World Wrestling Entertainment released their newest WCW themed DVD this past Tuesday entitled "The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro, Volume 2." This is the second installment of the series, and features a variety of main event superstars from the days of the Monday Night Wars. The majority of featured wrestling stars are no longer active, though a few men like Diamond Dallas Page and Bret "Hitman" Hart do make sporadic appearances for WWE. The first installment of the series was a fun ride down memory lane, but lacked depth. This second DVD in the series gives the viewer hope that it will surpass the first.
The DVD opens up with a bout between two classic rivals, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair and Sting. The two had been feuding one and off since the late 80s, and this match was just a continuance of the rivalry. Although Flair and Sting had great chemistry, this match doesn't feature anything out of the ordinary. The two great superstars go through the motions and hit all their signature spots. You could easily find a better Ric Flair versus Sting match, maybe even on a later WCW Nitro episode. Despite the blandness of the match, it is a good choice to open up the DVD, as it features two high profile individuals in a comfortable and inviting bout.
The first DVD moves along very smoothly, featuring two really good cruiserweight matches. The cruiserweights were a large part of the early success of WCW Nitro, and these two chosen bouts are good indicators of the cruiserweight action produced at the time. There is also a decent Steiner Brothers versus Road Warriors tag team match that is included on the first disc. Fans might forget that, during this time in WCW, the tag team division featured the top tag teams from around the world. The Steiner Brothers and the Road Warriors are easily in the top 5 greatest teams of all time. The first disc ends with a fun Scott Hall versus Ric Flair match. This match happened in June 1997, before Scott Hall's demons really destroyed him.
The second disc opens with an introduction to WCW Monday Nitro and their use of celebrities. Over the years, the company featured many television and sports celebrities to appeal to a larger audience. There was no bigger sports celebrity at the time than Dennis Rodman, who gets a short segment on the opening of this disc. "Macho Man" Randy Savage makes his first appearance on this compilation, which is a bit of a surprise given he was a huge part of the early WCW Nitro episodes. The WWE makes up for this later on in the disc by including a Savage match against a young Booker T. After the bout, we get a segment called "Remembering Macho Man." This was a nice and worthwhile addition to the disc.
The third disc features a variety of matches from the era of WCW Monday Nitro that started the ratings plunge. Despite the weakening ratings, the matches featured on the third disc are fairly decent. None of them are main event pay per view worthy, but then again, this is a compilation of the best matches on television. The disc begins by shining a light on the dissolving of the New World Order. The match between Kevin Nash and Lex Luger versus The Giant and Hulk Hogan is a good reminder as to why the product started to get so boring. The fans were no longer excited just to see the marquee names in the ring together. They started demanding quality bouts, and most the top paid guys just couldn't give it to them. The third disc isn't horrible by any stretch of the imagination. The Rey Mysterio versus Eddie Guerrero bout is what you would expect from these two incredibly talented and young luchadores. Their matches in WCW far outshine their later series in WWE, and happily doesn't include any hideous family driven storylines. Another thing worth noting is that this disc features the very last match between Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage.
The disc ends with a match between Scott Steiner and Booker T from the very last episode of WCW Monday Nitro. As fans are well aware, Booker T went on to become a main event champion in WWE, while Scott Steiner had some minor success in WWE and TNA wrestling. The blu-ray version of this compilation DVD is worth checking out. It contains a promising Brian Pillman versus Ric Flair bout, as well as a surprisingly good Chris Jericho versus Scott Steiner contest.
Overall, "The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro, Volume 2" is well worth the asking price. It features some of the best matches from the Monday Night Wars era, reminding long time fans why WCW was so great. There aren't many bouts aside from J.L. versus Fake Sting that do not belong on the compilation. The stand out matches would be all the cruiserweight matches, the Savage-DDP cage match, and Booker T against Jeff Jarrett. The three disc set is more in-depth than the first edition, and features a better quality and variety of matches. This is a must purchase for all wrestling fans.