The end of WCW in 2001 changed the wrestling industry like no other story up to that point and since. wcw was the only company that ever had WWE on the ropes in the battle for the top spot. Fans loved being able to see legends like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair or rising stars like Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio every week.
Unfortunately, too many mistakes were made to maintain that momentum, and the company eventually fell apart. There have been alternatives like AEW and TNA/Impact Wrestling, but many still miss WCW. Both the positives and the negatives will be seen by looking at the things we are happy to never see again along with the things we will miss.
10 Happy Will Never See Again: Names like Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo in power
Eric Bischoff’s WCW success saw him create his legacy with the rise, but he was just as guilty in the fall. Everything Bischoff did in 1999 and beyond hurt his reputation after the top. TNA witnessed how bad things are with Bischoff in a power role to make him the ideal that is now in his wrestling past.
Vince Russo had a different story as his name value peaked before WCW in WWE and he saw it all fall apart in the WCW season. The two chapters running the WCW creative saw Russo lose credibility. TNA put Russo in important creative roles and watched them suffer trying to give him more opportunities.
9 Missing Seeing: New World Order Concept
The New World Order was such a popular act that it would have been recycled if WCW had continued to exist. WWE even tried to use a rare idea from WCW with the same name and approach when the original trio came together for a weak run that disappointed.
That prevented WWE from ever using the NWO name again for an active act, but WCW would have tried to restart it years later. Few ideas generate as much excitement as the fantasy of booking a new NWO, since it was such a popular act. WCW could have struck gold with another beloved version with the correct names.
8 Happy Will Never See Again: Low ceiling for young talent
WCW had a very set tier ranking for its stars that made it difficult for new talent to make it to the main event loop. Goldberg was the only young newcomer to get that boost in WCW’s glory years once they became a premiere brand in the Hulk Hogan era.
Talents like Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit felt they had to go to WWE if they wanted to advance their careers. WCW waited until it was too late to try and push new big names like Booker T and Scott Steiner as they only relied on established legends for too long.
7 Miss Seeing: Special PPV Outfits
One of the best things about watching WCW was seeing the elaborate themes they had for PPV sets to add to the mood. WCW loved to make each event feel unique during its prime years to give certain pay-per-views an identity.
He halloween havoc the sets evolved over the years with some all-time great ideas playing into the Halloween season. Other shows like great american party and starrcade they had sets that made the shows feel different from other events.
6 Happy Will Never See Again: Strange Celebrity Hiring
WWE and AEW use celebrities nowadays, but they usually have roles that make sense within the show. WCW got a little wilder by jumping on the fences and hoping famous names would fix other problems they were having at the time.
Jay Leno and David Arquette were placed in bigger roles than they needed to be at the top of the card. Even non-wrestling match appearances saw Master P and KISS missing runs for massive paydays. WCW made fans realize that celebrities could be abused in the wrong context.
5 Miss Seeing: Her Unique TV Presentation
WCW made Nitro feel unlike any wrestling show on television before or since. There were several differences that they used to add a new vibe compared to their previous shows or the WWE product. The commentators switched roles midway through, making the multi-hour show rarely feel long.
Even a little twist like adding pyrotechnics after the first hour was over no matter what else happened made fans notice the show shift gears. WCW went with an overall unpredictable pacing of their show that kept the audience guessing rather than waiting for what would come next.
4 Happy Will Never See Again: Backstage Chaos Hurting Careers
The backstage hostility in WCW created a negative environment that impacted the on-screen product. Big names like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Kevin Nash, and Goldberg clashed at various points. Younger stars often felt disrespected by the biggest names and not seen as deserving of the same opportunities.
Chris Jericho described WCW as a shark tank where everyone was trying to slit each other’s throats. AEW has had issues with Brawl Out and WWE had some negative reports before Triple H replaced Vince McMahon. However, the talents seem generally happier with fewer concerns about politics ruining their careers than they did in the WCW years.
3 Miss Seeing: Four Horsemen Reunions
The Four Horsemen were arguably the greatest act in WCW as there were multiple versions over the course of a decade. Ric Flair and Arn Anderson wanting to be a part of the industry after retiring from the ring means they probably would have stayed in WCW.
Future versions of the Horsemen or even reunions would be a huge selling point. The way that WWE brings D-Generation X together every year or two to great enthusiasm from the audience would have been the same for members of the Horsemen if WCW were still around.
2 Happy Will Never See Again: Bait & Switch TV Main Events
The biggest drawback to watching WCW was seeing how often they treated main events on TV as jokes. Many big matches involving top stars in the main event led to Nitro being rated, but WCW often had them finish in DQ or no contest.
Top stars competing on TV usually means someone has to take the loss, but WCW tried to have its cake and eat it too when it ended up with a cheap finish. WWE and AEW do a better job today of delivering an advertised match if they create publicity for a television main event.
1 Miss Seeing: Monday Night Wars Competition
WCW’s greatest achievement was going head-to-head with WWE and beating them in the ratings war for 83 straight weeks. Eric Bischoff sold WCW’s rise as wanting to start a war with WWE by putting Nitro on the same night and time as Raw.
AEW will likely never do this, as TNT and TBS both enjoy their ratings compared to other cable shows on the same night. This will likely never work again for a company trying to compete with WWE, as TNA failed badly in their attempt. WCW was the last time there will be that level of direct competition in wrestling for better or worse.