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The Death of WCW: Wrestlecrap and Figure Four Weekly Present . . . Paperback – November 1, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A must-read for fans who want to be taken behind the scenes."  —New York Daily News


"A history book that anyone who has an interest in professional wrestling should read."  —epinions.com


"The exhilaration created by the dueling companies comes alive on the pages."  —Wrestling Observer Newlsetter

About the Author

R. D. Reynolds is the author of WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling and the creator of WrestleCrap.com. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Bryan Alvarez is the editor of the Figure Four Weekly newsletter, which has covered pro wrestling and mixed martial arts since 1995. He is a writer for WrestlingObserver.com, cohost of the Wrestling Observer Live radio show on Sports Byline USA, and former columnist for Penthouse. He is an independent pro wrestler. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
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Product Details

  • Series: Wrestlecrap
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550226614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550226614
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've been reading Bryan Alvarez' column now for quite some time and he is one of the most respected people covering pro wrestling today. Along with R.D. Reynolds they tell the story of the remarkable Rise & Fall and eventual Death of WCW. Relive some of the classic moments as WCW began its increidble rise from a second rate wrestling company who once gave us Robocop in the ring, to the juggernaut that nearly did the unthinkable: Nearly putting Vince McMahon and the WWF out of business.

Through interviews with many of the stars and other participants we'll see how WCW used the WWFs long-time strategy of raiding its rivals talent rosters as they systematically stole nearly every major star that the WWF had in the 80's and early 90's: Hogan, Savage, Nash, SCott Hall, Bret Hart, Ted DiBiase, Sean Waltman, the Nasty Boys, Ultimate Warrior, and more. The eventual "turning" of Hulk Hogan and the creation of the NWO led to WCW winning the Monday Night ratings war with the WWF for over 80 consecutive weeks.

Riding high, WCW will soon collapse under its own weight. Soon, big, guaranteed contracts given to wrestlers take their toll on WCWs budget as guys like Nash, Hogan, Hall, and Hart would be injured for months at a time. WCW leaked money like a sieve, tossing about millions to bring in celebrities like Dennis Rodman, Jay Leno, and Karl Malone, and trying to make wrestlers out of people like Jerry Only of the Misfits.

Meanwhile egos clashed as the powerbrokers like Bischoff, Hogan, and Nash controlled everything and kept younger wrestlers down. Fights backstage and no advancement would eventually lead many younger stars like Chris jehrico, Chris Benoit, and Eddie Guerrero to jump ship to the WWF.

Small cracks became large fissures.
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Format: Paperback
This is a tough review to write. On the one hand, I enjoyed this book immensely. It was a fun trip down memory lane reviewing all the twists and turns of the Monday Night Wars in terrific detail. In fact, this is probably the most detailed book you'll find out there about this period. The authors also have a wonderful sense of humor, and the book is a quick and fun read.

What immensely frustrated me, however, was that almost no effort was made to provide sources for the voluminous amounts of information presented. While there is a very short bibliography at the end of the book listing a handful of sources organized by chapter (which probably do not account for most of the information in the book), no indication is given as to which pieces of information came from which source. To me, this is a major issue because the wrestling industry is rife with unfounded internet rumors, and it's important for the reader to be able to distinguish documented facts from unfounded rumors or speculation.

For example, the authors make numerous allegations about WCW's financial status at different points throughout its history with no citations or any other indications as to where this information purportedly came from. In his book, "Controversy Creates Cash," Eric Bischoff lamented the fact that internet writers often made unfounded and inaccurate claims about WCW's profits and losses since the company's information was proprietary and was allegedly unavailable to anybody outside of WCW. Of course, Bischoff could be lying through his teeth, but there's no way to tell (at least from this book) because Alvarez and Reynolds give us no way to determine where their figures came from.
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Format: Paperback
It's hard to believe that a company could fold the way WCW did several years ago. At one time, WCW stood at the top of the wrestling mountain, and crushed the WWF/E in all ratings on television. It was obvious. WCW had became the number one promotion in the wrestling world. But gradually, something happened. WCW decided to go against the formula that brought them success. And when you do that, something bad is bound to happen.

When Eric Bischoff's idea to bring in Scott Hall and Kevin Nash from the WWF came about, no WCW management was for sure if it would save the ratings. It did just that. WCW became the mainstream wrestling product for most wrestling fans, as the N.W.O. changed wrestling forever. But, just as it was normal for WCW to do, they ran the N.W.O so long that it became stale. But rather than drop them, they continued the run, which eventually led to the likes of Scott Norton, Buff Bagwell, and even Virgil joining the group. Bad idea.

Also, the backstage situation was nothing short of a disaster. No one liked anyone. When you run a successful company, everyone wants to be the number one guy. Which is exactly why in the late 90's, the WCW World Title began to change hands on pretty much a weekly basis. Also, we can't forget one of the most memorable title reigns ever brought about by Vince Russo, and his idea was for........himself to become WCW Champion. Probably not good business there. Neither was the idea to have actor David Arquette win the WCW Title and beat two legitimate contenders, Jeff Jarrett and Diamond Dallas Page.

It becomes obvious in this book that there is more than one person to blame for the death of World Championship Wrestling.
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