Could WCW have made a comeback?

Discussion in 'Old School Wrestling' started by relentless1, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. relentless1

    relentless1 G.O.A.T.

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    Had Bischoff and Fusient been able to buy WCW and get that 10 year TV deal with TBS do you think they could've made a comeback in the Monday Night Wars? How would this have affected WWF with the departures of HHH, Benoit, Guerrero in 2001 and the Rock and Austin for good in 2002?
     
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  2. jpickens

    jpickens Well-Known Member

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    Yes indeed I can see Eric learning from the past and continue with trend of 2001 in pushing young and up and coming talent causing the now publicly traded and some what neutered WWE to try and hang in.
     
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  3. Greg4WWE

    Greg4WWE Well-Known Member

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    They would have had to find a way to drop a lot of contracts. Some of those talent contracts were ridiculous. Wasn't even Vincent(Virgil) making high coin doing nothing?

    THat was the main problem with WCW, every talent was making so much and the company couldn't keep up. Also the product was garbage, still better than WWE today (no competition) but garbage for the time.
     
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  4. FromGlasgow

    FromGlasgow Well-Known Member

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    I think they would have had a good chance if the monday night wars continued, ECW closed at almost the same time so they would have had a good chance to sign a lot of ECW talent like RVD, Tommy Dreamer, Jerry Lynn and even Paul Heyman and Joey Styles, They did have AJ Styles before they closed so maybe they could have had a lot of the TNA talent as I don't think TNA would have happened if WCW didn't end.
    Also with their tape library they may have been able to compete with the WWE's network but I guess we will never know for sure.
    I hate that being a wrestling fan growing up in the 80's we had a choice of loads of wrestling companies to watch then later at least 3 WWE/ECW/WCW but now its pretty much just WWE, I would have been glad to see the monday night wars continue as it was a good time to be a fan.
     
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  5. therockiswwf

    therockiswwf The voice of Michael Cole's headset

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    Considering his TNA run, it doesn't seem like he learned much.

    At the end, WCW was way worse than WWE is now. Way, way, way worse. Combination of really bad and boring. There was a year where even if everyone wrestled for free, they still would have lost money. So the problem was way bigger than just the contracts.

    The only way WCW would have made a comeback is if management completely changed. The big stars they had were too old and a lot of the younger talent needed serious work. They would have pretty much copied TNA and slowly circle the drain for years.

    WWE lost Austin and Rock but still had Jericho and Angle. Angle was an awesome face (01 run was amazing). WCW had no one even close to them. Goldberg didn't seem long for the business. DDP was old. Booker T was popular but he wasn't Angle/Jericho. Beyond Booker, who else did WCW have that was a hot face? I can't really think of one.

    Guerrero wasn't an enormous loss at the time. Benoit was a bit bigger in 01 but he wasn't a solid main eventer yet. More of an upper midcard.

    My answer is no. Not with Bischoff, Russo, Hogan, etc.
     
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  6. jpickens

    jpickens Well-Known Member

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    Maybe Jeff Jarrett could've done some good if kept on a short leash as kept away from booking matches.
     
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  7. MWRedskins

    MWRedskins Well-Known Member

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    well, i wont take Bischoff's TNA run into this because my guess is that he wasnt able to be himself with Dixie Carter running things.....as for Russo, my guess (which i'm sure i'm right on) is that if Bischoff and the company bought WCW, then Russo wouldnt be ANYWHERE near it. Hogan might've eventually came back, but my guess is that he would've gotten more of a owner's or booker's type of deal where he helped Bischoff creatively.

    Now would it have made a comeback?? my guess is that if WCW would've been bought by that company that it would still be around today, but not beating WWE at all.
     
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  8. GhettoV1

    GhettoV1 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe just cancel Thunder and for the time being have Nitro and Worldwide(on syndication) and after a year relaunch Saturday Night.
     
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  9. stingray11214

    stingray11214 Cena is no Bruno & Cole is no Solie

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    WCW was losing $60 MILLION a year at the time of its demise. Too many "safe harbor" contracts with talents that did not deserve them. And, Bischoff would never have gotten rid of those people. As for TBS: Time-Warner wanted NOTHING to do with Pro Wrestling. That is why they sold it to McMahon. Bischof would have tried to find a way to get it on TBS, but it would have been a fools errand. WCW folded for a reason. Let it rest in peace.
     
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  10. Charismatic Enigma

    Charismatic Enigma Grand Slam Champion

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    It's impossible to predict. There were so many talents (AJ Styles!) that had just emerged as WCW was closing up shop, who knows what could've been? We always hear about how WWE was in such horrible shape in 95-96, turning the corner by 97, and in 98 were on top of the world. WCW might've gone through a few rough years, but another NWO type angle, and they would've been off to the races.

    Who knows if some of the guys that eventually went on to be huge WWE names, wouldn't have ended up in WCW. It's certainly fun to speculate, and I do think that Bischoff was smart enough that he would've found a way to make it work. You can't really point at his time in TNA as a sign of what he might've done, because he was limited in resources and control in that situation.

    A few really great strategic licensing partnerships and big sponsors could've provided enough to steal away a few top WWE talents, and could've stolen all WWE momentum away.

    The one thing I can say for sure, is that having legitimate competition would've been better for the business all around, and even though I was always a WWE fan (even during the Monday night wars), I still wish to this day that someone would emerge as a real alternative.
     
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  11. Goldie

    Goldie Well-Known Member

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    If WCW downsized and didn’t try to compete with the WWE I think they could have made a comeback…. Providing that Fusient were willing to help the company out with the large amount of debt incurred.
    Put WCW on a different timeslot or better different night to WWE programming. That way the wrestling audience isn’t split- so wrestling fans who would always watch WWE can have the opportunity to watch WCW too on a separate night, which will help boost WCW ratings and potential brand awareness.
    Put simply accept that WCW is no.2 - it might take many many years to recover, so be an alternative rather than compete directly.

    (Assuming that WWE isn’t interested) Keep Sting, Flair, Booker T, Jarrett, Scott Steiner … some of the oldies with gas in the tank, though negotiate lower contracts when they are up for renewal. With Hogan and Hart well out of the picture before the takeover- the next highest paid guy was Goldberg.
    Bring Goldberg back and build the company around him- they need an established star to keep the loyal fans interested.
    The concept of guaranteed money contracts must be removed- if some of the bigger WCW stars don’t like it they can lump it. Without an Invasion angle would WWE be interested in paying top dollar for them?

    Some of those on big contracts to let go: Kevin Nash, (Hall has already been fired), Sid, Luger and also midcarders being paid more than their worth (say Rick Steiner) should be shredded to make way for younger guys to fill the lower/midcard spots on the roster
    As ECW went out of business roughly the same time- bring in some of the ECW guys that WWE didn’t consider until the company folded- namely RVD, Rhyno, Credible, Tajiri. At the time these ECW guys were making less than some of the WCW lower carders had been.
    Also scour the Indies for the best young talent- some of the TNA guys (Styles, Roode, Aries, Samoa Joe, Storm, Punk) could Have eventually found their way into a new WCW.
    Scouting good new talent on lower wages and shredding some of the dead wood on high wages is key to balancing the books.

    When Bischoff first ran the company in 1993- WCW were operating at a loss, he cut costs everywhere he could, filmed shows in the Disney MGM (to cut travel costs) …. It was when the company took off that spending went out of control with huge guaranteed money contracts, and paying silly money for celebrity appearences.
    Bischoff should go back to his 1993 logic … recover costs first and then grow slowly from there. Hopefully he would have learned his lessons about over spending.
     
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  12. enviousdominous

    enviousdominous Behold my diction

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    It's extremely difficult to tell when it comes to WCW.

    If Eric was going to be successful with a wrestling program at that point, I don't think he would have been able to pull it off if he was still calling it WCW. That name translated to "toxic" for investors.

    I think that the best case scenario for Eric would have been to utilize the NWA name while still keeping the WCW video library. He could have established his brand as an alternative to working the insane schedule of the WWE and thereby go back to how the NWA ran when a World Champion would go to the different territories, only in this case the territories would be the independent prowrestling companies scattered around the nation.

    Eric could have made a show for a timeslot that Vince would have scoffed at, like 2pm on a Tuesday. The effort wouldn't be to upstage the WWE or try to steal their thunder, the effort would be to get noticed and earn credibility that way.

    Hell, he could have even parleyed with Vince by allowing him to say on tv that he destroyed WCW, in exchange for less aggressive tactics on Vince's part to destroy another competitor.

    It could have been great, but it was never meant to be.
     
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  13. THTRobtaylor

    THTRobtaylor Once & Future Wrestlezone Columnist

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    Not realistically, as there was a vicious cycle by that point... to get the best talent, you had to pay massive sums and without the best talent, the show would inherently be seen as inferior.

    TNA managed in the early days as they were sparing with the "big" expensive names but the quality did suffer. The kind of people Bischoff could have afforded would have been the Booker's, Jarrett's and Buff Bagwell's of the world rather than the Goldberg's, Hogans and Nash's... he might have picked up a few WWF rejects here and there but he wouldn't have been able to realistically get anyone who was guaranteed to elevate the perception without going down the roads that killed it the first time.

    The other side of the coin is that he had alienated a LOT of talents over the past few years who could have been influential, such as Flair and Arn... had be been onside with them, they could have potentially talked some talent into coming back... but as it was they like everyone wanted out and were happy to see WCW die.

    To be honest, I think Turner/AOL did Bischoff a favour... if he'd tanked the company twice... he would have had a much harder life than how things turned out for him.
     
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  14. jpickens

    jpickens Well-Known Member

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    Had Ted Turner not sold to Time Warner/ AOL that would've kept WCW afloat because Ted loved wrestling and as long as he lived there was always going to be wrestling on TBS/ TNT.
     
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  15. ilapierre

    ilapierre Well-Known Member

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    Today, April 19th, is the official 20th anniversary of me checking for spoilers and using this site wrestlezone. I remember this because I remember for the first time ever that evening checking the WCW Spring Stampede results. Before April 19th, 1998, I would just wait for the next RAW or Nitro after a PPV to read about the results. Before then I watched every Nitro. After the popularization of 'spoilers', I didn't have to watch the full shows anymore. And with 'spoilers' also came wrestling 'news' which confirmed to fans that, yes, there was an indeed a war between promotions behind the scenes. Many of us in 1998 did not even know what we know today about a ratings war. We just suspected it. With 'spoilers' and 'behind the scenes' stuff and this new concept called 'television ratings', wrestling fans took their obsession with the company of their choice to a whole new level. I had become a massive WCW fan. So I became obsessed with its product. I just couldn't for the life of me get back into WWE after it had pushed Jeff Jarrett, Triple H and the Godwins. When I look back now and try to see what I missed in WWF from 1995-2001, I just see a lot of horrible wrestling matches and cheap publicity stunts. However, when I go back and watch WCW, there's all this anticipation and then the big let down DQ at the end of the show. It's clear looking back that you had to be living in the present back in the 90s to fully love and appreciate the Attitude Era whether it be WCW or WWF. Those of us who missed the live atmosphere of the time definitely missed out.

    With that said, I'm going to offer up an alternative opinion. I believe that if Turner's new decision makers hadn't purposely sabotaged the product, WCW could have survived and possibly even outlived WWE. The Time-Warner merger took power out of Turner's hands and consequently out of Bischoff's. Eric could now no longer push the envelope and had to follow standards and practices while Vince gave WWE performers the freedom to do or say whatever it took to beat the now watered-down competition. The dual citizens who took over Turner had now bought up the television competition in the US. They and their tribe had now gained full control of American television. They were NOT in a position to compete as they now had a monopoly. Therefore, the powers that be forced Bischoff to soften the product and cool down the NWO angle.

    I believe Bischoff was intelligent enough and his roster was deep enough that WCW could have survived and prospered if left alone from mid 1998 to 2001. I even believe WCW would have survived just fine without Jericho, Benoit, Eddie and Show jumping ship. Given a little more time, these guys would actually water down WWE. WWE actually begin to crumble the moment it started calling itself WWE, as evidenced by the ratings collapse during the second half of 2002. Here's the thing: Stone Cold only had another year or two left in him. Rock was ready to move on to Hollywood. Foley was finished. Triple H began his reign of terror aka the neverending push from hell. Guys with mediocre ability/mic skill like Cena, Lesnar, Orton and Batista were being pushed to the moon. Old WCW guys like Benoit Jericho Show Eddie were decent mid carders. Jericho even made a good heel main eventer. But WWE put these guys in positions to draw which, in hindsight, really is laughable. WWE could have bought over all the big names and old guys from WCW and screwed up their own business all on their own pushing vanilla midgets and fumbling hugely anticpated returns (like Goldbergs and the NWO). The problem with WCW is that some Time Warner idiot lured Vince Russo away from WWE to take over for Eric Bischoff. When the problem wasn't Bischoff at all, it was the dual citizen idiots at Time Warner. Russo did horrific damage to the WCW product and pushed wrestlers who had no business being pushed. He also killed the NWO by throwing Bret, Jarrett and the Harris Brothers together. The secret to killing WCW was to kill the NWO and McMahon's buddies at Time Warner and Russo did a fantastic job doing just that.

    And for those of you who parrot the same old crap about the NWO becoming stale, that is just a personal opinion - it is not factual. Because WCW had its highest ratings EVER toward the end of the NWO angle in late 1998-early 1999. It didn't matter if there were too many guys in the group. Mainstream fans were tuning in by the millions by 1998 and 1999 to see the revolution and it really was quite something to see week in and week out. The NWO was a cash cow! It was 3 times as over as Daniel Bryan at his height.

    Anyway, that's my argument. If there's no merger in August 98 and Bischoff is allowed free reign over the company/Turner's money then, given time, WCW could have survived and maybe even possibly put WWE out of business. With Bischoff entrenched at WCW, McMahon is stuck with with Russo. So here are a few questions to ask oneself. Where does WWE end up if McMahon doesn't fire Russo? What happens if Bischoff uses Turner's money to steal dissatisfied big name talent? What happens when the disillusioned guys waiting for a push behind Paul Levesque decide they want to jump ship? If WCW had of remained strong, could Bischoff not afforded to buy the headliners like Rock or Austin who were sick of Triple H and the McMahons? Wouldn't guys like Rock or Austin want to matchup with wrestling's greatest in WCW like Hogan, Savage, Flair etc? And if these guys were bought with Turners' money, would that not sway the majority of the mainstream audience away from WWE Raw and back into watching WCW Nitro? Just look at the drop in WWE's ratings when Triple H became Hogan 2.0 and Rock and Austin ditched WWE for good in 2003. Simply put, WCW EASILY could have survived.
     
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  16. therockiswwf

    therockiswwf The voice of Michael Cole's headset

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    Try watching 00 through early 01 WWE. 98-99 was Russo running wild. Invasion part of 01 isn't good but Jericho, Rock, Angle and Austin were very entertaining during that time. 01 also had a ton of injuries that hurt what they could do.

    Yes, it makes it harder to book with standards but talent overcomes restrictions.

    The giant ratings collapse was really caused by the brand split. They knew that was going to happen. They likely wouldn't have split had WCW not ended.

    The biggest problem I have with WCW continuing was what upcoming stars did they have? Goldberg...and? Booker and Steiner I guess but they weren't setting the world on fire.

    No, "McMahon's buddies" didn't cause WCW to die. Bischoff partially has blame here. As does Russo, Hogan, Nash and a ton of other causes.

    That's more business inertia than NWO still being hot. NWO did become stale and people were tired of it. They could have been even hotter had they ended it. It hurt them in the end.

    Austin's neck was giving out by the end of 01. Austin also hated WCW, Bischoff and Hogan. At the time, it doesn't seem like Austin was open to making amends. So he wasn't going anywhere. If he did go, he wouldn't have stayed long. His neck couldn't take it. Austin had already faced Flair in his original WCW run. Savage was gone by 99 or 00. He was pretty much a roided old guy at that point. Austin didn't want to face Hogan in WWE. Austin claims it is because he thought the match would suck but there are rumors it was due to Austin not liking him. Either way, he wasn't interested in that. Also no indication Austin hated HHH.

    I don't see why Rock would go either. Rock ditched wrestling because his agent told him that was the only way he could become a Hollywood star.

    The guys stuck behind HHH were Jericho, RVD and Booker T. Jericho hated WCW. RVD and Booker wouldn't turn WCW around by themselves.
     
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  17. jpickens

    jpickens Well-Known Member

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    WCW would be either like IMPACT as in slowly but surly try to get back in the game or ROH a niche promotion that does pretty good for themselves but never returning to its glory days.
     
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  18. GhettoV1

    GhettoV1 Well-Known Member

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    WCW could've cancelled both Nitto and Thunder and relaunched their Saturday Night show and keep Worldwide and slowly fade out the WCW name and use the NWA brand name building up to title unification matches at Starrcade 2001.
     
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  19. BigSexyHBK

    BigSexyHBK Member

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    Nope. Eric Bishoff was very overrated when it came to WCW beating WWF for those 83 weeks. He didn't come up with the NWO idea and he even admitted that he couldn't take responsibility for Goldberg. Those were the two biggest things that were created during his reign and they weren't his ideas. You saw a sample of what he could do in TNA. He went right back to the same old stuff that had already been done and he would have done the same thing if he ended up buying WCW.

    Reform the NWO
    Restart Goldberg's win streak
    Rely on old stars because he couldn't create new ones

    Not to mention the decline of wrestling's popularity was just around the corner. I think by 2004/2005 they would be where TNA is today and by 2010 be completely out of business. Maybe even sooner.
     
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