Tag Archives: Scott Hall

Wrestling Time Machine: January of 1997

Good day my Wrestling Time Travel Compatriots, it is I, your humble docent through this exhibit on the History of Professional Wrestling, and today we will be continuing our journey through January of 1997!

 

This guy is just a temp.

Pictured: The Nerdfect Strangers Servers.

We start our tour through the beauteous halls of WCW. When we last left WCW, the Goliath and foundation of the NWO, Hollywood Hogan was felled by The Icon, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper at WCW Starrcade. The NWO wasn’t having any talk of defeat though. The following nights on WCW Monday Nitro any time Larry “I Make Terribly Sexist Comments” Zbyszko, Tony Schiavone and any other members of the WCW Announce team would try to talk about the humiliating defeat and show replay of the footage of the event, Bischoff and the NWO would

FAKE NEWS, BROTHER!

put a stop to it. The NWO did not have a great track record at Starrcade of 1996, and while Hogan’s defeat didn’t slow the group down, The Giant’s loss at the hands of Lex Luger, would see tension start to rise in the ranks of the legendary faction. The Giant, as we’ve covered previously, was the victor of WCW’s World War 3, and as a result of the victory was also guaranteed a shot at the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Hogan and the NWO hadn’t forgot, and as The Giant would attempt to stand his ground, the NWO would repeatedly attempt to beat The Giant down, to soften him up for his match with Hogan. The Giant would face Hogan at least once in an official match on WCW Monday Nitro, but the match was marred by the predictable interference of his NWO comrades. As a result of the no-contest, The WCW Executive Championship Committee would schedule a rematch for NWO Souled Out on January 25th of 1997. Sting would continue to haunt the rafters of WCW events, and would recruit a returning Randy “Macho Man” Savage into his ranks. Diamond Dallas Page would be again offered member ship in the NWO, only to again reject the offer.

Every time someone plays an acoustic guitar, Jeff Jarrett gets his wings

Meanwhile Chris Benoit of The Four Horsemen would continue to battle Jeff Jarrett, as Double J would try to self-promote himself into a position of membership with the Four Horsemen.

Hey Girl, WCW Monday Nitro & Chill?

One of the newer members of the NWO, Marcus Bagwell, or as he was now referring to himself “Buff” Bagwell, would stalk and antagonize his former partner Scotty Riggs, consistently -putting down Riggs’ physique, or lack-thereof. Eddie Guerrero would beat Diamond Dallas Page at Starrcade of 1996 to be announced as the Number 1 Contender for the vacant WCW United States Championship, which had previously been stolen by the NWO from “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair several months prior. The NWO would put the title up for grabs in a ladder match between Eddie Guerrero and 1-2-I mean…Syxx, at the premier NWO Pay-Per-View, Souled Out. Souled Out…uncomfortable to watch. The whole gimmick was this was a Pay-Per-View event where

Everybody Deserves Their Fifteen Minutes…

the New World Order was in charge, and as such, at a Pay-Per-View event, the only wrestlers to receive entrance music, were NWO members. Every member of the WCW aligned roster received a jobber entrance, complete with a disembodied voice calling them things like “Loser”. The low-light of the Pay-Per-View, was by far the crowning of the first “Miss NWO”.  The rules for the contest were simple, one simply had to be a local female resident with their own motorcycle. This led to some very shudder-

It’s…It’s good to be The King, I guess…

inducing moments including the girls offering up various services (read: vaguely defined sexual favors) in order to walk away with the illustrious title of Miss NWO, and as if this wasn’t cringe-worthy already, the winner not only walked away with a lovely sash, and a beautiful bouquet of flowers, but the winner, “Miss Becky” was also rewarded with a make out session from “The King” Eric Bischoff. Watching Eric Bischoff jamming his tongue down this poor woman’s throat, it makes your skin crawl in the worst way imaginable. We continue through Souled Out to the WCW Tag Team Championship match that would see The Outsiders “Steinerized” at the hands of Rick and Scott Steiner, winning the WCW Tag Team Championships after NWO Referee Nick Patrick would fall unconscious, leaving referee WCW Randy Anderson to sprint through the crowd, and make the count. The following night, Bischoff would force The Steiners to forfeit the WCW Tag Team Championship belts, stating the victory did not count, and he would fire WCW Randy Anderson, a recent Cancer survivor on screen at the beginning of the show for his actions. Moving on to the Main Event of Souled Out, as previously discussed, we’d see Hollywood Hogan battle The Giant to a second no-contest, though Hogan would not have long to celebrate his non-victory, as the following night on WCW Monday Nitro, the WCW Executive Committee would announce the new Number 1 Contender for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship…”Rowdy” Roddy Piper.

Ahmed Johnson, We Comin’ For You

We now adjourn to the WWE Exhibit for January of 1997. While the NWO was running wild in WCW, the WWF was gearing up for one of it’s signature events, The Royal Rumble. The WWF would be dealing with it’s own faction that would run roughshod over the roster, The Nation of Domination. Farooq would continue his battle against Ahmed Johnson, as The Undertaker would battle Crush (the guy who looks like an extra from a Korn music video in the above picture), while also dealing with Paul Bearer’s newest client intended to bury “The Deadman”, Vader. Vader would continuously attempt to interfere in The Undertaker’s matches leading to a bout between the two at the aforementioned Royal Rumble. Though Vader would come out on top in their match at the Royal Rumble, Vader and Undertaker would be two of the final four competitors in the actual Royal Rumble match, which would be important for how the Royal Rumble match ended. Shawn Michaels

Bret Hart has no time for this nonsense.

would hold on to the WWF Championship, despite the mind games that Sycho Sid would play, which would include attacking Jose Lothario’s son. Though Bret Hart would face his own mental and physical obstacles from the escalating presence of the predator, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The main event of the inaugural WWF

More Like Ethanol.

Pay-Per-View of 1997 would end with Bret Hart eliminating A Diesel, while Austin who had previously eliminated (though not seen by the officials) would sneak back into the ring, eliminating The Undertaker, Vader and then would eliminate Hart as well, to be crowned the winner of the 1997 Royal Rumble. This would force Gorilla Monsoon’s giant hands to schedule a Fatal Four Way at the following In Your House for February of 1997, that would have Austin put up his Number 1 Contender spot, against the other three final competitors of the Royal Rumble. The following night from the Royal Rumble would kickoff the heated rancor between Bret Hart and Vince McMahon. As we mentioned in the last column, Jerry “The King” Lawler would insert himself into the mid-card

Beats being a “My Stepmother Is An Alien” Enthusiast

feud between Hunter Hearst Helmsley, “The Wild Man” Marc Mero and Goldust. Goldust and the future Triple H, would butt heads at The Royal Rumble in a match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship, and this would see Hunter debut his new bodyguard, and “Blues Brothers” Enthusiast, Mr. Hughes. Entering the WWF Tag Team Championship exhibit of January of 1997, we would see The British Bulldog and Owen Hart would continue to be victorious against challengers and ECW call ups, Doug Furnas and Philip LaFon.

“You’re not my real dad!”

Finding ourselves finished with the WCW and WWF exhibits, we journey now downstairs to the hardcore hallowed halls of the Extreme Championship Wrestling wing of the museum, just adjacent of the Nerdfect Strangers gift shop to your left. Raven as the two-time reigning ECW Champion would continue to defend his title against the aggressive war waged by The Sandman. The Sandman for his troubles would find unlikely allies in The Blue World Order, as “Big” Stevie Cool would finally come to be fed up with the abusive attitude of his friend and mentor, Raven. It would remain to be seen  if the BWO’s intentions on behalf of The Sandman were in fact genuine, or the cruel and complicated machinations of Raven in his quest to keep control over the ECW Championship. “The Franchise” Shane Douglas would meanwhile announce the reformation of not only a dominant force in the land of Extreme, but also the foundation for the Douglas

“Hey kid, you want to see a dead body?”

A RUDE-O if you will.

empire, The Triple Threat. The second incarnation of this faction would see Bodydonna Skip Chris Candido and “Prime Time” Brian Lee officially change their Facebook Relationship Status with Shane Douglas from “It’s Complicated” to “In A Relationship”. The Triple Threat would continue to feud with the likes of Tommy Dreamer and The Pitbulls until, Tommy Dreamer would bring in his mentor, and evil hillbilly wizard master of the mountains, Terry Funk. Funk would battle Lee in a brutal match, that Brian Lee would win, but ultimately it was Funk who came out on top, brutalizing Lee after the victory, after Lee had the audacity to insult Funk’s father. While “The Triple Threat” would battle against Dreamer, and Funk, a new challenger to the dominance of their empire would arise. This new challenger was a mysterious masked man who had a peculiar and honed interest in the valet of the faction, Francine. The ECW Tag Team Championships changed hands, returning to The Gangstas, as they would win their battle against The Eliminators. Tazz and Sabu would continue their feud as the speculation about the potential injury that Tazz had suffered at the hands of Sabu’s new tag team partner and student, Rob Van Dam. Tazz would confront Joey Styles over the speculative reporting and allegations, confirming that yes, he had suffered a legitimate shoulder injury at the hands of Van Dam in one of their many bouts. Tazz downplays the injury in it’s confirmation, and continues to bark his challenge at Sabu.

And there you have it, patrons! We’ve concluded our tour through January of 1997. What will happen as we move forward through 1997? Who would come up on top of the Monday Night Wars? Find out, and join us next time for the adventures of The Wrestling Time Machine!!!

 

Wrestling Time Machine: November of 1996

We Don’t Need Roads Where We’re Going…

Hello fans! I’m your guide, Bobby Styles and this…is…THE Wrestling Time Machine! So on today’s post, we’ll be talking about November of 1996. I AM going to try to be more active on our eponymous website. So…November of 1996 was an interesting time for both of the Big Two.

Over on the WWF side of things, we saw the continuation of the epic feud between The Undertaker and Mankind. Of course during this time Mankind had the “Power of the Urn”, Paul Bearer and began to team with the “Mysterious” Executioner. Of course The Executioner was less intimidating, and the gimmick reeked of people in the back fumbling through an old trunk of generic Halloween stuffs that when put together, was never ever going to be intimidating. While Mankind and Undertaker could pull off their various Dark/Monster gimmicks, poor Terry Gordy just looked as confused as the rest of us.

BE CONFUSED. VERY CONFUSED.

Terry Gordy looks like he’s about to make various “Boo” noises. The Executioner gimmick ultimately went nowhere in the WWF, and thank god it didn’t. In a world where The Undertaker feuds with someone dressed like 1950s Halloween Costume Catalog reject, a feud like this might have killed his momentum entirely.

All of this would reach a new fever pitch though at Survivor Series. Undertaker would make his historic “Batman” entrance.

NA-NA NA-NA NA-NA NA-NA…DEAD-MAN!!!

As he and Mankind would battle over the fate of Paul Bearer who would be featured dangling above the ring.

Featured: Shark Bait

Also during this time, we would see the evolution of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin into the unhinged, no-nonsense rattlesnake that he would become. Austin would precede to call out Bret “The Hitman” Hart, and would turn on his longtime friend, Brian Pillman. This in turn would set in motion a notable attribute of the “Stone Cold” character, that he was indeed a rattlesnake-willing to turn on anyone, friend or foe. What makes this interesting, is that Pillman and Austin were essentially portraying the same gimmicks. They were both unhinged, and a selling point for the audience became their vignettes, in which it was expected that both men would act unexpectedly. That both these men would curse up a shoot storm, and say things that other wrestlers wouldn’t, that their gimmicks blurred the lines between wrestling and reality. So it came to pass that these two insane locomotives would come to butt heads. Pillman especially had spent the last year cultivating this personality starting in WCW, through ECW and paying off in WWF. Pillman was also the first wrestler to sign a Guaranteed Contract with the WWF, an important change in the way Vince McMahon had previously approached business with his superstars.

Does this look like the face of someone who dials 911?

Of course while this, and the feud between “Wild Man” Marc Mero and Hunter Hearst Helmsley for the WWF Intercontinental Championship would stand out as highlights in the WWF landscape during the Fall season, there were still…dark spots.

The LESS said about these two, the BETTER.

The Upper Card of the WWF during this period would feature a feud between “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and “Sycho” Sid. It became clear with Sid’s return, that the reason he was put into the spot he was, is because the REAL Diesel was over in WCW “rasslin'” for the WCW Tag Team Championships with the REAL Razor Ramon. Still, while Sid’s push may have been the result of Kevin Nash’s departure, he and Michaels would still go on to have a great match at WWF Survivor Series 1996. While Nash and Sid’s styles could be argued to be similar, with both of these wrestlers being what’s commonly referred to as “Big Men”, Nash’s style was always a little slower and more deliberate than Sid’s.

Of course Survivor Series was historic for another reason…The debut of FLASH

Pictured: The WWE Definitely NOT being racist.

 

FUNK!!! Rocky Maivia!!! Yes, that’s right. Rocky Maivia would debut at the Survivor Series, and would wind up being the sole survivor in a 4-on-4 Elimination Tag Team Match featuring Marc Mero, Jake Roberts, and “The Stalker” Barry Windham on his own team, against a team composed of Jerry “The King” Lawler, Crush, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and Goldust. All of this hard-hitting WWF action would be brought to you by Milton-Bradley’s Karate Fighters!

Copyright Infringement not included, some assembly required.

And Boy…Wasn’t he dreamy?

Meanwhile over on the WCW side of things, their organization was further plagued by the N.W.O. A bright spot of hope would shine down on the WCW kingdom, a new warrior would rise to challenge the tyrant king that was “Hollywood” Hogan. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper would debut for WCW at Halloween Havoc of 1996, challenging Hogan to a match at the upcoming Starrcade. The repeated standoffs between Hogan and Piper would include the privilege of viewing Roddy Piper’s music video, and would include some form of bizarre promotion for Hogan’s newest movie, “Santa With Muscles”.

SO. TELL YOUR FOLKS, “BUY ME BONESTORM OR GO TO HELL!!!”

The mid-card of WCW during this time would feature matches between Rey Mysterio Jr., and Dean Malenko, and another push for the bumbling mass of muscles that was Lex Luger.Somebody kept sticking a microphone in front of Lex Luger, and to be honest, “Mean” Gene Okerlund should have been charged with a war crime for doing so.

“I’m not sure what to do with my hands…”

Luger, with his size and his wrestling ability could have been a prototype Lesnar or even Goldberg. It doesn’t matter that he wasn’t a resident of Suplex City, or that he wasn’t a striker, a brawler in the sense of either of these future stars, but Luger’s signature was The Torture Rack, and his various pushes with both companies revolved around Luger being able to accomplish stunning feats of physical strength. What Luger needed was a mouthpiece. He shouldn’t have been put into a position as a big-grin having face who played to the crowd, he should’ve had a mouthpiece like Jimmy Hart, managing him solely (none of the nonsensical Dungeon of Doom shtick, which should have ended the moment Hogan turned heel), directing him straight to the ring, and racking every unfortunate soul who got in his way. I wholeheartedly believe that had WCW and Luger gone in this direction, that Luger would have had a standout career, and WCW may have created a gap in the Monday Night Wars that would have been harder for the WWF to bridge.

Speaking of Luger, during November of 1996, he was given a great push on TV, and was the odds on favorite to win the 60 Man Battle Royal that was the Main Event for WCW World War 3, having come out on top of a feud with “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson. Luger has (more or less) turned Face at this point. The crowd is behind him. He becomes the last man. Eliminating Scott Hall, Syxx, and Kevin Nash… Only to be eliminated by The Giant.

Now. Why is this important? This was the bad habit that WCW couldn’t seem to break. Allowing Heels to go over time and time and time and time again. Stories are dependent on a sense of closure for the audience, on a sense of resolution and progression. If WCW was going to continue to bury every Face, then why should the crowd continue to watch? There’s no payoff for the Face in ANY encounter. Why should any fan in WCW’s audience be excited about anything, if their hopes and dreams are going to be halted? At a certain point, it starts to feel like they’re punishing their fans. Being a WCW fan was an exercise in sadism and futility.

Man. Modern Family sure took a weird turn…

Speaking of sadism, there was ECW. Through November of 1996 Raven and The Sandman would continue to feud not only over the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, but also over the fate of The Sandman’s son, Tyler.

We would also see “The Franchise” Shane Douglas continue to fend off the advances of Pitbull #2 for the ECW Television Championship. Douglas and Francine would stoop to new lows to defend the title. Also during this time while The Gangstas and The Eliminators were battling over possession of the ECW Tag Team Championships, a new team would arrive on the scene to challenge for ECW Tag Team supremacy, Rob Van Dam & Sabu.

“Mary Jane? Never heard of her.”

However, their path to the ECW Tag Team Championships would face one additional obstacle; the founder of Suplex City, and the Human Suplex Machine, Tazz. How would all this play out? Find out on the next exciting installment of The Wrestling Time Machine!