The documentary starts with a brief 8 minute recap on the pre-NWO careers of Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Just in case the audience wasn’t sure why all three men left the WWF, the narrator clarifies how Ted Turner’s big pockets caused all three men to succumb to the lure of more money and go to WCW. The DVD cuts to Scott Hall’s first appearance in WCW, when he memorably interrupts the 5-star match between the immortal The Mauler and Steve Doll, and gives the promo of his life: "Hey you people, you know who I am, but you don’t know why I’m here. Where is Billionaire Ted? Where is the ‘Nacho’ Man? That punk can’t even get in the building. Me? I go wherever I want, whenever I want. And where, oh where is Scheme Gene? Cause I got a scoop for you! When that Ken Doll lookalike, when that weatherman wannabee comes out here later tonight, I got a challenge for him; for Billionaire Ted, for the Nacho Man and for anybody else inahh..WCWhyuck..hyuck. Hey you wanna go to war? You want a war? You’re gonna get one!" This was a revolutionary storyline for North American wrestling fans! It really looked as if the WWF was invading WCW. The following week, Kevin Nash appeared, and Eric Bishoff asked Hall and Nash if they work for the WWF. This was basically the first time that the WWF was mentioned on WCW TV!
After Nash powerbombed Bishoff off the stage, the DVD shows clips from the Bash at the Beach match, where Sting, Lex Luger and the Nacho Man (Macho Man Randy Savage) wrestled Hall and Nash, with the promise of a mystery partner to appear (the entire match is included as an extra on the DVD). This is the match where Hogan comes down to ringside and gives Savage three legdrops, turning his back on the fans and becoming "Hollywood Hogan". The best part of the post-match festivities is seeing some fat slob with a ripped Hogan shirt around his neck enter the ring and get the shit kicked out of him by Hall and Nash, before security takes him to the back. Priceless!
Hogan gives an interview telling the fans to stick it, as the ring is peppered with garbage! This is followed by another Hogan interview (specially given for the DVD), where Hogan goes on to explain his decision to turn heel, saying what all of us knew. One of my favorite pieces of business when I was in the WCW was brining everything I learned from the WWF down there and basically wiping out the whole talent pool. UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE! Did he really admit to what everyone else has known for all these years?
The DVD recaps the rest of the NWO in 1996, including the classic spot where Rey Mysterio is projected like a missile by Nash into the side of a trailer. The NWO officially became cool when Hogan won the belt from The Giant at Hog Wild, 2 months into the NWO's existence (you can see how many fans were cheering for Hogan when he wins).
Inexplicably, the DVD skips the rest of the NWO's history, from 1997-2000. ??? How the hell can you have a DVD on the NWO and fail to include its history post-1996? Literally, 1 clip lasting approximately 20 seconds is shown of several additional NWO members walking with Hall and Nash. That’s all. Nothing on Syxx/X-Pac, Curt Henning, Eric Bishoff, Konnan, the Wolfpac, Horace Hogan, the OWN (One Warrior Nation), and the fingerpoke of doomits are all missing.
The DVD jumps to November 19, 2001, where Vince, after learning that Ric Flair is a co-owner of the WWF, decides to bring back the NWO, because if anyone’s going to kill his creation, its Vince (if recent episodes of Raw are any indication, he was dead-on with that statement). The original three member of the NWO are brought back at the February 2002 PPV No Way Out (NWO get it?), and Hogan, Hall and Nash interact with Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock in a couple of hilarious exchanges. Clips from the Wrestlemania matches between Austin vs. Hall and Hogan vs. The Rock are shown, and the DVD ends with Hogan getting kicked out of the NWO, being replaced by X-Pac (what an upgrade!).
There are a miniscule four matches included on the set; the aforementioned Bash at the Beach match being the most historically significant. The War Games match between Hogan, Hall, Nash and the fake Sting vs. Luger, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and the real Sting is enjoyable, particular after the match, where The Giant joins the NWO and they proceed to destroy Randy Savage, prompting Miss Elizabeth to come out and feebly try to protect him (she ends up getting spray-painted for her efforts). The match between Nash and Bill Goldberg is shown, including their respective entrances (which are missing from the Best of Starcade DVD Set), where Goldberg suffered his first defeat, after Scott Hall tasers him. Finally, an enjoyable handicap match between Hogan, Hall and Nash vs. The Rock and Stone Cold is shown in its entirety. I believe this match was the first and only time that Stone Cold and Hogan ever wrestled each other.
As previously mentioned, the huge gap from 1997-2000 really drags down the grading of the DVD, and is complete laziness on the WWF’s part. The fact that this is a single DVD rather than a 2 or 3 disc set highlights the strike while the iron is hot mentality that the WWF had when releasing this DVD. There are always rumors that a follow-up DVD will be released, but with the NWO being a distant memory, and with Hogan and Nash now wiping out the talent pool in TNA, the chances of a new DVD that promotes the competition’s wrestlers are very low.
This DVD is a let down on so many levels. What’s included is enjoyable, but it’s impossible to give this DVD a high grade, based on its many flaws. Ultimately, Im glad I own this DVD (hey, I bought it used at Walgreens for $6), but it’s definitely not the WWF’s best effort.
2 out of 5 Legdrops.
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