Friday, March 18, 2011

Saturday Morning Ringside: WWF Livewire (1996)

The World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) had a firm grip on Saturday mornings on the USA network for most of the 90's. After WBF BodyStars was cancelled, the promotion held on to the 10 am (ET) berth by shifting its focus over to its primary vocation, wrestling.

First, there was WWF Mania, which debuted just 2 days before Monday Night Raw in January 1993. Radio personality Todd Pettengill, who had re-established himself in New York City after a lengthy run in Albany, was tapped as the series host, and for a while had no less than "Macho Man" Randy Savage as a co-host. Mania lasted 3 1/2 years and was replaced, or succeeded, if you will, with Vince McMahon's 1st attempt at interactive television, WWF Livewire, which bowed in 1996.

Pettengill was retained as host for the first year, joined by Sunny (Tammy Sytch) as co-host. In this clip, Stone Cold Steve Austin stops by.

Pettengill left after a year, and one of his former colleagues in Albany, Michael Cole, stepped in to take his place. The series was cancelled after another year or two, but by then, the interactive format had been abandoned, largely because the corporate myopia had gotten in the way, as usual.

Rating: B-.


john cherry said...

i grew up watching this show every Saturday lol....i wish i could go back in time to around 1996-1997 for like a month...miss this stuff!
--John from Boston

hobbyfan said...

Like a lot of Vince's ideas, the old man gave up on it too early, IMPO. Good times, though.