WCW Monday Nitro was a weekly professional wrestling telecast produced by World Championship Wrestling, created by Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff. The show aired Monday nights on TNT, going head-to-head with the World Wrestling Federation's Monday Night Raw from September 4, 1995 to March 26, 2001. Production ceased shortly after WCW was purchased by the WWF.
The debut of Nitro began the Monday Night Wars, a ratings battle between the WWF and WCW that lasted for almost six years and saw each company resort to cutthroat tactics to try to compete with the competition. In mid-1996, Nitro began to draw better ratings than Raw based on the strength of the nWo storyline, an anarchist wrestling stable that wanted to take over WCW. Nitro continued to beat Raw for 84 consecutive weeks, forcing WWE owner Vince McMahon to change the way he did business. As the nWo storyline grew stagnant, fan interest in the storyline waned, and Raw began to edge out Nitro in the ratings.
The turning point for the organizations came during the January 4, 1999 broadcast of Nitro, during which lead commentator Tony Schiavone gave away the results of matches for that night's Raw broadcast. As Raw was taped and Nitro was live, Bischoff believed that knowing the outcome would dissuade viewers from watching the program. Excited by the prospect of seeing perennial WWF underdog Mick Foley win the WWF Championship, a large number of Nitro viewers changed channels to watch Raw, switching back to Nitro after Foley won the title. From that week forward, Raw beat Nitro in the ratings by a significant amount, and WCW was never able to regain the success it once had.
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