Now it can be told. In 1995, two wrestling companies squared off on Monday night television to compete head to head in an unprecedented confrontation. On one side, Vince McMahon, the ... See full summary »
Now it can be told. In 1995, two wrestling companies squared off on Monday night television to compete head to head in an unprecedented confrontation. On one side, Vince McMahon, the promoter who created WWE and made the industry what it is today. On the other, WCW, owned by media giant Ted Turner, and run by an ambitious man named Eric Bischoff. This is the whole story, by those who created it, lived it, and survived it. Written by
The Monday Night Wars video is not by any means bad or unentertaining but it could have been so much more. The actual "feature" is about 90 minutes but it could have (and should have) actually been twice that long. They also put too much focus on excerpts from the programs that can be found on other DVDs and videos instead of on the interviews which carry the story.
I also felt the producers went way too easy on BOTH WCW and WWF in terms of the lowball tactics the companies would pull (where was the fake Diesel/Ramon? The Million Dollar contest? Rena Mero's appearance on Nitro strictly as an "audience member"? The Pillman/Austin gun angle?).
The DVD is also a complete letdown as the extras are thoroughly disappointing, the "highlight" being the axing of the entrances from the Hogan-Goldberg match and dubbing in Goldberg's inferior WWE music at the end of the match. Some of the choices for extras are completely baffling as they choose matches that little impact on the "war." Why not show the Rock-Foley match in full? Show more of the nWo angle (instead of the lame "invading the production room" clip they chose)? And hey, how come this feature acts like Sting didn't exist?
And of course, the most annoying feature of the presentation is the WWE's continued insistence on referring to WCW as "Ted"-- as in Ted Turner, the corporate giant whose role in running Time Warner was DRASTICALLY reduced by the time WCW went under. The WWE did beat Turner the entity but Ted Turner the person barely figures into it post-1997. Ted barely mattered in the AOL-Time Warner picture by the time WCW finally capitulated. If anything, if Ted still had serious hand in AOL-TW affairs, WCW still would have been propped up for the sake of cable ratings. It's seriously time for Vince to forget about his long-gotten-old vendetta against Ted. It certainly tarnishes the perspective of this "documentary."
The real highlight of the presentation is the perceptive commentary of Jim Cornette and Mick Foley. Bischoff and McMahon's takes on the situation are also interesting but not because they perceptive. Contrarily, they are often downright laughable (Vince calling down WCW for predatory tactics while completely ignoring that that's how he put Jim Crockett out of business in the late 80s. Eric acting like he was still "making money" when he was fired ignoring that he was foolishly spending money on Master P and The Demon).
In all, the Monday Night Wars is an interesting tale of two companies in conflict but it doesn't capture the full spirit of the ratings war. I only wish that the WWE-owned footage could be used as public domain for an impartial and competent documentary filmmaker. It's a fascinating story that deserves justice.
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