The story of wcw is still celebrated today, with Sting being a relevant player for AEW, or WWE recently bringing back the Latino World Order for Rey Mysterio. It only makes sense that a promotion that still has name value more than two decades after it ended would have had many legacy-defining accomplishments.
The promotion helped push professional wrestling to new heights during its battle against WWE. Wrestlers were given the opportunity to make their biggest names in the industry with WWE and WCW offering opportunities. Some names stood out more when looking at what caused WCW to be so successful. The following general moments should be considered WCW’s greatest achievements as a promotion.
10 Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone fighting after the NBA Finals
WCW followed WWE’s game plan of trying to use famous names from other worlds to attract new viewers. Karl Malone and Dennis Rodman agreeing to fight each other in a tag match was a huge accomplishment for WCW.
beach party 1998 he had WCW’s second-best PPV buy rate and received significant media attention just a month after meeting in the NBA Finals. Hulk Hogan and Rodman scored their victory over Diamond Dallas Page and Malone was a huge boost for WCW in the summer of 1998.
9 Nitro sets new ratings records
The massive success of WCW and WWE led Monday Night Wars to take wrestling to a new level. WCW first achieved that success when their product essentially began the boom period that would play out over the next few years.
Nitro was the show that challenged giants like Monday Night Football or the MLB playoffs in ratings battles. WWE eventually joined that equation and hit new highs, but WCW started that momentum shift with Nitro becoming must-watch.
8 Ron Simmons’ historic title win
Wrestling is all about moments that stand the test of time and make fans feel like they’re watching something special. Ron Simmons winning the WCW Championship from Vader created that kind of appeal when he was the first black wrestler to hold a WCW or WWE world title.
WCW deserves credit for booking the moment perfectly by having Simmons dethrone the domineering Vader. Although Simmons did not have a long reign and eventually moved to WWE, this was a career-defining moment for him and had historical value.
7 Starrcade 1997 Purchase rate
Many fans come starrcade 1997 as WCW’s peak for both positive and negative moments. There is a belief that WCW jumped the shark tonight by overcomplicating and ruining the ending of the highly anticipated Sting vs. Hulk Hogan main event.
WCW still had a huge accomplishment that night by setting their record for the highest buy rate in company history. More than 700,000 people bought starrcade 1997 with more than 100,000 purchases than his second most successful PPV.
6 Innovative Cruiserweight Division
Eric Bischoff deserves some praise for taking a chance on his cruiserweight division. WCW failed with the previous light heavyweight division as the Brian Pillman vs. Jushin Liger fight was the only success story. The international appeal was used to bring more international names to the cruiserweights.
WCW had some of the best in-ring talent with names like Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, and Dean Malenko leading the way. The innovative matches were outstanding in giving WCW something to set them apart from WWE and adding some variety to the show.
5 New World Order argument
WCW witnessed everything change when the New World Order storyline took off. Both WWE and WCW went back and forth until this angle made WCW a must-watch product. Hulk Hogan turning heel to team up with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash instantly created a stir.
New fans began to tune in to the nWo improving every metric of the business. WCW basically had the nWo angle running the show for almost three whole years. WWE had no storyline that resonated on this level until the feud between Steve Austin and Vince McMahon took off.
4 Goldberg’s unbeaten streak
A common criticism towards WCW was that they did not create enough new stars and relied on established but aging veterans. Goldberg was the biggest argument against it when WCW made him its main star less than a year after his debut.
There were no cartoons or great introduction to Goldberg beyond decisively winning games. Goldberg’s unbeaten streak turned into a huge success after a few months. Goldberg’s crowning moment defeating Hulk Hogan for the WCW Championship to continue his streak was arguably the best memory in WCW history.
3 Winning the Monday Night Wars for 83 weeks
Eric Bischoff chose to compete against WWE when he asked for Nitro to air on Mondays at the same time Raw changed business. WCW didn’t really take over until after a year on the project, but Bischoff’s vision played out perfectly.
Nitro defeated Raw in the ratings battle 83 weeks in a row to make WCW the top promotion. There was about a full year when the battle wasn’t even close. WCW is the only American wrestling company that can say it was beating WWE after Vince McMahon Jr. took over.
2 Sting’s Homegrown Success
WCW had to work hard to build new stars after most wrestling fans saw WWE as the place that excelled at it. Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior showcased WCW’s dream stage building its top stars.
Any chance of success for WCW required them to build their own local talent among former WWE name signings. Sting was by far the biggest success story after he broke out in a feud with Ric Flair. WCW never saw Sting leave for WWE like most others, and he remained the heart of the company throughout his career.
1 Hulk Hogan signs after leaving WWE
Hulk Hogan was by far the biggest name in wrestling without a close second when he left WWE in 1993. The business relationship between Hogan and Vince McMahon fell apart and WCW had its best chance to compete with WWE.
Eric Bischoff convinced Ted Turner to award the most talent-friendly contract in wrestling history. Hogan received crazy financial benefits and having creative control paid off. WCW felt like the big leagues for the first time and even had a ticker parade celebrating Hogan’s arrival as a sports team winning a championship.