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  • 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 in no small part due to TNA hiring all of the big players who contributed to WCW's decline, Russo included. To the extent that every single person that's on the cover of The Death of WCW was employed there — at the same time.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
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    • 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" slogan 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 bring his A-game.
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    • WCW was more of a classic wrestling promotion, with an old school fanbase who grew up on NWA wrestling. They definitely tried with some outlandish stuff, but it didn't get over. Hogan is a completely different animal. He wasn't a young man trying to get over. He was everything those kind of fans hated, and after the initial nostalgia surge, they had to watch him demolish all of the people they liked. He was booed constantly in various arenas, and although kids still cheered him, Hogan was already sort of seen as a selfish character by fans, and had selfish elements to the performance. When he turned, it was plausible.
  • The Chris Carter Effect: The nWo ushered in an unprecedented boom period in pro wrestling attracting interest. The problem was that the nWo was built up as an unstoppable force who just kept growing and growing, to the point where fans and wrestlers felt like there was no hope, and when it became clear that the nWo storyline would never be resolved, fans stopped watching.
  • Critical Dissonance: Several WCW moments hated by critics and nowadays remembered as embarrassments were actually liked by general audiences at the time. That being said, it should be noted that in several cases, the negative effects were felt almost immediately afterwards:
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    • 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.
    • In hindsight, the Wolfpac is seen as an obvious rehash of the nWo. However, in the summer of 1998, the biggest stars in WCW were in the Wolfpac. Kevin Nash, who was already white-hot with the crowd, destroyed the stars WCW created all on their own, and got cheered for it. The problem is that, as explained in the point below, the Fingerpoke of Doom retroactively spoiled the whole Wolfpac angle.
    • The Fingerpoke of Doom actually fulfilled its purpose, at least initially: Not only did it spike their ratings, the following PPV (SuperBrawl) actually got more buys than the WWF's competing St. Valentine's Day Massacre event, and it got people tuning in and their ratings remained steady (around 4 or 4.5) until April. The real problems came post-Fingerpoke: The Fingerpoke meant that two groups whose sole feuds had been against each other (nWo and the Wolfpac) merged into one, and by Starrcade '99, they had lost the crowd.
  • Dork Age: WCW during Vince Russo's era is the point where WCW fans tend to look away due to how ridiculous things got.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The Puroresu and Lucha Libre stars who put on phenomenal matches every night, even to the very end, or at least until they all realized they'd never get pushes and started leaving in droves. After they took Rey Mysterio's mask off and the cruiserweights left, fans knew that anyone worth watching on Nitro would be on Raw soon enough.
    • The entire Cruiserweight division, which included the aforementioned foreign wrestlers but also guys like Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Billy Kidman. They were the wrestlers who opened up the night to pump up the crowd, and were usually the best match of the night. Despite this, also much like the aforementioned foreign wrestlers mentioned above, 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 which TNA would capitalise on later. These have earned a cult following on YouTube.
    • Even when it was clear that the company was keeping him away from the main event, Ric Flair was one of the bright spots of WCW during their end. Dave Meltzer used to make a list of the people who drew the biggest segment ratings on Raw and Nitro. He would calculate the rating they drew, who they were up against on the other channel, and how much the rating went up or down from the previous segment. From late 1997 until he got pulled off TV in 1998, Flair was the biggest ratings draw in either company. His television segments were getting higher ratings than "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at this point. When he came back in late '98, he was still consistently in WCW's top 3, along with Hogan and Goldberg. His match against Bret Hart at Souled Out '98 also did a huge buyrate. Back then, PPVs were split into "Hogan PPVs" and "Non-Hogan PPVs", because the buyrates were normally 20-25% higher (at minimum) when Hogan wrestled. The Flair-Hart match (which was one of the only decently-promoted matches Flair had during this period) went way above expectations into Hogan territory. It's actually one of the biggest PPVs in WCW history. And to top it off, in 1999 when WCW was losing steam and the nWo angle was fading, Flair and Hogan main-evented SuperBrawl. Both men were years past their prime, and everyone had seen them wrestle 100 times before. It popped a giant buyrate which surpassed expectations. They even did a better buyrate than the WWF PPV that month. What WWF match did they outdraw? Austin vs. Vince McMahon for the first time.
  • Gateway Series: More so than the WWF, which over the years increasingly tried to hammer its wrestlers into a generalized, rigid style, WCW fans argue that it always had better wrestling than the WWF by virtue that it had a lot more variety, and it was credted with introducing a significant niche of viewers in the United States to genres of wrestling that were new to them. Old school scientific wrestling, genuine lucha libre, technical wrestling, traditional puroresu, strong style, brawls, and gimmick matches, among others. 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.
    • The infamous Shockmaster costume - namely, a big burly warrior with a black cape and silver-painted Stormtrooper helmet - was always stupid, but it's even funnier nowadays due to coming across less like a "terrible zero-budget last-minute Wrestling Monster costume" and more a "terrible zero-budget last-minute Captain Phasma cosplay."
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The old adage during the Monday Night Wars was that one watched WCW for the midcard, WWF for the main events. Nitro gave some amazing in-ring action (Cruiserweight division) and some nice comic moments (just giving Flair/Jericho a microphone for twenty minutes).
  • 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:
    • 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 Schiavone on Twitter.
      • The most famous is, of course, "This is greatest night in the history of our sport!" The man had a gift for hyperbole.
      • "FANS WE ARE ALL OUT OF TIME"note 
      • "It's STIIIIING!"
      • "That'll put butts in the seats."note 
    • Bobby Heenan: "BUT WHOSE SIDE IS HE ON?!"note 
    • Dusty Rhodes: "HE GAWT A BI-THICKLE!"note 
    • Just about anything that came from Mongo McMichael as a commentator. He earned his own segment on Botchamania, prefaced with "Never mind that shit, HERE COMES MONGO!"
    • "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 thereof 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.
    • Arquette was against winning the world title. 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 Schiavone has been getting grief for 20 years because of that Mick Foley call, which was a direct line from Eric Bischoff himself. 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.
    • Kevin Nash didn't book himself into ending Goldberg's undefeated streak, 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 fought against his stable (the Wolfpac) reuniting with nWo Hollywood.
  • Narm:
    • Tony Schiavone at Starrcade '85: "Manny Fernandez is fighting for his heritage, that beautiful sombrero."
    • The Shockmaster would have been embarrassing even if he hadn't fallen on his face. The infamous botch elevated it from merely lame to something approaching legend.
    • Schiavone 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).
    • During a Page vs. Jarrett match on Thunder, Schiavone yells, "THIS WON'T STOP UNTIL SOMEONE DIES!". This would've already qualified for this, but right afterwards, the match ended in DQ (by then usual for matches on Thunder). 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 ass 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. Their PlayStation title, WCW vs. the World and its Nintendo 64 sequels, WCW vs. nWo: World Tour and WCW/nWo Revenge, are widely viewed as some of the best wrestling games of the fifth generation. Both come with a decent multiplayer mode which is still fun today.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Subverted with David Arquette winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. This was the rationale Vince Russo used to justify the decision. Ticket sales and ratings actually dropped after Arquette became champion.
  • 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 of Nitro 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 into the ring and say "you got it." Then he 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.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: David Flair was a wash, but his mental break made a good introduction for Crowbar and Daffney, both of whom were fairly popular.
  • Snark Bait:
    • Ladies and gentlemen, the company that sent Chris Jericho checks for zero dollars and zero cents. (True story.)
    • This parody cover by World of Wrestling.
    • 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.
  • So Bad, It's Good:
    • The Shockmaster turned a worthless segment that everyone would have forgotten into one of the most memorable botches ever. It has more entertainment value today than just about anything from that era of WCW. The Shockmaster actually did wrestle a few matches: He lost the fur coat and helmet and had about a 6-month run, repackaged as a klutzy construction worker (maybe an electrician, thus the Shockmaster?). Weirdly enough, his finisher was a perfect Tombstone Piledriver... but upside-down. The only thing it finished was his knees. (They included the move with Typhoon in the new DLC pack, though in that version he doesn't drop to his knees, just a straight slam.)
    • Halloween Havoc '91. The main event had a bunch of guys in a "House of Horrors" cage match. It involved Cactus Jack, Diamond Stud, Scott Steiner, and ended with Abdullah the Butcher getting fried in an electric chair. It looked like Abby had sparklers lit on top of his head.
    • Hail Lord Yeti, we await your return o bandaged one.
      Schiavone: I've been asked why I called it the YETAY, but I figured that since I was in the middle of a bullshit angle, I'd do bullshit commentary. At least we all got something memorable out of it.
    • If you cut out Thunder completely and watch Nitro/PPVs from 2000 (preferably with buddies/a drink), they are at least not dull. The wrestling is not good, the angles are usually stupid and offensive, but it is very entertaining. Contrast it with the summer of '99 when Nash held the book. 3-hour Nitros where the first hour was just promos and recaps, nothing live whatsoever.
    • Judy Bagwell On A Pole. Goldberg refusing to "follow the script." Tank Abbott's nipples. Stacy Keibler's miscarriage. THIS IS NEW BLOOD RISING. It's an alright show, if you're the kind of person who likes to watch train wrecks. It's rotten, but it's rotten in a way which was never seen before and will never be seen again. Bonus: It's called New Blood Rising, yet the main event is three older guys in a triple threat match. Kevin Nash saying "I'm gonna go over" in the opening package really defined the state WCW was in.
  • 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 reducing women's wrestling to near-death for seven years in the US. (Luchadoras lucked out because Mexico's scene is much less monopolized than north of the border.)
    • The rot had already set in there to a degree, but Russo acted like a supercharged enzyme which sped up the whole process. The cruiserweights were stacked to the gills with international talent; they even put the belt on Jushin Liger for a while. It was an integral part of the company, and it came as a complete shock when Russo butchered it. Russo later claimed that the misuse of cruiserweights was their biggest problem, without acknowledging that he had put the belt on "Oklahoma" during his first run as booker.
      Vince Russo: I'm going to tell you something right now that you will absolutely not agree with, but I've been a wrestling fan my whole life and I will live and die by this. It's hard enough, believe me, I write this shit, it is hard enough to get somebody over. You will never ever, ever, ever, ever see the Japanese wrestlers or the Mexican wrestlers over in American mainstream wrestling. I'm an American. If I'm watching wrestling here in America, I don't give a shit about a Japanese guy. I don't give a shit about a Mexican guy. I'm from America, and that's what I want to see.
    • It just never felt like Bret Hart was the big deal he should have been. It was pretty bush league of WCW to use the biggest match in WCW history (and that's saying something) in order to take a cheap shot at the WWF. And to do it, they sacrificed Hart's debut and the happy ending promised with Sting's return. Then they have him take on a few nWo jobbers, only to have him pseudo-join the nWo a few weeks later.
    • It was strange how the nWo and The Four Horsemen always lived in separate worlds. It's like WCW wanted them both to look strong, but didn't want to have them face each other, or have one side lose. It always seemed like the natural progression was the Horsemen emerging as the dominant force to take on the nWo on behalf of WCW (begrudgingly, since they could never be trusted). Probably the younger fans don't remember Flair and Hogan having such a heated rivalry, except for when they first arrived in WCW/TNA and then had some bad matches in '99/'02.
  • Too Good to Last: Lots of WCW viewers just stopped watching wrestling altogether when WCW folded. It wasn't as simple as WWE acquiring their viewer base. Wrestling as a whole is down and it hasn't been "mainstream" for a long, long time. (Raw and Nitro together had more viewers than Monday Night Football.note  Two and a half years after WCW folded, Raw was getting beat by SpongeBob SquarePants reruns.) Dave Meltzer said that WCW going out of business was the worst thing that ever happened to professional wrestling, not just because they were a competitor to WWE, but because Turner had endless resources. In order for a company to seriously compete, they would need a billionaire crazy enough to absorb a lot of losses before they could start turning a profit and hopefully sustain it, which nowadays seems unlikely.
    • TNT is gearing up to air AEW's weekly show on Wednesday nights. Hopefully, "Billionaire Ted" will retain control of scheduling this time around.
  • X-Pac Heat:
    • Eric Watts. Known for the worst drop kick of all time. His father is legendary booker "Cowboy" Bill Watts, and he was pushed far, far, far beyond his ability and popularity. After some racist remarks of Bill's resurfaced in a '93 interview, Bill was let go from WCW—and that was pretty much the end of Eric's career on a national scale. Side note: Raven is still friends with him, and he's a big believer in putting in a good word for people, so Eric turned up as a midcarder in TNA.
    • The West Texas Rednecks, led by Curt Hennig, who ran against the No Limit Soldiers (led by Master P) at the time. WCW, whose primary fanbase was southern white males, creates a stable of country music loving rednecks, and makes them heels to battle out against a hip hop stable, who were faces. Yeah, that'll go well in the South. If you were watching at the time, you probably don't remember them doing anything heelish: In one of the segments where Master P actually showed up, the No Limit Soldiers all threw him a birthday party for him, and the WTR came out to give him a ten-gallon hat as a present. The soldiers proceeded to gang up on them and throw birthday cake at them. It basically made them out to be a bunch of jerks, because they interrupted a wrestling show to throw a birthday party for a rapper and then beat up a bunch of wrestlers.
    • In the summer of '98, The Warrior (known as the Ultimate Warrior in WWF) debuted and formed the One Warrior Nation (OWN) to counter the nWo. He failed to deliver with his matches and completely flopped. In the entertaining-but-highly-revisionist Rise and Fall of WCW, Hogan and Bischoff try to bury the segment. Hogan went on to defeat The Warrior and get back the loss he suffered at WrestleMania VI.
    • Things came unglued in 1998. The Wolfpac/nWo feud dominated the show throughout '98, as wrestlers constantly joined and left the two groups. In November, Hogan announced his "retirement" from wrestling. Nash won a sixty-man Battle Royal, earning a title shot against Goldberg, the still-undefeated World Heavyweight Champion and the logical end to the nWo. At Starrcade, Nash defeated Goldberg when Scott Hall shocked Goldberg with a cattle prod. In January 1999, a rematch was slated to take place. On the same night that Foley defeated The Rock to win the WWF World Title, Goldberg was replaced by the returning Hulk Hogan. Hogan gently poked Nash in the chest, and Nash fell over for the pin. They officially lost the Monday Night War after that, since it became very plain that the nWo was never going to lose. Not only that, but it seemed like there was never a plan or an endgame to it all. Instead, Hogan, who immediately said he didn't care about the title and had bigger fish to fry, brother, then had a modest title run with very few memorable moments or victories. Big turn-off to the casual fan. "Go away" heat. And away they went.
    • Bischoff was partnered with former head of WWF creative Vince Russo and launched 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 only interested in keeping their top spot. The idea was to get the young talent over without burying the veterans, but 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. Both factions disbanded once management realized the angle was a flop, as the Millionaire's Club got most of the fan reaction. Russo holding the book in 2000 didn't help matters, as he doesn't believe in pure "heels" or pure "faces". Indeed, the New Blood 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".

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