Based in Atlanta, Georgia, it began as a regional promotion affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), run by Jim Crockett Promotions until 1988, when Ted Turner and his Turner Broadcasting purchased the promotion, renaming it World Championship Wrestling. From 1995 onwards, WCW began to turn the corner economically, largely due to the promotion of Eric Bischoff to Executive Producer, the hiring of Hulk Hogan, the introduction of Nitro and the resultant Monday Night Wars, the nWo and other innovative concepts. However, numerous problems led to the company losing its lead. Its fall from grace has been heavily documented within the industry. The promotion was purchased in 2001 by former competitor Vince McMahon and the then-World Wrestling Federation (WWF), now World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Jim Barnett, who had worked for the World Championship Wrestling promotion in Australia, came to Atlanta in the 1970s during an internal struggle over the NWA Georgia territory. Barnett wound up as the majority owner of the territory, and he wound up using the name for the territory's television program.
Some of the creative freedoms that Bischoff granted main-event level talent helped to bring the company down, as main-event level talent were less than cooperative in helping rising stars fulfill their potential. Once Bischoff was relieved of his duties in 1999, Vince Russo, a former writer for World Wrestling Entertainment, came on board to become the lead writer of WCW. Russo did not last long in his position, but in April 2000, WCW opted to bring Russo and Bischoff back in hopes that the duo might re-spark interest in WCW.
The two, however, did not get along well and Eric Bischoff left the company after Vince Russo—in the course of an in-ring promo—made comments about Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan) which many felt were derogatory not just to the Hogan character, but to Bollea himself.
However, one of the primary backers in the WCW deal backed out, leaving Fusient to take that offer off the table while it attempted to bring a new deal around. In the meantime, World Wrestling Federation 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 wrestling to be out of line with their image. As a result, WCW programming was cancelled on both 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.
One of the truly mind-boggling facts about the sale is that 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 McMahon only acquired select assets, the shell that was once WCW became known as Universal Wrestling Corporation once again; its only purpose now, however, was to deal with old contracts and lawsuits.
WCW started out as a regional promotion in the late 1980's focusing mainly in the Deep South. WCW started growing nationally a few years later, which led to its rivalry with the WWF. Even though WCW folded in 2001, its legacy lived on in the WWF. The WWF kept the WCW United States Championship Belt, the WCW Cruiserweight Championship Belt, the WCW World Tag Team Championship Belts and the WCW World Heavyweight Championship Belt. Eventually, with the exception of the Cruiserweight title, the titles were unified into their WWF counterparts. In 2003 now known as the WWE, the company resurected the United States title to be competed for exclusivly on WWE Smackdown. When Hulk Hogan came back to the WWE, the WWE kept his Hollywood nickname. In 2004, the WWE brought back the Great American Bash.
|Championship||Final champion(s)||Date won||Event|
|WCW World Heavyweight Championship||Booker T||March 26 2001||Nitro|
|WCW United States Heavyweight Championship||Booker T||March 18 2001||Greed|
|WCW World Tag Team Championship||Natural Born Thrillers (Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire)||January 14 2001||Sin|
|WCW Cruiserweight Championship||Shane Helms||March 18 2001||Greed|
|WCW World Television Championship||Hacksaw Jim Duggan||February 16 2000||Thunder|
|WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship||The Filthy Animals (Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio, Jr.)||March 26 2001||Nitro|
|WCW Hardcore Championship||Meng||January 14 2001||Sin|
|Championship||Final champion(s)||Date won||Event|
|WCW World Heavyweight Championship||Chris Jericho||December 9 2001||Vengeance|
|WCW United States Championship||Edge||November 12 2001||Survivor Series|
|WCW World Tag Team Championship||The Dudley Boyz||October 23 2001||Survivor Series|
|WCW Cruiserweight Championship||Tajiri||October 22 2001||Raw|
1The NWA World Heavyweight Championship was defended in World Championship wrestling until WCW was withdrawn from the National Wrestling Alliance in September 1993.
2The NWA World Tag Team Championship was briefly defended in WCW beginning on July 12, 1992. The title was unified with the WCW World Tag Team Championship on September 21, 1992 and was defended until WCW's withdrawal from the NWA, resulting in the two championships being separated once more.
3This title was considered the "unofficial" NWA World Tag Team Championship until a tournament was held in 1992 to declare an official NWA World Tag Team Championship for the first time in NWA history. This version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship was renamed the WCW World Tag Team Championship in January 1991.
Sweeps family values.(World Championship Wrestling against Playboy Playmates on Family Feud during November 1999 sweeps)(Brief Article)
Oct 25, 1999; Ahh, November sweeps. It's all about fun and games until someone pulls out their wrestlers and bunny tails. Pearson Television...