WWE/WCW: The 10 Most Shocking Moments of the Monday Night War

Tom Clark@tomclarkbrFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2011

WWE/WCW: The 10 Most Shocking Moments of the Monday Night War

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    The Monday Night War was a historic time for the business of professional wrestling.

    Two companies, battling it out for supremacy in the industry, did everything in their power to come out on top.  Many shots were fired along the way, bridges were burned, and alliances made, all in an effort to rule the landscape of pro wrestling.

    This was the era that saw audiences, and ratings, grow to incredible size, as fans all over the world could not wait to see what was going to happen next.

    When the dust settled and the smoke cleared, WWE emerged victorious, forever the undisputed champion of the industry.

    There were many shocking moments of the Monday Night War, moments that we will never forget.

    Here are my own top 10.

10- Lex Luger Debuts on WCW Nitro

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    The first controversial jump of many.

    When Lex Luger appeared at WWE's SummerSlam in 1995, fans had no way of knowing that just a week later, not only would he no longer be an employee of Vince McMahon's company, he would be working for the competition.

    Luger's debut on Monday Nitro was one of those moments that helped defined the era, and the war that was to come.  

    Lex was a link back to the days when Jim Crockett Promotions was going strong, a man who had been there to see it all.  Fans of that time period reconnected with him upon his return, and his heat with Hulk Hogan could not have come at a better time.

    Luger was being groomed to be the next Hogan in WWE, so when the opportunity arose to come back to WCW, it only made sense that the first man in his crosshairs was Hulk himself.

    Lex's defection from WWE was shocking, but it was nothing compared to what fans would see in the coming months.

9- Outsiders Attack Eric Bischoff

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    What do you do when the guy in charge tells you no?

    If you're Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, you attack him and powerbomb him off the stage.

    The assault on Bischoff was vicious, and unexpected, and put the rest of WCW on notice that the Outsiders were taking no prisoners.

    Though they were being portrayed as heels, Hall and Nash got a tremendous pop for this stunt, and by this time were bordering on the Stone Cold heat that Austin himself would not experience for almost a whole other year.

    WCW wanted fans to hate Hall and Nash, and they eventually did, but when the angle began, they were really getting over in a big way.

    Of course, no one really cared for Bischoff, and this did nothing but gain Hall and Nash even more spotlight and attention than ever before.

8- DX Invades WCW Monday Nitro

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    I remember watching Monday Night Raw with friends when this happened, and the reaction in the room was the same all the way around.

    "Wait a minute, DX is where?!"

    This is a prime example of why WWE had the real edge over WCW.  Vince McMahon's company may have been backed into a corner, but they refused to go down without a fight.

    After taking so much punishment for so long, WWE had nothing left to lose.  

    So, you have a jeep, silly helmets, a megaphone, and the wildest faction that the business has ever seen. What do you do?

    Give them the spot, and let them run with it.

    This event is still being talked about to this day, and nothing speaks more to the reckless abandon that Triple H and Co. had when it came to seizing the moment.

    If only WCW had opened that door.

7- Sting joins nWo Wolfpac

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    When the nWo was formed in WCW, many accusatory fingers began pointing to the man who was Mr WCW, the man who represented the heart and soul of the company, much in the same way that Shawn Michaels did in WWE.

    Those fans' accusations?  Sting had turned his back on WCW.

    The distrust from fans caused Sting to completely change his look, adopting the black and white of The Crow.  He took to the rafters, and didn't say a word for nearly a year.

    His one-man crusade against the nWo made for some incredible moments, and did big business for WCW.

    Sting, the lone avenger from the shadows, battling the enemy that had invaded and was destroying everything in their path.  This was a big deal.

    So, when the opportunity came for Sting to join the newly formed nWo Wolfpac, fans were convinced that he would do the right thing, as he had done before, and take the fight to them.

    But, when he exposes that familiar red and black T-Shirt during this spot, he shocked, and pleased, fans all over the world

    Personally?  I believe this was the beginning of the end for WCW, as Sting's character did something so completely out of character, that it totally belittled the run he had when the nWo first entered the company.

    Was the Wolfpac over with Sting in the mix?  Yes.  Was it a mistake?  I believe so.

6- Stone Cold Confronts Mike Tyson

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    Mike Tyson and Stone Cold Steve Austin.  In the same ring.

    Think about that.

    Mike Tyson, the much hyped "baddest man on the planet," the most controversial boxer in the history of the sport, standing in the same ring as WWE's toughest son of a b***h, and biggest anti authority babyface that fans had ever seen.

    Something was bound to break.

    When Austin interrupted the spot with Tyson and McMahon, I wasn't sure what to expect.  After all, this was pro wrestling, not boxing, how deeply would WWE allow Tyson to get involved, and for what reason?

    When Austin flipped the bird to Tyson, and received a shove in return, the crowd went nuts...shocked, and excited, beyond belief.

    This is one of those moments that seemed so surreal when it happened, but also went a long way to showing how WWE could think outside the norm, in order to do business.

5- Scott Hall Debuts in WCW

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    You could sense that something was happening.

    During yet another boring match on Monday Nitro, fans began to stand up and turn around, to acknowledge some one coming through the crowd.

    As he got closer, and his face became visible, the realization began to set in.  

    "Dude, that's Razor Ramon!"

    Scott Hall's first appearance in WCW was an epic moment that led to the eventual formation of the most controversial heel faction in the history of pro wrestling.  He was the forerunner of the doom that was to come, and he would not be denied.

    Cutting a promo that seemed to come straight off of WWE TV, Hall kept it short and sweet.

    He said what needed to be said, and set the tone for the rivalry that was about to explode.

4- Stone Cold Stuns Vince McMahon for the First Time

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    For years, Vince McMahon had played the part of commentator, doing play by play for the company that used to belong to his father.  He sat at the table, and called the action, as if that was his only responsibility in the company.

    But, Vince was becoming more visible, more vocal, and soon the commentating gig was all but over.  

    Mr McMahon was the evil corporate boss who made life a living hell for any WWE employee who dared defy his authority.

    And, no one did that better than Stone Cold Steve Austin.

    Their feud is the stuff of legend, but on this night, Austin crossed the line first when he did something that had never been done before.

    It was impossible to know just how big this rivalry was going to become, but there is no doubt that after this shocking moment, fans began to realize that anything was possible.

    Austin struck first blood with this stunner, and set into motion arguably the biggest feud in WWE history.

3- WWE Buys WCW

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    I still can't believe it happened.

    Not that WCW was going to fold, that much had become painfully evident.  The powers that be in that company had done everything and anything to save the product, but by the end it was just too late.

    WWE had won.  And, now, they were about to make history like no fan had ever expected.

    Vince McMahon's smiling face being broadcast simultaneously on Raw and Nitro is a defining moment for WWE, a moment that solidified them as the No. 1 pro wrestling company in the world.

    It was also one of the most shocking moments that fans have ever witnessed.

    To this day, it's still hard to believe that it all ended the way it did.  WWE seemed down, defeated, so many times, that to see them ultimately prevail seemed like a plot twist straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster.

    Mr McMahon finally got his way.  He won.  And on this night, he gloated more than ever before.

2- The Montreal Screwjob

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    Again, as with so many other moments on this list, I remember watching this happen and being, yes, extremely shocked.

    Shocked, confused, and very curious.

    What just happened?  Did Bret quit?  Why was Shawn Michaels apparently upset with McMahon?

    The answers would come in due time, because this event set so many wheels into motion for not only WWE, but WCW, who would acquire the services of the Hitman shortly thereafter.

    WCW had all the momentum in the world, and with Bret on their roster, had all the attention it could want from fans.

    Unfortunately for them, they dropped the ball, and never utilized Bret in the right way.

    But there is no denying the significance of this moment, and the lasting impact it had on WWE for years to come.  The hatred that Hart felt for not only the Heartbreak Kid, but anyone associated with that night, and the drama that existed because of his refusal to return to the company.

    All may be well between Bret and WWE now, but this moment is still one of the most shocking, and most controversial, of the Monday Night War.

    And, there is no way that Bret will ever forget.

1- Hulk Hogan Turns Heel

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    This is it.  For me, this is by far the most shocking moment of the Monday Night Wars.

    Hulk Hogan, the eternal baby face, the man who had preached for years about saying prayers and eating vitamins, inspiring young fans all over the world with his larger than life image, suddenly turned his back on everyone who ever supported him.

    It was arguably the biggest moment in WCW history, and all credit goes to them for making it happen, and for the momentum they built upon afterward.

    Hogan, along with the nWo, ran all over every babyface who stood in their path, and laughed all the way to the bank as they went.

    Hogan reached heights that surpassed what he had seen with WWE, as he became the most hated man in the business.  His ego and arrogance that many inside the industry had accused him of having for years, had now been brought to the forefront, establishing him as the top heel in WCW.

    No one could touch his heat with the crowd, and no one could match him for complete dominance over every other worker in the company.

    And, it all started right here.  Twenty years from now, we will still be talking about the Monday Night War, and the night that Hulk Hogan turned heel, becoming Hollywood Hogan.  That's how big it is.  That's how shocking it is.

    And, that's why it's No. 1.