One of my favorite days is Wednesday, as that is when I get my favorite weekly podcast fix, the weekly show where Bryan, Vinny, and the woefully underrated Craig go back to review RawandNitro from 19 years ago this week. It’s a wonderful time capsule of days we all look back on with rose colored glasses, with Bryan and his cronies noting that things weren’t so great back then after all. It was a recent episode that leads to our induction today.
To answer my illustrious co-author of Death of WCW…well, you hit the nail on the head.
Because no one remembers it.
Until today, that is.
For this day is when I am going to go back and give it its long-overdue induction. So back we go to the glory days of Vince Russo’s second run on Nitro, this time joined by Eric Bischoff to make things even more insane. When this was announced, it was presented as two of wrestling biggest geniuses getting together, pooling their creative juices in the hopes of helping a struggling company find its path.
Yeah – WWE is pulling a trick out of the dying days of WCW playbook, this time with Vince bringing Paul Heyman to Raw and Eric Bischoff to Smackdown so as to give the company a kick in the pants. To make things even more interesting, sources have told this reporter that while Bischoff recently got the nod from Vince McMahon to run Smackdown, his wasn’t the only name in consideration. Apparently Jeff Jarrett, who is backstage with WWE at this time as well, was also in the running.
Please, dear reader, take a minute and just look at the image of Jeff above – he’s wearing a paper-thin lime green dress shirt with the sleeves cut off, which he has also sprayed down with water.
I hope that he wore that for his interview with Vince. It may explain why Bischoff got the job.
And look, yeah, I know he was a heel at the time of this induction taking place, but seriously – did he really look in the mirror and think, “Now this…THIS is will get a reaction!”
Eh, I’m writing about it NINETEEN YEARS LATER, so if he did, bravo to him.
(But I’m still not removing Double J as an induction. I know a lot of folks liked it, but sorry, the gimmick of a guy using the WWF to propel a country music career absolutely sucked.)
This night, Jarrett comes out and begins to spin a yarn of when he was a “Little Slap Nut.” For you younger Crappers, that was an insult Jeff used during this run, referring to folks he didn’t care for as “slap nuts”. According to this story, he was also, in his younger days, a slap nut, which would mean he didn’t like himself either. Also, by that logic, he is now he a full grown slap nut.
Jarrett continues, now talking of how Grandslappy Nut would pay a nickel so he could watch the “great Hulk Hogan wrestler.” I know you look at that as I do and think that’s one of those usual closed caption glitches on the Network, but it’s not. That verbiage would seem to indicate that it wasn’t Hogan himself, but a man who constantly wrestled Hogan. And was great.
I’ve put far too much thought into this.
On the plus side, those were the first sentences in about 37 that didn’t include the term “slap nut.”
As the title of this induction would indicate, Jarrett has friends to which he will introduce us, namely his fat ladies. The gag here being that the fat lady needed to sing, as he was going to put an end, once and for all, to his opponent the following Sunday, Hulk Hogan.
Sho nuff, we get plus-sized women wearing viking outfits slowly (and I do mean SLOWLY) making their way down to ringside as the commentators mock their beefy frames. While I generally think Mark Madden is a dope (going WAY back when he sent me hate mail for inducting his match on the site like 18 years ago!), I gotta give him mad props here for quoting This is Spinal Tap.
I noted above that the women weren’t quick to get to the ring, but holy smokes they were Usain Bolt getting down there versus them actually being able to get through the ropes. I know that GIF is like 1.5GB in size and likely crashed 4 of the 11 computers that still visit this site, but I wanted to present, in all its glory, just what a struggle it was for these poor girls to actually squeeze into the ring. It wasn’t their girth so much, but the ridiculous outfits they sported that was the issue.
I don’t think Mantaur had horns that big!
The women get into the ring, but instead of singing we get a Q&A SESSION with them. As if this thing wasn’t dying a gag-inducing stinky death already.
First question: who is going to win the match with Hogan this Sunday? The first two note that it will be Jarrett.
The third one? She not only says it will be “The Chosen One”…
…but to get the point fully across, she begins groping herself in the process.
I wasn’t planning on doing an updated WrestleCrap Book of Lists, but…
Get ECW Press on the line, right now!
The gals start their concert, and it’s just as horrendous as you’d expect it to be. I love it that the ‘fat ladies’ are singing while there’s a giant Nitro logo in the background.
What was it that Scott Keith used to say about loving shoot comments that aren’t meant to be shoot comments?
Finally, Standards and Practices has seen enough, with Gaylen Chandler making his way to the ring and telling them to cut and take it to commercial.
Backstory here: WCW creative would often run afoul of the actual Turner Standards and Practices division, with the folks in charge of making sure the network didn’t get complaints asking those in charge of wrestling to pull back on some of the company’s more outlandish stunts. And yes, there was in fact a man working there actually named Gaylen Chandler. Thus we got a character on-screen named the same.
Why those in charge of wrestling companies want to mock people in power on the networks on which they air I will never know. ECW would do the same thing when they were on TNN, talking about how the network sucked and never promoted them. So this isn’t a knock against those in charge of WCW in the year 2000, but those in charge of ECW in the year 2000 as well.
Did I mention that now, nineteen years later, those same people are heading up Raw and Smackdown?
Back in the ring, Chandler’s appearance didn’t cause Jarrett to slow his bombastic assault, but rather to double down on it, noting that there were “fat asses” in the ring. This is generally where I’d type something like, “this would never fly in 2019”, but honestly, it flopped spectacularly here as well.
Mid-promo, Jarrett’s mic gets cut off. I’m not sure if that was due to his off-color comments or if WCW just had bad equipment.
Flip a coin, you’re probably right.
Nor did it shock me when Jarrett decided to whack Chandler with his guitar…and the crack WCW crew missed getting that on camera.
Long story long – this was a disaster in every sense of the word. Not sure it was one of the five worst WCW segments of all time, but it would be way up there for sure. Speaking of which, this was the final build to the infamous Bash at the Beach PPV, where we had the Hogan-Russo worked shoot.
You know what, let’s just go to the book, shall we?
The fun and games went right out the window on July 9th at Bash at the Beach when Russo booked another one of his beloved shoot angles. Before going into the details of what really happened backstage, let’s take a look at what fans saw on television.
Russo came out before the match looking sad. Jarrett and Hogan both came down to the ring and looked at each other. Jarrett then laid down in the ring and Hogan, feigning confusion, put his foot on Jarrett’s chest for the pin. Russo threw the belt into the ring for Hogan. Jarrett walked to the back looking irate. Hogan told Russo this was all bullshit, then stormed off himself. Fans sat there wondering what in God’s name was happening.
Later, Russo came out and just went off on Hogan. Amidst chants of “Russo sucks!” from the crowd, Russo bared his soul to the world:
“From day one, since I’ve been in WCW, I’ve done nothing but deal with the bullshit politics behind that curtain. The fact of the matter is I have a wife, I have three kids at home, and I really don’t need this shit. But let me tell you the reason why I did come back. I came back for every one of the guys in that locker room that, week in, week out, busts his ass for WCW . . . I came back for the guys behind that curtain that give a shit about this company! And let me tell you who doesn’t give a shit about this company—that Goddamned politician Hulk Hogan! Because let me tell you people what happened in this ring here tonight. All day long I’m playing politics with Hulk Hogan because Hulk Hogan tonight wants to play his creative control card. And to Hulk Hogan that meant tonight, even though he knows it’s bullshit, he beats Jeff Jarrett. Well, guess what? Hogan got his wish. Hogan got his belt, and he went the hell home, and I promise everybody or else I’ll go in the Goddamned grave you will never see that piece of shit again! And Hogan, you big bald son of a bitch, kiss my ass!”
From there, things went totally awry, with lawsuits (“you can’t call me bald, brother!”) and lunacy that could have only happened in WCW. What can I say? It’s all in the book.
Back to the fat ladies. They did in fact prove to be prophetic – his match against Jarrett was the last time Hogan was ever seen in WCW. As cliched as it was, the fat lady did sing, and that was the end for the Hulkster.
Oh, and WCW would die less than a year later.
I sure hope those women got paid double for their efforts.