10 Things That Will Always Make Me Remember Good Old WCW
Ten years ago, WCW finally shut its doors after rising to the top of the industry, only to come crashing down to rock bottom in only a few years.
WCW was what many wrestling fans will remember as the wrestling they grew up watching as kids. Young people like myself, at the time, were able to watch albeit for a brief period of time, some of the legends who had made names for themselves in the heyday of the NWA and the early days of the WWF.
When Ted Turner's WCW first got on its feet, he along with Eric Bischoff brought in some of these stars such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Kevin Nash and many more.
The glory days of the promotion wouldn't last long, though. In just a few years, the the company's flagship program, WCW Monday Nitro, would turn into more of a comedy hour due to terrible storylines and too much money being thrown at talent who just couldn't capture the audience's attention longer than five minutes.
Here are some of the good, and not so good memories I have of WCW.
10. Scott Steiner on the Mic
Scott Steiner never seemed to hold back on the mic during the later years in WCW...as a matter of fact, he was so wide open, that most of what he had to say made close to no sense at all.
Regardless, it was always worth listening to Steiner, as you never knew what he would say about someone next.
Enjoy this rant by Steiner on Diamond Dallas Page.
I don't think that WCW, at least as long as I was a fan, ever really seemed to find the right fit with the commentating crew.
Mike Tenay is a walking book of facts and wrestling knowledge. Bobby Heenan has been in wrestling for so long it is probably ALL he knows. Tony Schiavone could at least read a script.
Regardless of the knowledge of the group, one thing is for certain.. whoever was seated at the announce table, it didn't really matter. There was not a single announcer employed by WCW who could feign excitement.
If you need an example.. watch this clip, listen to Schiavone, Heenan and Dusty Rhodes call Bash at the Beach 1996.
8. "The Powers That Be"
Before Vince Russo ruined WCW as an on-screen character, he was busy burying the company as a backstage authority figure only referred to as "The Powers that Be" along with his buddy, Ed Ferrara.
Russo's character reminds me a good bit of the Dr. Claw character from the old Inspector Gadget cartoons; he would never face the camera, and would only address the camera with his back turned to it.
The lights would be low, and all you would see of him would be his arm on the side arm rest.
Russo actually vowed to never show his face on camera during an episode of WCW's Internet-only weekly interview show, "WCW Live!"
Had he been good on his word.. well.. it likely didn't matter as far as the company's future was concerned.
7. The Crow
In all of my years watching wrestling, I have never seen someone portray a dark, ominous character so well as Steve Borden as the "Scary Sting" in late 1996-1997.
Sting would hide in the rafters, only to silently watch as the nWo quickly took over WCW programming.
He would not speak on camera for a year and a half, only aligning himself as a "free agent" with no ties to either the New World Order or WCW.
Sting was certainly portraying a reversed role as the blonde hair, charismatic Sting of the early 90s.
His "crow" persona caught on so well with the fans during his time that he still dons the crow face paint today while wrestling in TNA.
6. Scott Hall's Fall
It was quite saddening to watch Scott Hall's alcohol addiction seem to be exploited by the creative team of WCW during late 1998.
Hall, who is currently in rehab for the same problems, was even kicked out of the nWo for his love for the drink becoming too much to handle as he actually threw up on Eric Bischoff on camera.
However, Hall was certainly entertaining to watch, and has never lost the ability to entertain fans on the mic.
Here is one of my favorite clips of Hall and one of his.. well.. "drink breaks."
5. Judy Bagwell on a Pole Match
The event was New Blood Rising 2000. Chris Kanyon had abducted Buff Bagwell's mother, Judy Bagwell. What he wanted with her...well, that remains unknown.
The match ended up being a "Judy Bagwell on a forklift match," as Kanyon proclaimed before the match began that the "second-rate country of Canada doesn't have a pole strong enough" to support Judy.
Bagwell dominated most of the match, only to be attacked by the MAN HIMSELF David Arquette. Buff took out both Arquette and Kanyon to win the match and save his mother from treachery.
4 The Many Personalities of Ric Flair
Ric Flair is perhaps the man WCW was all about...tradition, unpredictability and interesting storylines.
During his time in WCW, Flair was the President of WCW, won the Heavyweight Championship 15 times, was put in a mental institution, strutted in his Florida Gator underwear on live television in the middle of the ring, and shaved Eric Bischoff's head.
I say he about did it all.
Eric Bischoff called the cruiserweight division a mix between "crash TV" and a "human train wreck."
The fast paced, high flying maneuvers these agile technicians used were what Bischoff wanted to offer on his program that the WWF didn't.
He would feature many now household names to accomplish his goal such as, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Rey Mysterio and many more.
Many of the above listed stars should have gotten a push in main events while with WCW, and as we have seen in recent years, stars such as Jericho and Mysterio have would later win multiple World Heavyweight championships in WWE.
Make no mistake about it, the countless battles between these four were quite entertaining to watch.
2. The Streak
WCW built Bill Goldberg up so well since his first match in WCW, that he simply got more over with the fans each time a victory was added to his tally.
Fans began to fill arenas with signs recording the streak, and with each win, Goldberg would only have one question to ask:
1. The Final Nitro
It was the end of an era, the end of the epic Monday Night Wars, and the end of an organization that had employed some of the greatest legends and icons of all professional wrestling.
It was quite a historic day for wrestling, yet on March 26, 2001, Vince McMahon opened Monday Nitro announcing he had purchased the fallen company, was finally putting it to rest, and spitting on the grave.
The show itself featured some good matches, including a unification match for the World Heavyweight and US Heavyweight Championship titles between Booker T and Scott Steiner.
Booker T would win and be the final WCW Heavyweight Champion under WCW ownership. The show's main event was a return match between Ric Flair and Sting, with Sting getting the clean pinfall in what was and will always be remembered as the last great match in WCW history.
The show ended not with a memoir of all of the legends who wrestled for WCW, not with Eric Bischoff addressing the locker room or fans worldwide, but instead featured the McMahon family, as Shane McMahon arrived on scene on Nitro and announced he had purchased WCW instead of his father, and that his WCW-led locker room was coming to take out WWE.
Little did fans know at the time that the WCW name had taken such abuse as it would during the notorious WCW invasion angle in the following months..