24 May 1988                A report covered on the Wednesday edition of the Charlotte Observer
                                      stated that the Crockett Family was considering options to sell it’s     
                                      product to the Turner Broadcasting System.  The deal was reported
                                      to be worth more than $10 million dollars.  According to the deal,
                                      the shares held by David, Jackie, Frances Crockett would be traded
                                      to Turner, but possibly not the shares of mother, Elizabeth, and
                                      James Crockett Jr.

Late-May 1988                The National Wrestling Alliance’s largest American promotion, Jim
                                      Crockett Promotions Inc., was furthering negotiations with the         
                                      Turner Broadcasting System about a possible deal which would sell
                                      the business to Ted Turner and move wrestling from Charlotte
                                      south to Atlanta.  After combining several Alliance territories into
                                      one, Jim Crockett was the only major NWA promoter left in the
                                      United States.  The fall of St. Louis, Florida, the Central States, the
                                      Northwest and Texas, the Mid-Atlantic NWA, which had gone
                                      national in the years before, was about to be moved and altered
                                      forever.  The original idea was to compete against the WWF on
                                      another level.  More expansion.  Frances Crockett denied any
                                      negotiations, reported by the Thursday, May 26, 1988 edition of the
                                      Charlotte Observer.  Ted Turner was reportedly out of the country
                                      until June 6th.

10 July 1988                A Jim Crockett Promotions Inc.-Ted Turner partnership brought the
                                      Great American Bash to nearly 4-million households via satellite, a
                                      step up from the two-previous NWA pay-per-views.  The deal
                                      between the two was going to bring 4 PPV's to it’s audience per

Late-Sept 1988                Seven months of negotiations was about to end.  The sale of Jim
                                      Crockett’s Promotions Inc. to the Turner Broadcasting System was
                                      nearing a close.  Going into October, the parties were continuing to
                                      meet and prepare the finalize the deal.

03 November 1988        The Turner-Crockett deal was final.  According to the Charlotte
                                      Observer, Turner Broadcasting Inc. and Jim Crockett Promotions
                                      Inc. reached terms to form the “Universal Wrestling Corporation.”
                                      The expansion dramatically increased Crockett’s ability to compete
                                      with the WWF on a national level.  All National Wrestling Alliance
                                      Champions continued to be recognized by the new organization.

      The history of World Championship Wrestling can be literally followed back many
decades.  Long before the WWF was even a gleam in anyone’s eye.  WCW was a part of the
National Wrestling Alliance, a branch of the organization, which was bought out by a group
from Atlanta led by millionaire Ted Turner.  The NWA was begun, in name, in 1948.  Jim
Crockett Sr. promoted throughout the Mid-Atlantic “territory” for years and was a full member
in the Alliance.  He retired and his sons, Jim and David Crockett inherited the business.  
World Championship Wrestling out of Atlanta was purchased by the Crocketts during the mid-
1980s and the Mid-Atlantic Promotions was renamed such.

      Slowly, regional promotions began to fold as the WWF gained ground on the national
circuit.  Fans were seeing the WWF on television more and an urging to see Hulk Hogan and
Andre the Giant in their local rings grew.  Jim Crockett Promotions’ own expansion began.  
The organization bought the Florida Promotion from Mike Graham, UWF from Billy Watts and
the Central States “Territory” from Bob Geigel.  Houston was slowly growing to a close and
the major market in Los Angeles had fizzled out for the most part and become a WWF
location.  The American Wrestling Association remained a viable organization through the
1980s and continued to promote in Minneapolis, Denver and Chicago, among others.

      Although he had already joined the pay-per-view business, to further expand and join
the national fracas, Jim Crockett sold WCW and the NWA Franchise name to Turner
Broadcasting in 1988.  The old territories were gone and the wrestlers of the NWA were
moving into uncharted water.

      Ric Flair and Rick Steamboat feuded over the NWA World Title in some of the most
respected matches in recent wrestling history.  The bouts reaffirmed that the Alliance’s World
Title was the top prize in the wrestling world. Steamboat took the belt in February and
defended it against Flair throughout the nation successfully until May.  Former champion,
Terry Funk attacked Flair after the latter regained the belt at the May pay-per-view in
Nashville.  Flair suffered a “broken neck” and received sympathy from the fans.  He
eventually returned as a fan-favorite and feuded with Funk through November.  In December
‘89, Sting established himself as the top face and challenged for the belt.  Sting pinned Flair
at Starrcade during the Iron Man Event and earned a World Title shot at the February
WrestleWar Show.  Instead of meeting the champion, Sting suffered a ruptured patella at the
January Clash in Texas.  Months of rehab were in store for him.  Flair remained the title-
holder through more challenges from Lex Luger, Junkyard Dog, Bobby Eaton and others.  In
July 1990, Sting pinned Flair and took the NWA World Title.

      As the promotion grew, it was decided that they were going to alter the name of the
promotion from strictly “NWA” to “World Championship Wrestling.” At Clash of the Champions
XIII in Jacksonville, “NWA” was not mentioned.  At the December pay-per-view in the Alliance’s
capital, St. Louis, “NWA” was not mentioned.  Going into January and the new year, the name
“WCW” was more prevalent.  Fans recognized the World Champion as the NWA World
Champion and the tag team champions as the NWA World Tag Team Champions.  The few
other members of the Alliance did the same.  Those champions became WCW Champions.

      In July 1991, Flair left WCW and took the NWA World Title Belt with him to the WWF.  A
legal battle ensued over the “Gold Belt” and WCW eventually won.  The damage had been
done.  Flair migrated to a rival, taking the top prize of the NWA/WCW with him.  At the Great
American Bash, two former Horsemen clashed for the vacant WCW World Title.  Lex Luger
beat Barry Windham and captured the vacant WCW World Title and the initial WCW World
Belt.  The organization had seen many changes since 1983.  Beginning in 1991, promoters in
WCW were officially looking for a new, national audience that they knew was out there.  The
WWF had capitalized on it.  Was the United States big enough for two major national

      It soon became apparent that Sting was going to be the man that the organization
revolved around.  Between ’91 and ’93, after both Flair and Luger had left, leaving the
popular Californian to battle the “monster” Big Van Vader for the World Championship.  Ron
Simmons also received a push to the top of the throne  in late 1992.  Vader was able to
recapture the championship and entered 1993 as the champion.  Rick Rude, Barry Windham,
Dustin Rhodes, Rick Steamboat and Steve Austin were appearing for WCW and reigning as
the top contenders for most of the titles, if they hadn’t already been wearing at least one of

      Organizers for WCW made special arrangements to provide members of the United
States Army with entertainment on Wednesday, May 20, 1992.  An event was held on Fort
Irwin, California, in the middle of the unbelieveably moody Mojave Desert and the home of the
National Training Center.  “NTC,” as it is known, has been experienced by this writer and
given it’s respects by all military personnel as a fine training ground for military forces.  
Spend a month out at NTC and become a warrior.  World Championship Wrestling honored
those soldiers not with a class “B” house show but it’s top notchers at the Army Field.  Sting
wrestled and beat a future “Stone Cold’ Steve Austin in the main event.  Rick Steamboat,
Rick Rude, Rick and Scott Steiner, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko, Nikita Koloff, Raven, Brian
Pillman, Ron Simmons and Mick Foley were among those who competed on that special
wrestling extravaganza.  The U.S. Army appreciated their effort.

      Moving forward to August 1992, WCW worked with New Japan to donate wrestlers in       
participation for the revived NWA World Title Tournament.  World Championship Wrestling
was going to recognize two World Titles, the WCW and the NWA, as separate entities.  The
belt passed through several New Japan artists before the belt landed on Windham’s waist.  
Early in 1993, several younger stars received a shot in WCW, including Chris Benoit, but
some of their tours ended before they really began.

      Ric Flair returned in the Spring and re-established himself as the “main man.” The
Horsemen were again in the saddle and after the July pay-per-view, Flair wore the NWA
World Title.  It was 1986 all over again.  In September 1993, the NWA pulled out of WCW and
declared the World Title vacant.  Flair and later Rick Rude, were wearing a strap which had
to be renamed by WCW.  The former NWA World Title became the WCW International World
Heavyweight Title.  Flair took the WCW World Belt off Vader at Starrcade and 1994 began.

      1994 was going to be an instrumental year in the history of professional wrestling no
matter who liked it and who didn't.  It didn’t matter much.  It was all business and WCW made
the smartest move it could have ever made.  1991-93 were tough years of acquisitions and
losses.  By 1994, it seemed that Ted Turner’s product and it’s handlers knew where it wanted
to go.  What it wanted to achieve in the sporting world.  Hulk Hogan drifted away from the
WWF the year before and despite a half-hearted reign as the World Champion, it seemed
that his acting career was his number one priority.  Many could not understand that Hogan
was still the top draw in the American game.  He was a man which the smarts, marks and
everyday folk knew.  Hogan had to be respected.  In the 1980s, he had altered the way
people thought of wrestling.  Taking it out of the basement gutter in some likes and giving it a
true role model.  Allowing parents to trust wrestling enough to purchase figures, cards, dolls,
arena tickets and pay-per-views on the monthly cable bill.  Turner and his wrestling stable of
creativeness went out of their way and signed Hogan to a multi-million dollar deal.

      Between April and July, the hype began.  A parade was held in Orlando to mark the
occasion.  On the side, Hogan had his “Thunder in Paradise” Syndication Show going and
remaining in the Florida area was vital.  WCW had previously began taping shows at Disney’s
MGM Studios.  It seemed that the Hogan-WCW deal was all too good to be true.  In July,
Hogan pinned Flair to capture the World Title in Orlando with the Magic’s Shaquille O’Neal in
his corner.  From July to December, other former WWF Stars made their WCW Debut,
including Ed Leslie…aka…The Butcher, formerly known as Brutus Beefcake, Jim Duggan and
John Tenta.  Duggan went on to capture the U.S. Title and both Tenta and Leslie headlined
major WCW shows.  Some fans were angry at WCW’s approach during this time-frame.  They
were not creating but reverting back to what had already been done.  No matter, it was
proving to be successful under their banner.  Randy Savage, Bobby Heenan and Gene
Okerlund also joined the organization.  The Austin’s, the Rude’s and others were placed on
the back burner, sidelined by the incoming veterans.

      With WCW going in a new direction, more and more fans saw the organization as a
viable group.  In 1995, a three-way feud between Hogan-Vader-Flair dominated the scene.  
Steve Austin departed WCW for ECW and the Giant appeared as “you know who’s” son.” On
March 11, 1995, Gene Okerlund stated that WCW was in for an “Ultimate” surprise at the
Uncensored pay-per-view.  Fans could only think of one person.  The Ultimate Warrior.  The
surprise turned out to be the Renegade, a man who sported the same look as the Warrior
had but was a virtual newcomer to the sport.  Soon after his debut, The Renegade captured
the WCW World Television Title.

      Professional wrestling as a whole got a kick in the gut when WCW’s Monday Nitro began
on TNT on September 4, 1995 during Labor Day Weekend in September ’95.  In opposition
to the WWF’s Monday Night Raw, WCW gave fans a choice and forced script writers to up
their product.  If they wanted ratings, that was.  The initial show was headlined by Hulk Hogan
and Bubba Rogers and was broadcast live from the Mall of America in Minneapolis,
Minnesota.  Also on the show was a bout between Ric Flair and Sting that saw Lex Luger’s
return to the organization less than 24 hours from being on a WWF program, and a classic
aerial contest between Jushin Liger and Brian Pillman.  There was no question that WCW’s
Nitro directly combat the WWF’s Monday Night Raw, which had been on television since
January 1993 and had replaced Prime Time Wrestling, which dated back to the mid-1980s on
the USA Network.  Live wrestling on Monday Nights from WCW was one of the most important
changes promoters made.

      Towards the latter months of 1995, Nitro made tremendous strides in improving the
product in which the public were watching.  Commentating the show were Eric Bischoff, Bobby
Heenan and former NFL World Champion from the Chicago Bears, Steve McMichael.  Fans
could see Hulk Hogan, Sting, Ric Flair, Brian Pillman, Arn Anderson, Randy Savage and The
Giant on TNT rather than seeing Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Diesel and Razor Ramon on
USA.  On December 18, 1995, another huge blow to the WWF appeared on Nitro.  Alundra
Blayze, the WWF Women’s World Champion, appeared on the show and threw the WWF
Title in the trash on live television.  An amazing act of shooting during a time in which that
was rare on American Television.  Unexpected.

      With the new audience behind them, WCW was gaining speed.  In the heat of the WCW-
WWF battle, Eric Bischoff, on January 1, 1996, announced the finish of the WWF’s four-way
tag team match on USA while the match was happening.  Needless to say, he was right and
the Smokin’ Gunns won the bout.  Nitro continued to be a haven of surprise.  On March 11,
1996, fans saw the return of the Steiner Brothers after more than three years.  The former
NWA and WCW World Champions wrestled the Road Warriors on the show and lost to their

      Through the latter parts of 1995 and into the early months of 1996, WCW also saw the
alterations of one man into the “Loose Cannon.” Brian Pillman was fast becoming the man to
watch on WCW Telecasts.  What was going to be said and done when Pillman was around,
was the talk of the internet.  Whether it was a shoot or a work.  Confusing the fans to watch.  
WCW had a spark because of it’s harsh moves towards the top.  Pillman did not do it alone,
but his persona helped.  The appearances of Lex Luger, Madusa and the Steiners added to
the excitement.

      Another former WWF Employee and headliner, and a man who was known by many as
Deebo from the hit comedy, “Friday” joined WCW for a short period of time.  The man was
Thomas Lister Jr., formerly known as Zeus.  Lister joined the Dungeon of Doom in their
efforts to beat Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage on March 10th in Tupelo at Uncensored.  Even
though his name was the “Gangsta,” the Doom’s attempt failed.  Hogan and Savage were
victorious in a special “Doomsday” steel cage match.  Through April, Eric Bischoff continued
to give the results to the pre-taped WWF Monday Night Raw at the beginning of Nitro.

      WCW Monday Nitro went to a two-hour format on May 27, 1996.  That night was one of
WCW’s most memorable in it’s short history, not because it had extended the time-frame in
which angles could build and matches could run.   But it was the initial appearance of Scott
Hall, who basically challenged WCW’s three best men to a war.  Since Hall was only one man,
two others were about to appear on the horizon with him.  A new coo.

      On June 3rd, Hall again appeared.  He blasted WCW and Eric Bischoff.  Sting walked out
and the two got into a verbal argument.  Sting slapped Hall before he threatened the
organization with a surprise on June 10th.  The next week, a man formerly known as Diesel,
Kevin Nash appeared with Hall on the set of Nitro.  The Outsiders were born.  During the
Great American Bash on June 16th in Baltimore, Hall and Nash not only appeared, but began
to break up the foundations of the organization.  Bischoff was put through a table during the
event and yet another surprise was announced, which had fans reeling.  Prior to Hall’s first
appearance, even wrestling’s smarts knew that the two were on the outs with the WWF.  But
that was one, Scott Hall and two, Kevin Nash.  Who was the third leg they had boasted about?

      On July 7th in Daytona Beach, the Outsiders went to the ring against three of WCW’s top
stars, Sting, Randy Savage and Lex Luger.  Three-on-two before Hulk Hogan went to the
ring.  The New World Order was born.  WCW was changed forever.

      The NWO went on a rampage.  During the August 26, 1996 edition of Nitro on TNT from
Palmetto, Florida.  Hogan, Hall and Nash roamed the hallways of the Civic Center, ready to
remodel.  The group stray painted a Turner Broadcasting Truck “NWO 4-Life.”  The group
ran out during a tag match between members of the Four Horsemen and Lex Luger and
Sting.  Ric Flair and Arn Anderson also appeared and were also stricken down.  Flair’s hair
was painted black and “NWO” was written on their backs.  In September, they instigated Sting’
s turn into a “free agent” after a Fake Sting attacked Lex Luger during Monday Nitro.  Fans
were confused, as were the wrestlers.

      The former “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase joined the group as did Syxx.  The latter
dropped NWO Pamphlets into the crowd from the ceiling during the September 16th Nitro.  
The main body of the organization went to Japan for a tour in September, and the NWO had
the run of the September 23rd show.  Randy Savage seemed to be the lone target.  And of
course, Savage was on the card to wrestle Greg Valentine.  He lost by disqualification when
he used the chair, but the Outsiders ran out and attacked Savage.  Joining them were
DiBiase and Syxx as Elizabeth watched from ringside.  Savage was brutalized.  The Giant
came out and introduced “Hollywood” Hogan.  Hogan joined in the attack.  Nash slapped
Savage with a Slim Jim.  He then was sprayed with paint.  Hogan and his crew took over the
broadcasting booth with Eric Bischoff, telling the world that it was the first ever “NWO Nitro.”
Jim Powers, Ron Studd and Jim Duggan were other casualties.

      Began the “NWO Tag Team Tournament” on September 30th.  The Outsiders beat High
Voltage.  The New World Order again dominated another show.  Early in the September 30th
show from Cleveland, Eric Bischoff announced that it was his worst mistake bringing Hogan
into WCW.  The NWO attempted to entice Elizabeth into the group.  Officials renamed the
WCW Race Car, the WCW Sting Car.  An offering to Sting for the mistake many made when
they questioned his loyalty.

      Professionals watched the ratings began to change as more and more fans were getting
turned on to the NWO’s rule.  WCW signed Jeff Jarrett and many wondered if he was going to
join the rebel group.  On October 7th in Savannah, the New World Order attacked Ric Flair
prior to a match against Randy Savage.  Savage was then attacked and chokeslammed by
the Giant.  They carried him to the ring.  Hogan delivered five leg drops on Savage.  An NWO
Monster Truck rolled towards the WCW Broadcasting Booth as the commentators scrambled
for safety.

      Halloween Havoc saw the return of Roddy Piper to professional wrestling.  He returned to
confront Hollywood Hogan, teasing a possible future match-up between the two.  During the
November 4th edition of Nitro from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Teddy Long was suspended by
WCW during an interview segment by Mike Teney with Chris Jericho, Nick Patrick and Alan
Sharpe.  WCW faced a huge turn on November 18th in Florence when Eric Bischoff helped
the NWO attack Roddy Piper on Nitro.  Bischoff had jumped ship.

      Between December 1996 and December 1998, WCW saw it’s greatest times in the
history of the organization.  The NWO flourished, Sting, Savage, Luger, Hogan and the other
top names drew record crowds and huge ratings.  WCW signed one of the greatest wrestlers
of all-time, Bret Hart in December 1997 after his falling out in Montreal.  It also saw the rise of
Bill Goldberg, a former Atlanta Falcon and Georgia Bulldog.  Goldberg was a Power Plant
graduate who entered professional wrestling like a shot out of a cannon.  Immediately made
an impact.  Not before long, fans were booming “Goldberg,” “Goldberg,” in every arena WCW
visited.  There was no question who was the most popular man in an organization also
stocked with Bret Hart, Sting and Hogan.

      Goldberg was also an unbeatable man.  At victory 75, he beat Raven to capture the
WCW United States Heavyweight Title.  In July 1998, he pinned Hollywood Hogan before a
huge crowd at the Georgia Dome and captured the WCW World Heavyweight Title.  Goldberg
went undefeated until Starrcade 1998 when he met Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and a taser.

      World Championship Wrestling paid tribute to one of it’s hardest workers on Sunday,
November 29, 1998 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  The man of the hour was none other than
referee Mark Curtis, better known to his friends as Brian C. Hildebrand.  Hildebrand was in
the fight of his life, battling off a second wave of stomach cancer.  Among those who paid
tribute to Mr. Hildebrand were Ric Flair, Terry Taylor, Tim Horner, Mike Tenay, Sandy Scott,
Tony Anthony, Kimberly Anthony, Les Thatcher, Arn Anderson, Bobby Heenan and Tony
Schiavone.  By the end of the night, Hildebrand was inducted into the honorary Four
Horsemen and was even presented with his own copy of the WCW World Title Belt.  Mr.
Hildebrand died on September 8, 1999 in Talbott, Tennessee.  He was 37 years of age.

      Towards the end of the decade, ratings for WCW’s broadcasts began to decline and
injuries for many of the top athletes in the promotion were taking it’s toll.  Things seemed
promising after WCW signed several big name creative names away from the WWF during
the fall.  An attempt for a major turn-around began.  The “Powers-That-Be” ruled with an iron
fist.  WCW paid their respects to Hiro Matsuda during the November 29th edition of Nitro.

      On January 24, 2000, WCW paid tribute to the late Bobby Duncum Jr. from Nitro in Los
Angeles.  The orgnaization received early on in the year which to some set the pace for the
entire year.  Four top wrestlers, including WCW World Champion Chris Benoit, left the
promotion for the WWF.  Among the others were Eddy Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Perry
Saturn.  On the home front, injuries continued to plague television ratings and the downward
spiral continued.  The major stars seemed to drop two at a time.  Bret Hart, Bill Goldberg,
Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Randy Savage and Sting seemed to each fall to different problems.

      WCW Nitro was not held on April 3rd, only to return on the 10th of April with a bang.  Live
from Denver’s new Pepsi Center in Colorado, a whole new world of wrestling was opened up
to WCW’s longtime fans.  A host of wrestlers join in the ring, supported by Scott Steiner, Jeff
Jarrett and finally, Vince Russo, one of the organization’s creative heads.  Russo spoke to
the audience, criticizing the way things were.  He was soon joined by Eric Bischoff, and many
thought it was going to lead to an altercation.  Instead, it was a hug.  The two were partners.  
They announced that all WCW Championships were declared vacant and took the U.S. Title
from Jarrett, the World Tag Titles from Creative Control, the Cruiserweight Title from the
Artist, and the Hardcore Title from Brian Knobbs.  Sid Vicious released his control of the
World Title only when Bischoff confronted him and verbally spoke out against him.  Russo
also spoke out against Flair, Bischoff against Hogan.

      WCW was changing.  The wrestling so-called slang was being presented to a national
audience in the form of shooting against each other.  Whether it was a work or not,
passionate feuds were started.  Flair and Shane Douglas, after seven years of calling him
out, finally began.  Kidman and Hogan went at it.  Tank Abbott called out Goldberg.  Kevin
Nash delivered a speech about Scott Hall and his personal situation before being attacked by
the ECW World Champion, Mike Awesome.  The ECW and WCW had signed a deal over
Awesome but was somehow broken and there was some political turmoil.  In the end, Bret
Hart appeared signifying WCW’s ability to change it’s focus from mediocre to big-time
wrestling.  A new direction.  New heat and an attempt to regain their fans.  The ratings did not
turn around overnight.  It was a beginning.

      Hollywood Film Actor and star of the wrestling movie, Ready to Rumble, David Arquette
entered WCW and captured a claim to the World Title after getting a pin on Bischoff during a
tag bout.  At one point, Courtney Cox Arquette and Kurt Russell were seen on WCW
Television as David Arquette wore the WCW Belt.

      Headlined by feuds between Kevin Nash and Bill Goldberg and Jeff Jarrett and Hulk
Hogan, WCW Predicted that the Bash at the Beach in July was going to be it’s most
successful of the year.  It was that, the most explosive pay-per-view the promotion had
organized in years.  When it was all said and done, the landscape had changed.

      Effective June 24, 2000, WCW Saturday Night, a staple in wrestling on TBS since the
1970s, was cancelled.  TBS would instead run a one-hour weekend show on Saturdays at 11:
00 a.m. (EST).  The show was once the highest rated program on cable television.  Many
fans had grown up with the program.

      A new World Champion had been crowned on Sunday, July 9th, and neither Hogan or
Jarrett were wearing the title.  Hogan did walk off with a belt.  Chavo Guerrero and Big Vito
retained their belts and Kronic took the World Tag Title from Chuck Palumbo and Shawn
Stasiak.  Scott Steiner was stripped of the U.S. Title for using his Steiner Recliner on Mike
Awesome, by Commissioner, Ernest Miller.  Vince Russo walked out to start the Jarrett-Hogan
match, with the defending champ in tow.  Hogan entered the stage to a loud crowd and went
to the ring.  Russo informed Jarrett to lay down and the champion did.  Hogan said a few
words and pinned him for the WCW World Heavyweight Title.  He took the belt and walked
away.  Russo and Jarrett followed.  Later in the night, Russo returned to the squared circle
and spoke.  He said that the belt Hogan won was the “Memorial Belt” and that Jarrett was still
recognized as the WCW Champion.  That Jarrett would defend it against Booker T later in the
evening.  When it came down to it, the former multiple-time WCW World Tag and TV
Champion, Booker pinned Jarrett and captured the World Title.

      Later in the night, Jarrett spoke on WCW Live and said that he did not know if the Russo-
Hogan situation was a work or a shoot, but that he was following the boss’ orders.  Many
smarts and marks agreed that they weren’t sure what was real and what wasn’t anymore.  
WCW had pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes.  Booker T remained the champion through
several tough weeks, building up towards New Blood Rising in August.  On July 31st, Booker
T pinned Sting in defense of his crown.

      Talk of WCW’s sale continued through the fall and into the winter.  Speculation differed
from the person claiming knowledge.  Hogan remained missing, forcing many fans to wonder.  
WCW had seen so many different faces since it’s beginning, and there was more predicted in
the future.

      Between July and December 2000, many different changes occurred including the
crowning of Scott Steiner as the World Heavyweight Champion with a defeat of Booker T at
Mayhem.  In January 2001, the longtime rumors were confirmed.  World Championship
Wrestling was sold.

      On March 19, 2001, Eric Bischoff spoke to a national television audience via telephone
during Monday Nitro.  He announced that WCW was in negotiations to be sold and that the
March 26th edition of Nitro would be known as “Night of Champions.” WCW World Champion,
Scott Steiner would wrestle Booker T, the WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion, in a title vs. title
match.  Each of the other belts in WCW would also be up for grabs.  The March 26th showing
of Nitro from Panama City Beach, Florida was announced the final of the season.  In all
actuality, it could have been WCW’s final of all-time.

      News that WCW had been removed from Turner Broadcasting’s Cable System was
reported on all sorts of media outlets.  Before the end of the month, WCW was sold to the
World Wrestling Federation.  The March 26th Nitro marked the final showing on TNT, but the
first of a new era of professional wrestling.  Vince McMahon opened Nitro via video from
Cleveland with comments and later held a simulcast with his son, Shane McMahon in Florida.  
After Booker T had won the WCW World Title and Sting had beaten Ric Flair in a throwback
match to their many wars, Shane McMahon was announced as the new owner of WCW.  As
noted as a possibility a week earlier, Eric Bischoff and several other former WCW World
Champions were not on the final showing of Nitro.

      Several dates were thrown around for the start-up of the new WCW between May and
June.  None of the predications were correct.

Research by Tim Hornbaker
(WCW) World Championship Wrestling Timeline & History
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