WWE legend Matt Hardy has shed light on the backstage reaction to the closing of ECW and the sale of WCW.
On March 23, 2001, the Stamford-based promotion purchased WCW from TBS (Turner Broadcasting System). In 2003, Vince McMahon's company purchased the rights to ECW's video library after the latter promotion closed in 2001. While WCW was McMahon's biggest competitor in that era, ECW's downfall was just as significant.
Speaking on The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, the former tag champion stated that none of the talents in WWE were happy to see the competition between WWE and the other companies end.
“Man, everybody in the WWE hated it. I mean, we know it wasn’t good for the industry, we knew it wasn’t good for the talent. We knew it was gonna take away a lot of our leverage as far as trying to get better deals or trying to get more money. So we hated to see the competition go under. And obviously, we bought WCW and then ECW went under. So it was what it was, but we were not fond of it, none of the WWE talent was.” (H/t to 411mania.com)
WWE legend Booker T points out the difference between AEW's current situation and the sale of WCW in 2001
In a recent interview with Wrestling Inc., the former world champion was asked if AEW's current situation has any similarities to WCW's downfall in 2001.
AEW has been dealing with chaos due to the backstage brawl between CM Punk and The Elite after All Out. Booker T opined that the situation in WCW back then was completely different, as it was evident that there was no option left for the company.
“Not at all,” Booker said. “Totally different. Our last days at WCW, you could see the writing on the wall that the plug had been pulled. We were just waiting on the doctors to come tell everybody it’s over, you know what I mean? Right now, Tony Khan still got a whole lot of money. He’s invested, he’s all in, no pun intended, with this company. And I think he’s going to do everything he possibly can to make this thing work."
Booker T was one of WCW's top stars, and he even won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship during his run with the company.
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