Lots of things tend to be cyclical. Professional wrestling can be no different. In the 1980's, wrestling fans enjoyed the then-WWF, and a lesser company, WCW. Things ramped up in the 90's, as WCW poured money into the product and this gave fans the Monday Night Wars.
Ultimately, Vince McMahon and WWE purchased WCW, ending a particularly entertaining era for wrestling. With AEW ready to shake things up, it's worth looking things over to see how WWE is more and more like its former old rival, WCW.
10 WWE Is Becoming A Bit Of A Retirement Community
Fans have been given some trips down Memory Lane of late-remember how awesome Goldberg versus The Undertaker was? All kidding aside, WWE has a bunch of retired talents coming back for cameos.
On top of that, until very recently, the top spots were going to long-standing veterans. Whether it was a top program or a main event slot on a major show, the company had it's usual few faces. Sound familiar? That's not too far off from what WCW was doing toward the end of things.
9 WWE Might Think Money Is The Answer
Back when WCW and WWE did battle, one company tended to spend it's way into oblivion, where the other did spend, but had to be much more calculating about it. Back in the day, the big spender was WCW. That's not to say WWE lacked the money to spend...but was more a reflection on Eric Bischoff and Ted Turner being all too willing to toss money at anyone who had been decent at one point.
This forced WWE to give a chance to talents who otherwise wouldn't get a shot. Now, WWE is the big spender (how else can we explain Mike and Maria Kanellis), while AEW is pulling in hot talent, some of whom many US fans have never seen before.
8 Eric Bischoff
Seriously, does this need any explanation? Fine, here it goes. Bischoff was front and center, leading the charge for WCW during the Monday Night Wars. Sure, he worked for WWE after Vince McMahon bought the competition and all...but that was then and this is now. Yes, Eric Bischoff is back with WWE now.
Yes, that job is, as we've been told, is behind the scenes. Bischoff will be helping move SmackDown to FOX, among other things. So yes, Eric Bischoff is back in WWE. Yes, he's apparently not close to the same role as he's had previously in both WWE and WCW. But he's also not that far away from what he did before. With Vince going down Memory Lane, could Bischoff get the band back together?
7 WWE Leaning On The Wrong People?
It makes sense, big company for a big show wants to bank on big past stars, right? Sort of. Batista and Triple H got a good chunk of time for the most recent WrestleMania, in spite of the fact that one guy has been only making movies lately, and the other is a semi-retired wrestler working in the company's executive offices.
Meaning neither man really warranted being in such a primo spot. The only way this wasn't a typical old school WCW move? It was not the main event. Twenty years ago in WCW, it would have been, and the women never would have gotten close. WCW had a bad habit of putting the wrong guys in the big spots for the wrong reasons, especially when you consider how good that roster was at times.
6 WWE Still Has 205 Live
OK, this one is actually a good thing, probably. Forget the rumblings that WWE might want to shut down the show, which may or may not be driven by the move to Fox. Even before the Monday Night Wars ramped up, WCW did one thing better than anyone else on the big stage-cruiserweight wrestling. And at the time, the company had some of the absolute best cruisers in the world.
Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio, Juventud Guerrera and so many others? They all worked for WCW before they made it to WWE. Cruisers can work amazing matches, and we've seen that for a while.
5 Too Many Titles
We can probably blame this at least partly on the brand split-but not entirely. WCW had lots of belts too, and it got to be too much. You see, if you have too many belts, the meaning of them-that significance, the idea that they are special-is eroded.
Sure, it's not completely gone-a championship is still a championship. It just means less when there's 8 as opposed to 3 or 4. As much as many of us might enjoy the 24/7 Championship as it has unfolded, the reality is it is another championship which only dilutes things...a page out of the WCW book.
4 Ignoring The Fans
In some sports, there's a line about not doing your job to please the fans, or else you'll be sitting with them. Those sports aren't heavily scripted. In professional wrestling, it's different. Fans will make or break a character. WWE, like WCW (and other promotions, to be sure) has not always listened. Or, they've listened and moved forward in spite of things. Forget Kofi-mania 2019. Forget Daniel Bryan's WrestleMania Moment.
For each of those, WWE has happily given us a Roman Reigns push when no one wanted it. They've given fans a Batista return-two of them, actually-when no one wanted it. Heck, they even tried to ruin the organic support for Becky Lynch. Just like WCW used to do.
3 It's Not What You Know, It's Who You Know
Ah, the political power plays backstage are fun, aren't they? WWE, as WCW before them, has issues here. Maybe it's not as pronounced, maybe we don't yet know how bad this generation is with the politics. In the end, we've seen wrestlers get spots because of their backstage politicking. It's something that WCW took to a whole new level, especially once Hulk Hogan and his friends showed up.
To be fair, it was pretty bad during the Monday Night Wars too, for both companies. It may not be as pronounced, but there still seems to be a belief that certain talents get further in the company because of who's favorites they happen to be. That's a recipe for disaster when done to extremes, something WCW wrote the book on.
2 Clueless Or Limited Writers
This is something fans have been complaining about for what seems like an eternity. Honestly, most promotions are probably guilty of this from time to time-even the smallest independents. Writers might think they know better than anyone. They might get too cute, or come up with something that is insanely complex and convoluted and just doesn't work.
They might also not be overly creative-like, do they think outside the box, or do they give us a stale retread of an idea? And the worst offense of all? A lot of the writing is centralized around a handful of key players. Meaning the creative team either doesn't write for everyone, or just keeps their perceived "best" stuff for just the top bunch of Superstars.
1 Letting Things Get Stale At The Top
WCW back in the day, you could count on a few things being certain. Unless they were injured, the top programs and the biggest matches invariably involved Sting, Ric Flair, the Four Horseman or someone similar. Once Hulk Hogan arrived, you could add him into the rotation, and so on and so forth.
On one hand, leaning on your established stars in big spots totally makes sense. On the flip side, you can't find other stars easily if there's no chance for them to slide into the top matches. WWE should be figuring this out, especially considering how much certain suits are fond of Brock Lesnar, yet also how much fans do not want Lesnar around.