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The Death of WCW, Who's Responsible?

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I will talk about a topic that has been dead for awhile now. A topic that was one of the Hottest topics for about 5 years and is the death of World Championship wrestling.

A lot of people have their own theory on who is responsible for the closure of WCW. Today I will look at each possible candidate and give my opinion. So we will begin with the man that most Wrestling critics and fans believe was the main reason WCW ceased operations.

VINCE RUSSO
Russo was very successful in the WWF attitude era, Most people in WCW thought that Russo would bring the WWF magic that was taking them to the top to WCW. What everyone in WCW soon found out was That Russo needed heavy filtering .

Vince Mcmahon would heavily edit Russo's scripts. It was the talent (wrestlers) and Vince Mcmahon along with Russo that helped the WWF become the top wrestling Organization. Russo was just a ingredient not the main course.

Vince Russo let the WCW office and his pay check get to his head and he thought anything he wrote would work. Russo devalued the name of WCW, He hurt the ratings, He hurt the development of talent and He effected the quality of the Monday Nitro program but to Say he is the reason WCW closed Down is just insane. If that was the case they just hire another booker. Vince Russo Did a lot stupid things that really hurt WCW financially but Vince Russo was not the Reason WCW shut their Doors for good in 2001.


ERIC BISHOFF
If it wasn't for Eric's savy business sense and competitive nature than WCW would of never reached the height it did and maybe the WWF would still be a 1 hour squash program on monday nights instead of the cable Juggernaut it is now.

The Problem was that Eric was only thinking short term, He just went for the moment, He was writing checks that most people didn't deserve. The money wasnt the main problem, It was also certain things Eric wrote in the contract such as creative control and guaranteed money that really came back to bite him.... The NWO was a Great idea and it was revolutionary but the problem is they only knew how to go so far with it and Somewhere down the line the whole entire roster was NWO, Even the die hard WCW wrestlers were now NWO. It turned from a small outlaw group in the NWO vs a Big giant federation in WCW to NWO black and white vs NWO Wolf pack. WCW seemed to be a non existent factor in this war cause most the Roster was NWO.

A lot of things Eric did hurt WCW in the long run. Eric's lack of leadership and abilty to think of the future helped contribute to WCW's down fall but Eric was not the reason that WCW went under.


HULK HOGAN
Hogan wasnt really working out the Way WCW hoped when he first to WCW. Lackluster feuds, Childish storylines and rehashing past WWF storylines with aging and out of shape wrestlers in a different era was the reason for Hogans underwhelming run. WCW and Hogan were totally out of touch with the wrestling audience. It wasn't till The NWO that Hogan was once again Red hot.

Hogan politiced and used his creative control to his advantage but Hogan at the end of the day is just a talent, They could of let his Contract run out, It wouldnt be that hard to let a 10 million dollar contract run out. Hogan really effected WCW but didnt close it down, Hogan and the NWO took WCW to great heights but Hogan wouldnt play ball and step aside.

KEVIN NASH
There is so many dumb things Nash did. Putting him self to end the biggest thing in WCW at the time "Goldbergs Undefeated Streak" and then there was the finger poke of doom and so many other dumb decisions Nash has made. Nash really had no right to be the booker, Nash was never really accepted as a top level talent in WCW, He was ok in The NWO role or has the leader of the Wolf Pack but has a lone main eventer, It just didn't work out well.

Nash was a terrible booker but I cant sit here and blame him for a multi million dollar franchise closing.


So Who or what was the Reason WCW's demise? The answer is simple.

AOL
Yes, AOL was the reason WCW is closed down today.... When Turner merged with AOL, Turner gave up his controlling shares, Now AOL was equal to Turner or above him in the decision making of Time Warner operations.

Before WCW closed in 2001 their rating fluctuated between low 2's and mid 3's. Which isnt the 4.0 or 5.0 of Nitro's peak in the late 90's but still that rating is 2 to 3 times higher than TNA Impact receives and pretty close to what Smackdown receives and Not a huge difference from What Raw receives on average..... WCW could of got a 6.0 rating and AOL would still dispose of the WCW franchise. and You ask Whats the Reason AOL would get rid of WCW even if it was one of the highest rated programs on Turners TNT network? Cause AOL didn't want TNT to have the stigma of being a "WRESTLING CHANNEL".

Corporate America considers wrestling as low brow and they feel it only appeals to a lower income audience. So advertisers pay much less for commercial air time for a wrestling program that receives a 4.0 rating than a sitcom, talk show or animated program that receives the same nielson rating of a 4.0.

AOLs plan was to get rid of Wrestling from The Time Warner cable network. AOL never wanted Prowrestling to be one of their highest ranking programs, They wanted to revamp the Turner network and Wrestling just didn't fit in. I would go as far to say AOL hated prowrestling and its no secret that Time Warner executives wanted Wrestling off turner affiliated stations since Turner purchased WCW and The only one that pushed WCW was the boss himself Ted Turner. but now Ted Turner was no longer the boss and the controlling share holder. So WCW had no chance.

It wasn't a Money issue cause WCW wrestlers were getting paid either way. Hogan would get paid for example 5 million a year to wrestle or to not wrestle. So either way Time Warner paid their talent, So they didnt save any money cause most guys had 3 years left on their huge contracts.

The point of it was Prowrestling didn't fit in AOLs vision for TNT and TBS, AOL thought of wrestling as a hilliblly, poor persons pass time and it just wasnt how they want their Stations represented. AOL figured if they got rid of WCW they could get more award winning made for tv movies and more award winning TV series on the network.... Nash told a story how Time Warner gave 60 million dollars for a made for TV movie hoping it bring in a 2.5 or 3.0 Nielson TV rating and Nash said that WCW was bringing that on its death bed and bringing those ratings on a weekly basis and WCW could be ran for a year for that price. So it wasn't about ratings, it wasn't about cost, It was about revamping TNT and TBS and higher ups feeling that WCW being the highest rated show on those networks was holding them down and giving them a stigma as a wrestling channel which they believed would scare away the demographic they wanted to appeal too.

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Updated 03-18-2012 at 01:55 AM by Rated_R(ob)KO

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  1. Sahu's Avatar
    Gud Blog!!
  2. Rassling_Fan's Avatar
    Yes, AOL was the final nail in the coffin, but those factors really did hurt WCW.

    Nash told a story how Time Warner gave 60 million dollars for a made for TV movie hoping it bring in a 2.5 or 3.0 Nielson TV rating and Nash said that WCW was bringing that on its death bed and bringing those ratings on a weekly basis and WCW could be ran for a year for that price.
    Funny you should say that. During that last year, WCW lost $62 Million in total. Not gaining, but lost. The thing is, ratings may have been high for TNT or TBS, but it was hemorrhaging money. Too boot, WCW would have died a lot sooner if Ted Turner was not supporting them.

    Their ratings were low at the time, buyrates were low, and house show sales were low. If WCW was truly profitable, they would still be alive today. The problem is, the organization was too damaged. No other channel would support it because they feared how much the cost would be. Even Bishoff knew he couldn't save it unless it came with a TV deal.

    AOL maybe responsible for taking it off the air, but its involvement was like pulling off the life support to an already barely alive organization.
  3. cjstonecold's Avatar
    Great blog!!! When you're a teenager growing up in the middle of the wars, you wouldn't put two and two together like that.
  4. The Next Big Thing's Avatar
    loved reading this, it was such a huge thing happening in wrestling back in the day.
  5. THE_CRIPPLER's Avatar
    @Rassling_Fan

    Oh I dont doubt that WCW was poorly ran and losing money. I'm for one glad they are out of business because I love what WWE is doing with their footage..... The reason for this blog is to show of who is the really Responsible for WCWs closure.

    WCW was losing money but honestly it was 60 million like the everyone says. See Turner runs busines a different way, All the revenue WCW gets from PPVs goes to Turner sports, So on paper it shows that the 20 or 30 million a year WCW makes in PPV revnue was shown as a Profit from Turner spots not WCW. I would say WCW lost 30 million.

    but even if WCW made 50 million a year AOL would still get rid of WCW.
  6. Dubs's Avatar
    Great blog Crips. Great read indeed.
  7. Playboy Stevie V's Avatar
    This was a great read and really educational.

    Regardless who was responsible for the death of WCW, I just remember WCW being terrible during the end. Making Hulk go by his real name fueding with Billy Kidman, The Demon, natural born thrillers, Jeff Jarrett the chosen one, LWO, The dancing fools smh.

    I thought they where starting to do better when they started to push Booker and Steiner, but it was too late.
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