Wrestling / WCW

"Where the Big Boys Play."

World Championship Wrestling (formerly Jim Crockett Productions, later operating under the umbrella of Turner Broadcasting, a Time Warner company) is a defunct Professional Wrestling promotion which, as former WCW president Eric Bischoff famously put it, beat the World Wrestling Federation at their own game for 84 weeks in a row. Naturally, this success didn't come right away.

Shots fired

Following a string of creative disasters, control of WCW was handed over to Eric Bischoff. Determined to bring the fight to WWF's doorstep, Ted Turner asked Bischoff what needed to be done in order to compete with the WWF. In response, and thinking it would never happen, Bischoff asked owner Ted Turner to give them Prime time. To Bischoff's great surprise, he was granted two hours on Monday nights to run against longtime Monday night mainstay Monday Night Raw. WCW debuted Monday Nitro in 1995. The two shows would trade occasional ratings victories, but the WWF was still largely considered the superior product despite WCW acquiring a number of stars who had once wrestled for the WWF including Big Bubba Rogers (Formerly the Big Boss Man), Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Randy Savage and, most notably, Hulk Hogan.

WCW's fortunes didn't really pick up, however, until Scott Hall and Kevin Nash (Razor Ramon and Diesel in the WWF) defected to WCW and began running roughshod over the company's talent for weeks before challenging three of WCW's top stars to a match, teasing at a "third member" of their group who would debut if their challenge was accepted. WCW took them up on it and the match was set for WCW's primary summer pay per view. At the Bash at the Beach '96 event, the Outsiders and their still then unknown mystery partner were booked to face Sting, Lex Luger, and Randy Savage. Despite claiming the third man was present at the event, only the Outsiders showed up for the match and took on Sting, Luger, and Savage in a two on three situation, but soon evened the odds down to 2-2 when Luger was seemingly taken out of the fight, leaving Savage and Sting to face the Outsiders. Hogan suddenly came to Sting's aid... or so it seemed. Instead, Hulk turned on him, thus revealing himself as the third man. Following Hogan's now-infamous promo, the nWo was born. This period, known as the Monday Night Wars, resulted in a huge surge in popularity (and financial success) for the wrestling industry in the late 1990s.

Trouble Comes to Town

By this point, WCW had not only managed to secure a second major show in Thunder, but it was building up a new megastar in Goldberg. His biggest victory came in 1998, when he finally defeated "Hollywood" Hogan for the World Heavyweight Championship... on a weekly episode of Nitro. The match gave Bischoff his last ratings victory against the WWF; it also cost him millions in pay-per-view revenue. This exposed a major structural flaw in Bischoff's business model, one which would eventually bring the company down.

1998 saw other bad decisions that accelerated the decline: At Starrcade '98, Nash defeated Goldberg after Goldberg was tazed by Hall to claim the World Heavyweight Championship, which also ended his undefeated "streak." Eight days later on Nitro, Nash and Hogan were scheduled to have a match for said title, but instead, Nash took a poke to the chest from Hogan and sold it like he'd been shot with a cannon, lying down on the mat. This incident, plainly orchestrated by Hogan behind-the-scenes, came to be known by all as the Fingerpoke of Doom.

Prior to this "main event", announcer Tony Schiavone, per Bischoff's orders, revealed that fan-favorite Mick "Mankind" Foley would be winning the WWF Championship on a pre-taped edition of Raw ("That's gonna put some butts in the seats, heh!"), essentially inviting over half a million viewers to change the channel — which they did. You can read all about the incident, and its impact on both WCW and the WWF, on That Other Wiki).

Rearranging the deckchairs

Following the Starrcade debacle, Vince Russo (credited as the "brains" behind the WWF's Attitude Era) was brought in as booker. In an attempt at re-invention, Chris Benoit was booked to win the World Heavyweight Championship at Souled Out 2000. However, this didn't do enough to satisfy him, so Benoit gave the belt back [!] and signed on with WWF the very next day. Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, and Eddie Guerrero soon followed; all four debuted on Raw two weeks later as "The Radicalz".

With the company hemorrhaging money, Time Warner went into panic mode and took a more active role in WCW; the storyline was "reset" in April 2000, splitting the company into two factions: the "New Blood" (younger, newer stars) and the "Millionaires' Club" (older stars like Nash and Hogan). Unfortunately, this was perceived as a rehash of the nWo vs. WCW feud, and many fans never got it. It didn't help that the older stars were booked as faces and the New Blood were booked as heels (?), which later became Russo's signature in the years to follow. Unorthodox, illogical, and just plain stupid angles continued as WCW slid into a resigning self-parody, with the final straw for many fans being the crowning of actor David Arquette as World Champion.

The Fire Sale

WCW was eventually sold to the WWF in early 2001 (weeks before WrestleMania X-Seven) at what amounted to fire-sale prices, mere days before the final Monday Nitro. WCW stuck around in name only as the titles were unified with their WWF counterparts, culminating with the unification of the WCW and WWF Championships at Vengeance 2001 (the "WWF Undisputed Championship"). With both WCW and ECW (which had gone out of business just a couple of months prior) in their back pockets, the WWF was left as the lone major professional wrestling promotion in the United States.

WCW is often talked about in hushed tones by marks and smart marks alike; but many choose to remember the classic moments and genuine superstars that the company produced in its heyday. A 2004 book titled The Death of WCW leans heavily on the former, chronicling the company's struggles in the eighties and (temporary, alas) resurgence as it entered the new millennium.

By the time WCW closed down, they had the following Championships:

  • WCW World Heavyweight Championship. It was defended on WWE programming until it was merged with the WWE Championship to become the Undisputed WWE Championship.
  • The WCW Cruiserweight Championsip. It was defended in WWE before its retirement in 2008.
  • The WCW United States Championship. It is currently being used in WWE.
  • The WCW World Tag Team Championship. Were defended on WWE programming, and later retired when merged with the WWE (World) Tag Team Titles
  • The WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship. After WWE's purchase of WCW, this was one of two titles to be abandoned and never be defended on WWE programming.
  • The WCW Hardcore Championship. Much like the Cruiserweight Tag Team titles, after WCW closed, it was also abandoned and never be defended on WWE programming.

Tropes associated with WCW:

  • All There in the Manual: Whenever you felt a WCW storyline needed some extra flavoring, the official magazine had your back. For example: Frankly, it sounds like Nick Patrick's life was miserable before the nWo showed up and offered him a hand. Quoth Lisa Simpson, "I had no idea Disco Stu was so complex."note 
  • Amazon Brigade: WCW had two women's championships, though they were rarely showcased on television and almost exclusively defended outside of the United States, mostly in Japan (just like in AWA) so most viewers just saw Nitro Girls and nWo Girls, who were mostly there to dance for the crowd during the commercial break.
  • Anticlimactic Unmasking:
    • 1990's The Black Scorpion. Originally hinted to be an associate of Sting from his past (similar to WWE's Kane, who came later), he kept getting attacked before he could remove his mask. Ole Anderson, who had voiced the Scorpion and came up with the initial concept, suffered a career-ending injury before his unmasking could occur. This necessitated a total rewrite (the reasoning being that viewers would be flabbergasted to find a jobber under the mask), and Ric Flair took the bullet. Many elements from the angle, such as setting the ring on fire, multiple Black Scorpions etc. were integrated into Sting during his Crow gimmick.
    • 1993's The Shockmaster incident. After weeks of build-up, Sting stood before a live audience at Clash of the Champions and announced in his best hypeman voice: "All I have to say is our partner is going to SHOCK the world, because he is none other thaaannn—!" Then the wall came crashing down, and out waddled a doughy man who lost grip on his helmet, revealing... Fred Ottman, better known as the Popeye-themed wrestler Tugboat from WWF. He was wearing a black cape, Levi's, and an Imperial Stormtrooper helmet which had been dipped in glitter, making it impossible for him to peer through. The incident in Lego form.
      Taimapedia: Since that fateful day, the Shockmaster has kept a low profile. However, he could be lurking behind any wall, just waiting for the right opportunity to jump out.
    • In 1999, WCW forced Rey Mysterio Jr. to lose his mask in a bad match to end a worthless feud. In lucha libre tradition, losing a mask is something that happens very rarely and it is a HUGE deal, typically a culmination of a very long-running and bitter feud and once unmasked, the luchador is never supposed to wrestle masked again unless he wins back the right to do so, typically by defeating the guy who originally beat him for his mask. (luckily, Rey was able to convince Mexican organizations of his great opposition to the match and was given a reprieve). It also didn't help that Rey's masks were the most popular selling mask in the WCW shop and that without it, Rey looked like he was about 13 years old.
  • Artifact Title:
    • WCW began as a regional promotion which was closely affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance. The "World Championship Wrestling" name was used in various forms by various promotions affiliated with the NWA, starting as a brand and television show title in 1974. Jim Barnett (who had worked for a promotion named "World Championship Wrestling" in Australia) came to Atlanta during a power struggle over the NWA Georgia territory. Barnett ultimately became majority owner and began using the old territory name for the new TV show.
    • It was not until December 21, 1976 that an actual, National Wrestling Alliance (NWA)-affiliated promotion called "World Championship Wrestling" appeared on the national scene. This entity was under the ownership of media mogul and cable TV pioneer Ted Turner, based in Atlanta, Georgia. While initially the new company was called Universal Wrestling Corporation after its launch in October 11, 1973; very shortly following the purchase the decision was made to utilize the familiar "World Championship Wrestling" TV show name as the brand name for this new promotion. By mid-1989 all the NWA branding was replaced with WCW.
    • Turner was bought out by Time Warner in 1996; WCW's association with the NWA was dissolved in 1991, which resulted in the NWA's World Heavyweight Championship becoming a WCW belt, as WCW owned it (the "Big Gold Belt", as it came to be known); it once served as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship before being officially retired in 2014.
  • B Show: Thunder and WCW Saturday Night. The latter was originally WCW's flagship program before Nitro launched.
  • Bat Deduction: Used to explain Sting's face heel turn in a truly amazing hype video. In a nutshell: someone in a white hummer tried to run over Kevin Nash. On a different show Sting was seen coming out of a black hummer. So Sting must have been the one who ran over Kevin Nash. This after Hulk protested that he couldn't have run over Nash, because his hummer is black.
  • Bat Family Crossover: Regarding its "farm leagues", such as the Heartland Wrestling Association, which one could say remained as a remnant of WCW after it went under.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • In 1994, when Hulk Hogan entered WCW, he pretty much insisted on going over all the top guys, including Ric Flair and Vader. This despite the fact that, although Hogan was the most recognized wrestler in the world at one time, he was a new face in the WCW locker room. Then the nWo hit it big, but unfortunately, none of the nWo (read: WWF) guys wanted to job to the WCW guys, so the "invasion" was pretty much a landslide victory for the nWo. By late 2001, Hogan was finally driven away by Russo and Nash was marking time until his contract was bought out by the new owners, the WWF. In the last episode, The Night of Champions, it was back to where it should be: Booker T won the world title, and the show capped with a sparring match between Flair and Sting, two WCW oldies who had stuck wth the promotion to the bitter end. Post-match, Sting and Flair embraced and shook hands — a genuine babyface ending.
    • Ironically, the man who unified the WCW and WWF titles was Chris Jericho, the first major WCW acquisition by Vince McMahon. He defeated both The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in the same night - in back-to-back matches, no less! - to unify the two titles.
  • Butt-Monkey: Many wrestlers felt Ric Flair deserved better than to be publicly disparaged about his age, drinking problem, or finances, especially since it wasn't building to any storyline. As well as the Gladiator gimmick mentioned above, later storylines had him losing his mind, stripping and throwing his shoes into the crowd, being sent to a mental hospital and later being driven out to the desert and literally buried. None of these angles ever built up to any kind of meaningful feud or match.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • Glacier for Sub-Zero.
    • Mortis also seemed to be a combination of Reptile and Scorpion, and Wrath's entrance attire was somewhat Shao Kahn inspired.
    • Dustin Rhodes briefly experimented with Seven, a puffy-looking Pinhead ripoff.
    • Christi Wolf as "Asya".
    • "Kwee Wee" (real name Allan Funk). You can read about him here: His gimmick is that he's a rogue fashion designer.
    • Arachnaman was such a blatant Spider-Man ripoff that Marvel Comics threatened legal action, and the character was quickly abandoned.
    • DDP briefly imitated The Rock for a while, doing the poses and rapping about how Flair likes to "spank it, whack it and jack it!"
    • After his initial debut, Goldberg was reminiscent of a bulkier "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (especially with the black trunks and bald head) before his ring character became a rampaging force of nature with an ever-increasing win streak.
  • Cardboard Boxes: There were always plenty of them backstage for someone to be knocked into. Clangy poles were also featured, which served no other purpose than to be knocked down and make noise (at least the boxes could be justified as emptied of equipment used during the show).
  • Celebrity Star: WCW was infamous for bringing in celebrities and using them in angles in an attempt to draw mainstream attention. Aside from David Arquette, we have: Master P, KISS, The Misfits, Dennis Rodman (more than once), Jay Leno, Karl Malone, Will Sasso, Chucky, and James Brown. All of these celebrities appeared over a period of less than four years.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Four Horsemen, Lex Luger and the nWo were all subject to this. Especially when it involved Sting.
  • Complexity Addiction: How David Arquette conned the Millionaire's Club into handing him the world title. Long story short, then-champion DDP rashly accepted a tag team challenge from Jeff Jarrett, with the added stipulation that whoever got the pin would take the belt. You can see where this going. DDP rescued Arquette while he was being brutalized by Jarrett in the basement and made him his partner. By all rights it should have gone to DDP, but Arquette just happened to get the pinfall on Eric Bischoff, Jarrett's tag team partner, becoming World Champion through a fluke win. David desperately tried to relinquish the title, but DDP continued to rope him into no-holds barred matches and then dragged his unconscious form over his opponent for the "pin". Later, it was revealed the Arquette ("the world's GREATEST actor!" — Schiavone) had been a plant all along, conspiring with the New Blood to put the belt back on Jarrett. In a now-infamous promo, he turned heel and boasted to the audience that the entire $24 million production of Ready to Rumble was A WORK designed to lure DDP to a Los Angeles film set and befriend him. The only reason they let Page win the title was so they could screw him, thus meaning that DDP is the first wrestler in history to get screwed into a title.
  • Covers Always Lie: The VHS release of Slamboree 2000 sports a big picture of Jarrett and DDP. David Arquette is not pictured or even mentioned on either side of the box.
  • Cuckoolander Commentator:
    • Tony Schiavone, the greatest commentator in the history of our sport. He became a laughingstock for his apparent lack of wrestling knowledge (referring to most moves as a "slam" or "jam"), proclaiming each new wrestler was "undefeated" in their debut (presumably he meant undefeated in this wrestling promotion... but he often ignored losses on Thunder, too), and hyperbole that puts the Iraqi Information Minister to shame. He's also the one who suggested putting the belt on Arquette as a joke, so thank him for that.
    • The voice you are now hearing is Michael Buffer. (Spared no expense.) WCW signed an exclusive contract with Buffer to be their lead in-ring announcer. "....home of the NCAA Champions of the Universe...." $100K per night, folks.
    • "Mongo" McMichael, an ex-NFL star, and his cosplaying pooch, Pepe. Although even Mongo was savvy enough to at one point ask why they were putting Luger v. Savage on free TV instead of PPV.
    • In the WCW Hotline commercials ("just 99¢ a minute!"), Mean Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan use black ops training and subterfuge to spy on WCW talent and find out their darkest secrets. They eavesdrop on Disco Inferno while he hits on Kimberly Page, dress up like waitresses and hide under Sting's dinner table, and even infiltrate the American Males' lockers.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Bischoff era is the Trope Codifier as far as pro wrestling goes. Less emphasis on gimmicks and costumes (even Flair is wearing civvies), a darker, industrial look for the arena, and an "all-shoot" booking style. See: Brian Pillman's "bookerman" match. The B-show, Thunder, went further with a bare-bones ring (no gaudy neon, just steel grey). Souled Out is another thing again.
    WrestleCrap: The show opened in a manner most bizarre, as Bischoff, Sean Waltman, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and the rest of the group circled the arena riding atop garbage trucks. Say what you want about him, but even the most jaded skeptic has to give Bischoff points for originality: certainly no pay-per-view in the history of pro wrestling had begun in such a manner.
  • Dream Team:
  • Gimmick Matches: In the promotion's early years as WCW, it was horribly mismanaged and written by people who had no idea what wrestling fans wanted to see, relying on stunts and gimmicks to capture the glamour and flash of the WWF: such "matches" included a live appearance by RoboCop [!] at a pay-per-view event, and the infamous Black Scorpion mystery.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: Men such as Jim Herd, Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo served as the defacto leaders and movers of WCW but they all relied on and could be overruled by Ted Turner. Chris Jericho once tried to exploit this by going straight to Turner to get a shot at the Cruiserweight belt and Turner would have done it too, based on Jericho's sound logic. But Chris was so whiny Turner decided to go with his subordinate's decision instead.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door:
    • Bret Hart for his entire WCW career; It's one of the reasons why he couldn't get over as well as he did in the WWF.
    • Lex Luger, 1998-99.
    • Ric Flair, non-stop.
    • Any time he feuded with someone, Hogan would mysteriously start to turn face. Fans tended to lean Hogan's way, and once his opponent was buried, Hogan would go back to acting heelish.
    • He turned face for good in 1999 (with Sting briefly turning heel) and the Outsiders reformed... But Bischoff was reinstated in 2000 and brought with him a new stable, i.e. New World Order with a facelift, of which Hogan was a member. Hogan was not happy about it, as he'd already gone back to his Hulkamania gimmick ("The red and yellow will never die!") and was well over with crowds. Critics and wrestling journalists point to the Millionaires/New Blood feud as proof that Bischoff had only one trick (the nWo), and that he was more concerned with selling merch than putting on a good product.
    • Everybody had this problem in the Vince Russo era. Not a surprise, as Russo has infamously said he doesn't believe in "heels" or "faces".
    • The opening post of this thread highlights many of the fuck-ups that led to the company's demise.
  • It Will Never Catch On:
    • Among the various people that WCW thought weren't worth a main event push was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, who was promised a World Title run. That run never happened, because Hogan was brought in to main-event Bash at the Beach '94. Austin saw the writing on the wall and left for WWF to become the biggest star since, well, Hulk Hogan. Soon to be followed by Mick Foley, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Triple H, and Rey Mysterio, Jr. (and Austin was preceded by the guy who would become The Undertaker). All of these guys became celebrated world champions when they went to the WWF. Bischoff also let Jim Ross go because he thought he wouldn't go over well with mainstream America.
    • For an added twist to the above, it was reportedly Hogan himself who brought Undertaker to see Vince McMahon after 'Taker, then known as Mean Mark Callous in WCW appeared in Hogan's movie Suburban Commando. The rest is history.
    • Inverted with Brian Pillman. They wrote Pillman out and let him go work for ECW for a few months and get the "Loose Cannon" gimmick down to a science because Eric Bischoff expected to be able to resign him. Bischoff, being Bischoff, did not consider the possibility that Pillman might want to go work with his best friends in the business (Austin, Dustin, Foley, and the Harts) in the WWF, the former three having left WCW because they hated the direction in which it was going under the Hogan Regime, not unlike Pillman himself.
    • How many times has that killed an entire company? WCW might well be the first when they revealed that Mick Foley would win the WWF Championship, which caused over half a million fans to switched over to Raw after Schiavone insulted him.
  • Lensman Arms Race: Initially only sixty minutes in length (as was Raw at the time), Nitro grew to 2 hours to compete with the 1996 NBA Playoffs. Raw waited until nearly a full year later to expand to the second hour. Nitro remained a two-hour program until 1998, when Bischoff lobbied for a third hour for the #1 wrestling program in the country. Within a month or two, Bischoff was starting to realize his mistake and scrambled to fill 180 minutes of programming in addition to the preexisting WCW Saturday Night. And then TNT ordered another two-hour show (Thunder) to air on Thursdays. Beginning in 2000, the mothership got downgraded to 2 hours again while the poorly-performing Thunder was moved to Mondays, airing directly after Nitro — essentially giving us a 4-hour show. This tap dance continued for two years until WCW died. (As of the show's 1,000th episode which aired in 2012, Raw is now a 3-hour broadcast.)
  • Licensed Game: More than you might expect.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters/Out of Focus:
    • At its height, WCW had over 240 wrestlers on its roster. Unlike most examples, though, only perhaps half of them were ever actually seen on television. This was both a deliberate plan and a grievous error on WCW's part. Part of their plan on competing with the WWF was to buy up competing talent for the sole purpose of keeping them from signing with the competition. While some were given spots on WCW programming, most others (mostly C-List Fodder) simply got to lay back and collect paychecks while "working" under a non-compete agreement.

      Unfortunately for WCW, even this plan got away from them, as the sheer number of wrestlers became unmanageable on a week to week basis. At the time, wrestlers were paid on a per-show basis, whether or not they actually worked on that show. Attendance was taken by signing your own name in on a clipboard. A fair number of genre savvy workers, knowing full well that WCW didn't have any intention of actually using them, simply stayed at home and had friends of theirs on the roster sign in their names in their place.
    • There were also many who would still travel in a full-time schedule on the company's dime without working any matches. Only in 2000 did they start to only fly out any talent who were actually regularly being booked.
    • Madusa took one look at the names attached to WCW's new women's division and signed at once. She defected, dropped the WWF belt in the trash can, and never once held the women’s title (which became a complete afterthought the second it was revived, and lasted only a few months anyway). They had a solid roster, with half the women being from GAEA Japan, and they did nothing with it. So her famous rant was all for nothing, it was essentially Bischoff giving the finger to Vince again.
  • Mascot: Wild Cat Willie! ("W.C.W." - get it?)
  • Money to Throw Away: WCW from mid-1999 until the bitter end took this into new heights. For the year of 2000, WCW managed to lose $80 million. The reason for the shortfall is simple: profits and buyrates were way down, but the annual budget stayed at the same level as WCW's peak in 97-98.
    V1: Monster trucks, helicopter shots, Harley-Davisons. One being squished, one being given away... [blows raspberry] This company is well on its way to going out of business.
  • The Movie: Ready to Rumble, as much as fans would rather not acknowledge this (leading as it did to the David Arquette title run).
  • Parts Unknown:
    • Various members of the Dungeon of Doom including "The Taskmaster" Kevin Sullivan, from "The Iron Gates of Fate" and The Zodiac (Brutus Beefcake), from "The Land of Yin and Yang".
    • Masked wrestler Blitzkrieg, who had a brief run in 1999, from "The Cosmos".
    • The Patriots (Firebreaker Chip and Todd Champion), from "WCW Special Forces".
    • The Yellow Dog (Brian Pillman under a mask), from "The Kennel Club".
  • Power Stable: Four Horsemen (the Ur-Example), New World Order (and its various spinoffs), and the New Blood.
  • Put on a Bus: Sting took six months off every year despite being completely healthy. This coincided with Hogan returning from his vacation.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell:
    • Scott Hall was arrested countless times for drunkenness and other bad behavior. It got so bad that his wife Dana wrote in to the office and pleaded with them do something, and something they did: WCW Creative made it part of his gimmick, with Hall tip-toeing out of the ring for a tipple. Eric Bischoff did indeed come downstairs to talk man-to-man with Hall — in a promo, mind you — to which Hall responded by vomiting on him. The nWo, eager to cut Hall loose, sent Nash to play some sweet chin music on him, and he disappeared from WCW programming.
    • "The Madness of Ric Flair" storyline. Almost as soon as he reformed the Horsemen on Nitro, Flair went bananas, declared himself the U.S. President (in reaction to Hogan's and Macho's competing Presidential runs), and was carted off to the "Central Florida Mental Hospital" to treat his senility — where he bumped into Hall, oy vey.
  • Ratings Stunt:
    • RoboCop and David Arquette, World Champion spring to mind. Both sold out the arena. Ticket sales immediately plummeted and ratings dropped a full five points after the Arquette case though.
    • Bischoff relied on a Shock and Awe approach to WCW, booking PPV-quality matches almost every week (usually in the last hour or so) to keep people from switching to Raw. So you end up getting Hogan v. Goldberg on Nitro for free, despite the vast sum that match was worth in buys. There were several flaws in this plan:
      1. With so many spectacular match-ups crowding the schedule, there wasn't much room for the cruiserweights to compete for attention (Rey, Juvi, and Kidman traded the CW belt back and forth, while Benoit and Jericho defected to the WWF; the rest languished in the midcard).
        DDT: How can you protect Vampiro's credibility when he gets beaten up by a fat, out-of-shape Jim Ross imitator (and, gee, one of the bookers at that), and has to rely on a rock band for the save?
      2. Tortoise and the Hare. Buyrates suffered because there was no real incentive to watch PPVs, whereas Raw built up to them at a more methodical pace.
      3. WCW was bursting with title changes every week. (DDP once regained the World Title from Sting on the same night he lost the World Title to Sting.) Not only did it make Nitro near-impossible to follow, it removed any sense of stature from the belts and (ironically) made the WWF World Title seem more vaunted in comparison. This ensured WCW would always be seen as a pale copy of WWF, rather than the future of wrestling.
  • Reset Button: Unfortunately for WCW, their success didn't last. As the WWF reinvented itself with a new darker and edgier image lifted in part from ECW, WCW kept milking the nWo for all it was worth. The group was originally planned to dissolve after Starrcade 1997, where WCW mainstay Sting defeated Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Instead, the group split into two factions (the nWo "Hollywood", led by Hogan, and nWo Wolfpac, led by Kevin Nash), which feuded with each other throughout 1998. The group re-unified following the Fingerpoke of Doom, before being split again and reshuffled into the Millionaires' Club and The New Blood.
  • Sex Sells: The Outsiders vs.... Porn Stars! Brought to you by the Russo-Ferrara Laugh Factory/Creative Team.
    WrestleCrap: The woman in question was the adult film actress Minka, owner of the world’s second-largest pair of breast implants (WCW couldn’t be #1 in anything at this point).
  • Shout-Out: Like AAA, they had a "Thundercage", which was a send up to the Mad Max Thunderdome.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • The Outsider invasion angle that lead to the nWo and the Heartland Wrestling Association, which both started in 1996, were successors to the failed invasion and talent exchange WCW had earlier started with Smokey Mountain Wrestling, which shutdown in 1995.
    • TNA, both the good (like its early focus on the X-Division / cruiserweights) and bad (like the over-emphasis on kayfabe-breaking storylines and reality TV smut). Bonus: Jarrett founded it to replace WCW in the first place.
  • Squash Match: An example of Tropes Are Tools. The abundance of squash matches on WWF programming lead viewers to jump ship to watch WCW, which mostly showcased competitive matches. WCW did use squash matches to create its top draw, Goldberg, though.
  • Status Quo Is God: This had always been present to some degree. The downfall of Jim Crockett Promotions was that there were no clean finishes, which ultimately fell on Dusty Rhodes' shoulders. Nobody wanted to job because of backstage politics and Rhodes found that screwjob finishes were the best way to keep everyone happy (the shape of things to come), but fans felt robbed.
  • Strictly Formula: Without the Outsiders, there would be no Attitude Era and professional wrestling might not have survived as long as it has. That said, there is an added irony to WWF rolling the dice with former WCW talent while Nitro kept spinning its wheels with the nWo. WWE had their own veteran stable in D-Generation X, sure, but they also experimented with new and unusual characters like The Rock, Stone Cold, and Mankind; something WCW would not experiment with. They lost a lot of their novelty and with it their once-mighty audience.
  • Unrelated Brothers: Subverted with the Steiner Brothers and Harlem Heat.

Alternative Title(s): World Championship Wrestling