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The Monday Night War(s) is the common term describing the period of mainstream televised American professional wrestling from September 4, 1995, to March 26, 2001.During this time, the World Wrestling Federation's (WWF, now WWE) Monday Night Raw went head-to-head with World Championship Wrestling's (WCW) Monday Nitro in a battle for Nielsen ratings each week.The heightened profiles of WWF wrestlers helped to draw the attention of both new and casual wrestling fans to the company's programming.In the late 1990s, WCW's ratings began to suffer as fans grew tired of the n Wo storyline, which many viewers perceived as having been allowed to go on for too long.Shows were taped before a small (yet enthusiastic), live, in-studio audience, as were most professional wrestling TV shows of that era.They featured wrestling matches, plus melodramatic monologues and inter-character confrontations, similar to the programming offered by other territories, including the Northeast-based WWF.GCW's show, which aired on Saturday evenings, was complemented by a Sunday evening edition.Jack and Gerald Brisco had major stakes in the organization, while Ole Anderson was head booker and was basically in charge of operations.
Notably, as of 2017, no other company has ever emerged as a viable competitor to WWE since the acquisition of WCW, and WWE itself has never again enjoyed the same level of mainstream success that it did during the Wars.
Goldberg quickly rose to stardom within the organization and became a crossover star similar to the WWF's performers, with appearances in commercials and music videos.
However, a controversial backstage decision to end Goldberg's winning streak, followed quickly by an anticlimactic match involving Kevin Nash and Hollywood Hogan – now known as the Fingerpoke of Doom – effectively killed the company's credibility in the eyes of many of its diehard fans, and the company was never able to recreate the initial level of popularity they would have enjoyed in the middle of the decade.
The wars ended with the sale of WCW's assets by its parent company, AOL Time Warner, to the WWF.
During the initial cable television boom of the early 1980s, many programmers turned to professional wrestling as a means to fill out their schedules, as it was relatively inexpensive to produce but drew high ratings.
As wrestling began to grow in popularity in the early 1990s, the organizations – and, as a result, their programming – became a venue through which the business feud could continue, with each company working to drive the other out of business.