Wednesday, February 28

10 Best Things About Wrestling In The 1990s

The 1990s are one of the most celebrated eras by wrestling fans. With the wrestling business going through a mainstream boom, it’s no surprise that this decade is well remembered today. There were countless unforgettable moments that are still talked about to this day, and while this era had its low points, it’s mostly looked at in a positive fashion.


Related

10 Worst Things About Wrestling In The 1990s

Many aspects of wrestling from the 1990s haven’t aged well, while others were immediately seen as terrible at the time.

Just like any era in wrestling, the 1990s brought a lot of changes to the business, and it can be said that this decade impacted the business more than any other. Multiple wrestlers left a lasting impact and wrestling was never the same after everything was said and done, for good or for bad.


10 Unpredictability And Surprises

There Was A True Sense Of Shock Factor During This Era

  • With No Social Media, Surprises Were Actually Kept A Secret
  • The Sense Of Unpredictability Originated Insane Crowd Reactions
  • It Helped Keep Fans Hooked In With A Show As No One Knew What Could Happen

In today’s era of wrestling, it’s very rare that a moment can actually catch fans by surprise. Because of dirt sheets and social media, fans have the full scoop of which wrestler can make their long awaited return or who is going over in a certain match.

In the 1990s, it was the complete opposite. During the Monday Night War, the unpredictability of which wrestler could show up in the opposing company left fans glued to their TV screens. Because of the true shock value of this era, moments like Rick Rude being on Raw and Nitro on the same night or Lex Luger showing up on the first episode of Nitro, became 10 times more special.

9 Different Styles Of Wrestling

The 3 Main North American Wrestling Companies Offered Different Wrestling Styles Which Attracted Every Type Of Fan

  • WCW Were Able To Promote High Flying Wrestling
  • ECW Promoted Hardcore Wrestling Which Influenced The Attitude Era
  • The Different Style Of Matches In Each Company Was Able Boost Business

The 1990s didn’t put as much emphasis on in-ring action as other decades, but it could still be well appreciated and remembered due to the diversity of in-ring action throughout WWE, WCW and ECW and other wrestling promotions.

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10 Things Fans Should Know About The WCW Cruiserweight Championship

The WCW Cruiserweight Championship has been held by many of the greatest wrestlers to ever set foot in a wrestling ring.

WWE, WCW and ECW offered different styles of in-ring action to their audiences, but they still influenced each other when it came to how each company evolved throughout time. The high-flying cruiserweight action in WCW was a major success to the company, and it was also able to influence WWE in promoting their own style of high-flying wrestling. The edgy ECW content and their hardcore brawls also played a huge part in WWE’s most successful period ever, the Attitude Era.

8 The “Big 4” PPVs Actually Had Major Meaning

WWE Were Able To Promote Other Events While Keeping The Importance Of The Big 4 PPVs Alive

  • Shows Like SummerSlam And Survivor Series Have Lost Some Importance In Today’s Wrestling Era
  • When WWE Began Promoting Monthly PPVs, The Big 4 PPVs Were Still Able To Keep Their Prestige Due To The Shorter Runtime Of In Your House PPVs
  • The Big 4 PPVs Had Months Of Buildup Which Increased Its Buyrates

With most of today’s PPVs being heavily promoted due to either taking place on international soil or a big return rumored to take place, it seems that the Big 4 PPVs (Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series) aren’t as special as they used to be.

Obviously those are still the biggest shows of the year, but the rest of WWE’s PPV offerings aren’t far behind when it comes to significance. During the 90s, WWE were able to make these shows unique, as they had months of buildup and fans couldn’t wait to see what could transpire.

7 Rise Of Heel Authority Figures

  • Eric Bischoff Also Perfected The Role As A Member Of The NWO
  • Mr. McMahon Became The Most Despicable Heel In Wrestling History
  • Vince’s Rivalry With Austin Played A Massive Part In The Success Of The Attitude Era

Before the late 1990s, the WWE often had a “president” as an on-screen authority figure. Jack Tunney and Gorilla Monsoon were some of the most notorious WWE presidents, as they excelled in portraying the babyface authority figure who wanted to make the fans happy at all costs.

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5 Main Eventers Who Got Along Great With Vince McMahon (& 5 Who Clashed)

While some WWE main event wrestlers got along well with Vince McMahon, others often clashed with the boss.

But times were changing, and with D-Generation X and Steve Austin getting over as anti-authority figures, the role of an authority figure was about to go through some serious changes. After the Montreal Screwjob in 1997, Mr. McMahon became the boss everyone hated which helped fans get behind Steve Austin as he tried to take down Vince and his minions every week. Ever since this iconic rivalry, the evil authority figure has been a mainstay on wrestling programming.

6 Low Amount Of Championships

Each Company Had A Low Amount Of Championships Which Made Being A Champion A Big Deal

  • Each Championship Was Seen As Important
  • Even Less Prestigious Titles Like The European And Hardcore Championships Were Given Some Sort Of Importance
  • It Protected The Concept Of Being A Champion

In the current era of wrestling, there are a lot of championships to compete for, which kind of takes away the significance of holding a title and calling yourself a champion. But in the 1990s, it was the complete opposite, as there weren’t many championships for wrestlers to win, as illustrated by the fact that some notorious wrestlers in the 1990s failed to win a championship in WWE, even though they probably deserved it.

Obviously the main event championships were the biggest focal point, but storylines revolving midcard and even jobber championships were able to intrigue the fans. The low amount of championships also allowed other wrestlers to feud over a personal issue and not a championship, which made every rivalry on television different and unique.

5 Rise In Pop Culture

  • Mike Tyson, Dennis Rodman And Jay Leno Are Notable Examples
  • Many Of These Celebrity Appearances Were Able To Boost Business
  • Mike Tyson’s Appearance On Raw Even Got On The News

It’s no secret that Vince McMahon loves having celebrities on his wrestling show. WrestleMania 1 was a major success in part due to the appearances of Cyndi Lauper, Muhammad Ali and Liberace. It was a formula that worked for Vince, and other wrestling companies like WCW were able to incorporate it into their own programming.

Related

8 Celebrities You Had No Idea Were Considered For Wrestling Matches In WWE

Wrestling fans probably didn’t know that WWE had hopes for the following celebrities to wrestle, but plans fell through.

The 1990s featured more celebrities on wrestling programming than any other decade, simply due to how popular the business truly was. Mike Tyson’s involvement in the main event of WrestleMania 14 helped generate interest for the match and also kickstarted one of WWE’s most successful eras.

Jim Ross And Jerry Lawler Are The Most Iconic Commentary Duo Of All Time

  • The 1990s Always Featured Well Known Wrestling Personalities On Commentary
  • The Vibrant And Entertaining Style Of Commentary Always Made The Shows A Lot Better
  • Every Commentator Was Unique And Different From The Rest

In today’s era of wrestling, most of the commentary often feels too robotic, and it doesn’t really elevate the quality of a wrestling show. During the 90s, commentary was one of the most essential parts of the programming, as the huge stars and iconic moments necessitated a great commentary team.

With announcers like Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, commentary was the least of WWE’s worries, as their chemistry, personality and ability to make everything and everyone seem more important, made them a household name when it comes to iconic commentary duos.

3 The Amazing Crowds

Every WWE Show Was Always Filled With A Huge Amount Of Signs In The Crowd

  • The Huge Amount Of Signs In The Crowd Was An Indication Of How Over The 90s Roster Was
  • Moments Like Mankind Winning The WWE Championship Became More Iconic Due To The Insane Crowd Reaction
  • The Crowds Were A Major Part Of What Made The Attitude Era Special

The crowd has always been extremely important when it comes to a wrestling show. Without a vibrant and exciting crowd, matches, promos and shows themselves just don’t feel the same. During the 1990s, wrestling crowds were at its peak, as a lot of wrestlers were over and fans just didn’t know what was about to happen.

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10 Loudest Crowd Reactions At WWE WrestleMania 39

The WWE Universe chanted and popped at all the right places, and it led to an excellent atmosphere being carved out for WrestleMania 39.

Raw would always have signs all over the crowd, while WCW fans reacted widely to the chaotic action of WCW Nitro. It was a time like no other, and fans at the time realized it, as they brought a lot of energy every week.

2 The Uniqueness Of Every Character

Every Wrestler Had Their Own Gimmick Which Could Reason With Audiences

  • For Good Or For Bad, The Different Amount Of Gimmicks Made The Product Special
  • Every Gimmick Was Able To Be Incorporated Into A Story Which Would Connect With The Crowd
  • Even Jobber Gimmicks Were Able To Succeed

The gimmicks of the late 90s were truly one of a kind. With pop culture in a totally different place, WWE felt comfortable thinking outside the box when coming up with a new gimmick. This could lead to negative results, but in the Attitude Era, a lot of gimmicks were successful in being able to connect with audiences.

The Attitude Era followed a formula in which every wrestler, no matter what position of the card they were in, needed to have their own gimmick. It worked, as fans had a reason to stay tuned as they needed to follow along on the progression of a character’s story. The different type of characters were one of the many reasons why the Attitude Era was such a success.

1 Monday Night Wars

The Monday Night Wars Lasted From 1995 Until 2001

  • WWE And WCW Went Head To Head Every Monday Night
  • This Created A Weird And Exciting Complex For Fans As They Had To Decide Which Show They Wanted To Watch
  • The Monday Night War Truly Changed Wrestling Forever

If you ask any wrestling fan what the most exciting period in the history of the business was, they’ll most likely say the Monday Night War. During the mid 1990s, WCW rose back to prominence after signing Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, and so WCW Nitro was born, which was going to air head to head with Monday Night Raw.

It was a very ambitious decision, and one that worked. Throughout the next few years, WWE and WCW would compete ferociously, as both companies tried everything in their power to make their shows succeed and destroy the opposition. Numerous iconic moments and stars, the Monday Night War was truly a time to remember.

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