Looking back in the history of wrestling, WCW was so much more than just the WWE’s chief competitor throughout the nineties. World Championship Wrestling was rooted in the remnants of Jim Crockett Promotions, Georgia Championship Wrestling, and the original NWA. The company helped forge and further the legacies of Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes, Jim Ross, the Four Horsemen, Sting, and countless other superstars. That was all before Eric Bischoff started signing WWE guys and international stars to help bolster the brand.
For any fan of factions like the Undisputed Era, you have factions like the Horsemen or the nWo to thank. Even the way it shut down almost wasn’t anyone in WCW’s fault. Thanks to the AOL-Time Warner merger, Ted Turner, WCW’s biggest fan, lost the power to keep the show on his networks. New executives wanted it off and Eric Bischoff just couldn’t find a new network for the brand in time for his consortium to make a viable offer.
Because of the war, we never got a reunion show ala ECW One Night Stand, but that doesn’t mean the company shouldn’t be remembered fondly. Here are 10 Myths About WCW That Every Wrestling Fan Still Believes.
10 Vince Sent Vince To WCW
In the dead of the night in 1999, Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara left WWE for WCW. The writing duo was hoping to recreate the magic that they worked in WWE, but the factors that helped them become a success in WWE just weren’t there in WCW. He didn’t have the confidence of the locker room.
Then they had to deal with Standards and Practices and couldn’t push the envelope. Lastly, they didn’t have the WWE creative team to filter ideas through. But some fans still persist that McMahon sent Russo to work to WCW as a double-agent.
9 Bischoff Invented Guaranteed Contracts
Eric Bischoff gets the moniker ATM Eric, and sometimes rightfully so. However, in order to be successful, you have to be able to spend money. Still, there is a big fallacy that has been perpetuated for the past 20-25 years or so: Bischoff was the first person to start offering guaranteed contracts.
While he offered them, he didn’t invent them. In fact, according to Hogan on a recent Stone Cold podcast, he had the first Guaranteed Contract. “When I decided to leave Verne for Vince, I had a ten-year deal with a minimum guarantee. I had the first guaranteed contract,” the legend said.
8 Bischoff Invented Talent Raids
WWE won the war, which means they’re allowed to tell the story of it. The story they tell is that Bischoff swooped in, became ATM-Eric and just starting raiding talent from both ECW and the WWE. But he wasn’t the first person to be so evil and nefarious and underhanded and offer superstars a better paycheck. But the talent raids had been going on long before Bischoff.
Most notably, by Vince McMahon himself. McMahon went from sea to shining sea telling every regional promotion that he was coming and would be willing to work with them. When they all turned him down, he raided their talents and bought up their airtime.
7 Inflating The Streak
Goldberg was a certified phenomenon. He came in like a house of fire, walked through fireworks and breathed out smoke like a fire-breathing dragon. He won 983 matches before getting tased.
Only he didn’t. The worked number of wins was 173 until Kevin Nash beat him at Starrcade. However, his reign was 174 days. There’s no way, especially on WCW’s laxer schedule that Goldberg was undefeated only one day less than he was champion—the math just doesn’t add up.
6 Arquette Ruined The Title Legacy
The powers that be decided that when promoting WCW’s movie, Ready To Rumble, it was decided that putting the WCW title on the film’s star, David Arquette was a great idea. But even he knew that wasn’t a great idea.
Arquette winning the title didn’t ruin the legacy of the Big Gold Belt; the belt’s reputation by this point was already tarnished. It has been spray-painted, passed around, and vacated several times over the years. Not to mention the Fingerpoke Of Doom.
5 Any Single Moment Spelled The End Of WCW
A lot of fans like to point to a particular moment and say, “that’s what killed WCW.” The truth is that it wasn’t any one moment that ended the company. You can always recover from a bad booking decision here of there.
However, besides the backstage drama that would do the company in, it was actually a perfect storm of consistently bad booking, leading to shoddy moments. Along with the corporate drama (the new heads didn’t know what day of the week Monday Nitro was on), that finally did the company in.
4 The Old Folks Home
The Phenomenal A.J. Styles is 42 years old. It’s the same age Hulk Hogan was at Bash At The Beach 1996—the night the nWo was born. Chris Jericho was 46 during his last run in the company two years ago, four years older than the Macho Man when he won his first WCW champion.
For all of the WWE’s attempts to paint WCW as a place where all of the old wrestlers were and they were no older than some of the WWE’s top competitors are now and have been over the years.
3 Butts In Seats
On January 4, 1999, Tony Schiavone was instructed to crap on Mick Foley winning the world title. Instead, fans flipped the channel to see Mankind finally win the big one. As the victors, WWE would have you believe that after nearly 600K homes flipped the channel over, they never watched WCW again. But the reality is that after Foley has his “yo, Adrian!” moment, plenty of those 600,000 flipped back over to catch the final minutes of Nitro.
2 Ratings Tanked The Company
It wasn’t even poor ratings that did the company in. While the WWE was handily trouncing WCW in the ratings, the company was still pulling in solid twos and threes.
That might not sound like much, considering the fives and sixes that the company was pulling in during its heyday. But the Final Nitro’s rating of a three was still higher than its debut episode and still beats a lot of Raw and Smackdown episodes today.
1 Holding The Young Guys Down
On the outside looking in, it’s easy to think that Bischoff, Hogan, and a whole host of other established talent were holding down the young guys. But that’s just the narrative. In reality, the WCW roster was so stacked with established guys that you could have had a full roster of just all of the top guys. It’s hard to bring young talent up to the level of guys like Ric Flair and Sting when there are so many Ric Flairs and Stings still running around.