11 October 1988
WCW at WWE.com
Ted Turner, Jim Crockett
1988–1996 Private(subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting System)1996 Public(subsidiary of Time Warner division Turner)2001–present Private(subsidiary of WWE)
Professional wrestlingSports entertainment
Television, Internet, merchandise
WWE, Turner Broadcasting System, Time Warner, WWE Libraries
Wcw world championship wrestling nes playthrough
WCW Inc. (formerly known as World Championship Wrestling, Inc.) was an American professional wrestling promotion, historically based in Atlanta, Georgia. It began as a regional (mid-Atlantic U.S.), National Wrestling Alliance (NWA)-affiliated "territory" promotion – Jim Crockett Promotions – until November 1988, when Ted Turner (through his Turner Broadcasting System business) bought the promotion, whose struggle to compete with Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment (then WWF, now WWE) had left it near bankruptcy. Immediately after the buyout, the business was renamed the Universal Wrestling Corporation (UWC) and consisted of Crockett's business assets not picked up by World Wrestling Federation Entertainment.
- Wcw world championship wrestling nes playthrough
- Leadership and booking
- WCW in other media
- Sale to WWFWWE Inc
In the mid-1990s, WCW dramatically improved its economic performance, largely due to the promotion of Eric Bischoff to Executive Producer (to guide the overall direction of the on-screen product); the strategy of hiring former WWF main eventers; the introduction of the Monday Nitro series on cable TV, and the resultant Monday Night Wars with the WWF's Monday Night Raw; the creative and marketing execution of the New World Order (nWo) brand/stable of wrestlers; and other innovative concepts. WCW also developed a popular cruiserweight division (an acrobatic, faster-paced, lucha libre-inspired style of wrestling).
Over the next several years, the promotion facilitated the rise of performers such as Bill Goldberg, Chris Jericho, Booker T, Eddie Guerrero, Diamond Dallas Page, Rey Mysterio, Chris Benoit and The Giant (later Big Show in the WWF), as well as the successful reinventions of Hulk Hogan, Sting and Scott Steiner. WCW eclipsed the WWF in popularity throughout the United States for much of the latter-1990s, however, numerous financial and creative missteps led to the company losing its lead over the WWF. Turner (and later, Time Warner) owned WCW until 2001, when selected assets were purchased by the WWF. Since 2001, WCW images and video footage have been widely distributed in WWE-owned media.
Two separate subsidiary companies exist as successors to WCW. WCW, Inc. is the WWE subsidiary established in Delaware in late 2000, initially as W. Acquisition Company, which holds the rights to the WCW video library and other intellectual property. The former WCW entity, which retained liabilities not acquired by WWE, was renamed back to the Universal Wrestling Corporation; it is still listed as a subsidiary of Time Warner.
The name "World Championship Wrestling" was first used as a brand and television show title in 1982. Jim Barnett (who had worked for the World Championship Wrestling promotion in Australia) came to Atlanta in the 1970s during an internal struggle over Georgia Championship Wrestling. Barnett ultimately became majority owner of the promotion, and began using his previous employer's name for his new promotion's television program in 1982. The promotion was eventually purchased by Jim Crockett Promotions.
However, it was not until November 2, 1988 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 (launched October 11, 1988), 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.
Leadership and booking
WCW went through various changes in business and creative leadership during its existence. Some figures, like Jim Herd and Kip Frey, were mere TV executives completely lacking in wrestling-promotion experience; others, like Bill Watts, Ole Anderson, and Dusty Rhodes had extensive experience in the business, but were so entrenched in the outdated "territory" ways of operating (which their respective careers had thrived under) that they were ineffective at growing WCW's largely regional audience into a national and international fanbase as Vince McMahon had successfully accomplished with the WWF.
While Eric Bischoff has received much criticism for some mistakes in judgment as Executive Producer (and later, WCW President), he combined an understanding of wrestling (largely gained as a staffer with Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association) with a willingness to make the changes needed to raise WCW's profile with the mainstream media, its target audience and especially, TV advertisers. These changes included moving some television tapings from Atlanta to Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida, as well as signing a mix of veteran U.S. main-event performers and younger stars from promotions around the world (e.g. Rey Mysterio, Jr.).
Some of the creative freedoms that Bischoff granted to main-event-level talent hurt the promotion, as such performers were less than cooperative in making stars out of the young performers, even though doing so (known in the industry as, "doing what's best for the business [instead of, for just yourself]") has been a staple of the industry worldwide since its inception. Once Bischoff was relieved of his duties in 1999, Vince Russo (a former senior storyline writer for the WWF), came aboard as lead writer of all of WCW's storylines. Although Russo would not last long in this role--departing for the first time in January 2000--WCW opted to bring back Russo and Bischoff in April 2000, in hopes that the duo might re-spark flagging fan interest in WCW. The two, however, did not get along well and Bischoff soon resigned from the sinking company. It was only a few months later that Russo would also depart after suffering from a concussion at the hands of Bill Goldberg (although he remained under contract for the rest of WCW's existence). Following Russo's departure, the creative needs of the WCW were handled by a booking committee which included Johnny Ace and Terry Taylor.
WCW in other media
From 2000 to 2001, Monster Jam had a series of monster trucks based on wrestlers' names. These include nWo (2000), Sting (2000–2001), Nitro Machine (2000–present; currently Inferno), Madusa (2000–present) and Goldberg (2000–present; currently Maximum Destruction). The first to go was nWo, which only ran for a season. Next, all but Goldberg, Nitro, and Madusa were retired after the WCW sponsorship was lost. Nitro then became 'Flashfire', and then was converted into 'Inferno'. 'Madusa' has stayed the same since its creation, because it is driven by former WCW wrestler Debrah Miceli, known in WCW by her ring name of Madusa. As for 'Goldberg', it was changed to 'Team Meents' in 2002, then into 'Maximum Destruction', which debuted in 2003 and continues to compete in the series.
WCW also had a presence in NASCAR from the mid-1990s to 2000, sponsoring the #29 team in the Busch Grand National Series full-time and the #9 Melling Racing team in the Winston Cup Series part-time. In 1996, Kyle Petty's #49 car in the Busch Grand National series was sponsored by the nWo, and Wally Dallenbach, Jr. briefly drove a WCW-sponsored car for Galaxy Motorsports.
Sale to WWF/WWE, Inc.
As 2000 came to a close, a number of potential buyers for WCW were rumored to show interest in the company. Ted Turner, however, still had a position of influence at Time Warner prior to the final merger of AOL and Time Warner in 2001, and most offers were rejected. Eric Bischoff, working with Fusient Media Ventures, made a bid to acquire the company in January 2001 (shortly following the AOL/Time Warner merger), and it appeared that WCW would continue.
After one of the primary backers in the WCW deal backed out, this left Fusient to take that offer off the table while attempting to bring a new deal around. In the meantime, the World Wrestling Federation founded W. Acquisition Company in late 2000 and began speaking to the new AOL Time Warner about acquiring the WCW brand. Jamie Kellner was handed control over the Turner Broadcasting division, and deemed WCW, along with Turner Sports as a whole, to be out of line with its image. As a result, WCW programming was canceled on TBS and TNT, leaving Vince McMahon's company, which at the time had an exclusive deal with Viacom, free to acquire the trademarks, video libraries and a few contracts of World Championship Wrestling performers through its new subsidiary W. Acquisition Company, which was renamed WCW Inc. afterward.
During the sale, WCW was in litigation, with various lawsuits pending, and AOL Time Warner still had to pay various performers their guaranteed deals, as many had contracts directly with the parent company and not with WCW. Since WCW Inc. had acquired select assets, the company that was once World Championship Wrestling reverted to being Universal Wrestling Corporation once again; its only purpose now, however, was to deal with old contracts and lawsuits.
At the outset of WCW's existence, as well as that of its predecessors, the company was strongly identified with the Southern style of professional wrestling (i.e., "rasslin'"), which emphasized athletic and competitive in-ring performances over the showmanship and cartoon-like characterizations of the WWF. This identity persisted into the 1990s, even as the company signed stars who their audience had only ever known as WWF-only stars (e.g., Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage). WCW dominated pro wrestling's television ratings from mid-1996 to 1998 in the U.S. (i.e., for 84 straight weeks) mainly due to its incredibly popular New World Order storyline; but thereafter, began to lose heavy ground to the WWF, which had successfully rebounded from the WCW threat with its edgy, antihero-driven "Attitude" era that saw the rise of WWF superstars such as Stone Cold Steve Austin. Stale story lines; unimpressive pay-per-view main event performances; a policy of vastly overpaying all headliners – and even many middle-tier performers – exorbitant, guaranteed salaries; questionable booking decisions; plus eventual and sudden spending restrictions (imposed by corporate parent Time Warner), combined to eventually lead WCW to start operating at a quickly-ballooning loss, instead of a profit. As a result, AOL Time Warner sold the copyrights to WCW's name to the WWF for $2.5 million, in 2001. Shortly after the purchase, Vince McMahon purchased the entire WCW videotape library for an additional $1.7 million, bringing the final tally of World Championship Wrestling's sale to $4.2 million.
WCW started out as a regional promotion in the late-1980s, focusing mainly on the Deep South. It started growing nationally a few years later, which led to its rivalry with the WWF – the major wrestling company left in North America (after almost single-handedly wiping out the old regional territory system it was born from). Even though WCW folded in 2001, its legacy lived on in the WWF. The WWF initially kept the WCW United States Championship, the WCW Cruiserweight Championship, the WCW World Tag Team Championship, and even the WCW World Heavyweight Championship active. Eventually, the titles were unified into their respective WWF counterparts. In 2003, now known as World Wrestling Entertainment, the company resurrected the U.S. Title.
When Hulk Hogan returned to WWE, it billed him as "Hollywood Hulk Hogan" – his WCW nickname. In 2004, WWE brought back WCW's Great American Bash pay-per-view; also that year, it released Starrcade: The Essential Collection as a three-disc DVD set. In August 2009, WWE released a DVD set, The Rise and Fall of WCW. Commemorating the 10th anniversary of purchasing WCW, WWE re-opened WCW.com, highlighting the history of the company that had once had the upper-hand in the professional wrestling marketplace, at one point, even threatening to drive WWE out of business. WWE released three documentaries showing highlights from WCW Nitro's history, The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro, The Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 2 and The Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 3. All three documentaries are hosted by Diamond Dallas Page.
Though the Great American Bash pay-per-view has since been retired, WWE resurrected the Clash of the Champions name as a 2016 pay-per-view (as WWE Clash of Champions).
WCW was a major focus in the WWE '12 video game released by THQ for Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii in 2011. In the Game's "Road to Wrestlemania" Story Mode, many WCW superstars are featured (e.g., Arn Anderson, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Road Warrior Animal, Kevin Nash (a.k.a., Diesel in his initial WWF run), Booker T, and Vader).
WCW has also gone on to be featured in various modern WWE media. Various WCW programs can be seen on the WWE Network, including all episodes of WCW Monday Nitro from 1995–2001, all WCW pay-per-views and every WCW Clash of the Champions. WWE also has dedicated a section of their website specifically for WCW programming.