What If the Monday Night War Was Going On Today?

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Hey fans. Dan K here, previously DK Wrestling Savior. I was sitting in front of my TV, watching a
commercial during RAW. It was a preview of the Monday Night War. I believe
there was another commercial earlier advertising Monday Nitro episodes, from
the beginning, showing on the WWE Network. And two thoughts crossed my mind.
The first being, what if WCW was the winner of the Monday Night War? But I
cringe at the idea after seeing what WCW had become late in 1998 until its
eventual demise. The second thought I had was, what if the war was still going
on today? This article is going to be all hypothetical and trying to envision
where we might be in the wrestling world today. So, dig in and let’s have some
fun.

It was 13 years ago when
WWF purchased WCW and ended any real competition in the wrestling industry.
That was in 2001. In 2002, two promotions popped up. Neither ever made it big
time but are very popular among people who looking for something other than WWE
to watch. Those promotions were TNA and ROH. But, for the sake of
hypotheticals, it’s safe to assume that if the Monday Night War was still
intact today, those two promotions probably would’ve never been born. In a
later section, we’ll discuss where some of the top guys from those promotions
may have landed, but for now, we’ll move on to the trick-down effect that
would’ve resulted if WCW still existed today.

The biggest standout in
this situation is Ric Flair. If WCW was still going today, Ric Flair would
still be there. That was his heart and soul. It spawned from NWA and that’s the
house Ric Flair built. So, what would the aftermath of that be? Well for
starters, there would be no Evolution. Without Evolution, where does that leave
Randy Orton? Where does that leave Batista? Is Randy Orton still that pompous
sex symbol character he was rolling with early in his career pre-Evolution?
Does Batista ever graduate from being Devon’s bodyguard type? Another standout
would be Booker T. I don’t think Booker T would’ve ever left WCW if it was
still around. That was his home for the many years that was the prime of his
career. From Tag Team Champion to climbing the ladder all the way to top to be
World Champion near the end of WCW, I think he found success and wouldn’t have
been one of those default guys that stuck around in WWF. While he never really
accomplished all that much in WWE, if we still had WCW today, there would be no
King Booker, with Charmel, there would be no feud with The Rock, and we never
would’ve heard the term, Spin-A-Rooney. Another defaulted wrestler was Rey
Mysterio. A great cruiserweight champ who for a long time in WWE, was very over
and a major superstar. He had good feuds and even made it to the top in WWE.
However, he spent 6 successful years in WCW during the pinnacle of the Monday Night
Wars. His Cruiserweight battles were something we weren’t used to seeing on our
mainstream wrestling shows here in the US. Maybe he would’ve defected to WWF
after a while, much like Jericho, Benoit, Malenko, Saturn and Guerrero did, but
who knows?

Those are three of the
biggest standouts following WWF’s acquisition of WCW. There are more but I
don’t think there were too many that had the impact of these three. Many of the
others that were retained, weren’t around long and/or didn’t have too much of an
impact.

When talking about who
would be the future stars, it’s really hard to gauge considering WCW went under
in 2001. But we can always speculate. WWF was really good at building new stars
after WCW put themselves on the map as a legit national competitor. Since they
took all the big names and paid them handsomely, WWF had to do what they needed
to do out of necessity. The Rock and Stone Cold are the two prime examples,
however they were created during the Monday Night War. So, who was created
after the Monday Night War that might not have been if WCW was still around? We
already discussed the possibility of Randy Orton and Batista. What about
someone like Edge? It was right around the time WCW was bought out that he
broke off on his own and started developing a singles career? Would WWF have
signed some main event talents from WCW in the 2002-2003 range? Perhaps someone
like Goldberg would’ve been interested in jumping ship. What about John Cena?
The most interesting part of trying to figure this all out is, there wouldn’t
have been a second World Title, or a US Title. So the amount of Main Event
talent wouldn’t have been necessary and there wouldn’t have been a brand split.
Would guys like Edge and John Cena have emerged as top guys?



Then there are some
concepts we may have never come to find. Elimination Chamber comes to mind,
since it was created by Eric Bischoff from a storyline standpoint. Night of
Champions would still be a WCW PPV event. We would have War Games and Halloween
Havoc to look forward to. Great American Bash would still be WCW’s Wrestlemania
equivalent, and we may not have ever had Money in the Bank or the WWECW show on
SyFy on Tuesdays. There would still be the Power Plant and who knows, maybe
they would’ve started to televise or broadcast on their WCW Network and made a
true development show. The biggest question about all of this is, how would
each company have evolved and what new concepts would they do to one-up their competition?

I discussed earlier about
where would the top guys from ROH and TNA be if WCW was still around and those
two promotions never existed. Here’s where the real fun speculation begins.
Without ROH, where would guys like AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Austin
Aries have gotten noticed? My thoughts are this. All things equal, I think it’s
a foregone conclusion that AJ Styles would’ve been WCW bound simply because of
his southern connections. That’s not to say he wouldn’t have jumped ship back
and forth a few times. I think CM Punk would’ve ended up in WWE. Now of course,
with no ROH to draw him from, he would’ve needed to get noticed some other way
that wasn’t WWE’s developmental. I’ll go with the Paul Heyman connection and
speculate that Heyman would’ve noticed him on the Indy circuit. I think Austin
Aries, all things considered, would’ve been WCW bound as a Cruiserweight. James
Storm was already in WCW when it folded so he would’ve stayed. There are so
many more we could mention, like Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, Cesaro, Ziggly Wiggly…etc.
But then I’d be here forever so let’s leave our thoughts on all of them in the
comments.

Bryan Danielson is the
most curious one of all here. I think ultimately, he would’ve stayed in Japan.
But, if he had to end up in one of the big two, I’m going to say WWF because he
initially trained at Shawn Michaels’ promotion in Texas. That would’ve been his
tie in. However, at some point, wouldn’t seem feasible that Shawn Michaels, at
one point or another, would’ve landed in WCW? So who knows for sure, right?

Well, this was fun. I’m
sure there’s a lot more that can be brought up. Who would’ve defected and why?
What would’ve happened to concepts like NXT? Would they both be pushing the
Social Media factor? Would they both have a Network? Would there be more shows
than just the Nitro vs Raw and Thunder vs Smackdown? What sort of world would
we be living in with WCW and WWE still doing battle week in and week out? If
you have any ideas of your own, or if noticed anything I may have missed, let’s
get the conversation started.

I hope you enjoyed this. Thanks
for reading everyone. Be Safe.



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