Shows were taped before a small (yet enthusiastic), live, in-studio audience, as were most professional wrestling TV shows of that era.They featured wrestling matches, plus melodramatic monologues and inter-character confrontations, similar to the programming offered by other territories, including the Northeast-based WWF.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.
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.
Fans also responded negatively to several gimmicks intended to reinvigorate interest in WCW, including the introduction of actor David Arquette as the company's new champion.
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.
While WCW was the dominant federation for much of the mid-1990s, a variety of factors coalesced to turn the tide in the WWF's favor at the end of the decade, including a radical rebranding of their formerly family-friendly product to highly sexualized and violent shows geared towards older teens and adults.
WCW ultimately ran into financial difficulties as a result of the amount of money they had promised wrestlers during a hiring binge in the early and middle part of the decade, which had been aimed at acquiring large portions of the WWF's talent roster.