In the mid ’90s, Vince McMahon and his WWF promotion went to war with Ted Turner’s WCW. For almost a decade, the two wrestling companies tried to put the other out of business, but it was ultimately Vince McMahon and the WWF that won the Monday Night Wars.
But during and after the Monday Night Wars, WWF tried to steal a number of ideas from the WCW. In reality, Vince’s own creativity was what helped the WWF win the wars – such as launching towards the Attitude Era.
However, copying certain storylines, wrestlers and factions completely flopped and made the WWE look plain silly. Here are five ideas that the WWE tried stealing from WCW that failed miserably.
5. Turning the Good Guy Heel
The 1996 Bash at the Beach pay-per-view show was the ultimate turning point in WCW’s history. Hulk Hogan appeared to apparently confront Kevin Nash and Scott Hall during a tag team match against Randy Savage and Sting.
But Hogan hit the Big Leg Drop on Savage, shocking the wrestling world as he capped off the most epic heel turn in wrestling history. Hogan would then form the New World Order (nWo), and lead WCW into a major surge in the late ’90s.
So WWE decided to turn company face ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin heel at WrestleMania 17, siding with Vince McMahon after years of feuding. But Austin’s heel turn just didn’t work the way Hogan’s did. The character change saw Austin go from the rebellious beer drinker to an awkward trash talker to the fans. It failed miserably and never gained any steam. This was a complete waste of Austin’s time, as far as we’re concerned.
One of the few homegrown talents of WCW, Goldberg quickly got over with the crowd as an unstoppable beast, squashing all of his opponents in under three minutes. He posted a remarkable 173-0 streak to start out his career, and was the top babyface of WCW who stood up to the nWo.
But after WCW was bought out, Goldberg headed over to the rival WWE. Unfortunately, Vince McMahon was never big on giving Goldberg much of a push. It was as though McMahon wanted to underuse Goldberg’s talents, since he was such a big part of the WCW’s success in the ’90s.
Goldberg never reached the stardom in WWE, and had a bitter departure from the company at WrestleMania XX. With so many great talents on the roster during the Attitude Era, it’s beyond us how the WWE chose to do very little with Goldberg. At least they brought him back in 2016 for one more run, though.
Sting was the face of WCW for nearly two full decades. He was a six-time World Heavyweight Champion and headlined three Starrcade pay-per-views.
But when WCW was bought out by Vince McMahon, Sting opted not to join the WWE – fearing his character wouldn’t be used accordingly. So he headed to TNA instead, and enjoyed an excellent tenure there.
Finally, Sting joined the WWE at Survivor Series in 2014. Everyone assumed we’d get to see the dream Undertaker vs. Sting match at WrestleMania 31, but it never happened. Instead, Triple H faced Sting and defeated him – when there was no incentive for The Game to come out on top.
Sting would then face Seth Rollins at Night of Champions 2015, but lost the match and suffered a legitimate injury. In all, it appeared that WWE really just signed Sting so Vince could rub in the fact that he won the Monday Night Wars again. It was a major disappointment, to say the least.
2. Monthly pay-per-views
By 1995, WCW had nearly doubled its pay-per-view totals from previous years. They put on 10 in ’95 and ’96, then one per month in ’97, ’98 and ’99. In 2000, they put on 13 pay-per-view shows.
This worked well for WCW, but then the WWF decided to steal the idea away from their rival promotion. They went from five PPV shows in 1994 to 10 in 1995, and they’ve produced at least 12 every year since 1996.
Unfortunately, the monthly pay-per-view shows simply don’t work for the WWE these days. Many are pointless, with the major championships rarely changing hands. Way too many hyped up main events end in disappointment, with interference or controversy. There’s just no reason to have this many shows, considering how many of them disappoint.
1. The nWo
The New World Order completely revolutionized the wrestling world. After Hogan’s epic heel turn, he aligned himself with Nash and Hall – bent on taking over and destroying the WCW brand. The villainous faction worked out well for a couple of years, until Eric Bischoff chose to keep breaking it up, reuniting, and so on.
The over-reliance on the nWo eventually led to WCW falling apart and having to sell to Vince McMahon. At No Way Out 2002, the nWo reformed and joined the WWF. They feuded with Steve Austin and The Rock, and were enjoying a solid run.
However, the faction disbanded after Nash and Hall turned on Hogan at WrestleMania X8, following his loss to The Rock. WWF had a great chance to continue pushing one of the most popular and dominant factions ever. But the creative team wasted a golden opportunity to push this group even more.
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