DVD Review: The Very Best of Nitro
I finally got my hands on what I hope is a treasure chest of fond memories. I rarely buy WWE DVDs nowadays, but as soon as I heard about this one I knew I needed it. I was a WCW fan before a WWE fan Let’s get started!
Just like to say that I really would’ve liked if this 3-DVD set came with an insert detailing the order in which the matches and promos are shown.
Diamond Dallas Page opens up with a miniature version of the original Nitro set. One of the first things he says is “WCW had better pure talent than the WWE.” It seems like this is going to be a pure WCW DVD, and not a re-imagining like the WWE usually does.
I understand that this is a match compilation and not a documentary DVD, but it wouldn’t have hurt anybody if there was a little explanation in between segments. Watching this DVD was like searching for a random match on YouTube, and on the sidebar is ten other random videos that you watch in order. It’s just a bunch of random matches with no story behind them. For instance, about 30 people total were in the NWO and all it’s variations. I remember when the Giant joined it was huge news. In one match he’s with him, the next he’s not, and the following one he’s back with the Black and White. But, why? What lead to this? Even if DDP took 30 seconds in between each match or promo to set it up, it would’ve been very helpful.
I never thought I’d say this, but Hogan was kind of a good wrestler back when he was only getting old.
There are a few things I took away from the DVD that I either overlooked or never realized back then. First and foremost, Bobby Heenan is the smartest, quickest, and most creative man in the history of wrestling. Listening to him on commentary was by and far the best part of the DVD set, as he always had something to say. He schooled whomever was with him in the booth on every occasion as no one could match him. But more importantly he always put over the guys in the ring, which is very easy NOT to do. On the flip side, Tony Shiavone was absolutely atrocious. I cannot fathom what that man had to do in order to keep that job for as long as he did.
They left out a lot of important moments in the history of Nitro. First and foremost, the debut of Lex Luger. DDP talked about it at the very beginning, but they never showed the first big defection in the Monday Night Wars. He showed up at the beginning of the first Nitro, to everyone’s surprise, and it should’ve been included.
Goldberg’s first match in WCW should also have been included. He was WCW’s only homegrown Superstar an though no one knew he’d go so far, his first match with Hugh Morris was the beginning of the third best thing WCW ever had (the NWO and Sting being one and two).
Scott Steiner was in one of the best tag teams of all time with his brother Rick. But then in 1998 he bleached his hair and became Big Poppa Pump. His transformation was the biggest thing to ever happen in his career, yet his return as this new character was omitted from the set.
You remember the Flock, right? Raven’s group of ragtag grunge guys? They were the midcard NWO, running wild on DDP, Chris Benoit, and eventually each other. They lost a lot of their matches but were a huge part of WCW for a long time. Not one mention of them.
You guys remember when Nash powerbombed the Giant and broke his neck? Or when Goldberg beat Raven for the US Title? The Millionaires Club and New Blood fued? the LWO? The Cruiserweight Tag Titles? Madusa dumping the WWF Women’s Title in the trash? Benoit beating Sid for the title? Benoit vs Bret Hart in the Owen Hart Tribute match? How about Public Enemy introducing tables to the American public? The Ultimate Warrior’s (disastrous) run in WCW? Judy Bagwell? Mike Awesome’s debut (which wasn’t huge, but it was significant). More matches from the final episode would’ve been great, too. Again, I understand you can’t put every little thing on the DVD but they left out some significant things.
It’s apparent watching this DVD what killed WCW: itself. They knew they had lighting in a bottle with the NWO, and they rested on that for five years. WCW’s inability to EVER move past the NWO and that formula destroyed WCW. Not Vince Russo, not AOL Time Warner, but itself. Too many swerves and turns and questionable bookings. Such a shame, too, because it was pretty freakin awesome.
But hey, at least we got to see Tank Abbott dancing with 3 Count.