|Photo credit: WWE|
March 23, 2001 is either remembered as one of the greatest days in wrestling history or one of its darkest days. It depends on which side of the fence you're on, I suppose. For that night 10 years ago was when the Monday Night Wars officially ended. Vincent Kennedy McMahon had won the battle and the war. He purchased his competition World Championship Wrestling for next to nothing.
I had been on vacation the week leading up to the big night, and didn't have computer access. So I was totally shocked when Vince appeared on Nitro live via satellite.
As a WWE (back then WWF) mark all my life, I was happy to see that it wasn't Vince who had been bought out. I immediately began to think about all the "dream matches" that would be created with this new acquisition. Would we finally see Goldberg vs. Stone Cold? Sting vs. the Rock? Kurt Angle vs. Bret Hart (I know WCW had released him, but I was dreamin' here.) Wrestlemania XVII was just two weeks away, and if I remember correctly, the card was pretty much locked in place. But can you imagine how epic that Mania would have been had the whole purchase of WCW would have been booked better?
Instead of getting the cream of WCW's crop like Sting, Ric Flair, Goldberg, the nWo, and Scott Steiner, we got a lot of guys from the midcard. No offense to those guys, but it wasn't exactly what most of us were wanting with an "invasion" angle. Booker T and Diamond Dallas Page were probably the two top stars to sign on immediately with the WWE.
The angles that followed were disappointing. Dallas Page as the stalker of Undertaker's wife was lame. The defection of Stone Cold Steve Austin sucked even more. Of course being the arm chair booker, there are many different ways I would have worked the angle. I think most of us would.
I highly suggest the book "The Death of WCW." It's a great read that looks back on how the company thrived and dominated before crashing and burning.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, I was glad to see Vince take over initially. But obviously not having competition is a bad thing. Storylines fell flat and revolved more around the members of the McMahon family than the WCW and ECW wrestlers (now Superstars) who were now a part of the company. Fast forward 10 years. Despite the attempts by TNA, the WWE still really doesn't have any competition. Has the product gotten worse? That's debatible. I don't think that's necessarily the case. The worst thing I'll say about the WWE now is their lack of pushing new stars. It's improved slightly in the last several months, but the Road to Wrestlemania has focused a lot on guys who either aren't regular wrestlers on the roster (Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler) or guys (and gals) who left the company years ago (the Rock and Trish Stratus)
I'm starting to ramble on to another topic. We've already discussed it, so I won't hit it again. Thanks for reading.