Hello. My name is James Murray, and I’m a long time wrestling fan. As a child I watched all the early Wrestlemania’s, but around 1991, when Hogan left the WWF and I started high school, I stopped watching it. My poor mother always said the happiest day of her life was when I stopped watching wrestling. I legitimately did not watch it at all for about 8 years.
In college I knew a few people that watched it. I remember hearing that Hogan had become a bad guy, and I couldn’t believe a smaller guy like Shawn Michaels became WWF champion. A friend told me how Mike Tyson was going to be at Wrestlemania, none of this was enough to lure me back in.
One summer a friend of mine attended a taping of Monday Night Raw, so I figured I’d watch it to see if I could spot my friend in the crowd. It had been so long since I watched it, Monday Night Raw didn’t even exist when I was a fan. Undertaker opened the show, coming to the ring and demanding a title shot, right now. Cut to back stage, one of the interview guys looks for Stone Cold Steve Austin. Out he comes and when asked if he’ll accept the challenge he says “Of course I’ll except the challenge I’ll accept any challenge now get the hell out of my way!” The glass shatters and the music hits. Watching Stone Cold Steve Austin marching down the ring, championship belt in hand, trash talking all the way down the ramp with music blaring was an indelible moment of my young adult life.
While I didn’t immediately jump back in, over the next few months I slowly peeked at it more and more. I fully admit now that I was one of those dreaded closet wrestling fans. I’d watch it and know about it, but wouldn’t always admit it. Eventually I came out of the wrestling closet, and caught the tale end of the Monday Night Wars with WWF on top and WCW far behind.
Since that time I’ve watched it on and off. I still go through periods where I don’t watch it at all. Once youtube and other sites like that started i watched old WCW Nitros, and realized what I missed. WCW at his peak was amazing, Hogan played such a great villain, and the original NWO run was simply phenomenal. In short, the Monday Night Wars was an amazing time in wrestling, and I totally missed it.
Perhaps because I totally missed it, it became an obsession of mine over the last few years. My wrestling friends and I always talk about it, and continued to watch any old Nitro’s and WCW PPV’s I can find. Once the WWE Network debuted, I was anxious to watch their 20 part documentary about the Monday Night Wars. While much of it was put together well, I still had some questions of my own. I realized someone needs to do some intense writing about the Monday Night Wars, and that someone might as well be me.
Regarding my writing background, I went to college to teach high school social studies. My college courses included a research and writing course, and other in depth history courses where I had to write 20+ page papers. I also write as a hobby. I’ve written a 76 page Frankenstein Novella, and currently have a short story collection that I’m prepping to get published. To date I’ve also written two comics, along with a few finite webcomics. (hardcoalstudios.com for anyone interested) I keep a blog at https://jemurr.wordpress.com/. Another blog I don’t write on very much, but keep for more serious topics and semi-academic writing is https://andnowforsomethingserious.wordpress.com/.
In short, I’m not a mark, I’m not a fanboy, I won’t be writing angry fan rants about how _________ killed WCW or how _________ ruined wrestling. I take research and writing seriously. I at least like to think the fact that I didn’t watch it at the time gives me some objectivity. My goal is to write the definitive history of the Monday Night Wars.
If anyone out there can help I’d greatly appreciate it. I’d be looking for access to shoot interviews, WCW Nitro’s from the later half of 98 on up, any ECW stuff that is not on the WWE network, magazines from the era, etc. Certainly I’d love to be able to interview as many actual wrestlers as possible. One thing I’d love to cover is wrestling video games of the time too. Eventually I’ll have a separate page once I can identify some specific needs and questions I may have.
Every great journey begins with the first step, so here we go.