10 Times WCW Went Too Far

Boundaries are built to be pushed, but WCW didn't know when to stop.

David Flair Miss Hancock Major Gunns
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WCW, you old card. Nearly two decades have passed since the demise of World Championship Wrestling, but the memories live on. Goldberg's iconic streak, one of the most talented rosters in the history of pro wrestling, that bit when Ciclope unmasked as Dean Malenko and all the rest, so many wonderful memories. WCW is much-missed, in truth.

This is all well and good, but there is a reason WCW died the pathetic death that it did. As ratings plummeted and the financial situation became ever direr, the promotion's creative team found new ways to locate the bottom of the barrel. The last few years of WCW were just about as awful as television gets, a black eye on the history of this proud sport.

WCW was consistently bad, but when was it truly offensive? Pushing the envelope is important in creativity, but WCW found itself pushing something else, pushing madness, pushing creative bankruptcy. It didn't know when to stop, flogging a dead horse deeper and deeper into the ground. Ideas made it onto television that should never have made it into brains.

All mistakes are equal, but some are more equal than others. That may not apply in this situation, but you get the point.

10. The Spike Heard Around The World

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There can be no blood on television. No blood on television. No blood on television. Dusty, no blood on television.

That seems very simple to understand. You don't need to cover the chalkboard in the words, Bart Simpson-style, for the message to get across. That was the situation in those early days of WCW, when Ted Turner bought Jim Crockett Promotions and renamed it World Championship Wrestling. Turner was interested in wrestling but knew enough to leave the actual booking of the show up to those with experience, so he decided to place Dusty Rhodes in charge of the show. Dusty was free to book as he pleased, with the exception of the 'no blood on television' rule.

So Dusty Rhodes went ahead and bled his face off on television.

In an attempt to get the massively popular Road Warriors over as heels (as well as desperately trying to regain some sympathy as a babyface), Dusty booked an angle where Road Warrior Animal stabbed him in the eye using one of those famous shoulder-pad spikes. The angle was supposed to generate molten heat in the lead to Starrcade '88, which was scheduled to be co-headlined by a tag match between the Road Warriors and the team of Dusty and Sting. Dusty bleeding buckets on TV put the match in jeopardy, but Ted Turner decided to wait until the event was done to serve Dusty his papers.

This was less WCW going too far and more Dusty Rhodes not listening to instructions, but it remains a famous example of a company flailing in the sea. Looking back, the angle itself got very little TV time, a storm in a tea-kettle sort of thing, albeit one that could have been avoided had the grown adult been able to follow one very simple rule.

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Born in the middle of Wales in the middle of the 1980's, John can't quite remember when he started watching wrestling but he has a terrible feeling that Dino Bravo was involved. Now living in Prague, John spends most of his time trying to work out how Tomohiro Ishii still stands upright. His favourite wrestler of all time is Dean Malenko, but really it is Repo Man. He is the author of 'An Illustrated History of Slavic Misery', the best book about the Slavic people that you haven't yet read. You can get that and others from www.poshlostbooks.com.