Volume 1, Issue 81
November 22, 1996
Eric Bischoff Joins the NWO?
As I mentioned in my last article, Eric Bischoff's turn took me by surprise on Monday despite the fact that I (and indeed many Internet wrestling pundits) predicted it months ago. I mean it makes so little sense that it makes perfect sense...
Allow me to elaborate (whose going to stop me after all... :-) On the face of it, having the Executive Vice President of World Championship Wrestling become a part of a supposed rival organization is ludicrous. What possible benefit can acrue to Eric personally or his company by this action? What is he going to be in the NWO? An announcer? So let me get this straight...on Monday he was the was the Chief Operating Officer of the #2 (or maybe #1) Professional Wrestling Organization in the world - and now he's an announcer for a fictional promotion. Yeah...that's a step up!
And yet, in this whole NWO scenerio, where so little has managed to be logical this move has a logic all its own. One betrayal after another have been the hallmarks of this storyline...and this is the ultimate betrayal. Hulk Hogan's turn? Come on...he was on his last legs - people were starting to jeer at him. He was offered a chance not to hang up the tights and he took it. Now he has a career again - in hind sight he had very little choice in the matter. As much as it seemed like a surprise at the time he fit right into that "heel personna".
When the Giant jumped ship it seemed like the bottom fell out of the WCW ranks. Here they had lost the most feared man in the sport! But where else was he to go? The continuation of the NWO angle dictated that the World Championship reside with that organization - otherwise the Invaders would have no clout. So the Giant dropped the Title to Hogan. At that point he could stick around as a face and job to the Champ, or jump to the other major promotion...or continue to be a monster heel (the role he was born to play) and continue stirring things up in WCW. Having their cake and eating it so to speak.
Now we find out that Eric was probably sitting in his office at CNN Center when he was supposed to be calling from Oregon on the last Nitro. Supposedly he wasn't even trying to sign Roddy Piper at all...uh huh. Of course there have been hints of what was to come. Playing that emotional videotape footage of Savage's ex-wife the week before his big Title challange was a calculated move to weaken the Macho Man's resolve. To make him vulnerable on the eve of the greatest match of his life really only makes sense if Biscoff was already plotting his own heel turn. And what about those little spats with Mike Tenay over WCW's "lack of leadership"?
And think about how this turn of events might affect the Sting storyline. Now Steve Bordon can claim that Eric "lead the charge" to condemn him when it was thought that he had jumped to the NWO. A "he fooled us all" mentality could thrust Sting back into the "same boat" with his WCW compatriates maybe even spur him to try and rally the troups...or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part. (Sigh) I have missed the Stinger...
There are great possibilities inherent in all of this.
Of course, with the NWO set to commandeer the first hour of Nitro each week, who do you think will be hosting that hour from now on? Why Uncle Eric of course, probably with Hall or Nash (now I hear from the WCW Hotline that it will be Debiasi) at his side for the color commentary. One has to wonder what that first hour will be like. Will we see some "real" matches with NWO members involved? I'm betting we will. They can't possibly expect to remain a credible threat to RAW by putting on those bogus matches like they've been doing on the Saturday show.
Will Nick Patrick finally come out of the closet? To me that is one of the more interesting aspects of the PPV this weekend. Can we expect the NWO to interfere in that match if things go against Patrick (which they inevitably will)?
And come to think of it - what will Bischoff's role be at World War 3? It seems doubtful that he will sit it out (as he has the last few PPV's for one reason or another) - no, he'll be there alright...but what will he be doing?
Of course the possibility always exists that we will finally have our long rumored "spy scenerio" played out. For the longest time (until Hogan showed up as the "Third Man") there was a lot of talk about Lex Lugar being the "spy" in the WCW ranks. Then the next candidate was Hogan himself - many of us were sure that he would turn out to be an agent provocateur who was sent into the Invasion force to destroy it from within (some of us were so naive!) Then when Sting appeared to have joined the enemy he was alternately thought (by those of us who were sure that it was Sting) to either be a spy or to have been kidnapped.
So now we get to speculate about Eric Bischoff...who better to play the role of the spy in the ointment?
Meanwhile up in Stamford...
Having put on one of the better Pay-Per-View shows this year and then followed it with a rousing edition of RAW - the WWF appears to be on a roll again. And just in time, with the Jim Ross angle running out of steam (was it me or did he and Vince seem to be getting along better lately?) - bogus "Razor" and "Diesel" going nowhere fast, Mr. Perfect vanishing from the horizon and threatening to show up with the opposition and a moribund Tag Team situation - the combination of the Hart/Austin rivalry and the elevation of Psycho Sid, plus the entry of an exciting new Tag Team was the real shot in the arm (or kick in the pants - pick your metaphore) that Vince and company needed.
It can be hoped that they won't make the mistake of trying to force Sid into a goody-two-shoes personna (which seemed to be brewing for a while there). The WWF, which has always had a weakness for face Champions, could take a hint from the NWA/WCW model where the "dirtiest player in the game" dominated the World Title throughout the mid-to-late eighties. It made for great drama as stirling champions (little "c") of virtue got in line to challange that "guy we all loved to hate". The brief periods when Flair was out of power only served to make him seem more maniacal as he clawed his way back to the top time after time.
If Vince is smart he'll let Bret Hart take that Championship back and then be challanged by Stone Cold Steve Austin. Let them have a series of matches - maybe trade the Title back and forth a few times. Make it a continual quest on the part of Hart to get "his" belt back from the evil Austin. A year ago I would have picked Vader for this task but he has been wasted and has lost all credibility by jobbing over and over to the Heart Break Kid. Time for him to pack it in back to WCW (imagine Vader as the next member of the NWO...)
Speaking of Shawn, I think he's out of the picture. He didn't generate the excitement needed to sustain his Title run. I see him contending for the IC Title perhaps (Hunter Hearst Helmsley - an overrated athlete in my opinion - would be easy pickings for the Heart Break Kid...especially without Curt Hennig to run interference for him).
Its all speculation of course - and I could be wrong but...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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