Russo in the WWF went absolutely nuts with the (nonsensical) turns, swerves, violence for violence's sake, horrible new gimmicks, cursing and directionless napkin-booking in general. Things got better after he left somewhat. Match quality was poor at best, with mostly supershort TV bouts (only screwjobs, interference, DQ or no contest as finishes) and bad workers (Godfather, Henry, Viscera, Mideon, Headbangers, Albert, Big Show, deteriorated Taker and Goldust). PPV's ranged from okayish (Backlash, Armegeddon) to abysmal (KOTR, Rumble)
Meanwhile WCW tried turning things around with multiple booking/presentation changes (more in Death Of WCW book) that seemed to get ratings and attendance numbers further down by the week. Hogan still had free reign over his booking (always a bad idea), Nash turned out to be an even worse booker than everyone feared, money was thrown out by the ton (musicians, helicopter cam gang beatings, tons of pyro) with little entertainment value, reunions on a weekly basis (original NWO guys now as Wolfpack, Harlem Heat, NWO Black & Silver), boring factions (Dark Carnival, Filthy Animals, No Limit Soldiers, Revolution), relying on ALL the old guys, none of it succeeded. Besides some glimmers of hope (Spring Stampede, trying to build up younger guys like Vampiro, Booker and Berlyn but failing miserably, the usual midcarders busting their asses) this company was chaotic in every way imaginable. Hiring Russo looked promising but we all know what type of quality TV he enjoyed producing…
ECW on the other hand had its big new nationwide TV deal that turned into a nightmare, some heavy departures, bad PPVs, lots of injuries and chaos as usual. Quite the drop from an enjoyable if messy 1998. RVD, Awesome, Tanaka and the smaller guys somewhat saved the cards with their matches from being totally unwatchable. Pushing Justin Credible to the top and watching Sandman and Sabu stumbling and falling around wasn't the prettiest sight though
What say you?