(NOTE: I wrote this in 1998, never DREAMING of the events that would transpire behind the scenes on March 23, 2001, or on national TV on March 26, 2001. I'm not Nostradamus by a long shot, but this is pretty darn scary now. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think. Thanks!--Rob)
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(August 17, 1998. 8:00 Eastern, 7:00 Central. Turner Network Television [TNT] cranks up the opening for the wildly successful WCW Monday Nitro. The camera pans the crowd.)
TONY SCHIAVONE (yelling his lungs out): WELCOME TO ANOTHER SOLD-OUT HOUSE! WELCOME TO HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT! WELCOME TO WCW MONDAY NITRO!!!!! I'm Tony Schiavone, alongside Iron Mike Tenay, and the Living Legend, Larry Zbyszko! (Larry gets up and acknowledges the chants of "Larry, Larry"; given the location, it's understandable to hear some chants of "Bruno, Bruno" mixed in.) And, gentlemen, tonight is going to be an historic night in the history of WCW. And, with Road Wild safely behind us and Fall Brawl/War Games just ahead, Iron Mike, this promises to be the greatest Nitro ever!
MIKE TENAY: That's right, Tony, rumors have been flying in every direction, all over the Internet, in all of the pro wrestling publications, but tonight, those rumors will be proven correct. Coming up later tonight, we will see the arrival in WCW of…..
(NWO HOLLYWOOD music interrupts Tenay; all three announcers get a sick look on their faces.)
TONY (disgustedly): Oh, great, just what we need. How many times has this happened? There's Hollywood Hogan, there's Eric Bischoff, and there's the rest of NWO Black and White, NWO Hollywood.
LARRY ZBYSZKO: Well, I'll tell you one thing, if that illiterate cowboy Dusty Rhodes speaks, I'm gonna lose my lunch right here.
MIKE: Well, I'm glad you're on the other side of Tony.
(The NWO Black & White congregates in the ring, and Easy-E has the mike)
ERIC BISCHOFF: I LOOOOOOOVE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOUUUU!!!!!!!! (turns to Hogan) You know, Hollywood, everybody knows there's a special surprise for all the WCW fans here tonight. And, I know that YOU know about it. So, all of the NWOites want to hear what you plan to do about it.
HOLLYWOOD HULK HOGAN: WELL YOU KNOW, EASY-E, HOLLYWOOD HOGAN ALWAYS KEEPS HIS EAR TO THE GROUND, BROTHER! AND THESE 24-INCH PYTHONS ARE READY TO LAY AN NWO-STYLE WHOOPING ON SOMEBODY I'VE BEEN WAITING EIGHT YEARS FOR REVENGE ON, BROTHER! SO YOU LISTEN UP AND LISTEN GOOD, MISTER WAR…
(A commotion in the crowd interrupts Hogan. Over the guard rail and into the ring come…HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY, ROAD DOG JESSE JAMES, and BAD A** BILLY GUNN)
TONY: OH MY GOD!!!!! WHAT ARE THEY DOING HERE??? THEY DON'T BELONG HERE!!!!! SOMEBODY GET SECURITY!!!!!
MIKE & LARRY: uh…uh…uh…uh…
(Eric grabs the mike from Hogan)
ERIC: KILL THE CAMERAS! RIGHT NOW!!!! SOMEBODY GET DOUG DILLINGER!!!!! (points at the DX members) YOU GET OUT OF HERE NOW, OR I'LL HAVE YOU ARRESTED!!!!!
(HHH has a mike)
HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY: Eric, Eric, Eric, don't you remember me? It's your old pal Terra Ryzing--I mean, Jean-Paul LeVesque--I mean, well, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, KARATE KID! Listen, Bitchoff, let's get right to the point. We all know that WCW and the WWF have been fighting in the TV ratings and at the box office for a long time now. We also know that the WWF has been kicking your a** the last few months. So, we're here to help.
ERIC: WHERE'S THE DAMN DIRECTOR?? IF THIS IS ON THE AIR, HIS A** IS FIRED!!!
HHH: Heyyyyy, take it easy, Eric, you're gonna give yourself a stroke. Tell you what. If you'll take a look up at your big TV screen, which, by the way, is SMALLER than the Titan-Tron, and that says something about you, you'll see where your director is.
(Cut to a shaky shot of control booth, where CHYNA has her hands wrapped around the throat of the director. Then, from behind the camera and into view, comes…X-PAC!!)
X-PAC: HEY ERIC, I GOT A SPECIAL DELIVERY FOR YOU, AND IT'S NOT THROUGH FEDERAL EXPRESS! (Shoots the middle finger with both hands into the camera) SUCK IT!!!!!!!!!
(Eric is livid, and the rest of NWO Hollywood just kinda mills around looking mad)
HHH: Listen, Eric, I've got a proposition for you. We know that wrestling fans everywhere have been BEGGING to see a match between WCW stars and the WWF Superstars. So, here's the deal. My buds, the New Age Outlaws, and I want to wrestle three of your guys in a six-man tag team match. Win or lose, whatever the outcome, it will be the FIRST and LAST interfederational match. We will NEVER bother you again. No more banging on arena doors, no more invading your offices out in Smyrna, and no more getting CNN employees to do the crotch chop. AND, we want to do it here on Nitro, because, frankly (snorts), you could use the help.
ERIC: No way, Paul…
HHH: Paul, Hunter, whatever…
HOLLYWOOD: Just a minute there, brother. You know something, pretty boy (talking to HHH), I've wanted to beat up on Vince's jabronis for four years, and I'm glad you're here so I could do it. On behalf of NWO Hollywood, I ACCEPT!!!
(Eric looks at Hogan like he's just sold CNN Center to the Arabs. Hogan calms him down, saying, "I know what I'm doing.")
HOLLYWOOD (To HHH and the NAO): Oh yeah, one more thing, brother. Here's something you'll understand…(crotch chops) SUCK IT!!
(NWO Hollywood music starts as Hogan leads his troops out of the ring. HHH and the NAO leave through the crowd.)
TONY: Well, how about THAT?
MIKE: WOW! That's all I can say. (Long pause) I'm speechless.
LARRY (after a pause): That's different.
TONY: Well, it appears that Hollywood Hulk Hogan has taken it upon himself to accept the challenge of representatives of the World Wrestling Federation, we might as well say it, they're here, and it looks like it'll take place right here tonight on Nitro. (long pause again) Guys, I don't know what to think.
MIKE: Tony, this REALLY will be an historic night for pro wrestling, and for Nitro. Remember, tonight we'll see the WCW debut of…
(Sudden cutaway to a commercial for the DeGeneration X Home Video, then the regular commercial set.)
(At this point, I'm going to fast-forward. I'm not about to try to give you details on the full three hours of Nitro; I can tell you the basics, and you can fill in the blanks in your head. I presume you've seen enough Nitros to know how they go. From this point on until the start of the main event between NWO Hollywood and DX, here's a brief synopsis of what happens. Chris Jericho will come out and cry to JoJo Dillon about something-or-other, and Dean Malenko will come out and beat his butt. Disco Inferno and Tokyo Magnum will somehow accidentally beat Public Enemy. Raven comes out, cries "What about ME?", is attacked by Kanyon, and Saturn beats them both up. NWO Wolfpac comes out, Konnan does his "arriba la raza, bowdy bowdy and rowdy rowdy" rap, and Sting, Luger and Nash say their stuff that makes the fans go nuts. Goldberg defends the WCW World Title against Gentleman Chris Adams and jackhammers him in 19 seconds. Rey Misterio Jr. and Juventud Guerrera team up to beat Psycosis and El Dandy in WCW's token Luchador match, which gradually gets the fans' attention with wild action. Scott Norton and Bryan Adams team up to beat Hugh Morrus and the Barbarian. Scott Steiner beats Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and after the match Buff Bagwell runs in and paint a yellow streak down Duggan's back, but then Rick Steiner runs out and clears the ring with a chair. Other stuff goes on, including dancing from the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, I mean, the Nitro Girls, DDP doing an interview in which he vows to make Hollywood "Scum" Hogan feel the BANG!!!!! for the 90th time, Mean Gene handling the interviews, and at every possible opportunity, Tony, Mike and Larry, and then Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, talk about the NWO-DX match to happen later. They get all of the commercial breaks out of the way before 10:20 Eastern, 9:20 Central.)
(Michael Buffer is in the ring)
MICHAEL BUFFER: Ladies and gentlemen, this is your WCW/NWO Monday Nitro Main Event. Are You Ready?
(Crowd goes wild)
HARTFORD, ARE YOU RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRREADY????????
(Crowd goes even wilder)
Then, for the thousands in attendance, and the MILLIONS watching at home….ladies and gentlemen…..LLLLLLLLLLLL…..
(The DX video introduction starts: ARE YOU READY [THUMP THUMP], YOU THINK YOU CAN TELL US WHAT TO DO, etc.)
(Back in the ring, Michael Buffer is P.O.'ed)
TONY: Oh good lord…..
BOBBY "THE BRAIN" HEENAN: They don't respect anything, do they, Tony?
TONY: Gee, Brain, where have YOU been?
(DX gets in the ring--HHH, Road Dog, Bad A**, and Chyna. Buffer has some words with HHH, and one of the words picked up on camera is "lawsuit." HHH kicks Buffer in the gut and gives him the Pedigree.)
TONY: OH MY GOD, THERE'S NO CALL FOR THAT!!
MIKE: Michael's hurt, Tony.
(The NAO nudge Buffer out of the ring with their feet, and HHH does his parody of Buffer)
HHH: …..llllllllllllllllllllLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLET'S GET READY TO SUCK IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
("Voodoo Chile", which Tenay calls "Voodoo Chili" again, pours out of the P.A., and Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart and Curt Hennig walk to the ring, accompanied by Eric Bischoff and Scott Hall.)
TONY: Well, guys, who do you root for? Do you root for DX because they're going up against the most vile group of outlaws in the history of professional wrestling? Or, do you root for the NWO Hollywood, because for once, they're the "home team", so to speak?
BRAIN: Maybe they'll beat each other to death, and we won't have to worry about either of them.
MIKE: It should be a good match.
(The match progresses, mostly with Hart and Hennig in the ring against HHH and the NAO. Hogan tags in a few times. The good workers carry the match for 15 minutes. THEN---A REF BUMP!!!!!)
TONY: NICK PATRICK GOES DOWN! ALL SIX MEN ARE FIGHTING IN THE RING! HERE COMES MARK CURTIS TO TAKE OVER AS REFEREE!
(Chyna starts chasing Bischoff around the ring. The six wrestlers bail out and fight at ringside, and Bischoff jumps into the ring to get away from Chyna. What follows is a transcript of the last 20 minutes of The Greatest Nitro EVER!!!)
TONY: Bischoff is in the ring, getting away from Chyna!…WAIT A MINUTE! WHO'S THAT? (pause) THAT'S JIM CORNETTE!!! WHAT THE HELL'S HE DOING HERE????? (SMACK) HE HITS BISCHOFF IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD WITH HIS TENNIS RACKET! MARK CURTIS GOES OVER TO CORNETTE…AND CORNETTE LAYS HIM OUT WITH THE RACKET!! OH MY GOD!!! Wait a minute, someone else is coming…IT'S MARK MADDEN FROM THE WCW HOTLINE!!!…HE KNOCKS CORNETTE DOWN! HE'S GOING TO THE ROPES…..BIIIIIIIIIG SPLASH ON CORNETTE!!! FANS, CORNETTE IS HURT BAD! WAIT A MINUTE…..IT'S…..IT'S…..I DON'T BELIEVE IT! JIM ROSS! WHAT'S THAT OKLAHOMA SACK OF S*** DOING HERE??? (drops headset and runs to the ring)
MIKE: Well, fans, Tony has left the broadcast position and is headed for the ring, probably to go up against Jim Ross. Ross has knocked Madden out of the ring…AND NOW TONY AND J.R. ARE GOING AT IT!!! WHO'S THIS…IT'S JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER! HE'S PULLING TONY OFF OF JIM ROSS AND THROWING HIM ACROSS THE RING! AND HERE COMES LARRY ZBYSZKO!!! THE LIVING LEGEND AND LAWLER ARE GOING AT IT! LAWLER IS KNOCKED OUT OF THE RING!…..TERRY FUNK?!?!?! WHAT'S HE DOING HERE??? TERRY FUNK ATTACKS ZBYSZKO!!! MY GOD, I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE IN MY LIFE!
BRAIN: Neither have I, and I've been in this sport 30 years.
MIKE: Everyone is still fighting around the ring! Bischoff gets to his feet…..AND HERE COMES SYXX!!!…I MEAN, 1-2-3…I MEAN, X-PAC, WHATEVER SEAN'S CALLING HIMSELF NOW! I APOLOGIZE, FANS! THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!!! ENZUIGIRI TO THE BACK OF BISCHOFF'S HEAD! ERIC IS SLUMPED IN THE CORNER! X-PAC BACKS UP ACROSS THE RING….OH MY GOD! THE BRONCO BUSTER!!! ERIC IS HURT, FANS! WAIT A MINUTE…WHO'S THIS?...JUVENTUD GUERRERA! JUVI GOES AFTER X-PAC…AND GIVES HIM THE JUVI DRIVER!!! X-PAC ROLLS OUT OF THE RING…..HERE'S…TAKA MICHINOKU!!! WHAT'S GOING ON, IS THE ENTIRE WWF HERE??? TAKA KICKS JUVI, AGAIN, AND AGAIN…AND GIVES HIM THE JUVI DRIVER!!!!!…WELL, HE CALLS IT THE MICHINOKU DRIVER…WHATEVER!!! JUVI IS OUT!!! THE FANS ROAR…AND HERE COMES REY MISTERIO JR.!!! REY AND TAKA GO AT IT! AND HERE COMES KAIENTAI!! AND THEIR MANAGER, MR. YAMAGUCHI!!! IT'S A FIVE-ON-ONE ON REY MISTERIO JR.!! HERE COME PSYCOSIS, EL DANDY, YUJI NAGATA, AND SONNY ONOO!!! LOOK AT SONNY ONOO GO AFTER YAMAGUCHI-SAN!!!
BRAIN: I hope Sonny's jewels are well protected.
MIKE (not ever hearing Brain's remark): IT'S A MAJOR RIOT OUTSIDE THE RING!!! TERRY FUNK ROLLS BACK INTO THE RING! AND WAIT A MINUTE! IT'S THE AMERICAN DREAM, DUSTY RHODES!!!
BRAIN: Rhodes and Funk? What decade is this?
MIKE: RHODES AND FUNK ARE GOING AT IT! You're right, Brain, this matchup is like the good ol' days. OH MY GOD! HERE COMES DUSTIN RHODES!! AND WHO'S THAT BEHIND HIM? IT'S TED DIBIASE!! Dibiase grabs Dustin by the shoulder, and…..WHAT ARE THEY DOING? TALKING??? (pause) It looks like they're both carrying black books!
BRAIN: Mike, if I remember what I saw in all those hotel rooms, I think those are Bibles.
MIKE: Brain, I think you're right. It looks like Dustin and DiBiase are now...KNEELING AND PRAYING??? This is getting really weird! (Refocusing on the action in and around the ring) IT'S STILL NONSTOP ACTION AROUND THE RING! I CAN'T EVEN BEGIN TO GUESS HOW MANY BODIES ARE OUT THERE!
BRAIN: Speaking of bodies, here come the Nitro Girls.
MIKE: I think they're concerned for the WCW guys out there fighti…WAIT A MINUTE! THERE'S….THERE'S….SABLE! A-A-AND LUNA! AND JACQUELYN! AND NOW CHYNA JOINS THEM!!! CATFIGHT!!!!!
BRAIN: Hey, where's Sunny?
MIKE: I think she's gone to Philadelphia with her midget boyfriend to join the geek show. Jerry Lawler is back in the ring. AND HERE HE COMES! ROWDY RODDY PIPER!!! PIPER ATTACKS LAWLER!!! THIS IS WHAT PIPER LOVES MOST--A PIER SIX BRAWL!!! WAIT A MINUTE….IT'S KEN SHAMROCK!!!!! THE FORMER ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPION!!!!! KEN SHAMROCK JUMPS PIPER, HITS HIM WITH LEFTS AND RIGHTS!!! (The crowd roars) THERE'S SOMEBODY COMING OUT OF THE ENTRANCEWAY…IT'S DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE!!! Maybe he can resto…WHAT THE…? OH MY GOD! MICK FOLEY, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL HIM, MANKIND, WHATEVER, HAS JUST JUMPED ON DDP FROM, IT LOOKS LIKE, THE TOP OF OUR NITRO ENTRANCE! A FLYING ELBOW DROP ON DDP FROM 20 FEET UP!…AND WHO'S THIS COMING OUT OF THE CROWD?…IT'S RAVEN'S FLOCK!!! RAVEN'S FLOCK IS JOINING IN THE BRAWL!!! AND HERE COMES SATURN!!! HE GOES STRAIGHT FOR SHAMROCK! WAIT A MINUTE…IT'S…IT'S...THE NATION! AND THE NATION TANGLES WITH THE FLOCK! ROCKY MAIVIA IS SLUGGING IT OUT WITH RAVEN! D-LO IS TRYING TO MAKE LODI EAT A SIGN!!! GODFATHER KAMA IS THERE, FIGHTING SICK BOY! RIGGS AND HORACE ARE GANGING UP ON MARK HENRY!
BRAIN: Say, isn't Owen Hart supposed to be with them?
MIKE (long pause): You're right for once, Brain. Where is Owen? For that matter, where is Bret? And where did Scott Hall go?
BRAIN: I don't like the looks of this.
MIKE: Neither do I. HERE COMES LEX LUGER!!!!! Luger is just grabbing anybody and swinging away!! (Huge crowd roar) HOLY S***!!! IT'S THE ROAD WARRIORS!!! HAWK AND ANIMAL, JUMPING ON LUGER!!! (Another huge roar comes up from the crowd) IT'S STING!!! IT'S STING!!! STING AND LEX LUGER, FIGHTING HAWK AND ANIMAL!!!!! AN OLD RIVALRY HEATS UP AGAIN!! EVERYBODY IS OUTSIDE THE RING! ERIC BISCHOFF IS JUST NOW GETTING UP INSIDE THE RING!
(The lights go out, eerie organ music plays…)
BRAIN: Don't tell me…..
MIKE: IT CAN'T BE! IT IS!! IT'S KANE!!! ACCOMPANIED BY PAUL BEARER! OH MY GOD!!! KANE IS HEADED STRAIGHT FOR BISCHOFF! HE'S GOT ERIC BY THE THROAT!! COME ON NOW, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! (pause) (screaming) HE CHOKESLAMMED BISCHOFF!! KANE CHOKESLAMMED ERIC BISCHOFF!!!!! OH MY GOD!!!!!
BRAIN: I don't like Eric Bischoff, but he doesn't deserve what's happened to him tonight.
MIKE: I agree with you, Brain. (A loud roar goes up from the crowd) IT'S THE GIANT!!! HERE COMES THE GIANT TO FACE KANE!! KANE IS ACTUALLY LOOKING UP TO THE GIANT! THEY BOTH GO FOR CHOKESLAMS! GIANT PICKS KANE UP…AND SLAMS HIM DOWN!!!!! THE GIANT HAS CHOKESLAMMED KANE!!!!! (another roar from the crowd) OH MY GOD!!! THE UNDERTAKER!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT I'M SEEING HERE TONIGHT, FANS!!!!! THE UNDERTAKER IS IN THE RING! HE BLOCKS THE GIANT'S CHOKESLAM…AND COUNTERS WITH ONE OF HIS OWN!!! HE LIFTS THE GIANT UP…NO! NO! NOT THE TOMBSTONE!!! THE UNDERTAKER HAS GIVEN THE GIANT THE TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER!!!!! DAMN!! WHO WOULD HAVE EVER THOU….LOOK OUT! HOLLYWOOD HOGAN IS IN THE RING; HE'S GOT A CHAIR! HOGAN HITS THE UNDERTAKER FROM BEHIND WITH THE CHAIR!! AND HE HITS HIM AGAIN!!! AND AGAIN!!!!! THE UNDERTAKER IS DOWN! HOGAN REBOUNDS OFF THE ROPES…THE LEGDROP! HOGAN LEGDROPS THE UNDERTAKER!! UNDERTAKER ROLLS OUT OF THE RING!!! EVERYBODY IS FIGHTING OUTSIDE THE RING, AND NOW HOGAN IS ATTENDING TO ERIC BISCHOFF!
(HUGE roar from the crowd)
BRAIN: OH S***!!!!!.
MIKE: ALMIGHTY GOD, THERE HE IS! THE WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION CHAMPION, STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN!!!!! HOGAN DOESN'T KNOW HE'S THERE! HOGAN TURNS AROUND…AUSTIN KICKS HIM IN THE GUT! AND THERE'S THE STONE COLD STUNNER!!!!! STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN HAS JUST STUNNED HOLLYWOOD HULK HOGAN!!!!!!!!!! (pause) AND NOW HE STUNS BISCHOFF!!!!! MY GOD!!!!!
BRAIN: I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
MIKE: Neither do I, Brain, it's sheer carnage here tonight on Nitro…(pause)…Brain, do you hear the chants?
BRAIN: I sure do, and am I ever happy to see him!
MIKE: MY GOD, THERE HE IS--IT'S GOLDBERG!!!!! HE JUMPS ON THE RING APRON…HE CLIMBS IN THE RING...STONE COLD TURNS AROUND!!! THEY ARE NOSE-TO-NOSE!
BRAIN: Mike, everyone else has stopped fighting.
MIKE: You're right, Brain, it looks like EVERYONE wants to see what happens here. The World Wrestling Federation champion and the World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion, in the ring together for the VERY FIRST TIME!
BRAIN: You could cut the tension here with a chainsaw.
MIKE: In all my years as a fan of professional wrestling and then as an announcer, I have NEVER felt an atmosphere like we have now. Tony Schiavone is at ringside, and he and Jim Ross have stopped fighting, along with everyone else. Kaientai, the WCW Luchadors, the Flock, the Nation, Larry Zbyszko, the NWO, DDP, Kane, Mankind…
BRAIN: Speaking of the NWO, where's Kevin Nash?
MIKE: You're right, Brain, we never saw Kevin Nash out here. Scott Hall has disappeared, DX has left ringside, Bret Hart is gone, Owen didn't run out with the Nation…what's the deal here? And, we never even saw the War…UH-OH, IT'S BREAKING LOOSE! AUSTIN AND GOLDBERG ARE GOING AT IT, AND EVERYBODY IS JUMPING INTO THE RING!!!!! IT'S A GIGANTIC FREE-FOR-ALL, AND WE'RE OUT OF TIME! FOR BOBBY "THE BRAIN" HEENAN, TONY SCHIAVONE, AND LARRY ZBYSZKO, I'M MIKE TENAY, AND WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK ON WCW MONDAY NITRO!!!!!!!!!!
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