World Championship Wrestling, Inc. (WCW) was an American professional wrestling promotion based in Atlanta, Georgia. It began as a regional promotion affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), named Jim Crockett Promotions until November 1988, when Ted Turner and his Turner Broadcasting System established the promotion, initially renaming it the Universal Wrestling Corporation (UWC) that consisted of Crockett's assets, but soon changing the name again to World Championship Wrestling.
In the mid-1990s WCW improved its economic stability, largely due to the promotion of Eric Bischoff to Executive Producer, the hiring of Hulk Hogan, the introduction of Nitro and the resultant Monday Night Wars, the New World Order and other innovative concepts. However, numerous problems financially and creatively led to the company losing its lead. Its fall from grace and the various factors leading up to it have been heavily documented within the industry. Turner, and later Time Warner, owned WCW until 2001 when selected assets were purchased by its primary competitor, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), now known as WWE. Since 2001, WCW images and video footage have been widely distributed in WWE media.
Two separate subsidiary companies exist as successors to WCW. WCW Inc. is the WWE subsidiary established in Delaware in late 2000 initially as W. Acquisition Company which holds the rights to the WCW video library and other intellectual property. The former WCW entity, which retained certain liabilities (such as guaranteed contracts with certain performers) not acquired by WWF, was renamed back to The Universal Wrestling Corporation, and as of April 2014 is still registered as an active Georgia-domiciled subsidiary of Time Warner.
Credits go to Wikipedia's article, WCW
At the outset of WCW's existence, as well as with the promotions that came before it, the company was strongly identified with the Southern style of professional wrestling (rasslin'), which emphasized athletic in-ring competition over the showmanship and cartoonish characters of the WWF. This identification persisted into the 1990s, even as the company signed former WWF stars such as Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. WCW dominated pro wrestling's television ratings from mid-1996 to 1998 (84 straight weeks) mainly due to its incredibly popular New World Order storyline, but thereafter began to lose heavy ground to the WWF, which had recovered greatly due to its new "Attitude" branding. Repetitive story lines, questionable booking issues, and corporate restrictions eventually led the promotion to begin losing large amounts of money, leading to parent company AOL Time Warner selling the name copyrights to the WWF for $2.5 million in 2001. Shortly after the purchase, Vince McMahon purchased the entire tape library for an additional $1.7 million, bringing the final tally of World Championship Wrestling's sale to $4.2 million.
WCW started out as a regional promotion in the late 1980s focusing mainly in the Deep South. It started growing nationally a few years later, which led to its rivalry with the WWF. Even though WCW folded in 2001, its legacy lived on in the WWF. The WWF kept the WCW United States Championship, the WCW Cruiserweight Championship, the WCW World Tag Team Championship, and the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Eventually, the titles were unified into their WWF counterparts. In 2003, now known as the WWE, the company resurrected the United States title to be competed for exclusively on SmackDown. When Hulk Hogan came back to the WWF, the WWF kept his Hollywood nickname. In 2004, the WWE brought back the Great American Bash pay-per-view and also in 2009, released Starrcade: The Essential Collection as a three-disc DVD set. In August 2009, WWE released a DVD set chronicling the history of WCW called The Rise and Fall of WCW. Commemorating the 10 year anniversary of the purchase of the company, WWE re-opened WCW.com, highlighting the history of the company that had once had the upper-hand in the professional wrestling marketplace. WWE released two documentaries showing highlights from WCW Nitro's history, The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro and The Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 2, both documentaries are hosted by Diamond Dallas Page.
WCW is a major focus in the WWE '12 video game released by THQ for Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii in 2012. In the Game's "Road to Wrestlemania" Story Mode, many WCW superstars are featured such as Arn Anderson, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, The Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal), Kevin "Diesel" Nash, Booker T and Vader.
- WCW International World Heavyweight Championship
- WCW World Heavyweight Championship
- WCW World Television Championship
- WCW World Tag Team Championship
- WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Championship
- WCW Women's Championship
- WCW Women's Cruiserweight Championship
- WCW Hardcore Championship
- WCW Light Heavyweight Championship
- WCW Cruiserweight Championship
- NWA World Heavyweight Championship
- WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship
- WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship
- WCW Monday Nitro
- WCW Thunder
- WCW Saturday Night
- WCW WorldWide
- WCW Pro
- WCW Main Event
- WCW Clash of the Champions
- WCW Prime
- WCW Power Hour
- World Championship Wrestling: Sunday Edition