A short while ago, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) announced that a piece of big news was on the horizon in regards to their deal with TNT. Tonight, AEW revealed that their upcoming weekly show will air on Wednesdays, during the 8-10 PM time slot.
The show will debut on October 2nd, 2 days before SmackDown Live makes its debut on FOX. The announcement has led to speculation among fans as to what would AEW come up with for the debut episode of its weekly show. Amidst the hullabaloo, many fans have come up with comparisons between AEW and the now-defunct promotion that had almost put WWE out of business, WCW (World Championship Wrestling). For starters, both promotions are backed by billionaires. WCW made a string of mistakes back in the day, that led to its demise. Let's take a look at 5 WCW mistakes AEW should avoid doing as the promotion moves forward.
#5 Anything close to the nWo
The nWo was something that turned WCW into a legit competition to WWE during the Monday Night Wars, and was the biggest reason why Monday Nitro managed to topple Raw in the rating war for 83 straight weeks.
Unfortunately, this faction ended up becoming one of the biggest reasons why WCW's ship began to sink at the turn of the century. When Hulk Hogan turned heel at Bash at the Beach 1996, wrestling changed forever.
Originally, the faction consisted of a mere 3 Superstars. Soon, a string of wrestlers began joining the group, with the villains interfering in almost every main event on a weekly basis. This got old too fast, resulting in the formation of nWo Wolfpac, which failed to pique the audience' interest. nWo had too much power in its hands, and that led to WCW ignoring talented young wrestlers in favor of members of the notorious faction. Hopefully, nothing of this sort happens in AEW.
#4 Ridiculous gimmicks and segments
With the formation of nWo, WCW ushered in an era of intriguing programming, that captured the attention of the '90s fans who were getting tired of over the top characters that had actually worked back in the day.
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WCW's storied history is marred with some of the most ridiculous ideas being thrown in and actually getting approved! Back in 1990, WCW promoted the movie Robocop by naming a PPV after it. Capital Combat: Return of RoboCop saw the machine-human hybrid come to the rescue of Sting, who was being beaten up by The Four Horsemen.
Years after, the horrifying doll named 'Chucky' from the movie "Child's Play" was featured on WCW TV, a moment that is still looked down upon around 2 decades later. WCW even had a Yeti make its debut and get actual PPV time, back in 1995! Hopefully, AEW realizes that these kind of segments and gimmicks won't work in today's times (not that they did much good back in the late '90s), and steers clear of anything along these lines.
#3 Giving Creative control to top stars
One of the biggest problems WCW had was that the promotion gave guaranteed Creative control to some of the top Superstars at the time. Hulk Hogan had booking power, and something like this was destined to fail at some point in time. Although the nWo's popularity saved WCW from Hogan consistently hogging main event spots, this didn't last long and WWE soon managed to get the upper hand on its rival.
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At the peak of Goldberg's streak, he held an incredibly impressive record of 173-0. Kevin Nash, reportedly taking advantage of his booking power, booked himself to become the wrestler to break Goldberg's undefeated streak that had originally turned him into one of the biggest Superstars of the Attitude Era. Giving Creative control to the old guns is bound to hurt a company in a big manner, and AEW should make it a point to never let major stars get too much of booking power.
#2 Taking jibes at the competition
Back during the Attitude Era, WCW was known for taking shots at WWE on a weekly basis. WCW went on to create a character named Oklahoma, to make fun of WWE's Jim Ross. On an episode of Nitro, former WWE Superstar Alundra Blayze dumped the WWE Women's title in a trash can, which led to the title getting retired.
During the peak of the Monday Night Wars, WCW used to regularly give away Raw results. This move backfired big time, when Tony Schiavone took a jibe at Mick Foley during an episode of Nitro, while giving away Raw results. The Fingerpoke of Doom followed, which enraged the fans like never before.
The irate fans switched over to WWE Raw to witness Foley winning the WWE title. This was a pivotal moment in the rating war, and something that AEW should keep a note of. Bashing your opponent paints a bad picture of yourself in front of the fans, and it ends up backfiring in some cases, like what happened with WCW.
#1 Over-dependence on Superstars from the past
WCW was known among fans as the company that took almost every renowned WWE star of the yesteryears, and featured them heavily on TV. Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, The Ultimate Warrior, Ted Dibiase, Randy Savage, and many others made a name for themselves in WWE in the 80s, and came to WCW in the 90s when WWE had begun looking towards pushing future stars.
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For years on end, WCW featured these wrestlers in high-profile PPV main events, all the while wasting the talents of the likes of Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, and several other promising athletes. Most of these young guns soon left for WWE and made a name for themselves over the next few years. AEW has incredible star power in Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, and a few others, but it should put its primary focus on stars like MJF, Joey Janela, and Adam Page, so as to build a strong foundation for AEW's future in the industry.