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The decline of WCW

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Obviously WWF were getting better attendances than JCP. That's not a dispute.but to say JCP weren't competition is simply wrong. Vince wouldn't have gone to such extreme measures if JCP weren't doing well.
Vince McMahon definitely wanted to bury all competition, regardless of the financial standings of other promotions. When the AWA put on their first PPV in 1988, the WWE tried to prevent it, by bringing up an obscure Illinois state law regarding boxers/wrestlers with amputations (Kerry Von Erich's foot had been amputated in 1986). The AWA by 1988 was on it's death bed, and was not a threat to the WWE.
 

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Hulk Smash loses it's novelty over time. Eventually he has to face real adversity and go through the paces - They tried that with Bret and it was a debacle. I don't blame him though.

He works as a special attraction - That was the point Cornette made - It's as a weekly competitor over the long term where his flaws are exposed. I actually didn't hate his first WWE run as much as most but I think it did show off his ceiling over a period of time. Even the very best have gotten stale and those guys had a lot more variety than Goldberg ever had.
I think putting your undefeated guy in as your champion ends up being an "all your eggs in one basket" type of deal. The belt and undefeated streak become linked in a way that doesn't always make for strong, organic booking. Having special attractions like Undertaker, Ultimate Warrior, and some of these other guys work because it's a spot on the card where you can put them and it feels important without necessarily requiring the involvement of a title.
 

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Vince McMahon definitely wanted to bury all competition, regardless of the financial standings of other promotions. When the AWA put on their first PPV in 1988, the WWE tried to prevent it, by bringing up an obscure Illinois state law regarding boxers/wrestlers with amputations (Kerry Von Erich's foot had been amputated in 1986). The AWA by 1988 was on it's death bed, and was not a threat to the WWE.
They were on their deathbed, but I think Vince wanted to make sure it ended that way.

Remember at that time, JCP were about to be bought out by Turner.

Potentially AWA could have still been a threat if they got their act together.
 

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Hulk Smash loses it's novelty over time. Eventually he has to face real adversity and go through the paces - They tried that with Bret and it was a debacle. I don't blame him though.

He works as a special attraction - That was the point Cornette made - It's as a weekly competitor over the long term where his flaws are exposed. I actually didn't hate his first WWE run as much as most but I think it did show off his ceiling over a period of time. Even the very best have gotten stale and those guys had a lot more variety than Goldberg ever had.
The problem with the first WWE run was, post Rock match up it just became bogged down with HHH.
 

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The problem with the first WWE run was, post Rock match up it just became bogged down with HHH.
He didn't go after HHH until the summer - The point was for HHH to put him over at Summerlam, they even done a press conference building a singles match. It unravelled for a variety of reasons - HHH getting hurt and Goldberg not agreeing to do the European tour.
 

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Goldberg wasnt sustainable. He was good at what he did but him and the schtick were very one dimensional. Once you try to make him something other than a silent mysterious killing machine who squashes people in 3 minutes he starts to lose his appeal, but on the other hand if you keep him as that it means eventually hes got to start squashing all of your other top stars as well, which hurts them. Theres just not much longevity to it.

They had a similar (albeit much less extreme) issue with Sting in 97. The main reason he got over so big that year is because of the sense of mystery surrounding him - him not wrestling, not talking, only showing up every now and then, and the slow build towards him getting to Hogan. Once that was over it was never gonna be quite the same.
 

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They were on their deathbed, but I think Vince wanted to make sure it ended that way.

Remember at that time, JCP were about to be bought out by Turner.

Potentially AWA could have still been a threat if they got their act together.
jCP was nearly bankrupt, and if it was not for Ted Turner buying out the company, most of the stars would have tried defecting to the WWE.

AWA was in no position to challenge, or turn things around. The company was in worse shape than WCW at the end of 2000. Virtually no fans were attending their house shows, and all the talent had left, making them put the championship on Larry Zbycszo. In reality, bu late 1986, AWA are a dead organisation.
 

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jCP was nearly bankrupt, and if it was not for Ted Turner buying out the company, most of the stars would have tried defecting to the WWE.

AWA was in no position to challenge, or turn things around. The company was in worse shape than WCW at the end of 2000. Virtually no fans were attending their house shows, and all the talent had left, making them put the championship on Larry Zbycszo. In reality, bu late 1986, AWA are a dead organisation.
Yes I agree, certainly by 89 they were basically finished, even still there was a lot of talent on the Indies and free agents who they could have built around had they had the funding.

AWA in 86 still had enough to be the number 3 promotion.
 

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Yes I agree, certainly by 89 they were basically finished, even still there was a lot of talent on the Indies and free agents who they could have built around had they had the funding.

AWA in 86 still had enough to be the number 3 promotion.
In 1986, AWA was definitely NOT the #3 promotion. Bill Watts UWF/Mid South Wrestling was far more popular than AWA by 1986. In fact, Watts came dangerously close to landing an exclusive deal with Turner in late 86. If it were not for the collapse of the oil boom, and not getting the TBS deal, Mid South would have been the rival to WWE through the 90s.

Before those two events, UWF was killing AWA in house show attendance, stars, and ratings. Sadly Watts had lost a fortune and had to sell to Crockett by 1987.
 

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In 1986, AWA was definitely NOT the #3 promotion. Bill Watts UWF/Mid South Wrestling was far more popular than AWA by 1986. In fact, Watts came dangerously close to landing an exclusive deal with Turner in late 86. If it were not for the collapse of the oil boom, and not getting the TBS deal, Mid South would have been the rival to WWE through the 90s.

Before those two events, UWF was killing AWA in house show attendance, stars, and ratings. Sadly Watts had lost a fortune and had to sell to Crockett by 1987.
AWA in 86 had Curt Hennig, Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty, Sgt Slaughter, King Kong Bundy, Kamala, Stan Hansen, Vader, Jimmy Snuka.

They had the talent. Their shows were doing ok numbers too. Wrestlerock did over 20k.
 

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The WWE was destroying Jim Croockett Productions in the 80s. Any other narrative is false.
WCW was hanging in there through 1988, drawing reasonably well and with a fairly large roster. The challenge was that JCP overspent behind the scenes and put themselves into a deep financial hole, with the Crockett family itself wanting to divest. But even here, I would put the the NWA at the same level that AEW is now in comparison to WWE.

1989 was fun creatively and the company rode a wave of goodwill from previous years, but the gap only widened with the WWF.

1990 began to see the business overall take a downwards slide. The gap widened to its largest span that year and 1991 as budget cutbacks and Ole Anderson led to a wave of green, unknown talent (Kevin Nash, Nasty Boys, JW Storm, Minotaur, Johnny B Badd, ect) were brought in to replace the legacy stars of the past.

Bill Watts' disastrous tenure should have been the death knell for the now-WCW in 1992, but the WWF had begun its own steep slide in 1992, so any perception gap was negated. WCW bottomed out that year, while the World Wrestling Federation continued to decline until 1995. WCW flatlining and then beginning to finally rebuild allowed them to close the gap in 1993-1994, then move past the WWF by 1996.
 

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AWA in 86 had Curt Hennig, Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty, Sgt Slaughter, King Kong Bundy, Kamala, Stan Hansen, Vader, Jimmy Snuka.
Scott Hall was relatively green, and not the star he became in the 90s. Same with HBK.

They had the talent. Their shows were doing ok numbers too. Wrestlerock did over 20k.
The Wrestlerock 86 event was heavily papered. Plus it was in the 65,000 seat Metrodome, so the optics looked terrible. This was a time when the AWA, which used to sellout the 19,000 seat St Paul Civic Centre, was lucky to get half that number by 1986.
 

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Scott Hall was relatively green, and not the star he became in the 90s. Same with HBK.



The Wrestlerock 86 event was heavily papered. Plus it was in the 65,000 seat Metrodome, so the optics looked terrible. This was a time when the AWA, which used to sellout the 19,000 seat St Paul Civic Centre, was lucky to get half that number by 1986.
I fully understand what you're saying.

I'm just saying the potential was there, even in 89/90, they could have had Sean Waltman, Jerry Lynn, Scott Norton, the Malenkos, the Guerrero's, Scott Hall again, Vader, Yokozuna etc.

Someone with a bit of a clue could have turned it around.
 

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Goldberg wasnt sustainable. He was good at what he did but him and the schtick were very one dimensional. Once you try to make him something other than a silent mysterious killing machine who squashes people in 3 minutes he starts to lose his appeal, but on the other hand if you keep him as that it means eventually hes got to start squashing all of your other top stars as well, which hurts them. Theres just not much longevity to it.

They had a similar (albeit much less extreme) issue with Sting in 97. The main reason he got over so big that year is because of the sense of mystery surrounding him - him not wrestling, not talking, only showing up every now and then, and the slow build towards him getting to Hogan. Once that was over it was never gonna be quite the same.
I don't necessarily agree about Goldberg. Even after he lost to Nash, he was still over huge. You could have had him lose the occasional match here and there as long as you protected him in the loss, not unlike how other big dominant babyfaces like Undertaker and Batista were generally been protected when losing.
 

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I fully understand what you're saying.

I'm just saying the potential was there, even in 89/90, they could have had Sean Waltman, Jerry Lynn, Scott Norton, the Malenkos, the Guerrero's, Scott Hall again, Vader, Yokozuna etc.

Someone with a bit of a clue could have turned it around.
Doubtful. Those names sound intriguing in hindsight because we're familiar with them after years of exposure and development on national stages in mainstream wrestling companies. Watching Malenko fight Hall without any name value attached in their basic ring attire with their AWA gimmick is just watching two generic white guys work a match.
 

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Doubtful. Those names sound intriguing in hindsight because we're familiar with them after years of exposure and development on national stages in mainstream wrestling companies. Watching Malenko fight Hall without any name value attached in their basic ring attire with their AWA gimmick is just watching two generic white guys work a match.
The Malenkos had been tagging in Japan for a few years at this time. Mondo, Hector and Chavo Guerrero had worked in AWA before, bring them back and there's the possibility of Eddie further down the line.

Sean Waltman as the Lightning Kid and Jerry Lynn were homegrown young talent.

Norton at this time was doing his arm wrestling gimmick and tagging with John Nord. 2 years later he was main eventing in Japan.

You've got a solid foundation there. Throw in the likes of Brad Rheingans who was the main guy in brokering a deal between WCW and NJPW. Not to mention his links to the likes of Vader.

The obvious option is AWA to team up with NJPW.

I'm sure there's a lot of name talent who could fill the cards who were free agents. Tully Blanchard was working with AWA until they closed doors.

Portland lost their TV deal in 91, so there's opportunity of a new market in Washington and Oregon.
 

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I don't necessarily agree about Goldberg. Even after he lost to Nash, he was still over huge. You could have had him lose the occasional match here and there as long as you protected him in the loss, not unlike how other big dominant babyfaces like Undertaker and Batista were generally been protected when losing.
He was OVER...my point is, he was booked terribly. The build up to Hart v Goldberg should have been equivalent to Rock/Austin but it was crap.
 

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I fully understand what you're saying.

I'm just saying the potential was there, even in 89/90, they could have had Sean Waltman, Jerry Lynn, Scott Norton, the Malenkos, the Guerrero's, Scott Hall again, Vader, Yokozuna etc.

Someone with a bit of a clue could have turned it around.
"Someone with a bit of a clue could have turned it around."

That right there is what it's all about. People complain about Vince and say "ah well, he's not that great, he's just lucky to have had the best guys" and yet, many of those guys in the 80s and 90s worked in every other major promotion and were never as over as they were in WWE with Vince and his teams booking. If anyone ever had a clue about wrestling, it was Vince.
 

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the common narrative that's pushed is that when the AOL/time warner merger happened the new business guys that took over didn't like wrestling and wanted WCW off the network. I can't remember where it was I read it but I seen something about that being lies. the company was losing a shitload of money so that probably made the decision easier to cancel it.
 

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the common narrative that's pushed is that when the AOL/time warner merger happened the new business guys that took over didn't like wrestling and wanted WCW off the network. I can't remember where it was I read it but I seen something about that being lies. the company was losing a shitload of money so that probably made the decision easier to cancel it.
If WCW was still pulling in crazy good ratings and lots of money, they weren't going to be in any danger of being cut. They lost over $60 million dollars in 2000. Why wouldn't a new company overseeing them axe them? Bischoff has been trying to spin this stupid yarn for 20 years. He had no plan of life after the NWO. He pretended like WWF going uber sexual stymied him into not being able to do the same, even though WCW wasn't overly sexual at all during their 83 week run. His stupid decisions and ludicrous contracts he gave out totally crippled WCW into 99/00 when his main guns stopped drawing, but WCW still had to honor all of those contracts that he ok'd. For example: he gave Master P $2 million dollars to do an angle no one cared about
 
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