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WWE: The Rise And Fall of WCW
WWE The Rise And Fall of WCW
Genres: Action & Adventure, Sports
PG     2009     9hr 0min

WCW grew out of a southern promotion, into a giant that battled World Wrestling Entertainment every Monday night. For the first time ever, the complete story of World Championship Wrestling, from Ted Turner?s purchase and ...  more »

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Movie Details

Genres: Action & Adventure, Sports
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Wrestling
Studio: Genius
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 08/25/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 9hr 0min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Aaron R. (BigStu) from MAYFIELD VLG, OH
Reviewed on 12/8/2009...
The DVD has two different parts. The first part is the documentary produced by the WWE, which honestly if you know the history of WCW, this version full of holes and half truths. Half of the documentary interviews (like those with Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash just to name a few) were stock footage from previous WWE releases. The second part of the DVD is the matches and some these matches worth the purchase of the DVD alone. Matches like The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane) vs The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong), Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat, Dean Malenko vs Rey Mysterio Jr., Eddie Guerrero vs Dean Malenko are some of the best matches in WCW history and they are all collected in this one release.

Movie Reviews

Better Suited if it was titled "The Rise & Fail of a WCW Doc
3/26/2001 - The Day Wrestling Died | 08/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I never review anything but felt it necessary on this one.

If you have seen The Rise & Fall of ECW DVD, you'd have been hard pressed to believe that this one would fall so short. Considering Eastern Championship Wrestling, later on becoming Extreme Championship Wrestling, had a life span far shorter than WCW and its Jim Crockett Promotion ties, this disc should have had tons more info to share.

The ECW disc was so informative, and not just from the stand point of the players involved. It spoke on its biggest feuds, changing points in the company, the ways they were able to grow and compete with the "Big 2" and made you understand how important and revolutionary their company was. It spoke on the history of its biggest players and how them coming to ECW helped their business. It was also shown in detail of how the company ruined itself. Some of that was in the WCW disc, mostly the competing with WWE, but not enough.

And while I know I may sound like a mark, I am a big WCW fan and feel there will never be a bigger angle in the history of wrestling bigger than the NWO, for better or worse. But I was a fan of WCW even before then. So why not recap the history of the "Big Gold Belt" briefly. I mean WWE still uses its likeness, so why not show it some love. Talk about how it was separated from the NWA Championship and the whole 9 yards. I think one would believe it was the same belt from the Crockett Promotion glancing over this.

Another strange thing to me is how Sting-Hogan is just refused to even be mentioned, it wasn't mentioned in the Monday Night Wars disc either. If you think about it, it is one of the last feuds to take that 80's and earlier approach in where Sting and Hogan had a long, drawn out program before fighting at Starrcade. Stranger than that, how they refuse to speak on Sting period. Sting turning into "The Crow" in gimmick because he felt betrayed by WCW was huge. Sting was WCW. For him to portray himself as a free agent, attacking random WCW wrestlers, the coming from the rafters, the black bat and white face paint was just as new for WCW as the NWO. I feel that the Sting/Crow gimmick/angle was a big turning point in WCW as Sting was the NWO's biggest threat and rival ever. Let's not even mention the feuds he had with Vader, Flair, ect. I think him wrestling Flair as the last match ever in WCW was a testament to who the "guys" were of that company.

The last big miss in this DVD to me is the failure to mention Bret Hart and how they failed to utilize him when coming over to WCW. After the "Montreal Screw Job", WCW could have went over big time if they did good with "The Hitman". Instead, they used him in a lame NWO storyline (if he would join or not, seen that a million times), a weird role as a back-up referee in the Sting/Hogan Starrcade match, actually joining the NWO and a early retirement from a Goldberg MMA kick to the head. How could that not be included as a epic fail. And speaking of epic fail, how about Ultimate Warrior...

Also, the little attention that was giving to the Hogan/Goldberg match (I've still never seen a hotter crowd than that) and the brief mention of the "Finger Poke of Doom" was confusing. No mention of the Ric Flair/Horseman reunion that won the ratings that one glorious night when WWE had regained control and Bischoff's hatred of Ric Flair. The departure of X-Pac, The Radicals (Benoit, Malenko, Saturn, Guerrero) along with Big Show and Jericho jumping ship and WCW's failure to jump off the NWO ship all played a part in its demise. Let's not forget, not only did WWE take back over the ratings, WCW was pulling in horrid numbers by the time it ended in comparison. Also, WCW's attempt to infuse new talent with the old guys (Millionaires Club vs The New Blood, Hogan and Billy Kidman had a feud for God sakes) and them pushing younger guys in general (3 Count brought you The Hurricane/Shane Helms, and I still remember A.J. Styles doing the "Styles Clash" as a part of the team "Air Raid" on Thunder lol).

I know this all seems like a lot of rambling, but when something you have enjoyed so much has no chance of coming back, you would at least like to see it given a fair send off. And with the extensive collection of footage and stories the WWE has in the vault, I thought this would be a lot better then it was. But it seems like more slanted WWE perceptive and a quick cash in on all us true WCW fans.

On a side note, I hate how much self-promoting and WWE promoting Flair and Big Show did on this disc. Jericho did some too, but he genuinely was held down in his last months in WCW, so I can somewhat understand his take. But Big Show was booked as a monster in his "Dungeon of Doom" days and they put the strap on him. If you ask me, he hasn't done much more in WWE then he did in WCW, especially for his size. Ric Flair, that is a conversation in itself. This DVD left me waiting for the hot tag only to be giving the cold shoulder.

5 stars for the matches...
Movie Fan | 08/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Just received this long awaited DVD, so here's my review:

I'll stick to the packaging and content of the doc, because it looks like most have already listed the matches.
First, whoever is in the art department over at WWE designing the look of these DVD covers and packaging, deserves
a raise! Excellent cover, and your jaw will drop when you open up the digi-pak and see the two panels of art staring
you in the face. One panel is an awesome collage of Arn Anderson, Ric Flair and Goldberg, while the other features
the Outsiders, Sting and Hogan holding up the spray-painted WCW world title belt. Great stuff!

Now, as for the documentary. If you're like me and you have a stack of WWE DVDs at home, you've seen your fair
share of WWE produced documentaries on wrestlers and rival promotions. They have all contained a little bit of
revisionist history, but this one is hands down the worst when it comes to this. Again, Dusty Rhodes is still not
taking any responsibility for the fall of Jim Crockett Promotions. Yes, JCP was poorly run from a business sense, but
Dusty pushed himself to the moon and was cramming himself down the fan's throats and it hurt business big time!
They skip over big parts of the companies history like why Vince Russo was brought in, how Eric was let go and then
brought back and the reasons behind it and they completely ignored the mass jumping from WCW to WWF by Benoit,
Guerrero, Saturn and Malenko. That was a HUGE story at the time, and signaled to wrestling fans that WCW was in
trouble. I understand why they no longer want to mention Benoit, but they could've talked about this without even
mentioning his name. That was disappointing. And I don't believe Vince for a second when he describes how he felt
after purchasing WCW. If he truly felt that way, then he's not human. Watch it and judge for yourself.
No mention of Bret Hart... at all?! Really? No mention of WCW missing the boat on Austin? No mention of the talent
trade agreement and later raids of the original ECW? So much was left out that the documentary feels slapped
together. To this day, still the best WWE produced documentaries can be found on The Rise and Fall of ECW
and WWE - Bret "Hitman" Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be.

The documentary does have some great moments. I was thrilled to see Kevin Sullivan interviewed for this, who looks
great by the way. Kevin offered some refreshing insights and was an excellent addition to the older interviews included
that we've seen on other WWE documentaries numerous times over the years.
It was nice to hear from Harvey Schiller, would've liked to have heard more from him.
It was nice to see them acknowledge where the idea for the nWo came from - an angle in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
I was glad to see WWE acknowledge how the WCW cruiserweights were one of the most important factors in making
Nitro the must-see show every Monday night. As a fan back then, I know they were the reason why I would watch
Nitro instead of Raw, that's for sure. In fact, those cruiserweight matches are some of the only matches worth re-watching
from that era in WCW's history.
Goldberg talking about the creation and evolution of his character & career was pretty cool. He shared a few things that
I had never heard before. Also, check the extras for "The Origin of Goldberg" which offers some great little stories about
how Goldberg's character and gimmicks came to be.
I also liked how they acknowledged that several people within WCW believed Russo was being controlled by Vince McMahon
and did the things he did to put WCW out of business. That's been a longtime wrestling rumor, and WWE usually doesn't
discuss those rumors.
Finally, they really stuck it to Jeff Jarrett, thus WWE is sticking it to TNA, when talking about him in the documentary. Fair or
unfair, it's entertaining to watch.

Overall, the documentary really leaves you wanting more. I would give the doc portion 2 stars, but the matches I give 5.
As for the matches, there are some classics here, many of which are making their DVD debut! All of the NWA matches
here are great and worth your time. Being a huge Vader fan, I was glad to see his match against Sting included here from
the Great American Bash '92. Also, Rude vs. Sting from Spring Stampede '94 is pretty solid. Flair vs. the Giant and the cruiserweight
bouts make the best of what's on disc 3.

This is definitely a buy, but don't get your hopes up over seeing an insightful or revealing documentary.

UPDATED 9/07/2009
A user in the Comments section wanted to hear more about the matches, so I thought I would add a little bit about that.
Match compilations on these DVDs are tough because it's impossible to please everyone, myself included. And when
you consider the rich history of NWA/WCW, you don't even come close to scratching the surface of it with just 2 DVDs
worth of matches. Most of the matches are good choices. I was glad to see Vader vs. Sting where Vader captures the
world title on this release. Jericho vs Juventud is an underrated classic cruiserweight bout, and having Juventud's mask
on the line just adds to the drama. Syxx vs. Eddie Guerrero is a satisfying ladder match from the terrible nWo themed PPV Souled Out.
While not as violent as today's ladder matches, it's still action packed and tells a great story. Goldberg's best in-ring performance
is here against, of all people, DDP. Perhaps the DVDs best must-see match is the classic tag team bout pitting Sting and Lex Luger
against the Steiner Brothers. This is a tremendous match that you should go out of your way to see! Plus, it was also nice to see
the Big Show's first world title win against Ric Flair on Nitro. I remember being so bummed that Flair lost the belt so soon after
winning it when that match aired.

Now, with that said, I would have cut Flair vs. Hogan, Flair vs. Steamboat, Midnight Express vs. Southern Boys, Rey vs. Malenko, the
celebrity tag match, Booker T vs. Lance Storm & the Outsiders vs. the Steiners and replaced them with...

1. Ron Simmons vs. Big Van Vader for the WCW World Title (WCW Saturday Night) - why on earth this match didn't make this set
is beyond me! Not only was it a great match, it was important from a historical perspective. One of the top glaring omissions from
this DVD.

2. Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage vs. Sting Triangle match for the WCW World Title from Starrcade. I think most of us would agree that we've
wanted WWE to release this match for quite some time. It was a really great bout and one of Flair's best title wins.

3. Rey Mysterio vs. Ultimo Dragon from the first World War III PPV - Here's another one that I don't understand why WWE has never released
on DVD. It was easily my favorite Mysterio match from his WCW run. These two went all out that night, and I saw high flying moves I had never
seen before.

4. Cactus Jack vs. Big Van Vader in Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal from Halloween Havoc. Tremendous brawl from these two, but it wont see
the light of day now that Mick is in TNA, which is a shame.

5. Sting vs. Flair from the 1990 Great American Bash - Sting's finally beating Flair for the title should've made it on this set.

6. First War Games match - I agree with another reviewer, War Games was such a huge part of WCW that to not include the first one is a shame.
I understand why they included the match they did (it set up Sting's transformation into the Crow character), but it would've been nice to still see
the first one on this set. Maybe we'll see a War Games themed DVD set in the future instead?

7. Rick Rude vs. Steamboat Iron Man Match from Beach Blast - Their feud was touched on briefly during the doc, so why not show their best match?

Well, that's what I would've done. The match selection was still good and worth a look."
Could've Been Better But Not As Bad As People Claim
Ervin Griffin | Bluefield, WV | 09/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I'll be honest, there are things in terms of content and matches that WWE could've done better on this set but in their defense on the documentary, a lot of key figures (including Ted Turner, Eric Bischoff and Brad Seagal) declined to be part of this project so their abscence did hurt it a bit. Still, it isn't as bad as some of the other reviews both on Amazon and on other sites have claimed it to be though I will agree it could've been better, especially on some of the match selections! Here is what you'll find on here starting with the chapters:

Jim Crockett Promotions
Georgia Championship Wrestling
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Black Saturday
The Expansion
Crockett Sells to Turner
Greatest Talent in the World
New Management
Bill Watts Era
Bill Shaw Hires Eric Bischoff
Hulk Hogan Arrives
Nitro Debuts
WCW Ratings Champ
Goldberg vs. Hogan
Mistakes Begin
Vince Russo
A Corporate Merger
McMahon buys WCW
Legacy of WCW

I have to say that the most interesting parts were the history of Jim Crockett Promotions, Black Saturday (in reference to when Vince McMahon temporarily took over the Georgia Championship Wrestling show in 1985) and thru the Bill Watts era. Where it gets muddled a bit is when discussing Bischoff, Russo and the nWo angle. Surprisingly, many take up for Bischoff though they ultimately admit he was one of the reasons for its downfall! Still, its is an interesting take on what happened.

Some history is left out which has already been discussed on other DVD's such as The Four Horsemen, The Road Warriors, the backstage controversy between Chris Benoit and Kevin Sullivan, the misuse of Bret "Hitman" Hart, and the departure of Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn. Some history has never been touched such as the botched ending at Starrcade '97 (which I believe was the real beginning of the end of WCW) or the mophing of Sting into what we know him now.

Now granted, I understand why Benoit isn't mentioned but the Radicalz departure was a key blow to WCW talent-wise and could've been done without mentioning his name and on that one, showing him would've been completely understandable as they have done it in recent months (see Ric Flair: The Definitive Collection).

Bonus features:

* Lost in Cleveland (Cactus Jack vignette) - This took place during Cactus' short but memorable program with then-WCW Champion Vader in 1993. Dusty Rhodes disuccess this vignette.

* Bill Watts Defends Himself - Bill Watts answers the critics for his no-nonsense style and the accusations that have dogged him for years, particualy charges of racism. While I have been aware of the stories of Mr. Watts, he raises some good counterpoints.

* Spam Man - This one is explained by Dr. Harvey Shiller. Worth one look.

* The Origin of Goldberg - Nice to see Goldberg again as he discusses his journey into the phenom he was in WCW. He even discusses the rumor that he was made as a counter to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (who was WWE's biggest star at that point).

* Bischoff Gives Away RAW Results - Bischoff (by way of a past interview) explains why he did that and even discusses the night that he had announcer Tony Schivone give away that Mick Foley was going to win the then-WWF title that night against The Rock (which was a BIG backfire in my view)!

Now, for the matches:

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair Vs. Magnum T.A. ($10,000 Challenge Match) - Classic stuff here and the true beginning (in my view) of The Four Horsemen! This one should've been on Ric Flair & The Four Horsemen BUT I am glad to see it again after all these years!

Sting, Lex Luger & Barry Windham vs. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard (w/ JJ Dillon) - Not a bad six-man as this took place shortly after the first Clash Of Championships where Luger & Windham took the NWA World Tag Team Titles from Blanchard and Anderson and Sting had that legendary 45 minute draw with Flair.

"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes Vs. Barry Windham (NWA U.S. Title Match) - This was at the 1988 Great American Bash. In terms of today's wrestling, this match doesn't hold up well but it was good for its time. Ending is a classic "Dusty finish."

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair Vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat (NWA World Title Match) - This one was the first of three classic bouts from 1989 at Chi-Town Rumble '89. No words I can say can do this match justice! This one is a must see! To be a little street for a second, Flair/Steamboat in 1989 was the s***!

The Rock `n' Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express - Let me say that this match is a classic tag team encounter! A lot of reviewers slam it but I actually thought it was pretty good. I saw some older bouts between the teams that were better BUT this is a good match if you've never seen a Rock n Roll Vs. Midnight match!

The Midnight Express Vs. The Southern Boys (NWA U.S. Tag Team Title Match) - This is what I would call a "lost classic." The Midnights were legendary but the team of Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong were great in their own right!

The Steiner Brothers Vs. Sting & Lex Luger (WCW World Tag Team Title Match) - This began as a jog but quickly turned into a sprint! One of the definitions of a "high spot" match! In an era when Rick and Scott were nearly unbeatable, Sting and Lex Luger took them to their limits. A must see.

Sting Vs. Big Van Vader (WCW World Title Match) - Their first PPV face-off and it was a good one! I don't recall these two ever having a match that sucked!

"Ravishing" Rick Rude Vs. Sting (WCW International Title Match) - Here is another one that Sting had good bouts with and that was the late Rick Rude. Personally, while this is a good match, I would've rathered seen Rick Rude Vs. Steamboat in their underrated 30 minute Iron-Man match (which preceeded Shawn Michaels Vs. Bret Hart in terms of a marathon bout like that being done on PPV by 4 years). Still, its worth a look.

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair Vs. Hulk Hogan (WCW World Title Match) - Their first one on one meeting on PPV! Not the greatest match but it doesn't suck. Much like Rock/Hogan at WrestleMania X8 and Warrior/Hogan at WrestleMania 6, the crowd made this match!

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair Vs. The Giant (The Big Show)(WCW World Title Match) - This is only significant because TBS wins his first World title here. These two have had better matches against each other. Also, we see the late Nancy Benoit and the late Ms. Elizabeth too.

Rey Mysterio, Jr. Vs. Dean Malenko (WCW Cruiserweight Title Match) - Another pair that rarely had a match that sucked!

War Games Match
Sting, Lex Luger, Ric Fair & Arn Anderson vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & a Mystery Partner - I personally would've rather had seen the original WarGames bout or (and I know this wouldn't happen because Benoit was involved) the 1997 version when The Four Horsemen of Flair, McMichael, Benoit and Hennig took on nWo members "Buff" Bagwell, Konnan, Syxx and Kevin Nash. Both of those were better overall WarGames than the one picked. Its only good for historical reasons because it shows the dominance of the nWo and the beginnings of the transformation of Sting.

Syxx Vs. Eddie Guerrero (WCW U.S. Title Ladder Match) - I remember Eddie Guerrero saying on "Cheating Death, Stealing Life: The Eddie Guerrero Story" that he felt this match wasn't quite what he wanted. I thought it was pretty good on its own but when you compare it to Eddie's WWE bouts with Rob Van Damn and Rey Mysterio, it does seem to be rather weak!

Still, this is a good one to peep. The intro of Eddie on this "nWo" PPV was rather funny!

Eddie Guerrero Vs. Dean Malenko (WCW United States Title Match) - In my view, this one was the BEST WCW encounter they ever had! Making it No DQ gave them lattitude that they used very well. While still falls short of their ECW encounters, this one comes very close to matching those.

Chris Jericho Vs. Juventud Guerrera (WCW Cruiserweight Title Match) - You see flashes of the Jericho we know now in this classic! The cruiserweights were the bomb in WCW and this match was a great example of it.

The Steiner Brothers Vs. The Outsiders (WCW World Tag Team Title Match) - Not really a match as it was used to set up Scott Steiners turn to the nWo and his transformation into "Big Poppa Pump." Not much in the match department.

Diamond Dallas Page & Karl Malone Vs. Hulk Hogan & Dennis Rodman - Only good for entertainment. Don't expect a classic here!

Goldberg Vs. Diamond Dallas Page (WCW World Title Match) - One of his best title defenses as DDP really worked well with Goldberg. This is also the infamous match that got cut off at the PPV time at Halloween Havoc '98! Fortunately, we get to see the whole match.

Booker T. Vs. Lance Storm (WCW World Title Match) - Nothing against Booker or Lance but this bout really didn't need to be here! It isn't even one of their best matches. It does, however, give you an idea of how bad WCW had fallen by that time! View just to get that perspective.

Overall, this product is a 3 1/2 star DVD set. Not the worst I've ever seen but falls short of ones like "Triumph & Tragedy Of World Class Championship Wrestling" or "The Spectacular Legacy Of The AWA." It definitely pales compared to "The Rise & Fall Of ECW!" Worth a buy but I would try to find it at a lower price!"