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The Death of WCW

Narrated by: Bryan Alvarez
Length: 14 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,115 ratings)
Regular price: $24.95
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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

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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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A little too much detail for a casual fan

The beginning of the book is very interesting, covering the history that allowed for the creation and rise (and fall) of the WCW.

This book suffers from a lot of what my friend refers to as "begating"; referring to the parts of the bible where for a few pages we get lists of who begat who. This book covers the various title changes in the WCW history, which is important as one of the books points (the constant title changes weakened the value of the belt) but that sort of detail is more than I was looking for, its like hearing a listing off of all that begetting in the bible and makes you flip up that narration speed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 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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Awesome!

As someone who used to love wrestling (late 80's - early 90's), I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the behind the scenes stories and being able to relive some of my youth. As a casual fan, you never got to hear these stories and now it all makes sense. Highly recommended to any fan of wrestling during the 80's/90's era.

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Great Book, Poor Narration

Narrator Bryan Alvarez shows emotion, but tends to end sentences in a whisper. The final few words in many sentences are nearly impossible to hear, which makes for a very frustration listening experience. However, the book itself
is great.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

5 of 5 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

3 of 3 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).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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!!!!

1 of 1 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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  • Thomas
  • 02-16-19

Great Listen!

As many wrestling fans of a certain age know, the late 90s were the golden years of wrestling with the Monday Night Wars between WCW and WWF. WCW was THE show to watch for a time and when it was good it was really good, in time they also know that when it was bad, it was really bad.

This audiobook is a very enjoyable and fun listen at what made WCW the number 1 company and what caused it to die a very slow and painful death, lessons to be learned but often not heeded in today's wrestling world.

Some of the bits of this book may sound unbelieveable but it is all out there to see for yourself. A superb listen and flows very nicely, like an extended podcast.

Highly recommend it to fans of wrestling and fans of tv in general. Very fun and some laugh out loud moments, although at the time they weren't intentional.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-06-19

Crazy Times

It is a fun and informative listen that has sadly some similarities to how Wwe is being booked in recent years.

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  • Laura Rippin
  • 01-18-19

Exceptional

Absolutely brilliant. A must for any wrestling fan read with real style by co-author Bryan Alvarez.

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  • James
  • 12-11-18

excellent book, well presented

love this book, I'd read the paperback version but hearing Bryan read it in his voice was worth buying it again! really enjoyed

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-18-18

Amazing story into the history of Wcw's death

Accurate and to the point, a must listen for wrestling fans, bryan does an excellent job narrating, and shouldn't be overlooked

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  • Attila
  • 01-01-18

Not research or a study. Just a podcaters opinion.

I got this thinking I was getting a comprehensive study on how the business lost millions and needed to sell itself for next to nothing to its rival. Was disappointed to find its just a fan boys ranting. Think comic book guy from Simpsons and this is what the author sounds like. No research, no interviews, just rumors he dug up from the internet and a snark "worse wrestling show ever" followed by an attempt at wit or humor, not sure what the author was aiming for. He constantly says things were ironic however misuses the correct meaning of he word. Was very surprised that could pass the editors. Obviously self published. In my honest opinion avoid, maybe one day a proper study will be carried out on WCW's business practises, this is not it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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.

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  • Brad
  • 02-18-17

Great~!

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

0 of 1 people found this review helpful