Rewriting the Book
By C.G. Scum
“What if Bret Hart left the WWF on “agreeable” terms in November of 1997 as he headed off to WCW?”
Moving along into the second part of our story, we pick right up where we left off with the newest big name star to the WCW roster, Bret Hart, leaving many questions unanswered following his first involvement in any in ring action with the company, as he officiated two matches at Starrcade. The first (Bischoff vs. Zybysko) ended in very controversial fashion leading many to believe that he had indeed jumped on board with the red hot New World Order as the Bischoff win secured the renegade group control of Monday Nitro, but then the second match he officiated (Hogan vs. Sting) made his involvement and the result of the first bout extremely confusing, as he called the bout right down the middle and Sting unseated the “leader” of the nWo and in doing so was crowned the new WCW Champion. Further adding to the question marks surrounding “which side” Bret was on, he refused the hand shake of the new champion and “franchise player” of WCW, Sting, at the conclusion of the Starrcade bout. In addition to the uncertainty of Bret’s standing with in his new company, there is also the underlying “plan” that was set forth in his final stretch with the WWF that apparently will still unfold in some way, shape, or form moving forward as well. There is very little question that some key players on both the WCW and nWo sides will be requesting some clarification on the actions of the “Hitman” as the company enters a new era of Monday night television with the “black and white” now running the show. Additionally, to “even the playing field” due to the Bischoff Starrcade win, World Championship Wrestling is set to launch a brand new, Thursday night television program that they will still hold power over and how the two “brands” oversee each of these programs moving forward is yet another unanswered question to be visited as we head into Part Two and beyond. With so many stones unturned and drastic changes happening to the overall landscape of WCW moving into 1998, we will begin to see some of these items addressed for certain, as we begin this chapter at the first ever official broadcast of nWo Monday Nitro, live from Baltimore, Maryland as we move along in our journey towards answering the question, “What if Bret Hart left the WWF on agreeable terms in November of 1997 as he headed off to WCW?”
nWo Monday Nitro-December 29, 1997- Baltimore, MD
The first ever edition of Monday Nitro to be run by the New World Order begins first with a shot of a Hum-Vee stretch limo arriving in the back, with its doors opening to see the majority of the nWo in full celebration mode, as Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Randy Savage, Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, Konnan, Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton, and Vincent emerge, laughing it up and toasting champagne, seeming to be in no hurry what so ever to get into the building despite the show coming on the air live. Commentator, Tony Schivone notes upon seeing them pile out, “Very conspicuous by their absence among the nWo crew are Eric Bischoff and the now former WCW Champion, Hollywood Hogan.” He went on to explain that they (the commentators) were each uncertain of their collective futures with WCW since the New World Order was now in power and that each of them expected to be terminated in very short order. As the camera came in and focused on the three at their broadcast position, Schivone continued to voice his fears until Zybysko chimed in, saying, “Those low life scums in the New World Odor are gonna have to pry me out of this chair,” to which Tenay quickly replied, “Oh, I am sure they will have no problem with that request Larry, if we are going, I hate to say it partner, but I think I’m going peacefully.” Right after this comment, the camera again went to the parking lot, where the nWo “tailgate party” was continuing until Bischoff and Hogan arrived in a second limo and “Hollywood” stormed out and muscled through the group, heading right in the door, with Bischoff pleading alongside in an attempt to calm and comfort him. “Hey, Hulkster, cheer up, bro. It’s nWo Nitro, man, don’t forget who is calling the shots now,” offered up Scott Hall as the two passed but ignored him. “Jeez, that wasn’t very sweet,” dead panned Kevin Nash, as the rest of the group just looked on before “Big Sexy” continued, “but I know something that is too sweet, ladies if you will.” On cue with the last words of Nash, a group of several scantily clad women in nWo shirts came out from the same limo they all arrived in, replenishing each of the men’s beverages as the remainder of the group howled and laughed as they made their way to each superstar. Just then, the screen went to static and black and white for the new intro video for Nitro, accompanied by the familiar nWo music and finishing up with the disclaimer that, “The following edition of Monday Nitro is being brought to you by the New World Order.”
Following a commercial however, the expected gloating and take over of the program is put on hold as the strains of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” blare over the house system and Hollywood Hogan comes to the ring, looking very serious and not doing his usual air guitar and mugging for the camera routine. Bischoff chases behind him like a lost puppy, still seeming to be almost begging Hogan to stop whatever he is about to do or say. Hogan ignores Bischoff’s pleas and goes on a tirade about how he was cheated out of his title at Starrcade amongst other topics that “Easy E” cringes at as he rants on. “I am the leader of the nWo, and I am still the WCW champion,” he begins. “If not for that Canadian coward, Bret Hart, who has always been jealous of Hollywood and the big star that he is, that no good Sting wouldn’t be walking around with my property right now. So, this is nWo Nitro and as the ruler of this show, brother, I am making a rematch tonight between me and that painted clown for my belt, dude.” Just as he mentions this, J.J. Dillon comes to the ramp and explains that even though the nWo controls Nitro, there is still a WCW championship committee in charge of making title matches. Dillon goes on to explain that while Hogan will get a rematch for his title it will not be tonight, but instead, Hogan will have to wait in line and will get his chance against whoever the champion is at the February pay per view, SuperBrawl. A livid Hogan and Bischoff question this logic, as we see a split screen with the second shot showing the Outsiders, Savage, Hennig, and Rude watching a monitor in the back. Dillon further explains that the reason Hogan will wait until February is that there is another man that has earned the spot as number one contender as a result of his win at World War 3 in November and that man is none other than Scott Hall. J.J. then explains that it will be Sting versus Hall for the championship at Souled Out on January 24 in Dayton, Ohio. The group watching on the monitor congratulates Hall, while Hogan rebuts that Hall, “knows his role, and will step aside and take a back seat to his leader.” This prompts some sarcastic laughter and comments from the group watching on the monitor, before the split screen returns to one leading to the commentators to draw the conclusion that there is suddenly turmoil in the once inseparable New World Order. Dillon leaves Hogan and Bischoff with one parting shot, telling them that even though they control Nitro and think that they now are in charge of all things in WCW, that they couldn’t be more wrong as he attended an emergency board of directors meeting that morning where it was revealed that WCW will debut its very own, brand new television program to air Thursday nights on TBS, called Thunder, set to debut on January 8. Dillon simply walks away then and ignores the argument of the now irate former champion, who continues his tirade, starting by demanding the presence of Curt Hennig. Accompanied by Rick Rude, Hennig makes his way to the ring and is berated by Hogan upon his arrival, with “Hollywood” telling the former Mr. Perfect that he “let the brotherhood down, by losing the U.S. title to that ‘no talent, shaggy dog,’ Diamond Dallas Page. Hennig questions this, noting that Hogan also lost his title, prompting Hulk to fire him from the nWo, demanding he “take off and turn in his colors, right now, brother.” Hennig tosses his shirt down and he and Rude leave, as we again see the split screen and the Outsiders and Savage seem to be questioning the decision of Hogan. Before finally leaving the ring, the Hulkster again turns his attention back to the “Hitman,” demanding that “by the end of the night, he better hear an explanation from Bret Hart and it better be damn good, or I’m gonna have to beat him up real bad and send him running back up north, begging for his job back with his pink and black tail between his legs, brah.”
Following the break, the nWo music hits again and Hall, Nash, and Savage appear, but instead of heading to the ring, they go directly to the commentary position, where they fire Schivone, Tenay, and Zybysko. Larry puts up a brief argument, but thinks better of the three against one odds he would face and leaves as the new commentators get a chuckle as Hall quips that “those three are now just like all the other dinosaurs, extinct.” The three provide some witty and entertaining commentary throughout the night and several times throughout they make reference to Hall getting his crack at the championship at Souled Out, with the “Bad Guy” giving absolutely no implication that he would “step aside” as Hogan earlier had claimed. One of their more entertaining calls on a segment for the evening comes at the top of the second hour, when the strains of Ric Flair’s theme music wash over the arena and a very animated “Nature Boy” joins “Mean Gene” (who Hall continuously refers to as ‘Scheme Gene’) in the ring. Flair begins his interview by explaining his disappointment with not being able to compete against Curt Hennig at Starrcade due to his injury, but claims that he is far from done with him. “Hennig, when you slammed my head in that cage at Fall Brawl, you sold out tradition,” a red faced Flair screamed. “You sold out your old man, you sold out the most elite, wooooo, group to ever walk the aisle, the Four Horseman, and you sold all that out for a bunch of punks that tossed you to the curb like yesterday’s garbage.” The crazed looking 13 time champ ranted on, “So Hennig, you got what you deserved for trusting Hogan and Bischoff, but, woooo; you haven’t got what you deserved yet from the ‘Nature Boy.’ One of these days, it’s gonna be me and you and just know that you will sweat, you will bleed, and you will, woooo, pay the ultimate price for what you did to try and bring down the legacy of the Horsemen.” Flair goes on to explain that while he can’t wait to get his hands on Hennig, that he has one other man that his is focused on for also “turning his back on tradition.” “Bret Hart,” Flair hollered, “you come in here to my house, WCW, and you cry that you got screwed and that you won’t stand for a crooked boss, and then you turn a blind eye and help Bischoff take Nitro and put the nWo name on it. Now, “Hitman,” it is time that Ric Flair takes you to school my friend. I don’t care what you did before you got here, pal, because now, woooo, you are in Ric Flair country and at Souled Out, I am gonna make you respect tradition whether you like it or you don’t.” He concluded, “With the nWo running this show and Hennig and Hart on my plate too, the ‘Nature Boy’ has decided that, woooo, he ain’t gonna go at these odds alone. So, one week from this Thursday, the dawning of a new day for WCW, the dawning of a new day for tradition, on the premier of Thunder on the SuperStation, just like we used to do, in Daytona Beach, woooo, Florida, the Horseman will ride again and they will ride as only we can, woooo.”
Several segments later, we see Bret arrive at the arena and as he does, he walks past Hennig and Rude. They have a brief conversation where the two fill Hart in on Hogan’s comments, as well as Flair’s, to which Bret seems to have little or no reaction to. He tells Hennig and Rude that he always has respected both of them and wishes them well. They ask Bret’s response about the words aimed at him and what he plans to do about it and the “Hitman” coolly replies, “You know, I am not completely sure of what I plan on doing, but if Flair wants me at ‘Souled Out,’ I suppose that could be arranged and for Hulk Hogan, I’m not sure where he is coming from, or what I’m going to do, but whatever it is you can be sure that Bret Hart will always do the right thing.” Hennig and Rude shake their heads as they go their separate ways and repeat Bret’s words in a questioning tone, “Do the right thing?”
For the final segment of the night, Bret comes out to the ring and addresses the comments made earlier in the night, first responding to the “Nature Boy.” “Ric Flair comes out here and he questions my integrity, he questions my respect for the great tradition of this great sport, and he looks like he is about ready to blow a gasket he is so pumped up about it. Well, Ric, I’ll steal a line from you in accepting your challenge at ‘Souled Out,’ so, Ric Flair, to be the man, you gotta beat the man, and this man just happens to be the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.” He then begins addressing Hogan, but right after he begins speaking, Hollywood appears, with a still nervous Bischoff, Vincent, Scott Norton, and nWo Sting. Hogan demands Hart explain “where he is coming from and you better start explaining right now, jack,” as he and his lackeys step into the ring. Just as they surround Bret and inch close to him, the new WCW Champion, Sting, repels down from the rafters into the center of the ring, back to back with Bret. The nWo members back off, and at the same time as they do, Hall, Nash, and Savage take the headsets off and head toward the ring. As they approach, Sting and Bret take center stage, as even though no words are exchanged, the champion points a bat in the face of the “Hitman,” but then turns and hands it to him handle first. Sting then turns his back to Bret, leaving himself wide open to be hit if Hart desired to. Bret stares at the bat and thinks it over for a few seconds before he breaks the bat over his own knee and starts to turn away. As he does turn though, he gets jumped, with Hogan leading the charge, sicking his thugs on him. The attack is cut short though, as Sting turns around and produces a second bat from inside his trench coat and cleans house, getting to everyone except Hogan and Bischoff, who he stopped before hitting and again pointed the bat at as they cowered from the champion. Pulling the bat back and readying to land a shot to the gut of Hogan, the Stinger is stopped by a three on one blindside attack by the Outsiders and Savage. Bret remains down on the outside, while Hogan stands by and seems not only torn, but down right irritated with Bischoff holding him back as Nitro goes off the air to the number one contender, Scott Hall dropping Sting with the ‘Outsiders Edge’ then picking up and eye balling the World Title belt with a cocky, sly grin as Nash and Savage stand at his side.
The following week, nWo Nitro comes at us from the Georgia Dome in WCW’s “homebase” of Atlanta, Georgia. Tensions in each of the situations from a week prior grew higher and outside of Hogan’s paranoia over Hall getting the first shot at Sting; the group dominated their second program in charge. The Outsiders regained the WCW Tag Titles from Rick and Scott Steiner in the main event of the evening, Randy Savage defeated Lex Luger, and the group announced that they would be keeping Bobby “the Brain” Heenan on as part of their broadcast team, as he called the action with Bischoff and Konan. Sting also made his first title defense, absolutely destroying nWo Sting, who was attacked after his loss by Hogan and kicked out of the group for “embarrassing the brotherhood, and trying to look like that phony coward that stole my belt.” One other match of note, saw Bret Hart respond to Flair’s comment about the “Horsemen riding again” a week earlier as in his debut match on Nitro, he made Steve “Mongo” McMichael tap out to the sharp shooter. Speaking of Flair, he again talked up the “Horsemen” reforming on the debut Thunder just days away and brought out his longtime friend, Arn Anderson, who Flair explained “even though Double A can’t get in between the ropes, he is always a Horseman, and , wooooo, he will always be right by our side.” In James J. Dillon’s brief appearance with “Mean” Gene on the program, he not only announced that he would be rehiring former Nitro announcers, Tony Schivone, Mike Tenay, and Larry Zybysko to give the call on Thunder, but also brought to light what he called a “major announcement in the works that could be the biggest thing to happen to WCW in their war against the nWo that he hopes to see unfold once the “proper legal channels are explored” over the course of the next few months.
Later that week, the aforementioned, new WCW program, Thunder hits the airwaves for the very first time, from Daytona Beach, Florida. The show begins and J.J Dillon is in the ring proclaiming this to be a new day for World Championship Wrestling and he again makes reference to “another huge development in WCW’s war against the New World Order slowly ‘taking baby steps’ through the legal processes toward becoming a reality. He tells the fans that unlike the now’s method of running a television program, WCW Thunder is all about opportunity. So, he announces that at the top of the hour we will see Chris Benoit take on Curt Hennig, with the winner going on to face WCW World Champion, Sting for the title in the main event of the evening. J.J. also tells the fans that on next week’s “Thunder,” he will announce a new WCW commissioner that will be responsible for match making and major decisions on the program. He then introduces a “couple of old friends with a major announcement” of their own and Ric Flair and Arn Anderson come to the ring. Anderson speaks first and talks of the tradition and excellence represented by the Four Horsemen over the years and he introduces the first of the three new members to join Flair as active Horsemen as Chris Benoit. Flair then takes the microphone and explains that they had a tough decision in choosing the next member, as they debated heavily between two Horsemen from the past for the spot. The “Nature Boy” then explains that since the Horsemen always “got it done in the ring first and out on the town second,” that immediately following the unveiling of the final member, these two ex-Horsemen will do battle for the other opening in the elite group and he then calls out “Mongo” McMichael and “The Total Package” Lex Luger. The two stare each other down briefly and then reluctantly shake hands, before Flair again presides over the festivities. “Now, with the final spot for the Horsemen, I needed someone who could flat out go, baby,” he explained. “We needed the muscle, the speed, and the entire package for this spot.” He continued, “Plus, we needed the tradition that Double A was just speaking of, so I thought about all that has gone on recently, with Mr. Bret Hart. I thought how he came here to my company, Ric Flair’s company and handed that snake Bischoff and the nWo our show, Nitro and it made me think that he took away what I like to think of as my family.” Getting to his point, Flair added, “So, I figured, if you want to take from my family, Bret Hart, then, woooo, I am going take from yours and I now give to you the fourth member of the new and improved Four Horsemen, he is the British, woooo, Bulldog, Davey Boy Smith. Flair further explains that “in a dog eat dog world, the Horsemen will return to their glory days and run over anything in their paths.” Bulldog comes to the ring and joins the others, who immediately step out and watch from the outside as Luger defeats McMichael to earn the other spot in the group. Staying true to Flair’s word, the four join together and attack McMichael following the match and leave to a resounding ovation. Other highlights from the show, see U.S Champ, Dallas Page defeat World T.V. Champion, Booker T, Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero fight to a no contest in a Crusierweight title bout when Chris Jericho entered and attacked both competitors, and rookie sensation Bill Goldberg rack up another impressive victory, annihilating the nWo’s Vincent. In the Benoit and Hennig match, Hennig earns the title match after Bret Hart appeared and drew the attention of Ric Flair and Arn Anderson who accompanied Benoit, causing a distraction that allowed Rick Rude to interfere behind the officials back to seal the win for his longtime friend. We see a backstage shot of Hollywood Hogan acting very paranoid about Hennig earning a shot at “his belt,” as Eric Bischoff tries to console him once again. Randy Savage approaches the two during this spot and tells Hogan, “it’s supposed to be for life and I don’t think you are on board with that unless you are running things. It wasn’t cool how you dumped Curt Hennig without telling us, bro, and you better get behind Scott Hall for the good of the group. Dig it?” The nervous Hogan huffs and puffs in Savage’s face at these words, but offers no response as this segment ends. In the main event though, when once again the official is down, the jealous Hogan appears at ringside and looks ready to intervene until the “Hitman” comes out and draws his attention. Hart becomes an immediate non-factor though, as he is jumped just as he gets near the ring by Luger, Flair, and Anderson. With the official watching the assault, Hogan blindsides Rude and whacks Hennig across the back just as he is setting Sting up for the fisherman’s suplex, before laying the champion out with the chair as well before retreating. He oddly places Sting on top of Hennig and flees as the referee returns for a three count and the Stinger retains. The debut Thunder goes off the air with Savage sprinting to ringside and getting in the face of Hogan before the Outsiders appear and try to help let cooler heads prevail.
Continuing on through January, Bret Hart continued to show little or no signs of exactly “where he stood” on either the nWo’s Nitro or WCW’s Thunder. On the January 12 edition of Nitro, he addressed Flair’s talking of family and the surprise appearance of the British Bulldog as the fourth Horsemen. “Davey is a thoroughbred, no doubt about it, but the fact of the matter Ric Flair, is just like you, he may be good, but he is not the best there is, the best there was, or the best there ever will be and neither are you.” Bret continued, “So, Bulldog wanted to take on a new family, the Four Horseman family, well I guess that is just fine, but just like you Ric, I decided that I need to start surrounding myself with a new family too. Family that unlike the Bulldog, is loyal and has been there from the start. That is why I bring to you, the guy who has had my back from day one, and the guy just like me that I know will always ‘do the right thing,’ my longtime partner and brother in law, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. The Anvil joins Bret in the ring and before leaving, Hart again speaks at Flair, noting that as far as his ‘new WCW family’ goes, he is just getting started. Despite taking over on Nitro, the nWo still sees great turmoil leading up to “Souled Out” for the remainder of the month, as Hogan’s paranoia over someone else in the group winning the World Title has made him next to unbearable. Savage is the most vocal about his actions, with Hall and Nash both at times showing concern about his actions as well. In the tag title picture, The Outsiders and Steiner Brothers feud continues to heat up, as Rick and Scott nearly regained their titles on the January 18 Nitro, but Konnan rushed in and saved the titles for Hall and Nash by blatantly interfering. This was followed by a gang style attack on the Steiners, and set up a tag match at ‘Souled Out’ between the University of Michigan alums facing Nash and Konnan. Diamond Dallas Page and Booker T both successfully defended the U.S, and TV titles throughout the month, but while the two were having a match against one another at the January 15 edition of Thunder, they were attacked by Raven and the entire Flock, setting another tag match up for the January pay per view, as the two champions were to do battle with Raven and Saturn. In the land of the new look Four Horsemen, the tag team of Davey Boy Smith and Chris Benoit were really turning heads, no doubt bringing back fond memories for some older fans of Davey’s former team, The British Bulldogs, when he teamed with Benoit’s idol, the Dynamite Kid. Lex Luger also found himself on a hot streak after rejoining Flair and Anderson’s re-creation, scoring impressive wins over the nWo’s Scott Norton and Buff Bagwell on consecutive editions of Thunder heading towards the pay per view. Exciting newcomer, Bill Goldberg continued to dominate all opposition, as the WCW faithful slowly began to take notice and get behind the powerhouse more and more with each victory. In the cruiserweight division, Chris Jericho continued to belittle both Eddie Guerrero and champion, Dean Malenko both verbally and physically, putting the three on a collision course for a title bout in Dayton as well. As for James J. Dillon’s intriguing comments, he continued to tell the audience at each show of the “big development” in the WCW/nWo feud without ever getting much further than saying he was “optimistic” that it will come to fruition. Dillon named Larry Zybysko as the commissioner on Thunder, and the “Living Legend” made it a point to try and make life as difficult as possible for the New World Order each and every Thursday night. Zybysko strategically fed Hogan’s paranoia at both the January 15 and 22 editions of the TBS program, giving World Title matches to both Kevin Nash and Randy Savage against Sting, both of which ended in disqualification losses for the nWo challengers just when it seemed they had the championship within their grasp due to outside interference from Hollywood that served to widen the wedge that had already started to be driven between the guys in black and white.
Souled Out- January 24, 1998- Dayton, OH
A star studded lineup was set in place for this Saturday night pay per view offering and the show started out with an absolute classic that saw Chris Jericho walk out of the three way dance as the new Cruiserweight Champion as he bested both Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko. The sellout crowd lit up when Arn Anderson then led Chris Benoit, the British Bulldog, and Lex Luger to the ring where he laid out an open challenge for any three members of the nWo to come out and “look tradition square in the eye and then get hurt.” Answering the challenge was the team of Randy Savage, Scott Norton, and Buff Bagwell, but the new Horsemen continued on their impressive hot streak, with Benoit scoring the pin on Bagwell following a spectacular flying headbutt on the heels of a Bulldog powerslam. In what was his most competitive test to date, Bill Goldberg showed he can take a bit of punishment, yet still shake it off and dominate as he jackhammered Meng to earn another win, and the team ofU.S. Champion, Dallas Page and TV Champ, Booker T. worked together seamlessly in getting the victory over Raven and Saturn, but paid for their win as the Flock once again attacked the two at the matches’ conclusion. The makeshift team of Kevin Nash and Konnan gave the nWo some hope that their fortunes were changing for the night, as they scored the win over the Steiner Brothers by countout, after Rick accidentally knocked his brother off the apron when Nash reversed an Irish Whip, sending Scott face first off the ring steps and knocking him out. While the “Dog Faced Gremlin” tended to his brother, the referees count reached ten, and then when Scott did come to, the brothers had to be calmed down by their manager Ted DiBiase, who stepped between the two when it appeared they may come to blows. At DiBiase’s urging, the brothers not only cooled off, but left the arena on good terms and an embrace. In the WCW championship match, it appeared as though Scott Hall would finally realize his dreams of becoming a World Champion as he scored several near falls on Sting throughout the match. Sting battled back though and had Hall tapping in the center of the ring while the referee was unconscious until an intruder came into the ring wearing a plastic Sting mask and hit Sting from behind with a huge double ax handle blow from the top rope, giving Hall the chance to set up for his Outsiders Edge finisher. Just as Hall hit the move and the referee came back and prepared to make the count, a second man, also in a Sting mask appeared and yanked the official out of the ring and to the floor at the count of two, one punching the still not fully recovered official on the outside and causing Hall to lose by disqualification. Seeing this, the first “Sting” masked intruder tackled the second on the outside, and when he did, both of the cheap plastic souvenirs fell off of their faces, exposing Randy Savage as the first that appeared and Hollywood Hogan as the second. Seeing this development, the entire New World Order rushed to the ring and separated the two, as each man valiantly fought to get back at the other. Following this melee, the show cut to the back, where Ric Flair was being interviewed. Flair stood with Anderson, Luger, Bulldog, and Benoit, telling them to “stay put unless I need you guys. This is something that I need to get done all on my own to prove to myself, to prove to each of you, and to prove to Dayton, woooo, Ohio that the “Nature Boy” is still the man.” He added, “Bret Hart, if you are the man you say you are, and you are the best there is, woooo, the best there was, woooo, and the best there ever will be, woooo, then you are gonna have to prove it by beating Ric Flair.” True to his word, Flair then comes out solo, as does Bret. The match itself as expected is a classic as neither of the legendary figures disappoints. Countless near falls and each of the two men’s signature spots are performed throughout the first twenty minutes of the bout, which sees the “Hitman” take control at first and then Flair battle back to the delight of the crowd that is torn almost completely down the middle in their support of the two. Just when it seems Flair has the match in hand, Jim Neidhart storms the ring, but before he can interfere, he is chased off and into the crowd by the British Bulldog and Chris Benoit of the Horseman. The distraction did give Bret an opening that he took advantage of, and at around the thirty minute mark of the match, it was Hart who appeared to be nearing victory, when Arn Anderson and Lex Luger appeared. Much like Neidhart’s attempt though, the two never had a chance to interfere, as Curt Hennig and Rick Rude made their way to the ringside area, with Hennig and Luger doing battle, while Rude and Double A also traded punches back up the aisle and to the back. This distraction saw Bret “take his eye of the ball” for a minute and Flair, the savvy veteran caught him with a rollup, but Bret rolled through at the count of two, even with Flair pulling the tights for leverage. Instead of rolling into the pin though, Bret used the momentum to get a top Flair and spin him into the sharpshooter. Despite a great effort to get to the ropes, the end came for the “Nature Boy,” when Bret walked him back to the center of the ring, leaving Flair no choice but to tap out, giving the “Hitman” the victory. After releasing the hold momentarily, Hart paused though and turned back at Flair. He then dragged him to the corner and prepared for his dreaded “ringpost figure four,” laying back on it as Flair screamed in agony. As Bret seemingly tried to break the leg of his opponent, it seemed there was no hope for the 13-time champ, until Sting appeared once again. Seeing the World Champion, Bret released the hold and rolled into the ring, with the Stinger close behind. The two again had a standoff with Sting again pointing the bat at the “Hitman,” prompting Bret to point back with his finger, motioning towards the WCW title around Sting’s waist. A quick shot in the back saw Hogan, panicking as he saw this occurring on the monitor, complaining, “That’s my belt, what is he pointing at? No one is gonna take that belt except Hollywood, brother.” The camera returned to the in ring standoff between Sting and Hart as the pay per view went off the air.
After Souled Out went off the air and the cameras had stopped rolling, there was an overall feeling of sheer excitement in the locker room, as all felt the current direction of the company was going exactly as it needed to. Although they were not “in the know” as to Bret’s on and off again conversations with his former employer, most knew of the creative control stipulation in his contract and many were giving Bret credit for some of the fresh new ideas and directions they were headed. About twenty minutes after the show went off the air, an ecstatic Eric Bischoff strolled into Bret’s locker room, where he was in deep discussion with Neidhart, Rude, and Hennig. “See, I told each of you guys. I hate to say I told you so, but I sure did tell you the cartoon show going on up North was going down and that this is the place to be. That idiot McMahon is so out of touch with the times that he doesn’t even have a clue what is going to hit him.” Bischff added, “I mean do you see who he is pumping up and bringing in for their biggest show of the year? Mike Tyson? Come on, what is this, 1988? I mean come on, Mike Tyson, that really ought to get the people to shell out their money to watch the show. Maybe they can bring “Herb” from Burger King or the “Where’s the Beef” lady back to bump pay per view buys, too, right!” He continued to arrogantly gush, “Seriously though, great job, tonight, fellas, and you all are gonna want to stick around, because in a short time here not only will we be the best game in town, we will be the only game in town and I promise you all that.” Bischoff’s ominous words were met with indifference by the four wrestlers present, but they forced a smile his way to appease him. Before leaving, he addressed Bret with the door half way open as he walked out, “This stuff is gold, Bret, your input was exactly what I needed to make the great stuff we were doing and bring it to the next level. See you at the meeting before TV tomorrow.” Bret nodded and said goodbye and thank you, and neither he, Bischoff, or any of the three noticed a large shadow that passed by the back side of Bischoff as he muttered his final comments about the meeting the next day before Nitro. That night upon returning to his hotel, Bret couldn’t help but thinking that it had been nearly a month since he had last spoken with his ex-boss, Vince McMahon, and he wondered when he would hear from whomever would be relaying their comments and thoughts back and forth from this point on. Ironically, as though the two (Bret and Vince) were in some way thinking along the same lines, there was a knock at his hotel room door. He opened it and was pleasantly surprised to see his brother in law, Davey Boy Smith on the other side. “Jeez, Bret, it has been so crazy around here we haven’t even had a bloody minute to catch up,” Davey said. “Yeah, no kidding, man is it great to have you and Jim here, I missed you guys,” replied Bret. “Well, we missed you too, but we kind of knew what was going on, as an old buddy of yours was filling us in.” A smile came across both Davey and Bret’s face as the Bulldog continued, “He actually sent me with a few things to run by you, mind if I grab a seat,” joked Davey as he shut the door behind him. “Come on in and make yourself right at home,” welcomed Bret as the Bulldog shut the door tightly behind him.
Bret arrived early as planned to sit in again on the booking meeting prior to the January 25 Nitro. Bischoff still wore a glow on his face and reiterated to the entire creative team that “it is only a matter of time now, we got them on the ropes and it is just time for a knockout blow.” He turned to Bret and added, “Kind of like the one you laid the bastard out with on your last night in that hell hole up there right, “Hitman.” Everyone but Bret shared a chuckle at the reference to his “knockout punch” on McMahon from his final night in WWF, as he simply nodded and began to give his input, to which once again everyone involved was completely on board with and seemed genuinely excited to put into place. As he was about to finish up, Bret again locked eyes with Kevin Nash, much like the last meeting they were at together. In a repeat of that prior gathering, Nash gave a sly smile and offered up a wink in Hart’s direction.
Heading towards February in the “on- screen” world of WCW television programming the nWo continued to seemingly fall apart from within at points. The obsessive Hogan trusted no one and would not rest until he had a chance to get the WCW title back around his waist. Each week on Nitro, he continued to become less and less of a team player, with Savage calling him out on it more regularly each week. In addition to his obsession with the World Title, he also continued to place the blame for his initial dropping of the strap on the shoulders of one man, Bret Hart. On Thunder, Commissioner Zybysko continued to expose the rift that was widening within the New World Order, constantly putting nWo members in matches and spots that he knew would make the “Hulkster” uneasy and thus would see the powder keg that had become the relationship between he and Savage come closer and closer to exploding by the minute. On the February 3 edition of nWo Nitro, Savage warned Hogan, “make no mistake about it, brother, I am still in it with you, because it’s for life, but if you don’t get the job done at ‘Super Brawl,’ there are others in line here to take your spot, and you are looking at the guy in the front of that group.” About the only stable part of the group seemed to be its original two rebels, Hall and Nash, who though they exemplified “for life,” were also wearing a bit thin of Hogan’s actions. The two did however continue to see their feud with the Steiners heat up and much like Zybysko was doing on Thunder, the Outsiders and Bischoff took every opportunity on Nitro to continuously drive a wedge between Rick and Scott following their near fall out at ‘Souled Out.’ The brothers’ manager, Ted DiBiase seemed the only one able to coax the two back into getting along and functioning as the great team that they always had been, trying to keep their focus on their upcoming title bout at ‘Super Brawl.’
Larry Zybysko and Randy Savage were not the only one toying with the unstable mind set of Hollywood Hogan heading into Super Brawl, as WCW World Champion and Hogan’s opponent for the big event, Sting, was also continuing to play his “mind games” with Hulk as well. Despite remaining almost completely silent, Sting, appeared regularly wherever Hogan was, stalking him from up close as in the case of the final segment of the February 3 and 17 editions of Nitro, when he surprised Hogan and left him laying courtesy of the Scorpion Death Drop (as Bret Hart looked on from the entrance ramp on both occasions), and from afar, as he interrupted a Hogan promo on the February 10 edition when a spotlight shown on him in the rafters and he simply pointed his bat to the big screen where footage aired of Hogan tapping out to the Stinger at Starrcade to the horror of the Hulk. The champ also tried to play similar games on several occasions with Bret Hart, but unlike Hogan, Hart kept a very cool demeanor, throughout their multiple face to face meetings, leaving their situation still somewhat unclear, as neither laid a hand on the other and outside of Bret directing some comments his way on the February 17 Nitro, no words were exchanged between the two either.
As for Bret, the night after ‘Souled Out,’ Nitro came on the air to him introducing Hennig and Rude along with Neidhart and officially dubbing the group “The Family.” He hinted that the faction was soon to be expanding before turning his attention toward Flair and the Horseman first, referring to them as “yesterday’s news” and specifically inviting the Bulldog to “come back home where he belongs before he winds up in the pound.” Hart continuously made reference during this stretch and hinted that the group had some type of “figure head” or someone “pulling the strings” on the unit, but never elaborated to deeply on such claims. He moved along to Hogan’s continuous finger pointing throughout the next few weeks leading up to SuperBrawl as well, noting on the February 6 edition of Thunder that , “Hulk Hogan wants to point his finger at me like I am running away from him or something. I have been trying to get in the ring with that coward for the past five years and he has done nothing but hide and duck me.” He concluded, “Anytime Hulk Hogan wants a piece of the “Excellence of Execution” all he needs to do is ask, trust me, I have been dreaming of the day I can expose him as the washed up fraud that he has become for as long as I can remember.” As briefly detailed above, Bret also continued to have a series of run ins with WCW Champion, Sting, with the two still never actually laying a hand on each other. “You can sneak down from the ceilings all you like, Stinger. You can try to play your little games and act all scary,” Bret said on the February 17 edition of Nitro, “but the fact of the matter is this, there will come a day inevitably when you have to come to the ring and face me one on one. With no baseball bat, with no Hogan looking on, with no signs of the nWo, and when that day comes, we both know who the best technical wrestler in history is and we both know who the better man is.” He finished up telling the champion, “When you finally come out of the shadows and put the WCW Title on the line, I will show you who truly is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be, but until that time, I say to Sting, and everyone else in this company, that you can count on Bret Hart, and the entire “Family” to do one thing, and that is for us to always do the right thing.”
Getting back to Flair and the new look Four Horsemen, they also had a bit to say after ‘Souled Out,’ as Flair proclaimed on the following night’s Nitro that Bret “took a classic match and a hard fought victory and turned it into a disgrace, when he tried to break my leg.” Ranting on Flair said, “You want to surround yourself with Hennig and Rude and run around like you are the elite, trying to maim and cripple? We are yesterday’s news? Well, yesterday’s news just got a wake up call, “Hitman,” and , woooo, you want to talk about breaking legs? The Horseman were breaking legs when you and your pal, Neidhart were wrestling in front of thirty drunks in Saskatoon for your old man.” Finishing with a promise that they would for sure make good on, Flair added, “You woke up a sleeping giant, woooo, you woke up four sleeping giants, woooo, and from now on, you want yesterday’s Horsemen, you got it pal. Right now, I am putting everyone on notice. Bret Hart, the nWo, WCW, woooo, everyone, the Four Horsemen will rule the wrestling landscape once again, and we will do it as only a Horsemen can. We are gonna be breaking bones and wearing gold by day, and breaking hearts and stealin’ kisses all night long, daddy, woooo.” That Thursday on Thunder, Bret found out first-hand what Flair meant by this, as the program began with a shot in the parking lot that saw the “Hitman” laid out and grasping at his knee as Bulldog and Benoit walked away from the scene each with a lead pipe in hand laughing amongst themselves. This became a continuing trend, as the next week on Nitro, Anderson, Luger, and Flair were seen in a similar segment, each brandishing a tire iron as they left nWo members, Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton, Konnan, and Vincent laid out in the lot. The backstage and outdoor attacks continued throughout the next several weeks on both Nitro and Thunder, as Benoit and Bulldog took out Neidhart on the February 3 Nitro and Hennig and Rude on the February 10 program. Anderson, Luger, and Flair continued to focus on not only the nWo, sneak attacking Hall and Nash, then Savage, and then Hogan in successive weeks on Thunder, but also WCW wrestlers, too, getting to both DDP and Booker T. on consecutive episodes of Thunder on February 5 and 12.. In the ring, the Bulldog/Benoit team continued to impress each week and several times their mouthpiece, Flair referenced the two “coming for ‘Hey Yo’ and ‘Big, woooo, Sexy,’ indicating that they wanted their crack at the Outsiders and the tag team straps. He also hinted that Luger was ready for “some gold,” too, calling out either Page or Booker T. to “stop wasting your time with the ‘bingo hall’ stunt men (referring to Raven and Saturn), and come make yourself famous and put your title on the line against the ‘Package.’” The series of attacks set up the Horseman for two major tag matches at SuperBrawl, with Bulldog and Benoit set to take on the nWo team of Bagwell and Norton, while Flair and Luger were signed in one of the cards feature bouts to go up against the team once known as the “Hart Foundation,” the “Hitman” and the “Anvil.”
United States Champ, Dallas Page and TV Champion, Booker T., regardless of what Flair had said, did indeed have their hands full with Raven and his Flock, constantly being targeted by the group in attacks which the numbers were heavily stacked against the two titlists. This would lead to each preparing for title defenses at “SuperBrawl,” with DDP to face Raven in a no disqualification match and Booker T. in line to go one on one with Saturn. In the cruiserweight division, champion Chris Jericho was blossoming into one of the more entertaining heels on Nitro and Thunder, constantly making wise cracks at the luchadores and backing his ‘comedy’ up with impressive wins throughout the weeks heading into SuperBrawl. His verbal attacks on the heritage of the masked grapplers struck a chord with one in particular, as Juventud Guerrera stepped to the plate and in an emotional decision by Juvi, was goaded into agreeing to put his mask on the line against Jericho’s cruiserweight strap at the February pay per view. Arguably the fastest rising star within the company though, was none of the established stars nor the young lions mentioned thus far, but it was the phenom that was Bill Goldberg. “Da Man,” as Bobby Heenan had begun calling him, was absolutely decimating anyone thrown at him as he remained undefeated and week after week, show after show, the chants of his name throughout arenas were becoming louder and more frequent. It was unclear where the Goldberg “runaway train” was headed at this point, but it was inevitable that the WCW fan base was ready to see how the former Georgia Bulldog would eventually fair against some of the more proven talent in the company. It was also slowly becoming obvious that this explosive newcomer was heading for big things. From the front offices, James J. Dillon continued to hype up the big “difference maker” that he had been speaking of regarding the WCW/nWo war, actually setting “Uncensored” as his goal date to officially reveal the details in this situation.
SuperBrawl VIII- February 22, 1998- San Francisco, CA
The historic Cow Palace in “the city by the bay” was the setting for another greatly anticipated WCW event and the show started off in the backstage area, where Eric Bischoff had called an emergency meeting of what he described to those on hand as the “elite” of the nWo. Bischoff reminded Hollywood Hogan, Randy Savage, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash of the mission that they had originally set out to accomplish and called the behavior of both Hogan and Savage of late “childish.” He also reminded that “for life” was not just a stupid “catchphrase” or “something to slap on a t-shirt,” but that it was supposed to mean something. He asked them to air out any problems and to “please get on the same page” tonight, so Hogan can bring the World Title back “home” to the New World Order. Hogan and Savage reluctantly shook hands as Hall and Nash stood by and nodded in approval. Nash chimed in, noting that “things need to get back to basics starting tonight. It is time we cut off the dead weight and start looking for people who can make a difference.” All agreed and seemed to be on the same page for the first time in quite a while. Following this, the show headed to the ring where in the opening bout, Chris Jericho successfully defended his Cruiserweight Championship against Juventud Guerrera. Due to the stipulation agreed to by Juvi, Jericho unmasked him at the end of the bout, and the attacked him and refused to let go of the “Walls of Jericho,” until Eddie Guerrero stormed the ring and forced him off. Before Jericho and Eddie could go at it though, suddenly, the Four Horseman appeared, each with a 2×4 in
hand. The group decimated all three cruiserweights, before Flair took the stick. “Woooo, San Francisco, C-A. The Horsemen are at SuperBrawl and they are live and in living color, wooooo. Tonight, just like I told you, the sleeping giants continue to awaken, and woooo, nobody is safe. “Hitman”, Neidhart, tonight you boys will step in the ring with greatness. nWo, woooo, Marcus Bagwell, big Scott Norton, woooo, you will step in the ring with greatness. But then, when the Horsemen are done doing what we do best, San Fran-woooo-cisco, we will be staying all night and dancin’ a little longer as only we can do. Woooo.” Following this run in, the next bout saw Bill Goldberg destroy Brad Armstrong in under three minutes. As had become commonplace, the Cow Palace was electric as Goldberg plowed through the veteran Armstrong, with arguably the loudest pop of the night coming when he nearly speared his foe out of his boots. Chris Benoit and Davey Boy Smith defeated Buff Bagwell and Scott Norton in the next contest, continuing to gel as a team and stake their claim as a bona fide contender for the tag belts with the convincing win over the New World Order squad that refer to themselves as “Vicious and Delicious.” After the win, Vincent, Masahiro Chono, and Konnan came to ringside, but before they could attack, the remaining Horsemen, Flair, Anderson, and Luger returned. Once again armed with the 2×4’s, they put a beating on all three of the would-be interferers, then getting to Norton, but not Bagwell, as he scurried away as his partner got manhandled in a five on one situation. We then see a quick backstage interview, with the Steiner Brothers and Ted DiBiase, who assured “Mean” Gene that, the quarrels between the two was just a thing in the past and that their relationship is now “as good as gold.” He went on to guarantee that “tonight Rick and Scotty will make history once again when they take the World Tag Team titles off Hall and Nash, and you can take that to the bank.”
Heading back to ringside, three consecutive title matches followed and it was made very apparent during the first two that the Horsemen were planning to make a full night out of this, as they first returned after Dallas Page defended his U.S. Title against Raven by hitting a diamond cutter through a table and then they took out both Booker T. and Saturn before their match even concluded, forcing the Television title match to be ruled a no contest. With the body count on the night for the Horsemen now in double digits, they seemed confident and even certain that they would do the same to Hart and Neidhart later in the show.
The third title match was for the tag team belts and saw a brutal beginning to the bout, with Hall and Nash playing the power game, while the Steiners swung the momentum their way with speed and technical skills. Rallying back though late in the match, the brothers cleared the ring of the Outsiders and struck their classic pose with Rick on all fours and Scotty standing above him. As Hall climbed back to the apron on one side and Nash on the other, DiBiase leapt up on the apron in front of him as well. While Hall and Nash were careful to reenter, suddenly DiBiase reached in his pocket and fanned a wad of hundred dollar bills. Confusing the fans with these actions, DiBiase then yelled out, “now,” and the unthinkable followed, as Scotty laid several big forearm smashes in on his brother before shoving him to a waiting Nash who set him up for a jackknife power bomb. With DiBiase’s arrogant, cackling laugh playing as the backdrop for the finish, Nash and Scott Steiner tapped each other’s hands as they made the “sign of the wolfpack,” as Hall and DiBiase had a laugh to go with an embrace. After spiking Rick, Nash arrogantly covered him with just one foot on his chest and the official made the three count and the Outsiders not only remain the champs, but it would appear on the surface that Scott Steiner has joined the nWo and that Ted DiBiase may have also been welcomed back into the group.
Up next, was one of the two main featured bouts, and just before heading to the ring we heard from Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, and Rick Rude. Bret spoke of the Horsemen’s brutal attacks throughout the night and warned them that their actions were forcing the “Family” to again, ‘do the right thing.” He went on to tell their opponents that “it is about time somebody took these old, worn down horses out back and put a slug in them and I think I know the ‘perfect’ member of the family to do it.” Right as the interview concluded, Flair and Luger came out accompanied by Anderson followed in short order by Bret and the “Anvil,” who had Rude at their side. Much like the Hart/Flair singles bout a month before, this tag match was nothing short of fantastic, as the technical skills of Bret and the “Nature Boy,” combined with the raw power of Neidhart and Luger, on top of the Rude and Anderson intangible on the outside made for great theatre. As the match shook out, it appeared the Horsemen would finish off their destructive night with a victory, as while Bret was taking it to Flair on the outside, Luger scored with a flying forearm and put the “Anvil” in the torture rack. Rude’s interference was thwarted by Anderson and then presumably, the man Bret referred to as the ‘perfect’ member, Curt Hennig made his way out to the ring. But before he got there, he was chased away, too by Benoit and the Bulldog. In the confusion though, Neidhart’s leg kicked the official while he was still in the rack, knocking him down so that he did not see or hear him giving up to Luger’s backbreaker. Just then out of nowhere, it became apparent that Bret only wanted everyone to think Hennig was who he spoke of by dropping the ‘perfect’ reference, as the man known in the WWF as Crush, Bryan Adams, rolled out from under the ring with a baseball bat in hand and leveled Luger with it. Shaking off the cobwebs, Neidhart then put Lex in a bearhug, and Bret left Flair battered on the floor, returning to hit both sides of the ropes and score with the “Hart Attack” double team clothesline for the three count. Hart, Neidhart, and Adams celebrated in the ring, trading embraces as Bret pointed to his head implying he outsmarted everyone in earning the big win, but then in what was becoming somewhat common, making a confusing statement into the camera as he said “I’ve only just begun to ‘do the right thing’ here tonight.”
Finally, it was main event time, and Hollywood Hogan came out, much to the surprise of everyone, accompanied by Randy Savage. The WCW Champion, Sting hit the ring next, as the rematch that Hogan had been waiting for began when referee Charles Robinson called for the bell. Hogan dominated early on and appeared focused, beating the champion about the ring, with Savage getting his shots in when available to help his nWo brother, apparently after being moved by Bischoff and Nash’s words earlier on. The wheels however started to fall off a bit, when “Macho Man” held Sting’s arms back while he stood on the apron and Hogan charged with an attempted high knee smash but the Stinger moved and Hulk instead sent Randy to the floor. Savage managed though to keep his cool, but Sting really opened up on Hogan after the collision, hitting a running bulldog and then leaping to the corner and hitting a “Stinger Splash.” Sending Hogan across the ring, the champion went for another, but Savage reached under the bottom rope and tripped up Robinson, who stumbled in the way of the second splash, sandwiching himself between the two combatants and knocking him out. Regardless, Sting continued on the offensive, dropping Hogan with a Scorpion Death Drop, and making a cover as referee Nick Patrick sprinted to ringside and slid under the ropes to count, one, two…but as he hand went to slap for three, a Savage flying elbow drop landed on the back of his head, knocking him out and again leaving no official in the ring. Sting now focused on “Macho Man,” who backed away long enough for Hogan to score a blatant low blow and then hit his patented leg drop. A third ref, Mickey Jay, waddled into the action, as Hogan hooked the leg, but the time it took Jay to get there proved costly as Sting kicked out at two. Savage had now retrieved Sting’s bat on the outside and hid it behind his back, as the Hulkster after being stunned by the kickout, hit the ropes and went for another leg drop. This time though, Sting moved, jumping to his feet after and again scoring with the “Death Drop.” Once again, “Macho Man” broke the count by pulling the referee to the floor, and then he moved slowly toward Sting with the bat. With another official laying down, we then see a familiar face in a sleeveless referee’s shirt appear, sprinting to the ring and ripping the bat from Savage’s hands, as Bret has entered the fray. He wallops Savage in the gut, leaving him laying and walks through the ropes with the bat as both Hogan and Sting get to their feet and wonder who Bret will come for with the lumber. After a few seconds of indecision, Bret offers the bat to Hogan, but when he lunges for it, he tosses it to Sting, who doubles Hulk over with a home run swing to the stomach before tossing the bat back to Bret and pointing at him as he put Hollywood in the Scorpion Death Lock. Just as he sits back on it though, Bret smashes Sting in the face with a full swing of the bat, leaving both champion and challenger out in the ring. As it turns out, Bret just wore the ref’s shirt as a decoy and never intended to officiate the match in any capacity. Before he revived the first official that had gone down, Robinson, he draped a limp Sting over a still unconscious Hogan, leading to a three count with Sting retaining the title. Bret calmly walked away from the scene as the pay per view went off the air as Sting, Hogan, and Savage all writhed in pain about the ringside area.
After he walked back through the curtain, Bret seemed pretty pleased with the bait and switch that just ended the show. With the cameras off, he exchanged pleasantries with many of “the boys” as he made his way to his dressing room. He no sooner walked in and shut the door and then it reopened and the same large shadow that walked past unseen at ‘Souled Out’ could be seen as Bret greeted his guest. “Hey big fella. What’s going on, what did you think?” “I think from what I’ve heard and what I think may be going on here that you are a man that I need to speak with,” the visitor added. Bret replied, “Well, sure, what can I do for you?” “Well,” the deep voice of the man responded, “I am sick of how I have been used, or not used around here, so if I you can help me in the two ways I think you can, I would be forever grateful.” “Well, if you have a few minutes, why don’t you let me get changed and we can get out of here and have a talk,” Bret offered, adding, “and yeah, I don’t blame you, there are plenty of other places and spots I can think of you being used, especially one in particular.” As the man, left the locker room and waited for Bret, Eric Bischoff passed him as he headed in to congratulate Bret on his nights work. “Hey, big man. What did you think tonight, not bad right?” Eric offered before he headed in. “What’s new and exciting with you?”, he furthered questioned and was met with the following, “Nothing new and exciting to report on here, boss. But I’m hoping and thinking that’s all gonna change real soon.”
This marks the end of Part Two of our story. Working our way into March with ‘Uncensored’ as the next Pay Per View spectacular on the horizon, we are left to ponder a number of possible scenarios and questions. First and foremost, what exactly is Bret Hart’s agenda in regards to Sting, Hogan, and the World Title picture? Where do he and “the Family” turn to next as they look to expand and will we find out who is “pulling the strings” behind the outfit anytime soon? Who will be the next “friend” to appear from the north? When will Bret hear from Vince’s liaison and for that matter, who could it possibly be? Where do the Horsemen go from here after dominating the majority of the night only to lose in their biggest match of the night once again? What happens now that Hogan failed to regain the WCW Title? Where do he and the “Macho Man” stand heading into the next chapter and what is the overall status of the New World Order given the many strong words and even a few possible new editions stemming from SuperBrawl? These are just a select few questions of many that we will look to answer as we continue this long and twisted journey that has us pondering, “What if Bret Hart left the WWF on “agreeable” terms in November of 1997 as he headed off to WCW?”