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In 2001, WCW finally closed their doors and sold everything to WWE after they failed to secure a television deal that would keep the brand viable and in front of mainstream eyes. Eric Bischoff himself said that without a television deal, the company was worthless, and his dream of owning WCW and bringing it into the 21st century was dashed. But for the purposes of this debate, let’s say that his dreams weren’t dashed. Let’s say that his negotiations with the burgeoning FX network go better than planned and Eric Bischoff is able to purchase it and position himself as the Vince McMahon of the WCW brand. Well that idea just begs the question…
Samuel Hall: No
The coin toss dictates that BADGER will go first.
Not gonna lie, it would’ve been a long journey ahead had they still secured the TV deal. WCW were killed as they had lost a lot of money on things like contracts for ageing legends, production and celebrity appearances. The spending power worked for a time during the Monday Night Wars and allowed them to beat WWF 84 weeks in a row but in the end it was just not sustainable. Wrestilng was not a priority for Time Warner even though cable ratings were still decent.
Even though WCW was losing money, with cutbacks there was still a chance of survival. If Bischoff had negotiated harder for a TV deal earlier on and he and Fusient managed to secure a deal with FX, then he would’ve been smart enough to realise things would’ve had to have been operated differently. There was still enough young talent to put on a good program even with some of the bigger names being initially tied up due to their Time Warner/AOL contracts. Better booking decisions and use of talent without the shackles of harsh Time Warner executives could’ve helped though the road would still be long. TNA/GFW have managed to pull it off for a long time, and yes though they are struggling, they are still around as of now (remember, the question is not how successful WCW would be, just if they would still be around now). Bischoff knows wrestling a lot better than Dixie so he would’ve been smarter creatively.
You say it best right here: “WCW were killed as they had lost a lot of money on things like contracts for ageing legends, production and celebrity appearances. The spending power worked for a time during the Monday Night Wars and allowed them to beat WWF 84 weeks in a row but in the end it was just not sustainable.”
WCW were doomed to fail. As the market progressed to newer and faster styles, Bischoff would have clinged onto whatever previous generation’s main eventers where able to get out of their AOL contracts just as he did in TNA .
We have all seen that TNA was semi successful by embracing what made them different from the monopoly.
Bischoff was creatively exhausted by the end of his WCW tenure and it showed. People blame Russo the ridiculous angles and happenings but Bischoff had his hand in them as well.
You say Bischoff had his hand in the bad booking angles as well as Russo. That’s a major stretch because Russo’s booking style was the very reason that Bischoff had left WCW, they were like oil and water trying to work together. “Creatively exhausted” is also a major stretch as Bischoff and Hervey raised millions of dollars trying to buy WCW and get them on FX and they were very close. He certainly wasn’t half-assing it. It was when Kellner of Turner Broadcasting decided to pull the plug on the WCW programming. Assuming Bischoff was successful like the question asks, Russo would be nowhere near his plans.
The “previous generation main-eventers” as you like to call them were also part of TNA. TNA weren’t different from the monopoly as such, they were trying to replicate past success and they were successful for a time with him and Hogan coming over to TNA. He fell out with TNA over an unpaid salary, not really his fault.
Bischoff and Jason Hervey run a successful television production company now. If he was successful in getting WCW onto FX then he would have had more room to work with. WCW would’ve been a welcome addition to FX being an entertainment network, and yes it would’ve taken some time to recover, but they still had a talented roster that could’ve thrived without being made to look inferior like they were during the Invasion angle. Unlike the Carter Family, he would’ve known what he was doing.
Badger and Samuel were not able to finish this debate due to complications from the hurricanes. Please judge them based on what they completed.
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