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The Atlanta-based organization owned by Turner Broadcasting.
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My understanding is that Turner did oppose it, but his power within Time Warner had waned tremendously and he wasn't even a factor at the time.
How was it pulled off? Jamie Kellner became head of Turner Broadcasting and cancelled their programming on TNT and TBS. That caused Fusient Media Ventures, who were working with Eric Bischoff to put a deal together, to pull out and the WWF swooped in and bought them out dirt cheap. It was a non-stock deal though and only various assets were purchased such as the trademarks, tape library, the contracts of certain talent, and things of that nature. All the debts, legal issues, and guaranteed money that was being paid to performers such as Sting, Goldberg, Flair, Nash, and so forth remained the responsibiltiy of Time Warner.
It should also be noted that the WWF's Stu Snyder, who brokered the deal, used to work at Turner/Time Warner and was in tight with WCW honcho Brad Siegel. Word is Snyder used his influence with Siegel to convince Kellner to cancel them off the Turner schedule because that was supposedly the one major roadblock in the WWF's attempt at purchasing them. The WWF had an exclusive deal with Viacom and they were reportedly against Vince taking over the WCW brand so long as they had programming on the rival Turner Networks. So once that obstacle was out of the way, the deal could be made.
THat remains a very sad day in the history of pro wrestling in the states.
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That's probably pretty accurate, Dan. I do hear lots of stories about Turner being very disappointed and in some cases sad about the sale happening. He deep down wanted WCW to still work.
I also heard there was a ton of legalities being broken by WWE when the sale happened. Do you know much about this?
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Even when WCW wasn't profitable in the early 90s, Turner kept them around because of the programming. As long as he was the one ultimately in charge, I think it's safe to assume that they'd always be around. After the merger with Time Warner though, he eventually ended up losing his power and when the company hit rock bottom, they decided to either sell or just shut it down. It was reported that had Bischoff/Fusient bought them out, Turner Broadcasting would've actually retained a minority stake and kept the programming rights. But then Kellner cancelled them off the schedule and that took care of that.
As for the legal issues, I know they got into a tiff with one of the companies that used to make WCW's video games over licensing issues or something like that. Along with the WWF, Universal Wrestling Corporation (the Turner owned business entity that used to be World Championship Wrestling, Inc. before the WCW brand was sold to the WWF) was also initially named as a defendant in the case before they were taken out, but I have no idea what became of it.
I also remember reading that after WCW's programming was cancelled and they sold to the WWF, Stu Snyder tried to made an attempt to get new WWF produced WCW programming BACK on the Turner Networks. But had that happend, it obviously would've reaked of conspiracy. They no doubt would've gotten into all kinds of hot water with not only Viacom, but they and Turner also would've probably had the pants sued off of them by Fusient or any other prospective buyers.
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