On March 23, 2001, World Wrestling Federation (WWF) announces its purchase of longtime rival World Championship Wrestling (WCW), securing rights to its brand, tape library and other various intellectual rights.
The Monday Night Wars were officially over.
They had been over for quite some time, as WCW had reportedly lost upward of $80 million dollars in the year leading up to its fire sale. Fusient Media Ventures was also in the running to but the dying promotion, but the deal fell apart when AOL's Turner Broadcasting decided to drop WCW from its TBS and TNT channels.
From the official release:
The two companies have been competing against each other for 18 years, and executives vowed that the WCW will not fade away.
"WWF has been a rival organization to the WCW for quite some time," said WWF CEO Linda McMahon on a conference call open to journalists. "With the new infusion of stars and the cross-branded story lines, this does nothing but raise the specter potential for us. We're very pleased to have come to agreement to purchase that brand."
WWF wisely decided to let some of the big-money contracts run out for the old regime and went forward with its "Invasion" storyline. It was a big flop, but it didn't matter, because there was no one left to compete with.
Who's to blame for the self-destruction of the WCW?