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[1997-01-06-WCW-Nitro] NWO, The Giant and Sting

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Hogan starts getting pelted with garbage as soon as he hits the ring. Funny that the entire NWO clears the ring, but Nash stays inside the ring and stands in the corner. Hogan spouts off lie after lie for a few minutes before The Giant hits the ring. One-by-one, the NWO guys go after him. Nick Patrick gets thrown to the floor and lands on his ass. Ouch! Bischoff tries throwing a few double axehandles to save Hogan in a funny moment. Giant teases a chokeslam on Bischoff and Hogan hits him from behind with a chair. The NWO jumps on Giant like a pack of wolves once the situation is more favorable for them. Bischoff gets in a kick of his own and seems really comfortable in his TV role at this point, where when we left off in 1996 he was still finding his way a little bit.

 

The NWO music plays while Giant lays face down in the ring, and the NWO decides to scare the announcers instead of returning to the locker room. Sting shows up and the NWO seems to think he's on their side. He whispers something to him and leaves the bat in the ring. Nash is funny, calling Sting an elusive cat, but a heck of a young man.

 

Hogan and Nash order Vincent to go to the ring and crack Giant on the head one time for good measure, and Giant wakes up after being laid out for a long time and Vincent eats a chokeslam for his troubles. Giant then grabs the bat and starts fighting off the NWO by himself. The show closes with the crowd chanting "We Want Sting" and Sting lurking in the shadows. Great segment.

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Compare this to the muddled build for HBK-Sid and it's obvious that WCW deserved its advantage in the Monday Night Wars at this juncture. I still viscerally hate Hollywood Hogan, surrounded by his toadies and peddling self-serving horseshit. What a great use of Hogan's reality to make an all-time heel. And they struck a really nice balance between the immediate issue with the Giant and the long game with Sting. In some ways, they probably just got lucky staying on that tightrope as long as they did. But it sure was compelling.

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The biggest components of the NWO are great in this (Hogan, Nash, Bisch). However, not seeing the 96 yearbook, I was shocked at how diluted the NWO roster was already as there was 10-15 guys in the group currently including such luminaries as Vincent, VK Wallstreet, and Vicious and Delicious. They can make good fodder for the Giant and thankfully stayed outside during the main promo to keep emphasis on the key players. I liked the tease they did with Sting and the Giant looked really strong here to.

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Was laughing how Giant was just going through the whole NWO and Nick Patrick thought he had a shot at getting the Giant. He deserving gets tossed to the outside for his poor effort. Numbers finally overwhelm the Giant. This is really one sided. Nobody from WCW wants to help. The real Sting shows up to say a few words to the Giant. He points the bat at the NWO after. They don't seem too concerned. Vincent has the balls to go to the ring after to try mess with the Giant. The Giant with Sting's bat is able to keep the whole NWO away. Good finish to things.

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The biggest components of the NWO are great in this (Hogan, Nash, Bisch). However, not seeing the 96 yearbook, I was shocked at how diluted the NWO roster was already as there was 10-15 guys in the group currently including such luminaries as Vincent, VK Wallstreet, and Vicious and Delicious. They can make good fodder for the Giant and thankfully stayed outside during the main promo to keep emphasis on the key players. I liked the tease they did with Sting and the Giant looked really strong here to.

After Fall Brawl, the NWO filled right up...but like you said, it worked in a way because it allowed WCW to get some shine without hurting the big boys at all.

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Giant was recently tossed from the NWO for having the gull to not give up the title shot against Hogan that he earned at World War 3 the past November. They already seem to be moving towards Hogan's ego clashing with the main goal of the NWO (to destroy WCW). I always thought that was the logical eventual conclusion to the angle where Nash, Hall and everyone realize they are just serving Hogan and they turn on him but even two years later they never quite got there.

 

In any event, this is a great angle. The main players involved all benefit from it. Giant looks like a monster taking on the entire group. Hogan & the NWO show once again they have the numbers advantage. Sting’s story is advanced and Giant gets some measure of revenge at the end. I also like that for now at least, there are reasons for why the NWO's 12 on 1 beat downs go unchecked. Giant doesn't have any friends in WCW because of his earlier turn. Nobody knows if they can trust Sting. DDP is only starting to become a factor, while Flair and Savage are not around. I think the NWO's ability to run rampant becomes an issue later on but here at least it all makes sense.

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What a terrific segment. Interestingly, Liz still acts like she's reluctantly involved in all of this. This is where the nWo B-players served a purpose, some good cannon fodder for the Giant. Gotta love that the victim which gets the biggest reaction is Nick Patrick, who takes a nasty bump to boot. The whole mysterious Sting angle was still extremely efficient here, and the nWo guys are funny trying to convince themselves he's aligned with them. Hey, Vince actually serves a purpose too and is good in this segment, checking out the fallen Giant forever before daring to out a feet on him. Huuuuuuuge chokeslam. The visual of the lone Giant swinging the bat juxtaposed with Sting lurking is an awesome cliffhanger. Great great stuff.

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"An upstart organization cannot just put on a pay-per-view--as other organizations have found out in the past few weeks." A rare ECW potshot from Schiavone!

 

Nick Patrick takes the bump of the night here, getting HEAVED over the top rope and basically grazing Wallstreet or some other B-teamer on the floor. This was a FANTASTIC segment with incredible heat and felt about 15,000 times more urgent and suspenseful than anything on the staid, stale Raw. The end of the mass 4-week tapings can't come soon enough for that show. We get the usual NWO beatdown but with a twist--Sting leaves a bat for the unconscious Giant, and Vincent is the first man to feel his wrath when the Giant wakes up. Giant then holds off the rest of the NWO with a bat and in a GREAT bit of production, the image of Giant standing tall in the ring is crossfaded with a shot of Sting looking on stoically from up the aisle. That's legitimately one of the coolest bits of production WCW ever did. Schiavone also did a fine job to point out that Giant has no friends, having betrayed both WCW and the NWO. Fantastic stuff all around.

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Man, I know it's been a minute since I finished the '96 yearbook and everything, but where the fuck did all these ham 'n' eggers come from? Did they add like six guys to the nWo at the office Christmas party? Is that Rotunda? I don't even remember them pulling the trigger fully on Patrick. 

Whatever though, this was tremendous. Hogan and Bischoff blatantly lying about stuff rules and it's a cool new layer Hogan added to his gig after Starrcade. The facade was beginning to crack, he finally lost...so fuck it, just lie through your teeth and say you didn't. And YOU believe he's paranoid enough that HE believes it. The stuff with the Giant was great, Bischoff's futile axe handles, the crazy Nick Patrick bump, the inevitable swarming and beatdown, Bischoff's incredible smugness, and Vincent's greatest moment in WCW. I remember crowds were all the way on the Sting train towards the end of 1996 and this one was in full "we want Sting!" mode again. I haven't watched ANY of this stuff since it happened so I'm super hyped to see how everything with Sting plays out over the year. My ten year old self would be absolutely geeked. 

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No doubt, that crossfaded shot of Sting and Giant at the end of Nitro was incredible.  What a moment.  Sting is ready to own 1997 and WCW is on fire at this point. I agree about the NWO, yes there were some jobbers in there, but the idea was for them to gain more members from the start.  I don't feel like it was diluted at this point, as pointed out, it was folks Sting/Luger/Giant etc could throw around.  The Nick Patrick moment was great here.  Hogan having all these cronies makes sense.  He's on another level heel at this point. 

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