WCW Classics (partially found professional wrestling compilation show; 2000-2001)

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Wcwclassics1.jpg

WCW Classics website.

Status: Partially Found

WCW Classics is a professional wrestling compilation show. Produced by and broadcast on Turner South, it showcased classic National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) matches primarily from the 1970s and 1980s.

Background[edit | edit source]

Starting from 15th July 2000,[1] WCW Classics aired on a weekly basis, showcasing classic professional matches from the NWA and WCW in a 30-minute timeslot.[2] The show was presented by Dusty Rhodes, who was approached by producer and director John Perry to help contribute towards building Turner South, which only existed a year prior to the show. According to Rhodes, WCW Classics helped significantly with the growth of Turner South, claiming that were it not for wrestling, the channel likely would have folded after only a year.[3] Rhodes was notably not under contract with WCW when the show first started, although he would return to the organisation in early 2001.[4]

The matches showcased had commentary dubbed over by Rhodes and his long-term rival Ric Flair. Skits between Rhodes and his long-term rival Ric Flair were aired in-between the matches, with the match commentary and skits typically involving them bickering over the fights. For example, in a recap of a match between the two where Rhodes won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, Flair argued that Rhodes should have been disqualified midway through for "posting him", although the latter very much disputed this. Flair then accused the tape of having been "edited", storming out in the process at the end of the episode.[5]

According to Kayfabe Memories, certain episodes would be dedicated to themes, including the 5th August 2000 episode being dedicated to Flair,[6] while the 12th August show featured wrestlers who suffered tragedies just before their careers could really take off.[7] Kayfabe Memories would also criticise the shows for not properly elaborating on the backgrounds surrounding these matches.[8] The show lasted two seasons, and was also notable for being one of the last of the original WCW programming following rival company World Wrestling Federation (WWF) purchasing the organisation on 23rd March 2001.[9] Ultimately, WCW Classics would still be airing with new episodes by July 2001, well into the WWF's Invasion storyline.[10]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Despite WCW Classics being promoted by Turner South, including having a dedicated website,[11] the show remains relatively obscure. Particular issues that hampered viewership included access to the show being limited to DirecTV viewers,[12] as well as WCW's unpopularity by the early 2000s.[13] Additionally, no episodes of the show are currently accessible on the WWE Network,[14] meaning the majority of its episodes are now lost media. Only the episodes from June and July 2001 have publicly resurfaced thanks to Al Balog uploading them onto YouTube on 1st October 2020. Additionally, Dangerous Video owned his tape of unknown episodes from the show he recorded, which also had documented matches on his page[15]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

June 2001 episodes.
July 2001 episodes.


See Also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. IGN reporting on WCW Classics first being aired. Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  2. Kayfabe Memories summarising WCW Classics. Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  3. Dusty: Reflections of Wrestling's American Dream where Rhodes discussed his time on WCW Classics. Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  4. Wrestling Classics discussing how Rhodes was not under WCW contract when WCW Classics initially aired. Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  5. Slash Wrestling transcript of the 22nd July 2001 episode. Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  6. Kayfabe Memories review of the 5th August 2000 episode Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  7. Kayfabe Memories review of the 12th August 2000 episode Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  8. Kayfabe Memories review of the 29th July 2000 episode, criticising the show for providing little background to the matches. Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  9. CNN Money reporting on the WWF buying WCW. Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  10. Wrestling Forum post discussing how WCW Classics was one of the last original WCW programming prior to the WWF purchasing the company. Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  11. Screengrab of the WCW Classics website. Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  12. Wrestling Classics discussing WCW Classics and how DirecTV requirements limited viewership. Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  13. The Death of WCW, which detailed the company's unpopularity throughout the early 2000s. Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  14. WWE Network search yielding no WCW Classics episodes. Retrieved 18 Dec '21
  15. Dangerous Video page of the WCW Classics, that revealed he had taped unknown episodes from the show. Retrieved 19 Dec '21