Every day goes by and sports history is made. But on this day back in 1996, could hold the greatest moment in the history of sports. No it didn’t come from any of the big 4 or from MMA or Tennis. It comes from the world of professional wrestling. July 7th 1996 lives in infamy because of the main event of WCW’s Bash At The Beach. It was supposed to be a 6 man tag with The Outsiders(Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) taking on the team of Lex Luger, Sting and The Macho Man Randy Savage. Then it all happened.
As the match neared a close, a man entered the arena. A man by the name of Hulk Hogan. Hogan hadn’t been seen all night, and no one knew what he was doing. The words of Bobby Heenan ring through my ears to this day. “But whose side is he on, whose side is he on??” Hogan then struck.
Hogan turned his back on the WCW and its fans and joined Hall and Nash. Hogan hit a leg drop on the Macho Man, thus ending his good guy mantra. And initiated the greatest heel turn in sports history.
A new era was born, or as we know it a new order. That infamous day, the NWO, the New World Order was born. Hall, Nash and Hogan, three of the biggest names in the world of wrestling joining forces. No one knew how to react.
Hogan, Hall and Nash were then interviewed by Mene Gene Okerlund after the match. We would finally get an explanation from the Hulkster, that we would never, ever forget.
Hogan would rip he WCW and the fans at the event. Hogan would cite “Billionaire Ted”, otherwise known as Ted Turner as the reason, or possibly one of the reasons, for his revolt. But no one, I mean no one expected this in a thousand years.
The pay-per-view signs off with the memorable line from announcer Tony Schviavone. “I’m Tony Schviavone. Hulk Hogan you can go to hell. Straight to hell”. A line that is so memorable, that Schiavone was forced to apologize the next night on Monday Night Nitro for it. The announcers weren’t aware that this was happening, so it makes sense that Schiavone blew up like this. I know I sure would have.
In my opinion, yeah I put this in my top sports moments. “But Jack, it’s pro wrestling and it’s scripted”. I really don’t care what you say, this moment created massive, massive things. The Monday Night War became even bigger than ever, and put WCW into even bigger depths.
Hulk Hogan is arguably the greatest wrestler of all time. Every wrestler has a huge moment, while Hogan has 100 of them. This in my eyes was the biggest moment in the career of the Hulkster. Hogan becoming a bad guy, helped pave the way for new superstars to make a name for themselves as the bad guy. Without Hogan, bad guys may not be liked by fans either. Fans jumped on the NWO wagon really quick, it was the cool thing at the time.
If you get the chance search this moment in YouTube today. It’s well worth it. Why? I’ll tell you why, because the NWO is just “too sweeeet”.