The Death of WCW.
Bryan Alvarez and R.D Reynolds
Wrestling With Disaster.
Right, let’s get this out of the way: I KNOW ITS FAKE! My interest in the pseudo sport of pro wrestling lies firmly within the realms of backstage drama and political machinations. OK? GOOD!
This is the true story of the rise and fall of a family run business that sat at the edge of bankruptcy for decades and was saved by a benevolent billionaire and ultimately rendered useless by mismanagement over ambition, stupidity and the rock band KISS
In 1998 the Ted Turner Owned World Championship Wrestling became the most successful Pro-Wrestling company ever, IN THE WORLD,EVER, turning a profit in excess of $ 80 million dollars, and attracting over six million viewers for its flagship weekly television show Monday Nitro. Three years later the company was dead, having lost over 80 million dollars and 95% of its viewing audience. How could this have happened? How could a publicly traded company be so mismanaged as to be rendered less than worthless in such a short space of time?
In many ways The Death of WCW is a whodunit although sadly one which is never resolved .Author Bryan Alvarez is well known in wrestling “insider” circles as a top journalist and approaches the subject as if it were a ‘real’ sport. His descriptions are both factual and hilarious, balancing in depth ratings information alongside descriptions of Hulk Hogan’s battle with an Egyptian mummy that has escaped from a block of ice. Really
He is not afraid to point the finger at those he sees as responsible for the companies’ destruction. . The key culprits ( some of them well known individuals like Hulk Hogan and Ted Turner ), take it in turns to point fingers at each other , never once admitting any culpability in the destruction of thousands of peoples livelihoods. Sadly Alvarez’s account comes too little too late, and the lessons learned from this book are still being ignored today by wrestling companies the world over.
Professional wrestling has been run for years by carnival hustlers, shysters, and money hungry hicks, out to trick their punters (known affectionately as marks) out of every penny they can get, all the while acting in the manner of a secret fraternity or quasi Masonic brotherhood Some of the business practices described in this book are just unbelievable. Like setting moon shine swilling hillbillies loose in the New York Stock Exchange.
For fans of the mat game Death of WCW serves as a depressing, frustrating and yet hilarious reminder of what was and what still could be. For non fans it will save as a case study in rank stupidity.
This is essential reading for anyone who wishes to know how not to run a business.