WCW - World Championship Wrestling (1988-2001)
In the late 1990s, World Championship Wrestling became the first company to not only challenge to World Wrestling Federation, but they were the only company to overtake it. They nearly crushed Vince McMahon's company, but he bounced back and WCW began to fall apart. The story of the company begins with the name, which promoter Jim Barnett used in Australia and brought it back and attached it to Georgia Championship Wrestling in the 1980s when they were expanding out of the South. The following year, McMahon bought out Georgia and took over their successful Saturday Night TV show on Turner Broadcasting Station (TBS). After some interesting turns, Jim Crockett Promotions bought that same timeslot and began using the name with their NWA-affiliated program and created "NWA World Championship Wrestling" out of various NWA companies he had bought out in the 1980s. When Jim Crockett's ship began to sink, Turner Broadcasting bought it up in 1988, hoping to saving the program that had been a popular staple for years. This company, "World Championship Wrestling," was the second largest in the United States and continued their working relationship with the NWA (with various problems) for a while longer. In their early years, WCW had few difference from the Jim Crockett Promotions product that predated it. Its main TV program was dubbed "WCW Saturday Night" and that tradition was the folcrum of the promotion for the next seven years. Leadership varied from Jim Herd, Kip Frye, Bill Watts and booking committees that were chaotic and often inept. In 1995, an ambitious executive named Eric Bischoff worked his way to the top and took WCW in a new direction. He looked at the successful companies in the world and picked what worked and turned the company into the top company in the world relatively quickly. However, his creations soon spun out of control and WCW began struggling. Turner Broadcasting tried to stop the hemorraging through different means, but they often made the problems worse. Soon the company was losing millions upon millions and WCW future looked dismal. Bischoff was trying to organize a group to take over the company, but instead Vince McMahon bought it for a fraction of the cost and effectively killed WCW in 2001.

"WCW Saturday Night Years" (1988-1995)
World Championship Wrestling's flagship show aired on Saturday Nights, a tradition dating back many years on WTBS. The product echoed the past as stars from Mid-Atlantic, GCW and Jim Crockett Promotions were regularly featured. Although that historic link and "old school" style kept many fans with WCW, management constantly tried to incorpotate ideas that seemed WWF-like. It led to an instability that prevented a company with enormous funding from truly challenging the WWF. Finally, a single person, Eric Bischoff, took over and put together the pieces to make WCW work. 


Abdullah "The Butcher"
Johnny Ace 
"The Enforcer" Arn Anderson 
Ole Anderson
Brad Armstrong
"Stunning" Steve Austin 
Avalanche (John Tenta)
Barbarian
"The Juicer" Art Barr
Chris Benoit
Big Josh (Matt Bourne)
Big Van Vader
Bam Bam Bigelow
Black Blood (Billy Jack Haynes)
Blacktop Bully (Barry Darsow)
Nick Bockwinkel [Agent/Personality]
Bunkhouse Buck
Cactus Jack
"Mean" Mark Callous (The Undertaker)
Jim Cornette
Paul E. Dangerously
Barry Darsow
Diamond Studd (Scott Hall)
Shane Douglas
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan
Dynamic Dudes (Shane Douglas & Johnny Ace)
Bobby Eaton
The Fantastics (Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton)
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair
The Freebirds
Tatsumi Fujinami
Terry Funk 
Doug Furnas
Greg Gagne [Road Agent]
Jimmy Garvin
"Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert 
Terry Gordy 
Mike Graham
The Great Muta 
"The Lariat" Stan Hansen
Gary Hart
Jimmy Hart
Hulk Hogan  
Honky Tonk Man
Tim Horner
The Iron Shiek  
Junkyard Dog
Kamala
Ivan Koloff
Nikita Koloff 
Buddy Landell
"Total Package" Lex Luger  
Magnum T.A. [Announcer]
Dutch Mantell
Wahoo McDaniel [Agent]
Meng
Midnight Express 
Dick Murdoch
Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags)
One Man Gang
"Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff
Bob Orton Jr.
Diamond Dallas Page
Col. Robert Parker (Robert Fuller)
"Flyin'" Brian Pillman 
Tom Pritchard
Harley Race 
Butch Reed
Dusty Rhodes
Tommy Rich 
Road Warriors 
Jake "The Snake" Roberts 
Rock-N-Roll Express 
Big Bubba Rogers 
Rip Rogers
Mike Rotundo
"Ravishing" Rick Rude  
Sabu
"Macho Man" Randy Savage  
Buzz Sawyer
Sir William (Bill Dundee) [Manager]
Sister Sherri (Sherri Martel)
Dick Slater 
Davey Boy Smith 
Tracy Smothers
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat 
Rick Steiner 
Sting 
Kevin Sullivan 
Super Invader (Hercules)
Terry Taylor
John Tenta
Vader
Sid Vicious
Steve Williams
Barry Windham 
"Z-Man" Tom Zenk  
Larry Zbyszko 




"WCW Monday Nitro Years" (1995-2001)
In 1995, Eric Bischoff's fabricated background might have impressed some executives at Turner Broadcasting, but he needed to deliver the goods. His first creation was "WCW Monday Nitro," a one-hour show that would run opposite to "WWF Monday Night Raw." This was the first stone cast in the "Monday Night Wars." His second creation was the New World Order, a faux invasion copied from the UWFI's invasion of New Japan. This caused a stir as acknowledging the competition had long been taboo for both companies. His third success was in using his alliances with companies and wrestlers in Japan and Mexico to produce a "cruiserweight" division. WCW was now a three-headed monster the WWF could not compete with. WCW had a bigger and better show, they had the hottest angle that fands tuned in to watch and they had the action that kept the fans glued. WCW soon took over the ratings and a game of oneupsmanship changed the course of pro-wrestling as it grew larger and more profitable than it had ever been before. Then this monster grew out of control and its hideous existence became the scourage of the pro-wrestling world. Turner Broadcasting was now part of the "AOL Time Warner" conglomerate, who wanted no part of this low-brow, money-consuming organization and decided to cancelled WCW programming in 2001 as Eric Bischoff sought backers to buy the company's assets. That deal never came through as Vince McMahon entered and bought the company at a cheap price, signed some of the cheaper talent and produced a pathetic invasion angle of his own. The death of WCW in 2001 can be blamed on many people and circumstances, but hopefully the highlights of that time will not be forgotten and its legacy forever tarnished by its agonizing demise. 


"Gentleman" Chris Adams
"The Enforcer" Arn Anderson 
Brad Armstrong
Mike Awesome
Barbarian
"The Crippler" Chris Benoit
Bam Bam Bigelow
Booker T
Bunkhouse Buck
Chris Candido
El Dandy
Barry Darsow
Shane Douglas
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan
Bobby Eaton
Fit Finlay
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair 
Terry Funk 
Hector Garza
Goldberg
The Great Muta 
Juventud Guerrera
Eddy Guerrero
Hardcore Hak (The Sandman)
Scott Hall
Bret "Hitman" Hart 
Jimmy Hart [Manager/Agent]
Bobby "The Brain" Heenan [Announcer]
Curt Hennig 
"Hollywood" Hulk Hogan 
"K-Dawg" Konnan
Jeff Jarrett
Chris Jericho
La Parka
"Total Package" Lex Luger
"Man of 1000 Holds" Dean Malenko 
Rick Martel
Meng
Rey Mysterio Jr.
Yuji Nagata
Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags)
One Man Gang 
"Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff [Trainer]
Diamond Dallas Page
Col. Robert Parker (Robert Fuller)
Flyin' Brian Pillman 
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper
Psychosis
The Public Enemy (Rocco Rock & Johnny Grunge)
Raven
Dustin Rhodes
Dusty Rhodes [Announcer]
Big Bubba Rogers
Road Warriors 
Jacques Rougeau
"Ravishing" Rick Rude [Manager]
"Macho Man" Randy Savage 
Silver King
Sister Sherri (Sherri Martel)
Dick Slater
Davey Boy Smith 
Louie Spicolli
Rick Steiner 
"Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner
Sting
Lance Storm
"Taskmaster" Kevin Sullivan
Dave Taylor
Terry Taylor [Talent Relations]
John Tenta
Ray Traylor (Big Bubba)
Ultimo Dragon 
Vampiro
Sid Vicious
V.K. Wallstreet (Mike Rotundo)
Warrior
Barry Windham 
Larry Zbyszko [Announcer]