3.26.2001 - THE END OF AN ERA
VINCE MCMAHON BUYS OUT WCW & KILLS HIS COMPETITION
Anyway as the story goes, the final episode of NITRO played out as two hours of Wrestlers & Staffers-that legitimately did not know what the future held for them- trying to either send the company off with a BANG or auditioning for a future job with the WWF/WWE. All of this had gone down just three days earlier; so no one new what was to come. I remember myself sitting in a Studio session & blinking in disbelief, as I turned on NITRO-but saw Vince McMahon's face. WTF? And remember, this was before the days when somehow/someway EVERYTHING leaked to the internet. Lol. Aside from the drama though, any true wrestling fan will forever remember the shocking intro, followed by One of Ric Flair's Greatest (and probably un-scripted) promos-followed by the emotionally charged "final" match between Ric Flair & Sting. (Writer's Note: both had been out of action due to injuries; but wrestled anyway per Vince McMahon's request & both would face each other again years later in TNA). Both MONDAY NIGHT RAW & MONDAY NITRO were simulcast on both TNT & TNN; and ended with Vince McMahon asking the WWE fans which WCW Talents should be hired or fired. #GoodTelevision
Since that day however, wrestling has never been the same. No competitor=no challenge to put out the best possible product. Most of the top stars from WCW either never came over to WWF/WWE, came several years later, were too old to make any long term impact, and/or were buried by WWF/WWE's Brain-trust out of spite. The only real bright spot is that the WWE has put out a number of great DVD releases that chronicle that era in detail. And the WWE is said to have made large sums of money off of them, as they currently outsell all core-WWE DVD Products by far. For me, thise DVDs have saved many a boring day. P.E.A.C.E.