3.2. The Last of the Old Guard


Vince McMahon's consolidation of power in the wrestling world was not a clean process, nor did it happen in the blink of an eye. All across the country, promotions held on until the bitter end as proud entrepreneurs clung to their dreams in the face of history's inexorable march. But the rise of the WWF and its ultimate victory in the North American wrestling world did not mark the end for the small promotion, but merely a point of demarcation. Those that emerged in the aftermath of consolidation have markedly different objectives and offer a substantially different product than those that held on in the 1980s and '90s. To understand those that have built the new world - and to assess the opportunity available to the upstart AEW in 2019 - it is valuable to start by looking at the old world. In this episode, we explore three of the old guard - the AWA, WCCW, and ECW - each of which changed wrestling, but proved incapable of living in the world they made.