Nashville punk group Benchmarks recently unveiled their debut record Our Undivided Attention. You know how AMBY‘s passion is ever-growing for all things wrestling and music, so to get to know the trio better, we thought it would be fun to have their frontman Todd Farrell Jr discuss his Top 5 Moments in WCW History. Read along with what Todd has to say below.
Growing up in Atlanta during the 90s, Ted Turner had an incredible hold on my childhood. Between The Atlanta Braves on TBS, and Monday Night Nitro on TNT, I learned basically everything I knew about the battle between Good and Evil through Turner programming. I witnessed the Rise and Fall of the NWO, Sting go from colorful, to white, to red, and saw Goldberg’s 173-0 winning streak. I even saw the infamous “Fingerpoke of Doom” live in the Georgia Dome with my own two eyes (a terrible site, and included on a long list of sports blunders I’ve seen in that arena). My tenure as a wrestling fan was towards the tail end of the Monday Night Wars, which is commonly agreed upon to be the decline of WCW. However, I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world.
(Note to commenters: this is my personal top five, not the all time top five. I realize that there’s probably more important moments out there. This disclaimer is mainly aimed at my brother, Marshall.)
I highly suggest pulling up these matches on YouTube, or WWE Network if you can find them.
- Four Horsemen Reform
After battling Eric Bischoff in the courtroom, Flair and Arn Anderson return in Greensboro, NC (Flair country) to reform the Four Horsemen with Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko. The audience response is overwhelming, and Flair cries. Afterwards, the Horsemen Reformation wasn’t really a great angle, but that one night was pretty awesome.
- Goldberg def. DDP
This one is on the list because it’s basically a really awesome match that went exactly how my 11 year old brain wanted it to. Two faces competing for the World Heavyweight Title. Goldberg misses a spear, tries a Jackhammer, DDP reverses into Diamond Cutter, Goldberg kicks out, DDP tries again, Goldberg hits him with the Spear/Jackhammer, everyone hugs exhausted afterwords. Pretty heartwarming stuff.
- The Invasion/Hogan Turns Heel/NWO
Scott Hall comes out of the crowd with his famous “You know who I am, but you don’t know why I’m here” promo, after appearing on RAW like a week before. It broke down the rules of what could happen, and WCW’s more reality-based storylines started getting really interesting. The idea was that Scott Hall, along with Kevin Nash, Syxx, and a few others were “invading” the WCW from the WWF (in reality, they had all just gotten out of their WWF contracts). They would come over, destroy the set, and declare “war” on WCW. It all came to a head at Bash at the Beach 1996. A six man tag-team match between the Outsiders (Hall and Nash) and Sting, Lex Luger, and Macho Man Randy Savage. The mysterious third man for the Outsiders was nowhere to be found. When team WCW gets in trouble, who better than for Hulkamania to come save the day. But wait. He leg drops Savage, revealing himself to be the third man, and creating the greatest storyline in wrestling history (the New World Order), and the biggest heel turn in history, saving maybe Benedict Arnold or Judas.
- “Crow-era” Sting Saga
There’s a YouTube playlist out there where you can watch most of this play out. When Hogan turned heel, the WCW was scrambling. Somewhere in the shuffle, people turned their back on Sting, a staple face and WCW loyalist. Sting then decides to go dark, both physically and metaphorically. He finally dawns the iconic “crow”/black metal facepaint, black trenchcoat, and black baseball bat. He’s seen hanging out in the rafters, but never speaks. Over a year goes by before he even starts interacting directly in any “WCW sanctioned events”, but he’s always just there, lurking. The omniscient presence of Sting, the dark warrior always around. Then, he starts dropping in from the rafters to help WCW wrestlers, then giving them the choice to prove their loyalty by giving them the bat and turning their back, awaiting a shot. You have to spend the three hours on YouTube going through it all, it really is classic storytelling of the fallen angel, anti-hero, and redemption archetypes. In the end, Sting defeats Hogan in a (while controversial), grand finish, and wins the belt back for the good guys. The NWO and Sting storylines never got better (they actually both got much worse after this).
- Goldberg def. “Hollywood” Hogan
As I stated above, I grew up in Atlanta during the 90s. This made WCW Wrestling a huge part of my life. Combine that with a former Atlanta Falcon/UGA Bulldog turned wrestling phenom, Goldberg was our hometown hero. At this point, Goldberg was still undefeated, and Hogan had the World Heavyweight Championship belt on the line. Once again, Goldberg represented all that was good, and Hogan all that was evil and corrupt. It was on Monday Night Nitro, in none other than the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Georgia. Hogan delivers two Atomic Leg Drops, Goldberg kicks out. Curt Hennig comes from backstage to help Hogan, Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone (yeah, right?) come to Goldberg’s aide. Malone delivers a Diamond Cutter to Hennig outside the ring, and the crowd goes wild. Meanwhile, Goldberg is setting up for the Spear, and the place is going nuts. Spear. Jackhammer. Game over. The Georgia Dome explodes. Goldberg is holding up both the World and US Heavyweight belts. Yes, it should have been on Pay Per View. Still, 11-year old Todd was stoked.