With much anticipation, the new “The Monday Night War” series premiered on the WWE Network last Friday, after SmackDown finished airing on TV, and I am pretty excited, based on what we have seen so far.
They have broken the series up into different topics of the Monday Night War period. So far, we have seen an episode about Ted Turner’s purchase of WCW, and their trip to primetime on Monday nights. There was an episode on the nWo, and there was an episode about the beginning of the Attitude Era.
However, I was more excited when the series started than I am now, as the show has been a bit disappointing at times. All the classic knocks on DVDs and programs that WWE has put out in the past, have been prevalent in “The Monday Night War”.
For starters, WWE has done a classic job of beating viewers over the head with the phrase “sports-entertainment”. WWE’s use of the phrase has never bothered me before, but so far in this series, they have tried to present it as though they beat WCW, because WWF thought of themselves as sports-entertainment, while WCW thought of themselves as a wrestling company, or wrasslin’. That is simply not the case, as one of WCW’s biggest faults is that they were more outrageous than WWF, and not in a good way (see: Viagra on a Pole Match).
Second, is that every WCW positive gets glossed over. Even when they did an hour on the nWo, it was about how they were all Vince-made stars, which is true. However, credit goes to WCW for pulling the trigger on Hulk Hogan’s heel turn, which is the only reason the nWo worked. Not to mention the fact that WCW was willing to do whatever it took to bring in the best talents in the business, like Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall.
WCW didn’t just beat WWF, they crushed them for a very long time, and I hope that we eventually see this series give more credit to WCW and Eric Bischoff. WCW failed for a lot of reasons, but I hope that some attention is paid to all the things that they did right.
Finally, the Attitude Era is the most-popular era in professional wrestling history, there is no disputing that. However, that doesn’t mean that WWE should be pushing it as the best era in their history, and they certainly shouldn’t have personalities who are still on TV today (Stephanie McMahon) talking about it being the best.
WWE, like any form of entertainment, is built on looking towards the future, and words like this make it seem that WWE is content with putting out average content, and not striving to be the best they can be.
I hope to see these things changed as the series continues, as I feel it would do a better job of telling the story of the Monday Night War.