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The Death of WCW

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  1,252 ratings  ·  95 reviews
This detailed tell-all of the demise of the former top pro wrestling company World Championship Wrestling explores the colorful personalities and flawed business decisions behind how WCW went from being the highest-rated show on cable television in 1997 t
ebook, 240 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by ECW Press (first published November 1st 2004)
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RD Reynolds and Bryan Alvarez’s critically acclaimed 2004 book “The Death of WCW” hit its tenth anniversary this year and to celebrate the duo released a new edition that is approximately forty percent larger. The two took on the task of diving deep into the history of the Ted Turner owned wrasslin’ organization to analyse just how a company that had been packing upwards of forty thousand people into giant stadiums in 1998 went to losing over $60 million in one calendar year in 2000.

How could th
Al Young
If you are a fan of wrestling, The Death of WCW is a must-read.

It is co-written by a writer for the essential site and the creator of the excellent website WrestleCrap.

This is the story of how the hottest wrestling company of the mid-90s went out of business in about five years.

I would recommend it to non-wrestling fans, but it probably really is only for those fans of the squared circle. I could try to spin it as a book on business (and to a point it is, there's a lot of h
This is the first book I finished on my iPad, using the Kindle app, while my wife was away in Las Vegas for a weekend.

In an age where corporate incompetence only seems to allow higher-ups to fail upwards into more money that furthers their greed, it's nice to see a story where morons who make poor decisions actually suffer the consequences of them. The story of WCW's rise to the top of the wrestling world and the subsequent fall that followed and led to its sale to rival Vince McMahon's then-WWF
For this book I feel that voice was highlighted extremely well in the book. The key component of voice that I felt was used the best by the author was that he knew his audience. I think voice was used very well because Brian Alverez knew that the audience that was going to pick up this book were going to be smart wrestling fans. Fans of wrestling who knew that the sport is nothing more than acting with wrestling put in it where the winners of matches are prearranged and wins and losses don’t rea ...more
Damien Field
The reviews for this book will be split most likely between fans who had saw the demise of WCW and read this with an interest in what caused it and those who saw the demise of WCW and have previously read articles, books, watched documentarys on it. The former will enjoy this book greatly, sadly I fall into the latter. RD Reynolds is by no stretch a literary great, nor does he claim to be. However it's glaringly obvious how this book was created. It's a story created off articles in Dirt Sheets, ...more
Artiom Karsiuk
I was a huge WCW fan back in the day- so much so that I didn't even know that a rival company (WWF) existed. Of course, that was mostly because I was an ignorant 10-year old living in Lithuania, but I was a loyal fan. So it wasn't without pain that I read this book, but I do believe that this as objective of an evaluation as you can get. I loved the book for two distinct qualities:
1. It is written by a very witty writer in a manner that balances comedy (where appropriate - like the Hogan/Warrior
Anthony Brennan
I nearly broke my neck from shaking my head at all the incompetence. Wrestling is a very individual-centred craft, but that's what makes it the ultimate team endeavour. But by thinking only of themselves, and not the greater good, Hogan, Hall , Nash, Bischoff and even Vince McMahon killed what could have been a strong brand for decades to come.
Before reading this, I wondered how it died. Now I'm shocked World Championship Wrestling lasted as long as it did. Every other page you're like "no, sure
Juan Ortiz
The Good: The book provide statistic about ratings and PPV buys that I did not know about. It's good to note that even at its worst time, WCW was doing very good rating numbers, so everyone's idea that the booking and bad ratings were the reason behind its demise is proven wrong.

The bad: The book is very opinionated, which wouldn't be as bad if said opinion was coming from somewhat with any successful entertainment or business background. These are the opinions of a fan; nothing more,
nothing les
James Faulkner
A good informative book about WCW. Being a wrestling fan in the 1990's was probably the best time to be one and this book does what it says on the tin and charts the WCW story. As I was more a WWF fan this was essential reading to find out what really went on with the rivals. The world of wrestling is like no other and if this was a story you wouldn't believe it. In my opinion a great read for fans and former fans of the 'sport' but I doubt would be interest to anyone else.
Couldn't put this down. I could read this a thousand times and not get tired of it.
Amy tribes
every wrestling fan MUST read this book.
The best wrestling-related book I've ever read.
Laurie V
I've been meaning to read this book for years. I started following U.S. pro wrestling closely around the same time WCW went under, so there were a lot of events in the book that I'd heard of but never really understood. Not that there's much to understand about the dumb decisions WCW management made over the years. Jesus...

Overall this was a fun and informative read. I'm a patron of Bryan Alvarez's newsletter and audio shows, and it's possible to actually hear him saying a lot of what I was read
To anyone like me who was a wrestling fan during the "Monday Night Wars" this book was great. It was funny and answered a lot of questions to all us wrestling fans who watch WCW wondering "what the hell just happened?" It was also funny being reminded of the the stupid crap WCW came up with. Very often though this book I was sitting there laughing and saying to myself "Yeah I remember that." And "Oh holy crap I forgot about that." Maybe I'm little biased against WCW because I was always a WWF fa ...more
This book was a surprisingly good read. Since I had watched most if not all of the 'Monday Night War' as it happened it was interesting to get a 'behind the scenes' look at what was really going on as two companies waged a ratings war. However, even though it lets the reader in on what was going on behind the curtain, there were several things omitted from it as to what occurred in front of the camera. As I read it I found several things that were missing that lead to some of the incidents menti ...more
Honestly, a week-by-week dissection of everything right/wrong, behind scenes/on camera, workers/bookers/owners/managers/announcers, that is written with the knowledge of a scholarly work, but the wit and gen-x angst of what keeps boomers from taking blogs seriously as news sources.

My only complaint is that the resources aren't cited in the text, but rather a sparse bibliography is dumped in at the end. Sadly, I've read so many wrestling books that I know exactly where almost all of the un-cited
K. Carters
I had a soft spot for WCW when I was a kid and so it did have a real nostalgia feel. I remember watching and hoping to see some of the mid carders having a push. I remember seeing some weird returns, story angles and odd antics. I gave up when Russo had every match as a "something on a pole San Francisco 49ers mystery box match".

It was good to read about some of the wastes of money and decisions. However, I feel the book wasn't journalist quality and so was biased, leaning to one solution and lo
C.T. Phipps
The Death of WCW is a mean-spirited book. This is the biggest problem with it. It's informative, sometimes hilarious, but fundamentally filled with a contempt for the sequence of events which led to the fall of Turner Broadcasting's wrestling promotion. Admittedly, reading through the book, it's not hard to see why the authors felt this way.

Essentially, The Death of WCW is a book chronicling the rise and fall of World Championship Wrestling. Created by Ted Turner as an alternative to the World
Hard to believe I watched that much wrestling back then. Other than classic clips, I haven't followed the product in five years. But the Monday Night Wars were that exciting and the downfall of WCW was aggravating to witness. The writing isn't great, and the authors seem to be unaware that the IWA attempted a national promotion some 7 years before the WWF in the 70s. The updates, with numerous examples of the WWE and TNA refusing to learn from history, are good.
An updated version of the seminal chronology of the demise of World Championship Wrestling, the additional content is just as informative and entertaining as the original material. Quotes from wrestlers and backstage personnel that were included in this edition of the book support the authors' claims about WCW. It's still a little short of the authoritative history of WCW, but I can't imagine a more entertaining one.
Claude Willis
Another addicting, read it in a day, tome. I loved WCW, and was bummed by it's demise. I was always fascinated by the saga of it's meteoric rise, and equally spectacular fall, all in the space of about 5 years. This book thoroughly explains, and documents every step of WCW's story from the pre-inception NWA days, to the final Nitro telecast in 2001. Quite informative for the wrestling aficionado.
Essential reading for any wrestling fan, covering the biggest boom period in the history of the discipline, and it's tragic waste. Extremely well paced, informed, and laugh out loud funny, I was left open mouthed by the internal state of Turner's 'organisation.' Vital.
A definite must-read if you were a fan of WCW or if you fondly remember the Monday Night Wars. Provides an interesting perspective on the Fall of WCW, without the bias found in the books of anybody involved in WCW during that period.
I felt this had some interesting points. I had stopped watching it in early 1997, because I could already see they were not going to give the young talent a solid push, and all they focused on was the WCW/nWo angle. When you look back even when the ratings were in WCW's favor, RAW was the better show; they always kept new ideas, and their talent pool was not to be denied. I agree with the author that WCW and ECW did not need to be shelved, Vince could have run them as their own organizations, an ...more
Christopher Lujan
Great history lesson

The is a revised edition of the original book and is a great cautionary tale of what not to do when running a wrestling promotion. WCW, for what it's worth made history that changed the face of pro wrestling. There will never be another wrestling promotion that can compete with McMahon's WWE within the next decade or ever. Those who lived to witness the "Golden Age" of wrestling in the mid to late 90s will never forget the days when story lines were at their peek and wrestlin
An interesting read that highlights how WCW went from being the biggest wrestling promotion in the world to being bought over by WWE for an embarrassing low sum. What starts off as an enjoyable read however soon becomes repetitive and mean spirited. The opening chapters give interesting and sometimes hilarious anecdotes about the promotion which was at one point deemed "too big to fail". However it soon becomes a simple list of all the bad matches WCW had (which apparently was all of them). What ...more
Mitchell Jones
One of my all-time favourite pro wrestling books, written by one of my favourite writers in Bryan Alvarez and Wrestlecrap creator (and all-round nice guy who once let me interview him before dinner over AIM) RD Reynolds. The slight negatives, such as giving the likes of Bobby Heenan a pass, are overcome by the sheer multitude of wonderful stories about just how inept WCW was as a company. It almost doesn't feel real that a multi-million pound organisation could freefall so spectacularly, but Alv ...more
Barry John Evans
As a big fan of WCW, I found this book fascinating.

This book gives you a great insight into the goings on behind the scenes during the companies later years. You begin to understand how such a massive company went bust in a relatively short space of time.

There are many events recorded in this book that even now I find hard to get my head around. Terrible script writing, lack of co-operation from certain stars, terrible advertising/marketing etc etc.

I very rarely get through an entire book but th
Great story with a lot of inside information. Not the greatest editing and writing ability, but still a fantastic read.
Phil Reads
This has got to be one of the best, most entertaining, and just generally delightful books that's ever been written on the subject of professional wrestling. Anyone who's ever been a fan of big, muscular dudes pretending to fight should definitely give this one a read. It's one of those books that got me into trouble for laughing out loud in public spaces a little too often.

I've got a longer review up on my blog, which you can read right here:
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