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The rise and fall of WCW (part 1)

Guest fujiwara

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Guest fujiwara

The rise and fall of WCW


Dateline 1983: What better place to start than the beginning. At this time the World Wrestling Federation was just about to turn into a global phenomenon they had, under the guidance of Vince McMahon become a big company in a time when wrestling had been territorial. Well one of these territories was Georgia championship wrestling. It was one of the first shows ever to broadcast on Ted Turner’s Turner Network Television. The shows name was, to make it sound big changed to World Championship Wrestling. In 1983 Vince McMahon bought the show and time slot, it only lasted for a year though as the WWF took off. McMahon sold the time slot and company to Jim Crockett Promotions. Well Crockett had the company but he didn’t have much luck with it. This was mostly down to bad booking decisions. Magnum TA was one of the promotions and indeed the businesses biggest draws, sadly though he died in car accident. As well as this there were the contracts, big money if Crockett wanted his wrestlers to work exclusively for him. All of these factors meant that the company didn’t have much money at all. Crockett ventured into Pay Per View. Starrcade 87 and Bunkhouse Stampede. These didn’t help though. Crockett had to sell up. So Ted Turner bought the company himself. With Crockett out, Jim Herd came in to power. WCW was still, at this point working with the NWA. Dusty Rhoads was, up until this point the head booker. However Jim, not knowing much about wrestling at all gave the booking duties to the top star Ric Flair. Because of this Dusty walked out of WCW.


It appeared that Ric had it under control. Ric Flair and Barry Windham teamed up against Eddie Gilbert and a mystery partner. Gilbert’s partner turned out to be Ricky Steamboat, who had just left the WWF. Steamboat flew off the ropes and pinned the Nature Boy right in the center of the ring. This started off one of the greatest feuds of all time, Flair v Steamboat was on. The match was set in Chicago it would be Flair (the champ) v Steamboat for the World Heavyweight Title. That night Steamboat won the Title. The next month at the clash of the champions in a 2 out of 3 fall match Flair won the title back but it emerged that he did not win the match fairly so at the Wrestle War ’89 PPV it was settled. With several judges at ringside the two put on arguably the best match of all time. Flair emerged victorious. However after the match Terry Funk (one of the judges) attacked Ric Flair and demanded a title shot. The next feud was born. Terry and Ric put on two great encounters. During the feud, in a great angle Funk put a plastic bag over Flair’s Head. At the great American Bash PPV Flair and Funk had a match which ended up as a wild brawl between Sting, Great Muta, Funk and Flair. Herd quivkly picked up the backstage politics stuff and new good talent when he saw it. He bought in Muta, Brian Pillman the Steiner’s and others. The smarks as they have come to be known now, watched WCW over the WWF.


During a televised event Ric Flair was fighting a heel group called the J-Tex corporation. To the surprise and delight of the fans, Ole and Arn Arnderson ran out and helped Flair out. The 4 Horsemen were riding again. At the end of 1989 WCW staged Starrcade 89. Two round robin Tournaments. A singles one and a Tag Team one. Sting (a member of the 4 horsemen) one the tournament and The Horsemen appeared to start to turn on Sting . 1989 had been a great year could they maintain it?

1990: The first major piece of news of the year was, in a good angle the Haorsemen turned on sting at Clash Of the Champions on February 6th. At the end of the event, during the Horsemen v J-Tex cage match Sting got involved. The cage door was locked so Sting had to climb the cage. As he was doing this he badly injured his knee putting him on the shelf for 6 months. Sting was set to become the WCW champion in the feud with the Horsemen but that had to be put on hold due to the injury. The Great Muta left the company and wouldn’t be seen again for years. In the same month (Feb) Ole Anderson retired as an in ring performer. Years of abuse in the ring had cost him nad he was no longer the performer that he once was. Aswell as this Flair was relieved of his duties on the booking committee as several wrestlers and backstage personnel thought that he was making himself good in the booking of matches. Jim Herd brought Jim Crockett as a booker. At this time WCW had over ten people on the booking committee.


Ole Anderson was announced as head booker and he quickly changed things. First he pushed his friends and people he knew. He decreased the salary of new talent like Brian Pillman and brought in several older stars back into WCW. People like the Iron Sheik and Stan Hansen.


As Sting was on the mend he returned to WCW to battle the Horsemen. Not actually wrestling but being envolved in the story line with the Horsemen. At Capitol Combat, in the main event cage match between Lex Luger and Flair. Sting was locked in a mini cage of his own. Then the ringside enforcer ROBOCOP came down to ringside and bent the bars for Sting to get out. The reason that this truly lame angle took place was to cash in and promote Ted Turner’s film channel. WCW went from bad to worse. A face stable known as the dudes with attitude was formed to help Sting against the Horsemen. At 1990’s Great American Bash Sting and Flair went one on one to determine the World Champion. Sting came out victorious. Just as things were just starting to go in the right direction WCW hit a new low with the completely stupid Black Scorpion angle.


The story was that after Sting won the title a masked man attacked him. There were many different men under the mask mostly joobers and indy wrestlers. The problem was that when Ole came up with the idea he didn’t even know who the dark scorpion was going to be when he was eventually found out. The bad booking continued at Halloween Havoc when Sid Vicious pinned Sting or at least he thought he did only Sting turned out to be Barry Windham who had recently joined the Horsemen along with Sid. Then the real Sting came out and retained the title.


Ole Anderson was released in November. There was no head Booker at this point. WCW brought the Black Scorpion saga (more like fiasco) to an end in a cage match. Sting one and Ric Flair was found out to be the Scorpion. WCW had hit Rock Bottom at this point their sales and ratings were down, way down but with Ole gone could things change?


Dateline 1991: WCW had no head booker so they hired Dusty Rhodes to replace Ole. Dusty completely replaces the booking squad with his friends. Dusty set about changing a few things. Firstly he put himself on WCW shows for no reason apart from he wanted the spotlight. At the Wrestle War PPV Dusty brought back the War Games cage. During the end of the match Brian Pillman was power bombed by Sid however Brian hit the top of the cage and was dropped on his head. He was injured as a result.


Now on January 11th 1991 Ric Flair became the first WCW heavyweight Champion (until then WCW had the NWA title) the NWA still acknowledged Flair as the champ. At an inter promotional show with NJPW Flair was pinned by Tatsumi Fujinami. However during the match Flair was thrown over the top rope to the floor. In WCW that meant a DQ however in the NWA it didn’t. Both men thought that they were the champion. So at Superbrawl 1 the two had a rematch which Flair one. A few months afterwards Scott Steiner injured his arm putting him out of action. The hottest team in WCW is on the sidelines. That was not good for WCW either. Dusty had a son, Dustin who is now wrestling as Goldust. Dusty was intent on getting his offspring over jobbing out anyone to get Dustin over. Dustin however was jus a rookie and was not ready for the push.

Then as WCW’s woes continued Their top star Ric Flair left the company over disagreements with Jim Herd. Various magazines and reports suggested that Dusty hadn’t helped WCW at all, in fact if anything he had made things worse. WCW was down and then the WWF kicked them. Ric Flair had signed with the WWF. And whats more he was still the WCW/NWA world champion. Flair turned up on WWF television with the WCW title! Eventually he sold it back to them.


With Ole gone Cactus Jack returned, after quitting whilst Ole was in charge. Cactus feuded with Sting. Ricky Steamboat also came back. Starrcade lethal lottery was fun I suppose but it wasn’t very entertaining. So 1991 hadn’t been a good year for WCW at all with attendances down several wrestlers injured and Ric Flair gone it wasn’t looking good. So Jim Herd gave the company to kip Frye.


Dusty was demoted to a commentary position at the end of February 1992. Cowboy bill Watts was his replacement. Watts changed the company to a sport rather than sports – entertainment. He Barred brawling on the outside, no weapons and the big one no moves to be done from the top rope!??? Backstage Watts continued with the change backstage. No one was aloud to leave the arena until the final match had finished and faces and heels had little contact at all backstage. Watts cut costs and tried, with little success to get wrestlers to take pay cuts. But the in ring product picked up at Wrestle War and Beach Blast, both of which were good PPV’s. An NWA tag titles tourney was set up. It started at Clash where the Steiners were eliminated in the second round! The Steiners weren’t in the tourney at theGreat American Bash as they had been knocked out. That was A big mistake by Watts. Watts continues to make mistake after mistake. Jake Roberts comes to WCW and leaves after 2 months! Watts put the title on Ron Simmons which failed miserably so Vader got the nod and became WCW champion.


Continued soon!!!!

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Guest kid banzai
An interesting read, but one thing I might pick up on - Magnum TA isn't dead! The car accident ended his career, but he did survive it.
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Very interesting stuff: good work fella!


Oh and...

Originally posted by fujiwara

Ole Anderson retired as an in ring performer. Years of abuse in the ring had cost him nad



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