12 years ago today: The end of WCW Nitro


Twelve years ago, the Monday night wars came to a close with a shocking night on television: Vince McMahon announcing live on RAW that he purchased WCW and his son Shane McMahon appearing on Nitro to say it’s him he bought WCW and not his father.

A surely once-in-a-lifetime episode of RAW and Nitro came together with a simulcast – RAW on TNN and Nitro on TNT – to kick off the Invasion storyline that for all intents and purposes, failed on many levels with the audience.

When Shane McMahon and his crew arrived at the final episode of Nitro, nobody knew what was about to happen, and changes were made backstage to accomodate the new owners.

Earlier in the broadcast, Booker T won the WCW title from Scott Steiner and then Ric Flair and Sting wrestled in the final match ever on Nitro, with Sting coming out victorious with the Scorpion Death Lock. The two then shooked hands and hugged before clearing the ring for the biggest surprise of the night – Shane McMahon in the middle of the ring live on Nitro.

After both McMahons traded words and the segment was over, so was WCW’s legacy with the final show in Panama City.

The March 26 episode of WCW Nitro opened up with Vince McMahon live from RAW’s site – the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, to announce his purchase of WCW and the show ended with a pay-per-view trailer for WrestleMania X-Seven, which was about to take place that coming Sunday!