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Magazine Of The Month



WCW Yearbook


Deep down inside, I truly believe that WCW Magazine wanted to be WWF Magazine back in the day. Sure, they probably didn't have WWF Magazine's resources, production values and at this stage, they didn't really have a super-competitive roster.... but you can tell with certain projects that they seriously emulated the competition.


This is one such project. Every year, WWF would put out a slick, glossy publication called "Superstars" that had biographies of each wrestler, plus a brief description and catchphrases. Beginning in 1991, WCW did the same with their "Yearbook" series - a pale imitation of Superstars, but an interesting study nonetheless.


Case in point: this biography of Steve Austin looks like it could be part of a high school newspaper. There's a mimeographed photo of Austin in the background, and the font used most of the text isn't quite Comic Sans, but it's something close.


I'm not saying it has to be an ultra-professional document, with perfect photography and all that. I'm saying that in late-1992 (when this publication hit newsstands), I was first learning about graphic design in journalism school and could have probably put something comparable together using Quark XPress.


Just in case you weren't buying WCW Yearbook for the articles, it's good to know there were tons of full-page posters of WCW's pretty boy wrestlers.


I suppose I can understand the inclusion of some of these (e.g. Van Hammer), as he could still be considered a rising star at this stage, but Brad Armstrong? Why?!? My only guess is that they must have been seriously short on roster depth in the midst of the Bill Watts era. By the following year, they had tons of big names that weren't included in the 1993 Yearbook, including Ric Flair, Davey Boy Smith, Harlem Heat and Sid Vicious.


Oh, and speaking of Bill Watts, I can't help but notice his punk-ass kid Erik Watts gets his own bio and poster. I can think of five possible reasons one would want a poster of Erik friggin' Watts:


1) You collect pictures of random dorky-looking teenagers in your locker.

2) Birth control.

3) You already have a poster of Chad Fortune and need this one to complete your Tekno Team 2000 collection.

4) You mistook it for a poster of Tommy Page, the dork who sang to Stephanie Tanner (super-obscure reference, I know, but my daughter is deeply into Full House these days).

5) You actually are Erik Watts.


That's not to suggest WCW didn't have any talent at the time, because they certainly did.


Among the superstars profiled here are nearly a dozen WWE Hall of Famers, including Arn Anderson, Tony Atlas, Steve Austin, Cactus Jack, Madusa, Ron Simmons, Ricky Steamboat, Kevin Nash, Barry Windham, Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura. Plus you have a lot of people that will likely go in to the HoF one day, including Sting, Vader, Rick Rude, Shane Douglas, Nikita Koloff and Dustin Rhodes.


So it's not that WCW didn't have enough to work with in this Yearbook, they just kind of got lazy and gave this the most minimal effort possible, probably so that they could continue the widespread push of Erik Watts off camera.


I can't say I'd exactly recommend this magazine to anyone (no, really?), but I've held on to my issue for roughly 22 years, so perhaps they're still some limited collectors appeal. Just not as much as there would have been for one by WWF Magazine.

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