I think it’s pretty cool that the book Bryan and I wrote all those years ago still continues to sell. When we first started putting Death of WCW together nearly 20 years ago, I’m not sure either of us realized the long-lasting impact it would have. Some folks love it, some folks hate it, some folks tie themselves in knots trying to discredit it. After all these years, the song remains the same as they say.
I think a lot of the popularity of the book is due to the fact that WCW was such a fascinating entity. A company that was the largest promotion in the world for a short period, one that felt quite different from its primary competition, and one that even at its absolute worst was always fun to watch. Truly, you never quite knew what you were going to get – maybe it would be an incredible high flying match, maybe it would be a bizarre encounter between two wrestlers who never, ever should have been pitted against each other, maybe it would be an incredible angle like the early days of the nWo. But in the back of your mind, there was always that thinking that odds were probably better than 50/50 that something may go horrifically wrong with ill thought out storylines and finishes. And that’s why we’re here today!
Our match would featured Nasty Boy Brian Knobbs heading to the ring with Jimmy Hart, some trash cans, and a big ol’ promo tub for SURGE. Ah yes SURGE, the official drink of WCW. Not sure that’s actually what how it was promoted, but I know I can’t be the only one that anytime I see a can of that stuff immediately thinks of Monday Nitro. It’s been over twenty years and I STILL think that. That’s some powerful promotion.
(Also, side note. When it was originally discussed that we do an audio book of Death of WCW, Bryan asked me who should read it. I didn’t hesitate for a moment, immediately blurting out BRIAN KNOBBS. I just thought it would be fun for him to scream the entire 400+ pages at the listener. Cooler heads prevailed of course, and Bryan did it himself and was fantastic in doing so.)
In this match, Knobbs was to be taking on Bam Bam Bigelow with the winner going to the upcoming Mayhem PPV and a battle with Norman Smiley for the WCW Hardcore Championship. To ensure the best challenger possible for Smiley, this Nitro match would be a No DQ, Falls Count Anywhere Match.
And in fact, Norman would be doing some scouting from the commentary booth. Gotta love the look on Bobby Heenan’s face here, as he appears he would rather be anywhere else on planet earth. Just you wait, Brain – things would get a whole lot worse in this promotion!
And yes, this is every late 90’s garbage brawl you ever did see, with the only difference being that this one featured 100% MORE SURGE.
It didn’t take long for these two to decide that the ring wasn’t the place for a rough and tumble brawl, so they headed backstage, knocking over everything in their path. Out of the way, curtain! You can’t contain our rage!
Knobbs sets up a table (of course) and throws Bigelow through it as Smiley wanders around backstage commentating, pleading for help, asking where Doug Dillenger is when you need him. This would lead Tony Schiavone to deadpan “he’s at the donut stand” in an awesome line. Can you believe folks used to hate Tony Schiavone? Me neither.
Bigelow turns the tables, throwing Knobbs into the shortest basketball goal you’ve ever seen. Jimmy Hart attempts to help out his man, but that goes exactly as well as you’d expect with Bigelow tossing him onto a pile of trash.
Just as it looks like Bigelow will be winning the match, Kimberly Page comes begging for Bigelow to help his old pal DDP, dragging him away. I’d say Bam Bam is a dummy for leaving, but if Kimberly showed up wanting to talk to me while she was wearing THAT outfit, I’d go pretty much wherever she wanted as well.
With Bigelow nowhere near the action, the referee begins to…count? What on earth is he counting? Wait, he’s counting to…ten…and asking them to ring the bell? Yes kids, it’s the most WCW finish ever:
BAM BAM BIGELOW WAS COUNTED OUT IN A FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE MATCH.
I…I am not sure what else to say. But don’t you worry, as this match actually led to one of my favorite moments ever on Bryan’s show as they attempted to make sense of this disaster. I kinda feel like we should have a support group.
That, kids, is why WCW was so great. It could ellicit anger, frustration, laughter, confusion, and joy all at the same time. And this episode of Nitro was truly one for the ages – this was just ONE example in a two hour program filled with insanity. And that was just ONE SHOW! Now imagine that over and over for years on end. That’s what we got and it was marvelous. Oh how I miss you, dear WCW. I know I’m not the only one.
For the record, I did ask Russo about this while recording Joker’s Mustache this week. He asked me if someone was maybe hurt. I said no. He basically replied, “Well, then that was a really stupid idea.” You’ll get no argument for me on this buddy!