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Debut Main Events of National Pro-Wrestling Shows

posted Oct 4, 2019, 6:40 PM by Wrestling Scout
Image result for smackdown on foxThis week is unlike any other in pro-wrestling history.  Some have likened its newsworthiness to that week in April 2001 where the pro-wrestling business hit its modern peak.  WCW aired its final Nitro, during which the WWF revealed that they had purchased their rival company going into the biggest Wrestlemania since 1987.

There are effectively three new pro-wrestling shows airing this week.  The WWE is making their huge return to network television as they shift Smackdown to Fox on Friday nights.  This would be the first time a pro-wrestling show has aired on network television since 2008 (when the WWE's revived Saturday Nights Main Event ended after five episodes over a two year period.  And it is the first time that regularly airing pro-wrestling show on a national network has been on since 1955!

As part of the changes, the WWE rolled out a new set on Monday for Raw and a new set is anticipated for the Smackdown show as well.  To combat AEW's Wednesday night show on TNT, they will be airing a two-hour NXT show on the USA Network.  They have made some adjustments to production, but many anticipate some drastic changes may be coming once the head-to-head shows get competitive.

AEW is certainly breaking new ground.  Although TNA/Impact did gain national exposure on Fox Sports Net and later on Spike, their potential was very different than that of AEW's.  They jumped to Destination America to Pop TV to the Pursuit Channel and finally to AXS TV.  AEW has run a few pay-per-views with great success and is poised for greater success 

Pro-wrestling gaining national exposure is one of the great game-changers of the 1980s.  While an NWA affiliate, Georgia Championship Wrestling, enjoyed that first taste on Ted Turner's Superstation, their success led to a rush for territorial companies to secure a deal on a cable station.  A number did, but few effectively leveraged it to build their company into a national juggernaut like the WWF.

Georgia Championship Wrestling on WTBS 1981
Jim Duggan vs. Zane Hickey

Southwest Championship Wrestling 1983
El Gran Apollo vs. Ninja Warrior (Mr. Pogo)

WWF All American Wrestling on USA  1983
Jimmy Snuka vs. Don Muraco

WWF on WTBS (Black Saturday) 1984 

Championship Wrestling from Georgia on WTBS 1984
Road Warriors vs. Larry Hamilton & Steve Brinson

WWF TNT (Tuesday Night Titans) on USA 1984

WWF Prime Time on USA 1985

AWA on ESPN 1985

WWF Saturday Night's Main Event on NBC 1985

WWF Challenge 1986
The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid) vs. 
The Moondogs (Rex & Spike)

WWF Superstars 1986
Crush Girls (Chigusa Nagayo & Lioness Asuka) vs. Lelani KaiBlack Venus

WWF Main Event on NBC 1988
Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs.
Strike Force (Tito SantanaRick Martel)

WWF Monday Night Raw on USA 1993
The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Damien Demento

WCW Monday Nitro on TNT 1995

WWF Shotgun Saturday Night 1997
Ahmed Johnson vs. Crush

WWF Sunday Night Heat on MTV 1998

WCW Thunder on TBS 1998

WWF Smackdown on UPN 1999

ECW on TNN 1999
Taz vs. Rhino

TNA on SpikeTV 2005
Jeff Hardy vs. Rhino

ECW on SciFi 2006
Extreme Battle Royal with Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, Roadkill, Danny Doring, Stevie Richards, Al Snow, Little Guido, Tony Mamaluke, Balls Mahoney, Big Show

Impact Wrestling on Destination America 2015
Bobby Rude vs. Lashley

Impact on PopTV 2016
Matt Hardy vs. Ethan Carter III 

Impact Wrestling on the Pursuit Channel 2019
Johnny Impact vs. Killer Kross

NXT on USA 2019
Adam Cole vs. Matt Riddle

AEW's Dynamite on TNT
Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks vs. Chris Jericho & LAX

WWE Smackdown on Fox
Brock Lesnar vs. Kofi Kingston