WWE vs. WCW
Vincent Kennedy McMahon. With a name like that, how could anything in your life go wrong? You’ve got a very successful wrestling business under your belt. You have an understanding wife who lets you make out on live television with your considerably younger employees. If any employees get out of line, you can have someone bigger than them beat the piss out of them and then fire the miscreant. You can smack your kids around in front of thousands of people and then when they fight back, you can have the police put them in jail for the night. Oh, and you’re making millions doing it. Not bad.
It has to be hard to give up a life like that. So it should come as no exception that when our hero, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, came under attack by rival billionaire Ted Turner and his rasslin’ business, the WCW, McMahon took it a little personal.
Utilizing their enormous video library acquired over years and years of monopolizing the wrestling industry, the WWE has released a DVD chronicling the real and staged exchanges between the WCW and the WWE during their high times in the late 90’s. The “Monday Night War”, as it’s often labeled, refers to the two competing flagship shows, WWE Raw and WCW Nitro, which aired on Monday nights during the same hours.
The DVD is packed with hours of footage from as early as the very first WWE Monday Night Raw to the buy out of WCW from Ted Turner. Die-hard fans of traditional and straight-up wrestling will love the footage of WCW’s infamous cruiserweight division and all of Ric Flair’s commentary. Fans more interested in the entertainment will love all the early footage of Stone Cold Steve Austin rising the ranks of the WWE with his feud with McMahon himself or memorable Mick Foley moments.
You know, I’d really like to say something like “Even non-wrestling fans could enjoy this DVD” but, come on, I know that’s bullshit so I’m not going to kid you. This could almost be a hardcore wrestling fan’s dream DVD but those who weren’t around during the infamous era or just generally don’t care about it, may not be able to connect with any of the characters or matches that took place.
Another criticism I have about the DVD is the gratuitous Gerald Brisco interviews. Brisco is employed by the WWE for something. I’m not sure for what but it’s probably something important. I always expected Brisco to be slightly knowledgeable and I thought he would have something remotely intelligent to say somewhere on this DVD. Nope. He doesn’t. Brisco just rambles on and on about how he, Gerald Christ, the omniscient being on the top turnbuckle overlooking all that is holy in the wrestling world, knew all along that the WWE would never lose to the WCW. Every comment he made ended in the same manner, which was WCW did something fantastic and Brisco would say, “We’ll kick your ass!” Then, WCW would kick WWE’s ass and Brisco would say, “We’ll still kick your ass!” Hey, I’m sure Brisco is fantastic at what he does and he goes home at night believing he’s number one, but let him keep that to himself.
When all is said and done, the DVD has more high points than low. You’ve got Stone Cold screaming at Jake Roberts telling him praying and reading the Bible didn’t do any good for him and his life is useless. You’ve got the Rock talking about his “KY Jelly Plan”. Last but not least, you have plenty of great shots of Chris Benoit looking greasier than ever without one of his front teeth and that’s worth the twenty bucks alone.