Welcome to the Weekend edition of the Phat Daily Column. I hope you're enjoying your weekend, as I am... well, not really, as the weekend is the main time I work now that school is back in session. Today, we'll take a look at my past opinions on the New World Order, namely the 1999 NWO and the Russo NWO, and then come to some sort of conclusion about the upcoming Vince McMahon NWO. It should be a nice look back and a good column from a personal standpoint.
Once I get some school stuff out of the way, I'll begin to review the NES wrestling games. Oh man, I seriously can't wait to do those! Some games I've found to be horrible, while others I found to be somewhat groundbreaking. My plans are to get through the NES games, and then head straight for the SNES ones. I just might do reviews of the Gameboy ones, too, since I used to be a hardcore Gameboy player back when its screen was of spinach color.
Dynamite Kid's biography, "Pure Dynamite", will be reviewed this Monday or Wednesday. Hopefully, I'll have time to whip that column up because I've been itching to review it ever since I finished reading it in a whole two days. Speaking of books, I hear that the Hardy Boyz biography will be the next of the WWF books. I like the Hardys and all, but what can you specifically say about their short careers? I'd much rather see a biography come out of Steve Austin, Ric Flair, the Undertaker, or Triple H, who either have controversies in their lives to read about or have storied wrestling careers. Ah screw it, I'll probably buy it anyway.
Wow, I'm just intrigued about the Rob Van Dam situation, where the WWF apparently edited out the "RVD" chants during his match. If it's true, it just goes to show you that the WWF has a hierarchy that they aren't willing to change. If RVD is the most over, at least from the appearance to television viewers, then the WWF will be pretty much forced to push him to the top. But with certain "big names" like Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Hulk Hogan coming in, along with the continued dominance of Triple H, Rock, and Austin, it looks as though they don't want a standout ECW star taking any spotlights. That just isn't right.
It's just like what happened before Wrestlemania 17. The WWF was going to turn Steve Austin heel during his feud with the Rock. But leading up to Wrestlemania, the fans were cheering for Austin and booing the Rock. Fans even brought very negative signs towards the Rock to events, and the WWF made sure to take those signs away! This sort of goes against the WWF's old thought process, which they claim to have: we do what the fans want. Well, just put it this way: Ratings, Merchandise, and Attendance are down, so they could be doing something that the fans don't want to see.
But who knows? But I do have an idea of what to do when Hall, Nash, and Hogan arrive in the WWF: stack the Intercontinental Title division. Screw it, just put the possible held back upper middle-carders into the IC title division to make the title worth something again. Let Rocky, Triple H, Nash, Hogan, Undertaker, and Austin have their precious World Title division, as it's what they all truly want. Let's give the IC title some credibility!
Anyway, enough on the oddball ranting, on to the PDC.
I was furious. I was just a few months into writing the Phat Daily Column, and I didn't want to see Hogan as champion. I felt that his title reigns in 1998 ruined WCW, as he was champion during the time when RAW finally took over control of the ratings war. Here's a quote from my January 5, 1999 PDC:
"Don't get me wrong on this one, but I wanted Hall and Nash to get back together, but not with Hogan! Hogan sucks! Another title run for Hogan, that bites so bad! Hogan is so worthless as a wrestler now. His ass should have stayed retired! Did I mention Hogan sucks? Nash is the booker, and he jobbed for the title."
Back in early 1999, my anger towards the NWO was mainly through Hogan, because as champion, his gig was getting quite old. By then, WCW had the same Main Eventers they had in 1997 and 1998, still in 1999, and they had lots of young and hungry talent waiting for their chances. Hogan's time as the top man should have been over, but instead, they tried to repeat history with him leading the NWO, as a champion, but instead, WCW fell short and they would continue to drop... and drop... and drop....
I did, however, feel very justified by my comments. By 1999, Hogan's methods of acting like the top dog were very repetitive. However, in the year 2002, we will see Hogan in a new ballfield, as he returns to the WWF, a federation he left over 8 years ago. There are lots of new faces, and Vince McMahon is now as big of a celebrity as Hogan. Plus, many would argue that either Rock or Austin is as big as Hogan was then, so it makes things quite interesting.
Let's fast foward to December of 1999. Vince Russo, head booker of WCW at the time, was totally burned out of ideas. He was burnt out from the start of his WCW tenure, and after many fights over his sleezy style with Time Warner execs, Russo decided to bring back the NWO stable as a cheap way to draw interest towards WCW. However, what it led to was an obvious parody of the famous stable, as its credibility wasn't there from the start. The explanation for the members was quite dumb, especially Bret Hart's reasoning for joining. The return of the NWO failed to capture the excitement of wrestling fans to watch WCW anymore, and in the long run, even drove more fans away from WCW. Here's what I wrote in the December 21, 1999 edition of the PDC:
"I can't believe my eyes....the New World Order is back. Oh no!! This is absolute proof that Russo WAS NOT the man behind the WWF's success. His struggles at WCW were proven tonight as he recycled the Fucking NWO gimmick!!!! It really failed the second time around, so why the hell do you think it will work just about a year later when you tried to reform it? Russo completely sucks, plain and simple. Lets look at this new NWO, shall we? You have Bret Hart. He has some real life heat with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash from Kliq days, and he's been feuding with them for quite a while. When it was all said and done for reforming the NWO, you could see how disappointed Bret was. You know he didn't like joining up with them, as you could see it on his face. So where does that leave the Powers that Be? Jarrett was their boy, and now he's with the NWO? Is the Powers that Be a part of the NWO? If so, you have a HUGE supergroup...led by what I call the "New Bischoff", Vince Russo. "
"Point is, that Russo isn't the savior, and he'll probably be fired around April. When you are forced to recycle an old angle that totally didn't work the second time you recycled it only this time it's by the new "savior" or superwriter, you know it's doomsday at WCW. I'm not going to do the Phat Stats for this show, as it doesn't require any effort to see that this show receives an F for dropping the ball on my hopes for WCW coming back in the ratings. I never thought that I would be as frustrated as I was when Nash layed down for Hogan at the beginning of this year, but WCW proved me wrong. Sorry if I'm a bit harsh, but I was really rooting for Nitro to produce every week. I know for sure that this NWO angle will fail, just like the second coming of the NWO did. It's my opinion, and I'm backing it!!!!"
Funny thing was that Russo was fired in January, and not April, as my prediction stated in my column. Basically, my major argument of the return of the NWO, this time, was that if Russo was such an innovative writer for wrestling, then why was he brining back an old angle? This is the same guy who said McMahon vs. Austin was entirely his idea, as well as ALL of the WWF's success.
But Russo's NWO angle, in itself, was absolutely ridiculous. His odd explanation to why Bret Hart joined the 3 guys who he was currently feuding with was absurd. On Thunder, I believe, they even had old clips of whatever they could muster to explain that Bret was secretly allied with Nash, Hall, Jarrett, and the "Powers that Be". It made no sense. The only "good" part of the new NWO was the funny heel turn by the returning Scott Steiner, who did his best acting job coming off injuries. After continued booking nonsense, like Piper's strange behavior at Starrcade 1999 and repetitive NWO cliches, the comeback was short lived. Injuries to Bret Hart and Jeff Jarrett, along with troubled behavior by Scott Hall, eventually sunk the Russo NWO ship.
What about now? What about the new Vince McMahon NEW WORLD ORDER???? First of all, Hulk Hogan hasn't been in the WWF since he lost to Yokozuna at King of the Ring 1993. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash's last trip in the WWF was the famous "Curtain Call" houseshow at Madison Square Garden in late Spring of 1996. Therefore, their returns have been somewhat awaited, since the WWF basically made them or allowed them to become major players in the wrestling industry to get big money deals in WCW.
Hulk Hogan's return is HUGE because of the long debate of who made the WWF in the 1980's. Did Hogan's drawing power make the WWF millions, or did Vince's federation make Hogan into a Superstar? That question has been up in the air forever, especially since Vince McMahon has made a name for himself when bringing the WWF back to the top in 1998. If they were ever to have a match, good God, it would draw money. Oldschool WWF fans have been waiting for a Hogan return ever since he left.
With Hall and Nash, the legend of the Clique still remains, and many dream about having a Clique reunion with Triple H, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, X-Pac, and possibly Shawn Michaels. If they don't form a stable together, it's very possible that they'll be close backstage, again, and possibly anger other wrestlers. It's good stuff for the insiders!
Also, many wrestling fans have been awaiting big WCW names to enter the WWF ranks, ever since the WWF bought WCW back in the Spring of 2001. Hall, Hogan, and Nash could fill that void, especially the one that's wanted from those who want Bill Goldberg in the WWF.
But there are the obvious negatives. First, Hall, Nash, and Hogan are well into their 40's. Aside from their speed, they will be injury prone as compared to Austin, Triple H, or Steve Austin, who are quite fast superstars in the ring. They fit right in with the Undertaker, though. Paying them top dollar at their age is questionable from the injury standpoint, too. Speaking of the money, the 3 proven backstage problems, from the past, are getting nice money up front, while those who followed the rules and did everything asked of the WWF are still making 200,000, with taxes and travelling expenses. But then again, Hogan, Hall, and Nash made WCW lots of money in 1996 and 1997. That was about 5 years ago or so, though.
However, let's be optimistic about this. With new wrestlers, it will inject newfound interest into the WWF. It's something new for the McMahons and the writers to work with, and we could see how McMahon's idea of the NWO would play out. The WWF is a different playing field from the WCW that the NWO tried to reappear in, twice. Plus, Hall, Nash, and Hogan haven't been in the WWF for a long time, so their alliance won't be questionable like their early 1999 one or the Russo version (which excluded Hogan).
And I'll admit, it's off to a good start already. The storyline goes that Vince McMahon has gone insane from his loss to his fellow co-owner, Ric Flair, from Royal Rumble 2002 that he's willing to bring back Hall, Nash, and Hogan to fight Flair for power of the company, or to as he said on Smackdown, kill the WWF. I'm certainly interested in seeing how this will all play out, as the storyline, in my opinion, is being set up well so far.
So I'll just have to sit back and see how it plays out. I certainly want it to work, and I'll be cheering for it to boom newfound interest into the WWF. I just hope that the writing isn't half-assed like the ECW-WCW Invasion angle was, with the horrible heel turns and whatnot. Go WWF!
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@That's all for this Weekend edition of the PDC. I hope you've enjoyed a look back at previous PDC's, concerning my feelings towards the NWO and I hope you understood my thoughts on the upcoming NWO. I'll probably be back, Monday, with either RAW hype and/or Dynamite Kid's book review. Hopefully both.
Take Care, and Thanks a Million for Reading Daily.