The WWE’s DVD and Blu-ray, OMG: The Top 50 Incidents in WCW History was released in stores August 12, and looks back at some classic moments in wrestling history.
The three-disc set is the sequel to the OMG: Top 50 moments in WWE History, which the company released in 2011, and for wrestling fans, it may bring back some fond, and perhaps some not-so-fond memories of the legendary promotion.
SLAM! Wrestling exhaustively breaks down the DVD version of this set, piece by piece…
The first disc is basically just the countdown of all these classic WCW moments. It was a little surprising that there was no host assigned for this DVD, which is usually the case. Instead, there’s a voice, just announcing transitions from one moment to the next.
Here is the full countdown, along with my thoughts:
#50: Junkyard Brawl
This match took place at Bash at the Beach 1999, and it was the first, and probably the only one of its kind. Hardcore wrestling was very popular at the time and I remember WCW and WWE always trying to top each other when it came to these types of matches. Fans would have been lucky to see much of anything that didn’t have the big searchlight on it. William Regal actually made the comment that he was hiding out in one of the cars, until the searchlight was near him, and only then would he get involved in the action. Fit Finlay was the eventual winner, being the first man to escape the junkyard, after one of the cars exploded when picked up in the compactor, which kept everyone else at bay.
#49: Canadian Hacksaw
It probably wasn’t one of the greatest moments of Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s career, but one that he’ll certainly remember. I don’t know whose idea it was to turn Duggan heel, by joining Team Canada, but it obviously didn’t work, as things were back to normal about a month later. Arn Anderson made the comment that neither Duggan’s war, nor the United States’ war for that matter, has ever been with Canada, so the angle didn’t make much sense to a lot of people.
WCW was obviously trying to recreate some of the magic that WWE had eight years earlier, but it just fumbled big time. Warrior was let go by the WWE two years prior to showing up in WCW. Hogan himself even admitted that things just didn’t work out this time around, but to his credit, he actually accepted full responsibility for the bad match they had at Halloween Havoc 1998. On the plus side, it was kind of nice to have Warrior also share some comments on this run, stating that WCW really messed up by not acknowledging the history that he and Hogan had.
#47: 49ers Match
The match took place on an episode of Nitro in 2000, and was contested between Booker T. and Jeff Jarrett. It was a similar concept to TNA’s feast or fired match, where four boxes are hung above the ring. Three of the boxes contain completely insignificant items (not even weapons or anything), and the fourth one contains the world title. I believe Vince Russo may have been the previous champion and he relinquished the title, which is why it was up for grabs in this match. It looked even more ridiculous than it sounds. One of the boxes had a blow-up doll in it, and another one had a picture of Scott Hall. Of course, the one containing the title was the last one that was opened, and Booker commented that the title actually fell out, before he even opened the case.
#46: King of the Road
Believe it or not, this was an actual match. It happened at Uncensored 1995, between Dustin Rhodes and Blacktop Bully (Barry Darsow/Demolition Smash). The match actually took place in the back of an 18-wheeler flatbed. To win, you had to climb to the top of the truck and blow the horn. This looked incredibly dangerous and I cannot believe that WCW sanctioned such a match, nor can I believe that the participants agreed to it. I imagine that they had to do several retakes in this one, as it looked pretty hard for the camera to focus on everything that was going on. Dustin/Goldust mentioned that it was extremely hard to move around on that thing.
As far as I can recall, this was the first time that Vince Russo was ever acknowledged on TV; definitely the first time he actually delivered a promo. Russo and Bischoff had basically taken over as the two figure-heads on an episode of Nitro in 2000, and they led a group of youngsters, known as the New Blood, into battle with some of the top WCW stars at the time, known as the Millionaire’s Club. It was good while it lasted, but it didn’t really elevate anybody, and before they knew it, they were right back to where they started. Billy Kidman made the comment that he didn’t care for the fact that fans were kind of being smartened up to the business at this point, as it was too ‘inside’ at the time.
Child’s Play was a semi-popular horror movie in the late ‘80s, in which a doll named Chucky comes to life and starts killing people. By 1998, Chucky had evolved and there was a new movie called Bride of Chucky. I don’t know if WCW was just trying to co-promote here, but it looked so unbelievably lame. Basically, Rick Steiner came out for an interview, and he was interrupted by Chucky the doll, who was cutting a promo on the big screen, with Scott Steiner obviously pulling the strings, as The Steiner brothers were feuding at the time. It was just silly to watch Rick Steiner have to take this seriously and even go as far as to threaten a doll.
#43: Bad Goldberg
This wasn’t one of WCW’s worst ideas, but it just didn’t work right from the get-go. Goldberg was stuck smack in the middle of the war that was going on between the New Blood and Millionaire’s Club, and when it was time to choose a side, he chose the bad guys. They kind of ruined the character by doing this, because Goldberg was always his own man, and at this point, he kind of just looked like a hired gun for Russo and Bischoff.
#42: La Parka
The La Parka character was a big part of an angle here, but the person under the La Parka mask was not. It was a match between La Parka and Randy Savage on Nitro, where DDP disguised himself as La Parka just to beat Savage and get one-up on him. It was a very effective swerve, to say the least.
#41: Caged Horsemen
Dusty Rhodes had come to save Ric Flair from a beating at the hands of Ivan and Nikita Koloff, but Dusty was then victimized by Arn and Ole Anderson, as well as the very man he came to save, Ric Flair. Flair locked the cage door and as the Andersons held Dusty in place, Flair delivered a well-placed knee drop from the top rope, breaking Dusty’s ankle. There weren’t a lot of angles back then, but the ones that they did have were very well done, and obviously memorable. This of course led to the big Starrcade match between Rhodes and Flair.
#40: Jericho’s Challenge
Chris Jericho had taken it upon himself to issue random challenges to Bill Goldberg, knowing full well that Goldberg was not in the building at those times, and therefore Jericho would win these matches by forfeit or count-out or something like that. Jericho even had his own security team like Goldberg did, but Jericho’s security guy was bald with missing teeth, and a beer gut that stuck out under his shirt, which was six sizes too small. It seemed like everybody, including Rey Mysterio and Bill Demott, who both commented on this, was a fan of Jericho’s comedy, and especially the inclusion of his security guard, Ralphus; everybody except Goldberg. Jericho was told that he was to have a match with Goldberg at Fall Brawl 1998, but it would be a fake Goldberg. Jericho beat this guy in about a minute, but mentioned in his commentary that the real Goldberg saw him in the airport after that and told Jericho ‘I hope it was worth it,’ which Jericho took as some kind of threat.
The main event at Bash at the Beach 2000 was supposed to be Hulk Hogan vs. Jeff Jarrett for the WCW world title. As I understand it, Jarrett was supposed to go over in the match, until Vince Russo received word that Hogan refused to do the job. This infuriated Russo, who immediately came up with a new plan. Hogan said that it got back to him that Jarrett was going to just lie down and there would be no match, which made him just as upset. I don’t know if either party knew what was about to happen for sure, but the real losers in all of this were the fans, who bought tickets for this show. Jarrett eventually did end up lying down and Hogan reluctantly made the pin, which then led to the infamous shoot promos from both Hogan and Russo. Russo also mentioned in his commentary that he later received notice that Hogan was suing him for defamation of character.
Sting had evolved from the fun-loving, bleach blonde surfer dude from Venice Beach, into the dark and disturbed crow character that we’re all so familiar with. Not only did WCW have Sting in the rafters every week, but when he did make an appearance, it was usually a big one. So either they would have him drop from the sky, using a cable for support, or they would fly him in with a helicopter; of course, it had to be an outdoor arena though.
#37: Forklift Match
The feud was between Buff Bagwell and Chris Kanyon, and believe it or not, it was over Bagwell’s mother, Judy. Why? What was the purpose? What would this lead to? Who would benefit from this? Actually, Billy Kidman asked a lot of these same questions in his commentary. Kanyon was handing out diamond cutters left and right, and delivered a couple of them to Judy Bagwell. He later decided that he wanted to have Judy Bagwell as his valet, and this match would determine whether or not he would get his wish. For some unknown reason, David Arquette tried to interfere, making the worst of a bad situation. It didn’t work though, as Bagwell was able to deliver a double blockbuster to both Arquette and Kanyon and protect his mom from being Kanyon’s valet. Terrible!
#36: The Debut
The date was September 4, 1995. It was the debut of Monday Nitro. It was very unique to have a wrestling show take place in a shopping mall, but WCW was very creative at the time, and they had very high production value. Lex Luger mentioned in his commentary that fans were just shocked to see him, when he returned to the company during a match between Sting and Ric Flair.
I didn’t think this was particularly necessary to have on the list, but there was an ongoing feud between Sid Vicious and Goldberg in the fall of 1999. Sid actually tried to duplicate Goldberg’s undefeated streak with one of his own, but his didn’t last too long. There were quite a few people such as Chris Jericho, Heath Slater and Teddy Long who commented on this particular chapter, stating that Sid’s promos were humorous, but not in a good way; it definitely wasn’t intentional comedy. So after one of Sid’s matches, he returns to the parking garage, where he finds his car completely flattened. Sid puts two and two together and assumes that Goldberg is responsible for this, so he starts screaming Goldberg’s name and complaining his car. The visual did look hilarious, but I’m sure it wasn’t intentional.
#34: Electric Chair
This was referring to the infamous Chamber of Horrors match that took place at Halloween Havoc 1991, where to win the match, you had to place one of your opponents in an electric chair, while one of your partners flipped the switch to turn it on. The heels had Rick Steiner in there, but Steiner managed to turn the tables and belly-to-belly Abdullah the Butcher into the chair instead. Cactus Jack, thinking that Steiner was still in there, flipped the switch, and ended up electrocuting his own teammate. Jim Ross even said that he wishes that this image was permanently erased from his memory, as it was horrifying to see.
#33: Movie Magic
WCW was always high on creating these movie-style promos, and I totally understand why. These vignettes were so lame. The production value was great, but everyone who was a part of these skits, clearly had no idea what they were doing. The idea was to promote certain pay per views that were coming up, but I don’t know if they really accomplished too much with these. And that’s probably why there were so few of them.
Robocop must have been a popular movie at one point; just not a popular wrestling character. The Four Horsemen had locked Sting in a shark cage, and the Robocop character came out to rescue him and basically rip the door off its hinges. Tony Schiavone commented that it just wasn’t convincing for a legitimate tough guy like Ole Anderson to be running scared from this robot. Schiavone also said that he was glad that JR called it and not him, because he was about ready to call Vince McMahon, to ask for his job back.
#31: Who’s Better Than Kanyon?
It was at Slamboree 2000, where the main event was a Triple Cage match for the world title. The Triple Cage was actually first introduced in the movie Ready 2 Rumble, which featured several WCW stars, and David Arquette, who was also part of this match. Kanyon climbed to the second layer of the structure to fight off Mike Awesome, who was interfering on behalf of Jeff Jarrett. Awesome basically threw Kanyon off the structure and Kanyon took a back bump on the entrance ramp. It did not look very safe at all and it was a very unnecessary bump, to say the least.
#30: Human Torch
I really enjoyed the feud between Sting and Vampiro at this time. It was the one reason I actually tuned into Nitro every week, just to see what would happen next between these two. This was the culmination of the feud, taking place at The Great American Bash 2000, where to win the match, you have to set your opponent on fire, using a torch. Not only was Sting set on fire in this match, but he takes a big bump off the big screen, and then shows up on Nitro about a month later, without a scratch on him. So what was the point of all this?
Basically, the Horsemen had followed Dusty Rhodes in their car and cornered him in a parking lot somewhere, in broad daylight mind you. And then as Arn Anderson and J.J. Dillon held Rhodes in place, I believe it was Ole who swung a baseball bat and broke his arm. You wouldn’t even see anything like this happen in today’s business, so I’m kind of surprised that they were able to get away with it back then.
#28: Russo Wins WCW Title
It was a steel cage match between Russo and Booker T. Booker T. let Goldberg into the cage to get his hands on Russo, and Goldberg ended up spearing Russo right through it, before Booker had a chance to exit. Russo’s explanation was that if you’re booking a weekly T.V. show, you have to constantly find ways to shock people. However, this was an unnecessary surprise in my opinion, as nobody really benefited from it, and it devalued the title.
#27: Chest Protector
Though he was a heel at the time, when Bret Hart came to Canada, you couldn’t help but love the guy; and Bret took full advantage of that. Bret comes out, and reveals a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey underneath his Calgary Hitmen jersey for the cheap pop, and then proceeds to challenge Bill Goldberg. Goldberg comes out and almost immediately spears Bret. However, Goldberg was the one who was unconscious after the spear. Bret then rolls over and pins Goldberg, counting his own victory, and then takes off the jersey, revealing a metal chest protector that he had on. He then quits on live T.V. (in storyline of course).
When the Outsiders first came to WCW in 1996, most people actually believed that they were invading from the WWE. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but after re-watching this segment from The Great American Bash, they were just so convincing; especially Scott Hall. Eric Bischoff was supposed to reveal their three opponents at the next pay per view, Bash at the Beach. The Outsiders started to get impatient with Bischoff’s stalling, so Hall hit him right in the breadbasket, and then Nash powerbombed him through a wooden platform down below. I thought Tony Schiavone’s call was great; he made a great effort trying to get it across that this was a real thing, and not just another angle.
#25: Finger Poke of Doom
The funny thing is that WCW was poking fun at the WWE earlier that night, because the WWE was going to put the world title on Mick Foley, to which Tony Schiavone came up with the infamous line of ‘That’ll put a lot of butts in the seats.’ And yet, this is the main event that WCW was offering. It was actually supposed to be a rematch between Kevin Nash and Goldberg from Starrcade for the world title. But then they came up with this hideous storyline where Goldberg was placed under arrest for allegedly stalking Miss Elizabeth. So Hogan somehow weasels his way into the main event. Hogan and Nash stare each other down, before eventually uses his Peter pointer to poke Nash, who drops to the mat and basically lays down for Hogan to pin him and win the title. And then Goldberg conveniently returns right after the title change, only to be assaulted by Lex Luger, who also joined this new group and formed the new Wolfpack.
#24: Cruiserweight Showcase
Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio have always had great matches, but this one was probably there best. It was from Halloween Havoc 1997, and I believe Pro Wrestling Illustrated actually voted it to be match of the year. Daniel Bryan pointed out one move in his commentary, which is a move that also sticks out to me, every time I watch this match. Mysterio jumped up from the ring canvas to the top rope and did a backflip, but as he lands, he drives Eddie into the mat with a DDT. The reason it always sticks out to me, is because Mysterio has attempted this move several times before, but as far as I know, this is the only time that he has ever hit it flawlessly.
The NWO had been trying to recruit Diamond Dallas Page for the longest time around 96/97, but Page was the one guy who never really drank the Kool-aid, so to speak. He kind of teased in one segment that he was going to join, and actually put the shirt on, but he ended up pulling Scott Hall in for a Diamond Cutter.
#22: Lost in Cleveland
During a match on WCW Saturday Night, Big Van Vader powerbombed Cactus Jack on the exposed cement floor, causing Cactus to lose his memory. Following this, WCW cameras followed Cactus all the way to Cleveland, where he basically had a new identity and created a new life altogether. Mick Foley commented that they even went to interview his wife, but they didn’t use his real wife for these vignettes, because she was too attractive, so they hired an actress.
#21: Stir Crazy
I don’t think anybody other than Ric Flair could have pulled this off. Flair was President of WCW at the time, on camera at least, but he had gone crazy after winning the world title and was drunk with power, so Rowdy Roddy Piper, who was representing the board of directors, had Flair committed to a mental institution. They filmed all these vignettes of Flair in the mental institution, dancing around with the nurses and patients, and it was hilarious. They even had Scott Hall randomly pass him by in that same institution, which was a nice touch.
This was highly offensive, not just to Mexican fans and wrestlers, but also to Jim Ross. It was a cruiserweight match, where to win, you had to be the first one to grab a piñata above the ring, which contained a cheque for $10,000. Ed Ferrara, who was doing a parody character of JR at the time called Oklahoma, came out to do commentary for this match, and it was for no other purpose than to just make fun of Jim Ross; it was terrible. Tony Schiavone even took exception to the fact that they were making fun of JR’s Bell ’s palsy.
#19: Masked Luchador
Chris Jericho had defeated Dean Malenko at Uncensored 1998, after which, Malenko told Mean Gene that he was going home. Following this, Jericho started making fun of Malenko’s late father Boris on T.V. for a couple months. At Slamboree 1998, Jericho was to defend the title against the winner of a battle royal earlier that night. So the match came down to Ciclope and Juventud Guerrera. Juvi just voluntarily jumps over the top rope to the floor, and then Ciclope unmasks to reveal that it was Dean Malenko all along. It was a pretty creative way to bring Malenko back, but the part that didn’t make sense is that Juvi just sacrificed his own title opportunity.
#18: Parking Lot Mess
This particular incident happened in the summer of 1996. There was a match going on in the ring, when Jimmy Hart comes out and starts yelling that The Outsiders are attacking everyone in the back. So the match just stops, and everyone rushes to the back to find The Outsiders, who are already on their way out. I think the fact that it was an outdoor arena made it even more believable that this was all real; it looked like an actual gang attack.
I don’t know under what circumstances that Alundra Blayze/Medusa was allowed to bring the WWE womens title with her to WCW, but she was convinced by Eric Bischoff to bring the title with her to television and drop it in a trash can on live T.V. A number of people commented on this incident as if it were blasphemy. Titles have been broken in pieces with a hammer, thrown off bridges and blown up in trash cans before, but this was a little different though, as it did not advance any storyline, and its only purpose was to clearly mock the competition. Paul Heyman even noted that Vince didn’t have another women’s division or womens title for three years, because of this.
#16: To Streak? Or Not To Streak?
Bill Goldberg’s undefeated streak of 173-0 instantly propelled him to superstar status. But like most things in life, nothing lasts forever…well, except Hulk-a-mania of course. So it was at Starrcade 1998 when Goldberg defended his world title for the last time against Kevin Nash, who was also on the booking committee at the time. It took a Taser and a jackknife powerbomb to do it, but the streak was over at Starrcade. Paul Heyman called this a complete rip-off, and he had the greatest line, as he said ‘The curtain was pulled back, and you realized who was really Oz.’ I’m sure there was no pun intended.
I don’t think anybody can deny that Ron Simmons was an incredible athlete. He paved the way for a lot of African American wrestlers, who were just never given a big break back then. Just thinking about it, without a Ron Simmons, there might not have been a Booker T. Vader himself commented that the moment was going to be historical. For those who are unaware, Vader is the guy that Simmons beat to win the title. Jim Ross called the action that night, and said in his commentary that nobody really saw it coming.
#14: The Decision
Up until Sting eventually joined the Wolfpack in 1998, he had no ties with anyone. He was a sworn enemy of the New World Order, but he never really represented WCW. There was an angle where a phony Sting attacked Lex Luger and the real Sting thought that WCW turned its back on him, by doubting his loyalty. This, of course, led to his transition into the crow character. It was at Uncensored 1997, when Sting finally made the decision to NOT join the NWO. And it was a decision that would lead to his eventual title match with Hollywood Hogan at that year’s Starrcade pay per view.
Terry Funk possesses a quality that not a lot of wrestlers have, where he can be someone’s best friend one minute, and their worst enemy the next. This incident was a great example of that. Funk was an announcer at the time with Jim Ross, and the feud between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat was just about wrapped up, so they needed something new for Flair. During the post-match interview, Funk suggested himself as Flair’s next challenger, but Flair kind of blew him off. Funk obviously took exception to this, and sucker punched Flair. Funk then proceeded to deliver a piledriver to Flair on a wooden table at ringside. This led to a bitter feud between Flair and Funk over the world title, and it was just funny that they did a double turn in a matter of seconds, but it clearly worked.
#12: The Worm
Dennis Rodman was the NBA’s bad boy at the time, and he had apparently met Hulk Hogan through some mutual friends. Hogan then decided to bring Rodman with him to WCW, and make him a member of the NWO. The WWE actually brought Rodman in to comment on this angle, and he said it was the perfect fit for him.
Arn Anderson cut a heartfelt promo, not only announcing his retirement from the ring, but also hand-selecting Curt Hennig as his replacement for a big War Games match against the NWO. Anderson even commented that nothing was written for him, and this was straight from the heart. But then the NWO came out for a later segment and ruined it all with a parody of the Four Horsemen, with Kevin Nash playing the part of Arn Anderson. Eric Bischoff even said in an earlier interview that this is the one thing that he wished he hadn’t approved.
Most people, including Ric Flair who commented on this, had nothing but nice things to say about Fred Ottman. It was kind of surprising that they didn’t get Ottman himself to comment on this, but I can’t say that I blame him; it was not a career highlight, that’s for sure. The Shockmaster character was the brainchild of Dusty Rhodes, and it was originally voiced by Ole Anderson, who also did the Black Scorpion. It just didn’t work, and it made everyone in this segment look goofy. The Shockmaster broke through the wall and then tripped. Meanwhile, everyone is acting like they’re scared; it was just an awful idea.
#9: World Champion Actor
The world title was up for grabs in a tag match, featuring David Arquette and Diamond Dallas Page against Jeff Jarrett and Eric Bischoff, where Arquette pins Bischoff to win the belt, which made no sense, as Bischoff wasn’t even the champion. Vince Russo defended this like his life depended on it. He claims that his goal was to get people talking, and because people are talking about it to this day, it clearly worked. I don’t know if Russo is just delusional or what, but the only reason people are talking about it to this day, or even back then for that matter, is to make fun of it.
#8: Cobo Chaos
Hulk Hogan was to defend his world title against The Giant at Halloween Havoc 1995. This was one of the only times that Hogan was seen without his famous moustache. So before the two met in the ring, they were going to compete in a monster truck challenge on top of Cobo Hall, where to win, you have to force your opponent’s monster truck outside of the circle of pylons. Hogan won the challenge, but The Giant didn’t take kindly to losing, as he started a fight with Hogan near the edge of the building. Hogan eventually fought the big guy off and broke the grip that The Giant had around his neck, but it caused The Giant to lose his balance and fall off the roof of Cobo Hall. Hogan then starts screaming for help, as the announcers start to panic. But The Giant shows up for their title match later, without a scratch on him.
#7: Double Feature
It was a historic night on Nitro in 1997. About a week after the Montreal Screwjob happened in the WWE, Ravishing Rick Rude, who was part of D-X at the time, appeared on a taped episode of Raw and a live episode of Nitro on the same night. Natalya mentioned that Rick Rude was the first person to be a member of D-X and the NWO at the same time, which I actually didn’t even realize until now.
The Scaffold match had been done in other promotions before, and it’s dangerous to even have one or two men on that steel structure, much less four. The match was between The Midnight Express and The Road Warriors at Starrcade 1986. The Road Warriors win the match by knocking both of their opponents off of the scaffold. They then chase Jim Cornette up there, and he ends up taking the drop from the structure. Cody Rhodes pointed out that Big Bubba Rogers/The Big Bossman was supposed to catch Cornette when he fell, but Bubba completely missed his cue. As a result, Cornette landed badly on his leg, and Cornette even said that he still has leg problems to this day, because of that very incident.
#5: Goldberg Dome
Putting the title on Goldberg when he was red hot was one of the things that WCW fans can look back at, and say ‘Okay, they did something right.’ Hulk Hogan actually commented that he wanted to drop the title to Goldberg in Atlanta, and ultimately, I think it was the right decision. My only criticism is that there was never any follow-up. They could have made some serious money with a rematch on pay per view, but it never really happened.
#4: I Quit
Magnum T.A. and Tully Blanchard had a bitter rivalry over the United States title, which culminated in an I Quit steel cage match at Starrcade 1985, which Magnum won. I thought both of these guys worked very well and the match was a good one, but I just don’t understand the significance of this particular match, or why it needed to be in the number four spot.
#3: Outside Invasion
Scott Hall coming to WCW directly from WWE was a major deal at the time. Hall said in his commentary that he didn’t even need to go as far as attacking the participants in the match, because it would have been too much too soon. He says all he needed to do was grab the microphone and explain himself to the audience, which was a very subtle explanation. Hall said that he was actually sued for that appearance, because of the fact that he was basically playing the same character that he did in the WWE, just under a different name.
#2: Surprise Purchase
I think Shane McMahon showing up on Nitro was kind of cool and the angle between he and Vince was executed well, where Shane announced his purchase of WCW. But all it really did was advance their storyline, while the actual purchase was kind of a subplot.
#1: Who Is The Third Man?
It was the burning question that plagued everyone’s mind at the time. The Outsiders were really starting to get over, and this was the moment that really put WCW on the map. They still had loyal fans, but I think this is the moment that drew in more fans, and may have even made WWE fans change channels. Though it was almost ruined by Bobby Heenan, as Hogan comes out, and Heenan remarks ‘Whose side is he on?’ But I think fans were still in shock over what transpired here. It was the first time Hogan had been heel since Rocky III, so it was a major deal, since he was the top babyface in the world at the time. Scott Hall said that Eric Bischoff told him that if Hogan wasn’t up to it, the third man would be Sting, to which Hall responded that it wouldn’t have worked with Sting, because it needed to be a WWE guy, and I have to agree with that.
The Road Warriors vs. The Midnight Express in a Scaffold Match (Starrcade 1986)
The Road Warriors waited at the top of the scaffold, for their opponents to get up there. Eaton and Condrey didn’t look comfortable at all in this match. At one point, Condrey tried to get the advantage, using some powder, but it had little to no effect. Eaton was busted open later in the match. The end came where Condrey had already been knocked down from the scaffold, and The Road Warriors were kind of toying with Bobby Eaton, as he kind of swung back and forth like a pendulum at the bottom of the structure. Eventually the Warriors got enough momentum to knock Eaton down and win the match. But the aftermath is what most people will remember from this. The Road Warriors chased Jim Cornette up the scaffold and as Cornette tried to drop down, which is the only way he could have saved himself from a beating, he landed very badly and did some permanent damage to his knee. Looking back, I’m sure he would have rather taken the beating.
The Return of Robocop (Capital Combat 1990)
Just the thought of this character in wrestling was weird enough, but to have such great announcers like Gordon Solie and Jim Ross try to get it over was just way too weird. Solie actually introduced Sting and Robocop, as they entered the building. I don’t know if this was supposed to be some kind of match, but before Robocop was introduced by Ring Announcer Gary Cappetta, The Horsemen ambushed Sting, and locked him inside a cage at ringside. This led to the appearance of Robocop, which somehow intimidated the Horsemen enough to run away, as Robocop ripped the cage door off its hinges to free Sting.
Chamber of Horrors match (Halloween Havoc 1991)
It was essentially an 8-man tag, featuring Sting, El Gigante (Giant Gonzalez) and The Steiner Brothers against Cactus Jack, Abdullah the Butcher, Big Van Vader and The Diamond Studd (Scott Hall). In addition to the eight participants, there were also these random goons, who were hidden inside the caskets, and would eventually try to attack some of the babyfaces, but there efforts were rewarded with lots of punishment. Cactus Jack was bleeding profusely in this match, after having a stick broken over his head by Scott Steiner. El Gigante really didn’t do much of anything; I guess they just needed a big man in there for the visual. In the end, Cactus was climbing the cage to get to the switch, while Abdullah had Rick Steiner positioned in the chair. Steiner was able to grab Abdullah and belly-to-belly him into the chair, so they switched places without Cactus even realizing it. Cactus then flips the switch, thinking it’s Rick Steiner in the electric chair, but it’s actually his own teammate, Abdullah. After a few minutes, Abdullah regains consciousness and starts going crazy, on his way to the backstage area.
Cactus Jack vs. Big Van Vader (WCW Saturday Night, 1993)
Cactus had 27 stitches, as well as a broken nose, after an earlier altercation with Vader, so he was clearly out for revenge in this match. This was an all-out brawl from the word ‘Go!’ These guys really tore into each other. Actually, Cactus attacked Vader’s manager, Harley Race, before the match even got underway. Vader gained the advantage after some stiff shots to the face and then hit a couple of Vader bombs, but refused to put Cactus away just yet. Cactus mounted a comeback and then threw Vader to the outside. Cactus attempted a cannonball off the apron, but Vader dodged him, and Cactus landed on his back. Vader then exposed the concrete floor and powerbombed Cactus on top of it. Cactus was not moving for the next few minutes, which allowed Vader to pick up the count-out victory. After the match, Cactus was loaded on the stretcher and wheeled into the ambulance outside the arena.
Dustin Rhodes vs. The Blacktop Bully in a King of the Road match (Uncensored 1995)
Tony Schiavone was with Bobby Heenan and Mike Tenay in the arena, as they immediately threw to the road match, which was obviously taped. The match took place in the back of an 18-wheeler flatbed, and it was extremely hard to keep track of everything that was going on. I can imagine that it must have been hard for the athletes themselves, as they were wrestling in the back of a moving vehicle. It didn’t look like there was a green screen, as I originally thought; there were no tricks to speak of here. There were two stagehands positioned in the front of the truck, who were filming the action I believe, and a helicopter that was following the truck and filming from different angles as well. It seemed like every time someone would get hit in this match, the person who hit them went down as well, just because it was hard to keep your balance. There were very few wrestling moves to speak of here, as it’s hard to perform actual moves when the ground is constantly moving. It looked like both men did color here. They eventually made it to the top of the truck, where a horn was waiting to be blown. The Bully used some kind of foreign object it looked like to nail Rhodes in the head, which knocked Rhodes down, opening the door for Bully to win the match, by sounding the horn.
Hulk Hogan vs. The Giant in a Sumo Monster Truck match (Halloween Havoc 1995)
The match was exactly as it sounds. Both men were placed in monster trucks, and to win, you had to force your opponent outside the circle of pylons. They started with some initial trash talk, before the event started, but it was hard to make out what they were saying, especially They had cameras in the car, to focus on the expressions of both men, and Hogan eventually won the contest. The Giant was not satisfied with the loss however, and he tried to attack Hogan afterwards. The Giant grabbed a double handful of Hogan’s throat, but Hogan managed to break the grip, but when he did, The Giant lost his balance and fell off the roof of Cobo Hall. Hogan then started screaming for help, as he ran off.
Hulk Hogan vs. The Giant for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship (Halloween Havoc 1995)
Hogan comes out with Jimmy Hart and tries his best to explain what just happened on the roof of Cobo Hall. He says it wasn’t supposed to go down like that, but just as soon as he said that, The Giant’s music cut him off, and much to the shock of The Hulkster, The Giant came out without a scratch on him. The match started, and Hogan got some shots in, but The Giant controlled the early part of the match. For the finish, Hogan was well in control, but then the referee suddenly went down. Hogan turned and saw this and asked Jimmy Hart what happened, as all the fans are pointing the fingers of blame at Hart. As Hogan turns his back, Jimmy Hart shoves the referee back down and then nails Hogan in the back with the megaphone. It doesn’t have any effect, but as Hogan corners Hart, The Giant attacks him from behind and applies a bearhug. Kevin Sullivan also gets involved with some cheap shots to Hogan’s back. Lex Luger and Randy Savage then run out, in an attempt to save Hogan, but Luger ends up turning, and attacks Savage. Then The Yeti makes an appearance. He gets into the ring and along with The Giant, the two big men sandwich Hogan between them, but as William Regal pointed out, it looked like they were dry humping him. Luger then loads Hogan up in the torture rack, as The Giant starts posing with the title.
Scott Hall appears on Monday Nitro (May 27, 1996)
A match was taking place between The Mauler (Mike Enos) and some local jobber, when all of a sudden, the fans’ heads start to turn like a row of dominoes, as they notice the man formerly known as Razor Ramon, heading toward the ringside area. Scott Hall jumps the barricade, without anybody stopping him for some reason, and grabs a microphone. The match basically ends here, as both wrestlers exit the ring. Hall starts by making fun of WCW, and insinuating that he is invading from the WWE. Hall ends the promo by saying if WCW wants a war, they’re going to get one. It was a very big deal at the time, to say the least.
Eric Bischoff has an answer for The Outsiders (The Great American Bash 1996)
The question was who would be Hall and Nash’s opponents at the following pay per view, Bash at the Beach. Bischoff tried his best to not be intimidated, as he called out Hall and Nash. He said he met with the board of directors earlier, and they have approved the match, so Hall and Nash have their three opponents lined up. Bischoff was kind of stalling, without actually announcing who The Outsiders would face. The Outsiders got tired of this, so Hall punched Bischoff in the stomach, and Nash then hoisted him up and jackknifed him through the wooden platform down below. I thought the announcers were great here, particularly Tony Schiavone, who really put this angle over as a serious thing.
Kevin Nash and Scott Hall vs. Sting, Lex Luger and Randy Savage (Bash at the Beach 1996)
Hall and Nash started this match with an in-ring interview. Mean Gene tried to get them to reveal the identity of their mystery partner on the spot, but they said they have everything under control for now, and the third man will be revealed when they’re ready to reveal him. So the match starts as a handicap match, which is kind of odd that the heels would put themselves at a two-on-three disadvantage like that, but it wouldn’t be a handicap match for long. Nash had Luger in a front facelock in the corner, as Sting went to deliver a Stinger splash, but Sting accidentally did more damage to Luger, which took Luger out of the match, so it became a regular tag team match. The heels control most of it, but Sting and Savage start building some momentum near the end. Sting gets knocked down and then Nash nails Savage with a low blow. All of a sudden, Hulk Hogan comes out to a huge ovation, to which Bobby Heenan makes the comment ‘Whose side is he on?’ Hogan jumps into the ring, and it looks like he’s protecting Savage, but then he delivers a leg drop to Savage, to the surprise of everyone. Hogan follows that up with a couple more leg drops, before high-fiving The Outsiders. In the post-match interview, Hogan tells the fans to stick it and basically declares war on WCW, as a whole bunch of garbage is thrown in the ring. There was never really an announcement made as to who won the match; I guess it was just thrown out.
Sting chooses WCW (Uncensored 1997)
This was following a three-team battle royal featuring WCW against NWO against Team Piper. Sting was a lone wolf at the time, as I mentioned earlier, and the NWO had been trying to recruit him for months. He made an appearance after the match, dropping from the rafters via cable, in an attempt to save Lex Luger from a post-match attack. Sting leveled all members of the NWO with his signature baseball bat. He then pointed the bat at Hollywood Hogan and challenged him to get into the ring. Hogan accepted the challenge, but was quickly victimized by the bat as well. Sting then finished him off with a Scorpion Death Drop.
La Parka vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (Nitro, 1997)
This was a pretty creative way to advance a feud. Savage was basically looking at this match as nothing more than an exhibition, without realizing that it was actually Diamond Dallas Page under the La Parka mask. To Page’s credit, he was ignoring most of his usual mannerisms, so fans wouldn’t have even been able to guess that it was actually him, playing the role of La Parka. The finish came where Savage went to deliver the flying elbow drop, but missed the target. La Parka sprung right up and hit the diamond cutter. Page then ripped off the La Parka mask to reveal his true identity, before finally pinning Savage for three.
NWO Parody of The Four Horsemen (Nitro, 1997)
Mean Gene introduced the group, thinking that he was introducing the actual Horsemen, but once he saw what was happening, not even Gene wanted to stick around for the segment. As much I hated this segment, I have to say that Sean Waltman did a decent job of a Ric Flair impression; it was definitely no Jay Lethal, but it was one of the few times that I’ve legitimately found Waltman funny. Konnan was playing the role of Mongo here, and they called out Buff Bagwell as Curt Hennig. Finally, Kevin Nash came out as Arn Anderson, to basically make fun of Arn’s retirement speech and offering his spot in War Games to Hennig. It was one of those moments where you didn’t really want to laugh, even if parts of it were funny; it was just very awkward to watch.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Goldberg for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship (Nitro, 1998)
The match kind of came out of nowhere. I remember it didn’t really have much promotion, if any at all. What happened was Goldberg was on a hot streak as everyone knows, and he already had the U.S. championship. So they had a match on Nitro between Goldberg and Scott Hall, where if Goldberg won, he would get a match with Hogan for the title. And I’m sure everyone knows what happened from there. The match wasn’t great, but the finish was done well. Hogan tried using every dirty tactic in the book, but none would work out for him. Hogan eventually got Goldberg down long enough to be able to deliver not one, but a succession of running leg drops. At this point, Curt Hennig came down to ringside, because he was scheduled to face Goldberg at the next pay per view, Bash at the Beach. However, Hennig was immediately cut off (no pun intended) by Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz, who dropped him with a diamond cutter on the outside. This distracted Hogan, allowing Goldberg to deliver a spear and then the jackhammer to finally claim the title.
Chucky interrupts Rick Steiner (Nitro, 1998)
This was an absolutely shameless plug for the Bride of Chucky movie, but it was kind of hilarious at the same time, just because Steiner had to take this seriously. The goal of this segment was to not only promote the movie, but also to advance the feud between The Steiner Brothers, and I suppose they did both, so it was a job, well, done.
Goldberg spears Bret “Hitman” Hart (Nitro, 1999)
It was in the Air Canada Centre in Toronto that this happened. Bret came out, wearing a Calgary Hitmen jersey. He basically complained about nobody wanting to face him, and also kind of pandered to the Canadian audience, who were basically eating right out of his hands. Bret made fun of both Ric Flair and Hollywood Hogan first, before finally addressing William Goldberg, as he called him. Bret said that Goldberg might consider himself a big, tough football player, but this is hockey country, as he took of his Hitmen jersey to reveal a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey underneath (how many layers was this man wearing?). Goldberg eventually got tired of the talk and came out to face The Hitman. Without wasting any time, Goldberg nearly speared Bret into the next week, but for the next couple of minutes, both men were awkwardly laying on the mat, unconscious. Bret finally came to and rolled Goldberg over and counted his own victory. He then took off the hockey jersey and revealed a metal shield, strapped to his chest. Bret then grabbed the microphone and told Eric Bischoff that he quits.
Vince Russo hits the reset button (Nitro, 2000)
If I had a dime for every time someone tried to reset WCW, I’d probably be a rich man by now. The entire roster was in the ring for this segment. Well, not really the entire roster, but I’ll get to that later. Jeff Jarrett had the microphone and introduced Vince Russo, whom Jarrett claimed was Vince McMahon’s right-hand man at one point. I believe this was the first time that Russo was actually acknowledged on television. Russo comes out and I don’t think the fans knew what to think of him yet, nor did they have any idea what was going on. Russo starts a promo, saying that it’s a new day in WCW, and this opportunity is for all the young guys on the roster. He is almost immediately interrupted by the voice of Eric Bischoff. Bischoff joins Russo in the ring and they shake hands to signal that they’re on the same page. Bischoff goes off on all the top stars in the company that he said were ‘mistakes.’ He said his biggest mistake of all was Hulk Hogan. Eventually, Sting, Lex Luger, Sid Vicious and Diamond Dallas Page come out to the entranceway, at which point, Russo has the idea to strip all champions of their titles and have a fresh start. Bischoff then orders Sid to either relinquish the world title or be fired. Without any choice, Sid reluctantly hands over the belt, and this would lead to the war between the New Blood and the Millionaire’s Club. I kind of liked this at first, but it didn’t really elevate anybody, which was my main problem; WCW never learned how to follow up on certain things.
Sting vs. Vampiro in a Human Torch match (The Great American Bash 2000)
Pardon the pun, but this was one of the most heated rivalries at the time. They went at it tooth and nail right off the bat, with Sting controlling the early portion of the match. Once the action spilled to the outside, Vampiro doused Sting in lighter fluid. They eventually made their way to the big screen, where they climbed up to the top. Vampiro tried to immediately grab the torch, but Sting cut him off with a shot to the midsection; actually, it may have been a low blow. Vampiro eventually did get the torch though and was threatening Sting with it at first. Sting tried to find a way to escape, but it was too late, as Vampiro lit him up from his backside to win the match. It seemed like the only way that Sting could put the fire out was by jumping off the big screen and crashing through the platform below, which is exactly what he did.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Kevin Nash for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship (The Great American Bash 2000)
This match could have only come from the mind of Vince Russo. Before the match even started, Commissioner Ernest “The Cat” Miller came out and made some announcements. He brought out The Filthy Animals (Rey Mysterio, Konnan, Disco Inferno and Juventud Guerrera) and gives them a bunch of odd jobs at ringside (ring announcers, title holders, etc.). They sure did get involved during the match, giving Jarrett a significant advantage. During the opening announcements, The Cat also makes himself the guest referee. Jarrett hits the stroke at one point for a two-count. Nash eventually gets fed up and jackknife’s Miller. At this point, Tank Abbott and Rick Steiner head toward the ring, but are immediately taken out. Suddenly, the Goldberg monster truck enters the arena, and the man himself comes to the ring. He eyeballs both Jarrett and Nash, before finally hitting a very weak-looking spear on Nash, allowing Jarrett to pick up the easy victory. Bischoff and Russo come out for the post-match celebration.
Buff Bagwell vs. Kanyon in a Judy Bagwell on a forklift match (New Blood Rising 2000)
The match took place in Vancouver, British Columbia (bizarro world, as some call it). Bagwell is in the back, looking for his mom, whom he brought to the pay per view for some reason, despite the number of attacks on her by Kanyon in previous weeks. Kanyon comes out driving a forklift, with Judy Bagwell tied to it. He then cuts a promo, saying that he couldn’t find a pole strong enough to hold Judy Bagwell, so he changed this match to a Judy Bagwell on a forklift match. He then makes fun of the Canadian audience, and it really takes Buff quite a while to figure out what’s going on. Bagwell rushes to the ring and the fight is on. He first tries to untie his mom, but Kanyon attacks him. Bagwell gains the advantage, but then David Arquette runs out for some reason. Arquette and Kanyon try double-teaming Buff, but he quickly turns the tables and hits a double blockbuster for the win. Bagwell then unties his mom and they hug.
Booker T. vs. Vince Russo in a steel cage match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship (Nitro, 2000)
Russo uses a baseball bat, which he had hidden somewhere in the football uniform he was wearing, to gain the early advantage, but Booker quickly mounts a comeback. Later on in the match, Lex Luger returns to the company after a three or four month absence and hands a lead pipe to Russo through the cage, which Russo uses to regain the advantage. There are a number of WCW stars at ringside, surrounding the cage as well. After Booker is nailed with the pipe, the medical staff comes into the cage to check on him. Ric Flair is dressed in medical attire to surprise Russo with a few punches, making his return to the promotion, after having his head shaved by Russo, earlier that year. Eventually, the stars at ringside start brawling with each other. Goldberg then comes out and Booker lets him in the cage, to get his hands on Russo. As Booker tries to leave through the door, Scott Steiner is blocking it, so Booker kicks the door back in Steiner’s face. Before Booker has a chance to exit though, Goldberg spears Russo right through the cage, making Russo the winner and the champion. As much as I hate the thought of Vince Russo as world champion, I must say that this was a very creative finish.
Booker T. vs. Jeff Jarrett in a San Francisco 49ers match for the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship (Nitro, 2000)
These two have always had great chemistry in my opinion, but this was just a terrible concept. The title had been relinquished by Vince Russo, because he’s not an active wrestler, and it was held up in this match. Basically, there were four boxes suspended above the ring on poles. Three boxes contained certain objects, while the fourth contained the world title, and that box was somehow opened last. There was a blow-up doll, a picture of Scott Hall and a coal miner’s glove in the other three boxes, none of which were very effective weapons, so the boxes themselves actually became weapons in the match. As Jarrett headed for the final box, a little person named Beetlejuice, who was famous for his appearances on the Howard Stern show, came out and hit Jarrett with a low blow. For some reason, Beetlejuice was wearing a Superman outfit, and he wanted revenge on Jarrett for Jarrett hitting him with a guitar, weeks earlier. So this allowed Booker to get to the final case first, but the title actually fell out of the case, before Booker even opened it. Nevertheless, Booker T. wins the world title for the third time.
I wouldn’t necessarily label this three-disc set as a must-have, but it definitely has its moments. I give them credit for going after certain guys that really needed to be heard from. I was very surprised to see that Vince Russo was interviewed for this set, and I was almost shocked that Tony Schiavone was, because I haven’t seen Schiavone involved in wrestling since 2003 I believe. I must say that Schiavone looked great; he looks like he hasn’t aged at all. I think there were some moments that were very unnecessary to have on this set. For instance, the I Quit match between Tully Blanchard and Magnum T.A., as well as the parking lot thing with Sid Vicious seemed oddly out of place. I can’t believe that the white hummer incident did not make the list. I would have had that in the top five. For those who are not aware, there was an angle in 1999, where Kevin Nash got into his limo, and the limo was crashed into repeatedly by a white hummer; and to this day, we still never found out who the driver was. The Black Scorpion should have been included as well, or Hacksaw Jim Duggan finding the TV title in the garbage, and defending it on television. Elizabeth turning on Randy Savage was a big deal as well. And what about Kevin Nash’s jackknife powerbomb that almost ended Paul Wight’s (Big Show) career? Any time they do a list, there’s going to be a debate as to what should be included and what shouldn’t be, but overall, they did a decent job of putting this one together.