It was a new era. In 1992, Hulkamania and the entire WWF was ravished by a steroid scandal. After Wrestlemania 8, the Hulkster went on a hiatus and figure out how to rebuild his image. The company was left to move on. They managed to sustain on other superstars from the Hulkamanaia era, like "Macho Man" Randy Savage, and the man who was supposed to take over the Hulkster's mantle, the ever popular Ultimate Warrior.
While Savage, Warrior and Ric Flair were used to draw in fans, McMahon started to build new stars in Bret Hart, Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels. The fans grew into the Hitman's Championship reign, and McMahon decided it was time to move forward with the next generation of stars. Warrior was fired for a myriad of reasons. Flair's contract was going to finish up in February of '93 and not be renewed. And Macho Man's role was cut back to semi-active wrestler and full-time commentator on a brand new television program: Monday Night Raw.
Raw began on January 11th 1993, and it's roster featured some of the greatest names in history. The Undertaker. Bret and Owen Hart. Scott Hall. Shawn Michaels. Mr. Perfect. The Steiners. This New Generation of WWF Superstars was incredibly different than the main eventers of the previous generation. These were more agile and technically sound wrestlers that would normally make up the undercard of a Wrestlemania than headline it.These men weren't passed the torch, they just picked it up when the old guard dropped it and while history may show that they didn't take it very far, they still did some cool stuff with it.
Financially speaking this period is looked at as a low point in the history of the company, yet it's incredibly interesting and rife with creative change. From the wrestling style to the character creation, the WWF threw a lot fo different stuff at the wall. Some stuff succeeded and some failed. Lots failed. We've also got the birth of Raw and even as early as the first episode you can see that Vince was tinkering with a more edgy image for his company. And he did this while filling the roster with goofy characters like Clowns, Tax Collectors and Repossession Men.
I've decide to go back and kind of relive this era with adult eyes. When I was kid, I loved the new stars(Bret Hart is tied with Macho Man for favorite wrestler ever) and even dug the crazy characters. Now I want to go back and see what I missed. Knowing that Vince was desperately trying to rebuild the company, and knowing some of the backstage drama that would arise as certain wrestlers came together(The Cliq is born), I think it would be cool to check it out all over again and reevaluate the period.
So I'm going to try to watch WWF programming chronologically starting with the very first episode of RAW - January 11th, 1993. I'll be recapping the shows(RAWs and PPVs) and hopefully be able to detail what was going on during this time period with the knowledge of hindsight. I hope to bring in some pals and get some discussion going on and take this a little deeper, getting other people's perspective on the era.
Every couple of weeks, I'll be doing some Power Rankings for that time period, so you know what wrestlers and what matches you should be checking out from this era. So hop on the Lex Express(after he finishes looking at himself in the mirror) and get ready to experience the WWF's New Generation all over again.