10 Things Everybody Gets Wrong About WCW
Okay, not everybody.
But history is written by the winners, and WWE have farted out as many books, DVDs, articles and even pay-per-view matches as they could get away with in order to perpetuate the myth that World Championship Wrestling was merely a rinky dink southern outfit that briefly out-drew the wholesome family World Wrestling Federation strictly by purchasing all its old stars.
The clichés are now deeply embedded in the fibre of younger fans growing up in a world where WCW literally never existed, despite a wealth of evidence to the contrary on WWE's very own over-the-top streaming service.
As is often the case, the realities were nowhere near as messy as McMahonism would have you believe, nor as blusterous as a Bischoffian address. The truth fell somewhere in between, with a host of the Atlanta outfit's successes and failures alike over-wrought for the benefit of whomever happens to be arguing the toss.
Yes, if the organisation had ultimately curbed the worst of its latter day excess, it may still have existed today. Had this alternate timeline occurred though, what then of a WWE so beloved by its core 'universe' and broadly tolerated by a vast fanbase picking and choosing the bits they like for a princely monthly fee? And how differently would WCW's darkest days be framed, had they won the war?
Most fans old enough to know better but young enough to not care will reminisce fondly on the WCW/NWA output from 1989. It remains perhaps the finest single calendar year for the legendary Ric Flair thanks to standard-raising battles with Ricky Steamboat and Terry Funk over the organisation's beautiful big gold belt.
It's, in essence, everything there is to love about the industry. The Flair/Steamboat matches are wrestling clinics, almost minimalist in style yet luxurious in substance. Better still is the narrative journey Flair's character in particular takes following the trading of the NWA World Heavyweight Title. The cocksure heel at the beginning of their arc, he's a respectful competitor by the end, reclaiming his lost prize as a babyface only to be viciously decked in the post-match by guest judge Terry Funk to move things immediately forward.
Whilst it was true WWE couldn't compete bell-to-bell with the standard of action, this broad thought process overlooks the utterly woeful goings on below the topline.
Divisive ex-Pizza Hut manager Jim Herd had taken over as Executive Vice President in January, and despite overseeing each of the aforementioned classics, he'd still request 'The Nature Boy' dress up as Spartacus for a radical repackaging in an effort to match the cartoonish competition. It would be another failed effort to join The Ding Dongs, The Dynamic Dudes, Ranger Ross on Herd's vast scrapheap. 1989 was the genesis of his catastrophic reign.