World Championship Wrestling was, for a time, the most successful wrestling organization in the world. It first came to be when Ted Turner bought the financially failing Jim Crockett Promotions group in late 1988 as the programming it produced for his TBS was amongst the most successful shown on the station and Turner did not want to lose it. It went through many changes, both behind and in front of the curtain in the following 13 years until being bought by its arch-rival the World Wrestling Federation in early 2001, and then finally put to rest at the WWF’s Survivor Series pay-per-view event in November 2001.
This blog will go through every pay-per-view and Clash of the Champions TV special produced by WCW in this time frame (plus a few other key TV episodes) and take a look at the good, the bad and the Robocop. Did WCW deserve to die? Did it deserve the success it once had at all? That’s what I’m here to find out.
So, what motivates me to undertake this task? Quite simply, it is because WCW was the company that made me a wrestling fan. Back in the early 1990s, living in the UK, there wasn’t a lot of wrestling to be seen unless you had Sky satellite TV and my family did not. British wrestling on ITV has been taken off the air in 1998, but the popularity of the WWF on Sky had convinced ITV to try wrestling again in 1992, when they began to broadcast WCW Worldwide on Saturday afternoons. I was hooked almost instantly, impressed with stars like Sting, Vader and Ron Simmons – and even lower card acts such as Cactus Jack and “Stunning” Steve Austin (in fact, I have a notebook from around that time where I wrote that I would like to see Austin take on the then WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan – putting me years ahead of most wrestling bookers with that dream match). But almost as quickly as I was hooked on wrestling, I drifted away from it, on to pastures new like Spider-Man cartoon and the Sega Master System.
When I returned to the wrestling fold in 2000, WCW’s glory days had come and gone and it was nearing the end of its existence. However, I still held a great deal on nostalgic affection for it, and would occasionally check out Worldwide, now broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK. Even the terrible picture quality – and even worse match quality – could completely kill my love for WCW. So now, I will try to give WCW a fair shake and give a final accounting of its highs, lows, strengths and flaws.
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