Former WCW Executive Vice President, Eric Bischoff, has opened up about the creation of the NWO and how there was meant to be a completely different unveiling at WCW Bash of the Beach 1996.
On July 7, 1996, the world and landscape of professional wrestling changed forever. With Randy Savage, Sting and Lex Luger being demolished by the combined force of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in the middle of the ring, fans looked for a saviour and of course found it in a rampaging Hulk Hogan.
As ‘The Hulkster’ slowly made his way to the ring, jaws dropped when he planted a leg drop on Randy Savage and joined forces with The Outsiders, declaring that a New World Order of professional wrestling had arrived. As they say, the rest is history.
However, things were originally going to be very different – and history along with it – with Sting initially pencilled in to turn heel at Bash at the Beach and lead the new faction to ratings dominance.
Now, Eric Bischoff, the mastermind behind the anarchic group has sat down on his 83 Weeks Podcast to discuss the original plans for the group and why Sting pulled out at the eleventh hour:
“Once Sting agreed to be the third man, it was literally within days that I ended up getting a phone call from [Hulk] Hogan and flew out to California. I hadn’t spent a ton of time thinking about or communicating with Sting about the best way to present this new character. What I’m about to say is what I would’ve hoped I’d done, I would not have wanted to see him in face paint. The idea behind the NWO was to make it more real and more believable.
The face paint would have made it so miscast within the NWO. I probably still would’ve stuck with the name Sting. I think everything else about him would’ve changed. He would’ve gone from the glittery, more energetic character to something more real.”
Everything happens for a reason so they say, and Hogan replacing Sting as the third man and leader was for the best. Not only did it reinvigorate an overly stale ‘Hulkster’ who had been flogging the same values and colours in WCW that he had become famous for in the WWF, but it helped to evolve the Sting character into the silent crow as well as create one of the most hyped main events in wrestling history at WCW Starrcade 1997.
Credit for the interview: 83 Weeks Podcast
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.