The night the channels changed: 17 years later

During the late 1990’s, one of the biggest television ratings wars was taking place between WCW and WWF. On Monday nights, WCW’s Monday Nitro and WWF’s Monday Night Raw were competing for supremacy in the ratings.

For 83 weeks, WCW was dominating the war with Nitro having a higher rating than Raw each week. That was mostly thanks to Eric Bischoff, WCW’s acting president, instructing his commentating team to spoil the ending of Raw, which was pre-recorded and shown on a tape delay at the time.

On January 4, 1999, Mick Foley, known as Mankind in WWF at the time, won the WWF Championship for the first time in his career. WCW color commentator Tony Schiavone spoiled that ending, but that was their ultimate downfall.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8nbJikFTv8]

More than 600,000 viewers switched their televisions to Raw for the last hour of the show to see this moment.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KybuIy0wKXk]

This gave WWF a win in the ratings war for this first time in nearly 18 months. The WWF never lost the ratings war again and WCW was bought out by WWF owner Vince McMahon a little more than a year later.

You may no longer be a fan of professional wrestling anymore, but the kid inside all of us still holds a special place for the sport. This was arguably the biggest moment in WWE history, one that changed the sport forever.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to WWE

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