Watching (in hindsight) the self-destruction of WCW in its final months is something that gives me a perverse sense of pleasure. From the constant turnover in both management and talent to the questionable booking decisions, WCW in 2000 and 2001 was something to behold.
That spilled over to WCW's in-house magazine which, despite the best of intentions, always seemed to suffer because they seemingly had no idea what management was up to, and were also competing against the WWF's new directive to somehow straddle the line between shoot and kayfabe in their stories.
Below are the contents of one of the final WCW Magazines ever published. Let's see what's inside this bad boy...
For example, there was a brief article on Jimmy Hart and his emerging feud with Chicago-area shock jock Mancow.
While the idea was basically harmless (The Mouth of the South would taunt local DJs before PPV shows in their area), Hart explains the concept is something he borrowed from his days in Memphis with Jerry Lawler.
To me, admitting the whole thing is a publicity stunt kind of defeats the purpose of it. No?
One of the unique features to this issue was the 2000 Awards in WCW, not chosen by the fans, but instead by the WCW Magazine staff. How hard would it have been for them to add a fan ballot a few months earlier and then still fudge the results to meet their needs at the time?
Some of the award winners (Jeff Jarrett as Wrestler of the Year and Kronik as Tag Team of the Year) are somewhat questionable. But it would be VERY difficult for anyone to argue against the placement of that photo of Female Personality of the Year Stacy Keibler.
I mean.... damn!
Scott Steiner shoot interviews, as a general rule, are NEVER boring, and the cover feature from this magazine didn't fail to disappoint. Among the very controversial highlights:
Big Poppa Pump picks fights with both Madusa and that "craterface" Torrie Wilson.
After asking about the alleged fight he'd recently had, hitting a Department of Transportation worker with his truck, they asked whether he has an anger problem. Steiner said "Maybe a tad."
If he ever tried MMA, Steiner said "I would kill Tank Abbott."
Another feature article gets into WCW Tag Team Champions Chuck Palumbo and Shawk Stasiak... and how much they dislike each other.
Seriously - that was the focus of the article. They began teaming a few months earlier and while they were having success as The Natural Born Thrillaz, the two didn't tend to get along in real life. Now, if this was an article on, say, The Road Warriors - fine, that would be a neat nugget to know. But these guys JUST started teaming!
The article also mentions how Stasiak was fired from the WWF for tape-recording conversations. Like, why even go there in this particular article?
One more feature to article to highlight, this one on Sid Vicious, who had recently returned to WCW after some sort of injury.
The article references how Sid's last stint in the company ended in controversy, when the writing team of Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff forced him to surrender the championship as part of an ill-fated brand relaunch.
"The whole thing was very confusing," Sid tells WCW Magazine, identified by his shoot name of Sid Eudy. He goes on to say "I went from babyface to heel in a matter of days, only to hear they didn't need me at all."
I do understand why they would want to re-set Sid, for lack of a better word, but doing so at the expense of an angle that was less than a year old just seems silly.
Of course, there was much more to this particular issue of the magazine. For example, full results of what would be the final Starrcade (at least, until WWE revived it some 17 years later); an article on the spray-tanning habits of Major Gunns; a poster of an unmasked and devil-horn wearing Rey Mysterio Jr.; and a barrage of columns written by the likes of Lash LeRoux, Tony Schiavone, Madusa, Kevin Eck, Scott Hudson, Mark Madden, Mike Tenay and Stevie Ray.... all within the same magazine.
Is it any wonder WCW soon went out of business?