For some time, WCW was bigger and better than WWE. They had the bigger stars and better stories and larger fan base. WWE's inaugural Wrestlemania in 1985 was the main reason WWE's fan base surpassed WCW's by just a little bit. WWE had Hulk Hogan and celebrity endorsements. But the late 80s and early 90s saw a change with WCW doing a better job of marketing after being bought by Ted Turner from Jim Crockett Promotions and breaking off of the NWA.
While WCW stars were well-known and the show was on Turner networks, Ted Turner had no idea how to run a wrestling promotion and so there was poor management thus sales were dropping. WCW began to recuperate when power-hungry Eric Bischoff entered the scene and management was improving. Bischoff brought WCW into the limelight by signing former WWE stars, bringing it to Orlando studios and creating "WCW Monday Night Nitro" on TNT in 1995 to compete with WWE's flagship show "WWE Monday Night RAW." The first year saw both companies trading hits, until summer of 1996 saw Scott Hall and Kevin Nash from WWE invading WCW. This lead to Hulk Hogan aligning with them (the biggest shock in the company's history), turning him heel and creating the New World Order--the greatest pro-wrestling stable ever. From then to another 84 straight weeks, WCW was the hotter show pulling off record ratings. NWO had an extremely realistic and original feel to it which was why people loved them. To ensure WCW stays on top, the cruiserweight division was added: short and skinny high-flyers who were as good as gymnasts and acrobatics. Plus WCW would give away RAW results, WCW's biggest star, Sting, changed his gimmick to a much darker persona mirroring The Crow and, former NFL star Goldberg who was unbeatable achieving a record of 173-0. WCW was destined to be the ONLY wrestling brand, so they created another weekly show called "Thunder" on TBS.
WWE was losing the war badly and had maybe a year or so before having to fold. Following the Montreal Screw Job in November of 1997, WWE was sure to die. Owner Vince McMahon pushed his lesser known stars and created very edgy, adult oriented material which became known as the Attitude Era. The rise of the new stars (particularly Stone Cold Steve Austin) and adult material gave WWE a chance to succeed as they finally put and end to WCW's winning streak in 1998. Both companies exchanged wins again with WWE eventually gaining the upper hand later on. While WCW's ratings were still really high, WWE's ratings were even superior. The whole world was watching wrestling and fans struggled between both shows.
WCW started making mistakes by having Hulk Hogan face Goldberg for the WCW Title. With only two days notice, ratings and attendance were massive. If WCW put that match in a ppv and gave more than two days notice, WCW may have been on another win streak. Then The NWO broke off into different factions which lost some believability. There were too many behind-the-scenes problems such as the arrival of Vince Russo and wrestlers becoming bookers that began the collapse. In early 1999, WCW made two major mistakes that prevented them from ever gaining the upper hand again: January 4's RAW result and the Fingerpoke of Doom. It had been a while since they gave away a RAW result, and Tony Shiavone did just that: "Fans, if you're even thinking about changing the channel to our competition, do not. We understand that Mick Foley is gonna win their World title. Ha! That's gonna put some butts in the seats." More than half a million viewers switched to RAW to see Foley win the title then go back to Nitro which still had a few minutes. Next was the Fingerpoke of Doom: returning Hulk Hogan pokes Kevin Nash in the chest and pins him for the title, reforming the NWO. That bone-headed move sealed WCW's fate.
From then on, WCW did all they could to increase ratings. KISS, Megadeth, Chad Brock and Master P performed and it just hurt the ratings even more. I personally liked them. But WCW making a KISS wrestler was a little too far and they guy sucked. In mid 1999, former WWE writers Vince Russo and Ed Ferrera were hired by WCW because they did not want the extra work load of doing WWE's Smackdown! (Thunder's rival show). Russo and Ferrera helped come up with some of the best things during the Attitude Era, so WCW thought they could make the product better again. But WWE had Vince McMahon to say what was good and what was bad. WCW didn't have anybody like that. Ridiculous scenarios and mindless stories lead to WCW's closure in 2001. I am glad that the DVD features the segments with David Arquette: in a desperate attempt for ratings, a movie called Ready To Rumble was made about WCW. David Arquette was its star and he was used in regular stories and became WCW Champion, damaging the value of the title. It is raved as being the worst move ever and everybody agreed it was horrible.
When WWE bought WCW in 2001, there was no other competition, so WWE lazed out again and ratings never recovered. Former WWE and WCW superstar, Jeff Jarrett created his own company in 2002 called "TNA Impact!" which is still the second biggest wrestling company in the world. But TNA's ratings are nowhere near WCW's at anytime of the Wars.
The DVD captures wondrous memories from a company that was sometimes better than WWE. Many of the best WWE talents and moments would not be around if not for WCW.
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