25 moments that defined the Attitude Era

#25 WWE purchases WCW: Raw, March 26, 2001

They said it would never happen, but on March 26, 2001 – a mere six days before WrestleMania X-Seven – WCW and WWE officially became one. After battling Ted Turner’s Monday Nitro for years in the so-called “Monday Night War,” WWE Chairman Vince McMahon celebrated his purchase of the Atlanta-based company with an unprecedented simulcast of Nitro and Monday Night Raw, shocking sports-entertainment aficionados on both sides of the proverbial fence.

The mood of the evening was one of revelry for the triumphant Chairman, who gloated about his victory and relished the fact that the fate of his longtime rival rested squarely in his hands (WATCH). However, as he issued his first address as the undisputed ruler of Monday nights and laid out the future of WCW, Mr. McMahon was rattled by a different bombshell altogether. Live from a WCW ring in Panama City Beach, Fla., Shane McMahon revealed that he – not his father – was the true owner of World Championship Wrestling (WATCH). This bold coup set the stage for a WCW/ECW Invasion later that year as WWE’s fallen foes joined forces to strike at the organization from within. (WATCH) — JAMES WORTMAN