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The 7 - Guest Columns - The Monday Night War (DVD Review)
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#1 Posted on 9.3.04 2112.11
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No RAW or Smackdown! recaps this week, because I was busy. Breaking up is not fun to do.

I got this in the mail about a week ago – and I keep MEANING to actually review some of these awesome DVDs the WWE’s been pumping out lately. I may as well go with the most recent one and look at some of the other ones at another time. With that, I bring you The Monday Night War!

Attitude – Entertainment – WW!

“Television changed the business of sportz entertainment.” Shots of early Nitro and 1995 RAW are aired. We immediately establish the players. On one side, the WWF with VINCE MCMAHON at the helm. On the other, BILLIONAIRE TED and UNCLE ERIC led the WCW charge.

Bischoff says he immediately grabbed the WWF audience, and made noise in their corner forcing the audience to tune over. JIM CORNETTE speculates that WCW’s only goal was to put the WWF out of business so they could have the bragging rights forever. CHRIS BENOIT says it was a great time to be a wrestler because it was so popular. THE BIG SHOW believes it worked because they ran such distinct shows with different talent. GERALD BRISCO called the wars “life or death”. Give me a break… MICK FOLEY says it brought out the best in everyone, since they were giving their all to knock the other company off. MEAN GENE calls it the most competitive television he has ever been a part of.

The announcer talks about new blood winning over new fans, as we get shots of TRIPLE H, GOLDBERG, and STEVE AUSTIN. Real life betrayals were front and centre. Enter LEX LUGER on the first Nitro, MADUSA throwing the WWE women’s title in the garbage, and BRET HART spelling out the WCW letters in Montreal.

Gene Okerlund goes back to 1983 – and says syndication was the only way to get your federation on the map. Vince had a one hour wrestling show on USA, the All American Wrestling Show, which he and Okerlund hosted together. And that was pretty much all they had in the World According To Gene. Then came prime time, and in 1993 Monday Night RAW was introduced (Steiner Brothers!).

In the early 1980’s, Vince ran his WWF shows on TBS – which is of course Ted Turner’s network. Vince says he and Ted didn’t see eye to eye, and parted ways. Soon thereafter, Turner took over Jim Crockett productions, and called McMahon to announce he was in the “wrassling” business. Vince sticks to his story that he congratulated him and told him he’s in the entertainment business.

Bischoff says WCW was mismanaged from the moment Ted Turner bought the company until about 1993. They were looking for an Executive Producer, Bischoff threw his name into the hat, and got the job.

JIM ROSS says he’d worked his way up the company in WCW, but saw that Bischoff was doing a real good job of selling himself. He knew his days were numbered, even though he’d just signed a 3-year deal. He wound up turning that contract aside, and working for Vince McMahon for significantly less money.

Shots of the first RAW in the Manhattan Centre. BRUCE PRITCHARD says it was a different vibe to be doing RAW, since it was a live event. STEVE LOMBARDI concurs, and adds that the people were so alive and riled up. He can’t compare the atmosphere to anything else. Okerlund remembers working big arenas all across the country, and coming to the Manhattan Centre was like stepping into a toilet. Finally – some honesty! Gene also didn’t care much for the crowd.

Over in WCW, Bischoff was trying to get the shows out of the poorly lit, grungy Southern arenas – and to move it to Disney MGM. And it just so happened, HULK HOGAN was available. One afternoon while Hogan was filming Thunder In Paradise, Bischoff went over to speak to him about wrestling in WCW, and Hogan was interested. They air the clips of the contract signing in Florida, with JIMMY HART pointing a lot.

They move to RANDY SAVAGE, who came largely thanks to Hogan. He wasn’t happy being an announcer in the WWF – and within 3 or 4 weeks they had a deal. With that, Savage turned up on WCW Saturday Night. They show his first interview with Okerlund, where he promised to “take it to the limit”.

Bischoff decided he didn’t want to be the president of a company losing money. He immediately cut costs all over the place, and increased pay-per-views to 7 a year. People were telling him he was nuts – but then the WWF followed. He then grabbed 10, and so did they, so he said to hell with it and ran 1 a month.

Turner came to Bischoff and asked what they needed to do to compete with the WWF? Bischoff didn’t know what to say, so he suggested running prime time head-to-head, figuring that was a safe thing to say since Ted would never go for it. Ted said “give Eric 2 hours every Monday night”.

Bruce Pritchard says they were drawing huge numbers on Monday nights and thought that WCW was nuts. Vince adds that if you own your own network and can put on a television program at anytime you want, why would you put a show on at the same time other than to hurt and weaken the other company? (This coming from a guy who invented the Royal Rumble concept to screw with NWA pay-per-view buyrates. Ditto Survivor Series vs. Starrcade as the Thanksgiving tradition.)

As Bischoff prepared for the first Nitro, he had heard that Lex Luger’s contract was coming up for grabs. Bischoff says he had never liked Luger, but STING was a close friend. Bischoff said he wasn’t interested in meeting Luger, but Sting talked and talked – so Bischoff gave Luger a shot to present himself. He made a great case that he’d reformed himself, so Bischoff offered him 20% of what he had been making before he left WCW the first time around – just so he could tell Sting he’d tried. Luger accepted it. Bischoff then got the idea that since Luger was wrestling on the Sunday night – that he could literally walk onto Nitro 100% unexpected and shock the world, which would set the tone of what Nitro should be. And with that – we see Luger’s WCW debut, walking out in the Mall Of America during the Sting/Flair match. (Click here for the full recap of that show.) Okerlund says it was bombshell #1. Cornette says McMahon made a HUGE mistake, taking someone’s word who was working without a contract. Luger was apparently doing everything in his power to hold up the actual signing of the contract, talking about lawyers needing to work out kinks, etc. but swearing he was with Vince all the way.

The first Nitro did a 2.3 rating, and traded ratings victories with the WWF for the rest of the year.

Bischoff says they were live every week, while RAW was usually taped. Nobody knew what was going to happen on Nitro, so Bischoff decided to give away results. And indeed we get just that, from a February 1996 Nitro, Bischoff handing out results from the other show. “Diesel over Bob Holly…that guy still around?” Hee hee… Bischoff wanted to go on the air at 7:57 just to give away the results on the other show before the WWF went on the air.

Vince whines about the “dirty tricks” WCW was pulling, and says he didn’t really appreciate it very much. Okerlund says giving away results isn’t ethical – but to hell with ethics. Bischoff agrees with that, saying it was just business. He doesn’t apologize, and says he LOVED doing it because it pissed so many people off. The more they complained, the more he did it. Foley jumps in with the idea that Bischoff was running a “Godfather” mentality, that he’ll kill your kid but it’s not personal. In Foley’s mind though, that’s pretty damn personal. If you bury his career and put him on the welfare line, you bet it’s personal. Gerald Brisco says if he’d seen Bischoff at the time, he’d have beat the hell out of him.

In December 1995, Alundra Blaze jumped to WCW with the WWF Women’s Title. She called Bischoff and asked what she should do, should she send the belt back? Bischoff said “noooo, don’t send it back to them, at least not yet. Bring it to TV with you.” So against her wishes, she dropped it in a garbage can on Nitro. “She did it. I loved it. I’m sure now she wishes she hadn’t have.”

Vince says that if he’s boxed in to a corner, he’ll do something stupid, even if he doesn’t want to do anything stupid. Vince claims it never got to that point, but…

Let’s meet THE HUCKSTER, THE NACHO MAN, SCHEME GENE, and BILLIONAIRE TED! These of course are the mean-spirited pieces that aired on RAW, which were insanely funny but really had no place on RAW. Okerlund: “They had the Huckster, the Nacho Man, and the one that really insulted me personally, they took a shot at Scheme Gene. Like maybe my hotline might have been a little much for them.” Bischoff and Turner apparently found the skits funny. Foley thinks that the Billionaire Ted skits probably lit a fire under Ted, and it may not have been the best idea to air them. (For an idea of what went on during these skits, Adam King has recapped a couple of RAWs featuring them. Click here, and later here.

We turn to 1996, and on Nitro we’ve got Hogan, Savage, Sting, Luger, RIC FLAIR, and “others” (The Giant). On RAW, you got DIESEL, THE UNDERTAKER, SHAWN MICHAELS, RAZOR RAMON, and Bret Hart. However, that would change soon thereafter with 2 contracts up. (Shot of the MSG group hug.)

Cornette says that both Diesel and Ramon had led Vince to believe they were sticking around. Out of the blue, Vince gets a fax, and Scott Hall’s given his notice. Cornette wonders why he couldn’t tell Vince in person. Nash called Vince to assure him he was behind the WWF, and staying put. Later, he called back and said WCW was offering a lot of money. Bischoff says they needed more talent and fresh faces, so he spoke to the 2.

Memorial Day 1996 – Scott Hall debuts on Nitro during a match featuring The Mauler and Steve Doll. I’ve recapped this show in detail, which you can read about. 2 weeks later, Kevin Nash arrived – and hey, I’ve got that one covered too!

Hall and Nash posed as invaders from the WWF – which is what was grabbing viewers. Pritchard says the concept certainly worked, because guys were leaving RAW to go to Nitro – so it was clear was the more exciting program was.

We move ahead to Bash At The Beach 1996 – and the main event featuring The Outsiders vs. Sting/Luger/Savage. I will never get tired of hearing BOBBY HEENAN ask “WHO’S SIDE IS HE ON?” as Hogan walks to the ring. 2 legdrops on Randy Savage later, and we have us a heel turn! Okerlund remembers getting hit in the bridge of the nose with trash. He says that’s the kind of thing you need to do on TV – which is shock people into watching your shows. We get his first heel interview from Nitro, where Hogan says he should have done this 2 years ago – and once again tells the fans to stick it.

When it came to the nWo – Bischoff wasn’t thinking of a stable. He was thinking of a completely different group from what WCW was, which is what he attributes to it working so well.

Here’s some shots of a couple months later where The Giant joins the nWo – and blows the roof off the place with the pop for his heel turn. The Big Show remembers the early days, and says the cast of characters in the stable helped it work. It was a group of guys who didn’t have to follow the rules who did whatever they wanted. They were so overpowering, since they squashed everything in their path – they became cool.

At the time, Bischoff says even jaded fans who knew it was fake wondered if some of it was real. There was one night that Hall and Nash broke into the production truck, which was wild of course because we never really saw much of the backstage area to that point. Another night, they lawn darted Rey Mysterio Jr. into the side of a production truck – and it got to the point that residents in the Florida area were calling 911. They had police cars, swat teams, etc. showing up on the set of MGM because they were afraid a real gang war was going down.

Next up – RODDY PIPER exposes Eric Bischoff as the real leader behind the nWo. Let’s see, at this point we’ve got Hall, Nash, Hogan, Giant, SYXX, VINCENT, and TED DIBIASE. Bischoff said that the reason he turned himself heel was because he felt it was the best way they could really allow the anarchy to continue. With the president of the company on the side of evil, it allowed the bad guys to continue to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted because there was nothing to stop them.

Turning back over to Vince, he says his philosophy is help yourself, don’t hurt others. He believes that Ted Turner was more along the lines of “win any way you can”. However, he wasn’t too concerned apparently, and was paying no attention to WCW. (That MIGHT have been the problem big guy…) Shawn Michaels agrees with that, saying he doesn’t recall ever worrying about ratings.

Okerlund remembers that WCW was very reactive to everything the WWF was doing at the time. They would schedule their breaks around the times before WWF would go to break – so that you would come back to Nitro first. It was a minute by minute competition on their end. Bischoff said that their marketing showed that fans loved spontaneity, which is why they loved being live so much – because it allowed them to do things as they went.

Shots of Ted DiBiase and the 1-2-3 Kid leaving the WWF are shown. DiBiase being brought up segues into Steve Austin for the first time. Cornette remembers Austin at the beginning, when nobody knew what the heck to do with him. So they teamed him up with Ted as the Million Dollar Champ, but soon after that Ted left. At that point, the creative team was really stuck and said “just let him be himself”. Jim Ross calls Austin the top anti-hero ever. They tried like crazy to make him the top heel, but they couldn’t – because the cheers got louder week after week.

The turning point of Austin’s career is shown at King Of The Ring 1996, after beating JAKE ROBERTS in the finals. “Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16, Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your ass.” The next night on RAW, there were 3:16 signs all over the arena – and it was at that point that Cornette knew he was going to be a star. Mick Foley cites the match with Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 13 as the moment that Austin truly arrived.

Back to Nitro – and CHRIS JERICHO’s weighs in with his first opinion. He says there were 2 reasons WCW was on top. The first, obviously, was the New World Order. The second was the influx of really good wrestlers (Ultimo Dragon, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio Jr., and Juventud Guerrera are shown.) Okerlund gives Bischoff credit for introducing the Lucha Libra style, and bringing even more excitement to TV.

Over in WWF land, Michaels had a disagreement with Vince McMahon that got him fined $10,000. He’d stuck a bunch of gauze down his pants. Michaels tried to tell McMahon that it was funny – and that all of the boys found it hilarious. Eventually, the company sided with him and started going there (the DX barbecue is shown) – in that they started airing stuff that made them laugh backstage. (It can be argued they STILL do that…only it’s not as funny to John Q. Viewer any longer. Katie Vick anyone?) We get the DX Standards And Practices, bleeped out this time around which is quite unfortunate.

SummerSlam 1997 is next on the agenda. Specifically, the Austin/Owen “kiss my ass” match. Owen breaks Austin’s neck off a piledriver – and then loses to weakest rollup in the history of all rollups. Foley says it was tough, because this was the guy the people were rallying behind and suddenly he was taken away. Austin refused to stay home though, and came to TV every week. He couldn’t wrestle because Vince McMahon would not allow it – so they used it as a storyline.

A month after breaking his neck, Austin and Vince were face to face at MSG – and Austin delivered his first Stunner to McMahon. Foley says the atmosphere that night was unbelievable, and it’s the kind of moment you dream about.

THE ROCK is finally brought into the picture, in the midst of delivering his first heel promo. “I’ve got 3 words for you people… Die Rocky die! That’s the gratitude I get from you pieces of crap?” Rocky stresses he isn’t in the NOD because of the color of skin – but because of respect. Cornette says that when The Rock was Rocky Maivia, he was smiling and shaking hands and the fans resented it. That helped fuel the character they built, because Rocky was genuinely able to turn to them and say “hey, I’ve busted my ass for you, why the hell do you hate me?”

Survivor Series 1997, apparently Bret Hart “decided” to go to WCW. Revisionist history at it’s best! They gloss it over as simply Bret being champion, and unable to come to an agreement on how to lose the belt. So we see the finish of the now infamous match, which earned Vince the hatred of fans around the world. Vince figured he couldn’t change the perception that people had of him – so they decided to play it up. We get a quick clip of “Bret screwed Bret”. Foley says that Vince may have believed the whole interview until the words “Bret screwed Bret” which was the exaggeration, because deep down Foley knows that Vince knows that Vince screwed Bret.

January 1998, MIKE TYSON debuts on WWF television – and is announced as the special referee for the World Title match at Wrestlemania. Steve Austin crashes the party as he was apt to do. He shows no respect to McMahon or Mike Tyson – and announces he wants a piece of Tyson. Tyson has enough after a double bird and shoves Austin – with security pouncing on everyone who moved. Austin is arrested, as usual. However, adding to the segment is the fact that Vince looks damn near ready to do a tope on Austin for ruining the moment with Tyson.

Bischoff got word that the WWF was heading in a “Howard Stern, Jerry Springer” type direction. Bischoff laughed at the idea initially, figuring it would never work. However, when he heard that Tyson was on his way, he stepped back a little realizing that was not the best news he could have received. Lombardi says that Tyson’s got the reputation of being a hothead, and very spontaneous – which fit the WWF mould PERFECTLY. Foley adds that Tyson actually couldn’t have been happier in the WWF, and was having a ball throughout his 2 month run with the company.

Wrestlemania XIV – Shawn Michaels heads into retirement with a job to Steve Austin, leading to Austin’s first WWF Title, and Mike Tyson’s subsequent face turn. The next night, Austin set the course of the next several years in a celebration interview with McMahon. His options as champion: to go the easy way, or the hard way. The easy way is to learn to be flexible and adapt. The hard way would be forced into becoming flexible. Austin of course chooses to give McMahon another Stunner.

Cornette says there were 3 things that brought the fans back to the WWF. Survivor Series, Steve Austin, and The Rock. They took complete advantage of the hot new stars – and ran with it. Mick Foley says that the WWF was the better show for a full year before they actually won in the ratings. Jericho recalls Bischoff sitting back gloating about being the king, and beating the WWF for 83 weeks in a row. The VERY NEXT week after that gloating, the WWF won. Foley recalls it was on a week where they were going to have Austin vs. Vince for the belt – and all night you had segments of Vince preparing, with learning ways to counter the Stunner, and it just built to the point you HAD to see the match…and of course Dude Love came out and ruined the whole thing.

Okerlund knew that Vince had made the turn, and that WCW was in a lot of trouble. That moves us to DX – and Triple H taking over control of the group. Hunter re-introduces X-Pac back to the WWF, freshly fired from WCW. From there, they move to the WCW invasion – with DX showing up at Nitro.

Bischoff knew he had to counter that segment with SOMETHING, and decided to issue an open challenge to Vince McMahon. The challenge was a match at Slamboree 1998 – and we see the announcement. Hogan apparently told Bischoff privately that Vince might show up, and Bischoff said that was the idea. Hogan warned him that Vince is going to kick his ass – and Bischoff didn’t care. Vince, of course, did not show. He was reportedly “busy”.

Jim Ross gloats about all the new stars they were creating, stating only ONE guy got a break in WCW, in the form of Goldberg. That of course is a load of horseshit, since they’re blatantly ignoring Diamond Dallas Page, The Giant, Scott Steiner, Konnan who was pushed to the moon and back, and NUMEROUS others. The perception that nobody got pushed (and this is not on the DVD, this is me) is because the Internet faithful have instilled those perceptions – and is because they were upset that their favorites (Booker T, Bret Hart, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, etc.) were not being pushed. However, just because workrate freaks were not being pushed does not mean that people were not being pushed, and guys were not getting chances. Anyway, enough of that, back to the DVD…

Bischoff said that Goldberg was easy to book, because the crowd was eating it up. He’d breathe fire, spit, snort, spear, jackhammer, and be back in the locker room minutes later with the fans going crazy. So they decided to go all the way, and put him over Hulk Hogan in the Georgia Dome for the World Title – and the place went NUTS! Jericho says he’ll never forget that moment, and calls it the peak of WCW. It was the first ratings victory for WCW in 11 weeks.

There was a problem inside WCW however, with the nWo. Guys in the locker room were getting a little tired of getting beaten up by the same guys every single week. The Big Show adds that it was at a point where you’d get beaten up by them, and the next week you’d join the crew. One week he looked up and 30 guys got out of a limo, all part of the New World Order. EDDIE GUERRERO jumps in with the fact it was the same shit week in and week out – and he was getting a little tired of it.

In September 1998, WCW grabbed another rating’s victory with the return of Ric Flair who’d been gone for ages. ARN ANDERSON gives a passionate speech about reuniting the Horsemen, and brings Flair out in tears. Benoit says that his experience with the Horsemen was phenomenal. Flair says at the time, the angle was terrific – but once it was over, he was back down at the bottom again, and the Horsemen disbanded as a unit.

Bischoff says that he had created 2 cultures. On one hand he had Ric Flair who was part of the tradition of WCW, and part of the rich history. On the other hand though, he had all his new pet projects, like the nWo, like the luchadores, etc. (Hey – Kaz Hayashi in Glacier’s gear! That lasted, what, a week?) He says that Ric was there to retain the main fanbase, but he was trying to expand it beyond that.

Jim Cornette says that Bischoff tried to move Flair out of the picture, but when it failed, they moved him back. Then Bischoff told people that only Hogan, Savage, and Piper have ever drawn any money in this business, which was a HUGE slap in the face to Flair. Cornette says he’s a legend. Flair adds that in the mind of Bischoff, there’s no way he’s anywhere NEAR a legend, because if he was there is no way that Bischoff would have ever treated him as he did. He said with all he’s accomplished, you don’t treat someone the way he was treated in WCW. Cornette adds that Flair didn’t need to get out of the way, because he was never in the way – having made a career out of MAKING stars out of young guys.

Rey Mysterio Jr. joins us now, and says that WCW was never interested in creating new stars. It was always the same guys on top, and the guys wondered why they weren’t given a chance to be stars. They looked at the WWF, and saw midcarders being elevated all over the place.

In January 1999, Mick Foley won the WWF Title for the first time on a taped edition of RAW. The reaction of the fans can easily be compared to the pop Goldberg got in the Georgia Dome just months earlier. Foley was at home watching the show, as it was taped, and watched Nitro later on. He remembers thinking that WCW was putting on a fairly lousy edition of Nitro – and then hearing the following words out of Tony Schiavone’s mouth: “We understand that Mick Foley that wrestled here at one time as Cactus Jack is going to win their World Title. Yeah, that’ll put some butts in their seats. Heh!” Foley was extremely hurt they’d pull that stunt – but waited for the ratings. Apparently until that point WCW was winning the war, until Schiavone opened his mouth – and 300,000 people changed the channel.

Once the WWF started winning regularly, Bischoff knows that the biggest obstacle to them was himself at that point, because he was impossible to deal with. Nobody knew what was going on when they got to the building. Okerlund confronted Bischoff regularly to find out what’s going on – and Bischoff never knew. The biggest mistake they let happen was creative control in people’s contracts, because guys were calling all their own shots.

The Big Show talks about being the first major player to jump ship to the WWF. He says he knew the ship was going down, so he got the hell out of there. He loved watching Steve Austin and The Rock – and even as an entertainer, he knew they were the top thing going and couldn’t get enough of them.

On Nitro, we watch Chris Jericho throw a tantrum, slamming a chair into a ringpost and screaming “I’VE HAD ENOUGH!” while the nWo Porn Music plays in the background. Jericho states a year before his WCW contract came to an end, he knew he was going to jump ship to the WWF. His last year was a long one. With that, we check out his debut – Duelling Promos with The Rock. Jericho compares the two companies to The Wizard of Oz. WCW was black and white – and when he opened the doors to the WWF, it was in color. He says he can’t imagine how the guys who were back in WCW, having jumped there from the WWF, felt.

Bischoff says that revisionist history says that he pissed away money. He says that’s BS, he was making money hand over fist. He took a 24 million dollar company losing 10 million a year to a 350 million dollar company making 50 million a year. He said when he was losing control, he challenged everyone above him, and embarrassed them publicly if he had to. He said he did so because he thought he had Ted Turner on his side. However, in September 1999, HARVEY SCHILLER called him and told him he needed to go home. Schiller had been in a meeting with people above him, and the idea was he wasn’t coming back. So Bischoff did just that, and went fly-fishing for a month and a half.

With Triple H as the WWF Champion, the ratings stayed on their side, absolutely obliterating anything WCW could struggle to manager. However, JJ DILLON had a contact inside the WWF, and managed to help steal VINCE RUSSO and ED FERRARA.

We take a look at OKLAHOMA and DR. DEATH on Nitro – which caused JR’s children to cry apparently. GIVE ME A FREAKIN’ BREAK! Yes, it was tasteless, mean-spirited, and more. It had no place on a wrestling show. But it was EXACTLY the same thing as the Billionaire Ted’s Wrasslin’ War Room sketches we saw an hour ago. Benoit says that they had lots of great things to bring to the table, but they weren’t able to actually bring it. Okerlund throws in the fact they didn’t have a “Vince McMahon” to filter to the content. Ric Flair: “Vince Russo, a clown, a writer, a guy that dared to walk in the doors of WCW and tried to convince guys like me that he was the brains behind the action here?” Flair says he turned his back and laughed at him.

New talent was running wild in the WWF. We take a look at KEN SHAMROCK, VAL VENIS, MARK HENRY, EDGE and CHRISTIAN, and THE HARDY BOYZ. Vince admits however they were evaluating WCW talent.

They air a clip of Eddie Guerrero in 1998 yelling about wanting out of his WCW contract. (I believe this eventually led to the formation of the LWO if I’m not mistaken.) He throws coffee on himself to get the point across, and tells him to take the job and shove it. Guerrero says all he ever wanted to do was wrestle, but he hated the atmosphere in WCW. He hated everything that didn’t happen in the ring. To accentuate his point, here’s an early Revolution promo where Benoit talks about being tired of the backstage politics. It failed to get over. Benoit says he also hated it, and was burned out – and needed a change. Guerrero says that he, Malenko, Benoit, Saturn, and Rey Jr. were the workhorses of the company and people failed to recognize it.

Cornette says that the exodus of guys that left WCW because they were failing to get ahead, and that they now had a fresh start in a new company, that it’s tremendously exciting for the fans.

Bash At The Beach 2000!!!! I recently had my copy of this show broken by my Stupid Cat. Vince Russo talks about dealing with the “bullshit of the politics behind that curtain”. We don’t see his inspired rant against Hulk Hogan, unfortunately. Okerlund says that at this point the higher ups knew they needed Bischoff back, so Bischoff offered to purchase it. It was agreed on. He was on the beach in New York when he got a call that said the deal was off. He was offered everything except the TV time, and says without it the company was worth nothing.

Highlights are shown of the final Nitro. Brisco gloats about winning, and says they told Ted “we kicked your butt”. The more this DVD carries on, the more I want to be the one to punch Gerald Brisco in the mouth. Guerrero smiles about having made a good move. The Big Show says it was pure exhilaration to take them out. Pritchard adds that it was exciting, and history in the making. Ric Flair says he was so happy that the company closed down, he couldn’t stand it. He was sorry that a lot of people lost their jobs. Jim Ross was happy the BS was over – but wasn’t overjoyed that a lot of people he knew would be without income.

The final thoughts: Flair says that they didn’t challenge themselves to get better. That was their downfall. Brisco says the wars helped the WWF regain their focus. Foley adds the competition brought out the best in Vince McMahon. Shawn wasn’t sure things were always going to work out for the best, and says they can’t ever ignore what WCW did. Brisco: “The most important lesson…. Don’t mess with Vince McMahon.” Bischoff finishes with the fact that the highest highs were better than the lowest of lows – and that the wars are the reason most of them are still around today.

And now, the fun stuff…


DVD EXTRAS


STEVE AUSTIN and SHAWN MICHAELS vs. BRITISH BULLDOG and OWEN HART (for the WWF world tag-team titles)

This is the finals of the WWF tag-team tournament. Michaels hits Bulldog with a tope during the entrance, and Austin goes outside to beat up on Owen. In the ring, Austin and Owen start, with Austin dropping a series of elbows – and going for the Sharpshooter. Bulldog hits the ring to break it up, so Austin beats him up, drops a double axehandle on Owen from the middle rope, and gets 2. Michaels comes in, nails the Bulldog, and gets his eyes raked by Owen. A tag is made to Bulldog, who gets poked in the eyes by Michaels. A rana follows, and an enzuigiri draws a 2 count. Austin comes back in, and stomps on the groin of Bulldog. THE HART FOUNDATION lurks nearby, if needed. THE LEGION OF DOOM watch on backstage monitors. Bulldog whips Austin into the corner, and tags in Owen. Owen takes Austin outside, where he drops him mouth first onto the guard rail. The Foundation comes down closer to ringside, while they take a commercial break…

Back we come, and Owen’s got a headlock on Austin. Austin escapes, but walks into a sleeper. That’s countered by a jawbreaker – and by the time Bulldog gets in, Austin’s made the hot tag. Michaels hits Bulldog with the flying jalapeno, nips up, and nails a dropkick. He tries to follow, but takes a gorilla press testicles first on to the top rope! Bulldog goes outside, Michaels follows – and doesn’t see Owen Hart who drives him back first into the post. Back in, Michaels and Bulldog fight, with Michaels getting catapulted into the top rope. Bulldog gets a 2. Whip to the corner – Michaels hits back first and flips. Running powerslam, 1, 2, Austin JUST breaks it up. Owen’s in as well – so Austin goes right to him, but the referee chases him out. Bulldog smartly heads to the apron, a tag not having been made – but the referee is none the wiser. Gutwrench suplex, legdrop, and Owen gets 2. Owen works a headlock, lets go, and hits a belly to belly for 2. Owen draws the ire of Austin with a shove, allowing a heel double team on Michaels while Austin distracts the ref. Bulldog in, and takes a surprise sunset flip from Michaels for more than a 3 count…but Owen smartly is engaged in a bitter war of words with the referee, and they miss everything. The ref FINALLY turns, and counts 2. Bulldog comes back with a shoulderblock, and gets 2. Front facelock is applied – and Michaels attempts to get to Austin. They fight, he gets the tag, but Owen was again fighting with the referee – and he orders Austin back to the corner. Austin flips off Bret Hart, drawing a huge pop. Owen attempts a superplex on HBK, but he’s shoved off and hit with a crossbody…for 2! Owen calmly comes back with an enzuigiri, the move of course that their 1996 feud was based around, after having knocked Shawn out in November 1995. Owen decides to finish with a bronco buster – but misses HARDCORE and hits the middle rope balls first! Austin gets the tag and cleans house. Nobody is safe from the kicks and stomps. Stunner is set on Bulldog, but Owen breaks it up. Everyone gets in – and in the distraction Bulldog is NAILED with Sweet Chin Music! Owen is ordered out by the ref, who turns and sees Austin cover… 1, 2, 3!!!! (10:25) **** Owen wastes NO time attacking Austin, who rolls out of the ring to grab his belt and get out of there. Pillman and Neidhart hit the ring, and with Owen work over Shawn. Austin spies Bret Hart on top of the ramp though and makes his move on him – hitting a SPEAR, and then pounding the crap out of the leg. The Foundation runs up to save Bret, so Austin takes off.

Later that night, Austin’s in the locker room while Vince congratulates the new champ. Austin says he won the belt all by himself, and that draws Shawn who reminds him that 2 makes a tag-team. Austin says he remembers doing everything – which has the two of them go nose to nose in a shouting match.


STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN STUNS MR. MCMAHON

From a very famous edition of Monday Night RAW, OWEN HART dedicates his victory advancing him to the finals of the IC Title tourney (which he eventually won at Badd Blood) to his loving brother Bret. STEVE AUSTIN cuts the promo short, kicking the crap out of Owen. VINCE MCMAHON and SECURITY hit the ring, with Vince demanding Austin get a hold of himself. Vince asks security for a minute alone with Austin. “What is the matter with you? You’ve had to forfeit the Intercontinental title, the tag-team title, everyone can understand why you’re upset. They can understand you’re upset at being unable to compete, they can understand that. But don’t break the law! Don’t you understand? Don’t you understand why you’re not allowed to compete, can’t you get that through your head? Don’t you know why? Don’t you know that you’re not physically able to compete? Your doctors say you’re not ready. If you compete you could injure yourself for good, you could wind up paralysed. These people don’t want you to wind up in a wheelchair. They want to see you compete, everybody wants to see you company. But in due time Steve, in due time. Get a hold of yourself. Listen, don’t you know that people care in the World Wrestling Federation, we care, they care. We care about you, that’s all it is. You just have to go with it. In otherwords, you’ve gotta work within in the system, that’s all you’ve gotta do. You’ve gotta work within the system.” Austin now takes the chance to speak. “You know as well as I do that this is what I do for a living. This is all that I do, and can’t nobody tell me I ain’t the best in the damn world. Don’t even say nothing, don’t say nothing. You sit here and tell me to work within the system. You ain’t the one sitting back at the house like I am. But if that’s what it takes to make you and the World Wrestling Federation happy, I feel like Coolhand Luke, I’ll work within your stupid little system. I appreciate the fact that you and the World Wrestling Federation care. And I also appreciate the fact that hell, you can kiss my ass.” KICK – WHAM – STUNNER! The police immediately pounce and cuff Austin, hauling him off to jail.


JIM CORNETTE COMMENTARY

JIM CORNETTE introduces the clip, saying he’d been ranting on the Byte This program, and he was asked to vent some of his opinions on RAW. In hindsight he doesn’t think it would have been good as a regular thing, but people look back fondly on some of them. What was interesting was he just said what he felt – and didn’t just knock the opposition, because he knocked the WWF as well, and that kept it very refreshing in the eyes of viewers.

Okay, rapid speed… “I’m Jim Cornette and I’m just wondering if any of you are sick and tired as I am of people who claim to be the icon of wrestling. Hogan, Roddy Piper claimed to be the icon of wrestling, Shawn Michaels is the icon that can still go. Bret Hart would claim to be the icon if he wasn’t too busy crying about being screwed, and I guess Randy Savage is still “thinkin’, thinkin’”. Well Shawn Michaels is still the single most talented wrestler in wrestling today, inside the ring. But outside he’s adolescent, obnoxious jerk who takes his tights and goes home if he doesn’t get his way. Bret Hart is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, but if he’d have been screwed as many times as he claims, he’d have struck oil by now. Randy Savage, yes, he is a legend, but let’s face it, how many records did Frank Sinatra sell last year? But the pinnacle of this icon garbage came last night in the cage match between Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper to determine in their minds only who the real icon is. How does WCW have the gall to say this is the greatest cage match in history, when it was only the greatest in 3 weeks since Hell In The Cell? Here you’ve got a 46-year old bald movie star wannabe who looks like Uncle Creepy with a good build, taking on a guy with an artificial hip who hasn’t wrestled a full schedule in 10 years. It’s a tribute to the massive egotism, in my mind, of both men, and an indictment of WCW’s promotional policies that this match even took place, much less be in the main event when the card was probably the best the WCW is capable of having. At the 10-minute mark they were sucking wind so bad that the first 3 rows passed out from oxygen deprivation. Would have been funny if it wasn’t so sad. Well I’m sick and tired of hearing guys claiming to be the icon when it usually comes from guys who didn’t know when to quit. Roddy Piper was my idol when I was a teenager, but that was 20 years ago. Hulk Hogan during his best days was 50% media created, and those are long gone. That match was a slap in the face to every wrestler who takes pride in his profession. In my mind, no one man is bigger than this sport, but if there is an icon, it would be a man who has great ability inside the ring, and professionalism and maturity outside of it. Let’s leave all the petty backstabbing “I make more money than you” BS with the hat check girl, and concentrate on talent and attitude. The Undertaker, Ric Flair, and Steve Austin have never claimed to be icons, which means they’re big candidates to be just that. And on a personal note to Hulk Hogan, you are a house hold word, but so it garbage, and it stinks when it gets old too. I’m Jim Cornette, and that’s my opinion.”


VINCE MCMAHON INTERVIEW “BRET SCREWED BRET”

We start with a clip from the end of the Survivor Series match, with Bret never submitting to the Sharpshooter, Earl Hebner getting the hell out of there, and Bret looking generally annoyed.

We sit down with JIM ROSS and VINCE MCMAHON. JR immediately demands answers, did he, or did he not screw Bret Hart? “Some would say I screwed Bret Hart. Bret Hart would definitely tell you I screwed him. I look at it from a different standpoint. I look at it from the standpoint of the referee did not screw Bret Hart. Shawn Michaels certainly did not screw Bret Hart. Nor did Vince McMahon screw Bret Hart. I truly believe that Bret Hart screwed Bret Hart. And he can look in the mirror and know that.”

JR says that the world is groaning that he won’t accept responsibility. He wants to know what Vince is talking about. “I will certainly take responsibility for any decision I ever made, I never had a problem doing that. Not all of my decisions are accurate, they’re not. But when I make a bad decision, I’m not above saying that I’m sorry and trying to do the best about it that I can. Hopefully the batting average is pretty good, I make more good decisions than I do bad decisions. And as far as screwing Bret Hart is concerned, there’s a time honoured tradition in the wrestling business, that when someone is leaving that they show the right amount of respect to the superstars in this case to the people that made you that superstar. I mean you show the proper respect to the organization that helped you become who you are today. It’s a time honoured tradition and Bret Hart didn’t want to honour that tradition. That’s something I would have never ever expected from Bret, because he’s known somewhat as a traditionalist in this business. It would have never crossed my mind that Bret wouldn’t want to show the right amount of respect to the superstars that helped make him and the organization that helped make him what he is today. I know that was Bret’s decision. Bret screwed Bret.”


SHAWN MICHAELS and TRIPLE H vs. THE LEGION OF DOOM

Hunter and Shawn play Rock, Paper, Scissors to see who starts – and Shawn gets the draw against Animal. Cornette talks about LOD having just lost the tag-team titles to the New Age Outlaws, which he feels is likely to have them more focused than ever on regaining them. Animal overpowers Michaels to start, and wins a power game with a shoulder block. Michaels tags out to Hunter. Animal is able to overpower him as well – but Triple H goes to an armbar and tags in Michaels. Michaels jumps off the top and drops on Animal’s arm – and rolls out. He misses the truck they call Hawk running him over. Michaels, dazes, rolls back in – and quickly gets knocked back out via a clothesline from Animal. On the floor, Michaels does a Flair Flop, and wanders back to his corner. He and Triple H have a talk, leading to Hunter deciding to be the one back in. Animal rips at Triple H’s shoulder, and Hawk clotheslines him down. Hawk chops away, but takes his eyes off the corner man. Shawn kicks Hawk in the back of the head – and Hunter follows with a running kneelift. In the corner, Shawn cheats with the referee’s head turned, choking Hawk out. Triple H tags out, but not before hitting a drop toe hold on Hawk, and Michaels drops an elbow. They once again play “Blind Referee” and Hunter chokes out Hawk while Shawn distracts. Once Animal makes a fuss, Shawn joins the double team in the corner. Snapmare, Hunter in, and a knee is dropped on the forehead getting 2. In the corner, D-X double teams Hawk – and we have to take a commercial break!

Back we come, with Hawk attempting to power out of a front facelock to get back to his own corner. Hawk launches him, but Shawn won’t allow a tag. He whips Hawk to the neutral corner, who hits abdomen first – but on the rebound accidently bumps Shawn hard head to face – and both men are out! Hawk tags out finally, and Animal runs over everyone. BILLY GUNN shows up at ringside, and fights with Hawk on the outside. THE ROAD DOGG pours ether onto a rag and knocks Hawk out with it – and now Gunn’s into the ring as well. CHYNA decides to join the fracas, and we’ve got a DQ. (7:42) *1/2 She nails Animal with the tag-team title belt while Hawk snores. Gunn shaves Hawk’s Mohawk while Michaels and Helmsley encourage the humiliation. They turn their attention back over to Animal, who they put through the announce table together. Billy Gunn drops a leg on Hawk from off the top rope, though he’s likely too unconscious to notice. Michaels follows with his elbow drop from the top. As the New Age Outlaws dance up the ramp, Michaels looks at them and says “not bad”.


D-X INVADES WCW

From April 27, 1998, DEGENERATION-X stands around in army fatigues, while Triple H plots an attack…

Hunter discusses the fact that WCW was winning the ratings war, and were stealing their talent, so they needed to strike back. Billy Gunn (in “Billy” gear for the interview) says they had no fear for what they were going to do. They went right to them. Hunter says in the business, you didn’t even acknowledge the other guys – let alone drive up to their building in a tank. He says they weren’t sure what they were doing, other than grab a megaphone and drive a tank. BRUCE PRITCHARD laughs fondly at the memory. ERIC BISCHOFF weighs in. “I was pissed. Really pissed.” KEVIN NASH remembers showing up at the building, and saw a mob scene in front of the building and doing a double take saying “that’s D-X!” Hunter thinks a large part of why it worked was because while the WCW were inside the building, wrestling in matches, here were a group of stars from the other company walking around WITH THEM, carrying a megaphone, barking about how the company sucked, etc. They’ve got cameras, and the fans wanted in. They got fans to start throwing in that WCW sucks and talk about them getting free tickets to the show. Bischoff laughs, saying the WWF finally figured it out – and is going to kill them at their own game. More highlights show Triple H shouting about letting Kevin Nash and Scott Hall free. “LET OUR PEOPLE GO!” Bischoff calls it one of the best moves the WWF made to get its position back, because it was a ballsy, arrogant move, which he loves. X-Pac thought that the dumbest thing they did was go to the garage last – thinking if they’d gone there first, they wouldn’t have had warning to close the doors and they could have gotten in. Triple H says if they’d have been smart, they would have let D-X drive – because then you’d have D-X on Nitro! He asks what you’d rather watch, D-X on Nitro or the same old matches? Nash says they’d be backstage at Nitro watching RAW every week to see D-X. X-Pac doesn’t think he’ll ever have a period in his career as cool as the D-X period was ever again.


THE LAST NITRO

We open with random highlights from the opening of the show, from Vince’s speech and Tony’s opening.

SHANE HELMS says nobody was sure what was going to happen, while LANCE STORM talks about all of the rumors that were going around. ERIC BISCHOFF had been rumored to buy the company for ages, and it even got to the point where he’d come in and told everyone that he was in fact in charge. Bischoff says he’d found the money from a good group of people. Storm says there were rumors that Vince had bought the company, and that was really sealed when SHANE MCMAHON walked in the door. SCOTT STEINER says everyone was kept in the dark. BOOKER T said everyone was sad, but he just saw it as another chapter in his book. RIC FLAIR called it the end of an era, and it was sad. For himself personally though, it was a good night. He knew there was life beyond WCW. The highlight for himself was to wrestle STING, despite not being in shape. BILLY KIDMAN said everyone did their jobs as usual, but were overseen by WWF guys – so they knew who was in charge. Booker felt he could come to the WWF, and knew he never wanted to leave the business without going there at some point. Steiner was pretty tired and annoyed with WCW, so he was thrilled to get a chance to move on to the WWF. Booker T talks about his match with Steiner – and says it was a fun way to end. He gave up a lot of money to sign on with the WWF, but feels like he achieved what he wanted to. Helms says he was cruiserweight champion, so he knew he’d get at least one title defence on WWF TV, but since he didn’t have any WWF contact, he wasn’t sure they even knew who Sugar Shane was. Storm compares it to a funeral, knowing it was the end. Kidman says it was sad, but some guys were happy to move on. Flair wasn’t sure if he’d continue in wrestling or not – but says it was hard to see the company close. Bischoff was happy in a weird way that the company was closing, because “finally, someone is going to do something with it.” *cough* His biggest concern was WCW disappearing, because his legacy was wrapped up in WCW. He was happy it still had a life.


NWO IN THE PRODUCTION TRUCK

During a fun 8-man tag (sorry, I can’t list the participants, we’re not in the ring long enough) on July 8, 1996 – Tony Schiavone quickly cuts away, because something is amuck in the back…

A camera heads to the back, inside the production area. THE OUTSIDERS are playing with buttons. They’ve discovered the fade to black button, while Tony screams about potentially being taken off the air. While Kevin Nash talks like a pilot into a headset, Scott Hall demands the cameras pan the crowd. The camera complies, but Hall quickly grows bored and wants the camera to come back to the “movie stars” – IE: Nash and Hall. SECURITY arrives, and it’s Scott Hall of all people who starts threatening lawsuits! Nash: “Everyone back to my trailer for pot pies and Mountain Dew.” HAH!


ERIC BISCHOFF CHALLENGES VINCE MCMAHON

From Nitro on May 11, 1998 – ERIC BISCHOFF stands alone. He wonders out loud what Vince McMahon is thinking, considering that he’s been sending his wannabe’s to Nitro to talk to him. “The problem is he only sends them where he knows I’m not going to be.” That’s not a problem however. “Sean Waltman, you want an apology from me? You actually show up in our offices on a Monday afternoon, when you’re smart enough to know that I’m not going to be there. And as far as the apology goes, bite me, I apologize to no one.” He then dismisses X-Pac as a puppet of McMahon, so he turns his attention back to Vince. He’s going to be in Worcester, Massachusetts for Slamboree, which happens to be right near Vince’s hometown! So, if he’s got the guts to show up – we’ve got an open challenge to see Vince McMahon vs. Eric Bischoff. “How ‘bout it Vinny? But I want to warn you people right now, if you think Vince McMahon has got the guts to show up, don’t buy this pay-per-view because I guarantee you he is not man enough to step into the ring with moi.”


CHRIS BENOIT vs. BOOKER T

We jump right into it, with the two circling around the ring. Tony notes that there’s more heat and friction between the two than there has been (with this being part of the Best Of 7 series). Booker T slams Benoit, and drives in a couple of punches. A win by Benoit puts him up 3-1 here, so it’s pretty much must-win for Booker. Booker tries an early pinfall, while the television champ FIT FINLAY stands on the ramp. “Booker T, you’re not ready for me. They all know it.” Booker gets in a few extra shots, and whips Benoit across the ring. Benoit hits a back elbow, but Booker comes back with a powerslam for 2. 110th Street Slam – and Booker goes up! Flying crossbody from the top hits Benoit, who smartly rolls to the outside. Booker follows, leaping off the apron with a forearm to the back, and throws Benoit back in. Benoit comes back with a series of stomps, leaving Booker lying on the mat. Here come the chops! WOOOOO! Massive looking headbutt, followed by another nasty chop leaving Booker reeling. Snap suplex, kick to the back of the head – and Booker’s in trouble. Finlay: “They know eachother, they don’t know me. I’m cruising, they’re going hard.” Booker T comes back with a Harlem sidekick while Finlay rambles – and gets 2. A rear chinlock is applied. Benoit struggles, and escapes – but Booker fires back with a forearm to the back of the head. Booker hollers to the crowd, and hits a flying jalapeno for 2! Bobby Heenan refers to MARK CURTIS as “the guy with the bowtie” making me laugh for god knows what reason. I’m sure he’d be thrilled knowing his legacy is as the guy with the bowtie. Booker works the chinlock while Tony congratulates the nWo’s own Dennis Rodman as an NBA Champion. Booker misses a Harlem sidekick – allowing Benoit to hit a release German suplex! Both guys are down – but slowly get to their feet simultaneously. Tony talks about Karl Malone, who Bobby immediately remembers as “Sam’s brother!” Now there’s a cross-promotion waiting to happen! Benoit hits a short-arm clothesline, but Booker comes back with the axekick with Benoit tired! Massive belly to back is on target – and Booker again calls to the crowd! A front suplex by Booker is blocked, and turned into a Crossface!!!! Booker has no choice but to tap, and Benoit takes a 3-1 lead! (8:22) ***1/4


GOLDBERG vs. HOLLYWOOD HULK HOGAN (for the WCW world heavyweight title)

And NOW we’re talking!!! This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the peak of WCW’s creative juices – with the hot new guy (Goldberg) taking on the guy who for the better part of 4 years has been the WCW champion (Hogan). Giving it away on Nitro was NOT necessarily the smartest move they could have made, but it was the kind of ballsy move you NEVER see anymore. It was also one of the last great moments we WCW fans got… CHARLES ROBINSON rings the bell while the two circle each other. The fans are already ballistic while Heenan shouts about the moment. They lockup, and Goldberg goes for a side headlock. Hogan shoves him off – but Goldberg merely bounces off the ropes and takes Hogan down with a shouderblock. Mike Tenay suggests a win by Goldberg will shift the power out of the nWo – and back over to WCW where it belongs. Second lockup – and Hogan gets the headlock this time. Goldberg manages to power right out of the move by running Hogan to the corner – and a break is forced. Heenan thinks a Hogan win will ruin the sport, because we’ll never hear the end of it. A test of strength doesn’t fare well at ALL for Hogan – as he’s down to a knee in seconds, screaming in pain. Hogan rushes to the ropes, and the announcers aren’t even pretending to be objective. Hogan rakes the eyes of Goldberg, then the back, gets in some punches – and rips off the weightlifting belt. He whips away, gets cocky, and Goldberg rips the belt right out of his hands – launching it out of the ring. Hogan tries a hammerlock, but it’s reversed immediately into a full nelson. The only escape was a lowblow, which the referee misses. A clothesline grounds Goldberg, and Hogan goes to choke the life out of him. Tenay notes that earlier in the night that Scott Hall had some (mild) success with the clothesline – and Hogan was clearly paying attention, using the move again. He drops an elbow, which hits – but a second one does not since Goldberg rolls out of the way. Goldberg pops up with a clothesline, and Hogan rolls out to the floor. Hogan gets back in at 9, and throws Goldberg out to the floor. Out there – he grabs a nearby chair, and hits Goldberg a couple of times. Back in they go, where Hogan hits a scoop slam, and the Big Leg Drop! A second one is on the mark – and now CURT HENNIG is on his way out. KARL MALONE and DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE are RIGHT behind him – while in the ring Goldberg KICKS OUT of the second legdrop. At this point, the fans can feel something special is in the air because this was during a time NOBODY was kicking out of the legdrop. Outside the ring, Malone hits Hennig with a Diamond Cutter! Hogan can’t believe it – turns around and eats a SPEAR from Goldberg!!!!! The fans throw toilet paper around the building – and they know what’s coming now…. JACKHAMMER on the mark, 1, 2, 3!!!!!! And we crown a NEW WCW champion!!!! (8:11) **1/2 The stupid WWE version of Goldberg’s music plays, and drowns out a GREAT fan response as garbage fills the ring, in a good way for a change.


RIC FLAIR RETURNS TO WCW

For those of you unfamiliar with the situation, in the Spring of 1998, Ric Flair was a very unhappy man. His character was becoming less and less important to WCW as time was moving on, and he was getting far less airtime. In an early edition of Thunder, Flair was not booked – so he decided not to show so he could go and watch his son wrestle in a tournament. Just before the show went on the air, the bookers up and decided to reunite the Four Horsemen, but found themselves in a bind without Flair. As a result, Bischoff suspended Flair – and the two engaged into a bitter lawsuit. Things were not looking good. But as they always have, the fans rebelled against the idea of Ric Flair being kept off of television, and chanted “WE WANT FLAIR” regularly on TV until they had no choice but to kiss and makeup, which leads to…

ARN ANDERSON, DEAN MALENKO, CHRIS BENOIT, MONGO MCMICHAEL, and JJ DILLON are in the ring. Arn thanks Chris Benoit for getting this thing rolling – and praises him as being one of the finest wrestlers on the planet. He says he’s definitely a Horsemen. Turning to Mongo, he may be a hard head, and hard to be around sometimes – but he’s all pro, and if Arn has ANYTHING to do with it (he didn’t), then Mongo will mean to wrestling what he did to football. And finally, we have Dean Malenko, and Arn discusses respect. He says nobody shows more respect for wrestling and the Horsemen, and overachieves on a more regular basis. Arn turns and says that he’s been asked to bring back the Horsemen for the last year, and he may well do just that, but he is NOT going to apologize for what’s coming next – because Horsemen are not nice guys, and heads are going to roll. “Be careful what you wish for, because now you have it!” He suddenly slaps himself… “I almost forgot, the fourth Horsemen…RIC FLAIR!” The fans have one giant orgasm as a VERY teary eyed Flair walks the ramp – and gives us one helluva WOOOOOOOO! In the ring, the Horsemen do the “we’re not worthy” bow, and Flair takes the time to hug them all. “Thank you, thank you very much. I’m almost embarrassed by the response, but when I see this I know that the 25 years that I’ve spent trying to make you happy every night of your life was worth every damn minute of it! Now, somebody told ME that the Horsemen were having a party tonight in Greenville! Could that be true that the most elite group that Eric Bischoff said was dead is alive and well? BISCHOFF – this might be my only shot, and I’ve gotta tell ya, I’m gonna make it my best! Is this what you’d call a great moment TV? That’s wrong, because this is REAL! This is not bought and paid for, it’s a real life situation! Just like the night in Columbia, South Carolina when you looked at me tears in your eyes and said “god that’s good TV” – it was REAL! Arn Anderson passed the torch, it was REAL dammit! You think Sting was crying in the dressing room like I was on TV if it wasn’t real? This guy, my best friend is one of the greatest performers to EVER live, and you squashed him in one night. Then, you get on the phone and tell me to disband the Horsemen, they’re dead. Disband the Horsemen, me??? You know what, I looked at myself in the mirror the next day and I saw a pathetic figure that gave up and quit! And for that, I owe you, the wrestling fans, I owe these guys an apology because it won’t happen again. We’re real, and Bischoff, no matter WHAT you think…” ERIC BISCHOFF is power walking to the ring now. “Yeah, you’re an overbearing asshole – that’s right. You’re an obnoxious, overbearing ass. ABUSE OF POWER, YOU! Abuse of power! Cut me off! Abuse of power! You suck! You, I hate your guts! I hate your guts! You are a liar, you’re a cheat, you’re a scam, you are a no good son of a bitch! Fire me – I’m already fired! Fire me – I’m already fired!”


RICK RUDE APPEARS ON NITRO AND RAW ON THE SAME NIGHT

We get a clip of RICK RUDE introducing Degeneration X to the ring to kick off Monday Night RAW…

JIM ROSS introduces this, stating that Rude showing up on Nitro surprised them to a significant degree. The WWF had been negotiating a new contract with Rude, and thought they’d come to an understanding. They were executing the paper-work while the contract had lapsed. However, he jumped over to Nitro, hair cut, and beard freshly shorn to prove how live WCW truly was.

Rude cuts a promo stating one of the things wrong with pro-wrestling is Shawn Michaels claiming to be the real champion when he never beat Bret Hart. Another is Vince McMahon forcing a referee to rob the belt from Bret. What’s right however is for Bret to abandon the Titanic, and swim to the refuge of the nWo.


FINAL ANALYSIS

And that wraps up the DVD, which was another strong outing in a series of awesome ones by the WWE lately. The story didn’t feel as one-sided as I had expected it to be, with the first 45 minutes or so covering WCW dominance as well as it really could have.

WCW fans will love a chance to once again relive the past with great footage brought to DVD, and WWF fans can sit back and remember a time they were close to going under before laughing with Corporate Stooge Gerald Brisco as WCW winds up dead and buried in the end.
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BWT
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#2 Posted on 11.3.04 1445.35
Reposted on: 11.3.11 1445.39
Really nice review and I think it was actually fair and right down the middle and not the usual WWE spin.
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#3 Posted on 12.3.04 1633.12
Reposted on: 12.3.11 1633.15
    Originally posted by BWT
    Really nice review and I think it was actually fair and right down the middle and not the usual WWE spin.
Agreed. I was also suprised at how much time the DVD spent on WCW's winning streak. I totally expected them to kinda give 5 minutes to "WCW stole all of WWF's guys, so they were winning for awhile. BUT THEN LOOK HOW BAD WE KICKED THEIR ASS AFTER THAT!!"

That being said, I also noticed how the DVD went into pretty good detail explaining why WCW was so popular during their streak (nWo, lucha libre/Japanese guys, Benoit, Jericho, etc), but they didnt even touch what was going wrong in the WWF while they were getting their butts kicked. Then later on they went into great detail about what was going wrong in WCW while THEY were getting THEIR butts kicked (no new stars, guaranteed contracts, guys with 100% creative control=bad thing, etc). But I guess that might have been too much to expect from any company.
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