WHY I WATCH EVERY WEEK
Ever since I was a 9 year old little boy, I've been a wrestling fan. What got me hooked was a 30 minute PPV commercial promoting Wrestlemania V. Back in 1989, there were only a handful of Pay Per Views every year, strictly boxing & wrestling. The cable companies used to run these 30 minutes spots promoting the events on a normally unused channel. I always heard other kids mention the names "Macho Man," "Hulk Hogan" and "The Ultimate Warrior" but I never was interested until I stumbled upon the promo for Wrestlemania V. Ever since then I have been hooked.
Eventually, I came across the "other" wrestling called the NWA later that year. I liked both equally, because they each offered something different. The NWA was wrestling oriented, while the WWF captured my attention through the storylines. It didn't matter to me which promotion was seen as #1, so long as they were both entertaining.
However, things changed during the late summer of 1995. The NWA, now renamed WCW (don't e-mail me... I already know the whole NWA/WCW situation) decided to go head-to-head with the WWF's Monday Night RAW. For a while, I loved the competition. It was great seeing star vs. star wrestle on free TV every week on TNT. Then things started getting ugly. Eric Bischoff, ruler of the Turner-owned WCW decided to play dirty & take cheap shots at the WWF every chance he got. This is when I first got the Internet, so I was able to read all of his Prodigy transcripts as well as keep up with the ratings war.
Once the nWo got into the mix, I became a HUGE WWF mark and WCW antagonist at the same time. Vince McMahon was smart & used his disadvantages as weapons. He painted himself through online interviews of his own as an underdog fighting a billionaire with two cable stations at his disposal. I sooo wanted to see the underdog win in the end. Truth be told, Vince had the better product within a few months after the nWo was introduced on NITRO. WCW's main events always ended in a run-in, while RAW's usually ended in clean finishes. WCW's angles were made for the sake of garnering ratings every Monday night, while the WWF had long term planning in mind.
Still, the ratings told a different story. Week after week, the WWF had its ass handed to it by Mr. Nielsen. This went on for almost two straight years. Many smarks started proclaiming that the WWF would never come back & may even go out of business. Every Tuesday at 4:30 PM EST, I checked the ratings to see if Vince had proven them wrong, and every week I was disappointed.
Then suddenly, things started to turn around. Vince decided that the main stream publicity that Mike Tyson would get the WWF in three months would be worth a helluva lot more than Bret Hart's WWF career. He was right. Once Vince screwed Bret in Montreal & was able to pay Tyson the money that he WAS paying Bret, the WWF got fans switching between RAW & NITRO again. Little by little, WCW fans noticed the clean finishes, the angles that made sense, the fresh faces & the fast-paced matches.
Wrestlemania XIV was looked at as the make-or-break show for the WWF. They put on one of the best cards in modern-day history & the fans took notice. RAW didn't beat NITRO the next night & the preliminary buyrates for the PPV came up short from that of WCW Starcade 1997, so Bischoff decided to get on Prodigy & gloat. However, once the final numbers for WM XIV came in, Vince had, up until that time, the most watched wrestling PPV ever. A few weeks later, RAW defeated NITRO in the ratings for the first time in nearly two years.
It was a testament to what each and every human being can do once they set their mind to do something. Week after week, Vince was met with discouragement, yet week after week, he kept fighting. He never gave up. Any fan that followed the situation between the summer of 1996 & the spring of 1998 experienced pure ecstasy. Eventually, Vince ended up owning the company that once caused his hair to turn gray.
That is why I keep watching. I hope that one day Vince can regain that DRIVE, that DESIRE, that DEDICATION, that INNOVATION... everything that he used to beat WCW. Right now, he's the cocky, arrogant, lazy son of a bitch that turned off legions of wrestling fans during the early 90's. The same guy that upped the contracts of Road Dogg & Billy Gunn simply for getting their new gimmick over back in 1998 is now cutting the downside guarantees of the lower-card workers for no reason other than greed.
Just like 1997, I am watching week after week, hoping that Vince can find the err in his ways. And just like 1998, I hope he does & proves all the critics wrong again.
That's why I watch every week.