This past week, I’ve been spending some of my downtime at home taking in a 30-day trial of WWE Network. Though the current programming is pretty good, it’s the archival programming that has resonated with me…in particular, the stuff from the Monday Night Wars when WCW Nitro and WWF Raw is War were duking it out for professional wrestling supremacy. Though WWF had the much better storylines, I thought WCW had much better wrestlers…mostly because of the technically-sound veterans and the luchadores. For the most part, I liked both promotions equally. But that changed on the April 20, 1998 edition of Nitro, when the nWo officially split. A week later, my favorite wrestling stable was born. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the nWo Wolfpac.
How I first came across this moment? I first came across the Wolfpac when most other wrestling fans came across the stable: when there was dissension in the original nWo in the early part of 1998. Going back as early as the Uncensored pay-per-view event, I noticed how Hollywood Hulk Hogan was only out for himself and his quest to become the WCW World Heavyweight Champion. Things really got hot when Syxx got booted from the promotion and Scott Hall got suspended. That didn’t sit well with Kevin Nash and “Macho Man” Randy Savage. The final straw was the Spring Stampede pay-per-view when Hogan first attacked Nash after the Baseball Bat on a Pole tag match and later attacked “Macho Man” after his victory over Sting to capture the World Heavyweight Championship. The break-up was on as a clear line was drawn. A week later on the April 27, 1998 Nitro, Nash announced the formation of the Wolfpac with “Macho Man” joining him.
What it meant to me then? At the time, I was a big “Macho Man” fan but I had always teetered on the fence with regards to being all in for WCW or all in for the nWo. But when “Macho Man” joined, I kinda felt as if the Wolfpac was a safe zone in between both primary factions. In essence, it was…hence, the label as ‘tweeners as many in the wrestling world called them. When they introduced their colors as black and red and that theme music, I was definitely sold. It started with Nash, Hall, and “Macho Man” but it grew with the nWo Hollywood defections. Konnan, Curt Hennig, Dusty Rhodes, and Rick Rude joined. Miss Elizabeth came over. I almost thought the stable was toast when “Macho Man” got injured at Slamboree 1998 and Hall turned on Nash. But the Wolfpac struck gold when Lex Luger and Sting joined. It was a good time to be a wrestling fan when the Wolfpac showed up.
What it means to me now? Watching some of the WCW Nitro, WCW Thunder, and most of the pay-per-views from 1998, I actually have a deep appreciation for the stable. It was a shame that Bischoff and Hogan messed up the storyline with the Fingerpoke of Doom.