Book – The Death of WCW
Author – R.D. Reynolds and Bryan Alvarez
Year – 2004
Genre – Wrestling History
Pages – 335
Firstly, I wrote this blog once already, and Blogger crashed without saving it. Thanks Blogger. So if it comes up a bit bitty, then sorry. Of course, as a wrestling book, I imagine that most of the people I know who read this blog will skip it anyway, so maybe no damage caused.
In 1984, Vince McMahon set out to make himself a monopoly of the wrestling industry in the United States. His ruthless takeover of the country’s regional system by his then WWF left most other promotions in tatters, and his company as the biggest in the country. However, led by Ted Turner, the media mogul, WCW was his one remaining opponent. Throughout the early nineties, WCW was a rival that was still regularly beaten, but with the advent of the nWo – led by a newly heel Hulk Hogan – WCW overtook the WWF by a long margin.
However, what followed was the complete destruction of WCW from within. Bad booking, an old boys network, and a huge amount of money wasting led to WCW crashing and burning a few years later. It stands as a perfect example of how to not run a wrestling company – or any company for that matter – and this is a book that explains how that happened.
There has been mention that this is the kind of book that a non wrestling fan can enjoy – from memory a Forbes review – due to it, in essence, being about how mismanagement of a company can lead to its death rather than in wrestling. However, I would suggest that you would have to be a pretty big business fan to wade through the sheer wrestlingness of the book and enjoy it without a pretty good knowledge of all of the major players.
If you are a wrestling fan however, then this is a great read. Written as an actual history, you would expect it to be a bit of a slog – and indeed there are whole pages dedicated to comparing viewing figures that to a Brit who doesn’t understand the American rating system isn’t the most thrilling thing in the world – but the sheer humour of the authors means that it isn’t too hard at any point. I have been a reader of Reynold’s WrestleCrap website – a site that chronicles the very worst angles in pro-wrestling history – since I was in the sixth form, so I knew he could be relied on to be humorous.
I think that first time I wrote this I had loads of other humorous things to say about the book, but it is a slog to rewrite something like this, so they shall have to be lost to the annuls of time. In conclusion, if you like wrestling and can remember WCW, then give this a read. If you don’t like wrestling, read something else.