded up and blew the then WWF out of the water from the very first night.  

In an era when television wrestling programs usually consisted of matches featuring stars battling guys with no chance of victory, WCW went against the grain and presented a show featuring nothing but top-notch talent against other top-notch talents.  It was an incredible breath of fresh air.

Not only did they present top matches, but the debut show also featured a few huge surprises.  Lex Luger secretly jumped from the WWF to WCW and showed up unannounced to shock the crowd.  Hulk Hogan, the WWF’s biggest star in its history up to that point, battled his old nemesis Big Boss Man, albeit in his previous alter-ego of Big Bubba Rogers.  WCW’s greatest rivalry entered another chapter as WCW kingpin Ric Flair battled Sting. And ‘Flyin’ Brian Pillman squared off with one of his greatest opponents in Jushin “Thunder” Liger.

It was a wrestling show unlike any we had seen in years at that point.  The crowd was electric, the action was intense, and it carried the feeling of something that was very important.  As it turned out, it was. That show and subsequent shows formed what is referred to as “The Monday Night Wars”. WCW and the WWF would battle it out on Monday nights for the next 6 years, resulting in the greatest boom period pro wrestling has ever known.

The Monday Night Wars helped elevate new talent, increase the viewership ten-fold over previous years, and as a direct result, raised the income for everyone involved.  It helped give us the stars of the ‘90s that we all so fondly remember. Stars like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Triple H, Mick Foley, Bill Goldberg, the nWo, Degeneration-X, and The Rock.

So this past Wednesday night turned out to be like a case of deja vu.  I’ve been here before.  I liked this before.  And maybe I want to be here again.  It’s been a long time since I was a consistent watcher of professional wrestling.  But this new battle may be just the thing I’ve been waiting to come along to suck me back in again.

It’s way too early to tell if this new wrestling war playing out on Wednesday nights can take wrestling back to those incredible heights or even surpass them.  But one thing is for sure…that competition is great for the fans, and it’s going to be one heck of a ride watching all the twists and turns of the new Wednesday Night War.  

Things I Think That I Think This Week

I think… if you missed all the action from this past Wednesday’s wrestling action, you should check out Kevin’s feature recapping all the action from both shows in the Wednesday Night War Room.

I think… Adam did a wonderful job of filling in for me on last week’s episode of the TRN Podcast. Now, to be fair, there is only one me.  But he came as close as I think anyone could have in that position. But fear not loyal fans, The Boss is back on the next episode. 

I think…scratch that, I know, that it was great to talk to my old friend Ricky Morton of the Rock & Roll Express a few days ago.  It’s been a long while since he and I connected, and you might possibly be hearing from the WWE Hall of Famer on an upcoming episode of the TRN Podcast!

I think… that it’s still too hot in my area to get into a really good Fall mood.  I’m needing it to cool off to an acceptable level so I can start wearing my swank Ugly Halloween Sweater.  

I think… if you’re paying regular price for an Ugly Halloween Sweater of your own, then you’re doing it wrong.  Use our link to save 15% off your ugly sweater or Halloween costume order at HalloweenCostumes.com.  

I think… that since the Halloween season is upon us, you might enjoy the piece I did on my 10 favorite things to find in my treat bag at the end of the night on Halloween when I was younger.  There’s probably some stuff in there you probably enjoyed, and maybe some things you have totally forgotten about.

I think… you need to clear your schedule so you can be a part of the Retro-Daze Halloween Special this year.  These things are always tremendous fun, and you should join the live watch party that night with the rest of us.  There is a really fun chat feature where you can crack jokes and enjoy the show with everyone else. And you know what goes great with it?  Some popcorn cooked the old-fashioned way on the stove. Pick you up some Jiffy Pop and make it before you settle in to watch.

I think… our friend Kim Faul done a great job with her first piece of writing for BloodyDisgusting.com.  I’ve approached Kim in the past about possibly doing something for TRN. Knowing that she isn’t typically “a writer”, but at the same time seeing her wit shine through on her Twitter posts, I knew she was a natural.  Turns out I was right. You should check it out for a little spooky fun.

I think… while I’m on the topic of spooky fun, I need to let you know that it doesn’t get much better than Brandon’s feature on The Top 10 Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror Tales right here on TRN.  You most certainly need to give it a look this Halloween season.

I think… I was wrong about Pumpkin Spice Spam.  When I initially saw the news that it was indeed a real thing for this season, I was a little bit disgusted.  But after reading Matt’s take on it at DinosaurDracula.com, I see where it may have its merits.

I think… if you’ve not checked out our 25 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Favorite ’80s Cartoons feature yet, then you should.  And if you have, you should read it again.

And finally, I think… if you’ve never watched the Paul Lynde Halloween Special from 1976, you’re missing out on one of the great treasures of Halloween television.  You most definitely need to remedy the situation if you haven’t already, especially since Jason and I are going to be discussing it at length in the very near future on the TRN Podcast.  Give it a watch so you can keep up with all the madness we will be going over soon.

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About Mickey Yarber 100 Articles
Sometimes referred to as The Retro Rambler...I was born in the '70s, grew up in the '80s, and came of age in the '90s. I love to share all the fun stuff from those years via articles and videos, and occasionally make un-needed appearances on various podcasts. I can also catch quarters off my elbow. Email to book me for your next corporate event.