As many of you may or may not know, WWE released The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro last Tuesday.
I was very excited to watch this DVD because WCW played a huge role in my infatuation with wrestling when I was younger.
The DVD is hosted by Diamond Dallas Page, which is interesting, but does not follow the format that most other WWE DVD's follow.
Traditionally, the host will set up why the specific match/segment was chosen, followed by the clip.
On this DVD that only happens a handful of times, with many clips not explained at all (especially the Luchador matches).
This makes for a scattered collections of clips that often leaves you thinking, "Why is this considered "The Best of WCW Monday Nitro"?"
This leads to the very interesting dynamic of having the rise and fall of WCW condensed into eight or nine hours that makes you wonder, "Wow, what the hell were they thinking when they wrote these storylines?"
Much of the first disc is the creation of the NWO that results in a number of run-ins during matches that are irrelevant.
One downfall that is due to the nature of the DVD is that it is amazing to notice how random people join and leave the NWO from segment to segment.
One segment in particular that stood out had Macho Man Randy Savage getting attacked by the NWO, and in the following clip he was a member, along with Ted DiBiase, Buff Bagwell, Vincent, Scott Norton, and others.
There was no explanation as to why all these people joined, essentially leaving gaps that don't make sense to someone trying to relive the past through this DVD.
Now I am not suggesting that all these clips should have been on the DVD because it would have been 500-hours long, but this is where normally the host would set the scene for what we are about to see. Page does not do so, and it just transitions to the next scene.
This is lazy storytelling in my opinion. I don't know if it is because this isn't original WWE footage, but WWE has done a much better job on past DVDs of telling a story.
The other two discs basically tout the rise and fall of WCW from 1998-2001, which results in approximately 1.4 million NWO interferences and the WCW Heavyweight title being vacated three times a show (only slight exaggerations).
It is amazing to me just how many times the WCW Heavyweight title was vacated during the final years. It seemed as if every major title match on Nitro was due to someone interfering or cheating that resulted in the title being vacated.
You know what this signifies: lazy storytelling that results in no other alternative.
What's even more amazing is that I completely blocked out the storyline of the New Blood vs. the Millionaire's Club. Maybe it was because this was so incredibly bad that I permanently blocked it from my memory, but I didn't even recognize half the people involved.
One of the final matches on the DVD is a triple cage match (yes, the one from Ready to Rumble) on Nitro for the WCW Heavyweight title that involved this list of "superstars": Sting, Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, Jeff Jarrett, Booker T, both members of Kronik, the Harris Brothers (DOA in WWF/E), and—wait for it—Vince Russo.
There is even interference by Ernest "the Cat" Miller.
If you want to know why WCW collapsed toward the end, look at that list of wrestlers that were involved in one of the flagship main events on Nitro. That is something you would see on TNA/Impact Wrestling nowadays.
One of the redeeming qualities of the DVD is that you get to see some of the better WWE superstars before they became "heavyweight" champions (Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, etc.)
Here is a fun game to play while watching this DVD: look at how big Guerrero and Mysterio are in 1995-96 on the first disc (especially when Kevin Nash threw Mysterio like a lawn dart).
Then, look at how big they are on disc three in 1999-2000, especially when Guerrero faces Juventud Guerrera after returning from a car accident.
After this, watch their match at SummerSlam 2005.
Honest to God, they might have put on 100 pounds of muscle in that span of time (again only a slight exaggeration).
Above all else, this DVD made me question how the WWF did not collapse in the mid-90s. The beginning story lines with the NWO were so good, coupled with how atrocious WrestleManias 11-13 collectively were, really make me wonder how it lasted.
If WWE/F was not able to secure Mike Tyson for WrestleMania XIV, I don't know that WWE would even exist; WCW was that much better.
But then WCW didn't create any new superstars, aside from Goldberg, and all of the younger talent jumped ship to WWE, and the rest is history.
This DVD is great if you are a newer fan to wrestling and want to learn the history, or if you want to relive some of the best moments in WCW history. But it will infuriate you to no end by the final disc to realize how great WCW was, followed by how God-awful it became in just two years.
If you are on the fence about buying the DVD, let me summarize it for you: Hulk Hogan saying, "Brother!" no less than 5,000 times, NWO interference, potential face joining the NWO, Sting comes down from the rafters and cleans house on the NWO, Goldberg spear, Goldberg spear, Goldberg spear, NWO split, vacated title, Hogan Leg Drop, vacated title, Eric Bischoff challenge Vince McMahon, Bret Hart being misused, Goldberg spear, Vince Russo saying that he made WWF/E, vacated title, vacated title, NWO reformed, everyone angry at everyone, young talent misused, Nash wins/loses the title in a swerve, Billy Kidman becomes relevant because of Torrie Wilson, Nitro is held at the most random venues, McMahon buys WCW, The End."
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