Volume 1, Issue 24
July 26, 1996
The Tangled Web
The advent of the New World Order has thrown the WCW folks into a tizzy. Suddenly everybody has to ( or thinks he has to) pick a side. Actually, I don't see the NWO calling for volunteers...the stories are that Bam Bam is coming and the 123 Kid, and they keep mentioning Double J (I hate that guy!).
Feels kind of like the WCCW/USWA takeover attempt of a few years ago. The World Class promotion changed its name in order to thwart the takeover by a Japanese investment group or something. Skandor Akbar was involved with the invaders in that instance I believe.
I still think Lex Lugar will go to the NWO. The great thing about the "spy scenerio" is that he can be revealed and exploited at any critical juncture in the storyline. Lugar has always been a "snake in the grass", as Dusty so colorfully puts it. His entire history as a wrestling personality has been laid on the foundation of self interest and the tendancy to take shortcuts. (Remember his betrayal of Sting a few years back? Or the way he beat Barry Windham for the NWA title with the help of Harley Race?)
Arn Anderson is no puzzle. He won't go to the NWO because he hates Hulk Hogan. He sees the Hulkster as a bad joke. Like his partner Flair, he resents Hogan's invasion of the WCW in 1994. Also there is a strong streak of "character" in AA's history. Arn is a straight ahead tough guy who eschews flashy gimmicks. No, he won't join them. He will oppose them, I expect him to turn face soon. He'll end up berating Flair for standing by and letting Hogan dismantle the WCW. I don't believe Flair can do it anymore without Arn. The Four Horsemen are doomed.
And speaking of doom...what about Sullivan and crew? All they have left now is their feud with the Horsemen. Hogan has to win the World title at the next PPV in order for this entire NWO house of cards to avoid collapse, so the Dungeon of Doom is suddenly a dinosaur. It's whole reason for being has been "...taken away..." as the Taskmaster lamented. I keep reading that Kevin Sullivan wants to retire from the ring and just be a booker - Nancy is pregnant, he wants to settle down.
The Giant has already made his face turn by dint of the fact that he is pitted against the hated Hulkster for the Title. He can continue to contest for the belt after he loses it, but I would expect him to jump ship to the WWF. He could probably pull off that giant caveman personna that El Gigante botched so badly a few years ago. I still see him as eventually becoming another Andresque gentle giant of the ring. He's about 25 years old - he has a long career ahead of him.
Jimmy Hart is probably in the oddest position, but then this is the guy who's been representing both the Giant and Lex Lugar during recent months. His plight is akin to Sullivan's - he can't do anything dasterdly enough to maintain crebility as a heel against Hogan's monumental betrayal of the fans. He'll either turn face or join Hogan. Who knows, maybe Hart will turn out to be the "spy in the Dungeon's ointment".
Even Bobby Heenen won't be immune, I'm sure. He will have to make a choice. He is most likely to fall prey to the old adage (which I just made up) "...if you can't join 'em, beat 'em!" He can't join the NWO - he's been too strongly in the WCW camp so far and besides, he's hated Hogan for years. Hogan hasn't said anything about having fists full of money to spread around (in fact the glue that supposedly holds that group together is "loyalty to Hulk Hogan" a dubious prospect at best) so the Brain isn't likely to switch horses anytime soon. He has to turn face - probably for the first time in more than 20 years.
Of course Hogan will have to turn back before his movie comes out at the end of the year. Most likely he will be deposed by Kevin Nash (Scott Hall is fated to spend his time in the WCW as a henchman I'm afraid -- unless he contrives to challage Nash down the road). Eventually I expect that the NWO will collapse from within as Sting and WCW picks up the pieces. The real test for Hogan will come when he actually has to make his face turn. Will he beg forgiveness? "I want my country back..." like Sgt. Slaughter? Or will he come back in a position of strength, singlehandedly smashing the enemies of all that is right...stay tuned.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.
Copyright 1996 - Solie'e Vintage Wrestling