Sorry I wasn’t here last week, but I was vacationing at my second mansion on the beaches of Parts Unknown. Okay I actually couldn’t get my account to work, but it seems fine now. Yeah brotha! I thought I’d write this article while watching David Flair and Crowbar win the WCW Tag Team Titles. True David Flair isn’t a great wrestler, but he and Crowbar saved us from the team of Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner as champs. Flair saved us from months of Nash dragging his tag belt around in endless comedic segments, that would’ve added nothing. Instead we got David Flair and Crowbar who at least we’re entertaining and actually defended belts. Than I thought about Big Kev, and thought about how he saved us.
Kevin Nash Saves WCW: In the summer of 1998 Goldberg was huge with the fans, and had an insane win streak. WCW decided to give him The WCW Belt on free TV, and all that. The only problem was Goldberg was World Champ, and had no real competition to defend his title against. WCW had no one to put him against for the long-term. In fact WCW just promoted Hogan ‘s celebrity tag matches at first. Goldberg defended against guys like Kurt Hennig and Konnan, while Bobby Heenan swore to God these guys were legit threats. The big names that were left like Sting, DDP, and the Giant eventually fell. The only big name for Goldberg to beat was Kevin Nash. Kevin Nash faced Goldberg for Goldberg’s World Title at Starrcade ’98. Nash handed Goldberg his first loss, after Scott Hall had electrocuted Goldberg with a cattle prod. Nash had saved us from the meaningless Goldberg World Title Tour. If Nash hadn’t taken the belt, Great American Bash ’99 would’ve had Goldberg defending the WCW belt in a four corners match with Lodi, Disco Inferno, and Van Hammer. Instead we all got the greatest Christmas gift of all, Nash basically handing his newly won belt to Hollywood Hogan. We went back to the basics of NWO vs The Horsemen. We were saved from the Goldberg/Van Hammer bloodfued for God’s sake.
Alot of wrestling historians still point to “The Finger Poke of Doom”, as the beginning of WCW’s fall. WCW’s fall was not due to who was champ in 1999, but the execution of their storylines. If you notice fans had a ready-made feud with the NWO Wolf-Pac Elite against the constantly loved Four Horsemen, and Goldberg. This should’ve worked? All the signals were there. Toybiz even released a Four Horsemen and Wolf-Pac Elite figure sets. We would’ve had solid matches between guys like Scott Hall and Chris Benoit, and the mystery of which side guys like Sting, Bret Hart, and Randy Savage would choose. We instead got a series of dumb ideas that just confused fans and made WCW very hard to follow.
Our first problem was Ric Flair becoming the head of WCW (kayfabe). Later Steve McMichael would be removed from television. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall would lose to Goldberg without much fanfare. Finally Flair and Hogan would do a double turn that fans didn’t notice. The fans continued to cheer Flair, even after he won by cheating. Fans were so used to booing Hogan for three years, that they didn’t mind Flair cutting corners to keep the belt. Hogan drifted off tv for a while, and Flair was finally seen as a heel.
The Spring and Summer of 1999 would hit an even more chaotic time for WCW. So I say it wasn’t the Finger Poke of Doom that hurt WCW, but WCW’s lack of follow through.
Tags: Flair, nWo, The Four Horsemen, wolfpac