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Off The Ropes: WWE Still Burying WCW 14 Years Later by Hab Rich

I’m not one who is given to much begging and pleading, but this time around I need answers. Tell me why and/or help me understand the reason behind WWE’s incessant need to continue to drive nails into the coffin of WCW. If you the reader would help me out, I’d truly appreciate it.

You probably won’t find a bigger Vince McMahon fan than myself. He’s the world’s greatest promoter, a gambler and risk taker (see XFL). On top of that, he’s a competitor, so when Ted Turner and WCW tried to muscle in on WWE’s hold on Monday night wrestling, he welcomed the challenge. In true fighting spirit, he got knocked down but got back up several times until he was able to overcome his challenger.

Where I go off the rails is the fact that he can’t win with any dignity. I know and understand that everything about his world of sports entertainment has to be over the top and larger than life, so it comes as no surprise that this celebration of WCW’s demise has gone on for over 14 years. 14 years you say? Yes, with the most recent annual nail driven into the coffin during this years Mania in the match between Sting and Triple H, which I will get to later.

The Monday Night Wars were this generation’s real golden years. For a profession with such a long and storied history, there was no better time to be a fan or a superstar than when the feud between WCW and WWE was burning white hot. As somewhat of an old fart who’s been watching wrestling for over 30 years, I can really appreciate what the Monday Night Wars did for the business of professional wrestling. One of the keys to promoting, as I’m sure Vince would tell you, is visibility; getting as many pairs of eyes on the product as possible is what keeps the business rolling. The Monday Night Wars raised wrestling’s visibility and thrust it square into the pop culture spotlight. Folks who couldn’t tell the difference between a wristlock and a wristwatch were now shooting double birds like Stone Cold.

I’ve watched the WWE Network’s documentaries about the demise of WCW; I’ve even watched their “Monday Night Wars” docu-series. The common thread throughout most of the programming is basically WWE, as well as some former WCW talents laying turd nuggets on WCW’s coffin. I will say that they did give credit where it was due, especially in regards to a few then-WCW, now-WWE talents, most notably the late Dusty Rhodes, Booker T and Chris Jericho. Overall, they just crapped on WCW’s product while glossing over the fact that some of WWE’s biggest stars did a stint in the “money pit in Atlanta.” Mean Mark, Stunning Steve Austin and Terra Ryzing ring a bell?

Sting versus Triple H at WrestleMania 31 was just another nail in the coffin. My problem was the fact that it didn’t have to be. The writers got super lazy and instead of giving us something in the way of a brand new feud between two superstars who’d never occupied the same ring before, they dressed it up in the Monday Night War’s 14 year old rags and served it up to us. Not even Triple H’s impassioned promos about his livelihood and Stings’ alleged attempts to (14 years later) take that away would pique my interest in this match. The match itself was going to be great…until DX and the nWo showed up. More lazy booking. Sure, WWE went with the nostalgia effect of seeing these two great factions get some burn on the big stage, but I’m not sure Scott Hall has finished making his way down that 2-mile ramp. Oh, and nevermind the fact that HBK and X-Pac were once members of both the nWo and D-X at some point or another.

Now, before I seek the answers to the questions I have, I offer a confession. I was raised in the south. Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Triad area (Greensboro, Winston, High Point) was and I’m sure still is Horsemen Territory. That should offer a little insight as to where my allegiances were during the Monday Night Wars. Nitro had morphed into this cutting edge program that legit kept me waiting on next Monday, and occasionally I flirted with WWE. I can’t recall the exact moment in time when I decided to cut WCW programming out of my desired viewing, but I can tell you that it was swift. Vince had built more new stars and was decidedly outshining his counterparts down in Atlanta, while somebody thought it’d be a good idea to make David Arquette the WCW World Heavyweight Champion. I held no flickering flames for my love of WCW, it was just over and I’d moved on to bigger and better professional wrestling.

I said all that to say that I could have a soft spot still for WCW, because it was the wrestling I grew up with and to see WWE continue to take shots at it after 14 years, I just think it’s unnecessary. First, is it because I loved WCW so much that I don’t like WWE taking every opportunity to trash them? Second, am I overthinking this too much? Third, Are there any more ways WWE can incorporate their destruction of WCW into any of their future programming?

History truly is written by the winners, but on the flip side of that coin, where is it written that those winners must constantly remind us that they won? That’s all I have, please help me…I beg of you.

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