Like anything, professional wrestling is a polarizing topic. For every fan of the modern product's spectacle and production, there will be one who yearns for the good ol' days of studio wrestling. 2022 is a unique time for the wrestling industry. Since acquiring most of the competition at the turn of the new century, Vince McMahon and company have enjoyed being the only major league club in town (no offense, Impact!). With Tony Khan bringing All Elite Wrestling to the big stage, current fans are seeing the first major promotional feud of the internet age.
The 'net was in its infancy during the WWE/WCW Monday night wars. Now, wrestling fans are updated in real time regarding the on-screen and backstage drama. Additionally, both major players are undergoing some interesting personnel changes that may end up altering the landscape of the promotions. Keep in mind that the NWA, Impact! and Ring of Honor are also still going (perhaps not strong, but still going), plus there are the likes of New Japan Pro Wrestling, CMLL, AAA and GCW as other organisations out there.
More options breed more opportunity for both the casual and die-hard fan. Whether one is an old-school viewer or modern fanatic, there is definitely wrestling news worth setting the DVR for.
The Monday Night Wars was a fun era to be a wrestling fan. In no other time in recent history were the competitive lines blurred so much between promotions. Wrestlers were switching companies. Anybody could show up on any show at anytime, and much of the drama felt real... mostly because it was.
Whether it was D-Generation X invading WCW in 1998 or the infamous Montreal Screwjob, audiences received equally satisfying amounts of drama. Both on the screen and behind the scenes, the dead-heat competition between the two kept either company from resting on their creative laurels. With ECW established as the third big wrestling brand of the time, heat between the promotions only served to rake in ratings. That is, until Vince McMahon bought them all.
Seeing a WWE truck parked outside at AEW's Double or Nothing tasted a little like the old Monday Wars. The fact that former AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes' face was emblazoned on that truck pushed the knife in a little more deeply. Competition is the tide that raises all ships.
With AEW continuing to grow and the WWE rumor mill in full swing, the status of modern wrestling could look very differently over the next few years.