World Championship Wrestling holds a special place in the heart of Cedar Rapids wrestling fans. While WWE never spent much time promoting more than an occasional house show in the area, WCW would regularly bring episodes of Nitro and Thunder to the city. Even the nWo Souled Out pay-per-view made an appearance in Eastern Iowa.
With that in mind, the Cedar Rapids Pro Wrestling Examiner takes a look back at that era as filtered through the eyes of WWE in a three part review of The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro.
Disc three seems to focus a lot of attention on what WCW did wrong in its final years. The very first match on the disc is Kevin Nash vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan in what has become known as the finger poke of doom. The Goldberg vs. Bret Hart and a metal plate angle that follows is also a famous one, but WWE makes sure to show the idiocy of Bret’s “quitting” at story’s end.
A solid match between Sting and DDP is followed by a great match between Eddie Guerrero and Juventud Guerrera. However, this match lives in infamy as “the return too soon” that started Eddie’s road to substance abuse issues.
A great angle between DDP and Billy Kidman that started a short push for Kidman is highlighted, rather than Kidman’s disastrous heel turn a few months later. WCW highlights the debacle that was the title picture by showing two title matches featuring two completely different players in just over a month’s time. It quickly moves in to the beginning of the Bischoff-Russo era where the titles were stripped again.
The cruiserweights make a final appearance on the card with 3 Count battling the Jung Dragons in a ladder match. While the match is solid, the idiotic stipulation of whoever grabs 3 Count’s gold record first just highlights how out of touch WCW stood in 2000.
Booker T’s title reign is highlighted by a spectacular match against Lance Storm, then a triple champion looking for the final title to complete his ascendancy. A triple decker cage match (made famous in Ready to Rumble) marks the final World title battle on the show, but also highlights another idiotic swerve.
The final night of WCW with Vince’s purchase, Shane’s appearance at the WCW event and the final match between Sting and Flair close out the show.
While this disc featured some great matches, most seemed to be picked to highlight the problems WCW suffered. While the disc did avoid any David Arquette appearances, it still seemed to be more focuse d on why WCW failed rather than “the Very Best of Monday Nitro”.
As a package, the three discs do mark an interesting look back at a different era of wrestling where anything happened and swerves could just happen because they were swerves. DDP ends the broadcast with hints at a Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro volume 2. It may be a pipe dream, but this Examiner can’t help but wonder if that disc would truly get to the great matches of WCW past.