• Acceptable Targets: Mainly thanks to being booked by the biggest Acceptable Target in wrestling: an unfiltered Vince Russo. The only wrestling promotion that is more Snark Bait than WCW is TNA, and that was only after TNA more-or-less became WCW-lite.
    • And this is due in no small part due to TNA hiring all of the big players who contributed to WCW's decline, Russo included.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: In the Monday Night Wars era, there were numerous examples of this trope between WCW and WWF, with these most notable ones particularly sticking out:
  • Arc Fatigue: The nWo was exactly the shot in the arm that wrestling needed. And all it took was two dudes in street clothes and Hogan playing a championship belt like a guitar. The result was an unprecedented boom period, which they subsequently ruined by making heel Hogan impossible to beat and never having a clean finish to any match. And not only was it later replaced with another massive heel stable, The New Blood (that had multiple sub-stables in it that also split apart and feuded), the copy actually had more members than all forms of the US nWo (including the WWE version) despite only officially lasting about 3 months. The last 2-3 months of WCW (the supposed "reset") was anchored by a smaller, less complex heel stable, The Magnificent Seven — who ran roughshod over the rest of the company.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Opinions about Tony Schiavone's role as commentator are all over the place. Detractors point out that when the luchadores were killing themselves with suicide dives and chair shots, he was either ignoring it, making fun of the masks/names, droning on about some nWo stuff, or laughing at some vaguely racist joke; and overreacting to something like David Flair winning the Hardcore title (to which he would give his "the greatest night in the history of our sport" act and so on. And that stern face he always gives.) However, supporters point out that, re-watching WCW in its sad, dying days, the man had to sell absolute car crash TV, but with a vigor and air of professionalism few could muster. Moves are being called, talent is being put over—and when he's in there with Mike Tenay, calling lucha or puroresu matches, he does brings his A-game.
  • Continuity Lockout: Even in 1996, when kids were wearing t-shirts reading "nWo" and "Austin 3:16" to class, you had to be the hardest of the hardcore to know who some of these veterans were or why they're beefing.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Literally, in case of Mongo's dog. Heenan mentions in his book that Bischoff is a huge football nut, so he hired Mongo without any real training. In a radio interview, Ric Flair praised his in-ring work as a wrestler. "Since it was radio, we couldn't see how much larger his nose grew after that one," Dave Meltzer wrote.
      Stroud: Pepe chose to sleep through a Hogan main event. We are all Pepe.
    • Marc Mero a.k.a. Johnny B. Badd a.k.a Mr. Sable.
      Brandon Stroud: If you’re not familiar with Johnny B. Badd, here’s what you need to know: WCW gave a former boxer with almost no wrestling training a Little Richard gimmick and put him over everybody for five years. A Little Richard gimmick. His finish was a punch. A Little Richard who could beat you by punching you once. Also, he had a confetti gun. DO YOU LOVE JOHNNY B. BADD YET.
    • Instead of Miss Elizabeth at his side, "Macho Man" Randy Savage now had a three-woman entourage consisting of Madusa, Miss Madness (Nora Greenwald, aka Molly Holly), and the weirdly-named "Gorgeous George", who was not the legendary wrestler of the 50s, but Savage’s then-girlfriend Stephanie Bellars. Originally, WCW had bought the rights to the name "Gorgeous George" so that Randy’s brother Lanny could use it. Though still collecting a 6-figure salary, Lanny never did wrestle for WCW, so they gave the moniker to Randy’s girlfriend instead of his brother.
    • David Flair. Fans liked daddy, but not David. You gotta love how David Flair's theme is just called "David Flair's Theme." Between that and his infamous Titantron you can tell people really cared about David Flair. Arn Anderson has gone on record saying that David wasn't really into pro wrestling and was basically pushed into it by people behind the scenes in WCW. He was never given a fair shot to become an actual wrestler, he was just shot right into the mix in one of WCW's countless terrible ideas to boost ratings. At least Daffney and Crowbar spun out of the deal.
    • Horace Hogan was pushed about as much as you'd expect Hulk Hogan's nephew to be...until he made the mistake of joining the New Blood. His uncle made quick work of him, before splitting with Horace's girl!
  • Critical Dissonance:
    • RoboCop and David Arquette, World Champion. Both sold out the arena. Though it must be said that after the Arquette match, ticket sales plummeted and ratings dropped a full five points.
    • The way WWE tells it, the Wolfpac is an obvious rehash of the nWo, and everyone hated it. In the summer of 1998, the biggest stars in WCW, maybe all of wrestling, were the Wolfpac. Nash, who was already hotter than hotter-than-fire, destroyed the star WCW created all on their own, and got cheered for it. The crowd was jumping around up and down they won the lottery. The reality is that the Fingerpoke of Doom retroactively ruined the whole Wolfpac angle.
    • People tend to miss the point of the Fingerpoke of Doom. Not only did it spike their ratings, the following PPPV (SuperBrawl) actually got more buys than Austin vs. McMahon and St. Valentines Day Massacre. It did its job. It got people tuning in and their ratings remained steady (around a 4 to a 4.5) until April. The real problems came post-Fingerpoke: At Starrcade '98, two groups whose sole feuds had been against each other merged into one. By Starrcade '99 they lost the crowd. Then, Goldberg lost to Bret in yet another recreation of the Montreal Screwjob (with Piper in the role of Vince for some reason). The nWo reformed the very next night when Bret offered Goldberg a title match, and everyone—Bret included—attacked him. Because, according to classic wrestling promoter's logic, if they bought it once, they'll buy it twice.
  • Ear Worm: "Rap is Crap."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The Puroresu and Lucha Libre stars who put on phenomenal matches every night, even to the very end, well, until they all realized they'd never get pushes and started leaving in droves.
    • The entire Cruiserweight division which included both styles above but also guys like Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Billy Kidman were the wrestlers who opened up the night to pump up the crowd and were usually the best match of the night. Despite this, crusierweights were often disregarded in terms of getting a push. In fact, many mentioned that they would get punished for getting over.
    • In hindsight, Buff Bagwell made a lot of media appearances outside of wrestling and showed up on a lot of merchandise for somebody who never won a singles title and never really was able to rise beyond the midcard. He seemed to pick up a few fans because he was so damn goofy.
    • Even in the dying days of WCW, Scott Steiner could be relied upon to produce hysterically funny promos, something that TNA would capitalise on later. These have earned a cult following on Youtube.
  • Dork Age: Vince Russo is like nuclear fission: with the right controls in place, he can be a boon which fuels man's advancements. Russo left to his own devices is Chernobyl.
  • Gateway Series: More so than the WWF, which over the years increasingly tried to hammer its wrestlers into a general, rigid style. WCW fans argue that it always had better wrestling than the WWF and it certainly had a lot more variety. Old school scientific wrestling, genuine lucha libre, technical wrestling, traditional puroresu, strong style, brawls, gimmick matches galore. Even if the style you were looking for wasn't given much respect in terms of booking chances are you'd still find it in WCW, and fans would be happy to sell you tapes with more of what you wanted if what you saw on WCW wasn't enough.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: For a period in late '96, Ultimo Dragon defended the J-Crown, a collection of cruiserweight/light heavyweight championship belts from various promotions unified into one collective (and cumbersome) title. At Starrcade '96, he defeated Dean Malenko and added the WCW Cruiserweight Championship to the J-Crown in the only time the J-Crown collection was seen on American television. What makes this so hilarious? One of the titles that made up the J-Crown was the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship,note  meaning that Ultimo Dragon was a legitimate WWF championship titleholder and was legitimately defending that title on a WCW pay-per-view, and neither promotion realized it until months later.
  • Jumping the Shark
    • The Monday Night War started when Scott Hall announced his arrival, and it ended at Starrcade when Goldberg got tazed by Scott Hall. Everything between those events is the pinnacle of pro wrestling.
    • After they took Rey's mask off and the cruiserweights left, fans knew that anyone worth watching on "Nitro" would be on "Raw" soon enough. Nash, Graham, all these office guys say "we never missed them." The Radicalz pulled a 6.6, a full point higher than the average "Raw" at the time
  • Mainstream Obscurity: 2020 closes the books on an entire generation of pro wrestling fans in the US who have largely watched nothing of WCW besides that which WWE has shown them through a revisionist lens. Despite the fact that WCW was WWF's top rival in its heyday, nearly driving them out of business, history was not kind to it.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Though Dusty had his flaws on commentary, he produced a lot of gems.
    • Tony Schiavone became such a veritable goldmine of (unintentional) comedy that you can actually check out a recompilation of his best hits as Faux Tony Schivone on Twitter.
      "Fans, we are joining you LIVE from [arena name] right here in [city name]! We are in the midst of what will go down as one of the greatest. If not THE greatest night in the history of our fine sport. We've got athletes from all over the GLOBE fighting for that prestigious opportunity. To prove themselves at the absolute highest platform of PROFESSIONAL wrestling—AAAAAH, [city name]! Oh boy, it's gonna be a doozy!"note \\"FANS WE ARE ALL OUT OF TIME"note \\"It's STIIIIING!"
    • If you're looking for the real deal, Vincent/Virgil has this twitter character for himself where he just says whatever he wants, and he always talks about how great he is/was. Here is Scott Hall's response to Virgil claiming that he was the centerpiece of the nWo. (One of these men is clearly drunk. The other is Scott Hall.)
    • "Never mind that shit, HERE COMES MONGO!"note 
    • "Call the WCW Hotline, I don't give a fuck"note 
    • "I booked myself to be pleased with this"note 
  • Mis-blamed:
    • It's really easy to blame the wrestlers for politicking, many being overpaid for their work, lack there of or any other myriad of reasons but they only accounted for roughly half of WCW's financial losses. Pretty much every aspect of the company was troubled.
    • The narrative of the Monday Night Wars being a personal vendetta between Ted Turner and Vince McMahon is false, as well. There was some animosity there, mostly on Vince's end because Turner wouldn't let Vince do whatever he wanted, but Turner had very little input on WCW (short of giving them prime time and putting Bischoff in charge). He bought WCW as a kind of 'thank you' for the ratings they gave his Superstation back when it was starting out. Turner had no desire to put WWE out of business.
    • Arquette was against winning the world title. Check out this roundatable about celebrities in wrestling. When he was finally persuaded by Russo into becoming champ, he chose to give all his earnings to Owen Hart's and Brian Pillman's families. He also paid for everyone's drinks because he grew up hearing that a new World champ should always buy everyone a round at the bar.
    • Poor Tony. He's been getting shit on for 20 years because of that Mick Foley call, which was a direct line from Bischoff. He even admitted that he called Foley to apologize for it and that, if he was a viewer, he would have changed the channel too.
    • Nash didn't book the streak ending, Kevin Sullivan did. Nash didn't take over as booker until two months later. Nash did lobby to be the one to end Goldberg's streak but he was against the Wolfpac reuniting with nWo Hollywood. It really showed how behind Hogan was with the times.
  • Narm:
    • Schiavone at Starrcade '85. "Manny Fernandez is fighting for his heritage, that beautiful sombrero."
    • Tony became a laughingstock for calling the wrong moves (referring to most as "slams" or "jams") and declaring each new wrestler as "undefeated" (presumably he meant undefeated in this wrestling promotion... but he often ignored losses on Thunder, too). He puts Baghdad Bob to shame.
    • Page vs. Jarrett on Thunder: Right before the by-then-usual DQ finish, Schiavone yells, "THIS WON'T STOP UNTIL SOMEONE DIES!" It even gets a mention in The Death of WCW.
    • Spring Stampede 2000 is amazing. Hulk Hogan keeps screaming "I'm going to eat your a** on Nitro" at Bischoff, until a cop pulls a gun on him. Did Hulk mean he was going to "beat his ass"? The close captioning agrees he's going to eat something.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: THQ, who used to specialize in licensed wrestling games, did a polished job with this one. Two of their Playstation titles, namely WCW vs. the World and its sequel, WCW vs. nWo: World Tour, are widely viewed as some of the best wrestling games of the fifth generation. Both come with a decent multiplayer mode that is still fun today.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Many of the greatest wrestlers of the era worked for WCW and they put on great matches, even had a few entertaining angles. But when people think back on WCW they tend to remember the wrestlers it did not use, the wrestlers it used solely to bury, the silly gimmicks, the sillier angles and the overspending. Even when people think of their favorite WCW wrestlers, matches or angles the subject tends to drift to how they were underused, why they were never followed up on or why they petered out.
  • Padding: It's clear when WCW really started to go off the rails. Even for much of '98(when they were still incredibly popular), there were episodes that started off with a promo, went to commercial, came back to Schiavone interviewing someone, cut to a promo backstage, went to commercial, and then came back to recaps...They had some bad direction, or none at all, by the summer of '98. Just one example: Kevin Nash once cut a promo where he asked if Goldberg would tag with him in the main event. Then Goldberg came out, going through his entire entrance, which takes anywhere from 2-5 minutes from the locker room, to fireworks, to the ring, only to come in the ring say "you got it." Then left.
    Dave Meltzer in 1999: They showed so many clips of Scott Steiner and Kimberly and Ric Flair and Bret Hart and Roddy Piper that I thought I was having nightmares about having been a horrible human being and being sent to Hell, and when I got there, I was sent to a room with all the evil wrestling promoters past and present and they made me sit in the chair next to people like Fritz Von Erich, Herb Abrams and Nick Gulas and forced us to watch Nitro episodes like this 24 hours a day.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games:
    • WCW Wrestling. It's an NES game that isn't Punch-Out!. Of course it's terrible.
    • Fittingly, Thunder was considered an inferior reskin of Nitro and released to one console only, the PS1.
      DDT: Does it have these features?:

      · Invincibility for Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash?
      · Screwjob run in in every NWO match?
      · Play by Play by Tony Schiavone (Booker T. executes a sidewalk slam! To the top! Flying Sidewalk Slam!)
      · Mute option to simulate the heat for a Scott Steiner match?
      · A hidden "Shoot Konnan" game?
      · Commercial breaks in the middle of cruiser matches?
      · Do sign nazis kick people out of the crowd?
      · Is it impossible to beat an NWO member without being Goldberg, Sting, or another NWO member?
      · Does Sting leave the character list every other month?

      Thanks for any info. I wanna recreate the WCW experience!
    • The video game 'WCW Backstage Assault was considered just a spinoff whilst EA worked on Mayhem 2, but ended up being the last WCW game ever. The game showed WCW's cost-cutting and rushing, with only being able to fight backstage whilst the competing WWF SmackDown 2: Know Your Role featured numerous arenas, more backstage areas, more moves and better graphics. What makes this sad is, the preceding game WCW Mayhem had been regarded as better than its competitor WWF Attitude, and THQ proceeded to copy and refine its simplified style for its own WWF games whilst WCW actually managed to produce a worse game due to having it Christmas Rushed.
  • Poison Oak Epileptic Trees:
    • Nitro was secretly a gigantic con job, according to Matt Randazzo. The idea was, by going head-to-head, WCW would hemorrhage money so badly that Turner would be forced to pull the plug on it. It only took them six years.
    • From Yahoo answers:
      "While Vince made Nash a superstar, Hogan went off to join his buddy Eric Bischoff in WCW, with the intention of making WCW the better company. Problem was, the WCW fans didn't want "Hulkamania" and they'd booed Hogan. Angry, Hogan decided "screw the WCW fans then". He decided that if the fans didn't want Hulkamania then he was going to destroy WCW, and take them for as much money as he could. He contacted Kevin Nash and invited he and Scott Hall to WCW to join in "the fun".
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • In 2000, it was decided that having Bischoff around to keep order was a better alternative to Nash and Sullivan's booking free-for-all, where nobody was over and Nitro was airing fewer matches than ever. (Some would argue the product was still markedly better than when Bischoff/Russo held the book, but we digress.) Bischoff was partnered with former head of creative Vince Russo with the hope that they could keep each other's flaws in check. On-screen, Bischoff and Russo took back control of WCW and unveiled two new stables: New Blood, the new generation being held down by the old, and the Millionaire's Club, a cabal of veterans who were becoming cancerous to the company. The idea was to get the younger talent over without burying the crusty stars, but it was a flop. The fans were always going to cheer for their childhood favorites, and the booking showed a lack of preparation and thought put into it: Shane Douglas in his thirties complaining about getting held down and being the "future" of wrestling just doesn't wash.
      WCW Worldwide: Embarrassing is the best word to wrap up this entire angle.
    • Russo holding the book in 2000 didn't help matters. Indeed, the old guys became faces and the young guys came off as heelish right away: violently attacking the established stars, spray-painting their chests, mowing them down with 4x4 vehicles, and printing t-shirts declaring "TRADITION SUCKS" (shades of "CENA SUCKS"!). Both factions disbanded once WCW management realized that the angle was backfiring, as the Millionaire's Club got most of the fan reaction.
  • Snark Bait:
    • Ladies and gentlemen, the company that sent Chris Jericho checks for zero dollars and zero cents. (True story.)
    • World of Wrestling downgraded the company to geek status with this parody cover.
    • Russo's WCW is pretty much the laughingstock of pro wrestling, though TNA (under Bischoff and Hogan) is slowly becoming the next title holder. Maybe, just maybe, there is a pattern here.
  • Shocking Swerve: Arguably the trope namer(Russo is the trope namer, his work in WCW is merely among his most infamous). Inarguably, it is one of the reasons why WCW went out of business. The biggest of course was the beloved Wolfpac suddenly turning heel and bowing down to a supposedly retired Hulk Hogan. No set up, and over a year's worth of angles made meaningless.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: WCW had such a staggering amount of polished women wrestlers pass through with little to show for it. Leilani Kai, Misty Blue, Jacqueline, Sherri Martel, Malia Hosaka, Brandi Alexander, Lexie Fyfe, Luna Vachon, Little Jeannie, Starla Saxton are just among the better known names stateside. From GAEA in Japan there were the additions Toshie Uematsu, Chigusa Nagayo, Devil Masami, Infernal KAORU, Meiko Satomura, and Sonoko Kato immediately available with many more they could call plus other Japanese wrestlers like Bull Nakano. Other international names included Susan Sexton from Australia and Monster Ripper from Canada. Under the impression all of those names would be the foundation of a great WCW women's division, Madusa and "Reina Jubuki" Akira Hokuto were willing to give up being champions of the WWF's and CMLL's, the former of which disappeared in 95 and wouldn't be right again until 2003 (and that return to form wouldn't even last two years but the independent circuit would pick up more of the slack by then), the latter of which became less active until going dormant completely in '03, and would not get back on track till 2005. This means WCW also played a hand in putting women's pro wrestling near death for seven years in the USA. (Luchadoras lucked out because Mexico's scene is much less monopolized than north of the boarder.)
  • Too Good to Last: Most wrestlers feel this way, particularly the Attitude Era personalities. While they may not have liked how WCW did business, they were all making money hand over fist. Who knows if wrestling will ever see prosperity like that again?