Dave Meltzer Discusses The Monday Night Wars, Three Hour RAWs, UFC's Rise, WCW Folding, More

The original idea was Triple H to turn and they Triple H decided he wasn't going to turn. But even with Triple H as the face and Austin as the heel -- that's not what the public wanted, either.

WrestlingINC: Maybe it's always been like this, but it seemed like it was during that time when the company really wanted to prove the audience wrong if it wasn't in their agenda.

Meltzer: Yeah. From the beginning of wrestling, it was always, 'We're going to sell you on what we want.' It's always been like that, every promoter's been like that. So, I don't think that was different. But, I do agree with you in that I don't think those old promoters -- when they did that -- had the mentality of we're going to prove the audience wrong. That did become the thing.

I think in WCW as well. During the Monday night wars era, it became an antagonism. I think that's the prevalence of the Internet. They would read stuff and get mad and, 'We're going to prove you guys wrong.' I think that that's different than the '70's and the '80's where the promoters have their story and they're going to tell their story and the public is going to accept their story. But, it wasn't, 'We're going to prove you wrong.' And the 'we're going to prove you wrong' stuff did come into effect in the '90's and 2000's.

WrestlingINC: It just seemed like during the late '90s at least, when Austin or Rocky caught fire, they would go with it more. Now, if someone catches fire that they weren't responsible for, it seems like they try to book to prove you wrong. The prove that they shouldn't have caught fire.

Meltzer: Yeah! That's unique. WCW did that, though. Remember when the West Texas Rednecks for no reason other than that they had this feud idea that back-fired. Then, the first thing they did was take them off television. That was the weirdest promotion. I've never seen a company try not to get people over.

There were examples after examples. 'Wow, this angle is handed to you. Go with it, you can get this new guy over.' I know people who would pitch ideas for guys and they were great ideas. They would tell me, 'We've got this idea...' They were for under card guys! It was just, 'We don't want to do angles with them.' It was just doing crappy angles with everybody else.

What it was was that there were certain guys there who were guarding their spots who just brainwashed people into thinking nobody else knew how to draw money. So, anything for any of those other guys -- including some guys who were big stars who had drawn money in the past -- but they were all bad-mouthed and people were protecting their spots. Some of those guys were never really big stars, either.

It was a weird thing. Yeah, we see that in WWE now. But, I saw that in WCW, also.

WrestlingINC: The only difference I saw in WCW was that it seemed like the top stars were in management's ear to bring people down. Now, it doesn't seem like that's the case as much and that it's just directly from management. Which makes less sense to me.

With WCW, it was bad for growth, it was bad for the company but I understood that the top guys wanted to keep their spot. Now, why wouldn't you go with something that's catching fire?

Meltzer: Now, what you've got this mentality that it's not real. Unless you look this way, you can't be a star. So, when you have a guy who gets over who doesn't look this way, it's like, 'OK, the people are cheering for them but they're not really over.' That was the difference. And, you know, sometimes, you look at TV ratings and TV ratings are a funny thing.

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