The Life After Wartime Episode sparked this up:
Basically the combined failures of Jamie Kellner, Eric Bischoff and Vince Mcmahon killed WCW, lets explain:
The idea goes that Vince Russo's poor writing caused WCW to die, this is not true. Yes Russo did poor creatively from 1999-2000, however WCW was not going to die. as Terry Taylor said in the episode quoting Ted Turner, "I've lost more money with the Braves than in Wrestling"
Aol-Time Warner simply did not want Wrestling in their portfolio, they were going to sell it to Eric Bischoff, so Bischoff would own it through Fusient Media Ventures and continue to air Nitro on TNT and Thunder on TBS.
However Jamie Kellner cancelled WCW Nitro on TNT and WCW Thunder on TBS, he cancelled All Wrestling on the Networks, meaning not even the Successful WWF could be aired on it:
"Basically we've decided that professional wrestling, in its current incarnation, is not consistent with the upscale brands we've built at TNT and TBS. Therefore, we will not be carrying it.'' - http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/19/b...tling-in-first-decision-by-its-new-chief.html
Ok so AOL-Time Warner not only doesn't want to own the company, they don't want to even air it on their networks because they want nothing to do with Wrestling.
This proves that ratings and Russo's poor writing had absolutely nothing to do with it being cancelled, WCW Nitro was still TNT's most successful original series and drew high ratings. it was cancelled because they didn't want anything to do with wrestling, even if it was the WWF on TNT drawing 6.0's, they still would've been cancelled, ratings clearly didn't matter.
TNT would later be rebranded in June of 2001 just 3 months after the final WCW Nitro with a logo representing the channel's new direction of being Drama oriented:
Now WCW is not only no longer going to be owned by AOL-Time Warner, AOL-Time Warner also won't be airing WCW on their Networks.
Enter Eric Bischoff: What did he do that killed WCW? It wasn't his mistakes in the 90s, as that didn't and wouldn't have killed WCW. it's what he did during the sale of WCW in 2001.
When Bischoff found out that AOL-Time Warner cancelled All Wrestling Programming on TNT and TBS, he dropped out of buying it. this was ridiculous, as he could have bought it and aired it on another network, simply wait for a new deal.
Supposedly FX and NBC wanted WCW.
So now Vince Mcmahon: Vince buys WCW, is it now dead?
No, in the episode they use the TNN Exclusivity Contract as an excuse as to wwhy they couldn't put WCW on TV, and/or on another Network.
Basically TNN's Contract with the World Wrestling Federation was that All their programming had to be aired on Viacom(TNN's Owner) Networks(UPN, MTV, TNN)
And they were, Raw is War was on TNN, Smackdown! was on UPN, and Sunday Night Heat was on MTV.
Now since Vince Mcmahon bought WCW under the WWF umbrella, it's a World Wrestling Federation Entertainment INC company, therefore WCW could only air on a Viacom Network due to the TNN Exclusivity Contract.
All Vince had to do was make a separate entity and transfer WCW over to it, this way WCW is not under World Wrestling Federation Entertainment INC, and he could air WCW on another network without breaching the TNN contract.
Vince Mcmahon failed to do this and instead put WCW on the shelf like he said he would on March 26, 2001 during the WWF Raw is War/WCW Nitro simulcast. he didn't even at least sacrifice Raw or Smackdown for a WCW show.
Jamie Kellner, Eric Bischoff, and Vince Mcmahon made errors that killed WCW.