This week, I went to a time machine on the WWE Network to revisit WCW Nitro. Nitro was the Monday night show for WCW and at the time, it aired on the same time as WWE’s Raw Is War and you would have to change the channels back and forth between USA Network and TNT. We did not have the option to watch it on a live stream 20 years ago and the only way if you can watch both shows is if you put two screens in the same room, or if you tape the other show on VHS and watch it later. Technology was different 20 years ago and i lived through it. On the August 17th, 1998 edition of Nitro, Warrior made his WCW debut. But before that, Eddie Guerrero cut his “worked shoot” promo towards then WCW boss Eric Bischoff as he was disappointed with the direction of his character along with him feeling like he (and more wrestlers that worked with WCW) was being held back for main event pushes that were already given to the bigger stars of the company at the time. This got overshadowed later that night when Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff went to the ring to cut a promo on Diamond Dallas Page.
After a few minutes, Warrior appeared on the stage to a thunderous reaction from the crowd and Mike Tenay on commentary even sounded very thrilled that he is there in WCW for the first time. This was not The Renegade at all as it was the real deal. The fans were shocked and the huge ovation lasted for a few more minutes. And then, that long promo from him begun as he talked and talked for almost 10 uninterrupted minutes. It went from a decent promo 3 minutes in, to a disaster for the rest of the promo. In fact, one of the lines are the following:
“Different than you wanna make people believe, I never received an invitation. I showed up on my own accord. And let me tell you, Mr. Eric Bischoff, if you stick your nose in my business, you will only very quickly prepare for your own demise. Furthermore, when I get done with my business here, I’m gonna be sending you a bill. I suggest you pay it. I have…waited…patiently. The WARRIORS have waited all too patiently. Now…NOW…the virtue of justice unties my hands so that I can continue to fulfill a destiny set in motion on that memorable day years ago. A destiny at the next level. A destiny beckoning the next superhero.There really is no sadder sight than when a grown man fears the challenges in his life so much that he rationalizes adolescent behavior to the point where he carries out heinous and self-indulgent actions. Your evilness, an evilness you embodied and portray, is intolerable. I am the one that has the power to destroy you. In sorts, Hogan, the truth is inexhaustible. I come here, not to beat you up tonight, Hogan. Beating you means nothing anymore, everybody already has.”
If you read that part of the transcript of the promo, ask yourself if you understood what he was trying to say and what was he trying to accomplish with this promo. He went on and off topic for most of it and as the promo went on and on, the fans started to turn on him and boo him. While this was going on, Hogan and Bischoff just stood there and took every word he said from start to finish. The promo was only supposed to go for 6 minutes, but that along with the rest of the segment went for a whopping 18 minutes which suffered for the rest of the show since everything after this had to be re-arranged. You would think that if the viewers changed the channel when this happened but only a small amount of viewers did as Nitro did an 4.97 on that hour as Raw pulled in an 4.40 on the same hour. While this was going on also, Raw on this hour had The Nation vs. DX street fight, Bradshaw vs. Draz (Brawl For All), and Val Venis vs. Kaientai. All of this was better than seeing an 18 minute long segment that was supposed to go for 6 minutes. When it is all said and done, That episode of Nitro pulled in an 4.9 rating as Raw pulled in a 4.2 rating overall that night. That promo was a time waster even though it had Warrior’s first appearance in WCW. The plan was for Warrior to come in WCW so that way Hogan can get his win back which he did on Pay Per View a few months later at Halloween Havoc. The match was horrendous as Wrestling Journalist Dave Meltzer gave the match a -5 stars.
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