WCW Monday Nitro really got rolling when Eric Bischoff brought in Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to form The Outsiders and eventually the NWO. But Nitro is the only place where fans saw the duo at first because they weren't performing at house shows.
Bischoff explains why Hall and Nash didn't work house shows at first on his 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff podcast.
"If we wanted to keep the premise of the story, which is that these guys are coming to WCW to disrupt it. They are coming to WCW to tear s**t up," Bischoff stated. "They want to make people pay for not making them the stars they should have been when they were originally in WCW before going to WWF. That was the premise of the story, and if the story is going to have any believability and we were going to create anticipation, we have to let the audience know that there is a chance that these guys are going to come and tear s**t up. The minute we would have built it as Scott Hall and Kevin Nash are going to take on Sting and Lex Luger at a house show, there goes your illusion."
One of the most notable moments of the NWO's invasion of WCW came on Nitro when Kevin Nash picked up Rey Mysterio Jr. and threw him, head-first, into a TV trailer. Bischoff says that some fans actually called 911 after watching it as they thought they were witnessing an actual assault.
"It is true. It was something that I didn't think about. It's not like I was sleeping at the wheel or was too busy, but I never would have anticipated that you could do something on a wrestling show that was so believable where people sitting at home would call the cops in the local market, but that was exactly what happened," Bischoff said.
"ůSure enough, we had Orlando cops showing up on set because people called 911. They thought there was a murder going on backstage because they had never seen anything like it. It was so believable, it just didn't look like a pro wrestling angle. It was everything. You didn't see ambulances, or anything remotely close to this scene before. You may have kind of in a way similar but not executed like this or produced as well.
"The thing that made it was when took off Rey's mask, because in a real situation, if his skull was cracked they wouldn't be able to treat it with a mask on. It was the little details that made it believable. There were a lot of little details that made it work, but I think the one big detail was when Chris Benoit, Arn Anderson, I mean, Miss Elizabeth crying. Everybody broke character and they were so into the moment and made it believable. They didn't have some 22 year old j---off writing a script who has never been laid or been in a fight and is now suddenly in charge of a wrestling show, which is the case nowadays, you know. They knew what the scene was going to be and what the message was and what we were trying to create, but they had to improv it. They relied on their talent and instincts to make it believable. They made it so believable that it allowed them to get into the character. They literally became actors and actresses in this scene, like legitimately good ones across the board."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.