Entertainment

Who Killed WCW? A New Show Unpacks the Collapse of a Wrestling Superpower

Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bill Goldberg, Eric Bischoff and many more, the four-part series miniseries begins on VICE TV on June 4.
Three wrestlers pose for a photo holding a champion's belt.

In 1993, American wrestling promoter Eric Bischoff took over what was a struggling World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and transformed it into a cultural phenomenon. He signed Hulk Hogan, built his own superstar in Bill Goldberg and launched the blockbuster Monday night show, Nitro.

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But within seven years, the reputation of WCW, as well as its viewing figures, had come crashing down around Bischoff. Premiering on Tuesday June 4 at 10 PM a new VICE TV show, Who Killed WCW?, investigates what caused one of the biggest sports entertainment franchises of the 1990s to implode so dramatically.

Bischoff's biggest and brightest idea was Nitro, a weekly wrestling program that hit the airwaves in 1995 and went head-to-head with WWE’s (formerly WWF) RAW. The flagship show beat WWE in the ratings for a legendary 83 weeks, and sparked an era of vicious rivalry that became known as “The Monday Night Wars”.

Then, just as it seemed WCW and Nitro would represent the pinnacle of professional wrestling forever, it all fell apart. Fingers were pointed at a myriad of individuals and incidents, but while some of those moments happened on camera, the majority occurred behind the scenes.

There were the constant changes in creative leadership, as well as the roster of wrestlers – many of whom seemed more interested in their own image than that of WCW as a whole – which led to bad business in the ring. And then, of course, there was the infamous AOL-Time Warner merger that marked the arrival of the end times.

So, who really killed WCW? What was the final blow that sent the company to a sudden and tragic grave? Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bill Goldberg, Eric Bischoff and many more, VICE’s new four-part mini series is a deep dive into a murky and fascinating question that has puzzled wrestling fans for decades.

Be sure to watch Who Killed WCW? on VICE TV, premiering Tuesday, June 4 at 10 PM.