The promotion America knows as World Championship Wrestling originated from Jim Crockett Promotions in the mid 1980’s – the name was bought by Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1983 from the Australian name thanks partly to it’s original owner, Jim Barnett, who was working in the region at the time. Crockett Promotions was a major player in shows sanctioned by the National Wrestling Alliance in the late 1980’s and the name WCW was used instead of NWA even though it was still essentially the NWA.
However that changed in early 1991 when Crockett Promotions, who by this time had Ted Turner on board, and the NWA board disputed the result of a match between NWA champion Ric Flair and challenger Tatsumi Fujinami in Tokyo. On television, the result was a disqualification victory for Flair (the result live at the venue was different), and a divide appeared which the rematch did little to resolve. When Flair jumped to the World Wrestling Federation in mid 1991, WCW immediately held a match to fill the vacancy in the world title, and Lex Luger was crowned champion. It is argued that Luger was the first WCW world champion, but this is disputed because of the Tokyo incident.
After the NWA was removed completely from the promotion in 1993, WCW – with the financial backing of Turner – set its sights on the WWF. Eric Bischoff started a campaign that became known as the Monday Night Wars, which included Bischoff announcing the results of the pre taped Raw live on Nitro, Madusa Miceli (AKA Alundra Blayze) publicly trashing the WWF women’s title, and other various attacks. Nitro beat Raw in its time slot for nearly 100 straight weeks (nearly two years) and a lot of the roster consisted of ex WWF talent.
When the WWF started to turn things around, WCW started struggling. Ted Turner sold his share in the business and that spelt disaster if something wasn’t done, while some bad booking decisions at the beginning of 2000 (in particular the Fingerpoke of Doom and a typical Raw spoiler that in this case caused a massive switch over to Raw for Mick Foley’s title victory) didn’t help. WCW tried to start afresh in April 2000, but only a month later they undid all their good work when the bookers gave actor and Ready to Rumble star David Arquette a brief reign as world champion. It was all to promote the movie, which WCW played a major role in, but it was seen as unnecessary when you consider Arquette was not a wrestler even in the movie.
Losing money in a big way, the name of WCW’s final pay per view in March 2001 – Greed – seemed somehow appropriate. WCW held it’s final Nitro on March 26, 2001, where it was revealed that the WWF had bought out the company – using a kayfabe storyline involving Shane McMahon to put it over in sensational fashion.
The WCW titles went over to the WWF as a part of their invasion angle before titles were merged in late 2001 – culminating in the merger of the world titles in December.
Superbrawl: 1991>95 – 1996>01
Starrcade: 1991>95 – 1996>00
Halloween Havoc: 1991>95 – 1996>00
Fall Brawl: 1993>96 – 1997>00
New Blood Rising: 2000
Great American Bash: 1991>92 – 1995>00
Bash at the Beach: 1994>96 – 1997>00
Spring Stampede: 1994 – 1997>00
Slamboree: 1993>96 – 1997>00
Souled Out: 1997>00
Road Wild: 1997>99
World War 3: 1995>98
Hog Wild: 1996
Beach Blast: 1992>93