Reliving One Half of the Monday Night War

WCW Monday Nitro was one of cable television’s most watched television shows during the mid to late ‘90s. Like any great episodic TV show with a multi-year run, it garnered millions of fans and a plethora of moments that are still remembered to this day. Considering that, it is nearly impossible to encapsulate a near-decade of top-notch television on a nine-hour, three DVD set.

While this compilation has many of the magical moments that enshrined WCW’s place in wrestling history, some hardcore fans will be disappointed in what was left off. At the same time, with Diamond Dallas Page’s solid performance as host and over 20 matches to choose from, it’s hard to complain too much about the overall product.

That won’t stop hardcore wrestling fans from complaining however.

With several important title matches in the set, from every nearly every championship division in the company, this collection does a mostly acceptable job of showing the many stars of WCW. But just like most of these collections, politics play a huge role in what gets put on. Why not one of the matches between Booker T and Chris Benoit in their epic best of seven series was not included on the DVD is a joke and hurts what could have been a must-own.

Many won’t complain, but this set is perhaps a bit too-heavy on the exploits of both Page and the New World Order. Perhaps, if the NWO and their shenanigans or a match of DDP’s were taken off, a technician the likes of Dean Malenko could have found his way on instead, or even one of Rey Mysterio’s historic wins over Kevin Nash, Bam Bam Bigelow and Scott Norton.

Overall, it would have been for the benefit of the DVD if more cruiserweight matches were included and if the TV title was represented. Often times, the top young stars in the company used these titles as a springboard. The men that won these titles went on to become stars in other promotions. Seeing them where it all began would have been a better representation of what WCW was, a great company that had a glass ceiling any anyone that wasn’t already a star somewhere else.

Unless you were named DDP or Goldberg, that is.

Speaking of “The Man,” while Bill Goldberg’s undefeated streak is mentioned, it would have been fun to see at least one match from Glacier’s undefeated run. Also, there is very little of Vince Russo’s stretch with the company on the DVD. While much of the content during this time was rubbish, several high quality matches found their way on Monday Nitro. For the sake of accuracy and posterity, at least one match from this era should have been included on this set.

The irony alone that many of these matches weren’t included and a street fight between Steven Regal and David Finlay was, is proof that the compilation isn’t perfect.

At the very least, it’ll make a better case that another volume should be released.

At the same time, for fans that never watched the show, this is a one of a kind collection that is proof that the company had something special, even for a short while.

Again, while there are still a myriad of matches that could have been included, up to this point, this is the best collection of WCW bouts the WWE has ever released and should quench fans’ thirst for a collection of WCW’s greatest matches.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 8976 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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