Months ago, I wrote about the first edition of WWF Magazine that I'd ever owned (not the first one ever, but relatively early in the series). With the news that this month's issue of WWE Magazine is the final one following a 31 year run, I felt it was only appropriate to pick a copy up to complete the circle.
Now.... I haven't read WWE Magazine regularly in many, many years, so I'm not aware of what led to the publication's demise. But I can only imagine it's a similar situation to what has been going on throughout the publishing industry right now - magazines either going online or disappearing.
Having said that, I suspect that the folks at WWE Magazine weren't aware this was coming until fairly late in the process, thus the stickers placed strategically throughout the magazine to say "Uh... bye."
Need more proof the ending of WWE Mag wasn't planned out far in advance? Check out this regular feature on 'best wrestling cities'.
While outlining a battle between Chicago and Detroit (Chicago all the way, am I right?), they also preview battles for future issues. Whoops.
Having said that, this issue certainly added some features designed to celebrate the rich history of WWE Magazine. I'm sure had they been afforded more time/resources, they may have put out something more comprehensive. But at least unlike the final WCW Magazine (which I also own somewhere in my pile 'o' publications), they knew this was coming and could say some sort of a farewell.
WWE magazine went through several changes, from the 'rock 'n' wrestling era/anything goes to get us publicity' era, from the 'Vince Russo bookz fantasy storylines under the name Vic Venom' era, to the 'Raw and SmackDown as separate publications' era to the current 'let's focus on family friendly stuff again' era.
In theory, this "Last Will and Testament of WWE Magazine" sounded like it would be a good feature to effectively say buh-bye to readers while nodding to three decades of memories.... but it fell a little flat.
Instead of never-before seen photos of, say, Andre The Giant, Ric Flair or Stone Cold Steve Austin, the section mostly focused on pics of Dolph Ziggler, Stardust and Dean Ambrose.
I mean, I get it - people who read WWE Magazine aren't going to care as much about the old-timers, but if you're going to make this a commemorative issue.... make it a commemorative issue!
Since they didn't bother, I will make the comparison for myself:
June/July 1986 Cover: Hulk Hogan/King Kong Bundy/Mr. T
October 2014 Cover: The Shield
June/July 1986 Interview: Jimmy Hart
October 2014 Interview: Rusev and Lana
Oh, and they also listed some of their favorite covers over the years. Is it just me, or do all of these seem a little.... um, modern?
I mean, seriously - you couldn't have thrown in one of Miss Elizabeth or Mankind to placate the old timers?
And finally.... as part of the pull-out poster with illustrated versions of the different phases of The Undertaker over the years, one panel reads "Rest In Peace" with the current WWE Magazine. It would have been a nice, classy touch, had I not somehow managed to get my fingerprints all over it before I scanned the image (hmmmm....).
Oh, and just for trivia's sake? Guess what the final image is anyone sees when they peruse the back cover of the final edition ever of WWE Magazine?