From the Bowery: nWo: The Revolution (Blu-Ray: Disc Two)
From the Bowery: nWo: Revolution (Blu-Ray Disc II)
-We continue on with some more matches and then all the Blu-Ray exclusive content.
Las Vegas Sudden Death Match: Diamond Dallas Page vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth)
WCW Halloween Havoc: Oct 26, 1997
-The stipulation means that loser is the man that can’t answer a ten count. It’s not to be confused with similar match where you have to pin your opponent first and then they have to answer a ten count. DDP still has his ribs taped which make it nearly 7 months that those things have been injured. They immediately hit the floor and the brawl is on as they say. Savage goes straight to the ribs as one would expect, but gets tossed into the security wall. Page chokes Savage with his shirt and tosses him with it. They head back into the ring, and Savage catches Page coming in with a right hand. They fight in the corner, and again Savage goes right back to the ribs. DDP sells the ribs in impressive fashion, and I will also take this time to mention that Elizabeth looks absolutely fantastic. Page catches Savage with a swinging neckbreaker, and looks for the Diamond Cutter, but Savage bails to the floor. Page follows with a slingshot crossbody, but that doesn’t help his ribs any. He gets guillotined on the top rope, and Savage comes off the top with a double axe to the back. That sends Page crashing into the railing and then Savage sends him over the railing with a clothesline. Sitting nearby is Raven and his Flock, but nothing happens as Page and Savage brawl through the crowd and back to the Halloween Havoc entrance set (Savage vs. Raven would have been fun). They have some fun in the fake cemetery as Page throws Savage into some Styrofoam tombstones. It’s a neat visual, but you can tell it’s rather fake looking. Savage gets slammed through a fake wooden casket, and then has a tray shattered over his head. The ref starts the first true 10 count of the match, but Savage is able to crawl to his feet. They brawl back down the aisle and once at ringside, Savage reverses a whip and sends Page into the railing. Both men are selling this match for all they are worth as Savage makes good use of the stairs. The ref starts a count on DDP, but he shows some life so Savage starts to pound away with some boots. Macho bullies a camera man for his camera, but Page kicks it back into his face in a sweet spot. Tony claims the camera is worth a $100,000 and guess I know why WCW was bleeding money at their low points. The ref starts the count, but Elizabeth knocks him out with a glass tray. That brings Kimberly down and she pulls Liz to the back by her hair, and I will again say that Miss Elizabeth looks 1000 times better than Kim at this point. Not to say that Kim looked bad or anything, but damn, nWo Liz was something else. Page rallies in the ring as Nick Patrick is the new ref. A flapjack leaves Savage down as Page preps for the Diamond Cutter, but Savage grabs enough of the top rope to lessen the impact of the move. Savage wobbles to the top rope and hits a sloppy looking flying (falling really) elbow to the ribs. Either Savage is trying to sell the beating in this match or something is fucked up with him. Page makes his way to his feet at the count of six, but gets caught with a slam. Now Savage heads up top proper this time, and the Flying Elbow sticks in impressive fashion to the ribs. Hell yeah, that was much more like it. Savage gets to his feet at five, and somehow Page gets to his at 9 as they are building some great drama. Nick Patrick gets kicked as Page floats over Savage and hits the Diamond Cutter. That leaves both men down as Patrick gets to his feet and starts the count. They each get to their feet and as Page tries for another Cutter, Savage spins him around and hits a low blow that sends Page to the floor. “Sting” (Hogan this time) heads down and drills Page in the back with a bat, and he can’t answer the count at 18:07. The most shocking thing is that even Tony Schiavone wasn’t buying this fake Sting as the real one. After the match Savage blasts Patrick for fun and makes sure to get another shot in on Page. They start to load Page on a stretcher and Savage beats the piss out of him just because he can.
Winner: “Macho Man” Randy Savage via Last Man Standing at 18:07
-This was essentially the blow-off for this feud, and it was a great note to end it. This was the feud that made DDP a star and showed that Savage was still the fucking man. The match itself did a great job of building drama and the selling was great as they made you believe they were in one hell of a brawl. The silliness of the graveyard was kind of fun, but kind of not at the same time. I mean, how hard could it have been to give these guys something more realistic to work with? I think the Great American Bash was more fun, but this had a better story and drama. ***3/4
WCW World Heavyweight Title: Sting © vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan
WCW Nitro: Dec 29, 1997
-Sting made his much hyped in ring return the night before and defeated Hogan in controversial fashion for the WCW Title at Starrcade and this is the rematch. The reason for this match was to give some real controversy to the finish instead of the fucked up or purposely fucked up fast, slow count from the previous night. The match starts 1000 times better than the previous night as they just start brawling instead of the endless stalling. The crowd is jacked for this as you would expect. Hogan chokes away early and sends Sting to the floor. He connects with a scoop slam before tossing Sting back into the ring. He continues to dominate Sting, but it seemingly only pisses him off as he starting firing back with right hands of his own. He works Hogan over in the corner and follows him to the floor to continue the brawl. Hogan gets tossed into the security railing and back inside the ring Sting continues the onslaught. Hogan reverses the momentum in the corner and gets a two count off the running corner lariat. He fires away with right hands to the face as the crowd chants for Sting. The big boot follows next, but instead of a leg drop, Hogan immediately goes for the pin that only gets two. Sting ducks a clothesline and hits a shoulder block so that he can fall back into the ropes and then fall head first into Hogan’s groin. That would be a rather popular spot for Sting. Hogan goes to the eyes, but misses the leg drop. Now Sting basically Hulks up and connects with a Stinger Splash. At this point Nitro goes off the air as Hogan pulls the ref in the way of a second Stinger Splash. The match goes black for a second and then pops back up with “After Nitro Went off the Air” on the bottom of the screen. We come back with Sting choking Nick Patrick for some reason (not sure how he ended up in the match). I am assuming he took over for Anderson who got crushed. Hogan uses the distraction to hit Sting with the title belt, and gets a roll-up with a handful of tights for the win at 5:57 with Patrick counting the fall. Sting dropkicks Hogan in the back after the match and then lays out Patrick as garbage starts to fill up the ring. Sting starts choking away on Hogan as Randy Anderson seems to be letting the match continue. Sting gets the Scorpion and Anderson calls the match at 7:15. Sting is announced as still the WCW Champion and JJ heads down to present him the title, but Bischoff grabs the title out of his hands. Big mistake there as Sting drops him with the Death Drop and that brings out the nWo. They gang Sting, but Bret Hart is the first out to make the save and soon most of the WCW guys head down as we get the mother of all gang wars. The crowd is freaking out as the nWo tucks tail and retreats to the back. What made this all the better was that once Nitro went off the air the announcers were gone and thus all we heard was the crowd and the action in the ring.
Winner: No Decision at 7:15
-The finally decided at Souled Out that the title was going to be held up for a proper rematch at SuperBrawl with the winner meeting Scott Hall at Uncensored (Hall won the right at World War III ’97). This was basically just a more justified way of holding up the title than the confusing shit we got at Starrcade and a better way to do it, I guess. The match was better than the Starrcade match actually since it was 15 minutes shorter and they weren’t pacing themselves. Again, like the earlier Piper/Hogan match I wouldn’t classify it as a good match, but it certainly wasn’t boring and the chaos at the end with the gang war was fun. **
No DQ: WCW World Heavyweight Title: “Macho Man” Randy Savage © vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan (w/ The Disciple)
WCW Nitro: April 20, 1998
-Savage defeated Sting the previous night at Spring Stampede with the help of Nash and soon it leaked that during the match Savage suffered a serious knee injury. Immediately most people started suspecting something was up and sure enough this match was booked less than 24 hours later on Nitro. As a personal note, I fractured my sternum the night before watching Spring Stampede by giving my then girlfriend a DDT. Clearly not the smartest thing ever, but imagine me trying to explain to the people at the ER what a DDT is, and how it could have injured my chest. So I was on some kind of pain killer at the time when I watched this match live and even in a kind of funny haze I could see what was coming a mile away here. Both men were nWo, but they had been fighting over who was the leader of the group. History has shown us that anytime Hogan and Savage battle for power on screen it doesn’t end well for Savage, but maybe they will shock us here. Tony goes crazy with hyperbole as he calls this the biggest match ever between the two. This was the start of the split of the nWo and the question was who was going to turn on who and join Team Hogan or Team Savage. They stall to start obviously as Savage has a big ass brace on his knee. Hogan powers Savage into the corner and buries some knees into the midsection. Hogan goes to his patented heel offense of eye raking and back scratching. He makes Savage his bitch in the corner with some heavy right hands as I am feeling kind of bad for Savage here and I’m a Hogan guy since birth basically. Hogan chokes away and you can tell from Heenan’s tone that he is kind of worried about Savage and why he has to go through this with a bad wheel. Hogan connects with a belly to back suplex for a two count. Savage gets tossed to the floor and he takes the bump on his good side as I am amazed he is getting through a match like this. The Disciple gets in a few cheap shots and Hogan uses a steel chair for good measure. Back in the ring we go and Savage finally starts to get back into the fight. He drops Hogan with a running double axe, but Hogan immediately goes to the bad knee. Patrick tries to pull Hogan off, but that does no good in a no DQ match. The Disciple abuses the knee for good measure. Savage pulls himself up as the crowd tries to rally him. He responds by firing back on one leg, but it doesn’t last long. Hogan gets the slam, but he misses the leg drop. Savage gets his hands on the weight belt and he whips away. He somehow slams Hogan and hits the flying elbow, but his knee is too fucked from the landing to make the cover. Hogan uses the spinning toe hold of all things which is kind of crazy to see, but Savage just won’t give it up. Hogan ends up going with the Figure Four as I am having flash backs to Hershey, PA when Flair beat Savage for the WWF Title. Savage gets to the ropes and for some reason Hogan releases the hold as Nick Patrick apparently isn’t aware that this is no DQ. Savage fights to his feet and chokes away on one leg and that brings the Disciple in the ring. He drops Patrick and the two of them start to double team Savage. They abuse his leg on the ring post as the crowd seems rather horrified at the destruction of the leg. The crowd chants for Sting as they want anyone to help Savage. The Disciple hits the Apocalypse (Stunner) on Savage and finally Nash heads down to the ring. Bischoff follows and tries to stop Nash, but he gets drilled for his trouble and then Nash powerbombs Hogan to a massive pop. Next up is Bret Hart heading to the ring as he blasts Nash and puts Hogan on top of Savage for the count and WCW Title @ 13:38. Now Piper heads to the ring and confronts Bret about his actions. He gets decked and that’s where the blu-ray ends things.
Winner and New WCW Heavyweight Champion: Hollywood Hulk Hogan via pin at 13:38
-I am seeing a trend here in that for whatever reason the TV matches between these men are a hell of a lot better than the PPV matches they were turning out in the same time period. This was as good as you were going to get from these two considering one was severely limited and the other was Randy Savage on one leg (see what I did there). All joking aside, I had no problem with this match at all and perhaps I am just too much of a fan of both men. Big props to Savage for gutting through this one with a damaged leg! **
WCW Tag Titles: Sting © vs. The Giant ©
WCW/nWo Great American Bash: June 14, 1998
-Deep breathe as I try to explain this one for any newer fans out there or for those that have this time in WCW blocked out. Sting and Giant won the Titles the previous month from The Outsiders when Hall turned on Nash and went nWo Hollywood. When that match was originally signed both Sting and Giant were WCW guys, but Giant soon turned nWo Hollywood before the match. Sting was rather pissed at the way they won the titles so he opted to join Nash and the nWo Wolfpac. That leads to this match where the winner gets control of the Tag Titles and gets to pick a new partner. The Giant had already stated that he was picking The Disciple and that basically gave the result away because how fucking stupid was that. Though, perhaps at the time The Disciple getting half the tag title wasn’t that shocking considering who his best friend was. The Giant lights up a cigarette as he heads to the ring because Sting questioned his fitness leading up to this match. Seeing the Big Show looking kind of thin (for him), sporting long hair, and smoking is quite the site. The Giant blows smoke in Sting’s face before the match and Sting responds by slapping him in the face. The Giant charges and misses a splash in the corner, and gets caught on the top turnbuckle. Sting catches him with a Stinger Splash, but a second attempt fails as he gets caught with a big boot. Sting ducks a few clotheslines, but hits a brick wall as he tries a crossbody. A big ass elbow follows and then in a fantastic spot, The Giant bench presses Sting above his head and shot puts him into the air and face first on the top turnbuckle. Damn, that looked fantastic! Things slow down as The Giant locks in a bear hug and that gives the fans a chance to throw their support behind Sting. He starts to fade however, but he doesn’t give up yet as he bites his way out of the hold. Sting ducks a clothesline and smartly dropkicks the knee. He catches The Giant with a Stinger Splash to the back and then the normal way. In a nice show of power from Sting he actually slams The Giant and tries to lock in the Scorpion, but dude is just too fucking big. Sting opts for the Death Drop instead, but The Giant kicks out at two. He preps for the chokeslam, but The Giant’s knee gives out and Sting hits a second Scorpion Death Drop. Once again The Giant is out at two as Sting questions what they hell he needs to do. The Giant fights back but misses a charge in the corner, and Sting ends up getting a third Scorpion Death Drop for the pin and Tag Titles at 6:40.
Winner and New Owner of the WCW Tag Titles: Sting via pin at 6:40
-Short match as one would expect and pretty solid as well. The Giant tossed Sting around for a bit leading to Sting pulling out whatever he could to finally subdue the big man. Sting would end up picking Nash as his partner. **1/4
Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff (w/ The Disciple and Miss Elizabeth) vs. Diamond Dallas Page and Jay Leno (w/ Kevin Eubanks)
WCW/nWo Road Wild: Aug 8, 1998
-Might as well include this match on some compilation I guess just to show that it actually existed. More Liz goodness though as she is rocking a biker look to fit the Sturgis setting! The crowds at this PPV through the year were always pro Hogan and tended to shit all over more mat based wrestling (1st ever show where they were all over Malenko vs. Benoit). The venue has always looked kind of cool on TV though as often is the case with outdoor shows. I watched this match live during the PPV over 14 years ago and this is first time I have seen it since, so should be interesting. Leno throws a glass of water on Hogan and Bischoff as they talk shit to the camera on the floor. Shockingly, we get a vocal Hogan sucks chant which as I mentioned wasn’t the norm for this crowd in the past. All four men start off in the ring and Leno taunts Hogan and Bischoff. Eventually they opt for Hogan and DDP to start for their teams. Things over this summer seemed to be building to an eventual Hogan vs. Page PPV match but it never happened. Hogan overpowers Page to start which isn’t shocking. We get some very basic wrestling to start as they trade wristlocks. Page gets in a few shots and Leno gets in one from behind which pops the crowd. Hogan bails to the floor, but Kevin Eubanks is waiting and sends my childhood hero into the ring post. The Disciple gets instructions to take out Eubanks should he get involved again. Things start back up in the ring again and this time Hogan takes control. He corners Page and starts stomping and choking. The tag is made to Bischoff as Leno charges in, but Nick Patrick gets him back to the apron. Bischoff walks into a boot from DDP and the tag is made to Jay Leno. Bischoff runs away and makes the tag to Hogan. This is where a part of my childhood dies as I get to watch The Immortal Hulk Hogan sell for Jay Fucking Leno. I had no problem with Malone the previous month as at least he is a legit athlete and physical specimen. Leno makes Hogan look silly for a few seconds before making the tag to Page. Leno should have stayed in seemingly as Hogan runs over Page with a clothesline. They start trading blows and Page ends up working the arm. Leno gets the tag and he drives Hogan to the mat with an armbar. Hogan fights back thankfully and easily pushes Leno into the corner to deliver a few knees. He moves out of the way of another attempt and immediately makes the tag to Page. They double team Hogan with a clothesline and Leno gets a near fall off the former multiple times World Champion. All four men battle on the floor while Eubanks steals a chair from Hogan. They head back in the ring and DDP is your future Sara-taker stalker in peril. Even Bischoff gets to abuse Page for a bit before Page turns things around with some right hands. The Disciple hands Hogan some brass knux and he cleans Page’s clock so that Bischoff can get a two count. The tag is made to Hogan and he pounds away with right hands. The heels double team Page in the corner and Hogan uses the brass knux a second time before tossing them back to the Disciple. I crack a smile as someone in the crowd says something to Hogan and he yells back “so is your mother.” Awesome! The big boot follows, but no leg drop as he mugs for the camera allowing Page to get to his feet. Page ends up hitting a desperation clothesline and each man crawls for the corner where Hogan wins the race, but the lukewarm tag is made to Leno. Eric gets hit in the balls by Leno and he lands a weak looking right hand. He delivers a second one as Heenan tries to cover by calling it a short, explosive right hand. At least I can buy Leno beating Bischoff’s ass better than I could him anyone else. Hogan comes in and accidentally decks Bischoff. That brings in Page who sends Hogan to the floor with a clothesline. They brawl on the floor as Patrick tries to get that under control, and that gives Eubanks a chance to get into the ring and hit a Diamond Cutter on Bischoff. Leno rolls over for the cover and the pin to quite the pop at 14:34. Bischoff and Hogan jump the winners after the match and that brings out Goldberg to a huge pop. He spears Hogan and Bischoff at the same time and then celebrates with Page and Leno.
Winners: DDP and Jay Leno via Leno pin on Bischoff at 14:34
-Jay Leno is no Dennis Rodman or Karl Malone that’s for sure. The best part of the match was Eubanks hitting the Diamond Cutter. *
War Games: nWo Hollywood (Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, and Stevie Ray) vs. nWo Wolfpac (Kevin Nash, Sting, and Lex Luger) vs. Team WCW (DDP, The Warrior, and Roddy Piper)
WCW Fall Brawl: Sept 13, 1998
-This is what happens when you fuck with something so simple as War Games. The whole team concept is nonsense as they added the stipulation that whoever got the pin or submission would be #1 contender for the WCW Title at Halloween Havoc. Why they just couldn’t do the two nWo factions in a 4 on 4 or 5 on 5 War Games since nobody cared about WCW (besides Goldberg) is beyond me. Also, who the hell did Stevie Ray blow to get into this match? The rules are altered a bit as you can win the match at anytime without everyone being in the 2 rings like previous War Games which basically eliminates the Match Beyond idea. Thankfully they at least have the good sense to have Bret Hart and DDP start the match in the opening 5 minute period. Hart pounds DDP down as we start and works on the left arm. Page reverses and mows Bret down with a shoulder for two. He follows with a belly to belly suplex for another two count. He tries for the Cutter, but Bret escapes and drops Page face first of the turnbuckle. Bret chokes away with his foot as they are just killing time at this point it seems. Page fires back with right hands, but Bret cuts him off with a backbreaker. He drops a headbutt low as the announcers are doing a decent job of putting over that while these guys have early advantage of being out there to get a pin before anyone else can get into the match, but longer it goes that advantage disappears. The clock counts down and thankfully even with the new format the heel team wins the drawing as Stevie Ray heads to the ring. Now each period goes for two minutes as nWo Hollywood beats down DDP. For their part the crowd tries to rally DDP, but not happening as he continues to get his ass kicked as the clock hits zero. That brings out Sting to a great reaction as he goes crazy on Stevie Ray. He hits a sweet clothesline by leaping from one ring to the other while Page and DPP continue to beat on each other. Stevie Ray gets caught between the ropes and the cage wall and gets hit with multiple Stinger splashes. A third one misses as Roddy Piper is the next one to hit the ring. He proceeds to hit every single person in the match which makes sense, but again, kills the whole team idea. He pokes Bret in the eye with his Three Stooges offense and then bites at Stevie Ray’s face. He goes to the eyes of Page as well while everyone else kind of lays around the ring. The action spills from ring to ring as the time runs out and now Luger makes his way into the ring representing the Wolfpac. Things are just kind of chaos now as the camera gives us the wide shot. Piper hooks a sleeper on Luger which is a way to end this thing, but Luger breaks rather easily as the announcers even say it’s hard for them to call the action. Piper isolates Stevie Ray in the opposite ring and hooks the sleeper as Nash (with pyro) is the next one in the cage. He gets the best reaction so far and goes right after Piper. Hogan comes out over a minute early and he brings a slapjack with him. Luger racks Bret and gets hit with the slapjack. Bret stares down Hogan, but Stevie Ray clips Bret from behind. Everyone is down except Hogan and Stevie Ray. Nash gets hit with the leg drop a few times and then things get kind of silly. Hogan looks for a cover on Nash, but the rings fill up with smoke. Someone dressed in the Warrior’s coat appears through a trapdoor (the one that fucked up Davey Boy’s life earlier in the show), but Hogan mows him down. That brings more smoke into the ring and the “Warrior” is gone. Some pyro goes off, and the real deal Warrior heads down the ramp and goes right for Hogan. He gets in a few shots before The Disciple heads down and gets Hogan out of the cage. The Warrior/Hogan drama is the only thing happening as everyone else is still out from either slapjack of death or the smoke of intense discomfort. Warrior breaks through a section of the cage and he chases Hogan to the back. Back in the ring Stevie Ray tries to hit DDP with the slapjack and instead nails Hart. DDP ends up getting the Diamond Cutter on Stevie Ray (now I see why he was in the match) and gets the pin at 20:06.
Winners: Team WCW via Diamond Dallas Page pin on Stevie Ray
-Yes, technically it was a win for team WCW though Page was ultimate winner. I still think a kick ass brawl with the two nWo factions would have been better, but at least this lead to a good match with Page and Goldberg the following the month. The match was pretty horrible as it was mindless brawling with no real hatred. The Hogan/Warrior stuff was silly and lead to a horrible match the following month so call it a wash on what came out of this match. *1/2
-The next match I have reviewed on a few previous DVD releases so cut and paste 4 life!
WCW World Heavyweight Title: Goldberg © vs. Kevin Nash
WCW Starrcade: Dec 27, 1998
-Nash gets a huge pop as he makes his way to the ring. This crowd was ready for Goldberg to lose the strap. Sure, some will say this killed the company, but listen to the crowd during this match, and tell me they didn’t give the fans want they wanted. The Goldberg chant starts, but there are audible boos. Tony mentions Goldberg is sitting 173-0 at this point. I always wondered why Goldberg had so much security take him to the ring if he was such a bad ass? Goldberg stops to sign an autograph for a random kid who just happened to be backstage. Why didn’t security tackle the kid? What if he was the spawn of Cheetham the Evil Midget, and had a bomb hidden in that pen? Might as well have Ralphus as your security. Just from the crowd reaction this match does have that big match feel. Goldberg gets a more visceral pop from the crowd when he poses. Stiff lockup to start and it’s a stalemate. Another lockup and Nash gets a side headlock. Goldberg tries to fire him off, but Nash maintains the hold. Great power by Goldberg as he hits a backdrop suplex. Amazed Nash took that bump actually. It’s not often you see him get tossed around. Nash bails and we get more stalling, but the crowd is still with them. We actually get dueling chants from the crowd some 4 years before TNA existed. Picture frame elbows in the corner from Nash, and he puts the boot on the throat. Goldberg powers off, and we get some honest to God mat work. They even throw in some amateur UFC work. Nash covers and hooks a cross arm breaker, but Goldberg counters to an ankle lock. Holy hell! Where did that shit come from? Nash gets pounded by forearms and gets dropped. Nash regains the advantage by pulling Goldberg into the middle turnbuckle. “Goldberg Sucks” says the crowd. A quick spear is hit, but the Jackhammer is countered by a punch to the balls. Always an effective counter! Nash gets a 2 count off his sidewalk slam. Nash chokes Goldberg on the middle ropes and drops his entire weight onto Goldberg’s back. Goldberg fires back with a kick to the midsection. Nash should thank the Lord. If that kick were any higher, Nash’s career would have been over. Just ask Hart, Bret. Well, there’s the kick to the head, but Nash was able to react better than Bret. Nash continues to let Goldberg throw him all over the ring. Goldberg actually pulls out a spin wheel kick. Disco Inferno (trying to get into the Wolf Pack) interferes, but gets dropped with a spear. Bigelow continues his feud with Goldberg as he enters the ring, but gets dispatched of quickly. Hall, in a yellow security shirt, strikes Goldberg with a cattle prod and Nash hits the Jackknife. The ref, with the fans counting along, makes the three count and we have a New WCW Champion. The pop from the crowd was probably the loudest you will ever hear for Nash, and one of the louder ones in the n.W.o era. I think the pop was more because Goldberg lost than Nash winning, but it was damn sure loud. Very similar to when Edge cashed in Money in the Bank to finally get the WWE Title off Cena.
Winner and New WCW Champion: Kevin Nash via pin at 11:20
-This was a lot better than I remember it being back in 1998. Some of the things they did completely left me shocked. This was a decent power match, and it was kept short. Nash gave a lot of offense to Goldberg, and it took 3 other men and a stun gun to end the streak. It’s not like Nash no sold everything and pinned him with 1 foot on his chest. The only thing WCW did wrong was not put the title back on Goldberg. Instead the n.W.o was reformed, and Hogan vs Flair was trotted out as the Main Event in the spring of 1999 before DDP was elevated to the title. I enjoyed this match, so bring on the hate. ***1/4 (This is definitely a match that has become a personal favorite of mine for some reason. I think they just shocked me with what they did and the reaction to Nash getting the pin was insane. I find myself watching the closing powerbomb and three count every now and then just due to the crowd response)
WCW World Heavyweight Title: Bret Hart vs. Goldberg
WCW Nitro: Dec 20, 1999
-It’s the night after Starrcade and Hart vacated the title due to the way the previous night’s match with Goldberg ended. What happened was Piper (doing what “The Powers to Be” wanted him to do) came down as a ref and rang the bell alas Montreal while Goldberg was in the Sharpshooter. Bret didn’t want to retain the title like that so we get the rematch now. Why WCW felt the need to recreate Montreal at their biggest show of the year 2 out of 3 years is baffling to me. The other significant thing that occurred at Starrcade was Goldberg hitting Bret with a super stiff kick that legit gave him a concussion and basically ended his career after they realized how injured Bret was. They lockup and that doesn’t go well for Bret as he gets powered to the mat. Goldberg mauls him in the corner and drops Bret with a clothesline. Back into the corner and the ass kicking continues. Bret finally gets smart and tries to go to the knees, but one shot ends that noise. They head to the floor as you can see that Bret looks a little off which isn’t shocking knowing what we know now. Goldberg reverses a whip on the floor and sends Bret into the security railing. They head back into the ring where Goldberg hits a powerslam. Goldberg goes for the ankle, but Bret gets to the bottom rope to escape. He again goes to the knee of Goldberg and this time he finally grounds the big man. He works over the knee in the corner, and continues to pound away. The punches only serve to piss off Goldberg and the ref gets bumped. Bret locks in the figure four and that brings out Hall and Nash with ball bats. They tease hitting both men, but hammer away on Goldberg. They hand a bat to Hart and he tees off on Goldberg as well. Piper runs down either too early or the ref plays dead too long as Piper tries to cover Goldberg before a count is even made. The ref actually counts three as Piper is the one covering Goldberg instead of Bret which is so embarrassing. Jeff Jarrett hits the ring and he smashes a guitar over Piper’s head. Jarrett breaks out some spray paint as Nash struggles to rip Piper’s shirt off in a hilarious moment. Jarrett tags Piper and Goldberg in sliver paint with those oh so famous 3 letters as voiceover guy spouts “N W O.” The crowd reaction is pretty strong and Nash lets everyone know that the band is back together.
Winner and New WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Bret Hart via pin (I guess) at 5:43
-That ending sequence was botched all to hell as someone seriously fucked up their cue. The match itself was nothing as you could see Bret wasn’t himself. The post match angle was fun though and had me legit pumped at the time. Bret getting put on the shelf killed the entire thing though and soon Hall was off TV as well. Jarrett ended up getting the biggest push from the rebirth of the nWo. It was a strong start though as The Outsiders were the Tag Champs, Bret was the WCW Champ, and Jarrett was the US Champ. Each of them also had ties to the WWF which is what idea originally had going for it. *
-More cut and paste as they pull another match from the nWo: Back in Black DVD,
Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Hollywood Hogan vs. Steve Austin and The Rock
WWF RAW: March 11, 2002
-This was the Go Home Show for RAW as it headed to WrestleMania X-8. The Rock and Austin get solo entrances and the nWo come out as a group to the classic porno music. For Hogan this was his 1st WWF match since 1993, and sadly, this is the closest we ever got to Hogan vs. Austin (I would still pay to see that match even today when Hogan can barely move and Austin hasn’t had a match in nearly 10 years). Rock starts with Hall and lays the smack down rather quickly. Nash gets in a cheap shot to turn the tide. Nash lumbers into the ring, and hits a crisp sidewalk slam. Next up is snake Eyes and the Rock staggers into a clothesline from Hall. Hogan gets the tag and the crowd pops huge. The Rock bumps all over the place for Hogan in glorious fashion. Backdrop suplex from Hogan as the crowd chants for “Rocky.” The Rock fires back, but the tag is cut off by Hall. Nash misses an elbow, and the tag is finally made to Austin. Lou Thesz press to Nash, and a spine buster to Hall. Austin dominates the Outsiders as Hogan watches from the apron. A big boot from Nash stops Austin cold, and Hall gets back in the ring. Fall away slam gets a 2 count from Earl Hebnar. Quick tag to Nash and he works Austin over in the corner with elbows and knees. Nash tells Austin to suck it, and that pisses Austin off. He takes out his frustration on his Longest Yard co-star. The crowd starts a Hogan chant, and he gets the tag. “You got Hollywood Hogan putting his hands on Stone Cold Steve Austin.”-JR. We get about 15 seconds of the dream match before Hall gets tagged. Austin backdrops out of the Razor’s Edge, but a clothesline kills his momentum. Both men are down, and the hot tag is made to the Rock. Hall gets DDT, but Nash stops the Rock. With Rock down, Hogan gets the tag. The Rock kips up and Hogan wets himself, but Nash cheap shots him to put Hogan back in control. All hell breaks loose as the Outsiders battle Austin on the outside. Back in the ring Hogan hits the big boot, and drops the leg for the three count to a big pop. Post match Hall hits a Stunner on Austin. I always thought that made him look bush league. Why not just use the Razor’s Edge? I’m sure Austin was worried about his neck, but still. (But still what? Dude’s neck was fucked and good on him for not wanting to take the move)
Hogan pins The Rock with the leg drop at 9:12
-Solid Main Event that did a lot to build to WrestleMania. Hogan got the visual pin on the Rock, which meant he was dead at WrestleMania. I’m still pissed we only got 15 seconds of Hogan vs. Austin, but it seems that will be the only 15 seconds we ever get. I also like the fact that the team with the advantage in this handicap match actually won. Novel concept, I know. ***
Blu-Ray Exclusive Roundtable
-This is what had me excited about the Blu-Ray as I never watched WWE On Demand or WWE 24/7 where these Roundtables would come pop up. In this case Mean Gene hosts a panel discussion about the nWo. The panel consists of JJ Dillon, Michael Hayes, Kevin Nash, and Jim Ross. The entire discussion runs over an hour and I will run down some of the best parts.
-Nash starts us off as he talks about Hall being approached by WCW. He tells the story of Hall being offered more than “Sting” money ($750,000) for only 150 days and all guaranteed. Hall’s agent got a favored nations clause put in which meant anyone else that came it at a higher salary then he was bumped up as well. He told Nash to take the deal as well because he would get more being he was a World Champ in the WWF and that meant Hall would get bumped up as well. Nash debated because he loved being in the WWF and knew WCW screwed him over in the past (we get footage of Master Blaster, Oz, and Vinnie Vegas). Finally Nash tells Vince he has to take the money, but he will stay if Vince can match the money, and Vince tells him he can’t. He felt bad because Vince gave him his first real push, but at the same time he had his family to support. I don’t blame Nash at all for taking the cash.
-Each segment is spliced by footage from the Back in Black DVD. We see Hall making his debut in WCW and giving his side of why he made the jump and then Nash making his debut.
-We get some contract talking as Nash mentions he signed a deal memo and had something put in that it wasn’t binding on his end. Basically he could back out at any time and that become important later. Hayes brings up the idea or myth that Bischoff pitched the idea as his own and Nash shoots that down by saying that Bischoff told him they were going to do an angle that had been done in Japan. JR brings up the WCW/New Japan relationship and that is where Bischoff got the idea. After 4-5 weeks into the angle Bischoff told Nash that they had something. Nash told him that what he has is 2 WWE guys that showed up with ball bats and convinced an entire arena they could beat WCW’s entire company. Too funny!
-Hayes mentions that RAW wasn’t live the week Hall debuted and everyone in the WWF was glued to Nitro. They were setting things up as WWF vs. WCW, and how them coming through the crowd made it seem like a legit invasion. Nash discusses his take on rap music and how they went with that image even though they were 40 year old guys. Nash tells funny story of those in WCW telling Hall and Nash they want them on WCW Saturday Night. Nash has to explain to them that since it is a taped show, they can’t be on because why would WCW play these Outsiders on their taped show. That’s where the idea for the classic “the following announcement is paid for by the New World Order” came from. They also wanted to sell nWo shirts with WCW shirts and Nash had to tell them that wasn’t going to work either, so they basically went bootleg outside the arenas and sold the shirts.
-They bring up the lawsuit the WWF filed against WCW at the time. They battled over the fact that Hall was still kind of portraying his Razor gimmick in WCW. That led to heel JR bringing back Fake Diesel and Fake Razor. This leads to great story from Nash as he gets paged by Bischoff and they are furious as they think Nash and Hall are backing out of their contracts as they were legally allowed to do. They fly Hall and Nash into Atlanta and offer them $400,000 each to sign hard copies so they can’t back out of the deal. They sign and when JR brings out the fake Diesel and Razor, Bischoff realizes he just blew $800,000 on two guys that he had already signed. Fucking awesome!
-Now we head to Hogan’s heel turn, and at first Hogan wasn’t on board with the idea. The backup plan was Sting and he wasn’t up for the idea either. Nash thanks God that Hogan could see the money train rolling and realized it wasn’t moving that fast and he still had time to jump aboard. Gene mentions that Hogan started getting booed and Hayes mentions at the time the audience was tired of the same old guy good vs. bad guy stuff, and the nWo gave them something new.
-We take a break and they show the entire Hogan heel turn and interview from the moment he dropped the leg on Savage. Still breathe taking to watch even though I have seen it over a 100 times. They show some early nWo carnage including the epic Mysterio lawn dart moment.
-Back to the panel and Hayes mentions that when it started everyone the WWF was jealous, angry, and then pissed off when they realized Bischoff was trying to put them out of business. I want to point on that while they are having their discussion, little factoids pop up on the screen and they add a lot to this. JJ Dillon finally joins the conversation as he mentions that he knew the WWF was never going to go out of business because they had a solid foundation. When he first met Bischoff, he asked JJ how much longer Vince could last and promised to put him out of business. He brings up that WCW’s focus was on ratings and the WWF was more focused on PPV buys. Nash mentions that WCW had no real merchandise and he was used to getting a print out each month from WWE with a check for his royalties from the merchandise. Bischoff gave Hall and Nash more money to make up the difference and Nash says he was getting paid over 2 million to sit at home the last year.
-We cut away to the nWo commercials for the shirts, and they are pretty fucking awesome. “All proceeds benefit the Ric Flair retirement fund.” Tremendous!
-They bring up the 83 weeks that WCW ran through the WWF each week in the ratings war. WCW forced the WWF to move to live each Monday Night. JR puts over that the success of the nWo made the WWF realize they needed to do things differently. JJ mentions that the Monday Night War eliminated enhancement matches. JR had no problem with talent getting whatever money they could because all the guys had an expiration date. He says if the nWo was booked properly, instead of being watered down, it could have lasted a lot longer. JR says there were no heroes in WCW to face the nWo and Goldberg was the only guy they had left. They bring up Goldberg losing to Nash and then the Finger Poke, but Gene cuts off that talk as they head to a break.
-We come back and now we talk about the Finger Poke of Doom. This is where shit gets deep. Nash says the philosophy was to get Goldberg away from the Streak and reunite the nWo to a strong core. The plan was to do what Vince did in the 80s with Hogan and that was build a heel machine to feed to Goldberg.
-We cut away and we get the entire Finger Poke of Doom match and aftermath. Again, I have no problem with this match, but they just didn’t follow up properly.
-Nash mentions that he got blame as people thought he was booking himself to be the man. He mentions that he made out real well considering he held the title for a week and jobbed to a finger poke. Man has kind of a point. Now this is where Nash rewrites history or forgets things as he jumps to the end of 1999 after the nWo silver rebirth. On an episode of Thunder Goldberg chases Bret to the back and he was supposed to smash the limo’s windows with a bat, but he uses his hand and severs several arteries and nearly loses his hand. Nash claims that now the Finger Poke looks bad as they have built a heel machine and the baby face is out for 9 months. There is so much wrong with that story, but mainly being that the Finger Poke had 11 months prior Goldberg nearly losing his hand. How can you just skip that much time, and I wish someone on the panel would have called him out for that. Again, personally I have no problem with the Finger Poke and I even get the idea he was pitching, but that’s not what we got. Instead we got Hogan feuding with Flair while Goldberg was put on the back burner.
-They talk about Goldberg’s injury and JR said reaction in the WWF was that nobody was happy to see someone hurt, but they knew Goldberg was their guy. He shifts talk back to the Finger Poke, and Schiavone telling everyone that Foley was winning the WWF Title on RAW. JJ defends Tony by saying he had someone (Bischoff) in his ear and JR mentions it as well.
-JJ mentions that Goldberg was pushed so early because he resembled Steve Austin. I don’t totally but that one at all as I always though Goldberg was originally pushed as their version of Shamrock.
-Talk of watering down the group starts and how there was nobody in charge in WCW. In the WWF you knew Vince McMahon was in charge, and in WCW you never knew for sure who was running things. JR says giving guys creative control is one the worst things that has happened to the business. Dillon buries Bischoff and says no matter what he says he didn’t have a background in pro-wresting. Damn!
-Now they discuss guaranteed contracts and Dillon mentions that he saw people working hard in WCW to avoid having to have a match. Nash talks about that he had to work in the WWF because he got paid when he worked and how big the house was.
-Dr. Schiller and Brad Siegel are mentioned as they were executives for WCW and put in charge even though they had no knowledge of the wrestling business. They were put in charge because Turner executives could trust them and they felt wrestling was beneath them and so simple that anyone could be in charge.
-Nash brings up work rate and how he took pride in the matches he had with Shawn as he was on his way out the door. He brings up his first WWF contract being for $1500 and the big thing was that he was given an opportunity. In the WWF at the time there were incentives for the younger guys, while in WCW you got paid no matter if you were on the show or off the show.
-Hayes thankfully gets talk back to the nWo and calls them cutting edge. He brings up the infamous nWo parody of Arn’s retirement. This should be interesting. JR mentions that he understands the business and he was pissed off by the parody. He does mention though that it worked.
-We get some footage of the parody and it is pretty damn hilarious. I will mention that this predated the DX parody of the Nation of Domination.
-JJ says they didn’t try to take it personally, but it was tough to swallow as their initial response was anger. JR mentions that a lot of purists loved what Anderson stood for and that is why they hit a sore spot. Nash mentions they came up with that on the fly, and that the Horsemen wanted blood after the parody. He says he got the okayed to do it, and he even got the cooler out of Arn’s car. Awesome! He says Arn was ok and rolling with the punches until he talked to his wife and she told him they made him look like a fool. Then Arn became livid and Nash apologized when he realized how much he hurt someone he respected. He says if he had to do it over, he wouldn’t do it. He does mention that Arn gave him a receipt with a tire iron on an episode of Thunder though which causes everyone to laugh.
-The talk turns to Hall and Nash ruling in the South while Shawn and Hunter were in charge in the WWF. Hayes mentions that when Bret and Shawn had their fight, the fear was that Shawn going to be on Nitro in Boston. When DX invaded WCW, Nash wanted them to open the door so that they could be on both shows at the same time, but sadly never happened. I think WCW should have called their bluff as well and let them in the building.
-Now we discuss the splintering of the group and Nash brings up point I made earlier that if they two groups had come to war it would have worked. He even mentioned that there should have been War Games between the two. He says one of the loudest pops he ever heard was when Sting joined the Wolfpac. Nash lays the blame at Hogan’s feet saying he didn’t want a proper feud between the two and that he wanted Hall for his side even though it made more sense for him to be with Nash. JR says he never saw a chance for closure with the group and JJ says the same thing happened with The Horsemen.
-Politics are discussed and again Nash says that Hulk had so much stroke that he basically ran the show. Gene brings up Bret and Nash blesses him for coming in with his monster deal because it meant Nash had to be bumped up as well. Nash and Hall need to thank their agents every day for the deals they made with WCW. Hayes buries WCW for the way they used Bret and how hot he was after Montreal and they wasted him.
-Final word for each as they go around the table to give their thoughts on the legacy of the nWo. JJ says that he thinks someone will again try to recreate the group, but they will never be able to duplicate the success. Hayes says that no matter how many faults or how bad it ended it launched the Monday Night Wars and to an extent launched the WWF’s Attitude Era. JR says the nWo ignited the WWF and helped start the greatest era in the history of the business. Nash gets the last word and he mentions he has mixed feelings as he sometimes wonders what would have happened if he stayed in the WWF. Hayes mentions that Nash is one of the guys that pitched to have Austin brought into the WWF. We get some Stunning Steve Footage and Nash talks about how he would watch Steve tear the house down on the B loop shows teaming with Pillman against Douglas and Steamboat. Funny story as Nash says they rode together in WCW and made a deal where Nash paid for the beer and Austin paid for the gas. Nash calls it one of the worst business decisions he ever made. Ha! Hayes gets things back on point and Nash says the nWo defined him more than anything he has done and would do it again. At the same time he enjoyed returning as Diesel at The Rumble. Gene finally wraps things up.
Blu-Ray Exclusive Moments
-These are all “the following announcement is paid for by the New World Order” commercials.
-The original nWo black and white video that debuted in July 1996 with Hogan, Hall, and Nash putting over the group and setting up Hog Wild. Nash’s “what do you bench Lex” line is pretty hilarious.
-Another black and white video of the trio as they make fun of Luger, Sting, and anyone else they can think of in WCW. The Outsiders sing Happy Birthday to Hogan as they continue to build to Hog Wild.
-Hall and Nash in “Rome, Italy” cutting a hilarious promo as we see they are really in Denver, Colorado. “What is the Denver Post doing in Rome?” Nice!
-Hogan does a solo video as he buries WCW and spray paints to put over the point that after War Games (1996), the nWo will take over the World.
-The nWo has a party in the back and the main thing here is that a young Nick Hogan is sitting on Hogan’s lap in nWo gear. This was just after War Games and Fake Sting, Dibiase, The Giant, and Syxx were with the original trio. Nash claims the Debra wants him, and they inform us that the bill is being paid by WCW since they won the War Games match.
-Bischoff black and white video as he sits on a Harley. This is his “It’s not easy being the King” promo. He was still working out the kinks of his character. Liz gets some face time as she is working the hand held camera.
-Hogan cuts a promo with Rodman introducing him into the group.
-Next up we have Savage and Liz which is great to see. As you would, they play off each other perfectly in this one as Liz did a great job of tweaking her character while still being someone you could fall in love with. Savage cuts a promo on DDP and Kimberly to continue their awesome feud.
-Another Savage and Liz one as they hype The Great American Bash and Savage/Page II. Savage was perfect in this role and fit in perfectly with this group and their philosophy.
-The nWo have a birthday party and play pin the tail on JJ Dillon. They have fun with silly string and promote The Clash of the Champions in Aug of 1997 where they held a birthday party for the group. That was also the show where Sting showed up with a vulture.
-A black and white video of the Horsemen Parody which is awesome. Some great stuff here as they hammer home the “my spot” running gag.
-Another one focusing on the Horsemen Parody, and again in a word: Awesome!
-Curt Hennig gets his own video as he calls out Bret Hart. He claims that Stu could never beat Larry “The Ax”, and from where I sit those are fighting words. This one falls a little flat compared to the other ones as Curt just cuts a basic wrestling promo.
-No more black and white as Tony Schiavone is in the back with David Flair and Torrie Wilson. This is from Feb of 1999 and they are waiting for Flair to arrive in his limo to confront David. Things cut to a black and white video of Torrie Wilson hanging all over David. It leads to another Horsemen Parody as Nash as Arn confronts David as talks about his spot again. Others involved is Disco being Gene, Hall portraying Nash, Vincent being Mongo, and Hogan playing the part of Flair. I’ve never seen this one and while not as good as the original parody, it’s still pretty funny.
The 411: The set as a whole was quite enjoyable as this was a strong look at the group and what made them so revolutionary. The Round Table bonus feature was great and was worth paying the extra from the Blu-Ray. It was also nice to have some of the nWo black and white videos. The matches weren't great for the most part from in ring quality, but most had great crowd heat or feature memorable moments in the group's history.
|Final Score: 8.0 [ Very Good ] legend|