Fifteen years have passed since the professional wrestling world was thrown upside down. Fifteen years have passed since the dreams of many fell flat onto their face. Fifteen years, oh, how time has passed us by.
In March of 2001, we saw the death of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and the proverbial victory by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE; then it was called the WWF).
While many have since believed it was due to WCW’s failure to deliver a quality product, that was anything but the case. As WCW’s Monday night program Nitro was getting 2.1’s and higher. Which compared to today’s WWE Monday ratings are just about a million and a half under where they are today. And that’s with no competition on Monday nights.
Aside from the numbers, the death of WCW could be blamed on numerous things, poor booking, poor talent, misused talent and countless other things. But the truth is that the merger of AOL and Time Warner the year before did quite the damage, as Ted Turner, who once lead Time Warner was no longer and charge. And well, he was the guy who liked wrestling.
A year later the death of WCW happened, and it was because of the ratings, but a change in philosophy by their parent company.
You can say what you will about that, but we’ve all seen our favorite television programs get cancelled for whatever reason. The lucky one’s of those get picked up by another network. This one, sadly never did. Unless you consider a few of the performers and even then call letters for this once great company showing up on WWE programming.
With that said, where does it stack up in my mind? Was it WCW’s fault or was it AOL Time Warner? How have I moved on since the damage?
Well, to put it bluntly it was devastating. Not nearly like losing a loved one, or 9/11 but it still was a shock to the system. At the time I was a seventeen year old in his senior year in High School. One of the thoughts in the back of my head, on what to do next after high school, was to move away from home and become a professional wrestler.
A few months before the death of WCW, was the death of ECW. With the closing of two of the top three professional wrestling companies, a shock of course, but also the obvious knowledge that maybe there wouldn’t be enough money in a business that seemed to be failing.
So I gave up my dream.
Granted it was only a dream, dreams aren’t meant to become reality. They usually are ruined when that happens.
Now 15 years later, I look back at the time spent watching WCW programming from weekly television programming to pay-per-views, to even the countless hours spent watching VHS tapes prior to ever getting cable.
And there’s one thing that I remember and that’s wow, there were some great years. To think those were my early teenage years, I was a lucky guy to be able to live in a time where we saw Hulk Hogan, La Parka, Raven, Scott Hall, Chris Benoit and all those others on the same channel.
Since then wrestling has come and gone, I’ve left it, I’ve gotten back into it. And now, I’m kind of still into, hitting up six live wrestling shows just this year alone, and well, I compare my WCW days to my 2CW days.
I lost them both.
But they were some of the two single greatest times I spent enjoying wrestling.
Oddly enough, they have a lot of parallels. A lot of things are similar to both companies, outside of the obvious of being a wrestling company with “C” and “W” in their names.
I lost them both at seventeen.
When WCW closed it’s doors I was on seventeen years old. And when 2CW closed it’s doors I had only attended seventeen shows.
But hey.. at least we have the memories right?