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The shift in programming helped lead the company to achieve mainstream success similar to the 1980s professional wrestling boom.
Concurrently, many WWF performers became crossover successes: During this period The Rock would become very popular and then would embark on a successful acting career, while Mick Foley published a New York Times-bestselling autobiography; Stone Cold Steve Austin quickly became the company's most popular star and the company's flagship performer, and would be featured in mainstream media all over America and made guest appearances on a variety of television shows, from Nash Bridges to Dilbert.
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.
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.
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 company was able to briefly reinvigorate itself after the introduction of Bill Goldberg, who was presented as an unbeatable force who won matches within a matter of minutes or even seconds.
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.
Simultaneously, the company experienced financial woes due to the amount of money it had promised wrestlers in their contracts during a hiring binge in the early 90s.
The company was ultimately unable to sustain itself while paying wrestlers their contracted salaries, and WCW went up for sale.