The Best And Worst Of WCW Monday Nitro 11/4/96: The Oregon Trail

Pro Wrestling Editor
01.06.16 9 Comments

Eric Bischoff Oregon

Previously on the Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro: Halloween Havoc ’96 happened, and everything changed. Rowdy Roddy Piper showed up and put the fear of God in Hogan, and the following Nitro showed the segment again in its entirety. You know, in case you missed it. Also, Sting is now full-blown Crow Sting, and he’s sorta drifting in and out of frame to make WCW’s heroes feel weird about themselves.

Click here to watch this week’s episode on WWE Network. You can catch up with all the previous episodes on the Best and Worst of Nitro tag page, and you totally should. Programming note: We’re doubling up on vintage Nitro reports this week, so check back here tomorrow (Thursday) for the next edition.

As for now, please scroll through for the vintage Best and Worst of WCW Monday Nitro for November 4, 1996.

Marcus Bagwell heel turn

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Best: Rebuff Bagwell

At some point — read: 1997 — WCW stopped caring about why characters were face or heel, and started having them turn by changing their shirts. That was it. They’d be normal, but then they’d put on an nWo shirt, and that’d make them evil. You can see it in the way characters interact with one another already. If you’re in WCW, your only real reason for not wanting to join the nWo is “WCW.” “I’m WCW!” It doesn’t really mean anything. You just are or aren’t wearing a shirt.

This week’s show pre-dates that phenomenon with the beginning of two great character alignment changes; one from good to bad, the other from bad to good.

The first is Marcus Alexander Bagwell, who as you may know has spent his entire WCW career as, for lack of better phrasing, a rookie with ruthless aggression. He always came across as a gentle, handsome southerner who at his best was a more serviceable Jim Powers. He has a million dollar smile and the personality of a block of wood, so they put him in an endless string of tag teams with similar character types. Scotty Riggs, The Patriot, Lex Luger, and so on. He’s been a dirt-boring babyface forever, and this episode really kickstarts the heel turn they’d been foreshadowing.

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