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The Death of WCW

Narrated by: Bryan Alvarez
Length: 14 hrs and 27 mins
Categories: Sport, Other
4.5 out of 5 stars (450 ratings)

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Summary

What went wrong with WCW?

In 1997, World Championship Wrestling was on top. It was the number-one pro wrestling company in the world, and the highest-rated show on cable television. Each week, fans tuned in to Monday Nitro, flocked to sold-out arenas, and carried home truckloads of WCW merchandise. Sting, Bill Goldberg, and the New World Order were household names. Superstars like Dennis Rodman and KISS jumped on the WCW bandwagon. It seemed the company could do no wrong.

But by 2001, however, everything had bottomed out. The company - having lost a whopping 95% of its audience - was sold for next to nothing to Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment. WCW was laid to rest.

How could the company lose its audience so quickly? Who was responsible for shows so horrible that fans fled in horror? What the hell happened to cause the death of one of the largest wrestling companies in the world? The Death of World Championship Wrestling is the first book to take listeners through a detailed dissection of WCW's downfall.

©2014 R.D. Reynolds and Bryan Alvarez (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fastest 14 and a half hours of my life.

Such a good listen that I wish it went on for another 14 and a half hours

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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wish there were more books like this

loved it. finished it in a few days, great reading, really informative and very funny, if a little depressing for the the poor people who had to watch WCW at the end. would love more books from these guys (the TNA one hopefully won't be long).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliantly told

Even none wrestling fans will be drawn into Alvarez' storytelling. This is the factual story of how ego, delusion, greed and stupidity collided to burn a multi million dollar business, and left long lasting ramifications on the wrestling entertainment business that are still felt today .

It's also a stark reminder to us all that even when the sky is clear of clouds , the rain is never far away , so you'd better pack an umbrella.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant and insightful

If you want to understand the pure brilliance alongside the utter stupidity of the wrestling business, then this is the book for you.
Honestly think this should be used in business school as a demonstration of the product lifecycle and how not to manage change and how to engage your employees and listen to your customers. Basically bar a 2-year period do nothing WCW did!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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very good

A very good Insight for wrestling fans on how truly terrible the WCW became .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great!

A great, informative and very funny book. Dissects the collapse of WCW almost week by week.

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Now too long & sarcastically opinionated to enjoy

The narrator is the co-author and a famous wrestling podcaster/website author. This should be a plus (at least he will pronounce wrestler names correctly!) but his voice is so annoying! Imagine a stereotypical American FM Radio DJ who has just discovered sarcasm. Perhaps that's just my Limey ears? The endless opinionated asides were novel when this book was first published nearly 15 years ago. Wrestling books of any description were novel so it didn't matter too much if they were rough around the edges editorially. It fitted the authors' brand as two smart mark website writers poking fun at bad wrestling. Now, though, it comes across as tediously one-sided YouTube trolling read aloud. This subject was a job for Tim Hornbaker - pro-wrestling's driest author™ - because sarky smart marks that offer no remedy but only point out flaws are a dime a dozen in 2019. Time has not been kind to that level of wit in such a flooded marketplace. Or, maybe I've just grown up? I have abandoned listening to this and have gone back to reading the thankfully-redacted paperback copy I bought back in the day. Any new material in this edition was lost on me, drowned out by the incessant white noise of Alvarez revelling in his own fart cloud of sarcasm. Thanks for making me read a real, physical book, Audible!

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  • Fiv
  • Glasgow
  • 06-10-19

The Death of WCW

Dwarf of WCW was my first audio book and looking back it's probably still one of my favourites. Bryan is informative and narrates the book well. If you are a fan of his podcasts this is definitely an audiobook for you!

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A tale of incompetence, greed and mismanagement.

Abosutely loved it, Bryan Alvarez is fantastic narrating his work in this humerous, insightful and entertaining book about how not to run a wrestling promotion... Can't really say much else..

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Couldn't stop listening.

It was exceptional. Every story was wonderfully narrated by Bryan Alvarez. He brought life to the tragic story of the death of WCW. Made me resonate with the current product of pro wrestling today

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  • Eric Philleo
  • 18-12-17

Like a rambling friend telling you WCW history

I'm split on this review, but I think my headline captures it. You can tell the author/narrator is incredibly knowledgeable about the history of WCW. The amount of detail you get (down to weekly ratings) is fascincating and at times, almost too in-depth.

However, your rambling friend sometimes goes on tangents, and for a few minutes, you're completely confused as to what he's on about, before just as suddenly being right back on course. I'm sure a lot of this is due to trying to fit in the "Lessons Not Learned" sections from the book. But there is no distinction as to when these end, and when he's back to the narrative unless you're paying careful attention.

Additionally, the author often repeats the same information over and over. Paraphrasing from memory: "Hard to believe Tank Abbott would join 3 Count someday". "This is strange booking considering he would soon join 3 Count'. And then finally getting there in the narrative... "You wouldn't believe who 3 Count revealed as their new member... Tank Abbott!"

It's like each section was written on it's own and then mashed together without editing to clear out all the redundant mentions.

Overall, if you're a fan of WCW or pro wrestling in general, I still think this is a worthwhile listen, you'll just have to put up with your friend's rambling at times.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Arvoyea Moore
  • 15-04-17

The full story of how you DO NOT do Pro Wrestling

Learn more about WCW, their struggle with WWF/WWE and how their rise and fall changed Pro Wrestling forever.
Narrated by co-author Bryan Alvarez from Wrestling Observer (famous for his MINUS FIVE STARS quote used in Botchamania), learn in detail how the habit of misusing young talent, collusion with the bookers, and blowing money away at things not wrestling resulted in their bankruptcy and being bought out by WWE. Also added are moments were in present day even WWE seems to have made the same mistakes, and a certain infamous promotion, TNA Impact Wrestling, died the same death by the same reasons and by the same integral people responsible for WCW's.
Dry at first, the wit and sarcasm Bryan is known for and has made many laughed during The Bryan and Vinny Show podcast comes into his narration when the company's decisions are at their worst and dumbest. Recommened to any interested in wrestling, even if one only simply watches the previously mentioned famous Internet video series Botchamania. Of course, a lot of WCW's most famous botches are featured in Botchamania for those who still don't believe in these stories.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-10-17

The Best Wrestling Book I've Ever Listened To

As someone who lived through the Monday night wars as it's called and being such a huge fan of the WCW company instead of the WWF (as it was known at that time) this book is perfection in literally every way. It told me things that even I didn't know and I like to consider myself one of the biggest pro wrestling nerds on the planet. I'm not sure why it took me so long to finally get to this book as it's over a decade old but I'm very glad I finally did.

It's written brilliantly giving you constant information on a company that had so much history and things that could be said about it. It goes from the highs to the lows and lets you in on things that normally us fans (especially at the time this originally released) wouldn't be in on. All the backstage issues and business dealings that happened, how the snowball formed, and how eventually nothing could stop it from finally dying.

I'd recommend this book to any wrestling fan but it hits home even more to fans who grew up watching WCW as you'll know some of the things talked about all too well. I couldn't praise this enough. It's definitely in that must read/listen to catagory of books if you're a wrestling fan. It's a nostalgia ride hearing about some of the things talked about and you remember the good times you had when you watched the shows. That being said it also takes you down and makes you absolutely baffled at how the company even lasted as long as it did with the stuff that was happening backstage.

In conclusion there's nothing I can say that will do this credit. Many more before me have written reviews on this book. Some who know a lot more about literature than I. But as a wrestling fan this is simply the best book about professional wrestling I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. Thank you to Bryan Alvarez, Big Money Dave Meltzer, and R.D. Reynolds for this trip down the rabbit hole of the company that started my love for this sport.

I look forward to eventually reading The Death of TNA/GFW/iMPACT Wrestling whenever that day finally comes.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Prince Akkanatan
  • 03-04-19

Overrated

My biggest problem is the narrator has this condescending "smart mark" delivery - it gets old really quick.

I read the original version when it came out, and I'm slightly disappointed that not much was added. A handful of footnotes, and a bonus chapter about how much TNA Wrestling also sucks.

The story itself is interesting, and I'll give it a pass, even though a good chunk of it has seen been disproven as just speculation by internet fans or outright lies by dirtsheets. (Kayfabe isn't dead, I guess it just evolved)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ibrahim
  • 29-05-17

Well written and narrated book.

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The narration by Bryan Alvarez was well done and did a great job not only entertaining, with the use of sarcasm, but kept me engaged in the life and The Death of WCW. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in wrestling - casual fans and smarks alike.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Armando mendoza
  • 12-05-17

Bryan killed it

This is my favorite wrestling book. I was born early 90s, so i was a child during the war. This book informed me more about wcw and wwe than any dvd or network special. I went back on youtubes after hearing about segments or angles. Insane how cringeworthy stuff was.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sanjay Dharawat
  • 30-03-17

A must read for even casual wrestling fans!

Having been a fan of the WWE's "Monday Night War" documentary series, I wanted to get the story without the bias of a Vince McMahon production. If anything, Vinny Mac was holding back! This book provides a fascinating look into the rise and fall of a company that was once a close second to the WWF, and the narrator injects life and credibility into the, at times, nearly unbelievable story. A++ would read again!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • sonofsoulreaver
  • 12-03-17

A Must for any Attitude Era Wrestling Fan

This is a fantastic look at the life and death of WCW. Reynolds and Alvarez take an in-depth look at the ego, the terrible decisions, and the gigantic wastes of money throughout the history of the company. With this new edition, published with nearly a decade of hindsight, they also show the lessons not learned by TNA and WWE (mostly TNA) in the terrible decisions that have been made more recently. If you were, like me, glued to the TV during the 'Monday Night Wars', then you NEED to pick this up.

My only complaint is Alvarez sometimes pronounces words strangely. For example, when he says 'lunatic' he pronounces it 'lu-NA-tic'. There are a few other examples, and the pronunciations are so off-putting that I had to rewind just to be sure I was hearing it properly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Milosh
  • 18-10-19

God awful

I love wrestling backstage stories but this is so bad performance is awful.It seems that the guy was on adderall when he was reading.I gave up halfway through couldn't take it no more.Maybe reading is easier but this is terrible

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  • Jerome Chavez
  • 17-09-19

This book is terrible just like the TV show...

Dont waste your time, money, or audible credit on a summary of a TV show that you can get for free on YouTube. You could also watch the entire run of the TV show on the WWE network which would be more entertaining than listening to this guy for 12hrs. This is just a rant on the authors opinion that WCW sucked and therefore failed. There are really no interviews or direct quotes from many of the wrestlers whom are still employed by either WWE or another TV show such as New Japan, TNA or AEW. The 1990s and early 2000s were the golden age of trash TV that's what made this show great. It also he makes it sound like its Hulk Hogan's fault the show went under. The "Hulkster" is like "Pikachu" is to Pokémon he's the face of wrestling and one of the most recognizable characters in pop culture people will love his wrestling performances whether or not they were 1 minute long or 1hr long people are only tuning in just to see him. Nobody cares about rookies unless they are dedicated wrestling fans. Lastly this book uses a lot of terminology that most people who are casual fans who only tune-in once a week or haven't watched wrestling since 1989 and the days of Tube TV wont understand. Such as "Heel-Turn", "Baby Face", or "K-Fabe" and doesn't explain any of it. Finally, WCW died because Ted Turner sold the program to Vince McMahon in 2001. The rest of this book id just a big 11hr rant and summary of every episode from 1988 - 2001. It also has 2 forwards each one he dedicates the book to different individuals in each forward which takes up the other one hour. I expected an ESPN 30-30 written well and explained more in depth story about how the history of Ted Turners entertainment wrestling contrasted with popular culture and trash television of the 1990's. but all I got was a "Super-Fan" critique and summary of every episode of the 13yr show. WCW was a great show. The author probably thought Wrestling, The Easter Bunny and Santa Clause were real until he was 35 and wrote this book after his mom finally told him those things happen to be fake. This book is really bad and hard to get through.