After two previous volumes of the Best of WCW Monday Nitro, Diamond Dallas Page is back with another selection of Nitro highlights, spanning the near six year run of the programme. And if it’s debatable whether some of the matches and moments herein are truly the very best of Nitro there is no doubt that the collection as a whole is another set that shows how Nitro became the juggernaut that it was at it’s peak.
1995 brings us a Lex Luger vs Randy Savage match and a TV Title match between Johnny B Badd and Eddie Guerrero. In a nutshell that sums up what an eclectic mix Nitro had.
1996 and 97 bring more of the same. And if you get bored as the big name matches like Flair Vs Savage or Luger Vs Nash start well before invariably descending into interference fuelled endings there’s always the occasional match like Chris Jericho vs Juventud Guerrera to break things up…much like the show in itself!
As we move onwards there is naturally a focus on the nWo and their shenanigans, with many matches and moments highlighting their anarchic nature and excitement. Whilst I’m not sure their “taking over” of Nitro needed to be shown in quite as much detail it does help to remind you how revolutionary it was at the time.
What is refreshing is that we occasionally get a look at a few names not normally profiled on WWE releases. 1998’s highlights on the set include a couple of Billy Kidman matches and a DDP bout against Kanyon, with a heartfelt tribute to his friend from Page afterwards. There’s also an Eddie Guerrero & Chris Jericho vs. Chavo Guerrero & Dean Malenko match on amongst nWo matches and moments. And who doesn’t want to relive The Giant throwing Scott Hall into a Florida pool?
By 1999 WCW is firmly on a downward spiral from which it will never recover. We can still see big star power matches like Goldberg Vs Flair, Hogan vs DDP and Sting Vs Savage but the WCW formula is beginning to look stale and old hat by now. Hak vs Rick Steiner and Madusa Vs Mona seem to be here just to show some different names. Bret Hart gets a lot of time from this year, with matches against Booker T and Sting to name but two. A Texas Tornado ladder match pitting Hart against Scott Hall, Sid Vicious and Goldberg is a mess though and having a
Special Guest Referee in the form of Kevin Nash just adds to the over-booking.
2000 is represented by Sting & Vampiro against Luger & Flair, which isn’t a highlight of any of their careers and a fun Booker T/Mike Awesome WCW title match. A triple threat tag match pitting Three Count, Jung Dragons and Jindrak & O’Haire against each other shows where WCW might have headed if they’d remained in business, whilst things wrap up with 2001’s only match, Booker T & DDP vs the Steiners.
The BluRay adds six extra matches and a number of segments, including Scott Hall & Syxx vs The Steiners, Kanyon vs Raven and Jeff Jarrett vs Scott Steiner vs Kevin Nash vs Goldberg.
How much of the content would truly deserve to be on “the best of” Nitro is open to debate. But the collection does provide a reasonable overview of all that made Nitro such an entertaining wrestling show and, ultimately, what killed it.
7 out of 10