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  • Nitro

  • The Incredible Rise and Inevitable Collapse of Ted Turner's WCW
  • By: Guy Evans
  • Narrated by: Guy Evans
  • Length: 17 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (177 ratings)

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Summary

In April 1999, Entertainment Weekly asked its readers what many were surely wondering to themselves: How did wrestling get so big?

As a consequence of the heated ratings competition between World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the spectacle had taken over Monday nights on prime-time cable television. But in a departure from the family-friendly programming produced by the last industry boom - the 1980s wave, which made household names of Hulk Hogan, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, and Andre the Giant - the new era of wrestling combined stunning athleticism with a raunchy sex appeal, engrossing story lines, and novel production techniques that reflected a changing society and its shifting values. 

Once again, wrestling was a ubiquitous phenomenon - only this time, it seemed as though the fad would never end. With both WCW and WWF expanding into other forms of entertainment - movies, video games, music, and the like - the potential for growth appeared to be limitless. 

But with uncertainty surrounding its corporate future, and increasingly uninspired programming eroding its audience, WCW stood on the verge of collapse. Three years into a five-year plan devised by its charismatic leader - a former Blue Ribbon Foods salesman named Eric Bischoff - the company whose unexpected ascension initiated the entire boom was operating on borrowed time. 

For by the end of the five-year plan, WCW ceased to exist.

But Nitro is a story about much more than WCW and the Monday Night Wars. It is a story of an era, a time in which the media and cultural landscape precipitated - and later supported - pro wrestling's mainstream popularity. It is a story of how a company made in the image of an intuitively brilliant risk-taker betrayed its original promise. It is a story of how a handful of men, each struggling with their own limitations, facilitated a public obsession that changed television forever.

*Features interviews and comments from 120+ WCW/TBS employees*

©2018 Guy Evans (P)2020 Guy Evans

What listeners say about Nitro

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Good, not great

This book is stuffed with fascinating insights into the juggernaut that was Nitro and Guy Evans is to be commended for compiling it into a singular narrative.

However, some of the excerpts and quotes could have been condensed for clarity and length, becoming a distraction instead of a plus. Some of the artistic flourishes are trying a bit too hard to reach for a grander meaning in what is essentially a business story.

Additionally, while Evans gets a plus for effort in recreating some of wrestling's greatest voices, the performance overall was subpar.

Definitely one for existing fans of wrestling.

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what is this voice?

i can't take this fake voice longer than 20 minutes. i think the reader is from the west country but this could just be an Englishman doing his best american accent? I can't take it, it goes from smooth english, to west country twang to replacing all "t" for "d" ('straddagie' [aka strategy] or 'addedude' [aka attitude]). it is awful. the content is intriguing but someone else ought to read it

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Detail is unbelievable

the research gone into this is excellent and I've been wanting to check this out since the launch... very long winded at times but everyone who listens to this will undoubtedly learn something new.

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Great insight into the rise and demise of WCW

Wonderful peek behind the scenes on what happened to WCW. Good performance from the reader/author too. Recommended.

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The definitive last word on WCW

Nitro is the nuts and bolts chronicle of World Championship Wrestling.

Guy Evans' wonderful book goes into intricate and always fascinating detail about the powerslams and politics, both in the ring, backstage and even the boardroom.

From way back to the National Wrestling Alliance, right up to the eventual purchase by the WWE, this book covers EVERYTHING.

Always interesting, often funny and some parts shocking, Evans tells a gripping tale.

Even if you've heard every story about the nWo and know your Glacier from your Big Poppa Pump, you'll still learn things that haven't been published before. There has never been as much attention paid to the Turner side of WCW as is covered in this book.

Guy Evans has done his homework and it really shines through with his writing.
Former Senior VP of WCW Eric Bischoff, along with countless other wrestlers and personalities who lived this story, have endorsed how accurate this book is.

I cannot emphasise enough, this is one of the best wrestling books ever and takes you on an unforgettable journey.

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Detailed document of WCW's rise and fall.

Comment and opinion from wrestling personalities is plentiful and easily avaliable. Where Nitro sets itself apart is the interviews with entertainment Managers from Turner etc. By far the best researched wrestling book I've read (listened to). The only slight quibble is that he doesn't offer any challenge or caveat to the opinions included, instead we get some dubious quotes read out word for word and then we're on to the next section. But excellent and enjoyable if you're interested in the subject.

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long but good

this book is a good listern and very informative at times you really got to conserntrate. but i loved it made me start watching old wcw.

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Great detail

Fantastic book, full of detail. Highly recommended. Not just for fans of wrestling. Business, 90's culture, media, etc.

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Sounds like it's written by a boring A.Partridge

This is so much better than the alternative book, "death of". I wouldn't waste your time with the other one, it is very poorly written, very sarcastic in tone and awfully performed.

Although some of the anecdotes in this book seem to fill what they thought may have happened, instead of what actually happened, there is a compelling storyline and the writer seems to have done a lot of research to tie in lots of different strands.

The transatlantic accent is a bit hard to get around at first, but the story is worth it and very interesting.

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For the die hard WCW fans!

Great Listen and information for Wrestling fans. Very much recommend and full of detail.

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  • darren crouch
  • 05-01-21

way better than the death of wcw

Guy Evans took the time to interview key executives that were actually there and knew what was going on behind the scenes at the corporate level. Bryan Alvarez and RD Reynolds' the death of wcw as entertaining as it is was based off of 3rd hand information and an axe to grind with Eric Bischoff. If you are looking for the definitive WCW book this is the book for you.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-11-20

SO good, it brought me to anger tears!

I was a huge wcw fan, and was aware of some of this stuff going on. But I didn't know ALL of this went on!

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  • Tony
  • 14-03-21

Fun Listen

It's about the most in-depth retelling of the Nitro era ever. I knew most of it going in, but I learned some things and a few more details about what I already knew. The narrator is great and the story flows well. Some parts get glossed over a tad, but you could write a book about a lot of the topics covered. If you're into pro wrestling history (why else would you be reading this?) then it's a must-buy in my mind.

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  • jamie
  • 04-11-20

a must listen for wrestling fans

The Monday night wars was the biggest time if pro wrestling history. This is the story of WCW nitro and the in depth analysis of what was a success and what ultimately went wrong.

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  • Chris
  • 26-05-20

Excellent Account of the WCW story

Guy Evans has produced probably the most thorough & reliable account of the WCW story. Evans talks to people in many facets of the companies involved and actually has the facts to back up the narrative.

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  • Martin Sabin II
  • 08-09-21

great listen!

I loved this book! I learned so much regarding the rise and fall of WCW. Guy Evans really did some serious research.

1 person found this helpful

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  • FreddyRoy117
  • 23-08-21

A wrestling fan necessity

Having read "The Death of WCW", and being a huge fan of the Monday Night Wars, I didn't think there was this much left to learn about how this all went down! This book is amazing and really does a fantastic job of giving an unbiased view of the circumstances that led to the demise of WCW.

The audio presentation is amazing! I was especially amused by the occasional Dusty Rhodes impersonation! I would love Guy Evans to just keep breaking down wrestling on this level, and will definitely be checking to see if there's more where this came from!

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  • Zach
  • 16-06-21

A thoroughly well-researched and entertaining book

This was an amazingly engrossing read. If you've a fan of professional wrestling, this is a must-buy as it covers EVERYTHING related to WWF's Arch-Enemy from the creation of WCW in the late 80s to the day that Vince McMahon bought it in 2001. I honestly don't think of a single thing that was missing from this book. It's long, but if you're into this subject matter, it'll be one of the best audiobooks you could ever invest in.

The author, Guy Evans, also did the narration for this audiobook and knocked it out of the park in that regard. He's got an easy-going voice that sounds both soothing and authoritative. I listened to him talk for hours on Turner's financial statements and television production equipment and never got bored.

Can't wait to buy Guy's next book!

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  • Tony Molano
  • 09-05-21

everything you've already heard

Nothing new. Just information that a moderate wrestling fan would already know or heard it through another wrestlers podcast. I wouldn't buy this.

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  • J Sanger
  • 11-02-21

great for any wrestling fa

loved it i thought it was well written and well thought out story must read

1 person found this helpful