WCW April 1997 -Tension in the N.W.O? WCW management changes, Sting, Dennis Rodman

 

April was the month of 2 PPV events in the WCW. The first event was Spring Stampede headlined by DDP against Savage. N.W.O referee Nick Patrick counted the pin causing him to be attacked by Kevin Nash. A crazed Savage tried to attack Kimberley (Dallas’s wife and Valet) Eric Bishoff persuaded him to let her go.

 

On Nitro the N.W.O tried to attack DDP however Sting made his presence felt tossing a baseball bat to Page and taking down the N.W.O. With the additional tension the N.W.O looked set to explode as Nash and Hogan turned up separately to Nitro and each had their own supporters within the N.W.O.

 

On 21st April edition of Nitro JJ Dillon from WCW offices arrived becoming the new authority figure. It went right against the N.W.O from the beginning with previously N.W.O referee Nick Patrick being punished for his N.W.O antics. Dillon pushed Bishoff down to a vice president role within the organisation. This changed the balance of power to make things a little more equal. It actually looked a little like the WCW were going to be on equal footing with the N.W.O. Dillon also made a tag team match pitting three N.W.O members against Rick Flair Piper and Kevin Greene. Greene was an NFL football player who wrestled with WCW when NFL was not in season. Having Ric Flair in the main event was going to be exiting as the event would be in his hometown

 

WCW used celebrates to help keep the viewers they had earned and it was this month that Dennis Rodman was hanging around with Hulk Hogan and the N.W.O on episodes of Nitro. Rodman was a big name at the time in US Basketball.

 

The balance of power was been seen in the ring as well. With Sting popping up on episodes of Nitro and handing baseball bats to those willing to stand up to the N.W.O notably Luger, DDP and the Giant. Notably it led to the N.W.O getting beat down on one episode of Nitro.

 

So far in the angle the N.W.O had been booked to look strong no matter what. Even when they had lost in the bigger picture they walked away on top. Usually by using Eric Bishoff’s role to swing things in their favour. This generated buzz and along with the use of NBA star Rodman it kept Nitro ratings ahead of the WWF at a time when the WWF product was actually very good.

 

The crowds reaction to the teased N.W.O split was quite telling. The people wanted to see the N.W.O get their comeuppance. Though most of the crowd probably already knew that day would probably only come when Sting and Hogan met.