WWE // 1995 // 480 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 9th, 2011
WWE Films swallows its pride and releases this three-disc, sentimentality-fueled highlight reel of its legendarily scrappy competition from the last half of the 1990s: WCW Monday Nitro.
Hankering to bite off a piece of that sweet "sports entertainment" cookie, Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff conspired to take on Vince McMahon's RAW juggernaut head-on with their own brand. They stocked Monday Nitro with established stars like Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Ric Flair, Kevin Nash and Macho Man Randy Savage. In addition, they developed their own talent, pumping up heavyweights like Sting and Bill Goldberg and granting them industry-wide recognition. Of course, when the nWo hit town everything exploded and Vince suddenly found his product running second. Eventually, the WCW was bought by McMahon and the title belt was unified. But the memories live on -- and here are eight hours worth of them.
Your host for this tour down Memory Lane is Diamond Dallas Page, one of WCW's biggest stars. His commentary is sprinkled among the matches and he hits on all the necessary talking points: the genesis of the promotion, the genius of Bischoff, the debut of The Outsiders, the proclivity of the WCW live audience to throw garbage in the ring, the rise of Goldberg and the show's eventual curtain call. DDP does a nice job here, delivering the history with charisma and passion. He doesn't hold back from pumping their WCW tires at the expense of WWE either.
The meat of the set is, of course, the matches and there is plenty here to take in. You get the first and last matches of Nitro, the Tag Team Championship bout between Sting/Lex Luger and The Road Warriors, many nWo shenanigans including their Four Horsemen parody, Goldberg vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan, early stuff with Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio, Sting rappelling from the top of an arena, Macho Man and Hogan vs. Ric Flair and Arn Anderson and a lot more.
Distilling six years of wrestling hullabaloo into three discs is a lofty challenge, and DDP admits that there was certainly much left on the editing floor. Still, there are plenty of classic moments to relive here, featuring all of WCW's biggest stars. It is a fitting tribute and recommended for any fan of the short-lived, but spunky underdog promotion.
The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro traightforward DVD set: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen (the matches are full frame), 2.0 stereo, no extras.
Not Guilty. Now who here wants to go on The Rack?
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 480 Minutes
Release Year: 1995
MPAA Rating: Not Rated