WCW … Where the Big Boys Play … That was the moniker of the company that for a significant period was the no.1 wrestling company, it was beating WWE on a consistent basis. It should have come out on top, but a long list of errors and mistakes made WCW begin to fall apart and lose focus on what they needed to be doing.
Instead of making their own product better they focused on WWE, superstars refused to do what they were paid to do, a revolving door of people trying to run the company and a constant reliance on WWE stars from the 80s and the nWo would ultimately lead to the demise of the WCW, as they were bought by WWE in 2001. There were many things that contributed to the demise of the company. People often like to point the finger to one person, like Eric Bischoff, Vince Russo or Hulk Hogan, but there were a plethora of reasons WCW experienced their downfall. At one point, it seemed like it was set up to fail.
This list will go over 20 things that affected the reign WCW had over wrestling. You can make a lot of small mistakes, but very few big ones. Once you make too many big mistakes, the nose of the plane starts going down, and once its in a downward spiral, it is very hard to pull it back up.
20. Misuse of The Ultimate Warrior
A top star who had left WWE, and could have made such a statement in WCW, he was intense and had all the charisma. Instead of ding it right, he came in during a War Games match, and it created complete confusion. He then has a match with Hogan that was a complete disaster, with one having a solid argument that it could be the worst match of all time. The aura of the Warrior was done, and it was another misused talent.
19. Relying on Wrestlers past their prime
Main events involving Hogan and Piper over and over just were not going to cut it. WCW was facing pretty solid wrestling matches from WWE, as Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin were tearing the house down. Meanwhile WCW had to old timers who knew five moves between the both of them, and 90 percent of the match was a sleeper hold. When it was main event time, there was no doubt WWE was giving the better show.
18. Mocking Jim Ross’ Bells Palsy
This one was just bad taste, period. To mock a serious affliction, and use it on air in a live show. I realize WWE has taken some liberties with J.R, but WCW really went too far with it, and it just came across as a horrible segment that made people turn away. Jim Ross was a very passionate and intense announcer, who put in many years at WCW, and many in the business saw this as a very, very low shot for WCW take. I’m sure Ross did not care either way, but from a business standpoint, it was a bad thing for WCW to do.
17. Goldberg Refusing to put Others Over
Goldberg had mega success in wrestling, but that success gave him an inflated ego. His refusal to put guys over was a big part of the reason he is not well liked by some to this day. At one point it was called the time honored tradition, of doing the job and making new stars, Bill refused to do this. While it could be argued his streak shouldn’t have ended the way that it did, it would have helped if Goldberg had put over some other talent to build the company’s pool of stars.
16. Misuse of Bret Hart
How do you not capitalize on this one? He just got screwed by WWE, one of the best ever, and he comes in as a special referee in a match between Eric Bischoff and Larry Zbyszko … talk about falling flat on your ass. From that poiint on, the hype around The Hitman faded, as he aligned with Hogan and later joined the nWo 2000, but he was never the same Hitman everyone knew from WWE. What was the hottest commodity in pro wrestling quickly became just another guy.
15. Bad Booking
It’s not hard to tell when things are booked poorly in wrestling, in comes across very clearly to the fans. WCW was full of bad booking, things that seemed like a good idea, but ended up being terrible when executed. Most wrestling companies have to deal with this on a constant basis, but it can be controlled to a point so it does not drastically affect the company. WCW never figured out how to control it and it was a major blow to them as a whole.
WCW was notorious for being full of arrogance, from the stars to the office. They were on a winning streak against WWE, and it made them arrogant which led to stupid decisions and started to create problems. Arrogance is a bad quality in a person, but in a company it is even worse, in moments of victory WWE remained modest throughout the wars, but WCW always had to puff out its chest and show that they ruled the world, and their arrogance caught up with them.
13. Focusing on WWE Too Much
They were always mentioning WWE in one way or another, giving away results, taking jabs at WWE characters or making pointless challenges. They were too busy worrying about WWE and lost track of what they were doing. The best way to go is to focus on what you are doing and making your own product better. WCW was always mentioning WWE and taking shots at them, and when you are busy doing that, you probably are ignoring your own storylines.
12. Reluctance to Push New Stars
Chris Jericho is a prime example of this, he tried to get over and create a program with Goldberg, but it was not allowed, as nobody in WCW wanted Jericho to get over as a top star. There were plenty of wrestlers who were never given a proper chance to shine while in WCW. This led to a mass exodus of WCW’s younger talent that was doing the dirty work in the undercard matches, keeping viewers tuned in for the eventual main event segment. While WCW always poached WWE’s older stars, WWE eventually started recruiting WCW’s younger stars.
11. Reluctance to give Women a Larger Role
The biggest role any female had in WCW, was Elizabeth being in the nWo, beyond that the roles were very small managing roles. Torrie Wilson was with Billy Kidman, and Shane Douglas. Stacy Keibler was usually seen dancing on screen and was never given any chance to become an in ring performer. I’m not saying Stacy would have been a superstar wrestler, but she was given a chance in WWE and created her own unique in-ring style, WCW never gave her such a chance.
10. Eric Bischoff
The man who made it happen, he had the vision. He also had tunnel vision and it was part of what made WCW die the way it did. He was set on certain stars and ideas, and kept rehashing old stuff. Bischoff was eventually put on hiatus after a meeting with a Turner executive, but upon his return he and Vince Russo continued to make joint bad decisions that cost WCW even more. While Bischoff deserves some credit as to why WCW was the no.1 wrestling company for a while, he deserves a significant amount of blame for its downfall.
9. Kevin Nash
The big man has a long history of getting his way in wrestling, and that is exactly what he did in WCW. He went over with a lot of hype, got a huge contract, him and Scott did whatever they wanted, and eventually he convinced Eric Bischoff to make him the booker of Nitro. Once that happened, he ended Goldberg’s streak, and began to play his games with wrestling. Putting the talent in charge of booking matches doesn’t sound like a good idea.
8. Vince Russo
We come to the man who claimed to create The Attitude Era. When he was done with WWE, he went to WCW. The only problem was, in WWE he had Vince McMahon to tell him which ideas were bad, while in WCW he had complete creative control and all his ideas were put out there, and it came across as ridiculous. His habits included adding a stipulation to just about every match and playing hot potato with all of WCW’s titles.
7. David Arquette Winning the World Title
Possibly the biggest blunder in wrestling history. Allowing an actor who has no wrestling background to win the biggest title in the company. Many laughed, the fans thought it was insane, and it made WCW look like they didnt know what they were doing. Thankfully it didn’t last very long, but it hurt WCW bad. WCW was likely on its way to its demise before this happened, but this just about sealed it, as it killed a lot of their credibility as a wrestling company.
6. The Goldberg Streak Ending because of a Taser
The match that was the end of the streak could have been something big, but instead Scott Hall used a taser on Goldberg, allowing Kevin Nash to get the win and end the streak. They had something so hot and so special with Goldberg being undefeated, and to end it like this was another questionable move. It was already questionable enough to end the streak to Kevin Nash, but to add the hokey taser to it really hurt them.
5. Constant Reliance on WWE Stars from the 80s
From Hogan, to Savage, to Jim Duggan, to Rick Rude, to Curt Hennig … WCW was all about stealing big names from WWE and making them fixtures on Nitro. Most of these guys were big names in the 80s, but now they were reinvented as part of the nWo. It became a bad habit, and by the time they got to Bret Hart, fans were tired of it. While they were doing this, WWE constantly had new stars emerging like Austin, Rock, Kurt Angle and Triple H.
4. Giving away Mankind’s WWE Title Victory – Fingerpoke of Doom
If you had to pinpoint one episode of Nitro that dug WCW in the hold they could never crawl out of, this was it. They figured it worked before so let’s do it again, so when Mankind won the WWE title on a taped edition of Raw, WCW gave it away on Nitro. Only this time the fans decided to flip over to Raw and see the title change, it gave Raw a big ratings win, and showed the arrogance and stupidity at WCW. Combine this with the ridiculous Fingerpoke of Doom in the title match between Hogan and Nash, where WCW revealed Nash ending Goldberg’s streak was all a conspiracy to reunite the nWo and put the title back on Hogan and you have a mess.
3. Letting Major Cruiserweights Leave
Allowing Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Jericho to leave for WWE was anopther big mistake that hurt WCW. These guys made the cruiserweight division exciting and unique, and it set them apart from WWE. Once WWE had these guys and allowed them to break out of a set division, everyone saw their real potential, and WCW continued to go downhill. While their minds may have been made up, WCW definitely could have tried harder to keep these guys happy.
2. Megadeth Live Performance on Nitro
It was one of the lowest ratings in WCW history, Megadeth did a live performance on Nitro. For what reason? … Nobody knows. When fans show up to a pro wrestling event, they want to see pro wrestling, not a concert. If they wanted to watch Megadeth, they could have gone to a Megadeth concert. The company also brought in bands like KISS, the No Limit Soldiers and ICP to perform, but fans would often flip the channel to WWE to watch wrestlers perform.
1. the nWo
This is the one that most people believe is the #1 cause of death for WCW. The thing that made it #1, a revolutionary faction, and a moment nobody will ever forget, Hogan turning on the fans. The problem is WCW forced it on everything, from the nWo came the Wolfpack, and then the lWo, and then nWo 2000 , and then nWo Elite , after the first time it is not new, it is just rehashing something and trying catch lightning in a bottle twice.
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