The unpredictable atmosphere in WCW not only played out on the television screen but behind the scenes as well. Vince McMahon ran a more structured company,. meaning the WWE always had to answer to him as a boss. The loose structure in WCW allowed the wrestlers to have more freedom unlike their rival company. That’s a good thing in some respects, if the wrestlers use it creatively for the betterment of the show. Unfortunately, it didn’t always lead to positive results. Eric Bischoff was a terrible leader at times and let the inmates run the asylum known as WCW. Many wrestlers let the scripted show become reality under his watch.
There were other circumstances that caused the various crazy moments to take place over the course of WCW history. Lazy booking, simple mistakes and confusion all played roles in a plethora of ridiculous WCW moments that became real. The shocking moments were all tough to decipher as fans innocently watched the product. Most of these memories sparked the viewer to be confused if they were witnessing something real happening or just an intricate planned part of the show. We’ll look at the controversial history with fifteen crazy moments fans didn’t know were real when watching them unfold.
15 The Shockmaster Falls Down
WWE employed Fred Ottman for a few years to portray the characters of Tugboat and Typhoon. Like most other wrestlers of the era, Ottman jumped ship from WWE to WCW. The new character he signed on to play was The Shockmaster. The big debut for The Shockmaster came when main event stars Sting and Davey Boy Smith introduced him on the "A Flair for the Gold" talk show as their mystery tag partner.
Shockmaster tripped and fell in embarrassing fashion. His helmet fell of his head and everyone laughed at him. Fans weren’t sure if this was part of the script or a legendary botch at the time. We have learned since then that it was a horrible mistake that lives on in infamy. Following the tag match he was advertised for, The Shockmaster moved down the card and quickly saw his place in WCW no longer exist thanks to the very sad but real moment.
14 Old Woman Wants To Fight Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan turning heel to form the New World Order created one of the most hated villains in wrestling history. WCW fans often showered the ring with garbage when Hogan closed the show by winning the main event and/or beating down the beloved fan favorites. One specific fan stood up to Hogan during an episode of Nitro. Hogan was beating down Sting and walked out of the ring to confront all of the Sting fans.
An older woman took exception to the big mouth of Hollywood Hogan and tried to take a few swings at the wrestling legend. Hogan went with it and knew it would be smart to use it as heel heat. Unlike many other situations in wrestling history of fans engaging in confrontations, this moment was real. It remains one of the more entertaining Easter eggs to find on the WWE Network.
13 Scott Steiner Calls Out Diamond Dallas Page
Scott Steiner has always been an unpredictable performer that terrified many of the other wrestlers. Steiner had an issue with Kimberly Page and actually chased her out of the building at one point when losing his temper. The following week saw Steiner cut a promo directed towards Kimberly’s husband Diamond Dallas Page. Steiner flat out challenged Page to fight him and ran him down in front of the wrestling world.
Most fans assumed this promo was meant to set up a big match, but it was 100% real. Page confronted Steiner backstage about his words and the two had a legitimate fight. Most reports of the story stated Steiner brutally beat Page. Some wrestlers claimed Page could have possibly been killed if the locker room didn’t break it up. Steiner breaking script on camera led to one of the more ugly backstage battles.
12 The Barbarian Beats Up Lee Marshall
The WCW concept of the World War 3 PPV was meant to be their version of the WWE’s Royal Rumble match. WCW made some drastic changes to the battle royal by having sixty men compete in three rings lined up next to each other. The match was often impossible to keep up with until everyone entered one ring towards the end, but it did deliver some cool moments.
World War 3 1996 saw WCW have various commentary teams surrounding the three rings to have different teams covering the happenings from all aspects. This didn’t go well for broadcaster Lee Marshall. A scuffle between wrestlers took place outside of the ring and The Barbarian ended up beating down Marshall when he was in the middle of the scuffle. Marshall started yelling in anger on his headset about the unplanned beat down and his partner Larry Zbyszko doing nothing to help him.
11 Tony Schiavone Insults William Regal
The final episode of Monday Nitro marked the end of WCW after Vince McMahon purchased the company. Many of the longtime employees felt heartbreak seeing the company they helped build fail to exist. McMahon appeared on Nitro from the WWE venue in-between matches, as he took the time to flaunt his victory of the Monday Night Wars during the two telecasts.
One of the segments saw WWE Commissioner William Regal talk to McMahon about how terrible WCW was and second guessed him wasting money to purchase it. WCW’s top play by play commentator Tony Schiavone took exception to this and responded on air. Schiavone specifically called out Regal in a hostile way. The voice of WCW likely realized he would have no shot of getting signed by the WWE and refused to bite his tongue on his final night on national television.
10 Ric Flair & Eric Bischoff Verbal Battles
You would have assumed that the main feud during the New World Order versus the WCW war would have put Hulk Hogan against Ric Flair. Flair's career was most associated with the success of WCW with him representing the company to its core. Flair’s main rival on Nitro and Thunder actually turned out to be Eric Bischoff. They had an on-screen feud that lasted quite some time.
The bad blood on screen carried over backstage and many of their promo battles against each other were very real. Bischoff wanted to “starve” Flair’s family after The Nature Boy took a week off to attend his son’s amateur wrestling matches. This caused a strong disdain that could easily be viewed during many of their promos. Bischoff made a lot of low comments about Flair and The Nature Boy was not afraid to call out Bischoff as well.
9 Goldberg Punching Limo Window
Goldberg's ascension saw him become the biggest star in WCW during the final few years. Goldberg believed in his own hype and sometimes forgot wrestling was meant to be a work. Many wrestlers complained about him delivering moves as if they were real rather than trying to protect his opponents. Goldberg was his own worst enemy one night when thinking he was actually a superhero.
At the time, Goldberg was trying to get revenge on the nWo 2000 by chasing them down in the parking lot. Goldberg was supposed to break the window of a limousine by hitting it with a concealed pipe. The pipe fell so Goldberg used his hand to punch the window and it was a terrible decision. It wasn’t planned as seen with Goldberg breaking his hand following the less than brilliant decision. This certainly was one of the most peculiar kayfabe decisions ever.
8 Brian Pillman Scares Bobby Heenan
Brian Pillman was one of the most talented wrestlers of the 90s, but he didn’t start to make waves until a drastic character change. The new character of Pillman saw him become the most unpredictable man in the business. Pillman blurred reality and script to the point that it confused many of his co-workers. One of his high profile moments came when he faced Eddie Guerrero and went to the outside.
To avoid Guerrero’s high risk moves from the top rope, Pillman hid behind broadcaster Bobby Heenan and used him as a human shield. Heenan had no idea that was going to happen. The reaction saw him try to run away from Pillman and he actually let out a rare swear word on television due to the surprise becasue he had just underwent surgery and couldn't be involved in a physical altercation. Pillman often made wrestling real for anyone that had to be out there with him. Heenan was just another victim.
7 Sid Injures Leg
One of the final WCW PPVs delivered a gruesome memory no fan can ever forget. Sid faced off against Scott Steiner, Jeff Jarrett and Road Warrior Animal in the main event for the WCW Championship. The big man went to the top rope on a very rare occasion and landed on his foot awkwardly to cause the severe injury. Sid’s leg bent in a way that made you cringe in horror. Still, the match continued with the other wrestlers still attacking it like a worked injury.
Fans have been conditioned to believe anything of that nature is planned, but that wasn’t the case here. Sid fractured his leg and never wrestled again in WCW. It took him a few years before he could work again, but he's never resumed a full-time schedule. The terrible moment sadly reminded us of the very real risks there is in every single match.
6 William Regal Humiliates Goldberg
Goldberg's popularity coincided with his ego growing to new heights. Goldberg became a jerk to work with. He refused to work matches with Chris Jericho because he felt he was above Jericho’s comedic persona. One wrestler in WCW that took exception to Goldberg’s mentality and showed it in the ring was William Regal. The veteran had a tremendous amount of knowledge that he used to make Goldberg look silly during a match on Nitro.
Regal was supposed to lose quickly in a squash match like everyone else to Goldberg, but he chose to send a message instead. It turned into a shoot with Regal using his wrestling skills and toughness to deliver stiff shots. Goldberg had no idea that was going to happen and still rants about it to this very day. This ultimately led to WCW firing Regal.
5 Hulk Hogan Getting Angry at Vince Russo’s Shoot Promo
Vince Russo's infamous shoot promo towards Hulk Hogan at Bash at the Beach 2000 lives on today as one of the most controversial moments in wrestling history. Russo actually planned it all by trying to fool fans due to the reputation of Hogan. The story saw Russo trash Hogan for refusing to put over Jeff Jarrett and Jarrett laid down for Hogan to win the match in shocking fashion.
Hogan and Russo were the only two men in the loop. That was until Hogan took offense to some of the comments by Russo that crossed the line. Hogan never appeared in WCW again and sued Russo for defamation of character. An angle that was supposed to fool the world saw it become real for the two people that planned it. Hogan and Russo held a vendetta against each other for years that carried over when they worked together again in TNA.
4 Madusa Throwing WWE Women's Championship in Trash
Fans have been conditioned to believe everything that takes places on a wrestling program is planned out ahead of time. This was especially true in the 90s when information was hard to find about the nature of specifics. A perfect example of this happened when Madusa jumped ship from WWE as the reigning WWE Women’s Champion and appeared on Nitro to dump the title in a trash can.
It was unclear what to make out of this. Some people believed it was an elaborate storyline between WWE and WCW working together. Of course, it was just Eric Bischoff offering Madusa a big contract and pressuring her into taking a shot at the WWE. Bischoff used Madusa to fire a huge blow at their rival company by having one of their former champions literally say their title meant nothing in the most embarrassing fashion.
3 Vince McMahon Fires Jeff Jarrett
Vince McMahon typically puts his ego in check if it means making more money. Many of the wrestlers to spurn him in the past have been brought back into the company because it was “best for business.” One person that has never returned following an ugly departure from the WWE is Jeff Jarrett. The end of his time in WWE saw him demand a huge payday to drop the Intercontinental Championship to Chyna or else he would have taken it to WCW.
WWE paid Jarrett his price but never wanted to do business with him again due to this horrid tactic. It was proven on the final episode of Nitro with McMahon now owning WCW. Vince looked at a screen of Jarrett backstage at WCW and flat out bragged about being able to get rid of him. The revenge was sweet for McMahon, as he basically fired Jarrett and let the world know he’d never return to WWE or WCW television again.
2 Scott Steiner Trashes Ric Flair
Scott Steiner gave us many crazy moments we are still unsure about. One that was definitely real saw him target Ric Flair. Steiner started to cut shoot promos on Nitro to establish his character and he tapped into his genuine feelings. Flair is someone Steiner has hated since the two had difficulties working together in the early 90s that prevented Steiner from having a main event spot.
The tables finally turned and Scott was now a main eventer and used his stature to demean Flair. His criticisms of Flair saw Steiner state that he held down all of the younger talents trying to make it in WCW. Steiner called Flair a backstabber and butt kisser. The unpredictable muscle head also insulted WCW by saying the company sucked and were losing the Monday Night Wars to the WWE because of Flair. This was not to set up a big match or anything of the sort. It was instead Steiner breaking character and making his hatred for Flair known.
1 Booker T Calling Hulk Hogan The N-word
The memory that always stands out with someone breaking character for a crazy moment features Booker T making a huge mistake. Booker, Stevie Ray and Sensational Sherri were cutting a promo together for their Harlem Heat tag team. Things got away from Booker as he got too intense and called out Hulk Hogan of all people, accidentally blurting out the n-word.
Booker looked visibly upset right after he said it, knowing he messed up. It was still hard to believe it happened and fans were left confused. WCW could have been taking a hard left in making the product more edgy but no, it was just Booker making an error. The moment still lives on today with the viral hit being one of the more popular online wrestling videos. Booker still discusses his regret for it and wishes it never happened.