I could barely even think straight after watching Nitro tonight. I think I might have just witnessed history, and I loved every single minute of it.
There are times when even the most hardened and jaded of internet writers just have to sit back and marvel at how cool wrestling can be sometimes, and how there are things in wrestling that never happen in the real world.
Before I get to the utterly amazing WWF/WCW stuff, I just want to mention how great it was to see Ric Flair vs. Sting as the final WCW match on Turner TV. I can’t think of a better choice, and they hit almost every one of the classic spots that made all their matches so great. The emotional embrace at the end of the match was touching, and every WCW fan had to be happy with how they decided to end the Turner era.
For years, most wrestling fans dreamed of a time when the WWF and WCW could be used together, in a giant ongoing angle. The tension was always there, but it was barely acknowledged on TV. And even passing mentions of WCW on WWF or vice versa on TV would get oohs and ahs by fans on TV.
Tonight wasn’t just a passing mention. No, the owner of the WWF was all over Nitro, and announced that he had purchased the company. Throughout the night he acted like a megalomaniac, making out with Trish and mocking WCW with William Regal. Who didn’t love it when Tony mentioned that Regal was Lord Steven?
Throughout Raw and during his speech, Vince made sure to bury the guys that would not be part of his new WCW. Hogan, Luger, Buff and Animal were all bashed by McMahon, to make it clear that the old guard would be largely eliminated.
Then, to end the show, Vince made Raw and Nitro one show. Like the Presidential State of the Union address, this was what the wrestling world was watching. In a super long monologue, Vince gloated over the purchase of WCW, but said he would not finish the deal until Ted Turner came to Wrestlemania to seal the deal.
As Vince continued to talk on both Raw and Nitro for in excess of 15 minutes, how he was going to shelf WCW and fire all the big wrestlers, including Booker T and Goldberg who got among the two biggest pops when Vince mentioned them, No Chance In Hell played. Yes, Shane McMahon then came on the screen from Nitro! He declared that he had flown to Florida to sign the papers instead of Vince, and now HE was the owner of WCW.
Amazingly, in one night, Vince McMahon gives WCW, a down trodden promotion on the verge of destruction, new life. Somehow, in a manner only Vince can, he changed the WWF fan’s perception of WCW from “Wheel Chair WrestlingÃ¢â‚¬Â into a young, hungry underdog promotion led by Shane O Mac.
In only one night, Vince McMahon proved why he is considered a marketing genius, at least in the parameters of wrestling. What he should do now is fold the XFL, and concentrate on making two promotions of a very high quality. There never has to be a giant PPV featuring all inter-promotional matches. Just periodic mention of WCW on Raw, or WWF on Nitro. Once in a while, a major feud between a couple guys in each promotion can take place, putting one inter-promotional match on a PPV here and there. These two promotions can be run separately indefinitely, artificially creating the tension that was teased for over five years in the Monday Night Wars.
I said it over the weekend, and I’ll say it again. It’s a great time to be a wrestling fan, and all the buildup for Monday Night was worth it.
We saw history in real time, and the possibilities for the future are endless.