Now that we have covered what the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) was doing in 1995, we will shift our focus to what was taking place in Atlanta with World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Much like the WWF, WCW was fighting against the headwind of a bitter wrestling depression, but it did receive significant publicity in the summer of 1994 when it signed Hulk Hogan. Hogan would subsequently defeat Ric Flair at Bash at the Beach and immediately claim the WCW title, which he still held as 1995 began. Despite drawing an impressive television rating for a Clash of the Champions rematch between Hogan and Flair – a number that put WCW’s events on par with, if not exceeding those of the WWF – WCW was still under pressure to cut costs as it lost more than $3 million in 1994. The cuts were also spurred on by Halloween Havoc drawing a less than expected rating for the third match in the Hogan-Flair series. In that match, Flair was “retired” after losing and although he said the retirement would be permanent, few in the wrestling world believed him. Nevertheless, that meant that WCW was starting the year without one of its major draws in the squared circle. A big question for WCW going into 1995 was how it would attempt to challenge the WWF’s domestic supremacy, and Executive Producer Eric Bischoff’s gamble to launch a new Monday night wrestling show to challenge the WWF’s Monday Night RAW at the end of the summer changed wrestling forever.
–Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are today’s commentary team and they are taped from the campus of Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the tapings drew 3,000 fans.
–Barry Horowitz is showing trying to tutor Hakushi on American politics, a segment that McMahon laughs at.
Date: July 19, 2000
Location: Breslin Students Events Center, East Lansing, Michigan
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay
This is a rare live Thunder though I can’t imagine it’s going to make the show any better than it usually is. The big story at the moment is Scott Steiner being all insane and breaking various things, only to get beaten down by Kevin Nash, like so many people before him have been. Let’s get to it.
Date: March 19, 2000
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Mark Madden, Tony Schiavone
We had to get here eventually. This is one of the lamest sounding shows I’ve seen in a very long time and it’s not something I want to sit through again. The main event is Jeff Jarrett vs. Sid for the World Title, but the real big match is Hogan vs. Flair, because we only did that last year at this same show so it’s high time to do it again. Let’s get to it.