WWF Superstars of Wrestling

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the most recent television series based on this series, see WWE Superstars. For the nationally syndicated U.S wrestling program, see Superstars of Wrestling.
WWF Superstars of Wrestling
WWF Superstars Of Wrestling.jpg
Genre Professional wrestling
Created by Vince McMahon
Starring World Wrestling Federation alumni
Country of origin United States
Production
Running time 46 minutes per episode
Release
Original network Syndicated (1986–1996)
USA Network (1996–2000)
TNN (2000–2001)
Original release 1986 – 2001
Chronology
Related shows WWF Wrestling Challenge

WWF Superstars of Wrestling (later WWF Superstars) is a professional wrestling television program produced by World Wrestling Entertainment, known at the time as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It debuted on September 6, 1986. Superstars, as it would later be known, was the flagship program of the WWF's syndicated programming from its inception until the premiere of Monday Night Raw in 1993.

History[edit]

Early format[edit]

In September 1986, Superstars replaced WWF Championship Wrestling. Before that, WWF Superstars Of Wrestling was the name of a weekly recap show hosted by Vince McMahon (or Gene Okerlund) and Lord Alfred Hayes that lasted from 1984 through August 1986. The new version of Superstars was where all the angles began and at times ended and where the majority of title changes took place if not at a pay-per-view event (e.g. WrestleMania or SummerSlam). Matches primarily saw top tier and mid-level talent versus jobbers; pre-taped interviews with the WWF's roster of superstars; and promos featuring the wrestlers. At times, there was a "feature" match between main WWF talent. As with all syndicated WWF programming, another major aspect of the show was to promote house shows and TV tapings in each market.

During its syndication run, the program was rebranded and aired in Canada as Maple Leaf Wrestling (essentially replacing a program of the same name filmed in southern Ontario), despite having almost no Canadian content other than interviews promoting matches that were to be held in Canada, along with occasional program-exclusive matches taped at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario. However this repackaging was, at the time, sufficient to allow the program to count towards Canadian content requirements for local television stations.

The show began airing also in 1986 in the United Kingdom on Saturday nights on Sky Channel. For a short time, it was shown on Tuesdays on Eurosport. Early in the 1990s, it was featured in a Friday night time slot. In the mid-1990s, Superstars was then moved to a Sunday morning time slot. For most of it original run in the United Kingdom Gorilla Monsoon was the play-by-play commentator with various color commentators throughout its history.

Beginning with the April 18, 1992 episode, the program was renamed to WWF Superstars, due to a successful lawsuit by another promoter, Albert Patterson, who had claimed prior rights to the phrase "Superstars of Wrestling".[1] Since then, archival footage of the program has usually been shown with the words "of Wrestling" blurred out where applicable.

December 4, 1991 was Jack Tunney's notable stripping of the WWF World Heavyweight Championship held by Hulk Hogan who had won it by defeating The Undertaker at This Tuesday in Texas the previous night. After this aired December 7, it remained vacant until January 19, 1992 when Ric Flair won the title by winning the 1992 Royal Rumble.

Change in format[edit]

In September 1996, Superstars left syndication and moved to USA Network in place of WWF Action Zone, which the network cancelled. Although for a brief period the show continued in its same format, as time went on more and more recaps of the WWF's other programming began to fill the hour. By March 1997, Superstars was solely a summary program and continued in that manner until its eventual ending.

In 1997, the format of Superstars as aired in the United Kingdom also changed and began to only feature weekly summaries of Monday Night Raw. Following the premiere of SmackDown!, Superstars served as a summary show for SmackDown! as well.

When the WWF moved its cable TV contract to TNN (now Spike) in September 2000, Superstars moved with it. The show was then discontinued in August 2001. The show continued until December 2002 in the UK, until it was replaced by Heat in January 2003.

Title changes[edit]

Many of these title changes were not aired for up to several weeks after they took place. As these shows were aired in an era before the Internet, the previous title holder sometimes defended his title at house shows as though he were still the champion until the title change was aired on television.

Commentators[edit]

The commentary team on Superstars underwent many changes as the years passed. The hosts of Superstars are listed below in chronological order along with their debut episode.

References[edit]

External links[edit]