Earlier this week, I had a chance to sit down with Chris Schewe over a cup of coffee and talk. Well, I had coffee; I don’t know what he was drinking but it seemed like he was drinking out of a spit cup. Schewe, also known as ShoeNice22 on YouTube is a freelance comedian who has obtained localized internet notoriety for eating weird things in his YouTube videos and, more recently, for boring shennanigans pertaining to University of Albany’s cancellation of Fountain Day in reaction to the Albany Kegs and Eggs tantrums.
Shoe Nice and I talked about many things in the uncomfortable 45 minutes that we spent together, none of which were the Fountain Day stunts or Kegs and Eggs. I am glad to present this to you here, today, completely unedited and unadulterated.
I’d like to tell a story about what, looking back, is one of my favorite publicity stunts in the history of professional wrestling.
When Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Hulk Hogan banded together to form the nWo in WCW, the landscape of professional wrestling changed. They were clearly booked to be a heel stable, but, oddly enough, they were getting cheered when performing their diabolical deeds. Seeing how divided the crowds were at the time, the nWo was split into two factions: nWo Wolfpack (led by Kevin Nash, who was also on the writing team at the time) and nWo Hollywood (led by Hulk Hogan, who was always a creative primadonna). Many would argue that this distinction was made, creatively, for marketing reasons, as a team of what I have heard were four people working in a closet were making millions of dollars on t-shirts and miscellaneous apparel at the time.
On the television programming, the two sides, red and white, differing in appearance only by logo color, began to feud with each other. The Wolfpack had an appeal to the younger crowds and was super over with the fans. At the time, aside from Bill Goldberg, a phenomenon in his own right, the Wolfpack received the biggest pops at the arenas. The feud between nWo Wolfpack and nWo Hollywood culminated in a match between Kevin Nash, who had become World Heavyweight Champion one week earlier by defeating Bill Goldberg and ending the epic streak, and Hulk Hogan on WCW Monday Nitro on January 4, 1999.
Wrestling historians mark this match as the beginning of the end for WCW.
Watch it here (please actually watch it; the meaty part happens in the first minute or so): nWo Wolfpack vs nWo Hollywood
The fingerpoke of DOOM. People have speculated what the motives behind this stunt were, as it managed to do much more harm than good for the company, even though they had re-integrated the two nWo factions into one mega-faction.
I was upset at the time because it undermined all integrity of what they were doing up until that point, including killing a winning streak that could have catapulted Goldberg and WCW into true legendary status. However, now, I look back on it and realize it was a few people who had no vested interest in the company trying to get a laugh by playing with other peoples’ emotions.
Happy April Fools Day, everybody!