WWE OMG! Volume 2 – The Top 50 Incidents In WCW History (Cert 15)
2 Disc Blu-ray / 3 Discs DVD (Distributor: Fremantle Media) Running Time: 134 minutes approx
When you think WCW the first names that spring to mind would assuredly be Ric Flair, Sting, Dusty Rhodes, Lex Luger, The Four Horsemen, Road Warriors, The Steiners and possibly the nWo. Unless you are a member of the McMahon family of course, in which case you put yourself on the front cover of your latest WCW related DVD release!!
To be fair the shot in question is from the moment Vince McMahon appeared on the final edition of Nitro to brag about buying the company and was, congruent to the title, a shocking moment in WCW history, but still.
Anyway, the remit of this release is to take a look at fifty pivotal moments from the WCW archives that are forever etched in our minds from the many years of great action the now defunct company gave us, with some dating back to the days prior to Jim Crockett Promotions (and not the National Wrestling Alliance as erroneously stated in the intro) being sold to Ted Turner and renamed WCW. However continuing the McMahon enforced mantra that WWE=Good, WCW=Bad, the bulk of the entries here are up for ridicule, suggesting this release may as well carry the Wrestlecrap name in the title!
A host of names from WCW and of course WWE are on hand to add their two pence worth, whether personal involved or from a viewer’s/fans standpoint. The comments as ever range from the insightful (from an almost unrecognisable Tony Schiavone) to the banal (Summer Rae I’m looking at you) but the list of contributors is probably the most extensive and varied ever seen on a WWE release.
Representing WCW here are the likes of Schiavone, Vince Russo (!), Jim Ross, Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Arm Anderson, Booker T, Terry Taylor, William Regal, Bill (Hugh Morris) Demott, Dusty Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes, Magnum TA, Billy Kidman, DDP, Kevin Nash (who sports black hair and beard in one clip then grey the next!), Scott Hall, Hulk Hogan and more. They all speak with candour and offer their own opinions on the selected clips, and show good humour when it comes to the less auspicious incidents they were personally involved in.
Offering a fan’s perspective from the current (and former) crop of WWE stars are such luminaries as ring announcer Justin Roberts and Curt Hawkins, along with lesser known faces such as CM Punk, Dean Ambrose, The Miz, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, Paul Heyman, Seth Rollins, Beth Phoenix, AJ Lee and briefly, Vince himself. While they enjoy a laugh at the sillier stuff they do speak with reverence at the more “serious” moments – although Ryback lets himself down by saying if he hadn’t known Lex Luger from WWF he wouldn’t have kept watching the first ever Nitro (where Luger showed up having been on a WWF PPV the night before)!
Of course some people can’t help themselves and go into self preservation mode and if your list of usual suspects has the orange skinned guy in the red and yellow then you know your backstage wrestling stories! When the infamous Hogan/Russo shoot from Bash at the Beach 2000 is brought up, Hogan insists that he never used the creative control clause in his contract over finishes. Similarly Vince Russo is happy to throw the blame on Hogan for holding the match hostage over the planned finish so we are left none the wiser except that discussing the animus between the two comes with legal restrictions.
Russo is also hilarious explaining the reason for his numerous title changes, swerves and outrageous booking ideas (many of which unsurprisingly feature in the countdown), justifying it as a way to bring viewers back to the show the next week – the irony being that WCW’s TV ratings and indeed overall fortunes plummeted under Russo’s watch!
I’m sure many keen and long time fans can predict which events made it to the list – from the formation of nWo to The Shockmaster’s legendary debut; from David Arquette world champion to Goldberg’s title win over Hogan; from the brutal I Quit match between Magnum TA vs Tully Blanchard to the Finger Poke of Doom – they are all here along with many others you probably forgot.
Remember the Piñata on a Pole match? Or the Junkyard Battle Royale? Or what about the Human Torch match or the horrendous mini movies they made to promote their PPVs in the early 90’s? If the answer is now then this collection will jog your memory even if it doesn’t want to be jogged. With regard to the latter, it’s a little alarming to hear Dusty Rhodes admit that he loved those mini movies and thought he was creating his own Gone With The Wind! Unless that wind is the kind which escapes from the human backside, he was way off the mark with that one!
It shouldn’t be of much surprise that the worst ideas came from the Kevin Nash and Vince Russo eras of the company while the genuine classic wrestling moments were from the pre-Nitro years. The near riots of the Horsemen breaking Dusty’s leg, Terry Funk piledriving Ric Flair on a table, Ron Simmons becoming the first black world champion are all celebrated here, alongside the various shots fired during the Monday Night wars – Madusa trashing the WWF Women’s title on Nitro, Rick Rude appearing on both RAW and Nitro on the same night and so on.
With the idea of this release clearly being to continue the McMahon ethos of belittling WCW (a company HE now owns!) as a joke, one cannot help but harbour feelings of fond nostalgia. Even if they had some ridiculous ideas (and many more which were omitted here) this DVD reminds us that WCW was no less an entertaining company and it’s not like WWE hasn’t dropped few clangers in its time!
Putting aside the obvious anti-WCW bias this is another cracking retrospective release from the WWE that all wrestling fans should not hesitate to add to their collection.
Cruiserweight Battle Royale – Winner Faces Chris Jericho for WCW Cruiserweight Championship (Slamboree, May 17, 1998)
Junkyard Invitational Battle Royale (Bash at the Beach, July 11, 1999)
Piñata on a Pole Match – Silver King vs. Juventud Guerrera vs. El Dandy vs. Psychosis vs. Villano V (Nitro, November 15, 1999)
WCW World Title Ready to Rumble Cage Match – David Arquette (c) vs. Diamond Dallas Page vs. Jeff Jarrett (Slamboree, May 7, 2000)
WCW US Title Match – Lance Storm (c) vs. General Rection (Fall Brawl, September 17, 2000)
Rating – ****
Man In Black