Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “WCW”

WCW: The Ultimate Guide

Back in 2000, DK, the same company that brings us incredible WWE books, published WCW: The Ultimate Guide. This slim hardback book was a precursor to the WWE Encyclopedia. It compiles wrestler biographies, information about moves, events, TV shows, PPVs, and more. It’s an interesting look at a company that, just one year later, would be bought out by Vince McMahon’s WWE. Below is a video review, where I show you every single page in this out-of-print book. Enjoy!

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WCW Nitro Author Tells All

Nitro by Guy Evans is the definitive book on Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling (WCW). At nearly 600 pages, it is the most comprehensive chronicle of what went right and what went wrong with WCW. I had the opportunity to speak with the author at length about his wonderful book, as well as Guy’s thoughts on modern-day wrestling, who his favorite wrestler is, and more.

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Pro Wrestling Demystified: Suspension of Disbelief

I had a great view of the action from my seat at WrestleMania XXX.

My first “Pro Wrestling Demystified” article focused on wrestling being “fake.” If you haven’t read it, do so. I’m proud to bring you the next entry in this series. Today, we’re going to take a look at suspension of disbelief — a commonly used term in professional wrestling parlance when describing the total immersion of oneself in the storyline and/or match that’s taking place.

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The Squared Circle by David Shoemaker

The Squared Circle by David Shoemaker was released in 2013, and it examines the careers of deceased professional wrestlers. Not exactly the most uplifting premise, yet the author tackles different eras, promotions, and grapplers with aplomb. Almost all of the big-name wrestlers who are no longer with us are featured in this book, including Chris Benoit, Owen Hart, Brian Pillman, and more.

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Nitro by Guy Evans

Nitro by Guy Evans is the best book ever written about Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling. Prior to this book’s existence, The Death of WCW held this title. Not anymore. At nearly 600 pages, Nitro features interviews with over 120 former TBS and WCW employees. The author also had access to a myriad of internal WCW documents, providing the reader with the nitty gritty details when it comes to contracts, PPV revenue, and more. For a topic that has been covered ad nauseam, Nitro is a fresh take on one of the wildest times in professional wrestling, providing the most comprehensive and satisfying account of the rise and fall of WCW.

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A Conversation With Vampiro

Ian Hodgkinson — better known as Vampiro, the lucha libre legend and former star in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) — has a new documentary called Nail in the Coffin: The Fall & Rise of Vampiro. Having grown up watching Vampiro in WCW, I jumped at the chance to interview Ian to learn more about his thoughts on the documentary, his career in wrestling, and more.

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You Cannot Kill David Arquette

You Cannot Kill David Arquette is a new must-see documentary that I highly recommend. “Branded as the most hated man in wrestling after winning a highly controversial WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 2000, actor David Arquette attempts a rocky return to the sport that stalled his promising Hollywood career. Dangerously determined to redeem his reputation and reclaim his self-respect, Arquette will stop at nothing to earn his place in professional wrestling.” This is the premise of You Cannot Kill David Arquette, and it’s exquisitely executed.

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Nail in the Coffin: The Fall & Rise of Vampiro

I grew up watching pro wrestling in the 1990s, which means I lived through the “Monday Night War” between Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling (WCW). There were plenty of colorful characters in both promotions, and, for a couple of years, Vampiro was one of them. Similar to the face-painted warriors who preceded him, Vampiro had a mystique about him that seemed to resonate with fans. He never became a top guy, perhaps because he was in WCW during its waning years and was never invited to join the WWF (now WWE). However, he was a lucha libre legend in Mexico. Now that he’s semi-retired, Vampiro — real name Ian Hodgkinson — is releasing a documentary through digital VOD services on September 8. Entitled Nail in the Coffin: The Fall & Rise of Vampiro, it’s a wonderful, yet tragic, film that documents the internal struggles and external injuries of a wrestler trying to break away from the business that broke him.

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Audible Review: Hardcore History

Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of the ECW is an excellent Audible Original. Writer Scott E. Williams has pored through records and conducted dozens of interviews with fans, company officials, business partners, and the wrestlers themselves to bring listeners the most thorough account possible of this bizarre company. As someone who has watched numerous documentaries about ECW, I learned a lot while listening to this audiobook. It provides an excellent, and sometimes detailed, overview of major events related to ECW and its various incarnations.

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Audible Review: Dusty by Dusty Rhodes

Dusty Rhodes is one of the most influential and successful professional wrestlers of all time. He was a force to be reckoned with in the NWA, WWF, and WCW, among the other wrestling promotions he’s been affiliated with. This book, Dusty, came out in 2005. Today, 15 years later, Dusty is no longer with us. In the book he talks about how his son Cody is out in Hollywood trying to be an actor. These parts made me laugh because Cody now runs and wrestles in one of the top professional wrestling promotions in the world. Considering Dusty died just 10 years after this book came out, I’m glad he took the time to write it as it would have been a shame if he hadn’t done so.

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