Kayfabe Commentaries‘ innovative shoot interview series “Timeline: The History of WCW” is back with an absolute classic for the ages!
“Timeline”, in case you’ve been living under a rock, is a stellar historical shoot interview series by the folks at Kayfabe C. that examines, year-by-year, the life of a popular promotion (be that WWE, WCW, or ECW) as told by the stars who lived it. In each edition series host Sean Oliver sits down with a wrestling legend to dissect the angles, matches, stars, and politics that defined the year.
For the new “Timeline: The History of WCW – 1990” DVD Sean Oliver is joined by the irascible and brilliant Jim Cornette to talk all things World Championship Wrestling in 1990.
Unlike 1989, which had a number of truly classic matches, moments, and events, 1990 for WCW was largely a hot mess. Be it Sting injuring his knee before WrestleWar ’90 or the debut of El Gigante, which cost WCW the Road Warriors, 1990 in WCW is best remembered for the backstage chaos and on-screen flubs than anything else. As manager of the Midnight Express, color commentator, host of the “Louisville Slugger” segment, and member of the booking committee, there may be no other person better suited to break the down the lows (and the lower) of WCW in 1990 than Corny!
If you’re looking for the inside story on the biggest matches and angles of 1990 you won’t be disappointed. But this interview is really about Jim Herd (the “Grinch who stole wrestling”, as Cornette calls him) and how the corporate culture of TBS quickly killed the promotion’s momentum coming out of 1989 and served to only erode fan support further by the end of the 1990.
One of the big issues that spans the entirety of the year is the growing tension between Jim Herd and Ric Flair, tensions that seemed to come to a head in February when Flair quit the booking committee in protest of Jim Herd’s constant interference but which only grew worse when Sting, whom Flair had promised the World title to, was injured and Herd wanted Flair to drop it to Luger. It all led to an infamous night in Chicago on March 23, 1990 where Flair agreed to drop the title to Luger only if Herd released Flair from his contract and allowed Flair to go to the World Wrestling Federation. Herd refused to release Flair and Flair kept his word, dropping the title to Sting at the Great American Bash on July 7.
Frustrations with the booking committee and Ole Anderson as head booker (who would crater the ratings months after Flair had them and all-time highs) play a major role in the story of 1990. From the “phantom angle” that was designed to get Brian Pillman ready for Ric Flair that never played out thanks to Jim Barnett nixing it only after the initial angle was shot for TV, the “Black Scorpion” fiasco, the ungodly “Return of RoboCop” blunder at Capital Combat, and the bewildering “fake” Sting at Halloween Havoc, WCW’s on-screen product was frankly at an all-time low.
The year’s debuts, including Big Van Vader, the “new” Minnesota Wrecking Crew (and why they were under masks), Michael Wallstreet, the Master Blasters, and Mark Callous to name a few, are also discussed here in the DVD, as are the returns of JYD, Tony Schiavone, and Barry Windham among others. Cornette also talks about the “game” he often feels Vince McMahon played by hiring away WCW talent, tweaking one or two things in their gimmick and making a genuine superstar out the wrestler, as Vince did with “I.R.S” and “The Undertaker”.
Throughout the interview we get Corny’s thoughts on such people as Tom Zenk, Jorge “El Gigante” Gonzalez, Brian Pillman, Kevin Sullivan, Ric Flair, Mark Calloway, Paul Heyman, Arn Anderson, and Lex Luger, as well as thoughts on why Sting’s “failed” title reign shouldn’t be held against him, and the disaster that was the feature on WCW on Saturday Night with Connie Chung. We also get our fair share of truly incredible, hilarious, and often unbelievable stories like the night in June in South Carolina when he glommed an angry mentally handicapped man repeatedly with his tennis racquet (and how the Governor’s son helped save his hide); the riot that Cornette started in October in Altoona, Pennsylvania when he blasted a violent fan in the forehead with his racquet only for the ejected, bleeding fan to return; and the course of events that led to Cornette quitting WCW in September of 1990, to name a very scant few.
All in all that’s a total running time of 3 hours and 14 minutes and this 2-disc DVD is, simply put, incredible. Thanks to Jim Cornette’s anal retentive nature we’ve got notes, memos, payroll sheets, formats, and letters; everything but dramatic reenactments to tell the story of 1990 in WCW! An interview that is as funny as it is informative, this is what “Timeline” is all about!
While younger fans may have a hard time identifying with the subject matter, older and more hardcore fans will be in heaven. It’s everything you would expect from a Jim Cornette interview and then some. I can’t recommend “Timeline: The History of WCW – 1990” enough. You will not be disappointed!
“Timeline: The History of WCW – 1990” is available now at KayfabeCommentaries.com.
Choose between the DVD, a download to watch later, or the option to stream it instantly On Demand.
I see that the key missing (upcoming) Kayfabe WCW Timeline’s are: 1992,1995,1998 and 1999. How about the following guests for each year?
1992 Sting (hopefully not too expensive)or Ron Simmons
1995 Flair (might be too pricey)or Luger
1998 DDP or Bret Hart
1999 Booker T (as he works for WWE, probably not)or Scott Steiner
any thoughts out there? I (for the most part) love the WWE/WCW Timeline Series and agree that Cornette is gold on all three of his episodes!
Excuse me please, with no bad words to this WCW review I’d like to say I’m bored with all the recent releases.. when will they go back to releaseing great Blu-Ray sets again like GR; Shawn Vs Bret, WWE Falls count anywhere, 3Disc Austin set??
I mean, with Michaels gone, shouldn’t they be making something like a 3Disc Blu-Ray set on one of WWF/E’s greatest wrestlers of all time; HBK?! – Matches that include the Hell In A Cell match from Badd Blood 1997! / A GR; Rock Vs Austin set that was put down for a good reason, but had never been put back up again cos of a stupid ‘Top 25 Rivlaries set!’, which was so boring after a while!
I mean please, if I wanna get my voice out about this, then how else do I do it apart from saying it all on this site?
(Sorry for the interruption in this topic).
Will excuse you being off topic since you were polite.
Isn’t WWE Unreleased a biggie that’s upcoming? The NXT Blu-ray if you like NXT. And somewhat related to your list, we may end up with a Shawn Michaels Unreleased set if recent surveys were to be believed.
Austin/Rock would get my vote (like it did back then) but getting both stars in to do would probably be a long shot. Rock especially. Without them, is it worth it?
Thanks for a polite reply too, however the WWE Unreleased maybe a biggie, though it’s only in DVD format (plus I’d prefer to watch unreleased matches that I’ve seen before w/their remembered storylines from the early 80’s all the way to the late 90’s).
As for the NXT, I’m not really much of a fan of these guys, instead I’m sure loads of fans would be desperate to see a D-X DVD/Blu-Ray set released w/every member included along w/their interviews & matchups all the way from 1996-1999/millennium time! DX were my favourite faction back in their time which included HBK, HHH, Chyna (Rick Rude-manager), Tyson, X-Pac & the New Age Outlaws!
As for your words in the Shawn Michaels set… well wow! I never heard about that! Though if they’re unreleased matches that have never been seen.. then no! I’d prefer something like the ‘Stone cold Steve Austin – the bottom line on the most popular superstar of all time’ set! That’s one of my favourite Blu-Ray sets of all time!
As for the Greatest Rivlaries; Rock Vs Austin set, you’re saying that we may not have the two superstars to do this for us? Well I don’t see why stone cold Steve Austin wouldn’t want to sit down and make this set as well as the Rock, he may be busy in Hollywood but I’m dam sure positive that he would come back and sit down w/stone cold & JR and have a long interview as well as have all his matches against Austin shown on a Blu-Ray/DVD set!
Unreleased….would love to see unreleased sets on specific talent versus a collection of random unreleased matches. There’s a ton of names deserving of this set. HBK is one of them. But to name a small number of others: Taker, Sting, Bret Hart, SCSA, Rock, Foley, Kane, Kurt Angle, Sting, Randy Savage.
SCSA The Bottom Line….def agree! Is one of my all time favorite wwe releases too! Had a very detailed, informative career spanning doc that was done after he retired unlike someone like KO who got one less than 10yrs in wwe. What I appreciate about TBL set though is that Austin took fan suggestions for documentary topics as well as matches selections. I know this not only bc I read about him stating he would but also bc I suggested Undertaker and he included his match w/UT at SummerSlam 98 which to my knowledge was at that point in time the first time the match was on bluray.
Read wwe nixed this year’s Summerslam on bluray thinking demand for blurays in low or whatever. That thought could be bc of the Network and how that allows them to have content on there or bc sales for bluray is lower than expected. Well if they took fan suggestions and fit into blurays as many suggestions as possible, that might increase sales as Austin’s set sold well. And by fan suggestions, I also mean what or who to do a set on. Idk how many would want a KO set over a Kane or Kurt Angle doc or an unreleased set on HBK or one of the other names I suggested above considering KO’s been in the company less than 10yrs while the other aforementioned names were in wwe (or wcw for sting but wwe own wcw’s entire library)
GR….love the Austin vs Rock suggestion. Some other rivalries that deserve the Bret vs HBK treatment: Austin vs Mcmahon, Austin vs HHH, Rock vs HHH, Sting vs Flair, Sting vs Hogan, Taker’s rivalries w/Mick Foley, HBK, Kane, HHH, Lesnar, Cena vs Orton. Hardys vs Dudleys vs E&C.
So there you go! You’ve said what else I need to say… these are the kinds of titles which rocked!
N if Blu-Rays are really going low, I can bet you they were never that low when my mentioned titles had comes out e.g. The Austin blu/GR; Shawn Vs Bret n loads more!
They just need to make more of those again w/superstars from the past!
As again, I’m a fan who stopped watching wrestling the day Austin n HBK had stopped showing their faces again ☹️
When I came back n saw The Game Triple H w/no hair n Kane wearing a suit, I was discusted! Now I only watch the WWE for it’s Royal Rumble & WM matches ☹️ But what I love spending my money on was the great Blu-Ray sets which I have e.g. RAW100 / WWE OMG 50 / Austins 3Disc / HBK’s WM matches, etc!
They start doing sets like these on Blu-Ray again n I’ll be smacking my cash down straightaway!
To be honest w/you, I think many, myself included care more about what the featured content is over whether its dvd or bluray format. Sure of course I definitely love & prefer bluray as its superior quality and to my knowledge dvd isn’t hd which is a downside when WWE’s hd content is on dvd. And to my knowledge, bluray discs can fit more content than dvd. However if that space is filled with content I personally don’t like/care for, then its means nothing for me regardless of whether it’s bluray or dvd. The 30 Years of Survivor Series is a great example of this. Its on bluray but I think they messed up with the content. Their ppv blurays now only have 1-2 extras when the discs can I believe fit more than that.
I guess I have nothing more to say or add
With a ’30 Years of Survivor Series’ on Blu-Ray, the content would still be what it is today, however there would be extras and since I liked up to at least five matches on the set, I can say that I would have brought it w/more extras added if there were more elimination matches,
Again I enjoyed all of the Blu-Ray extras on Austins 3disc Blu-Ray as well as the other content, though they could have done better w/The true story of the royal rumble blu-ray extras and added more blu-ray content such as an older Rumble match I was really looking forward to seeing; Royal Rumble 1992 – Ric Flair’s WWF win instead of the RAW / SMACKDOWN Rumble matches.
I agree w/you on True Story of RR. 92 remains among my favorite RR matches. I just didn’t like the ending w/Sid costing Hogan the match. It worked bc it allowed a heel Flair to do what heels do to win though. Honestly they could’ve done better w/all True Story sets as far as content beyond the main documentary story goes. Really hope The True Story of Summerslam if/when its out is TRUly worth buying it!
Survivor Series set….agree w/you on this too. I’m shocked that Taker’s debut from 1990 & his 15th anniversary from 2015 aren’t there though I am glad his 1st title win from 1991 is present. The Elimination Chamber from 2002 is also missing. So is many Survivor Series Elimination matches which has always been the main selling point of the ppv to begin with except maybe 2002.
Goddamm… mother farcckkkerrrr!
Great review of a brilliant interview.
The Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline series is one of the greatest oral histories of wrestling available today, and Jim Cornette’s vital contributions to WWF 1997, WCW 1989 and now WCW 1990 are the crown jewels of the concept.
This interview is fantastic, and Jim’s passion really shines through making it engaging, informative and entertaining viewing.
I truly beg all wrestling fans to check this out.