Here we are, just over four years since the initial “Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro” and we now have the third volume, so I’m sure the question on everyone’s mind has to be… “is the third time the charm?”. Well, stick with me and hopefully by the time you make it to the end I will have that answer for you. Be warned however, at the end I have some questions for you as well.
Packed with more than 30 matches and almost 10 moments, this DVD set is stuffed with WCW Nitro, and the Blu-ray edition comes with an additional 6 matches and 2 moments. In total the DVD version clocks in at just over seven hours and more than eight and a half hours on the Blu-ray. The set spans Nitro’s entire six plus year run from the fall of 1995 through to March 2001.
Before we get into some of the matches and moment, let’s take a look at Diamond Dallas Page’s segments. For me it is really cool that WWE has had DDP host all three volumes and having it done in the same setting it adds a sense of familiarity to the sets — hell, Dallas is even dressed almost EXACTLY the same in all three volumes! Dallas does a great job as host, as he provides a little backstory or anecdote to the matches/moments and segueing into the next.
Lets move on to talk about some edits; who doesn’t love to hear about edits on WWE Home Video releases? Some of the more noteworthy edits include some theme changes such as Hollywood Hogan and Chris Jericho (whose theme has been replaced with his WWE one). It should also be noted that Michael Buffer has not been removed from the set, as his introductions remain intact.
Other noteworthy things to mention are that no date graphics are presented on-screen for any of the matches – which does make it a little difficult to frame the footage that you are watching. Also, in a move which I am sure will delight very few, WWE has opted to replace the now common plain black sidebars with the familiar ‘checker plate’ designed ones used on the first two Nitro releases, this time however there are no WWE logos on-screen throughout the entire presentation.
No, while I am not going to be going through every moment and match, I will however be looking at some of the hottest segments and some which simply were not. So without further ado, let’s get into the hot ones…
TV Title Match: Johnny B. Badd vs. Eddie Guerrero; 11/13/95
Badd and Eddie left it all out there in this one; this was a really great match between the two. Sadly, WCW remembered their 10 minute time limit rule as I could have easily watched another 10 minutes of this one, and also sadly most will remember Marc Mero more for his WWE run, however he really did have some great matches in WCW in this era.
Ric Flair Confronts Bret “Hit Man” Hart; 1/5/98
Courtesy of the Blu-ray now we have this in-ring showdown between the Hitman and the Naitch in front of a rabid “Hotlanta” crowd at the Georgia Dome. Ultimately this would set up Bret Hart’s very first WCW match at Souled Out against Ric Flair. In fact this promo made me want to go back and see the match.
Eddie Guerrero & Chris Jericho vs. Chavo Guerrero & Dean Malenko; 2/9/98
This was a fun match; a really, really, really fun match. This was the antithesis of how awesome WCW cruiserweight action could be. Without question this was one of the true highlights of The Very Best of WCW Nitro Vol. 3 for me.
nWo Wolfpac Flip nWo Hollywood’s Limo; 10/5/98
Unfortunately, the name of this segment doesn’t quite do it justice. This one features a really lively backstage brawl between the feuding nWo factions – Wolfpac and Hollywood. Why are the Wolfpac so pissed, well this segment on the Blu-ray follows the match which got the Wolfpac all riled up. This was the type of segment which made Nitro must-see TV.
Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. Booker T; 2/22/99
This was a great match, like many WCW matches the announcers were distracted by just about everything else except the match, and we did cut away mid-match to Disco Inferno (ugh). However, the in-ring action here was really top notch.
Hollywood Hogan vs. Diamond Dallas Page; 3/29/99
This might be one of the very last Hulk Hogan matches which we see on a WWE DVD for quite a while (maybe ever) and I must say I really enjoyed this one. It didn’t quite feel like your a-typical Hogan match as he and DDP brawled around the area. I was really very presently surprised with this one.
WCW Championship Match: Jeff Jarrett vs. Bret “Hit Man” Hart; 11/22/99
Again, this was another match which I was really surprised how good it was. Granted it did have a degree of outside interference — in typical WCW fashion in that era. However, it was a very enjoyable match between Bret Hart and Jeff Jarrett. In fact Volume 3 of Best of Nitro should probably be titled: “Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro Vol. 3 – Best of Bret Hart in WCW” because there is a LOT of Hitman on this set.
Booker T & Diamond Dallas Page vs. Scott & Rick Steiner; 3/5/01
The very last match on the set and we go out with a BANG – and of course a Diamond Cutter. This one sees the recently reunited Steiner Brothers team up against Booker T and DDP. This wasn’t a long match but it wasn’t too bad. It comes from the “forgotten” era of WCW. When we all remember WCW we all seem to go from the Russo/New Blood era to the WWE purchase, however there was actually a few decent months of action in WCW before it all came to an end, so it’s nice to see some action from this era.
DDP chases “Macho Man” Randy Savage; 3/17/97
Honestly, I have no real clue why this is on here. The only possible reason was that DDP really loved his feud with Macho. The segment doesn’t really mean anything and doesn’t really go anywhere. I understand why Macho Man vs. La Parka was featured on Volume 2, but this… I have nothing.
nWo Takes Over Monday Nitro; 12/22/97
This segment is one of those ones where I couldn’t decide if it was good or bad, simply because it is so very bad that it almost becomes good. If you ever wanted to see nearly 20 minutes of Buff Bagwell, Konnan and Vincent instructing the WCW crew to remove all the WCW banners, logos and T-Shirts then this one is for you. What better way could there be to start the final build in to the companies biggest ever match with Sting vs. Hogan at Starrcade? LOL.
The Giant Tosses Scott Hall into a Pool; 3/16/98
This one does exactly what it says on the tin. Vince McMahon loved to push people in his pool back in the day, maybe that’s why it’s here?
Texas Tornado Ladder Match for the US Title: Scott Hall vs. Sid Vicious vs. Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. Goldberg; Special Referee: Kevin Nash; 11/8/99
F-luster C-uck… I have no more words.
Texas Tornado Match: Sting & Vampiro vs. Lex Luger & Ric Flair; 3/27/00
Is there a theme here, as soon as you put ‘Texas Tornado’ in the match name, it ends up on my “NOT” list. If you like seeing Sting and Luger brawl towards the beach and drenched in salsa, then it might be for you. I however prefer my salsa on chips.
Overall, the set is a fun watch, but it did get a little stale at times and this did mean at times I felt it was a bit of a stretch to call some of this content the VERY BEST of WCW Monday Nitro, however it was still really fun at times. Some of the moments are those that we all remember, others are some which we have forgotten (maybe with good reason!) but all in all Vol. 3 of Best of Nitro was good and I’m sure that if you do pick it up, you will enjoy the majority of it.
So, at the beginning I said I had three questions I was going to pose to you, so here they are:
- Why was it that it was always WCW fans that were the ones to throw crap in the ring?
- What percentage of matches from WCW Monday Nitro ended clean (without interference) vs. none and ‘screwy’ finishes?
- Do you think we have a Volume 4 of Very Best of Nitro down the road?
Please give your answers in the comments below, thank you. Until next time monkeys… see ya! 😉
Get your copy of “The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro Vol. 3” WWE DVD or Blu-ray…
– Australia: Get your DVD or Blu-ray now from WWEDVD.com.au.
– UK/Europe: Pre-order for September 28th via Amazon.co.uk.