*This is a continued series of “Why Pro Wrestling Is Dead”; read the site’s first installment: here.
Soon after the debut of Monday Nitro, two other Superstars from WWE were wanting in to improve their position within the company. Scott Hall, whose persona was known as Razor Ramon, went to Vince McMahon and wanted to improve his role in the company and McMahon said he was unable to fulfill his request. Hall, along with Kevin Nash AKA “The Diesel”, left WWE and signed a contract with WCW. Bischoff had wanted to make his show seem real, even to the most jaded wrestling fan.
On May 27th 1996, Hall debuted on Nitro. Hall interrupted a match and demanded a microphone. He then proceeded to tell the crowd, “you know who I am. But you don’t know why I’m here. You wanna go to war? You got a war”. Hall’s debut was what really kicked off the war between WWE and WCW. Two Mondays later, Nash appeared on Nitro with Hall and confronted Bischoff. Aside from the outsiders raising hell and doing their best to make everyone believe a take over was actually happening, there was discussion of a third man, a mystery player. The identity of this man would be revealed at the 1996 bash at the beach.
The outsiders were scheduled to wrestle a six man tag match against Lex Luger, Macho Man Randy Savage and Sting. The outsiders only consisted of two men, Nash and Hall. Midway through the match, Hulk Hogan made his way to the ring, appearing as if he was going to the aid of Luger sting and Savage. Instead of lending a hand however, Hogan dropped his famous leg drop on Savage, thus revealing Hogan as the third man.
Hogan’s heel turn was revolutionary because Hogan had always been regarded as the good guy in the wrestling world. The world was shocked to see Hogan turn. The group of Nash and Hall went from being the outsiders, to what’s now known as the nWo (New World Order). This was off of the brilliance of Bischoff and his desire to have a wrestling show appear as if it is real.
Turner Broadcasting was extremely ratings-oriented and at this point in 1996, WCW was destroying WWE every Monday – garnering an average of 3.8 millions views and even soaring as high as five million. Above is a graph of the ratings time line. Cable was at its’ peak, and stockholders would invest more money in companies if their ratings were sky-high. In the next installment of Why Pro Wrestling Is Dead, I will discuss the beginning of WWE’s rise to WCW and then the fall as a company.