It’s hard to believe that this years marks the 11th anniversary of the closure of World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, WCW was the company that, thanks to the money of Ted Turner and the arrogant brilliance of one Eric Bischoff, managed to ignite a wrestling war that last for a years and nearly put the World Wrestling Federation out of business. But with too much money and not enough solid management, WCW could only briefly burn bright before finally fading away.
So much has been written about the Monday Night Wars between WWF Monday Night Raw and WCW Monday Nitro, it’s easy to sometimes forget what brought fans to the table in the first place. And that was the actual wrestling. When it came to that, there’s little doubt that for a good few years, WCW held all the cards.
There were the cruiserweights; guys like Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio Jr. Those were the superstars who night in and night out delivered great matches in the ring. There were the big names, such as Ric Flair, Sting, Arn Anderson, Goldberg and former WWF superstars like Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and Macho Man Randy Savage. They were the draws where the cruiserweights were the workhorses. And for a brief moment in time, all of them came together to form the most electric professional wrestling company in the world.
I was reminded of just how good WCW could be watching The Very Best Of Monday Nitro Volume 2, which was released on Blu-ray/DVD last week. Hosted by Diamond Dallas Page (one of the companies few homegrown talents), the three-disc set puts the emphasis on the wrestling that was what really made WCW great. Nitro was the place where you’d see big names go against one another in prime time and where you had the good guys, the bad guys and, in the case of the NWO, the even worse guys. It was classic, memorable stuff.
Of course, history is written by the victors, but credit goes to World Wrestling Entertainment for exploiting in the best possible way the hundreds of hours of Nitro wrestling. Rather than shuffle the company under the wrong, WWE continues to give it its due, by celebrating the work done by some of the greatest wrestlers of the past twenty years. For fans of what goes on in the wrestling ring, The Very Best Of Monday Nitro Volume 2 is worth picking up.