#10 Hulk Hogan lies down for Sting
On paper, Halloween Havoc 1999 looked great — Eddie Guerrero vs. Saturn, Lex Luger vs. Bret Hart, Diamond Dallas Page vs. Ric Flair. WCW was seemingly making up for 1998’s controversial Halloween Havoc — which cut out before the show was over — but then it was time for Sting to defend the WCW Title against Hulk Hogan.
Initially, The Hulkster didn’t appear, resulting in a visibly frustrated Sting making his way to the ring. When The Immortal One finally did appear, he was dressed in street clothes — not his red and yellow ring attire. Hulk exchanged a few words with Sting, lay down on the mat and allowed The Stinger to pin him.
There has always been debate over whether the incident was a setup, but somewhere along the line WCW management botched yet another potential pay-per-view blockbuster and ripped off paying customers.
#9 WCW competitors rumble in a junkyard
In the years after ECW popularized the hardcore style of wresting in North America, an epidemic of over-the-top, freewheeling rumbles infiltrated sports-entertainment. These brawls were fun at first, but leave it to WCW to “jump the shark” at Bash at the Beach 1999 when 14 competitors fought in an actual junkyard for WCW’s Hardcore Trophy.
The problem with this chaotic battle was that the roughnecks engaged in a litany of reckless, criminal activity, including Jerry Flynn electrocuting luchador Silver King with jumper cables and Hak stuffing Finlay in the trunk of a taxi and then attempting to crush it with a compactor. WCW spared no expense as a helicopter captured the madness of cars being flipped over and explosions ripping through the junkyard.
Commentator Bobby Heenan summed the melee up by saying, “Only here in WCW are you going to see something like this.” That’s a good thing.
#8 Buff Bagwell earns himself a trip to HR
As WCW continued its hurtle toward obsolescence, issues between performers and management became more heated than the rivalries in the ring. These frustrations led stars like Chris Jericho and Big Show to move to WWE, but some competitors — namely Buff Bagwell — chose to stay in WCW and air their grievances in the squared circle.
Buff’s method of protest? Phoning it in during a bout against La Parka. Forgoing his usual goofball mugging, Bagwell uncharacteristically chain-wrestled a dude in a skeleton costume before allowing La Parka to kick him in the back of the head for the victory. Buff expressed his displeasure with WCW’s “powers that be” after his lame performance, but who could have cared about all this front office nonsense? Worse yet, Bagwell failed to realize that intentionally stinking up the joint in front of a paying crowd made him more unlikable than any Turner suit.
#7 The Minnesota Massacre Match makes no sense
Try to follow this one: WCW Commissioner and Natural Born Thrillers mouthpiece Mike Sanders conjured up the Minnesota Massacre Match as a way to get revenge against rivals Big Vito and Kwee Wee. Staging a fake raffle so that fellow Thrillers Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire would join him in the ring against their outnumbered opponents, Sanders was shocked to see his ruse unravel when Diamond Dallas Page and Kevin Nash were announced as participants instead of Vito and Kwee Wee.
Now the rules of the Minnesota Massacre Match were never clearly explained, but it appeared as though the last man standing after the referee made a 10-count would win. With announcers Disco Inferno, Tony Schiavone and Scott Hudson completely baffled, DDP and Nash were somehow both declared the winners even though the official never counted any of the Thrillers out. Turns out the only thing massacred in this match was logic.
#6 Brian Knobbs makes a nasty exit
There are plenty of ways to exit a wrestling promotion. Some guys get beat in Loser Leaves Town Matches, some leave amicably when their contracts expire and some get unceremoniously fired. But to get thrown, literally, out of a company, is quite unheard of.
Taking part in a Triple Threat Tag Team Hardcore Match on the April 12, 2000, Thunder, former Nasty Boy Brian Knobbs found himself brawling around the arena concourse with the extremely dangerous Meng. The fight ended when the Tongan beast easily chucked Knobbs off the edge of the balcony, to the shock of everyone watching.
After such a brutal act, one would think the announcers would follow up on his condition, right? Nope. Brian Knobbs was never seen or mentioned again on WCW programming after his tumble.
#5 Curt Hennig crashes Silkk the Shocker’s party
WCW’s hiring of New Orleans rapper Master P is a prime example of not knowing your audience. They threw tons of cash at the emcee, expecting him to be super popular with their fans, only to find out that he made WCW audiences say “Ugh!”
There was no better example than when Master P threw a birthday party in the ring for his brother, Silkk the Shocker. With WCW fans exhausted by Master P and his gigantic entourage, wannabe country musician Curt Hennig’s interruption was much appreciated.
The crew wasn’t as welcoming. Although Hennig presented Silkk with a custom-made cowboy hat as a gift, the rapper stepped on it while Master P threw the birthday cake at Hennig. Outnumbering him at least 30 to one, the No Limit Soldiers mocked the cake-covered cowboy. Unsurprisingly, WCW fans began to boo the hip-hop crew and cheer for Hennig and his West Texas Rednecks.
#4 Eric Bischoff & Vince Russo reboot WCW
In April 2000, desperation defined WCW as the organization was consistently on the losing end of the television ratings war with WWE. In addition, fans were losing patience with the antics of WCW’s latest honcho, Vince Russo. In an attempt to save face, the organization rehired Eric Bischoff to work with Russo and set WCW in the right direction.
Rather than incite new rivalries or give opportunities to younger competitors, the two “masterminds” stripped every champion of their titles and started WCW over from scratch. As a result, audiences were force-fed a rivalry between the youth-oriented New Blood and The Millionaire’s Club — a group of WCW stalwarts like Sting, DDP and Lex Luger. The decision insulted the fans’ intelligence and forced many WCW veterans to act completely out of character.
Believe it or not, this genius decision came BEFORE David Arquette won the WCW World Championship.
#3 Sid gets run over by a monster truck
Now here’s a brilliant plan. On the Dec. 27, 1999, Nitro, a relaunched New World Order consisting of Bret Hart, Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner and Jeff Jarrett began to cut their way through the WCW roster just like they did back in ’97. On that night, the massive Sid became the unluckiest of their victims during a three-act play of humiliation and assault that left The nWo looking less like ring baddies and more like Bond movie villains.
First, the rogue group bashed Sid’s rental car and covered it in spray paint like a pack of mischievous teenagers. Then, they beat the big man down in the ring. Finally, The New World Order stuffed Sid in his busted sedan, drove it outside the arena and RAN HIM OVER WITH A MONSTER TRUCK! Somehow, Hart — who curiously knew how to drive the machine — managed to avoid imprisonment. Thanks to Nitro’s low ratings, there were no witnesses.
#2 The Dog drinks from a toilet
Sports-entertainment has had its fair share of animalistic competitors, but guys like Jake “The Snake” Roberts didn’t think they were actually household pets. The same cannot be said for short-lived WCW competitor The Dog.
Led into WCW by Finlay and Brian Knobbs, the camo-clad canine growled and snarled to the ring, trying to break free from the leash that restrained him. Fans, meanwhile, groaned their way through segments of the pooch drinking out of a toilet and attacking referee Scott Dickinson, who was also a mailman. But when The Dog’s time in WCW came to an end, he wasn’t brought to a farm upstate. Instead, Knobbs took him for a car ride (Dog’s head was sticking out of the window, if you were wondering) and abandoned him in the desert where he howled at the moon, never to be seen again.
#1 Hulk Hogan shows off his atomic vision
During an outdoor edition of Nitro on March 27, 2000, Hulk Hogan hit the ring to address a $500,000 bounty that had been placed on his head. The interview began as most Hogan interviews did with The Hulkster threatening rivals like Sid Vicious while gloating about his 24-inch pythons and legions of Hulkamaniacs. And then there was an interruption.
High atop a hotel roof from what looked like a mile away, dangerous heavyweight The Wall appeared to challenge Hogan. Although the big man looked like a speck from where The Hulkster was standing, Hogan could clearly see him thanks to what could only be described as atomic vision. Although Hulk was heated by the long-distance disruption, the two didn’t lock up inside the ring until later in the evening. Obviously, The Wall had to wait for an elevator and take a long walk back toward the ring area.