This Week In WWE Vintage Collection History: How One Tug Of War Changed Lives
By Aaron Wood Jan 8, 2012 - 3:04 PM
COLLECTION #189 No
cold open for us like last week, so it was left to Mean Gene to
explain what the dillio was. As he explained, each of the
participants in the first match would undergo changes in their
career. Back in 1996, there was no Hall Of Pain built (and let's
face it, in 2012, there's no Hall Of Fame built, but I digress) by
Mark Henry yet, as he was just beginning his WWE career. Some
Superstars were not entirely pleased to see his arrival, and wanted
to test his "World's Strongest Man" moniker. One such man
in particular was Crush, and on the November 17th episode of "Sunday
Morning Superstars" airing on the morning of the 1996 Survivor
Series, Crush took on Henry in a Tug Of War. Or at least, that's how
so they all moved on from there, sticking with Mark Henry after the
break, Gene talked about how despite showing HHH, Goldust & Crush
he was the World's Strongest Man, injury stalled the early part of
Henry's career. After a year away, he came back, and soon buddied up
with the World's Most Dangerous Man, Ken Shamrock, as he feuded with
The Rock and the Nations Of Domination. On the episode of RAW from
January 12th 1998, Henry teamed up with Shamrock to take on The Rock
& D'Lo Brown, where it could be said, an early wing was set up in
the Hall Of Pain.
the break, we moved on to Henry's initial opponent in the Tug Of War,
Crush, as we went to the WCW/nWo Thunder episode of March 20th 1998,
as Crush had moved to WCW, and as Okerlund said here, Crush worked
"under his HUMAN name" Brian Adams. Adams quickly joined
the nWo, and here, he faced Marty Jannetty.
from break, Gene said we'd seen some superstars take on new
identities in this "New Beginnings" series, but perhaps
no-one had the identity crisis that Goldust had back in 1998. After
a split with his then-wife Marlena, and trying to step out of his
father's shadow, he became The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust,
where Dustin would end up mimicking several different other members
of the roster. And after having abandoned Vader's Survivor Series
team, The Mastodon had Goldust in his sights, and the two settled the
score on the RAW episode of January 26th 1998 as Vader faced, well,
was main event time next, and our final man from the Tug Of War,
namely Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Before becoming thre COO, The King Of
King or even The Game, HHH was a blueblood looking for a way to the
top by any means possible. But despite being the 1997 King Of The
Ring, he began to feel short-changed, switching his name to Triple H
and joining forces with Shawn Michaels, becoming DeGeneration X. As
they gained steam, they caught the ire of then-Commissioner Sgt.
Slaughter. And so at DeGeneration X: In You House, Slaughter
challenged Hunter to a "Boot Camp" match, to beat some
respect into him.
Chyna's help. HHH escaped with the victory, and DX continued to
surge. And over the course of the next several, year, DX, despite
numerous changes, as well as HHH himself, each leaving imprints on
the minds of the WWE Universe and helping Hunter hold 13 World
Titles. Gene noted that while it was the end of the show, we were
nowhere near the end of the New Beginnings. Well, I'm guessing we go
until either Rumble Sunday or the week after.
noted, the episode of Superstars with the Tug Of War aired the
morning of Survivor Series 1996. Henry was set to feature in an
Elimination match with Barry Windham (as The Stalker), Marc Mero and
Rocky Miavia to take on Crush, HHH, Goldust and the captain, Jerry
Lawler. However, between the tapings and the PPV, Henry was injured
and replaced by Jake "The Snake" Roberts. He then, as
noted on the show, and before in this section, took around a year off
to recover from his ailments and undertake more training.
he returned, it wasn't long until he took part in the match shown
where he joined The Nation. At this point, Henry spent a lot of time
tagging with D'Lo Brown, taking part in the Wrestlemania 14 Tag Team
Battle Royal, and beyond.
usurping Faarooq as leader of The Nation, The Rock feuded with him
over the IC Title, before leading the group into a feud with DX. The
Rock would end up losing the IC Title to HHH at Summerslam. However,
later, at Breakdown, The Rock won a WWE Title shot. Soon after this,
The Nation fell apart, and Rock feuded with Henry for a short period.
With the fall of The Nation, D'Lo and Mark Henry remained together,
feuding with The Rock & The Godfather, continuing on as a pairing
for some time after.
for Ken Shamrock, he would defeat the Rock at Wrestlemania, but the
decision would be reversed when Shamrock would refuse to let the hold
go, allowing Rock to retain the title. Shamrock would go onto win
the 1998 King Of The Ring, beating The Rock in the final match. then
feuding with Owen Hart in a series of more MMA thematic matches.
to their mutual management by Clarence Mason, Crush would end up in
the original Nation line up, along with Savio Vega and Faarooq.
After Crush (along with Vega and Mason) were kicked out of the group
by Faarooq, when it began to have a fully African American lineup,
Crush would form the biker group DOA, feuding with Faarooq's new
Nation and Vega's won stable Los Boricuas.
Adams found himself in WCW in early 1998, having left the WWE in
protest to Montreal, and almost immediately found himself part of the
nWo, albeit not exactly a major player. After that ended, he would
end up forming Kronik with Bryan Clark. Jannetty also started in WCW
in early 1998, although his run was almost entirely unnotable until
an injury saw him fired.
in 1996, Goldust generally floated about doing not very much of note,
winning minor matches but generally losing any major matches, such as
any P:PV shots, until he developed the TAFKA personality in late
1997. At this point, in a pot-shot at what Prince was join, he
developed the TAFKA persona, mimicking others, such as Vader-Dust in
this example, but also Chyna-dust, Dusty-dust (in a shot at his
father's wearing of polka dots in his WWE run, Hunter-dust and
would then get even wackier over the course of the next few months,
as Goldust burned the jumpsuit, dumped Luna and got with Marlena
again, this time speaking out against the WWE product and it's
edginess and making bible quotes. In typical Russo fashion the
"group" sponsoring the vignettes were called "Evangelists
Against Television, Movies and Entertainment!. Yes, "EAT ME".
And then, after alluding to "his return", meaning Jesus,
Dustin would revert back to the Goldust character.
& Vader met at No Way Out Of Texas, with Vader losing to a
Tombstone, before being attacked by Kane with a wrench, putting Vader
on the shelf. When he returned, he resumed his feud with Kane,
helping Undertaker win an Inferno match. However, Vader lost a mask
vs. mask match, after which, Vader gave the famous interview, where
he suggested he was done and calling himself "a piece of shit. a
big fat piece of shit." Vader would end up getting out of the
WWE and heading to Japan once again.
for Kane, he met Undertaker at Wrestlemania, losing after three
piledrivers. He then lost the aforementioned Inferno match.
However, things took an upswing from there, as he would beat Taker
for a WWE Title match, getting it at King Of The Ring, beating Stone
Cold Steve Austin for the title, albeit only having a one day long
reign, losing it back to Austin the next night.
the point of the Tug Of War, HHH was IC Champions, and would hold the
title until losing it at the Thursday RAW Thursday show, before
taking on Mr. Hughes and then Chyna as a bodyguard while continuing
his rise. By his later match, he was European champion, having had a
mock match while outsmarting Sgt. Slaughter who forced Michaels to
wrestle HHH. This led onto a feud with Owen Hart, which would also
be the culmination of Hunter's feud with Slaughter, as at
Wrestlemania 14, Slaughter handcuffed himself to Chyna in an effort
to stop her helping Hunter. However, it ended up proving futile,
with Chyna helping anyway and HHH winning the match.