When 2001 began, there were three national wrestling companies, a weekly Monday night ratings battle, and a huge, ravenous fanbase of diehard wrestling fans. By the time the year was over, there was just one national wrestling company, fan interest had waned significantly, and the ratings began a steady decline that continues to this day.
What happened? How could a business that had enjoyed unprecedented success as a pop culture phenomenon in the late 90s and early 2000s have fallen so far in the span of twelve months? How did WCW and ECW, once highly regarded pro wrestling empires, become punchlines on WWE documentaries? And how did WWE, the company that did everything right during the Monday Night Wars, wind up doing everything wrong the instant they were over?
2001: The Year Professional Wrestling Died looks at how the entire wrestling industry collapsed overnight. It chronicles the deaths of both WCW and ECW, the poorly-run InVasion angle that followed, the criminal misuse of WCW and ECW’s wrestlers and legacies, and the ways in which the fallout from this catastrophic time still affect WWE and the wrestling business today.
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