Review of Timeline WCW 1996 with Kevin Sullivan
Jul 9, 2013 - by Steve Gerweck
by Alan Wojcik
If you sit down a group of wrestling media people (me included) and ask them what year did wrestling change for the better in the eyes of the fans, all of them would say 1996. WWF fans would see Shawn Michaels ascend to the championship position as Bret Hart would leave to pursue Hollywood dreams and witness the arrivals of “Ringmaster” Steve Austin & Dwayne “Ricky Maivia” Johnson. In World Championship Wrestling things would never be the same as former WCW stars Scott Hall (Diamond Studd in 1990’s) and Kevin Nash (Vinnie Vegas/Oz) would return from WWF to be part of the biggest angle ever created (well borrowed from New Japan Pro Wrestling.) The New World Order’s arrival would change the “Monday Night Wars” into “Must See TV” for fans of both promotions. KEVIN SULLIVAN was there as talent and the booker so he is the perfect choice for KAYFABE COMMENTARIES latest TIMELINE of WCW.
There are several months of WCW to cover before late May when Scott Hall arrived on Monday Nitro and its good stuff. In early 1996 Sullivan’s main feuds were the Four Horseman vs. Dungeon of Doom and Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage fighting over the WCW World championship while he was building up a cruiserweight division that would become a staple to Nitro. Nitro was only a one hour program and would move into two hour format on May 27th, the night Scott Hall came out of the crowd when Steve Doll & Mike Enos were mid-match. Sullivan addresses WCW acknowledging the WWF by giving away taped Raw results and the return of his then wife Nancy (RIP Woman) which would lead to a divorce, plus other topics like the romance issues of Randy Savage & Elizabeth backstage which involved Hogan’s current wife Linda, Brian Pillman’s “Loose Cannon” persona that led to the infamous “I Respect You Bookerman” comment at Superbrawl V, the politics backstage between Savage, Hogan and Ric Flair, dealing with Hulk Hogan’s total creative control contract & the people in his ear, the ending of WCW Saturday Night tapings at Center Stage (Atlanta), returning back to a house show touring promotion, Kevin Greene & Steve McMichael competing on PPV and other items.
When the DVD gets to the Outsider and the nWo everything goes out the window (or in the case of Rey Misterio, nearly through it). Sullivan takes us nearly step-by-step through the arrival of Hall, then Nash and Bash at the Beach when Hulk Hogan went “Hollywood” including where Hogan slept the evening before the PPV. Also addressed is the WWF suing WCW over the trademarks of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash looking like their former WWF characters Razor Ramon & Diesel plus the near arrivals of Shawn Michaels and Davey Boy Smith in the faction, Bischoff becoming the leader and how Sting got the idea to become “Crow-like” from an nWo member. Besides Hall, Nash, Waltman (as Syxx), Virgil (as Vincent), Roddy Piper and DiBiase coming over from the WWF, other arrivals into WCW in 1996 included Chris Jericho, Juventud Guerrera, Public Enemy (tryouts), Miss Elizabeth (RIP), Psychosis, the Rock N Roll Express, Glacier, Loch Ness, the Booty Man (Brutus Beefcake repackaged) while exits include Johnny B. Badd (would debut WrestleMania XII as “Wildman” Marc Mero) and the Road Warriors (RIP Hawk).
This a perfect companion piece to the nWo Revolution and Rise/Fall of WCW DVD’s produced by WWE. Some of the New World Order stuff is covered in both places but with Mr. Sullivan telling the stories you will not care. How he is not part of/running WWE or Impact Wrestling creative departments is beyond me.
Speaking of the nWo the next Kayfabe Commentaries release is Guest Booker Robert Fuller: Shawn in the nWo (July 11th) plus be ready for YouShoot with Amazing Kong (August 6th), order them through www.KayfabeCommentaries.com
In addition to reviewing pro wrestling themed DVD’s and books since 2001, Alan Wojcik is part of Kayfabe Wrestling Radio heard weekly on Wild Talk Radio (www.wildtalkradio.com) , Go Fight Live (www.GFL.TV) & www.PWMania.com we can be heard all over the world plus your smartphone through Tune In Radio and iTunes for your Apple equipment (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wild-talk-radio-network-on/id580051506). Be sure to check out www.facebook.com/kayfabewrestlingradio, Follow us on Twitter @MyNameIsWojcik @Bruiser_Schmidt @Kevin_K_Scott @WildTalkRadio