What the World Was Watching: WCW Main Event – January 1, 1995

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.

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