Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Loch Ness

There was always something you could give the Dungeon of Doom. They always had somebody on deck who was ready to destroy Hulkamania.

Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Loch Ness – WCW, 1996

History


Before the NWO formed, the major feud in WCW featured Hulk Hogan and ally Randy Savage against the Dungeon of Doom and the Four Horsemen. At Superbrawl, the Dungeon’s leader the Taskmaster (Kevin Sullivan) had promised a new force to destroy Hogan.

The Superbrawl match was a cage match between Hogan and the Giant. The match ended when Hogan knocked the Giant off the top rope and took advantage of the opportunity to quickly escape the cage.

Afterward, a giant emerged from the back who was announced as Loch Ness. Ness was unable to attack as the entire Dungeon fought to hold him back and keep him away from Hogan.

In actuality, Ness was a British wrestler who had competed under the name of Giant Haystacks for decades. Haystacks stood nearly seven feet tall and weighed over 650 pounds. Haystacks had actually been given the Loch Ness Monster moniker during a stay in Stu Hart’s Stampede promotion.

On Nitro, Ness was scheduled to face American Male Scotty Riggs. No matter what Riggs tried, Ness simply shrugged off. In the end, two elbow drops from Ness put Riggs away.

Ness faced Alex Wright a week later with the same results. Nothing Wright could do would budge the giant Ness, who finally dropped the elbow for the win.

The main event for that week’s episode of Saturday Night was Ness facing the other American Male – Marcus Alexander Bagwell. Again, all Ness had to do was hit one elbow drop to put Bagwell away. After the match, Ness said that he wanted Hogan.

The next week’s Saturday Night saw Ness in a handicap match as he faced the Shadow and Kenny Shaw. Again, Ness hit elbow drops on both men for the win.

After the match, Ness did an interview with manager Jimmy Hart. Both promised that Ness would destroy Hogan.

Ness was once more scheduled to appear in the main event the following week. However, before the match, Jimmy Hart informed Ness that he was being replaced in an upcoming match. Ness shoved Hart and left. That left Kevin Sullivan, Arn Anderson, and Ric Flair to face Hacksaw Jim Duggan, the American Males, and Sgt. Craig Pittman. The match ended when Arn planted Scotty Riggs with a spinebuster. Ness never appeared.

The main event of the following Nitro was a lumberjack strap match with Flair, Anderson, and Sullivan taking on Hogan, Savage, and the Bootyman (Brutus Beefcake). Shortly after the match started, Ness accidentally strapped the Giant. Giant took offense and the two started brawling on the outside. In the end, Hogan hit Flair with a leg drop to win the match.

The next week’s Nitro opened with Ness and the Giant brawling in the aisle. Lex Luger, Ness’s scheduled opponent, simply headed down the aisle, waited for the ten count, and headed to the announce position to brag about his win.

On Saturday Night, the Giant did an interview about Ness and it was announced that Ness would face the Giant at Uncensored in a grudge match.

At Uncensored, the odds went even higher as it was announced that the winner of the Ness/Giant match would face WCW champion Ric Flair the next night on Nitro.

The match itself was nothing to write home about. In the end, Ness missed his elbow drop and the Giant landed a leg drop for the win and (unknowingly) to end the feud.

Analysis

Loch Ness was another attempt for WCW to build up an unstoppable monster. They had tried to build the Giant up like that, and as this angle died down, they also brought in Z-Gangster (Tiny Lister, best known as Zeus from No Holds Barred and the WWF) and the Ultimate Solution (Jeep Swenson, AKA Bane from Batman and Robin). The problem was that Ness was almost immobile due to his size and advancing age. In his matches, he did little more than the occasional catch of a cross-body attempt and, of course, his elbow drops.

Even had the angle continued, it’s likely that Ness much like Z-Gangster and Ultimate Solution, would have quickly fizzled out and been forgotten.

Where are they now?

The reason the angle was called off was because Ness had been diagnosed with cancer. After the match with the Giant he returned home to England for treatment. Sadly, Martin Ruane (Loch Ness), passed away on November 29, 1998 after fighting his cancer for two years.

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