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Publisher's 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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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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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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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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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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  • Flavius
  • Morro Bay, CA, United States
  • 12-05-17

Spectacular Rise, Spectacular Fall.

This book was a lot of fun, and kept my interest throughout. I haven't followed wrestling since I was a kid, but had no trouble following the story despite all the "new" (to me) wrestlers in the last 25 years or so.

There are a lot of fun stories, anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stuff from the last years of the WCW. I felt I came away with a deeper appreciation of professional wrestling than I had going in, and a more nuanced understanding of these athletes as human beings.

At times it did seem like the authors were taking a little too much delight in WCW's extravagant foolishness. Sometimes this seemed like "piling on."

Still, it's clear that the authors have a real love for professional wrestling, and that shows in their knowledge and enthusiasm. A good listen.

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so much detail

This was an amazing behind the scenes look at the rise and fall of wcw

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Well paced, and informative.

Simply a must read for any professional wrestling fan, either past or present. Put together wonderfully, and really highlights the downfall of what was at one time the "biggest" wrestling company out there.

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Like a trip down memory lane

If you were around for the Monday Night Wars, you will enjoy this book. An almost week by week look at one of the most exciting eras of professional wrestling. Highly recommended.

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  • matt
  • 09-24-16

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Dean Robertson
  • 10-08-16

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Gerard
  • 09-28-16

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).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Fizzgow
  • 10-07-16

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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  • David Cardiff
  • 11-13-17

A veritable wrestling bible

Incredible, this is legitimately an A-Z of WCW and somethings in-between. For any wrestling fan this is a must own, and for any casual fan the humour found in a lot of the incompetency of a big business like WCW will entertain you throughout.

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  • Michael
  • 11-02-17

Awesome

Only an hour through but what an awesome listen & Bryan's delivery is awesome. I really am a fan of his work, I like how much detail is including even down to results of key shows. I would love to hear more audio books from Bryan

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  • Ben M Spalding
  • 10-19-17

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!!!!

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  • Shane
  • 09-02-17

Good overview of what happened

Decent read. Could have expanded more on characters of Nash and Hogan. Good stuff though, very detailed and enjoyable

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  • damian johnson
  • 06-13-17

Absolutely Amazing

Pure Brilliance, an absolute classic. In my opinion the best book about wrestling. Love it.

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  • Mitchell N.
  • 03-16-17

The Rise and Fall of WCW

A deep and indepth story about the rise, fall and legacy of WCW. Let all wrestling brokers learn from these mistakes and improve wrestling.

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  • Brad
  • 02-18-17

Great~!

Definitive story on how the company rose, declined and failed. Brilliantly read by the narrator.

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  • scott116hunt
  • 09-26-16

fantastic read - couldnt press stop.

If you have any interest in Pro Wrestling history this book is a must. The book expertly documents this rise and fall and even for a non pro wrestling fan the laughs at how comically inept it gets are worth it.

Couldnt recommend it more.