Learning to break kayfabe
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Why is WWE allowed to revise history regarding Warrior and Fingerpoke of Doom?
I keep reading that the Fingerpoke of Doom killed the WCW. In fact I would argue it helped save the WCW. The WWE machine would like you to believe that the Fingerpoke of Doom killed the ratings but it actually helped ratings. So did the Warrior's return despite the hatchet job by the WWE media.
the ratings for the 5 shows before Fingerpoke of Doom:
4.6 (4.18 total average, Raw averaged 4.98)
4.9 (fingerpoke of Doom, Raw did 5.7)
next 5 shows:
5.7 (unopposed to Raw this week)
4.96 average that stretch (Raw was 5.61). The Fingerpoke of doom week did 5.7 for Raw. In fact in the next 3 weeks Raw did 5.5, 5.55, and 5.5. So that didn't immediately add fans to the WWF.
The Thunder that happened right after the Fingerpoke (3 days later) did a 4.2 ratings which was the best Thunder rating ever.
In fact the only 6 week ratings stretch ever for Nitro that was better happened when Nitro went 2 weeks straight unopposed to Raw and had Warrior return. Speaking of Warrior's return that did well too. If I remember correctly, the WWE said the ratings dropped like a rock during Warrior's segment which isn't true. Warrior's return did a 6.4 rating while the Raw match at the time was doing a 3.1. Overall that Nitro did a 4.9 so I imagine the rest of the show did really bad if it that far off the 6.4 rating the Warrior's return gave them.
5 week average before Warrior return: 4.48 rating
8/17/98 Warrior return: 4.9
8/24: 5.2 (Nitro's highest rating ever to date)
8/31: 6.0 (Raw did not air this week)
9/7: 5.5 (Raw did not air)
There were only a few times that the WCW did a 5 rating or better on a monday going against the WWF.
4/20/98: 5.1 (Goldberg/Raven, Hogan/Macho Man)
8/24/98: 5.2 (1 week after Warrior's return)
10/26/98: 5.1 (replay of Goldberg/DDP HH match that was cut short on PPV)
01/11/99: 5 (1 week after Fingerpoke of Doom, I thought it killed the WCW?)
1/25/99: 5 (3 weeks after Fingerpoke of Doom)
3/08/99: 5.7 (over 2 months after Fingerpoke of Doom)
That's right, the best ever WCW rating head to head vs. Raw happened 2 months after the Fingerpoke of Doom. So much for that narrative. You can probably guess that the top 3 WCW PPV buys were hogan/sting, hogan/rodman vs. DDP/malone, and goldberg/Nash. Do you want to guess what #4 was? It was Uncensored in Feb 99 (1.1 PPV buyrate) which was over a month after the fingerpoke of doom.
The Fingerpoke didn't kill them, it helped. Here are monthly ratings:
Nov 98: 4.24
Dec 98: 4.18
Jan 99: 4.8 (Fingerpoke month)
Feb 99: 4.78
Mar 99: 4.44 (but they did have their highest head to head rating in this month)
Apr 99: 4.1
May 99: 3.48
Jun 99: 3.25
Pretty soon the WCW was consistently getting 3 ratings until Russo came in Sep 99. So based on that data, the WCW died sometime in March or April, not after Fingerpoke. What happened is they failed to capitalize on the momentum of the Fingerpoke and the WWF was coming off of a Rock/Austin Wrestlemania. You can see the falloff in the PPV buyrates. 99 had a few of the worst PPV buys ever for the WCW to that point.
1 *Dec-99 *Starcade *0.23 *Bret/Goldberg
2 *Sep-99 *Fall Brawl *0.35 *Sting/Hogan
4 *Jul-99 *Bash at the Beach *0.39 *Savage/Sid vs. Sting/Nash
5 *Jun-99 *Great American Bash *0.43 *Savage/Nash
10 *Nov-99 *Mayhem *0.45 *Bret Hart wins Tournament
So they had 4 of the 5 worst PPV buyrates of the 94-99 timeframe happen from June 99 to December 99.
Last edited by jj60; 01-28-2013 at 06:31 PM.