Friday, December 19, 2014

BOOK REVIEW - The Death Of WCW (10th Anniversary Edition)

So in 2004, The Death Of WCW was released. A tome written by Wrestlecrap connoisseur R.D. Reynolds and Figure Four Minus Five Stars guy Bryan Alvarez, it was a fascinating and insightful look at the history of World Championship Wrestling, from its early days to its most profitable period to eventually its downfall. Ten years later, they release an expanded edition of the book to commemorate the book's tenth anniversary... because the thing still gets published and apparently still sells, which justifies said expanded edition.

For all intents and purposes, this is the same book you've read in 2004... at least, for the most part. A lot of the text included in the old book has been retained for the most part, but at the same time, the new Death Of WCW book almost feels like a completely different book. Surface-level, it uses different fonts and pictures as the previous book. Dig a bit deeper and a lot of the items that have been mentioned in the previous book has been expanded upon with actual quotes from those who were on the "front lines" as it were. There are also new items added in for good measure. In a sense, this book feels like a more refined product of what came out ten years prior; almost as though this was the book that was supposed to come out, but didn't because of space constraints.

But what makes this book even more insightful is that not only does it expand upon the unfortunate tale of World Championship Wrestling, but it also points out some of the mistakes that are being repeated TODAY by the major promotions. Remember that mirror gimmick where Hogan (and the audience) could see Warrior in the mirror, but nobody else in the room could? Did you know WWE tried that stunt not just ONCE, but TWICE? Many of these lessons not learned are highlighted and pointed out... although there are a couple lessons that have been "learned." Remember when WCW unmasked Rey Mysterio Jr? You don't? Well, good. Nobody else does, either.

In the original book, the epilogue covered the mismanaged Invasion that dominated WWF television for the latter half of 2001. Sadly, that entire chapter has been excised from this new edition, but in its place is a laundry list of all the stupid things that TNA Impact Wrestling has done over the course of its dozen year existence... and it is just as lengthy as the original epilogue. It is, perhaps, the closest thing you're going to get to a Death Of TNA book... assuming such an event happens sooner than later.

All in all, this expanded edition is worthy of being added to your library, even if you already have the original book. It's the same book with some expanded bits, but feels different enough that it's worth taking up another slot on the shelf. Those who didn't care for the book the first time... well, I doubt anything here will change your mind, but this version feels more complete.

A hearty recommendation.

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