Book Review: The Death of WCW by R. D. Reynolds and Bryan Alvarez

The Monday Night Wars took place during my break from wrestling, but it was a historic and important time for professional wrestling. The two major companies WCW and WWF (now the WWE) went head to head. For a while WCW was in front, thanks in part to the fact it was bankrolled by Ted Turner and boasted a hot faction in the NWO (New World Order).

But a few years later WCW was gone and Vince McMahon the owner of WWE bought it for a song. What went wrong is the focus of this book.

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The book is fantastically in depth, following WCW on an almost week-by-week level as it finally got on top, dominated and then imploded. The writing is passionate and engaging, with a sarky, informal style that really worked for me.

The writers capture a snapshot of the behind the scenes chaos that ensued within the organisation, and the terrible decisions that led to its downfall. Some of the gaffes and ideas are laughable, almost irredeemably stupid.

It seems that the egos of certain stars ran wild, refusing to accept that they needed to step aside for fresh faces and instead hogging the spotlight until the audience got bored and switched channels.

At times the book is overly negative, WCW’s good points (they had a quality roster) are rushed over in favour of the stupidity that ensued and the bad matches. It’s easy to understand why, those are far more entertaining and explain the rapid decline of WCW.

For wrestling fans it’s fun as it expands on the stories you kinda know and shows the slow decline of the company. For non-fans it won’t win them over, but as a fan of several involved in the story I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if some of my heroes come off poorly.

Still, it’s an absorbing and entertaining read for wrestling fans.

Verdict: Entertainingly snarky and cutting it does skew negative a little too much but it gives a blow-by-blow breakdown of the errors made by WCW management. A good read. 7/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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