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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It has to be the "finger of doom" for sure. After that their PPV, attendance and ratings went straight downhill until they closed down.

To be honest, WCW was probably starting to die as early as the second half of 1997 but it got saved by a few good gimmicks such as Goldberg, Jericho and Eddie Guerrero so its eventual death got delayed by a bit.
 

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Their ratings didn't actually go straight down after the Fingerpoke. The Hogan/Flair double-turn is closer to when people finally said "Fuck it." And that was probably the most obvious moment where people en masse realised it was over. But some could point to Goldberg hugging Nash, Goldberg losing, "Deja vu," Hogan/Warrior and Starrcade '97 as points where they thought "This is done" and I wouldn't fault them on it.

There was hope and life in this thing, at least in terms of on-air right up until Goldberg lost. To be honest, they could have saved it afterwards too. Goldberg and Flair were still influencing the ratings. There was still a demo that was interested in Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and Konnan. You still had Bret Hart, Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho to tour Canada. There was life here, but you had to know the backstage workings and mentality of the company to know that it had no hope of making the comeback. That was really a one-two punch with the Fingerpoke, the realisation that the nWo was not just there for Goldberg to kill and the double-turn.
 

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Fingerpoke and the millionth hogan/flair Feud afterwards. I’m still bummed about it 21 years later lol
 

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When Nitro didn't air the week after Vince showed up.

At 14, I didn't know anything that was going on behind the scenes. My knowledge was limited to what was taking place on the show and at that point, I didn't have anywhere near enough understanding of the wrestling business to assess the quality of the product from an objective point of view.

I stuck with WCW until the end. Didn't miss a week, didn't sense the company was actually in bad shape. I thought everything was fine.

Boy, was I wrong.
 

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I remember thinking that Benoit, Guerrero, and the others all jumping to WWF felt like a point of no return moment for WCW. Wrestling companies usually prided themselves on having their stars put over other people if they are leaving. That they allowed Benoit to leave without losing the belt showed that there really wasn't anyone behind the scenes that "got" wrestling over there.
 

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When Hogan beat Savage less than 24 hours after Savage beat Sting. They‘d just hit a hard reset after 18 months of building up Hogan/Sting with no signs of significant change other than adding another nWo faction. Obviously, Hogan/Goldberg and the Georgia Dome Nitro were a positive that came out of that, but even then, it was still about getting the belt back on Hogan at the next Georgia Dome Nitro in January 99 (the Fingerpoke one).

This sort of thinking killed the company, along with ego-driven feuds like Bischoff vs Leno and Hogan vs Warrior. They were doing this bullshit while Austin was on the ascent, Austin vs Vince was a hot feud, and the WWF was firing on all cylinders.

There was also a hint of impending disaster with nWo Nitro, which people rejected and was a sign of weakness in the nWo brand that they leaned so heavily on (And also massive amounts of ego), but obviously not enough data to act on at that time.

It has to be the "finger of doom" for sure. After that their PPV, attendance and ratings went straight downhill until they closed down.
Ratings were a problem as early as November 1998, when the WWF began sweeping Nitro and it own undefeated streak began. Goldberg was losing steam even before the Fingerpoke.
 

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When Vince appeared on Nitro, because in the crazy world of wrasslin....never say never.

And it feels odd there are posters old enough to even remember this
When Russo was relieved of duties, the Radicalz left for WWE, and Sullivan took the book. WCW suddenly morphed back into its early 1995 creative direction...it was red and yellow Hogan and Friends again. It was like watching a higher end version of the AWF.
 

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The Fingerpoke of Doom came at the worst possible time, considering WCW commentary was told to give away a match, that featured a title change, involving Mick Foley, who had become immensely popular in the months after the infamous Hell in a Cell match. I had been looking fwd to a Goldberg-Nash rematch, and it made no sense to give away such an exciting main event result on RAW, if they were going to cheat the fans out of a high caliber main event.

That is when I became more of a WWE fan. However, the WCW had some good angles. The fans wanted to see what the elite nWo Wolfpac would bring, as well as the Bischoff-Flair feud. By March 1999, the nWo angle was losing steam, Hogan would turn face, and Flair would be portrayed as a crazy heel, while Bischoff went on vacation and off TV for a time.

I knew WCW was finished when they got rid of the old set, and changed the logo, and altered and tried to revamp the TV set to the new image. It looked bush league, and it coincided with the quality of the show beginning a steep decline. By April, I was hooked on RAW, and I only began to turn in to Nitro for their main event, and on occasion to see if anything interesting was happening, which it never did.
 

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Multiple years of them milking the NWO angle did it for me. The fingerpoke of doom was the deal breaker. Total garbage. Then the Jeff Jarrett push is what made me tune out for good.
 
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Even with the fingerpoke, the Flair vs. Hogan cage match at Uncensored still did a higher buyrate than Austin vs. Mcmahon. It was really around late spring/summer of 99 where things went totally off the rails. The plan was for Goldberg to run through the new Wolfpac Elite to get back to Hogan, and then he almost severed his arm, and then everything fell apart from there.
 

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For me, it was when Eric Bischoff did a shoot call on Nitro and pretty much confirmed to the audience that they have dropped the ball and to give them another chance. That was the moment I knew that WCW was done for.

As bad as it became towards the end, the bottom line is that WCW was a good promotion. The only promotion that can claim that they beat the WWE for a while.
 

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I watched it every week and never gave up. I was disappointed when it suddenly stopped. I had no idea the end was nigh.

I always thought it was better than WWE, even when people look at it as shite, I didn't think so at the time.
 

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The Fingerpoke of Doom came at the worst possible time, considering WCW commentary was told to give away a match, that featured a title change, involving Mick Foley, who had become immensely popular in the months after the infamous Hell in a Cell match. I had been looking fwd to a Goldberg-Nash rematch, and it made no sense to give away such an exciting main event result on RAW, if they were going to cheat the fans out of a high caliber main event.

That is when I became more of a WWE fan. However, the WCW had some good angles. The fans wanted to see what the elite nWo Wolfpac would bring, as well as the Bischoff-Flair feud. By March 1999, the nWo angle was losing steam, Hogan would turn face, and Flair would be portrayed as a crazy heel, while Bischoff went on vacation and off TV for a time.

I knew WCW was finished when they got rid of the old set, and changed the logo, and altered and tried to revamp the TV set to the new image. It looked bush league, and it coincided with the quality of the show beginning a steep decline. By April, I was hooked on RAW, and I only began to turn in to Nitro for their main event, and on occasion to see if anything interesting was happening, which it never did.
Remember when WCW actively promoted the new logo with “looks like something a bird left on the hood of my car”?
 

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Bischoff went on a radio show right after they signed Bret. He was so overconfident and said that Vince could not compete with him. That’s when I knew they got too big for their own good and were going down.
 

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Bischoff went on a radio show right after they signed Bret. He was so overconfident and said that Vince could not compete with him. That’s when I knew they got too big for their own good and were going down.
In theory, adding the most recent WWF champion (and their biggest star) at the end of their most successful year to date should have been beginning of the end for WWF but the reality was Vince was making the smarter, long-term investments in 1997 that would end up paying off in 1998-99 while Eric seemed convinced that the good times would never end. On paper, their roster looked stack but there was just no way, they were going to keep all those guys in top spots. By 2000, many of the younger WCW talent who had been developed during the formative Nitro years had moved on to the main event scene in the WWF while WCW was still running with Hogan vs. Flair at the top on some nights.
 
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