From the Bowery: nWo: The Revolution (Blu-Ray Disc One)
Posted by Robert Leighty Jr. on 12.03.2012
I wish I still had my original nWo shirt!
From the Bowery: nWo: The Revolution (Blu-Ray: Disc One)
-I'm a huge mark for the nWo and pretty much anything associated with the Monday Night Wars so pretty easy decision to buy this one.
-Jim Crockett Promotions sells like crazy in the South, but bad management ends up crippling things so Ted Turner jumps in to buy the promotion. Various figure heads run through the organization before they put Bischoff in charge in 1993 and the nWo idea follows. Various talking heads put over the group and how it changed the industry. Nash mentions that the nWo was just cool as was seen as cooler than both the WWF and WCW at time.
-We go back to the start of the Monday Night Wars, and McMahon (from 2009) brings up that Hogan said he would never compete against him. That changed in 1994, and Vince understood why he signed because Hogan felt he still had some life left in his career. Vince immediately knew WCW was competition now with Hogan.
-Bischoff (from Monday Night War DVD footage) mentions that DDP was the go between guy with Hall and Nash. Nash tells story of Hall telling him the amount of money he was offered and how was guaranteed and was for 150 days. That was insane for the time, and Nash quickly jumps on board as well. Nash says he didn’t want to leave and would stay if Vince could come close to the deal. Back to Vince, and he wouldn’t offer the guarantee, but he does say that Hall and Nash were both upfront with everything. Hall (from 2002) mentions that he had enough friends so now he wanted to make some good money.
-May 27, 1996 (Memorial Day and my 15th Birthday), Hall debuts through the crowd on Nitro and my mind was blown at the time. Two weeks later, Nash makes his debut and again at the time, I seriously bought into the idea that the WWF was invading WCW. This was all the talk in school which was new because most time my friends were mainly interested in the WWF.
-Billy Kidman talks about the vibe backstage as everyone could feel that something big was going to happen. We get the awesome Great American Bash moment where Nash powerbombs Bischoff off the stage through a table. Dusty Rhodes says that thinking outside the box and being different was the thing that sparked the angle.
-July 7, 1996 (my Mother’s Birthday) Hall and Nash make their in ring debut against Luger, Savage, and Sting. They promised a 3rd guy, but he doesn’t show at the start of the match. Cody Rhodes mentions that he was there at the show with his dad, and even as a “smart” kid he felt everything backstage was hostile. That leads to Hogan heading down the aisle, and I still smile when I see the police officers that were lining the aisle, mark out as Hogan heads towards the ring.
-Things go black before the turn happens and all the talking heads start to mention how shocking the turn was. Nash mentions that the night was the genesis of the nWo. Jimmy Hart mentions that as he managed Hogan in WCW that they knew that he was getting booed, so they eventually decided this was the best way to go. Hogan then cuts the heel promo of his life, and Cody mentions that he sounded a lot more like a jerk. Hogan (from 2002) calls himself the Godfather and the reason it worked is because the Southern Fans hated him since he was from New York.
-Vince fucking Russo shows up and claims WCW fell into the nWo because they were lucky to have 2 top WWF stars jump ship and Hogan turned hell for first time in 25 years. Sour grapes much, Vince? Matt Striker (who is becoming a main stay on a lot of these things, which is cool because he is a wrestling nerd) mentions that Hogan reinvented himself and that his true fans stuck with him because they were waiting for a change.
-The nWo starts to expand and the first new member is Ted Dibiase. Nash mentions they needed a manager and wanted someone with a WWE name. The Giant is the next to join as he turns on WCW, and then Syxx (Waltman) follows. For shits and giggles they bring Virgil (now renamed Vince as a shot at McMahon) in as Dibiase’s head of security. Eric Bischoff joins as well, and Dibiase mentions that Bischoff saw how big the idea was getting and decided to make turn himself into the mouth piece of the group. Again I will mention that heel Bischoff came over a year before Mr. McMahon.
-Just wanted to mention that one of the talking heads is Joe Hennig and they actually use his real name instead of that goofy NXT name he had. All I can say is about fucking time, and hopefully when he comes back to the main roster they stick with his real name and play up the fact that he is the son of Mr. Perfect. Hell, I would be intrigued by a new nWo being run by the son’s of the previous members (Dibiase, Hennig, Rhodes are all under contract).
-Nash tells great story of the first time they did a vignette with the original trio. Nash and Hall decided they weren’t going to scream and do a standard wrestling promo. Well, Hogan cuts his normal whacked out promo, and Nash knew it wasn’t going to work (“this feels Memphis to me”). One of the production guys tells Nash that he will make it work by turning it black and white and doing sound bites. We get footage of that first “the following is paid for by the New World Order” and shit was so revolutionary at the time. How could anyone watching not think this was the coolest thing ever? Striker mentions the same thing and asks the camera to put him in black and white because it would be cool. Awesome! He really is a wrestling nerd, and I appreciate that.
-Expansion for the group continues as Wallstreet (IRS), Big Bubba, and Bagwell as join the group. With a bigger group now they start attacking anyone and everyone associated with WCW. Arn mentions that it brought chaos to Monday Nights and it caught on with the crowd.
-That leads to my favorite moment as Kidman brings up the time (early Aug 96) Hall and Nash beat the piss out of several WCW guys in the back of MGM studios. The greatest being Nash tossing Rey Mysterio Jr (this isn’t a WWE piece so I am adding back the Jr) into the side of a trailer like a dart. Still one of the craziest scenes you will ever see. Sadly they don’t include Savage jumping on the roof of the limo as it takes Hall and Nash away. Bischoff (2003) mentions that neighbors had called the police because they legit thought a gang fight had broken out at Disney. Cody mentions that he called his dad to see if Rey was ok, and since Dusty is a great dad he gives his son a fabricated injury report. You know, I kind of respect Dusty doing that, and even Cody mentions that while he thought it was horrible at the time, he loves his dad for it now.
-Booker and Show put over how popular the group became, and soon nWo shirts started popping up everywhere. I am proud to say I got one of those for Christmas in 96, and saddened to say it has disappeared. Hennig mentions that he had a softball team called “2 Sweet” and they used the nWo shirt as their team jerseys (complete with him showing us one the jerseys). Awesome!
-They show a ratings graphic and WCW starts kicking the ass of the WWF on a weekly basis. Show mentions it was edgy and much better than the cartoon stuff in the WWF and the Dungeon of Doom crap that he was stuck doing for early part of his WCW run. Waltman puts over the stuff he did with Flair and how they touched on real issues and blurred lines of what was real and what wasn’t.
-Cody, who is having a ball talking about this stuff, mentions that all his friends kept asking him if the nWo stuff was real compared to what we are used to in wrestling. They show Bischoff stopping the tape of Piper beating Hogan at Starrcade 96, and how it was those little things that helped add to the realism. Next they show Nash chasing off the announce team, and then calling out all the “Napoleans in the back, who can’t meet the height requirement to get on rides” and telling them they are only breathing because he allows it. Not sure why they included that unless they know most who are buying this will be smarks and now of Nash and his backstage feud with the “vanilla midgets.”
-Bischoff (2003) again states he wanted to create 2 different groups and have them fight. The plan was to have nWo get their own show, and they test that idea out by having them take over Nitro and turn it into nWo Nitro. I remember seeing bits and pieces of that show, and turning to RAW because it seemed to just drag as they tore everything down, and gets things set-up.
-Things are jumping all over the place as they go back to the expansion and Savage joining the group. Dusty turns on Larry at Souled Out and he joins the nWo to quit a massive response from the crowd. Cody’s reaction is great as he mentions that he was so mad that he spit on one of his dad’s pictures. That is fucking amazing! Dusty mentions that Eric wanted to turn anyone who had a name.
-Curt Hennig’s turn is discussed next and Joe Hennig was proud as he knew it meant his dad was a star. He says his dad loved it, and they would watch the show together and laugh at the stuff he was getting to do with the group (Arn Anderson’s “spot”). He is joined by Rick Rude and Joe mentions how cool it was to see 2 childhood friends together as stars in the hottest act in pro-wrestling.
-Now the talk switches to how the group was getting way too big and WCW guys were fighting to see how could get in the group (photo of Disc Inferno). Lex Luger (WOW) says that it should have been more exclusive. Booker T mentions that Nash asked him to be part of the group, but he turned it down as he was a solo act at the time. Funny that he would join as part of the WWE version!
-Now we go back to early 1997 was the nWo getting their own PPV, Souled Out! Nash calls it the stupidest idea ever as they had their own referee and still lost some of the matches. See, now I didn’t mind the show as it was something different and there is nothing wrong with trying something new. It certainly looked different and gave fans something they weren’t used to seeing.
-Talk shifts to Sting, and everyone mentions how he was the one guy that never jumped ship which made him the franchise to WCW. It was his company and when they nWo started running over his company he started to change into a darker persona, and Luger mentions that it was like Sting went into mourning for what had happened to his company and the WCW fans. Nice! Amazing how Sting got more over in his career by not wrestling for 18 months than by anything he ever did in the ring.
-Everyone puts over the awesomeness of the Sting vs. nWo feud. Striker mentions that people loved Sting and loved the now and how nobody wanted to see “friends fight.” Wait, what? Normally I am with Striker when it comes to his views on wrestling history, but he is nuts here. Everyone wanted to see Sting and the nWo fight which is why crowds were rapid for the guy and why WCW made a shit load of money off Starrcade 97. They gloss over Sting winning the title at Starrcade and then just move on, so we will as well I guess.
-The nWo started to cross over into mainstream, and that brings up to Dennis Rodman joining the group. Booker mentions that big time athletes and celebrities wanted to be part of the WCW/nWo war. It was one of the few times wrestling was right there with the mainstream as Rodman was a big deal in the sports world and was winning basketball titles at the same time with Michael Jordan. One of those teams his team defeated the Utah Jazz and WCW capitalized by putting Rodman and Malone in a tag match on PPV in July of 1998. Cody mentions that they were made to feud and fit in so well with DDP and Hogan. We get footage from the press conference and it did bring a shitload of attention to WCW. Bill Demott calls the match awful, but knows that everyone has different opinions.
-That was ok as at least they were athletes, but then they bring in Jay Leno. Arn says they were prostituting the company, but DDP and Cody Rhodes loved the idea. I will admit that it was kind of crazy seeing Jay Leno beating up Hulk fucking Hogan. A piece of my childhood probably died as it should have been just Leno beating on Bischoff, but it is what it is.
-We move around again now as the group splints in half. Dusty calls the split the downfall of the group as now it was just a wrestling angle. Striker says the Wolf Pack was cool, but was like little sister wanting to be in the group. Dusty Rhodes buries Disco Inferno in impressive fashion and I laugh because it’s true. Nash was happy with the group and thought it was a good run. I just like the fact they included the Wolf Pack theme which I always enjoyed.
-Interest started to diminish in the group, and the sons of the former members even mention they started to realize the group wasn’t as cool as it used to be. Booker and Show mention that the group having control of the book didn’t help as that is a subtle jab at Nash as they show him beating Goldberg at the time.
-Nash mentions that it became overkill and started to get things like the Latino World Order and the midget World order (which would have been funny in a sick way). They pass over the reformed nWo in 99, and go to nWo 2000. Vince Russo mentions they wanted to bring back the group as a vehicle for Bret, but once he got hurt they kind of knew it wasn’t going to work. Dibiase says it wasn’t going to work with certain guys and that he doesn’t want to mention names, but while he is talking they make sure to show footage of Jeff Jarrett. Brilliant! Booker says it everything was ran right and properly WCW would still be in business today, but let nWo just too out of control.
-Now we go back to the Finger Poke of Doom, and Booker mentions that at some point good has to win, but with the nWo, evil always won. That’s all we get with the WCW portion of the groups run (though more is touched on in the roundtable on Disc Two).
-Vince buys WCW in 2001 and the nWo heads to the WWF in 2002. Booker mentions that he doesn’t blame Vince for trying to squeeze as much as he can out of the group and selling some t-shirts. That brings up to WrestleMania X-8 and how the fans going rapid for Hogan kind of killed things for the group. Booker mentions that you saw Hogan and the rest of the guys kind of crashed and burned. Don’t hate Hogan for that!
-Showing they have a sense of humor things wrap up with some nWo hi-light set to a sappy song as you normally get with some of these sets, but it gets interrupted with the nWo logo and some more appropriate music is used. All the talking heads put over how much the group meant to the business, and Striker mentions that the nWo let people proudly admit they were wrestling fans and not get made fun of for it. Another nice touch as after the WWE end credits, the nWo voiceover cuts is and tells everyone “the proceeding announcement was paid for by the New World Order.” Nice!
-Scott Hall’s debut: May 27, 1996: Show in complete and still awesome now as it was over 16 years ago.
-Kevin Nash’s debut: June 10, 1996: Nash burying WCW and their older wrestlers is still pretty funny.
-Piper confronts Bischoff: Nov 18, 1996: Bischoff had been telling WCW fans that he was having trouble getting Piper to sign a match to face Hogan. Well, Piper shows up and calls Bischoff out on his lies, but the nWo hits the ring and we find out that Bischoff had been with the group and helping them along the way. That was a smart move at the time as it made sense for the nWo to have an inside source helping them after the initial “outsiders” phase had run its course.
-Hogan confronts Piper: Dec 30, 1996: Hogan lost to Piper in a non-title match at Starrcade, so the nWo beats the piss out of Piper as he yells some gibberish while being take out on a stretcher (which actually went somewhere as he was apparently yelling something in some ancient language). The Giant (who was still nWo) had won World War 3 battle royal and thus had a title match that Hogan had been ducking. Giant grabs Hogan by the throat to keep the nWo at bay, and Hogan promises him he will get his shot (in a great cowardly way), and when Giant lets him go, the rest of the nWo kicks his ass and turfs him from the group.
-WWF Debut: Feb 17, 2002, No Way Out: The nWo make their WWF debut at the start of the No Way Out PPV, and apparently the crowd doesn’t care they were brought in by Vince to destroy the WWF as they welcome them with a massive reaction. Hall and Nash each cut a promo stating they just want a fair chance, and then the crowd goes nuts when Hogan speaks for the first time in a WWF ring in nearly 9 years. Hogan pandering to the crowd and getting whatever reaction he wants out of them is a site to behold. The man knows how to work a crowd!
-The following match is cut and pasted from my “nWo: Back in Black” review.
Scott Hall, Kevin Nash vs. Sting, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Lex Luger WCW Bash at the Beach: July 7, 1996
-Hall and Nash come to the ring first, and it is without their tag team partner. Okerlund enters the ring after Sting’s pyro goes off prematurely. Hall and Nash let Okerlund know that the 3rd man is here, but they have enough to handle things right now. Team WCW comes to the ring with face paint, and even some fans at ring side have their faces painted. Schiavone finally mentions the names Hall and Nash to individually identify The Outsiders. Heenan makes hints that Dusty could be the third man. Two years later, and Dusty would join the Outsiders and the n.W.o. Luger starts with Hall, and a toothpick is thrown. That just serves to piss off Luger as he hits a flying forearm, and also drops Nash. Nash holds Luger in the corner while Sting hits a Stinger Splash. Luger gets his head/neck caught on the metal bar connecting the buckle to the post, and it left him knocked out cold on the floor. The paramedics bring down a stretcher and wheel Luger to the back. This was a great way to get things to 2 vs. 2, and watching live my first thought was that Luger was going to come back as the 3rd man. Hall throws some blows to a prone Luger on the stretcher. Sting and Hall start after Luger is wheeled out, and Hall slaps Sting across the face. That pisses off Sting as he goes nuts on Hall. A tag to Savage, but Hall catches him in the stomach with a punch. Nash lumbers in and hits snake eyes while the ref is occupied with Hall and Sting. Savage bounces back with a clothesline and gets a 2 count. Hall tags out to Nash, who gets a pretty good pop from the crowd. Rhodes goes crazy with his commentary of “who be bad now?” (may make me weird by I loved Dusty’s craziness on commentary) Nash methodically destroys Savage and drops an elbow on his head. That was a nasty bump that looked like it gave Savage a stinger. Sting quickly tags in and takes the knees in the corner from Nash. Tony and Bobby bemoan what is happening to the WCW wrestlers so far. Schiavone calls for other wrestlers to come down to help, and Sting returns fire with a dropkick. He tries a sunset flip, but Nash lifts him by the throat and choke bombs him to the mat. Hall returns and Sting plays face in peril. Fall away slam from Hall gets a 2 count. A tag is made to Nash and he drops Sting with a big foot. Savage seems to be ok now, and tries to get back in the ring. Sting sells the beating as Nash keeps firing elbows and forearms. Sting ducks a clothesline and dropkicks Nash in his knee. Sting crawls to his corner, but Hall cuts off the tag. Hall paintbrushes Sting and locks in an abdominal stretch. They do what all heels should do and cheat to win as Nash helps Hall with leverage on the hold. Nash takes his turn and also locks in an abdominal stretch. The hold is broken by a shot to the eyes, but Hall cuts off the tag to Savage. Another rest hold as Hall goes to the reverse chinlock. This gives Tony, Bobby, and Dusty the chance to root for the WCW guys and question if there really is a 3rd man (how fucked up would that have been if it was mind games all along and there wasn’t a third guy. Not delivering a payoff to the paying fans would have been a great way to piss off the crowd). Savage grabs a chair and tries to hit Nash on the outside of the ring. I know the ref is supposed to be impartial, but he is a WCW ref. Why not lax the rules for your own guys? Nash drops Sting with a sidewalk slam, but it only gets a 2 count. Sting starts to fire back as the crowd starts to come alive. Sting drops Hall (to keep him from cutting off the tag) and dives to make the hot tag to Savage. Macho goes insane as he takes on both Outsiders. He hits the double axe to the floor on Hall and then hits him with another one back in the ring. Nash stops the comeback with a timely shot to the balls. All 4 men are down, and here comes Hulk Hogan. The crowd erupts (as I freaked out at home realizing what was about to happen) (hell, it’s nearly 17 years later and I still mark out over this moment), and then goes quiet when Hogan drops the leg on Savage. Hogan tosses out the ref to end things as far as the match is concerned at around 17:33.
-Post match sees Hogan embrace Hall and Nash, and drop another leg on Savage. The fans are stunned, and when they realize what is happening, the garbage starts filling the ring. A rather fat (probably drunk) fan tries to get in the ring, but he is dropped by a Nash forearm and gets booted in the head by Hall. Quite a few people are cheering what they are seeing while the majority is standing with mouths wide open. Okerlund gets in the ring to interview Hogan. What comes next is the single most important interview ever given by Hogan in a wrestling setting:
GENE: Hulk Hogan, what in the world are you thinking?
HOGAN: Mean Gene, the first thing that you need to do is to tell these people to shut up if you wanna hear what I gotta say.
GENE: I have been with you for so many years... for you to join up with the likes of these two men absolutely makes me sick to my stomach. And I think that these people here and a lot of other people around the world, have had just about enough of this man, this man, (pointing to Nash and Hall) and you want to put yourself in this group? You've got to be…kidding me!
HOGAN: Well, the first thing you've got to realize, brother, is this right here is the future of wrestling. You can call this the New World Order of Wrestling, brother. These two men right here came from a great big organization up North. And everybody was wondering who the 3rd man was. Well who knows more about that organization than me brother?
GENE: You have made the wrong decision, in my opinion.
HOGAN: Well tet me tell you something. I made that organization a monster. I made people rich up there. I made the people that ran that organization rich, brother. When it all came to pass, the name Hulk Hogan, the man Hulk Hogan, got bigger than the whole organization! And then Billionaire Ted, Amigo, he wanted to talk turkey with Hulk Hogan. Billionaire Ted promised me movies, brother, Billionaire Ted promised me millions of dollars, brother, and Billionaire Ted promised me world caliber matches. And as far as Billionaire Ted, Eric Bischoff, and the whole WCW goes, I'm bored brother. That's why these two guys here, the so-called Outsiders, these are the men I want as my friends. They're the new blood of professional wrestling, brother, and not only are we going to take over the whole wrestling business, with Hulk Hogan and the new blood, the monsters with me, we will destroy everything in our path, Mean Gene!
GENE: Look at all this crap in this ring! This is what's in the future for you if you want to hang around with the likes of this man, Hall, and this man, Nash.
HOGAN: As far as I'm concerned, all this crap in the ring represents these fans out here. For two years, brother, for two years, I held my head high, I did everything for the charities. I did everything for the kids, and the reception I got when I came out here...you fans can stick it, brother. Because if it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, you people wouldn't be here. If it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff would be still selling meat from a truck in Minneapolis and if it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, all these Johnny-Come-Lately's that you see out here wrestling, wouldn't be here. I was selling out the world, brother, while they were bumming gas to put in their cars to get to high school, so the way that it is now, brother, with Hulk Hogan and the New World Organization of Wrestling, brother, me and the new blood by my side ... whatcha gonna do when the New World Organization runs wild on you? Whatcha gonna do? (He grabs Gene)
GENE: Hey don't touch me! I'll get a fleet of lawyers. Tony, Bobby, Dusty...dammit...let's get back to you.
No contest at 17:33
-This is the rare case where a non-finish in a Main Event match doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth. This Main Event was basically an angle advancement match, and it damn sure did its job. The match itself was nothing special, and didn’t feature all that much heat. Everyone was just so fixated on where the 3rd man was and who he would be that the match really didn’t matter. It was a solid, if unspectacular, tag match with Sting taking a great ass kicking. It was also something fresh and different with Nash and Hall making their WCW debut. The rating will go like this: **1/4 for the match and *****for the angle that followed.
-Cut and paste job again for the next match as I covered it during a review of the Hogan: Ultimate Anthology Set nearly 4 years ago.
-This match seemed like a mere formality, and it was pretty obvious the strap was going back to Hogan. Even as the biggest heel in the company the biker crowd in Sturgis is firmly behind Hogan. They could have transitioned the title to some face before giving it to Hogan, but why let a face get buried like that and roasted by the crowd? The Giant was a heel, and so what if they crowd cheered for Hogan. That would stop once they left Sturgis. The bell sounds and Hogan talks a walk to stall. Giant charges and misses, so Hogan pounds away to no effect. A pissed off Giant is never a good thing, and Hogan bails once again. Heenan is doing a great job of putting over Hogan’s mind games. That’s just a nice way of saying he is stalling, and this match blows at this point. More stalling as he jaws with the crowd that’s chanting his name. Hogan hooks a side headlock, and the Giant counters with a belly-to-back suplex. Again, Hogan bails to the floor. Schiavone seems pissed with the stalling now, and can’t believe Hogan keeps bailing after every move. “Hogan has slowed the pace of this match down to a crawl.”-Schiavone. No Shit! We are five minutes in and have had 2 punches and a suplex. The test of strength is next as I’m still amazed the crowd is with this match. The Hogan chants have not stopped, and when he powers down The Giant, the crowd roars. The Giant powers up and drops Hogan to his knees. He works an overhand wristlock, and Hogan pulls the hair to regain the advantage. Again the crowd roars. This is the same crowd that booed the hell out of a Benoit/Malenko match earlier in the night. Again, just shows you don’t need to know a 1001 holds to get a reaction out of the crowd. Hogan works an armbar for a few minutes, and that’s about it. Each time the Giant fights back to his feet, Hogan pulls the hair. The Giant gets smart and uses what’s left of Hogan’s hair to break, and they head to the floor. Hogan dominates on the outside with punches, and back rakes. The Giant gets sent into the post, but on the second go round, Hogan is the one that hits the steel. They head back inside the ring, and Hogan gets tossed from one corner to the other. A backbreaker gets a two count for the Giant. He hits a slam, but an elbow misses. In a nice touch, the Giant shakes off Hogan’s blows and does a hulk-up of his own. That’s actually quite amusing and the best part of the match. Hogan eats a big foot from the Giant, and he calls for the chokeslam. Hall and Nash make their appearance, but the Giant has no problem with them. Nash eats a chokeslam, but that gives Hogan the chance to grab the title and blast the Giant for the pin and title @ 14:55. It’s not shown here, but the WCW title gets tagged in black spray paint with the n.W.o. letters (actually on this set they do show everything after the end of the match: including Booty Man seemingly going nWo before Hogan turns The Outsiders loose on him to prove a point to Flair, and then the famous scene of the WCW Title getting a paint job. The best part of all of this is The Giant is out cold during the entire post match angle. You would think someone would check on the man considering he is seemingly in a coma from a belt shot to the head).
Winner and New WCW Champion: Hulk Hogan via pin @ 14:55
-This was pretty atrocious, but the crowd was actually with them for the entire fifteen minutes. The lone bright spot was the Giant doing the Hulk-up. Years later in the WWE he would show just how awesome his Hogan impersonation was in a match with Angle. Hogan going over was the right call, and lead to all the anarchy and chaos from the n.W.o. in the coming months. 1/2*
-In a nice touch that was later dropped once Bischoff was revealed as being part of the group, Dibiase (with Vince running security) introduces the Outsiders from their own personal entrance among the fans. It makes for a pretty cool visual actually, and it was those little touches that made the angle mean even more. Much like the previous Giant vs. Hogan match, this is heel vs. heel, but the fans are solidly behind Hall and Nash in this one as there are a lot of nWo shirts in the crowd. The crowd starts a “Diesel” chant and then a “Razor” chant. Those would eventually fade as each got deeper into their WCW run. Hall tosses his toothpick at Booker to start as both sides stall a bit. They lockup and Booker takes Hall down with an armdrag. Hall gets the advantage the second time and goes to work on the arm as he ground Booker. He fights back to his feet and hits a sweet looking back heel kick. I have no clue but this match seemed like a big deal to me as I was a Harlem Heat fan (mainly Booker) and the idea of them going against Diesel and Razor Ramon was mind blowing. I guess that’s what WCW wanted, so kudos to them. Booker sends Hall over the top to the floor with a hiptoss, but no DQ is called as announcers say that Hall’s momentum took him over the top. I always disliked the over the top rule in WCW and was happy when they did away with it. On the floor Hall gets mowed down with a clothesline from Stevie Ray, and then gets tossed back into the ring. Stevie Ray gets tagged into the match, and Hall greets him by spitting on him and then making the tag to Nash. Nice! A big “Diesel” chant starts and Nash looks rather pissed for some reason which is usually a good sign. He rocks Stevie Ray in the corner with some elbows and knees. A charge gets caught with an elbow and Stevie Ray follows with a clothesline. He heads over to Hall and spits on him to return the favor. Some double teaming from Harlem Heat leaves Nash down as Booker gets a two count off an axe kick. We go back to Stevie Ray, but he gets caught with a sidewalk slam, and the crowd pops huge. The tag is made to Hall and he gets the middle rope bulldog for two. Stevie Ray comes back with a clothesline and makes the tag to Booker. A flying forearm gets a two count, and then Booker grounds Hall with a reverse chinlock. He released rather quickly, and that’s a mistake as Nash gets in a cheap shot to turn the tide. Nash gets the tag and he takes Booker’s head off with a big boot, and now The Outsiders take control. Hall lands a clothesline from the apron as Nash distracts the ref. The tag is made to Hall and he gets a two count off a chokeslam. The fall away slam follows, and Sherri gets on the apron to distract Hall. She slaps him in the face, so Hall decides to kiss her to a big pop from the crowd. Dusty’s line cracks me up every time for some reason as he yells, “he’s swapping spit with Sherri, right here in the damn desert.” The crowd starts a “Razor” chant begins again because these two were just so much cooler than anyone else in the company at this point. Booker gets the hot tag to his brother, and he takes on both members of the Outsiders by himself. He press slams Hall onto Nash in a nice display of power and then sends Nash to the floor with a clothesline. Booker hits the Harlem Hangover, but the ref has to put Stevie Ray out. While he is fighting with Stevie Ray, Nash gets the cane off Parker (who put up little fight) and blasts Booker from behind. The pin follows and we have new WCW World Tag Team Champions at 13:07.
Winners and New WCW Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders via Hall pin on Booker T at 13:07
-Much like Hogan vs. The Giant earlier, the result of this was never in doubt, but that wasn’t really a bad thing. The Outsiders were the hottest act in the company and they needed to have the Tag Team Titles. The match itself was nothing special, but it’s just one of this average matches that I have always found enjoyable for reasons I can’t explain. **1/2
Syxx vs. The Bounty Hunter nWo Saturday Night: Nov 9, 1996
-In another nice touch to the angle, the nWo paid for a segment on WCW Saturday Night, and this was genius stuff at the time. Ted Dibiase does the introductions as Hall and Nash are on commentary which should be hilarious. Nick Patrick under a ski mask is the referee and I should mention that this is taking place in an empty arena. The entire thing is in black in white with piped in noises to add to the fun, and some crazy camera angles and replay tricks. It’s like someone with ADD produced this thing, and I mean that in a good way. Again, this was revolutionary stuff, and simply put was just fun stuff. Apparently this is part of the 1st ever nWo cruiserweight tournament, though the Bounty Hunter is well over the weight limit. After some initial offense by the Bounty Hunter, Syxx takes control with his patented kicks. He gets draped over the middle rope, and Hall and Nash have fun slapping him around while they cut jokes about his way. Too funny! A bronco buster connects and Syxx pulls down the strap as Hall nearly chokes laughing. The spinwheel kick ends things at 2:09. Hall and Nash interview Syxx after the match, and The Bounty Hunter gets abused by Nash for good measure.
Winner: Syxx via pin at 2:09
-Good choice to include this because it’s something rare and really shows how outside the box this was at the time. The match was a SQUASH as you would expect, but everything about it was quite enjoyable.
-Naturally they had to get a match on here from the nWo PPV, and this one is as good as any. I think the only other option from that show would have been Syxx vs. Eddie in the US Title Ladder Match, but I think that may have been released on another DVD, so kudos to them for finding something new. As mentioned this match took place at the first and only solo nWo PPV, and while most panned the show, I have grown fond of it. Everything about the show was new and fresh, and I applaud WCW for actually taking a chance. Nick Patrick is the referee as he was for every match on this show actually which had to be pretty hard for the poor guy. The Steiners don’t get their theme music (though nobody from WCW did on this show) and the disembodied announcer insults them as he calls them to the ring. Funny! I will also mention that Bischoff and Dibiase are handling duties at the announce table, and they aren’t that bad together though they are obviously pro nWo. Hall and Scott Steiner start it out and Steiner overpowers him to nobody’s surprise. Hall tosses a toothpick in Scott’s face and Dibiase does good job of stating that Steiner is a known hot head and Hall is trying to get him off his game. They also immediately put over the fact that Steiner has a bad back, and right on cue Hall goes to an abdominal stretch. Steiner reverses the hold and turns it into a suplex and then heads an overhead belly to belly suplex. Nash tries to get involved, so Rick Steiner comes in and sends him to the floor. The champs regroup on the floor while the Steiners do their famous pose in the ring (a little over a year later that same pose came to bite Rick in the ass when Scott turned and reinvented his career by going nWo). Back in the ring we go and Hall gains the advantage of Rick Steiner, but he fights to his feet and makes the tag to Scott. Hall is read for him though and sticks him with a chokeslam and then makes the tag to Nash. The crowd is rather pumped to see Nash and he goes through his corner offense on Steiner. It should also be noted that several WCW stars are in the crowd taking in the show. Steiner reverses a whip out of the corner and catches Nash with a belly to belly suplex. He makes the tag to Scott Steiner, but Nash immediately cuts him off. They start exchanging blows in the middle of the ring, and Steiner wins the better of that exchange. Some good power show from Scott as he catches Nash with a powerslam. Hall gets in a cheap shot from the apron and that turns the tide back to the sides of the Outsiders. Scott Steiner is now your dog face gremlin in peril as he gets worked over in the champion’s corner. A stiff clothesline drops Steiner as the disembodied voice chimes in with a well timed “loser.” Seriously, how can you not love that? Nash comes back in and hits Snake Eyes and Hall catches him with a clothesline from the apron as he staggers to his feet. Nash hits a slam, but misses an elbow and the crowd starts to rally behind Rick. He goes to the wrong corner though and gets caught with some right hands from Hall. The Outsiders use every standard heel tag team trick to their advantage as they do what they can to piss Scott Steiner off on the apron as he watches his brother get the shit kicked out of him. Nash gets a two count of a sidewalk slam, and The Outsiders are started to get a little frustrated. Scott Steiner has had enough of the heel shenanigans as he just walks around the ring and blasts Hall with a right hand. It doesn’t help Rick all that much, but the crowd enjoyed it. Nash taunts Scott, and while Nick Patrick gets Scott back to his corner, Rick hits Nash in the balls. That is certainly an effective way to get to a hot tag. Said tag is made, and Scott runs through the tag team champs with right hands and suplexes galore. Seeing Nash bump his ass off with these suplexes is quite the site to see. Hall catches Scott with the Outsider’s Edge, but Patrick got knocked out in the chaos. We now have no ref as Rick comes off the top with a bulldog on Hall. WCW ref Randy Anderson jumps out of the crowd and he makes the 3 count at 14:43. Dibiase and Bischoff go crazy on commentary as they bitch about Anderson not being a sanctioned ref for the event. Just 2 days later on Nitro Bischoff bullied The Steiners into returning the titles back to Hall and Nash. These two teams would feud on and off for a year until Steiner turned heel. This was probably the best tag feud in the nWo/WCW era.
Winner and New WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Steiner Brothers via Scott Steiner pin on Hall @ 14:43
-This was a solid tag formula match with a cop-out ending as one would expect. As Nash said it was nearly impossible for the nWo to lose at their own PPV, with their own ref, so they had to use tricky booking to give the crowd something to cheer. **1/4
-This would be the return match from Starrcade 1996 when Piper beat Hogan clean as a sheet in the middle of the ring with a sleeper, though it was non-title which was never really stressed until after the match. The nWo had beaten the piss out of Piper in the aftermath of Starrcade, and he returns her after spending a week in a prison cell at nearby Alcatraz. Yep! Only in their minds they can make sense of why that needed to be added onto this feud. I nearly forgot that they also dumped on the whole Piper speaking in ancient tongues into this feud as well. The bell sounds and Hogan immediately starts stalling on the floor. Piper doesn’t wait though like The Giant in the earlier match as he jumps Hogan in the aisle. He goes right to Hogan’s eyes and then hits a ball shot in plain view of the ref. Hogan tries to create space, but Piper gives chase and they fight on the floor. Seeing Hogan as the coward to Piper is just destroying a piece of my childhood. The one good thing I will say is that Piper is fighting like someone who is pissed off, and not like we normally get in a blood feud where they have a wrestling match. Some B members of the nWo hit the ring and Piper has no trouble dispatching them. Piper no sells everything so far and catches Hogan with the dreaded Three Stooges Eye Poke of Death. The abuse of Hogan’s balls continue and the crowd erupts as Sting and Randy Savage come out and stand in the entrance ramp. Savage makes his way to the ring, and blows Sting off as he tries to stop him. At the time it wasn’t shocking what was going to happen with Savage, and the fans kind of knew it too as the start chanting for Sting. Back in the ring Hogan has finally gotten control of the match as Sting decides to walk to the back. For those that weren’t watching at the time, Savage was being blackballed by Eric Bischoff so he decided to start dressing in all black and hanging out with Sting. Piper goes back to the eyes as I have yet to see anything resembling a wrestling hold in the match, but fuck it as they billed this as a fight. As I type that Hogan goes to a bear hug and this crowd is white hot for Piper. He grounds Piper to the mat with the hold, and he gets a few near falls with the hold. The ref checks the arm, but Piper is still in the fight, so Hogan opts to go to a choke. He misses an elbow and now Piper a slight advantage before Hogan hits Piper in the balls. Serves Piper right as he started the testicular abuse! Piper gets the sleeper out of nowhere, and here’s where things gets a little dicey. Mark Curtis calls for the bell as Hogan is seemingly out, but he soon realizes Hogan’s foot was below the bottom rope (though it wasn’t when the ref called for the bell). Rumors have circulated that Savage was supposed to put Hogan’s foot under the rope prior to the bell being called, but fucked up. Either way the match gets restarted, and Savage passes some brass knux to Hogan. Piper gets drilled with it and Hogan gets the pin at 11:32. Savage tags Piper with the spray paint and Piper gets the shit kicked out of him and Hogan and Savage take turns hitting their finishers. Savage in the nWo only made sense as he was a guy with WWF roots, and also was a way for him to get away from being blackballed by Bischoff, so I had no problem with the turn. It also gave the nWo someone that could still go in the ring and wasn’t afraid of putting someone new on the map (the DDP feud).
Winner and Still WCW Champion: Hulk Hogan via pin at 11:32
-This was basically a fight more than it was a match. Piper was pissed and fought like a pissed off man would in a street fight (minus the 3 Stooges stuff). Was it a good match? Certainly not, but it was short enough not to be boring and the crowd was hot for the entire thing! I may get hate for this but I really don’t have a problem with the match like most do. ** for the match and the post match beat down because I enjoy seeing Savage drop the elbow so much.
Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman (w/ Randy Savage) vs. Lex Luger and The Giant WCW Bash at the Beach: July 13, 1997
-Rodman was naturally the wild card in this match as all the attention is on him and seeing him get inside the ring. Because of that fact, Hogan starts the match and gets dominated by Luger. The crowd chants for Rodman as Hogan starts to gain traction. He delivers a slam, but misses an elbow. Luger delivers a small of his own, and Hogan begs off in the corner. Hogan heads to his corner, and finally makes the tag to Rodman as the crowd explodes. This should be fun to watch actually. Rodman is a natural athlete and his attitude makes for a solid cocky heel. To that point the crowd starts a rather large “Rodman sucks” chant. They actual lockup as Rodman gets an armdrag and the announcers treat it like he just slammed Andre the Giant. Now Rodman gets caught with an armdrag, and Hogan tries to save and he gets one of his own. The heels bail to the floor as Luger and The Giant stand tall in the ring. This crowd is primed for this match which again shows how hot WCW as at the time and how they touched onto something huge with the nWo and with putting someone as controversial as Rodman in the ring. They go back in the ring and Rodman leaps over Luger and sends him to the mat with a shoulder. The reaction from the crowd and the announcers to every move Rodman does is priceless. He tries several more leapfrogs and on the final one Luger catches on and drops him with a clothesline. Hogan gets back in the ring, and The Giant finally gets the tag as well. Hogan lands the first few blows, and hits a few clotheslines to leave the big man reeling. The running corner clothesline follows, but The Giant no sells that as Hogan shits his pants and bails to the floor. Hogan and Giant go for a test of strength battle, but as soon as Hogan loses the battle he goes to the eyes. The biggest atomic drop you will ever see follows as Hogan bails to his corner and makes the tag to Rodman. Now this is what everyone wanted to see! The Giant should get used to facing athletes and celebrities as he would be doing it a lot more in his career. The Giant catches Rodman with a bear hug and then spanks him for good measure. Sure, why not! The chokeslam looks to follow, but Hogan saves Rodman. The heels actually use some double team moves which blows my mind for some reason. Roman gets the tag back into the match as he has been more involved in this thing than I thought would happen at the time. Hogan tries a hiptoss on the Giant which can’t be a smart thing, so Rodman comes in and the do a double hiptoss which again causes the crowd to explode. The hot tag is made to Luger and he dominates everyone including Savage who tried to interfere. Rodman gets in a cheap shot from the apron as they have used him perfectly in this match. Hogan hits a belly to back suplex for a two count, as this has to be most work Hogan has done in a WCW Main Event in years. Luger gets hit with the leg drop, but he is out at two which by this point even the announcers don’t make a big deal out of it. Rodman heads back in and he uses his elbows in the corner much like Kevin Nash, and even uses his boot to choke. Well, being that Nash is a former basketball player it makes sense to Rodman to steal some of his shit. Rodman gets sent into the corner on a whip, but he moves out of the way. He mugs for the camera too much though and that allows Luger to make the tag to The Giant. Rodman turns around and just casually laughs as he is doing a great job of being an arrogant dick. The Giant goes to work on Hogan, Rodman, and Savage as a fake Sting makes his way down to the ring (which the announcers by as the legit Sting). The crowd pops for a split second but they catch on rather quickly and judging by the way he stepped over the top rope it is pretty apparent that Nash is under the mask. He drills The Giant with the baseball bat and then heads to the back. In the chaos, Hogan accidentally hits Rodman and Luger racks Hogan for the submission at 22:30. He puts Rodman and Savage in the rack after the match for shits and giggles.
Winners: The Giant and Lex Luger via Hogan submission to the Torture Rack
-They did a fantastic job of booking this match actually, and Rodman did more than enough out there. He didn’t embarrass himself, and they gave the fans what they wanted. I am sure purists were rolling over in their grave, but I found this enjoyable. The point of this was also that it continued to show how cool WCW was at the time, and it got them on ESPN when that was typically where you would see The WWF from time to time. The win by Luger set up his title match on Nitro where he would win the World Title. **
The 411: The Documentary wasn't greatest ever, but the young guys who have family ties to the nWo made this pretty good. This is a great compliment to the much shorter nWo Back in Black DVD released in 2002. Some of the matches on here were repeats but they included some newer ones so that is much appreciated. Next up we head to Disc Two and that's where we things pick up a little more.