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World Championship Wrestling | Pro Wrestling General Alumni Event history Merchandise For the Australian professional wrestling promotion with the same name see World Championship Wrestling Australia WCW redirects here Windy City Wrestling has the same initials WCW World War 3 World Championship Wrestling WCW was an American professional wrestling promotion which in its proper form existed from 1988 to 2001 Although the name World Championship Wrestling had been used as a brand and television show name by various National Wrestling Alliance NWAaffiliated promotions most notably Georgia Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions since 1983 it was not until five years later that an actual NWAaffiliated promotion called World Championship Wrestling appeared on the national scene under the ownership of Atlanta Georgiabased media mogul Ted Turner During all its time as a separate promotion WCW was the chief rival of World Wrestling Entertainment then called World Wrestling Federation and even the owners of its NWAaffiliated forerunner promotions regarded WWE as their major competitor At the outset of WCWs existence as well as with the promotions that came before it the company was strongly identified with the Southernstyle of professional wrestling or rasslin which emphasized athletic inring competition over the showmanship and cartoonish characters of WWE This identification persisted into the 1990s even as the company signed former WWE stars such as Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage WCW dominated pro wrestlings television ratings from 1996 to 1998 mainly due to its incredibly popular New World Order nWo storyline but thereafter began to lose heavy ground to WWE which had recovered greatly due to its new WWE Attitude branding The promotion began losing large amounts of money leading to parent company AOL Time Warner selling the companys assets trademarks and a selected number of wrestler contracts to the rival WWE for roughly 7 million in 2001 History The NWA years Although World Championship Wrestling was a brand name used by promoter Jim Barnett for his Australian promotion the first promotion in the United States to use the World Championship Wrestling brand name though it was never referred to as WCW on a wide scale was Georgia Championship Wrestling although Vincent James McMahons Capitol Wrestling Corporation did in fact use the name in some house show promotion This promotion owned primarily by Jack Brisco and Gerald Brisco and booked by Ole Anderson was the first NWA territory to gain cable TV access In 1983 Georgia Championship Wrestling changed the name of its television show and thus its public face to World Championship Wrestling since it was already starting to run shows in neutral territories such as Ohio and Michigan Although many in the business felt that Anderson was mismanaging the company Georgia Championship Wrestling had managed to compete against the other major territory trying to go national Vince McMahons WWF the name World Championship Wrestling WCW was first thought up for the company in 1982 when the WWE became the top promotion after Vince McMahon Jr s company Titan Sports Inc purchased Capitol Wrestling WWE as a result from the huge success that occurred for the company after the epic cage match between Jimmy Snuka and Bob Backlund took place on June 28 1982 This change in name helped make Georgia Championship Wrestling the top promotion once again until the WWE was able to officially leave the NWA and create the show WWE All American Wrestling It was then that Jim Crockett created in order to prevent another Showdown At Shea from occurring and bring the NWA on top Starrcade and the NWA was now on top once again However the WWE was able to counter the NWA the following January with Hulk Hogans title victory and Tuesday Night Titans Main article Black Saturday In May 1984 the Brisco brothers sold their shares in Georgia Championship Wrestling including their timeslot on the TBS cable TV network to Vince McMahon this time slot was a primetime slot as well The WWF show did not fare well in ratings World Championship Wrestlings core audience was not interested in the WWFs cartoonish approach preferring a more athletic style Despite originally promising to produce original programming for the TBS timeslot in Atlanta McMahon chose instead to provide only a clip show for TBS featuring highlights from other WWF programming It was then that Bill Watts and Ole Anderson were able to air Mid South Wrestling Watts promotion and Championship Wrestling from Georgia Andersons new promotion on TBS and make them more successful in the TV ratings than the WWFs clip show In May 1985 McMahon sold the TBS timeslot to Jim Crockett Promotions owned by Jim Crockett Jr under pressure from Ted Turner who resurrected the World Championship Wrestling name Turner Broadcasting had copyrighted it and prevented McMahon from using it The WWF and Hulk Hogan however were now the superior figures of wrestling after the success of WrestleMania so the sale took place to successfully put the company in better shape The new WCW which was now a combination of Jim Crockett Promotions Mid Atlantic Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling was now the top show on TBS and helped make Jim Crockett Jr the NWA President once again By 1986 Jim Crockett Jr controlled key portions of the NWA under the name Jim Crockett Promotions including the traditional NWA territories in The Carolinas Georgia and St Louis Crockett merged his various NWA territories into one group promoting under the banner of the National Wrestling Alliance in fact JCP virtually became synonymous with the NWA A feud between Crockett and Vince McMahons WWE sprang up and both companies attempted to outmaneuver the other to acquire key TV slots It was the WWF however who was able to become a big hit in St Louis and the rest of Missouri as well which brought trouble to the NWA Central States The WWF was able to become a hit across the country as well as the feud between Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff appealed to a large audience As a result Bob Geigel became the NWA President once again In the same year JCP also purchased Heart of America Sports Attractions Inc HASA which owned the rights to promote wrestling shows through several central states Kansas Missouri and Iowa HASA was known in the business as the Central States territory and ran a TV show called All Star Wrestling In 1987 JCP would enter into agreement to control Championship Wrestling from Florida though JCP never bought that company and Universal Wrestling Federation which covered Oklahoma Mississippi Arkansas Texas and Louisiana and which was not an NWA member this helped make him NWA President once again The Florida & MidSouth territories along with those companies rosters of wrestlers were absorbed into JCP Jim Crockett now owned NWA St Louis the UWF his own Jim Crockett Promotions Georgia Championship Wrestling Central States Wrestling Championship Wrestling from Georgia and the CWF as well Crockett had almost accomplished his goal of creating a national promotion Between his purchasing several NWA territories World Class Championship Wrestling in Texas leaving the NWA in 1986 and later merging with Jerry Jarretts Championship Wrestling Alliance in Memphis to create the United States Wrestling Association brand and the once highly viable Portland territory going bankrupt it closed in 1992 he was the last bastion of the NWA and the last member with national TV exposure Since it was all they now saw many people began to believe that Jim Crockett Promotions was the NWA Although JCP and the NWA were still two separate entities with Crockett as NWA President they were very much on the same page The NWA was effectively an onpaper organization funded by Crockett and allowed Crockett to use the NWA brand name for promoting With the large amount of capital needed to take a wrestling federation on a national tour Crocketts territorial acquisitions had seriously drained JCPs coffers He was in a similar situation to that of the WWE in the early 1980s a large debt load and the success or failure of a federation hinging on the success or failure of a series of PPVs Crockett marketed StarrCade 87 as the NWAs answer to WrestleMania However the WWE promoted Survivor Series on the same day The WWE informed cable companies that if they chose to carry Starrcade they would not be allowed to carry future WWE events The vast majority of companies showed Survivor Series only three opted to remain loyal to their contract with Crockett In January 1988 JCP promoted the Bunkhouse Stampede PPV and McMahon counterprogrammed with the first Royal Rumble on USA Both NWA PPVs achieved low buyrates and the resulting financial blow due to the low buyates both Starrcade and Bunkhouse Stampede were in many ways both the beginning of the end for Jim Crockett Promotions and the birth of WCW in which would take Jim Crockett Promotions place In addition the decision to hold these events in Chicago and New York alienated the Crocketts main fanbase in the Carolinas hampering their drawing power for arena shows in the Southeast In 1985 Crockett had signed Dusty Rhodes and made him booker for JCP Rhodes had a reputation for creativity and authored many of the memorable feuds and storylines of this period and gimmick matches like WarGames By 1988 after three years of trying to compete with Vince McMahon and a long drawnout political struggle with champion Ric Flair Rhodes was burned out Fans were getting tired of the Charlotte Clique Rhodes Ric Flair Arn Anderson Tully Blanchard Nikita Koloff among others and the Dusty Finish and other nonendings for shows had obliterated the onceprofitable house show market One of the last creative things Dusty Rhodes could do was create the first Clash of The Champions on the night of Wrestlemania IV and gained a high amount of viewers even over Wrestlemania IV for a whole quarterhour as the Ric Flair vs Sting match continued to take place and as an epic match that also made Sting now a top player for WCW However this main event match ended long before the fourhour Wrestlemania IV ended and people soon afterwards saw Randy Savage win his first WWE Title and insured more victory for the WWE By the end of 1988 Rhodes was booking cards seemingly at random and planning at one point to have midcard wrestler Rick Steiner defeat Ric Flair in a fiveminute match at Starrcade for the NWA World Championship At the end of 1988 Rhodes was fired by the promotion after an angle he booked where Road Warrior Animal pulled a spike out of his shoulder pad and jammed it in Rhodess eye busting it wide open despite a strict noblood policy laid down by Turner after his recent purchase of the company WCW under Ted Turner The Early Years To preserve the inexpensive network programming provided by professional wrestling Jim Crockett Promotions was purchased outright by Turner on November 21 1988 Originally incorporated by TBS as the Universal Wrestling Corporation Turner promised the fans that WCW would be the athleteoriented style of NWA 1989 proved to be a turnaround year for WCW with Ric Flair on top for most of the year both as World Champion and also as head booker Flair had helped bring in Ricky Steamboat and Terry Funk and his PPV matches with both were successful financially and critically Young stars such as Sid Vicious Sting Scott Steiner The Road Warriors Brian Pillman The Great Muta and Lex Luger were given big storylines and championship opportunities Despite this influx of talent WCW soon began working to gradually incorporate much of the glamour and showy gimmicks for which the WWE was better known Virtually none of these stunts such as the live crosspromotional appearance of RoboCop at a PPV event in 1990 the Chamber of Horrors gimmick and the notorious Black Scorpion storyline succeeded Behind the scenes WCW was also becoming more autonomous and slowly started separating itself from the historic NWA name In January 1991 WCW officially split from the NWA and began to recognize its own WCW World Heavyweight Championship and WCW World Tag Team Championship Both the WCW and the NWA recognized Ric Flair who was by now no longer the head booker as their World Heavyweight Champion throughout most of the first half of 1991 but WCW particularly recently installed company president Jim Herd turned against Flair for various reasons and fired him just prior to the July 1991 Great American Bash PPV after failed contract negotiations In the process they officially stripped him of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship However according to Flairs autobiography they refused to return the 25000 deposit he had put down on the physical belt so he kept it and took it with him when he was hired by WWE at the request of Vince McMahon Flair then incorporated the belt into his gimmick dubbing himself The Real Worlds Champion WCW later renegotiated the use of the NWA name as a copromotional gimmick with New Japan Pro Wrestling and sued WWE to stop showing Flair with the old NWA World title belt on its programs claiming a trademark on the physical design of the belt The belt was returned to WCW by Flair when Jim Herd was let go and he received his deposit back plus interest and it was brought back as the revived NWA World Heavyweight Championship During the period that WCW operated with its own World Champion while also recognizing the NWAs world title Flair would later leave WWE on good terms and returned to WCW regaining the title from Barry Windham in July 1993 Immediately the other now smaller member organizations of the NWA began demanding that Flair defend the title under their rules in their territories as mandated by old NWA agreements The title was later scheduled to be dropped by Flair to Rick Rude a title change which was exposed by the Disney Tapings the monthsinadvance taping of WCWs syndicated television shows at Disneyowned studios in Orlando Florida The NWA board of directors working separately from WCW objected to Rude with WCW finally leaving the NWA for good again in September 1993 However WCW still legally owned and used the actual belt which represented the NWA World Heavyweight Championship Rick Rude even defended it as The Big Gold Belt but they could no longer use the NWA name The title thus became known as the WCW International World Heavyweight Title meaning the World heavyweight championship as sanctioned by WCW International a fictional organization made up of promoters from around the world essentially their inhouse version of the real NWA WCW realized that the title belt because of its rich inring history and visual impact was highly sought after and respected in Japan and as such created this fictional subsidiary dubbed WCW International to inject some credibility back into the belt WCW claimed that WCWI still recognized the belt as a legitimate World Championship For a short while there were essentially two World titles up for competition in the organization Sting eventually won the WCW International Championship and lost the belt to thenWCW World Champion Ric Flair in a unification match on June 23 1994 when the experiment was jettisoned The Big Gold belt or Big Goldy was then used to represent the lone World title in the company It was used as such until WCWs closure in 2001 The belt in a slightly altered design is still seen today in WWE as the World Heavyweight Championship on their SmackDown brand previously on RAW However WWE considers it a separate title and WWE com officially lists the title history of the World Heavyweight Championship as beginning with Triple H being awarded the belt by Eric Bischoff on RAW on September 2 2002 The Eric Bischoff era begins The creative product of the company sank very noticeably in 1992 and 1993 under the presidency of Jim Herd and subsequently Bill Watts There were signs of gradual recovery in late 1993 when former commentator Eric Bischoff was appointed as Executive Vice President of WCW Bischoff originally brought in as a secondary commentator behind Jim Ross after the AWA became defunct was desperate to give WCW a new direction and impressed Turners top brass with his confrontational tactics and businesssavvy Bischoffs first year was considered unsuccessful Dusty Rhodes and Ole Anderson were still in full creative control at this point with what were considered to be cartoonish storylines as well as seemingly pointless feuds with little or no buildup For example The Cactus Jack lost in Cleveland angle the mini movies that build up the PPV Spin the Wheel Make the deal White Castle of Fear and the infamous beach blast mini movie and Spin the Wheel make the deal angles During a segment of A Flair For the Gold on a live Clash of the Champions to build up the Fall Brawl PPV WCW decided to introduce a mystery partner for the babyfaces a masked man known as The Shockmaster The Shockmaster previously known as Typhoon in WWE was supposed to crash through a fake wall and intimidate the heels Instead he tripped through the wall and fell on live television rendering himself as a joke character despite winning some matches WCW in 1993 decided to once again base the promotion around Ric Flair This was seen as more or less a necessity as prospective top babyface Sid Vicious tried to injure wrestler Arn Anderson with a pair of scissors four weeks before StarrCade while on tour in England and was fired Flair won the title at StarrCade and was once again made booker Bischoff would declare open war on McMahons WWE in the media and aggressively recruited highprofile former WWE superstars such as Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage in 1994 Using Turners monetary resources Bischoff placed his faith in the established stars with proven track records Because of their high profiles Hogan and Savage were able to demand and get several concessions not usually allowed to wrestlers at the time such as multiyear multimillion dollar guaranteed contracts and significant creative control This would later become a problem during subsequent years of competition with the WWE as other wrestlers were able to make similar demands and contract values soared out of control Hogan in particular was able to gain considerable influence through a friendship with Bischoff Another thing Bischoff may have failed to consider was the fact that many WCW fans watched it as an alternative to the product of the WWE in the early 90s and many NWA fans saw the hiring of former WWE talent as an attempt to copy its success as opposed to being an alternative product with an emphasis on inring action But WCWs first major Pay Per View event since Hogans hiring Bash at the Beach saw the former WWE mainstay cleanly defeat Ric Flair for the WCW Championship The two had worked for the WWE at the same time from 1991 to 1992 and a feud was teased between them but the bigmoney match originally planned for WrestleMania VIII was changed to FlairSavage and HoganSid When WCW delivered the match the PPV drew a high buy rate by WCW standards due to mainstream intrigue and hype Despite being a critical and financial success the glory would not last long as the HoganFlair feud was only a oneoff match and the hoped for long term effects on Pay Per View buyrates and ratings did not materialize This was not lost on Turner management however and Bischoffs bold expensive steps didnt quite meet their expectations when they came to check up on things in mid1995 Thus Bischoff called Turner and requested a private meeting which he was granted Monday Night Wars Main article Monday Night Wars Starrcade 1997 Main article Starrcade 1997 See also nWo In 1997 WCW entered its peak largely due to the nWo storyline During that time the nWo feuded with the revived and faceturned Four Horsemen as well as returning WCW hero Sting who now had a gimmick that resembled The Crow The latter feud served to build up the StarrCade payperview in December When WCW delivered the Sting vs Hogan match for the WCW World Championship the PPV drew WCWs biggest buyrate and Bischoff was largely praised in the months leading up to this payperview because of his refusal to hotshot give away a big money PPV match before proper build up causing a lesser buy rate Sting vs Hogan for the WCW World Title However some wrestling fans consider this show to be the beginning of the end for WCW even though WCW was dominating the WWF in the television ratings at the time Hogan was heavily criticized for not doing a clean finish to the match which confused and irritated fans who had waited over a year to see Sting take down the nWo The finish actually involved a recently introduced Bret Hart who had refereed the preceding match between Bischoff and Larry Zbyszko for control of Monday Nitro coming down to the ring after Hogan had supposedly won the match Hart alleged that referee Nick Patrick had performed a fast count on Sting and wanted to make things right He insisted the match continue with himself as referee in order to prevent Sting from being screwed just like he had been in the WWF with the Montreal Screwjob Vince McMahon strikes back See also Monday Night Wars The Tide Turns When Hart left the WWF after the Montreal Screwjob at the 1997 Survivor Series it looked as though WCW was going to push the WWF right off the map WCW seemingly possessed the biggest stars in the industry such as Hogan Savage Sting Flair Hart Hall and Nash In addition the company also had credible midcard stars such as Chris Benoit and Raven as well as an exciting cruiserweight division featuring highflying competitors from Mexico the luchadors and Japan as well as the United States However things would unfold quite differently from what WCW had planned The popular opinion was that the Screwjob and the acquisition of Hart was a deathblow for the WWF and a major score for WCW The combination of a company screwing over a popular wrestler and angering many fans should have dealt a massive blow to the WWF and given WCW a great amount of hype to work with However after WrestleMania XIV in March 1998 Vince McMahon regained the lead in the Monday Night Wars with his new WWF Attitude brand led in particular by rising stars Stone Cold Steve Austin The Rock Triple H and Mankind WCW World War 3 The classic feud between McMahon who was reimagined and rebranded as the evil company chairman character Mr McMahon and Austin who ironically had been released by Bischoff in the summer of 1995 for not being marketable captured the imaginations of fans The April 13 1998 episode of RAW headlined by a match between Austin and McMahon marked the first time that WCW had lost the headtohead Monday night ratings battle in the 84 weeks since 1996 The WWF did not stop there Their ratings increased dramatically in the next two years more than ever before WCW attempted to counter this by dividing the nWo into the Hoganled heel nWo Hollywood faction and the Nashled face nWo Wolfpac faction but many felt that it was a poor rehash of the original WCW vs nWo storyline Undeterred WCW also launched a new Thursday TV show the aforementioned WCW Thunder around this time WCWs next big attempt at ratings supremacy was marketing exNFL newcomer Bill Goldberg as an invincible monster with a recordbreaking winning streak Goldberg was indeed incredibly popular from the outset with chants of Goldberg Goldberg heralding his approach to the ring but business still quickly fell off for WCW especially as the list of stars ready to be destroyed by Goldberg grew shorter One of WCWs last big genuine wins in the Monday night ratings war was on July 6 1998 when WCW gave the longawaited World Title match in Atlanta between Hogan and Goldberg which Goldberg won away for free on Nitro By doing this they indeed spiked and defeated RAW in the TV ratings for a week but lost millions of possible PPV dollars in the process as Hogan vs Goldberg was a clear PPV main event On September 14 1998 WCW won the ratings war once again with a memorable moment that featured Ric Flairs return to WCW and the reformation of the legendary Four Horsemen On October 25 1998 WCWs Halloween Havoc PPV ended up running longer than the time allowed due to the lastminute addition of a Tag Team Title match As a result several thousand people lost the PPV feed at 11pm which was during the World Title match between Diamond Dallas Page and Goldberg The following night WCW decided to correct the problem by airing the entire match for free on Nitro and thus winning the ratings war for the final time WCW slowly slid into a period of extravagant overspending and what was viewed almost universally as creative decline with the reason why it happened and who let it happen still a matter of debate One possible reason was the overuse of celebrities such as Dennis Rodman and Jay Leno to wrestle PPV matches Another was that WCWs credibility was badly damaged by embarrassing product placement like Rick Steiner trading barbs with Chucky the killer doll which was roundly booed by the inhouse audience on the live Nitro broadcast in the hopes of generating interest in the 1998 film Bride of Chucky Yet another possible reason was the stale pointless and at times selfserving storylines concocted by inexperienced bookers such as Kevin Nash and the fact that the toplevel stars had no motivation to excel in the ring due to their longterm guaranteedmoney contracts only giving their utmost when it suited them to do so What is known is that WCW programming slowly started to go downhill in quality with people turning off their TVs or switching to WWF programming and in reaction the company began to panic and tried to solve its problems by throwing money at a variety of personalities a practice it could illafford to engage in Many talents were reportedly signed simply to keep them from appearing on WWF television At one point WCW held over 260 individual performers under guaranteed contracts and often paid many of them to simply stay at home and collect a paycheck As mentioned above people were growing suspicious of Nashs questionable storylines which were dominated by his onscreen persona After booking himself to win the World War 3 battle royal in November 1998 he went on to end Goldbergs winning streak and win the World Title on the StarrCade PPV just one month later Then came the infamous fingerpoke of doom match with Hulk Hogan in January 1999 The particular Nitro in which this match aired was being advertised as a StarrCade rematch between Nash and Goldberg As a result the arena was a complete sellout with over 40000 people watching live and millions more around the world hoping for the rematch All night long the announcers hyped the main event as being the biggest match in the history of our sport and said that unlike the other guys we have a real main event Instead a storyline that put Goldberg in a bad light called for him to be replaced by Hollywood Hogan The World Heavyweight Championship changed hands when Hogan knocked Nash to the mat by prodding him in the chest with one finger and then pinning him further damaging the credibility and perceived value of the title Also damaged was the credibility of the company itself which did not present the match that had been advertised as well as what was perceived to be an underhanded way of selling out the arena for that nights telecast It was also this same episode of Nitro that Tony Schiavone mockingly announced the Mick Foley WWFs Title win which shifted the ratings for the night in the WWFs favor For more details on this topic see Fingerpoke of Doom The Impact Also in 1998 The Ultimate Warrior a former WWF star was recruited by Eric Bischoff to feud with Hogan Warriors WrestleMania VI opponent Their October 1998 encounter at Halloween Havoc was mostly seen as subpar and Warrior vanished soon after The Ultimate Warrior also insisted on a number of elaborate and costly apparatuses such as a trapdoor in the ring which badly injured The British Bulldog when he landed on it In addition no matter who was in charge WCW did not like promoting its younger stars to the companys top slots Despite having many talented younger wrestlers such as Chris Jericho Chris Benoit Billy Kidman Chavo Guerrero Jr Eddie Guerrero Perry Saturn Raven Rey Mysterio Jr and Booker T on its roster they were kept away from the main event scene What was seen as WCWs poor talent decisions combined with the massive popularity of the new hip and edgy WWFs Attitude Era likely began WCWs rapid demise Bischoff was eventually removed from power by the Turner higherups on September 10 1999 The last straws perhaps being what was felt as a bizarre and mystifying push for the 1970s rock group KISS through WCW shows a storyline involving rapper Master P and The No Limit Soldiers that saw Master P last only two weeks the No Limit Soldiers stable flopped so badly that the West Texas Rednecks heel stable that they were feuding with was cheered by the WCWs traditional southern fanbase an announced milliondollar contest that was later canceled a planned Nitro animated series that was scrapped as well and Bischoffs longstanding desire to put on a huge outdoor rock n wrestling concert featuring KISS on December 31 1999 See also Eric Bischoffs downfall Another factor that lead to the demise of the WCW which has largely gone unnoticed is that unlike Nitro the locations WCW used to hire for their PPV events were too small in terms of their capacity Although WCW had an abundance of superstars in their ranks this area was largely neglected by the management For the record WCW staged some of the biggest wrestling matches in arenas having mediocre capacity For example the much awaited encounter between Randy Savage and Ric Flair at the 1995 Great American Bash was scheduled at the Hara Arena in Dayton Ohio had a mere capacity of 6000 seats Similarly the match between Sting and Giant for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at the 1996 Slamboree took placed at the Riverside Centroplex in Baton Rouge Louisiana which only 8000 seats available All and all it has been said that had WCW management opted for bigger venues their profit would have been much more The Death of WCW See also Vince Russo in WCW Bischoff was unexpectedly replaced by former WWF head writer Vince Russo and his colleague Ed Ferrara Russo and Ferrera had been writers involved in the WWFs Attitude Era but billed themselves as the brains behind the operation WCW offered them lucrative contracts to jump ship in October 1999 in an effort to revitalize their own flagging product and weaken the product of the WWF Russo and Ferrera tried to push the younger WCW talents straight away and phase out aging stars such as Hogan and Flair However Russo was thought by many to be incapable of recreating the intriguing and cuttingedge TV he had produced while working for McMahon Russo and Ferrera struggled to gain approval for their neartheknuckle ideas from the WCW management such as Piñata on a Pole matches between Mexican wrestlers In late 1999 Russo and Ferrera revived the nWo storyline this time with Jeff Jarrett and Bret Hart at the helm They next targeted WWF announcer Jim Ross with a parody character called Oklahoma who was played onscreen by Ferrera Ross had been suffering from Bells palsy and the character lampooned his resultant facial defects Bad luck struck in December 1999 when Hart suffered a genuine and ultimately careerending concussion at the hands of Goldberg who severely damaged his own hand less than a week later while punching through a limousine window in Salisbury Maryland as part of a storyline that was written by Russo Russo himself became an onscreen character during this period though one whose face was never shown on camera in a manner similar to Doctor Claw from Inspector Gadget and the George Steinbrenner character from Seinfeld Only his hand and the back of his chair were ever actually seen as he called wrestlers into his office to receive their marching orders for the night Both Russo and Ferrera were suspended just three months later amid rumors that they wanted to make former UFC fighter Tank Abbott the WCW Champion Abbott despite his legitimate fighting background had little wrestling experience and had failed to connect with WCW audiences Kevin Sullivan who had been an onoff booker over the course of several years was placed in charge in the interim The new writing team attempted to appease the demoralized wrestlers and fans by making Chris Benoit the WCW Champion at the Souled Out PPV in January 2000 However because of the reallife personal issues between himself and Sullivan Sullivans wife left him for Benoit let alone that prior to the PPV he and a few other wrestlers demanded their releases from the company due to their lack of being pushed to stardom as well as their similar hatred for Sullivan Benoit handed the belt back right after winning it and the next day left WCW He signed with the WWF along with his similarly frustrated friends Perry Saturn Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko The four quickly became popular in the WWF as The Radicalz On February 11 2000 black wrestlers Bobby Walker and Harrison Norris and Japanese manager Sonny Onoo launched racial discrimination lawsuits against WCW claiming that as a result of their ethnicities they had not been pushed had not been paid as well as other wrestlers and personalities and had been given offensive gimmicks Some speculated that the charges of racism brought against WCW and the resultant bad publicity for the company which had been dogged by accusations of racism for years were partially responsible for black wrestler Booker T winning the WCW Championship later that year and his brother Stevie Ray being made a color commentator with Ray himself acknowledging that it might have been a factor In April 2000 with ratings hitting new lows both Russo and Bischoff were reinstated by WCW They formed an onscreen union that stood up for the younger talent in the company which they dubbed the New Blood in their battle against the Millionaires Club which consisted of the older higherpaid and more visible stars such as Hogan Sting and Diamond Dallas Page Though initially wellreceived the storyline quickly degenerated into yet another nWo rehash with the heel nWo recast as the New Blood and the face WCW embodied in the Millionaires Club As well the unorthodox and often controversial storylines continued These included making actor David Arquette the WCW Champion in order to promote a WCWthemed movie Ready to Rumble Russo himself winning the WCW Championship in September 2000 Russo like Arquette was not a trained wrestler a botched June heel turn for Goldberg that greatly diminished his drawing power and a shoot speech by Russo at Bash at the Beach 2000 aimed at Hulk Hogan which led to Hogan resigning and filing a defamation of character lawsuit against the company which was eventually dismissed in 2002 Bischoff vanished once more in July 2000 and Russo was gone from WCW completely by late 2000 leaving Terry Taylor holding the reins Meanwhile when Time Warner bought out Turners cable empire in 1996 it also purchased WCW Even though Turner was a big fan and faithful to the professional wrestling shows on his stations a professional wrestling program had helped get Turners very first TV station WTBS off the ground and WCW was in fact the modern incarnation of the promotion that Turner had run on WTBS back in those days regardless of whether it was losing him money Time Warner did not share his loyalty especially when accounts showed that WCW was losing between 12–17 million a year because of its decline However Turner was still the single largest Time Warner shareholder and WCW was supported at his behest When AOL merged with Time Warner in 2000 Turner was effectively forced out of his own empire The new AOL Time Warner finally had the power to auction off WCW which they saw as an unnecessary drain on resources In late 2000 Bischoff and a group of private investors calling themselves Fusient Media Ventures inquired about buying WCW but backed out when Turner Networks head and The WB founder Jamie Kellner formally canceled all WCW programming from its TV networks With no network to air its programming WCW was of little value to Fusient whose offer was dependent on the Turner networks continuing to air WCW programming On March 23 2001 virtually all of WCWs trademarks and archived footage along with the contracts of 24 wrestlers under WCW contract were sold to Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc for around 2 million AOL Time Warner retained the former WCW which subsequently reverted to its previous name of Universal Wrestling Corporation and now operated solely for the purpose of dealing with the guaranteed contracts of wrestlers who were directly under contract to AOL Time Warner and not WCW as well as lawsuits and other legal issues As of 2014 the Universal Wrestling Corporation still exists as a legal entity under the ownership of Time Warner 12 The Acquisition by WWFE A gloating McMahon in character but at least partly genuine opened the lastever episode of WCW Monday Nitro simulcast with RAW on March 26 2001 with a selfpraising speech US Champion Booker T cleanly defeated the world champion Scott Steiner to become WCWs final World Heavyweight Champion as well as its final US Heavyweight Champion Sting vs Ric Flair won by Sting was the highlight nostalgia match of the final broadcast ending affectionately with a respectful embrace When Vince came on RAW after the StingFlair match to declare victory over WCW Vinces son Shane McMahon appeared at the Nitro event declaring that he had bought WCW However this was kayfabe and part of a WWE storyline that would have Shane leading the WCW Invasion of WWE which lasted from March to November 2001 and marked the end of WCW Despite aborted attempts to run WCWbranded events including a proposed Saturday night timeslot that later evolved into WWF Excess and then WWE Velocity the WWF only ran a handful of matches on RAW and SmackDown under the WCW banner When the WWF bought WCWs assets in March 2001 several top WCW wrestlers including Flair Goldberg Kevin Nash and Sting had highpriced contracts with AOL Time Warner that WWF was unwilling to pick up This was one the reasons the planned WCW Invasion of WWF storyline failed The WCW was not seen as a powerhouse organization invading WWF when most of their top stars did not appear However all of the above wrestlers except Sting signed contracts with the WWF after the Invasion subsided It has also been noticed often in WCW that they somewhat misused the great roster they used to have At times they tried to recreate the magic of those encounters which were already successful in WWF and HoganWarrior and HoganSavage was no exception Moreover there was hardly any face vs face matches in WCW except of GoldbergDDP which was reasonably successful It was also noted that with the roster WCW used to have they could have created some great encounters which had never been seen before in WWF such as HoganBret WarriorBret FlairWarrior LugerSavage etc Adding insult to injury was the bad timings short length and poor homework on the part of bookers of various feuds which caused a lot of damage to WCW during a pivotal time where it couldnt afford to make such mistakes The SavageBret rivalry which started when Bret become a nWo member was indeed a great idea but it was short lived The HoganNash encounter could have drawn millions of dollars had it been on a pay per view but due to the poor booking timing and execution of the match the result is what was infamously remembered as ’Fingerpoke of Doom’ All and all the talent of WCW was utilized poorly as majority of superstar and talented athletes had nothing to do but move in the shadow of either Hogan or Nash as a part of nWo while others used to get their opportunity once in a blue moon in the mid card The WCW World Heavyweight Championship would be merged with the WWF Championship into the WWF Undisputed Championship when Chris Jericho defeated The Rock and Steve Austin for the respective titles on December 9 2001 on the PPV Vengeance However in September 2002 the year the WWE Brand Extension between RAW and SmackDown was instituted the World Heavyweight Championship was reinstated by GM at the time Eric Bischoff on an episode of RAW after the thenundisputed WWE Champion Brock Lesnar was moved to SmackDown to become that shows champion This version of the belt along with champion Dave Batista was moved over to the Smackdown brand in June 2005 Three years later in June 2008 the World Heavyweight Championship was moved back to RAW CM Punk of RAW defeated Smackdowns champion Edge in an impromptu Money in the Bank match on Monday Night RAW where it remained for a while At No Way Out 2009 Edge a SmackDown superstar won the RAW Elimination Chamber match after inserting himself into it thus bringing the title with him to SmackDown Final champions This is a list of the champions as they were at the end of the last WCW Monday Nitro on March 26 2001 Championship Final Champion s Date Won Event WCW World Heavyweight Championship Booker T March 26 2001 Nitro WCW United States Championship Booker T March 18 2001 Greed WCW World Tag Team Champions Chuck Palumbo and Sean OHaire January 14 2001 Sin WCW Cruiserweight Championship Shane Helms March 18 2001 Greed WCW World Television Championship Jim Duggan February 16 2000 Thunder WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio March 26 2001 Nitro WCW Hardcore Championship Meng January 14 2001 Sin Heres a list of the final WCW Champions under banner of WWE Championship Final Champion s Date Won Event WCW World Heavyweight Championship 1 Chris Jericho December 9 2001 Vengeance 2001 WCW United States Heavyweight Championship 3 Edge November 12 2001 RAW WCW World Tag Team Champions 2 The Dudley Boyz November 18 2001 Survivor Series WCW Cruiserweight Championship 4 Tajiri October 22 2001 RAW Footnotes 1Unified with the WWE Championship at Vengeance 2001 The belt design was later reintroduced as the WWE sanctioned World Heavyweight Championship in September 2002 2Unified with the WWE Tag Team Championship at Survivor Series 2001 3Unified with the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Test Reactivated in 2003 as the WWE United States Championship 4Kept active after WCW and renamed WWE Cruiserweight Championship after The Invasion Championships and accomplishments WCW World Heavyweight Championship WCW United States Heavyweight Championship WCW World Cruiserweight Championship WCW World Tag Team Championship WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship WCW World Television Championship WCW Hardcore Championship WCW United States Tag Team Championship WCW World SixMan Tag Team Championship WCW International World Heavyweight Championship WCW Light Heavyweight Championship WCW Womens Championship WCW Womens Cruiserweight Championship NWA World Heavyweight Championship NWA World Tag Team Championship List of WCW programming Throughout its history World Championship Wrestling and its predecessor Jim Crockett Promotions has presented several wrestling programs WCW Monday Nitro 19952001 WCW Thunder 19982001 WCW Saturday Night aka WCW Saturday Morning Georgia Championship Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling 19712000 World Championship Wrestling Sunday Edition 1971987 WCW WorldWide aka World Wide Wrestling 19752001 WCW Pro aka NWA Pro Wrestling and MidAtlantic Wrestling 19851998 WCW Main Event aka NWA Power Hour 19891992 WCW Power Hour aka NWA Power Hour 19891992 WCW Prime 19951997 WCW Clash of the Champions aka NWA Clash of Champions BooksDVD The Death of WCW by R D Reynolds and Bryan Alvarez 2004 ISBN 1550226614 The Monday Night War WWE Raw vs WCW Monday Nitro World Wrestling Entertainment 2004 ASIN B0001CCXCA Controversy Creates Cash by Eric Bischoff and Jeremy Roberts 2006 Previous Logos Title card 19821987 19821987 19871999 Used alongside with 19871999 Used alongside with 19871999 19992001 Used alongside with 19992001 Used by WWE during the Invasion angle 2001 Add a photo to this gallery References ↑ Universal Wrestling Corporation ↑ Eudy v Universal Wrestling Corporation Inc See also World Championship Wrestling alumni Event history List of professional wrestlers List of professional wrestling stables List of WCW payperview events Jim Crockett Promotions The Alliance Monday Night Wars Nitro Girls WCW Saturday Night WCW Monday Nitro WCW Thunder External links The Legacy of WCW Homepage WCW Title Histories DDT Digest The Unofficial Resting Place Of WCW The Complete History of WCW History of Wrestling on TBS 1 World Wrestling Entertainment History 1980s boom Black Saturday WrestleMania Monday Night Wars Montreal Screwjob The Attitude Era The Invasion Brand Extension WWE Video Library Programming RAW SmackDown NXT Superstars Main Event Total Divas WWE Legends HouseCurrent programming Former Programming Payperviews Talent Current roster current champions WWE Divas Alumni Hall of Fame inductees Diva Search Tough Enough Hall of Shame inductees Affiliated organizations WWE Studios WWE Niagara Falls WWE Records WWE Video Games WWE Books WWE Shop com WWE Network WWE Home Video WWE Performance Center Defunct businesses World Bodybuilding Federation The World WWE Niagara Falls XFL Notable acquisitions World Championship Wrestling Extreme Championship Wrestling American Wrestling Association World Class Championship Wrestling Developmental territories Deep South Wrestling Heartland Wrestling Association International Wrestling Association Memphis Championship Wrestling Ohio Valley Wrestling Accomplishments Current champions Royal Rumble Money in the Bank King of the Ring Triple Crown Grand Slam Former championships Draft 2002 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2016 2017 Also see McMahon family List of WCW Saturday Night results 1988 List of WCW Saturday Night results 115 1112 1119 1224 1231 1989 List of WCW Saturday Night results 114 121 128 24 211 218 225 34 311 318 325 41 48 415 422 429 56 513 520 527 63 610 617 624 71 78 715 722 729 85 812 826 99 916 923 930 107 1014 1021 1028 114 1118 1125 129 1216 1223 1230 1990 List of WCW Saturday Night results 120 317 47 414 526 62 616 623 714 721 729 728 84 811 818 825 91 915 922 929 106 1013 1124 128 1215 1991 List of WCW Saturday Night results 120 46 413 427 54 525 61 68 76 713 727 83 817 824 97 105 1992 List of WCW Saturday Night results 14 111 118 125 21 215 229 314 44 411 425 59 530 926 103 1219 1226 1993 List of WCW Saturday Night results 12 116 123 130 213 220 227 36 313 320 327 43 410 417 51 522 529 65 612 619 626 710 717 724 731 87 814 821 828 94 911 918 925 102 109 1016 1023 1030 1120 1127 1211 1218 1994 List of WCW Saturday Night results 11 18 115 122 129 25 212 226 35 312 319 326 42 49 416 423 514 625 72 79 716 723 730 86 813 820 827 93 910 917 924 925 101 1015 1022 1029 1119 1126 123 1210 1224 1995 List of WCW Saturday Night results 17 114 218 311 318 325 48 415 425 527 610 726 812 923 107 1014 1021 1028 1216 1996 List of WCW Saturday Night results 16 113 120 127 23 210 217 224 32 39 316 323 330 46 413 518 525 61 68 615 622 629 76 713 720 727 83 810 817 824 831 97 914 921 928 105 1012 1019 1026 112 119 1116 1123 1130 127 1214 1221 1997 List of WCW Saturday Night results 14 111 118 125 21 28 215 222 31 38 315 322 329 45 412 419 510 517 524 531 67 613 620 628 75 712 719 726 82 89 816 1129 126 1213 1220 1227 1998 List of WCW Saturday Night results 13 110 117 124 131 27 214 221 228 37 314 321 328 44 411 418 425 52 59 516 523 530 66 613 620 627 74 711 718 725 81 88 815 822 829 95 912 919 926 103 1010 1017 1024 1031 117 1114 1121 1128 125 1212 1219 1226 1999 List of WCW Saturday Night results 19 116 123 130 220 224 227 36 317 320 327 43 410 417 424 51 58 515 522 529 65 612 619 626 73 710 717 724 731 87 814 821 828 918 925 102 109 1016 1023 1030 116 1113 1120 1127 124 1211 1218 2000 List of WCW Saturday Night results 18 115 122 129 25 212 219 226 34 311 318 325 41 List of Thunder results 1998 List of Thunder results 18 115 122 129 25 212 219 226 35 312 319 326 49 416 422 514 521 528 64 611 618 624 72 78 716 85 813 820 826 93 910 917 924 101 108 1015 1022 1029 115 1112 1119 123 1211 1217 1999 List of Thunder results 17 114 121 128 24 211 218 225 34 311 318 325 41 47 415 421 429 56 520 527 63 610 617 624 71 78 714 721 728 85 812 819 826 92 99 923 930 107 1014 1021 1028 114 1111 1118 122 129 1216 1223 2000 List of Thunder results 16 112 119 126 22 29 216 223 31 38 315 322 329 412 426 53 510 517 524 531 67 614 621 628 75 712 719 726 82 89 816 823 830 96 913 920 927 104 1011 1018 1025 111 118 1115 1122 1129 126 1213 1220 2001 List of Thunder results 13 110 117 124 131 27 214 221 228 37 314 321 List of Monday Nitro results 1995 List of Monday Nitro results 94 911 918 925 102 109 1016 1023 1030 116 1113 1120 1127 124 1211 1218 1225 1996 List of Monday Nitro results 11 18 115 122 129 25 212 219 226 311 318 325 41 415 422 429 56 513 520 527 63 610 617 624 71 78 715 722 729 85 812 819 826 92 99 916 923 930 107 1014 1021 1028 114 1111 1118 1125 122 129 1216 1223 1230 1997 List of Monday Nitro results 16 113 120 127 23 210 217 224 33 310 317 324 331 47 414 421 428 55 512 519 526 62 69 616 623 630 77 714 721 728 84 811 718 825 91 98 915 922 929 106 1013 1020 1027 113 1110 1117 1124 121 128 1215 1222 1229 1998 List of Monday Nitro results 15 112 119 126 22 29 216 223 32 39 316 323 330 46 413 420 427 54 511 518 525 61 68 615 622 629 76 713 720 727 83 810 817 824 831 97 914 921 928 105 1012 1019 1026 112 119 1116 1123 1130 127 1214 1221 1228 1999 List of Monday Nitro results 14 111 118 125 21 28 215 222 31 38 315 322 329 45 412 419 426 53 517 524 531 67 614 621 628 75 712 719 726 82 89 816 823 830 96 913 920 927 104 1011 1018 1025 111 118 1115 1122 1129 126 1213 1220 1227 2000 List of Monday Nitro results 13 110 117 124 131 27 214 221 228 36 313 320 327 43 410 417 424 51 58 515 522 529 65 612 619 626 73 710 718 724 731 87 814 821 828 94 911 918 925 102 109 1016 1023 1030 116 1113 1120 1127 124 1212 1218 2001 List of Monday Nitro results 18 115 123 129 25 212 219 226 35 312 319 326 List of Power Hour results 1990 List of Power Hour results 113 928 1991 List of Power Hour results 15 112 119 126 22 29 216 218 32 39 316 68 615 616 714 721 728 105 1992 List of Power Hour results 21 718 725 815 822 815 1017 1031 1993 List of Power Hour results 417 828 918 918 1015 1030 116 1113 1127 124 1211 1211 1994 List of Power Hour results 11 13 List of WCW Worldwide results 1984 List of NWA WorldWide results 24 26 818 929 1027 1124 1985 List of NWA WorldWide results 119 126 22 29 413 420 927 928 101 1012 1991 List of WCW WorldWide results List of WCW Pro results 1989 List of WCW Pro results 617 722 729 85 922 1990 List of WCW Pro results 922 1991 List of WCW Pro results 15 126 39 518 1993 List of WCW Pro results 313 1994 List of WCW Pro results 312 319 326 430 618 1995 List of WCW Pro results 1996 List of WCW Pro results 1997 List of WCW Pro results List of Prime results 1994 List of Prime results 416 1995 List of Prime results 34 318 410 417 930 1996 List of Prime results 18 115 129 219 226 34 34 311 List of WCW Main Event results 1989 WCW Main Event results 121 86 1990 WCW Main Event results 930 1991 WCW Main Event results 16 113 120 47 526 63 69 831 98 1013 1027 113 1110 1117 1992 WCW Main Event results 15 16 112 22 216 628 719 726 82 89 816 823 96 1011 1 1011 2 1018 1993 WCW Main Event results 110 116 117 27 214 221 228 37 314 321 328 44 411 725 81 88 815 822 829 95 912 919 926 103 1010 1114 1121 1128 1994 WCW Main Event results 19 116 123 131 213 220 227 320 1 320 2 327 45 428 619 1 619 2 717 87 814 1 814 2 816 925 925 109 1120 1127 1218 1995 WCW Main Event results 11 18 115 122 219 226 312 319 326 42 49 414 423 514 521 64 618 716 86 93 910 917 101 108 1015 1029 115 124 1224 1227 1996 WCW Main Event results 17 114 24 211 218 226 324 519 62 69 616 623 77 824 831 922 929 105 1012 1019 1026 112 119 1214 1222 1997 WCW Main Event results 14 413 420 111 1213 1998 WCW Main Event results 13