We look back at the events which led to the demise of WCW, the greatest challenge the WWE has ever faced.
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It’s arguably one of the saddest tales in the history of wrestling.
World Championship Wrestling was at one point at the forefront of the entire industry. Founded in 1988 as the brainchild billionaire tv juggernaut Ted Turner, WCW emerged from the rubble of the old Jim Crockett Promotions as one of the offshoot promotions of the NWA.
Strongly identified with the Southern style of professional wrestling in its early days that the WWE had long disassociated itself with, the company began to make serious strides in the early 90s. This came when a low ranked commentator in Eric Bischoff would become WCW President.
Combining an understanding of wrestling with a willingness to make the changes needed to raise WCW’s profile with mainstream media, he was able to move the promotion away from the outdated ‘territory’ wars that had made the previous reign ineffective competition.
And in the early days, it worked. Bischoff was able to convince main event WWF stars – such as Hulk Hogan – to jump ship to the competition. The formation of the nWo in 1996 would lead to the company dominated the Monday Night Wars, winning the TV ratings battle for a staggering 84 straight weeks.
Just when it seemed they could have put WWF out of business, it all went wrong. Vince McMahon bounced back with his edgy Attitude Era product whilst WCW suffered with financial and creative issues. This left them in a major blackhole which they couldn’t recover from. In the end, the war ended with WCW being eventually sold up to the WWE in 2001.
It was a sensational rise and fall for a company that played such a major role in making wrestling a mainstream attraction. In our second take on the topic – after our first one got lost in production – our panel take an in-depth look at the events which led to the demise of WCW.
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