WWE Monday Night Raw has practically become a pop culture institution on Monday nights. Millions of folks tune in, watch the show, complain about it online and claim they're never going watch the show again. Then we make up with our Monday night girlfriend and do the whole thing over again next week. A very troubling relationship indeed.
But longtime fans will remember that once upon a time in 1995, there was another dame on Monday nights that caught the eye of wrestling fans; WCW Nitro. This beautiful babe was new, dangerous, sexy and seemed like a breath of fresh air compared to the stagnating WWE. In fact, it was so good that Nitro almost got WWE fans to bury the memories of their old flame and WCW almost put McMahon's empire out of business. Almost.
So how did this smoking hot lady lose her grip on wrestling fans? Well, she got dumb. Extraordinarily dumb, so dumb that her friends and family started to get worried but eventually just gave up on her and moved on without her. Poor booking decisions, lack of effort from people who needed to give it their all and an inability to evolve all made the trinity of dumb that sunk WCW.
Now we here are to rank the top 15 moments in WCW Nitro history that made absolutely no sense. Before you rush to your keyboards and automatically pin David Arquette's WCW World Title win at number one, remember that it technically happened on Thunder. Don't worry though, we have a just as stupid world title win much later on the list. Here we go; the 15 Nitro moments that made absolutely no sense.
15 Goldberg Beating Hulk Hogan
Typically in pro wrestling and really any form of storytelling, you build up to a climax and that would be the high point of your story, For wrestling that would be a PPV. But unfortunately, WCW was a 'rasslin company and not a wrestling one. Totally different.
On July 6th, 1998, Goldberg defeated Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. In a vacuum, this moment is great. But in the bigger picture, this was problematic. The match only had four days of promotion and took place on a free Nitro episode rather than a PPV people would have to pay for. It's only at 15 because the moment itself is pretty good, but still stupid for all the external factors.
14 Four Horsemen Sit On Their Asses As They Get Mocked
Standard wrestling logic; if your babyfaces are made to seem like cowards and/or incompetent then they're going to lose the faith of your fans. You want an example of how to bury your babyfaces? Look no further than this segment with the nWo.
The nWo spends about 15 minutes railing against the Four Horsemen, mocking their age, their lack of skill and... Arn Anderson's alcoholism. Yeah... so with that in mind you think the Four Horsemen would come to the ring and wreck shop on the nWo. You would be wrong. Thanks to backstage politics, the Horsemen run-in was nixed and as a result they seemed like spineless cowards.
13 The Tonight Show - WCW Edition
Celebrities CAN be used properly in pro wrestling. If they're placed in the occasional host role or used to endorse an actual superstar on the roster, celebrities are cool. When they're headlining PPVs as wrestlers and taking up vast amounts of time on Monday night wrestling shows, we may have a problem.
This brings us to WCW's version of the Tonight Show in the summer of 1998. The segment was meant to get heat on Bischoff because he was mocking Jay Leno but the segment dragged on far too long, was unfunny and AHH WHO GIVES A DAMN?! Doesn't Bischoff have something better to do with his time than build a fake Tonight Show set to mock Jay Leno? It all ended at Road Wild where Jay Leno put Hulk Hogan in a wrist lock... Seriously.
The fake Tonight Show set cost $75, 000 to make, but the cost to pro wrestling's credibility was much more than that.
12 Ed Ferrara Mocks Jim Ross
As much as I wanted to be a fly on the wall for so many of WCW's creative meetings, this is one where I would want to be there more than most of the others. I really want to know what would be gained from mocking beloved announcing legend Jim Ross.
In his first appearance, Tony Schiavone and the rest of the announce team play along with this idiotic and tasteless angle while Ed Ferrara morphs his face to match J.R's bell's palsy and mocks his ultra passionate commentary. This was all made to... I got no idea. It made WCW look like children, insulted a beloved fan favorite and sold zero tickets.
11 Ric Flair In A Mental Asylum
Why did WCW seem to hate Ric Flair so much? Despite being the top draw in the company's history, the company managed time after time to put him in some of the dumbest angles known to man. And here we have Ric Flair in a mental asylum.
The thing about this segment is that I could actually believe Flair would wind up in a place like this, I mean come on, he freaking elbow drops suit jackets, but the dumb part comes in the explanation in how he got out. You ready for this?
Arn Anderson posted bail for him. At a mental hospital.
God bless WCW.
10 Kevin Nash and The Humvee
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, it seemed like there was at least one vehicle-related angle showing up on wrestling shows every week. The dumbest one of all has to go the Kevin Nash/Humvee storyline though.
The storyline in question involves Randy Savage and Kevin Nash and a bucket of s**t. Seriously. At some point Nash is duped into entering a limo but once he does, a white Humvee smashes the limo over and over again. The mystery was on now, who was the driver of that car? WCW built it up for a while but ultimately never revealed the identity.
Nash was fine by the way, just a little banged up as he said on the following Thunder. Yup.
9 The Finger Poke of Doom
Bet you thought this one would be higher up right? Well as bad of a moment it is, it's not quite the most nonsensical. I mean yes it doesn't make MUCH sense, but still slightly more than others that follow it.
I'm sure most fans know what happened. Kevin Nash is supposed to face Goldberg for the WCW Title, Goldberg gets taken under custody for stalking so Hulk Hogan takes his place and wins the championship via fingerpoke to the chest.
As dumb as that was, the hideously stupid part comes in the fact that the prison which Goldberg was being held in was right next to the arena. Even in this proximity, Goldberg didn't make it to the arena in time to stop the match. He had like 15-20 minutes to do this, so either Goldberg crippled himself somehow or wanted this to happen. Jeez it's almost like wrestling is fixed or something.
8 The No Wrestling Hour Of WCW Nitro
If you had to classify WCW in terms of genre, it would be a pro wrestling show. Well actually you call it a comedy show from 1999-2001, but mostly a wrestling show. Wrestling shows need wrestling, so why does the first hour of the March 8, 1999 edition of Nitro not have A SINGLE wrestling match?!
Yup, apparently booker Kevin Nash felt that wrestling wasn't going to get them ahead of WWE so they might as well scrap it. This could be seen as precursor to the "Snowed In" episode of Raw in 2015 but while WWE had an honest excuse of dangerous weather, WCW only had dangerous incompetence. That and stupid, stupid skits.
7 Vince Russo Wins The WCW World Heavyweight Title
Much has been made about the stupidity of David Arquette and yes that was unparalleled in its stupidity... or was it?
Six months after the Arquette debacle, we got what I consider to be the ugly sequel to it. In his hometown of Long Island, New York, Vince Russo faced Booker T for the WCW World Heavyweight Title. Guess what happens next?
Yup, Russo became World Champion. The moment only gets stupider when you consider that it was a cage match, yet Russo won because Goldberg interfered and speared Russo out of the cage.
For all the crap Arquette gets about his win, at least he never wanted to win it. Russo though was booking the show at this time. You tell me which one was worse.
6 Ric Flair Buried Alive In Las Vegas Desert
Plenty of things happen in wrestling (such as buried alive matches for example) that should probably kill a man. Usually it involves The Undertaker or other supernatural characters so it kind of sort of works.
It doesn't quite work with someone like Ric Flair. Yes at some point in 1999 it appears that Flair was literally buried alive. I can't find any video proof of it but believe me, it happened. Better yet? Flair returned months later without any mention of what happened. Fantastic.
5 Eric Bischoff's Challenge To Vince McMahon
You know despite being called the Monday Night War, there is actually little hand to hand fighting going on between both sides. Eric Bischoff probably thought about this one day and decided it would be a good idea to challenge WWE owner Vince McMahon to a fight at the Slamboree PPV. Huh?
While some people like Hulk Hogan actually thought that McMahon would show up, Hogan seemed to forget that McMahon isn't a giving kind of guy and wasn't going to give WCW any free money. McMahon didn't show, Bischoff won their "match" by count-out and that was it. Literally nothing was achieved from this and only made WCW look silly.
4 Ric Flair's "Heart Attack"
It's amazing to think that Ric Flair was 49 years old at the time of this promo. The promo was typical Flair zany goodness but then it got weird... and tasteless.
After delivering his promo, Flair grabbed his left arm and laid down in the corner, making it seem like he has a heart attack. Despite it appearing looking pretty obvious that it was a heart attack, the WCW medical staff took ages and the cameras didn't cut away, taking away any sense of belief fans would have about this angle.
Even worse, WCW tried to convince those backstage it was real and causing a whole lot of unnecessary grief. To top it off, Flair was just fine a week later. That's vintage WCW!
3 The Magical Warrior
Most will remember this WCW storyline for the absolute travesty that was Halloween Havoc 1998. The Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan match is often considered one of the worst of all time. That was terrible, but this segment may have been the most bonkers.
While staring in a mirror Hulk Hogan and viewers at home could see Warrior looking back at Hogan. Eric Bischoff was in the room too though and he couldn't see Warrior. So who is hallucinating? Us and Hogan or Bischoff? Then later on the reflection disappeared to us viewers yet Hogan could still see him. So pretty much, everyone is insane. Although if you were watching WCW at this point I guess you had to be a little insane.
2 Sid Vicious' "Undefeated" Streak
Bill Goldberg's undefeated streak in WCW is the stuff of legend and possibly the only time an undefeated gimmick actually worked. Now here's an example of the same kind of gimmick that failed spectacularly and was beyond dumb.
In late 1999, botchamania legend Sid Vicious came out to the crowd and claimed to hold a 55-0 record since returning to WCW that year. This was all while he lost matches in the past few weeks.
It gets better. Later on in this story, Sid somehow added wins to his streak despite attacking men already in the midst of a match and losing matches. For the inability of following the basic rules of sport and math, this was monumentally dumb.
1 San Francisco 49ers Match
Vince Russo has an odd fixation with poles in pro wrestling. And this might be the orgy of his love affair with the almighty pole.
The (thank god) only San Francisco 49ers match ever pitted Booker T vs. Jeff Jarrett for the WCW World Title. The goal of the match was to pick out the belt from one of four boxes. Yup, the WCW World Championship, history linking it back to the start of 20th century, became a Mario Party minigame.
Worst of all? Not even a single San Francisco 49er showed up during the match! We did get a midget named Beetlejuice from the Howard Stern show though. WTF???