(HHH holding the WCW and WWE championships at Wrestlemania X8. Don't look for this scene to repeat itself with the SF/UFC belts.)
On March 17, 2002, the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario was host to its first WrestleMania since 1990. Traditionally the company's (and pro wrestling's, though by this time the two were becoming synonymous) largest PPV spectacle of the year, WrestleMania X8 took on a special significance that year. The WWE (X8 marked their final event under their long-time "WWF" acronym) had just seen the end of its "Invasion" storyline following its absorption of WCW (and fellow regional competitor ECW) the previous year, which culminated in a massive unification/nullification of the disparate championship belts floating around after the purchase. In fact, WrestleMania X8 ended with HHH holding both the WCW and WWF Heavyweight belts, only to have both belts melded into a singular undisputed belt later that year.
When the WWE purchased WCW, many fans that preferred Ted Turner's brand of sports entertainment were positively turned off. It wasn't simply a too little airtime for their favorites to be on TV/PPV consistently (despite the WWE's efforts to maintain WCW as its own promotion on a timeslot on TNN, better known now as Spike TV), either - some fans simply preferred the pageantry, production, story lines, announcing and matchmaking preferences of WCW to the WWE. Given that professional wrestling isn't a competitive athletic enterprise, this both made eminent sense and presented a unique challenge to the industry that it's still grappling with today.
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