We are almost done here folks! The mammoth undertaking we have embarked on is nearing its conclusion and what fun it has been so far. Let’s keep the ball rolling with 5 TV broadcast inclusions.
25. WCW Nitro Final Episode! (2001)
Documented so many times, the Monday Night Wars captured the imagination of fans worldwide and even introduced new fans to the sport. This night was an incredibly emotional broadcast as we all wondered what would happen next for wrestling. Sadly it was, at least up until May 24th this year, the end of the wrestling boom period in North America. We are including this event for the implications it had for pro wrestling and for the surreal sight of the simulcast as the show went off the air for the final time. This writer has never truly gotten over the demise of WCW.
24. WWE Raw is Owen (1999)
Including this was something this writer went back and forth on but its inclusion is here based on two reasons. 1. Owen Hart was one of the most beloved wrestlers of all time by fans and his fellow wrestlers. Seeing the respect and love he was shown during this broadcast, especially the salute by Steve Austin during the show close, was as emotional as anything you will ever see. 2. Jerry Lawler said it best during the show when he said we should never leave home without telling the people we love how much we love them as we never know when it could be the last time we have that chance.
23. WWE Raw – Bret Hart Returns (2010)
Hell froze over January 4th 2010 in Dayton, Ohio when the Hitman made his long-awaited and much overdue return to WWE TV. The sight of Bret in there was one thing but seeing him share a ring with Shawn Michaels, awkward hug and all, and Vince McMahon really was a sight to behold. If you have never seen this broadcast before, go out of your way to see it and enjoy!
22. WWE Raw – Night After WM 24 (2008)
Let’s be honest here. No one really thought that Ric Flair had truly retired at Mania 24 but damn it we all wanted to believe it so much! WWE gave ‘Naitch’ the send-off of a lifetime for his Farewell Address and pulled out all the stops. Featuring friends, former partners and foes of old and new, including the Boss himself Vince, this was a special moment on Raw and one could argue one of the very best moments in the history of TV Wrestling.
21. TNA Impact Spike TV Debut (2005)
This was the year and night that fans had been waiting for. During a time when TNA was a genuine alternative to WWE, the hype for their debut on a national TV channel was so high that it was almost combustible. Included here for the short term, pardon the pun here, ‘Impact’ it would have on wrestling, TNA held nothing back here. AJ Styles was spotlighted, Kevin Nash made his return and Team 3D made their TNA debut to a massive ovation. It really was a one-hour adrenaline rush. If only things could have been different and yes I know we have said that before!
Another 5 in the books their folks. Next week we take a look at entries 20-16. Once again we must stress that this compilation is in no particular order. See you all next week.