HomeTelevisionWho Killed WCW Part 2: “The Streak is Over”

Who Killed WCW Part 2: “The Streak is Over”

Photo Credit: Vice

Compared to last week’s episode being focused on the start of WCW, this episode focused on the start of the demise. From Goldberg coming into the company as well as Bret Hart becoming extremely frustrated quickly after he signed his WCW contract. How did this Who Killed WCW Part 2 do compared to last week’s episode? Let’s review!

By 1997 WCW was hot. With NWO becoming bigger by the week Turner Broadcasting had reached out to Eric Bischoff to create another WCW show. Although Bischoff was hesitant; he created Thunder paying for the show with WCW budgets. Since Thunder needed to have a different set of talent compared to Nitro he decided to bring in more talent and one of those names was Brett Hart.

After the controversy of the Montreal ScrewJob, Hart signed with WCW getting $2.8 million a year being the star of Thunder. However, the expectations versus reality made Hart upset. He was not being used as he promised as WCW was starting to run into the ground. Bischoff and the writers were having trouble booking 10 hours of programming into two days, which is why they were taking the easy way out on a lot of things. More factions were being created and every match was having the same finishes, nothing was making sense.

On April 13th, 1998 WWE finally was able to take back the ratings, and WCW was having trouble keeping up with WWE. Their next big idea was to bring in an undeniable new talent, Bill Goldberg. Goldberg came from a football background and was new to wrestling, he was on a rocketship from day one of signing with WCW. He decided to become a professional wrestler after getting hurt by playing football. He got inspiration from Mike Tyson who wore black trunks and truly knew what was going to happen when he stepped into the boxing ring, and that is why Goldberg was able to get over. The crowd was eating up his undefeated streak, but the wrestlers thought he was hitting too hard as they believed Goldberg did not realize this was fake. Goldberg began to be WCW’s promotional ticket as they put his face on everything to capitalize on his popularity. Hulk Hogan called Bischoff to tell him it was time to put him over. Hogan said that he wanted to face Goldberg at the Georgia Dome for the title and put him over, in the biggest Nitro of all time. However, the biggest criticism was that this was on a free TV show and not on pay-per-view where WCW could have made a lot more money. 

Once WWE turned over to the Attitude Era one of the biggest stars to come out of that was The Rock. He was one of the people to help WWE win the war and get that 18-49 age demographic that WCW had targeted for so long. Bischoff was called into a meeting with Turner Broadcasting and they wanted the demographic to be more towards children, where WWE was continuing to dominate the biggest TV demographic. Bischoff was willing to fight it for as long as he could, but that did not last long. Turner Broadcasting and Bischoff were focused more and more on the ratings and it drained him. He was becoming more negative and got into more fights week after week. As Kevin Nash saw the writing on the wall he told Bischoff he would take over the weekly booking to take some of the pressure off of Bischoff. Nash wanted to take the title off of Goldberg after he messed up a spot with Scott Hall in a match. He felt that if Goldberg was the top guy he should not be messing up spots, as well as the fact that he had held the title for too long. This set up for Nash vs Goldberg, where things for WCW were going to change forever.

Nash felt like Goldberg would draw more money chasing the title than being the champion, whereas Goldberg disagreed and compared it to boxing where he was never tired of Tyson walking out as champion. Since Nash was bigger than Goldberg it looked believable for him to break the streak. However, he did not win the match cleanly as Hall tazed him with a taser to help Nash win the belt. Hogan came back to face Nash and the finger poke of doom spot happened, which made fans angry. On the same night, WCW commentators spoiled what was going to happen on RAW, which was Mick Foley winning the WWE Championship. Many of the viewers switched over to watch Foley winning the title and WCW was losing faithful viewers week after week. Many of the wrestlers were seeing the writing on the wall as the pressure from Turner executives was becoming worse week after week.

Turner executives were becoming frustrated that wrestling was becoming more popular, however, they were losing week after week to WWE. They decided to take the money they were losing and put it into other projects for the Turner Broadcasting Channel. Bischoff was then put under investigation for the misuse of funds for WCW. Although nothing came back that he was doing, Bischoff was blindsided by the accusation. He decided from that moment going forward he was not going to be loyal to the company and he was going to go into business for himself. 

Hart, who was reluctant to face Goldberg knew that he had to at some point. Before the match, he told Goldberg not to hurt him and Goldberg kicked him as Hart got concussed. Goldberg swears it was an accident where Hart says it was because he was not qualified to be a wrestler. After his injury, he was told that he would not be able to wrestle again and he had to retire. Hart felt like WCW dropped the ball with Hart as he was never able to accomplish anything in WCW. Bischoff on the other hand was burnt out and frustrated and did not know what was going to happen next for WCW. 

Who Killed WCW Part 2 ends with Bischoff reminiscing on all of the freedom he had in WCW and how much he was able to do in his prime. In September 1999 Turner Broadcasting let Bischoff go and started going in a different direction. Bischoff the next day went to Wyoming and went fishing and continued with his life. A lot of the wrestlers in the episode put over Bischoff talking about how he changed the wrestling game and was able to do things no one thought he was going to be able to do. Despite all the hate from the network, he was able to beat WWE for 83 straight weeks and no one can take that away from him.

Overall: The one thing that I like about these episodes is how in-depth they are with a lot of the bigger events that happened in WCW. In this episode, they focused a lot on the finger-poke of doom and how Bischoff truly had everything and lost it all in a matter of a couple of years. Just like last week’s episode if you are a fan of WCW and just love wrestling history this series is for you!

Who Killed WCW Part Two is streaming now on Vice.

Kimmy Sokol
Kimmy Sokol
Kimmy Sokol is known to do many things in the world of professional wrestling. If she is not writing on thepopbreak, she is co-hosting The Bob Culture Podcast and traveling the country working with the biggest wrestling superstars on the convention scene.

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