10 shocking Moments from WWF (WWE) 1996
After a few years of what was a fairly subtle power struggle between the WWF and WCW, the Monday Night Wars entered its first year of real animosity in 1996. Neither company would finish the year in the same way they started it, and the wrestling business as a whole was about to take on monumental levels of notoriety and cultural relevance.
Also Read: 10 shocking moments from WWF (WWE) 1995
With Superstars moving between the companies and new talent being positioned for stardom, the war between WCW and WWF was about to get very personal. How would Vince McMahon respond to the exodus of main event stars and the consistent ratings victories from Monday Nitro?
Here are 10 shocking moments from 1996 that give us some key insights:
#1 The birth of the NWO
1996 will go down as the year WCW established its near two-year dominance over WWF. A significant part of this was due to the talent-grab Eric Bischoff and Ted Turner were embarking on at the time. Vince had lost fairly big names to his Southern rivals before but by the middle of 96, WCW were now threatening to poach some of the company's biggest main event stars and possibly wipe out the former conglomerate for good.
With the strong financial backing of Ted Turner behind him, Bischoff was able to successfully tempt WWF employees over to WCW by offering them more money for fewer appearances. This proved to be too good an offer for Scott Hall, otherwise known as Razor Ramon. The IC champion jumped ship, appearing on Monday Nitro for the first time in May 1996.
Hall was made to look like a WWF employee that had invaded WCW territory, threatening to destroy the company from the inside. He began talking about more people joining him in the future, and it wouldn't be long before fans learned who the second man would be.
Hall's fellow Kliq member, Kevin Nash, also found Bischoff's offer too tempting to turn down. Within the space of a few weeks, two of WWF's most promising rising stars were now dragging viewers over to WCW in droves.
And just as fans were still trying to process what was happening, it was announced that a third member would also be joining their 'Outsider' faction. Fans were left pondering over who the third man was going to be. Could it turn out to be yet another WWF superstar, perhaps Shawn Michaels or Bret Hart?
The announcement of the third man was to be revealed at Bash at the Beach and it's safe to say the fans in attendance, and watching around the world, were utterly stunned to learn that former WWF Champion and icon of the 1980s, Hulk Hogan, had turned heel and joined up with the two most despised men in all of professional wrestling.
The man that for so long had told kids to 'say their prayers and take their vitamins' was now berating them on the microphone, promising to change the wrestling business beyond all former recognition. 'The New World Order of Wrestling' was officially formed, and the rest, as they say, is history.