WWE's purchase of WCW on 23 March 2001 officially brought the Monday Night Wars to a conclusion. The conflict had been anything but internecine, with the renewed spike in the industry's interest proving bounteous for both parties - until the Atlanta group's own mismanagement scuttled their ship.
Paul Heyman's ECW - for so long defined as North America's 'renegade independent' - had been gnawing at the giant's heels for some time. Heyman had designs on being anything but a violent feeder promotion, and was already diving headlong into national expansion as WCW began to sink beneath the waves. The company's demise presented a power vacuum for a de facto number two outfit, and ECW should have fit the bill.
There was one problem: just 12 days after WCW barred its doors, ECW followed it to the skip. Heyman, having lost his TNN deal the previously December, had desperately scavenged for a new network home, but came up short. With no fluid income covering mounting losses, remaining pay-per-views were cancelled after January 2001's Guilty as Charged, and on 4 April, ECW folded. Shortly after, WWE stripped it of its assets. More Penn. Avenue than Park Place, it was nevertheless enough to complete Vince's monopoly.
Status: Both it and WWE's zombified version are as dead as a doornail.
Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know).
He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.