We should all be thankful for Vince McMahon. The only reason this country didn’t fall apart was because WWF beat WCW in the Monday Night Wars. It’s said the turning point during the rivalry came on the night Mick Foley won the WWF Championship from the Rock.
At that time WCW was like Dean Ambrose (just not as good). One in a hundred times they make a critical error. On the night Foley won the Championship they made the biggest error they possibly could. One so big it’s hailed as the Night that Changed Wrestling.
According to WWE Countdown, starring Opie & Anthony’s Prime Time Sam Roberts, WCW’s announcer Mikey Tenay giving away the ending of Raw was their error. Thousands of people switched from the Atlanta Braves network to watch a flappy-tummied underdog in Mankind beat a man chiseled from a brick laid down in Asgard in the Rock.
Without that moment we’d all be speaking WCW. The Rock would be forced into some royalty gimmick and Stone Cold would have been relegated back to mid-card Hollywood Blonde status. Thankfully the Mick Foley moment is the reason why we can still be proud of wrestling.
Every generation has a turning point moment. Before that one Hogan slamming Andrew was the big one.
There’s no denying that Daniel Bryan finally winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, in what Jim Ross would call an Odyssey, was this one’s. The next night on Raw we saw a completely different show from the one that was on a week before.
The biggest difference was there was no streak hanging over the WWE. As sad as it was, the WWE is now no longer tied down to the same story year after year at Wrestlemania. Vince McMahon is an innovator. The same old thing over and over again isn’t how he does business.
Then you had the Shield. They went from Authority lackeys to an authority themselves. I have no problem predicting that they could be up there with the Four Horsemen one day. If you watched Main Event this week then you’d see that Roman Reigns is so the Ric Flair. Every woman in that audience wanted to ride space mountain after he got on the mic. Lucky for Rennee Young she was the closest.
This week the Shield did one of my favorite wrestling turns. I love when the heels come in to help the face. They saved him just when Daniel Bryan was about to get tossed around by Triple H again. It was great to see the Game take a spear. Maybe we’re looking at a passing of the torch there.
The Shield wasn’t the only great part of the new WWE change. In the Diva’s division you had Paige coming from NXT to win the Diva’s Championship from the best female wrestler since Chyna, Trish Stratus and Lita.
This is great because Paige adds some more depth to that division. Now we have another beloved dominant female other than AJ Lee. Once Tamina Snuka goes out on her own people will stop calling a Diva’s match a bathroom break.
The beginning of all this change is centered around Bryan. I understand why he had to be held back for so long. If he really was the catalyst for the future he needed to be tested. That nine month wait for him to be champion was well worth it in the end. Thank god WWE doesn’t listen to the smarks. (This is why McMahon is a billionaire and WCW is dead.)
Bryan really is the Mick Foley of our time too. He doesn’t fit the traditional look of a professional wrestler but he has a connection with fans. I’ve heard so many Dutch Mantell interviews and that’s the one point he drives in. A connection is the most important characteristic a wrestler can have.
The only downer about all this is CM Punk wasn’t here to see all the change. He wanted it so badly and it all happened without him.